BlackBerry UI – A simple custom field

I’ve covered creating your own field Manager on this site already. As you might guess, another very common part of BlackBerry UI implementation is creating your own Field class (or extending one of the built-in classes). Fortunately, the basics are very easy, even easier than creating a Manager. I’ll run through a simple from-scratch Field to illustrate everything you’ll need to know.

The field I’ll be creating is a button – now, there’s a ButtonField already in the BlackBerry UI library, but it has just enough drawbacks that I’ve implemented countless replacements. Plus, it’s a great illustrative example – a button needs to to do a bunch of things to be useful. Specifically:

  • Basic Drawing
  • Focus highlighting
  • Responding to user input (trackball and touchscreen clicks, and the enter key)
  • Firing events to listeners

Which basically covers anything you’d want to do with most fields. So let’s get started:

The CustomButtonField

We’ll call this class CustomButtonField. It will do the following things:
– Behave like a ButtonField with respect to focus and user interaction (i.e. show a different color when focused, fire an event when the user clicks on it with the trackball, touchpad, or presses the Enter key when the field is in focus)
– Allow us to easily set the text color and background color (yes you can do the background with Field.setBackground, but that’s only JDE 4.6 and later and there’s still no easy way to set the font color, which makes setting the background limited).

Constructor and instance variables

We’ll define these first, based on our requirements. We’ll of course need the label for the button, and foreground and background colors both for the focused and unfocused states.


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  1. private String label;
  2. private int fontColorFocused;
  3. private int fontColorUnfocused;
  4. private int backgroundColorFocused;
  5. private int backgroundColorUnfocused;

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