The Ripple Emulator Goes Beta
Update: For a thorough tour of Ripple in it’s latest form, check out the Ripple Docs here.
Today is the day we launch the Beta version of The Ripple Emulator, a browser based mobile emulator. So we thought we’d explain the current feature set to help you get started and on your way to building and testing mobile widgets faster. Before we get started, here’s how you can get Ripple and what you’ll need to know to run it:
- Ripple runs as a Google Chrome extension and is a simple one click install. You can find the download/installation page here: https://chrome.google.com/extensions/detail/geelfhphabnejjhdalkjhgipohgpdnoc
- You need to have the Google Chrome browser installed on your computer. You can download it here if you don’t already have it: http://www.google.com/chrome
- If you’re working with mobile widgets on your computer, you’ll need to run a local HTTP server. This is due to an upstream bug in WebKit and we expect this requirement to go away shortly
We’ve created a Demo Widget that you can load into Ripple. The demo widget will walk you through all of the features currently available in Ripple in a wizard-like format. All you have to do to get started is:
- Point your browser to: http://ripple.tinyhippos.com/demo
- Click on the Ripple icon at the top right of your Chrome Browser (once you’ve installed Ripple, of course)
- Follow along, to play with all of the features available in Ripple
Along with the Beta release of Ripple, we will also be adding to our online presence with some goodies and help for the widget development community. Here are the various ways you can keep up to date:
- The Ripple Product Site (which will be launching in the next day or two): http://ripple.tinyhippos.com/, here you’ll find information on Ripple as well as a community forum where you can interact with other Ripple users as well as get advice and ask questions related to mobile widget development
- This Blog: We will continue to post about new features, provide sample code, and resource to help the mobile widget development community
- Twitter: follow the @RippleEmulator and @tinyHippos accounts
Features of The Ripple Emulator (Beta)
Here’s a brief description of each of the features shipping with the Beta release of Ripple. To see them all in action, we invite you to point Ripple to out demo widget (http://ripple.tinyhippos.com/demo) and play around.
Navigate to any URL, click on the Ripple icon at the top right of your Google Chrome browser and you can enable or disable that URL for emulation.
This pane gives you a view of what device your are emulating, what platform you’re on, as well as notes that are of interest for the emulated environment
This pane gives you a view into all of the information that your widget is storing on the mobile device being emulated.
The GPS pane, shows you the current geo location being returned by Ripple and allows you to specify your own location. Very helpful for testing mobile widgets that are geo location dependent.
The platforms pane is used to switch between the different platform and devices supported by Ripple. If your aim is to build cross platform mobile widgets, this feature will come in really handy. We currently support JIL API 1.2.1 Widgets, Opera Widgets, and Web (for a basic emulation of mobile websites). You can also use this pane to switch between portrait and landscape modes for the mobile device you are emulating.
Each mobile widget platform supports several events that can be raised by the mobile device when certain conditions occur. This pane allows you to manually fire those events to ensure that your widgets behave correctly under those scenarios.
One of the main pain points for mobile widget developers is generating valid config.xml files for their packaged widgets to ensure that their widgets will load correctly on the various platforms they are developing for. The Config Validation will detect your configuration file and validate it based on the currently selected platform. This pane will show you all of the nodes that passed validation as well as the ones that failed along with an explanation of what failed and how you can fix it.
The Application pane displays all of the mobile device applications that are available on the platform selected. These are applications that a widget can launch programmatically.
You’ll find that as you hover over several elements within Ripple, tool tips will show up giving you extra information on that particular feature. We will continue to add tool tips as the product continues to develop.
This is experimental pane at this point. The intention is to allow you to customize the behavior of Ripple. Currently it allows you to turn our Tool Tips on and off.