Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Rippler - The Amazing Mobile Apps Development Tool

For mobile Apps HTML5 developers to find a decent debugger for the target devices is always a tough job! The Weinre is a very popular tool and even Phonegap debugger is based on it, however, it offers no Breakpoints and not very stable if you try to use Phonegap debugger without setting up your own debug server.
Ripple emulator is the latest debug tool I have tried, and it is so easy to install(a Chrome extension) and it solves three of my major problems for hybrid Apps -

  1. breaking points debug
  2. enable cross domains Ajax requests 
  3. Phonegap supported

The mother company of Ripple has been purchased by BlackBerry one year ago, therefore, the BB10 WebWorks SDK uses Ripple as the emulator and it works pretty nice. The BlackBerry HTML5 developer page has detail instructions how to use it

For other devices developer, the Ripple is a Chrome Extension can be downloaded from Chrome Web store. The editor I used is the Aptana Studio 3 which is free too!

You will need to set up the "Devices" and "Platform" to fit your environment, and remember to enable the "Cross Domain Proxy" to allow your Ajax requests working correctly. If the cross domain requests to the server needs user id and password,then the Ripple will fail. Before I can find the solution I just need to switch the requests to a same function server without authentication required to continue the debug process. Once debug done, changed back to the original server and test the Ajax requests on the Playbook Simulator(see below).
BlackBerry version Ripple for WebWorks 10 have some more settings need to be filled like "Package"which will give you the power to build the package to run on BB10 devices.
Now you can pretty much start your debug with breakpoints capability which save you a lot of time

The "Package and Launch" function for PlayBook never worked for me, I have to manually enter the line command to upload the bar file to emulator.

This is how it looks under PlayBook Simulator which powered by VMware Fusion (under Mac OS X)
If you have cross domain requests with user id and password which can not be run under Ripple emulator, then you can test them on the simulator.

Here are some Ripple emulator screenshots for the project I am working on -