For those of you that are excited about RIM getting involved in open software, you can be excited about this one. The Ripple Simulator has been accepted for incubation by the Apache Software Foundation, the place to be if you are into open licensed software. The proposal was submitted by RIM and was approved by a unanimous vote by the looks of things.
You can check out the proposal and all the details on the Ripple Simulator over at OpenBBnews, but here is a look at the proposal.
Ripple, A Mobile Environment Emulator
Ripple is a browser based mobile phone emulator designed to aid in the
of HTML5 based mobile applications. Ripple is a cross platform and cross
runtime testing/debugging tool. It currently supports such runtimes as
and the Mobile Web.
Ripple is going to be (in some circles already is) the goto emulator
for rapid development of mobile web applications. This
will be accomplished by quickly keeping up with the mobile web
platforms as they arise (Cordova, Tizen, WAC, WebWorks, etc).
Ripple started as a product of tinyHippos and was aquired by Research
in Motion in late March 2011. Ripple was then open sourced
under the Apache 2.0 License and hosted on the blackberry github
Ripple is a browser based mobile phone emulator that runs as a chrome
extension. It fills the gap for developers between
developing on their desktops/laptops and having to test on platform
specific emulators or physical devices. Ripple allows develors
to quickly edit-refresh-test in Chrome on their desktops/laptops while
working on web content that will be embedded and distributed
as a native application.
The project is currently opensourced and managed by a small team at
Research in Motion. We are starting to have some
more community engagement but the project could benefit from greater
exposure in the open source cummunity. Our team
overlaps highly with the Cordova group. Watching the success for that
project in Apache has inspired us to contribute
Ripple to the ASF as well.
Ripple fills a large gap in the toolset for most mobile web developers
between development on the desktop and testing
on the physical device.
Currently all development is managed on github via the issues and the
direction of the project is strongly influenced by
Research in Motion. A more clear project plan and more open
communication will be needed by this project to abide by
the apache guidelines.
Ripple has been very accepting of letting in patches from 3rd party
developers and has been functioning like apache in requiring a CLA
for code to be pulled in. The core team is hoping to grow and include more
The development community of Ripple is a small but tight knit group but
the users of the project number more than 40,000. With the launch
ofemulate.phonegap.com (which is a portal for installing ripple) we
getting approx 5000 hits a day to that site.
See Inital Committers below.
Apache is a good match for this project due to it’s close ties
to the Cordova Project. Cordova has been very successful as a project
since joining Apache and we hope Ripple will follow suit.
Ripple is a core component to the toolset at RIM and the Cordova /
Phonegap community has embrased ripple into their tooling
as well. This project has been under active development for 3 years
and a lot of vested interest from both RIM and the
community is already present to keep the tool up to date.
Inexperience with Open Source
Ripple has been opensourced at RIM for the last year. All of the work
is done in the open. There are a few extra measures we need to learn
how to take (mailing lists, project planning) for working within the
However the team has a good understanding of what needs to happen, as
some of the
team are also contributers to the Apache Cordova Incubator project.
Ripple’s core team currently all works at RIM with contributions for
some features done by third parties. There is a
backlog of features currently done / being put in by third parties
such as Adobe and IBM.
Reliance on Salaried Developers
Most of the developers are paid by their employer to contribute to
this project but are all highly involved on a personal
level with this project as well as the mobile web community.
Relationships with Other Apache Products
There is a strong overlap and relationship between the ripple and
cordova teams. Gord Tanner is an active commiter in
both project and has been ensuring that both projects progress together.
An Excessive Fascination with the Apache Brand.
A driver for this project going to apache is to get broader community
enagagement and involvement. Most of the developers
who would contribute to this project are already contributing to
Cordova so migrating over and contribuiting to ripple
would be a simple
Source can be found at: https://github.com/blackberry/Ripple-UI
Source and Intellectual Property Submission Plan
Source is currently licensed via the Apache 2.0 license which is
inline with ASF. All files currently
have an apache header on them with a copyright of Research in motion
Also we have some images that are not licensed under Apache (see
The images are of some BlackBerry phones but can be removed if this is an issue.