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RIM Does Not Want PlayBook Devs, Complains One Potential Developer

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the you-don't-want-a-rim-job? dept.

Programming 165

fidget42 writes "It appears as if Research In Motion is trying to discourage people from developing for the PlayBook by making the process too darn complicated." This is a pretty serious rant; has anyone had a better experience with RIM's system? Sometimes the gap between developers and users (even when those users are other developers) can be more of a chasm.

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165 comments

First Post? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35323408)

Maybe they want to "Play it by ear" :p

FREE BLACKBERRY PLAYBOOK TABLET FOR DEVELOPERS!!! (1)

naz404 (1282810) | more than 3 years ago | (#35324108)

Hi guys.

All complaining and whining of that guy aside, I would like to mention that people who develop Blackberry Tablet OS apps right now that get accepted into the Blackberry app world (app store) by March 15 will receive *FREE* Blackberry Playbook tablets [blackberry.com] .

Looks like dev license fees will be a little hefty after this initial "seed" period, so take advantage now and sign up now for the developer program even if you don't plan to dev in the short term just to take advantage of the free license you'll get now.

For those who don't want to gamble it all on Blackberry Tablet with your time and money, Adobe AIR [adobe.com] is an excellent solution as AIR apps are qualified for the ongoing FREE BLACKBERRY PLAYBOOK FOR EACH ACCEPTED APP developer promo ongoing 'til March 15.

AIR runs on Windows, OSX, Linux, Android 2.2+, Blackberry Tablet OS and as Apple iOS native apps (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch via the Adobe iOS Packager) so your app will have a lot of bases covered. AIR is pretty nice too because Actionscript 3 syntax/structure is pretty much Java now and easy to pick up, and you can also create AIR apps using the free open source Flex SDK [adobe.com] , which is pretty much like the JDK except you output .SWF or AIR apps with it. Here's a free PDF ebook from O'Reilly on getting started with Flex [adobe.com] .

Here's some stuff to get you started on AIR/Blackberry Tab: 1 [blackberry.com] , 2 [blackberry.com] , 3 [adobe.com] .

From what I've heard, for each app you make that is accepted in the Blackberry App world, you will receive 1 free Blackberry Tab via a redeemable coupon at Amazon.com and all you will have to pay for is shipping. Hey, free blackberry tablet is free blackberry tablet right? Take advantage now! Cheerios and hope to have helped! :)

Re:FREE BLACKBERRY PLAYBOOK TABLET FOR DEVELOPERS! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35324878)

Yawn. Meanwhile, people who develop iOS apps will receive *FREE* cash from the sky.

creators revile loss of life (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35323434)

anytime, anywhere. killing based on greed/fear/ego is...yikes? killing each other seems to be going by as we're becoming the 'protesters' ie; complainers, (nice innocuous, if not negative term). turns out that in a fixed race, just finishing is acceptable (stay alive/race another day). nothing much of what we've allowed ourselves to become accustomed to. there are some unanticipated twists just around the calendar. see you there? don't forget, if there's any hungry babies left anywhere, it's all still on hold.

Cry me a river.. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35323444)

Boohoo.. the guy is crying about having to fill out a couple forms and downloading a couple files. Writing his rant probably took 3 times longer than all the supposed "extra" time he had to spend on setup compared to competing platforms.

I know first impression counts, but does 30 minutes count in the grand scheme of things when you are going to spend days, weeks or even months learning and working on something? Must be the ADHD generation..

What happened to staying up through the night because you are so excited to learn and get something working?

Re:Cry me a river.. (4, Informative)

Superken7 (893292) | more than 3 years ago | (#35323512)

Why would someone say up the night developing for a platform that is a PITA when they can go and develop painfully for "the King" ? (be it iOS or Android, whatever)

I would rather focus on making my app great rather than wasting time dealing with a hideous development environment.

Moreover, the author not just complains about time. Its about money, too:
"I do, however, notice that although it is currently free to register with App World, in the future there will be a $200 USD charge. Now just in case you’ve never looked in to competing developer programs, Apple charges $99, and Google charges $25. Considering you are by far the underdog in this game, how do you justify charging double the price of the market leader? Also, with the $99 or $25 charge, Apple and Google let you publish and unlimited number of apps on their stores. You, on the other hand, have decided that for $200, a developer should only get to publish 10 apps, and it will cost $200 for every additional 10 apps"

Maybe (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 3 years ago | (#35323614)

They just don't want 100,000 fart apps, or the kinds of developers who really can't do anything more than produce fart apps.

I mean, are you just a "fart app developer"?
 

RIM is stupid. (1)

Dr. Evil (3501) | more than 3 years ago | (#35324138)

I tried to set myself up to do some development on the Blackberry platform, and gave up too. It seems they want to keep a short leash on the apps. Blackberry has always been about security, control and business. I would imagine that by introducing such a controlled platform, it's not fart-apps which they're worried about, but trojans, rootkits, etc.

I don't know if the strategy will work. History has shown it will not.

What I do know though is that $200 fee locks out all the under-18 developers out of the market, making it a platform at best one where old people sell established ideas to young people. It clearly locks out all the interesting innovation.

I have a Blackberry, work pays for it. I hate it. I feel like there's a second dot-com mobile boom going on and my Blackberry is making me stupid, behind the times and illiterate. I can't even sync the thing with my ical, my personal ldap directory, I can't write Yelp reviews, Facebook is crap, webbrowsing is useless, the service is expensive, it's a POS.

The only thing it can do is corporate email. Everything else is garbage.

Re:RIM is stupid. (1)

Dr. Evil (3501) | more than 3 years ago | (#35324158)

Oh and it does a good job at my personal email and Google maps. Google apps is great.

Re:RIM is stupid. (1)

metalmaster (1005171) | more than 3 years ago | (#35324834)

What I do know though is that $200 fee locks out all the under-18 developers out of the market, making it a platform at best one where old people sell established ideas to young people. It clearly locks out all the interesting innovation.

By "innovation", im assuming you mean the thousands of fart apps, hundreds of babe of the day(bikini or nude), and my personal fav "Poop locator." This barrier for entry is going to make apps pricier than on other platforms, but its going to discourage nonsense as well. The only problem i see with this is companies not wanting to port their apps

Re:RIM is stupid. (1)

Dr. Evil (3501) | more than 3 years ago | (#35324974)

"The only problem i see with this is companies not wanting to port their apps"

That's a pretty big problem. Especially when apps are marketed and developed natively on other platforms first.

Re:Maybe (1)

GreyLurk (35139) | more than 3 years ago | (#35324340)

Sure, The $20/submission fee keeps out fart apps, but the thing is that it's not $20/app. If I submit Application A and one of my users finds a bug, I obviously need to submit an update... That UPDATE costs another $20. What if you add a feature? Another $20. So basically, the model that the Blackberry App World model encourages is for you to submit bugfixes only when they're absolutely critical, and to avoid adding new features.

Re:Maybe (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 3 years ago | (#35324416)

Plus, $200 is only a very tiny amount of money to pay out for software development. The Playbook you need to buy to test the thing out on would cost much more. I'm assuming they have an emulator, but that's not sufficient for full testing. You need the real deal if you want to test your app under real world conditions. $200 is less than a day's salary for most developers. Sure it's more than the other guys charge, but it's still quite acceptable. They probably do want to prevent fart apps. I wish the other smart phone platforms would do this as well.

Re:Cry me a river.. (2)

TheLink (130905) | more than 3 years ago | (#35323678)

I'm wondering why he even bothered to post such a long rant about it.

Does he care that much about RIM's success? Was he forced to write RIM stuff?

If I wasn't forced into using RIM and was looking at the options, I'd look at RIM's much higher entrance barrier, go "fuck it", and develop for a different platform. Not my problem - RIM's problem.

Re:Cry me a river.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35323912)

TFA suggests he does care about RIM's success:
"Living in Waterloo, it’s hard not to be reminded of you. I walk by your campus every day, most of my friends have worked for you at some point, and you are the largest supporter of the university I attend. So it seemed like a rather good idea to at least attempt to write an app for the Playbook,"

So, he wanted to contribute to RIM's success, found it much more difficult to do vs. Apple/Google, and decided to write his post in frustration and maybe in hopes that someone at RIM will read the article and decide to change things.

Re:Cry me a river.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35324698)

he is a cock-sucking apple fan - look at the archive on his page and it should be clear.

nothing more to it than that.

Re:Cry me a river.. (2)

dadioflex (854298) | more than 3 years ago | (#35324954)

Maybe he inherently likes RIM because they provide jobs in his neighbourhood, and contribute a significant amount to Canada's GDP. But he has criticisms about their future plans. One of those tech does not equal US stories. Maybe he hopes they take their thumb out of their ass and provide an alternative to Android. Or IOS, obviously.

Re:Cry me a river.. (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 3 years ago | (#35324326)

Having delved into writing software for the Blackberry, I would have to say that my experiences were much the same as his...

Heres what I had to say on the subject:

I have, for the past two days, been trying to get a working Blackberry Developer environment setup so I can do some Blackberry development - and you know what? Its been the worst possible nightmare I have yet experienced in software development.

The suggested environment is a mix of the Open Source IDE Eclipse and the Blackberry JDK plugin collection - how hard can it be? As it turns out, quite hard.

Blackberry offer a download package called "BlackBerry Java Plug-in for Eclipse v1.1 (full installer)", which according to the instructions you are supposed to install over an Eclipse 3.5 installation - however, this gave me an Eclipse install which had the necessary files in the plugins directory, but no hint of anything Blackberry related in the actual IDE itself.

No errors, no warnings, nothing - infact, the plugin installation log has a steady stream of "Success" entries.

A second option presented itself from the Blackberry forums, which was that the aforementioned package actually includes a fully working copy of Eclipse itself, which it will install for you if you point it at an empty destination directory. Tried this, same result.

Back to the forums and blog posts I went, this time coming across two alternative methods of installing the plugin - using raw archive files. Unfortunately, even for posts just a few months old, all the links to pages on the Blackberry site results in 404 error messages - thanks Blackberry!

A fourth option is to install the plugin from within Eclipse, by adding the Blackberry JDK site to the target list for the "Install Software" option (under Help). Both suggested urls gave errors, and finally the third url (http://www.blackberry.com/go/eclipseUpdate/3.5/java) allowed me to conduct an install.

Unfortunately, the install ended with the same result as before - completely successful install, completely pristine Blackberry-less Eclipse.

Someone then mentioned something useful - Blackberry list "Java® SE Development Kit (JDK) 6, update 10 or later." in the prerequisites for the Java Plug-in for Eclipse, however there is a known issue with update 21 which causes issues with Eclipse. Blackberry never mention this, it would be good to know! So, off to hunt for an JDK 6 Update 20 link (which involved trial and error changing of the urk on the Oracle java site as they do not offer SE JDK 6 update 20 for download, only JDK with EE, which installs a metric ton of stuff I dont want).

So, tried loading Eclipse with JDK 6u20 installed instead of u21. Well well well, we now have a Blackberry Project option :)

Unfortunately, creating a new project results in a dialog box stating:

"Blackberry preprocessor is being configured. Eclipse will restart to take effect and re-build the workspace."

So, restart Eclipse and ... get the same dialog. Restart again and ... well, this looks familiar. Great, a restart cycle that you cannot get out of...

Luckily, this is fixed by adding the following to the Eclipse config.ini file ($ECLIPSE_HOME/configuration/config.ini)"

osgi.framework.extensions=org.eclipse.mtj.core.hooks,net.rim.ejde

And now I have an IDE which includes a Blackberry project option and a usable editor - surely it can only get better from here on in?

And no, it didn't get any better from there on in - buggy VMs, issues installing the fucking keys (there are three keys BB require you to install to sign their stuff, the "install keys" option disappears from the right click menu after the first time you use it but it turns out that it only installs one of the three keys - so once you realise this, you have to hunt around the preferences for the right place to install the other two!), and generally a pain in the arse development system.

My Favourite part (3, Funny)

Superken7 (893292) | more than 3 years ago | (#35323454)

"First up, I have to put the simulator into development mode, which makes total sense because of those times when you don’t want to use the simulator for development."

I really hope RIM doesn't consider that dev environment to be anywhere near final. Or wait. Maybe they just want to encourage devs to write Android apps and use them on the Playbook?
Yeah, given how messed up the process is, and how critical it is for a platform starting at 0 native apps to start ramping up available 3rd party apps, I am going to assume they just don't wanna have you write playbook apps, they just want you to write Android apps! (assuming they are really compatible)

My other favorite part (2)

pikine (771084) | more than 3 years ago | (#35323674)

although it is currently free to register with App World, in the future there will be a $200 USD charge. ... You, on the other hand, have decided that for $200, a developer should only get to publish 10 apps, and it will cost $200 for every additional 10 apps. ... After getting all my personal information in, and being thoroughly disgusted with your ignorant pricing scheme, I’m now ready to start the actual process of developing.

Their pricing scheme is not ignorant, but certainly arrogant. On one hand, RIM knows that popularity is a chicken and egg problem. If they don't have apps, they won't have users, and if there are no users, there will be no apps. They want some apps to show up at the beginning to seed users, but later on they want more apps to be paid. I don't know if the pricing scheme will achieve what they want. According to Distimo [readwriteweb.com] last year, Blackberry had a paid/free app ratio on par with Apple iOS, but has the most expensive average paid app price.

Sarcasm aside, as it stands, the Playbook SDK is complete crap.

One has to sympathize with RIM's internal software engineers if that is the same tool they have to work with to develop their own apps. This is not an indication that RIM wants to turn developers away, but an indication that their software development process is not very efficient. The complicated process is not only a turn-off for external developers, but also their internal ones. The question is, is this the best process they could come up with, or is it that good ideas or designs in the company have problem becoming realized?

Re:My other favorite part (2)

GreyLurk (35139) | more than 3 years ago | (#35324452)

One has to sympathize with RIM's internal software engineers if that is the same tool they have to work with to develop their own apps. This is not an indication that RIM wants to turn developers away, but an indication that their software development process is not very efficient. The complicated process is not only a turn-off for external developers, but also their internal ones. The question is, is this the best process they could come up with, or is it that good ideas or designs in the company have problem becoming realized?

Honestly, the dev tools for the Flash/AIR platform are pretty solid, but the RIM SDKs are pretty horribly architected. It's loosely based on the Adobe Flex APIs, but it ignores all of the conventions set up in the Flex APIs, and isn't even internally consistent with itself. Half of the reason for using a Flash-based API is to have the built in smooth transitions (Fade, slide, etc..), but for whatever reason, the QNX components don't work with the built in transitions. You can build an app without QNX components, sure, but it'll run way slower, and doesn't blend in with the QNX UI.

And let's even look at the QNX "standard UI". Oh wait, there isn't one. The only example of an application that we have to loosely try to base our UI around is the web browser that TFA mentions. Of course, none of the standard UI metaphors that the browser uses are built in to the API? The "tab drawer" that happens when you swipe down? It's fully custom constructed, you'd have to write the whole thing yourself from primitive UI Rectangles and hand-built transitions and event handlers if you wanted to have a similar thing in your app. Take a look at Android or iOS, where tabs, accordions, toast notifications, and view-stacks are built in metaphors in the UI. I don't know when it's going to all be fixed, but it's in serious need of massive repair.

Re:My other favorite part (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 3 years ago | (#35324628)

It's average paid app price is the most expensive [compared with iOS, Android, WP7] because...the minimum fee you can charge is $2.99.

Update (1)

Superken7 (893292) | more than 3 years ago | (#35323458)

"Update: It should be noted that I was using the WebWorks SDK and not the AIR SDK. A commenter on HN mentioned that if you’re using Adobe Builder, it will eventually get you to a Build and Run button, but that they experienced similar problems as well"

Eventually sounds somewhat amiguous.... IMHO, if the setup takes 20min more than on other platforms I don't think thats a big deal, as long as its simple enough during development.

Re:Update (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35323494)

ahh, amiguous, that feeling you have when somebody says something to you on the street or at the store and you try to remember if youre friends or not.

Re:Update (1)

Superken7 (893292) | more than 3 years ago | (#35323540)

hahaha! sorry, I obviously meant to say "ambiguous". ;P

Re:Update (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35323658)

I thought it was that feeling you get when you see someone you know but can't remember their name?

Re:Update (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35323524)

It's not 20 minutes more, it's an hour of installation. At first, the mac instructions had you download the windows version of VMWare Fusion. To even be able to try out the sdk costs $80 on a mac. Note that you can get started developing for iOS at no cost with a single download.

As a developer, little time sinks can make a big difference. For example, building and running my app on the iPad simulator takes about 5 seconds. It's easy to test iterations and small tweaks to the UI. On Android with the honeycomb emulator, it takes more than a minute (assuming the emulator is running, it takes about 3 minutes for the emulator to start on a dual quad core box with 16G of ram) I never found out on the Playbook, since I don't want to spend money buying an emulator for a currently vapor product.

Re:Update (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 3 years ago | (#35324040)

Then again don't you need a Mac to develop for iOS? Though, this approach is probably makes sense for iOS or WP7, but for RIM - aren't the apps in Java?

Re:Update (1)

GreyLurk (35139) | more than 3 years ago | (#35324528)

Note that you can get started developing for iOS at no cost with a single download.

Really? When I looked into starting iOS Development, it looked like it would cost me at least $799 to pick up the development environment, since it only came pre-packaged with custom hardware and an operating system. Although, at least their $799 package works with my existing monitor and keyboard.

Re:Update (3, Insightful)

mangino (1588) | more than 3 years ago | (#35323546)

It's not 20 minutes more, it's an hour of installation. At first, the mac instructions had you download the windows version of VMWare Fusion. To even be able to try out the sdk costs $80 on a mac. Note that you can get started developing for iOS at no cost with a single download.

As a developer, little time sinks can make a big difference. For example, building and running my app on the iPad simulator takes about 5 seconds. It's easy to test iterations and small tweaks to the UI. On Android with the honeycomb emulator, it takes more than a minute (assuming the emulator is running, it takes about 3 minutes for the emulator to start on a dual quad core box with 16G of ram) I never found out on the Playbook, since I don't want to spend money buying an emulator for a currently vapor product.

(accidentally posted as AC the first time)

Re:Update (2)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 3 years ago | (#35323728)

Note that you can get started developing for iOS at no cost with a single download.

I don't think that's an entirely fair comparison... in order to get started developing for the Playbook, you need VMWare, in order to get started developing for iOS, you need a Mac. The latter is quite a bit more expensive.

Re:Update (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35323816)

VMWare is indeed cheaper than a Mac (or a PC) but it has that annoying inconvenience of being a virtual machine.

Re:Update (0)

JesseDegenerate (936699) | more than 3 years ago | (#35323950)

Or you could just use a VM of a mac, genius. (it's not that hard)

Mac OS X, VirtualBox, and the EULA (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#35324002)

Or you could just use a VM of a mac

Mac OS X in VirtualBox [slashdot.org] supposedly violates the EULA of Mac OS X unless you run it on a Mac.

Re:Update (2)

swalve (1980968) | more than 3 years ago | (#35323898)

If you do it right, you don't have to continually test. That's the sign of a hacker, not a programmer. Don't get me wrong, that's how I learned too. But then you graduate beyond ADHD "programming" and buy yourself a notepad. Run the test, write down all the issues, fix all of them, test again. Gets you down to maybe 5 iterations, instead of 1000.

Of course, it's RIM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35323502)

This isn't the first time RIM has put forth the impression that they don't actually want anybody developing software for their platform.

Re:Of course, it's RIM (3, Informative)

A Big Gnu Thrush (12795) | more than 3 years ago | (#35323862)

I did BlackBerry development for years, and RIM was always difficult to deal with. Simple stuff like having to fill out the same web form every time I wanted to download something, even though I was logged in. Android and iOS have better tools, better support, better experience for the developer.

Re:Of course, it's RIM (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#35324732)

I suspect that RIM is in for a nasty surprise if they want their tablet to succeed...

So long as their target market is "ugly; but secure and comparatively inexpensive email/cellphone appliances for suits" along with a sideline in "best keyboard for kids on cheap plans, now that sidekick is dead", they can afford to have a relatively sucky dev process. Their email/BBM stuff is 1st party, and much of the 3rd party development is by and/or for deep-pocketed corporate outfits that have hellishly complex requirements and processes anyway.

The problem arises if they want to play in the consumer market(or address the longterm/strategic threat that the more 'likeable' platforms will, either natively or in 'business' versions, harden up when it comes to security and management), they are going to have a very hard time attracting casual and indie developers to bring games and whatnot with their existing process.

The fact that they've gone and put out a tablet suggests that they do want to do this(Mr. Corporate Suit already has a laptop, and everybody in his office has the same power adapters/docking stations, that runs Outlook and all his horrid windows-only enterprise applications and a blackberry for mobile email. He will be picking up a tablet why? Tablet is a consumer move...)

Buller? (1)

i-linux123 (2003962) | more than 3 years ago | (#35323504)

", right? RIM? Bueller?" What does that mean and why does he repeat it so often? I don't understand what the problem is, he is expecting a spoon to come flying towards his mouth.

Re:Buller? (1)

dOxxx (8571) | more than 3 years ago | (#35323554)

", right? RIM? Bueller?"
What does that mean and why does he repeat it so often?

Ferris Bueller's Day Off: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0091042/ [imdb.com]

Re:Buller? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35323578)

Yeah, I didn't get it either. It was really grating on me by the end.

Re:Buller? (2)

Pop69 (700500) | more than 3 years ago | (#35323594)

How old are you ?

Does your Mum know that you're using her computer ?

Re:Buller? (1)

i-linux123 (2003962) | more than 3 years ago | (#35323652)

I'm in my mid-twenties. And you seem to be implying that I'm young becuase I don't know every crappy reference to crappy popular culture stuff, right? Pops? Buller?

Re:Buller? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35323688)

Yes, I would like to imply that. I am also in my twenties, and I think you must have never left your parents basement to not know Ferris Bueller.

Paramount is in the MPAA (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#35324034)

Anonymous Coward writes:

I think you must have never left your parents basement to not know Ferris Bueller.

That or boycotting Paramount.

Re:Buller? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35324060)

Seriously if you're in the US, Canada or UK this is one of the most popular movies of all time. They have literally played it hundreds of thousands of times on television for over 20 years, to call it crappy is appalling, it's one of the greats. Highly recommended.
Other greats you probably missed: Willow, Masters of the Universe, Adventures in Babysitting, Labyrinth, The Dark Crystal.

Re:Buller? (1)

Methuseus (468642) | more than 3 years ago | (#35324378)

Well, seeing as I never watched much TV, I guess it's amazing that I've seen the movie like twice. I think maybe one reference to the movie is fine, but after the second one it's too much. I only got the reference because so many other things reference it. I honestly don't really think it's funny the way the writer uses it in this case

Re:Buller? (1)

i-linux123 (2003962) | more than 3 years ago | (#35324880)

Ok, now you're making me curious so I'll watch this movie today. And no, I haven't seen any of the mentioned movies. Thnx!

Re:Buller? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35323700)

Clueless 20-something?

Re:Buller? (1)

scrib (1277042) | more than 3 years ago | (#35324342)

Don't feel bad... I GET the reference and it left me wondering what his problem was. It distracted from his message and the reference doesn't actually make sense in the context of the article.

It made me want to exclaim "there's no crying in RIM development!" (An equally out of place A League of Their Own reference.)

I disagree about the $200 (4, Insightful)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 3 years ago | (#35323608)

$200 vs $100 isn't a big deal, particularly if this thing is targeted towards businesses. And it's $0 today. Perhaps the biggest problem with the iTunes App Store (and Google Marketplace) is the spam apps -- shit that takes little or no time to build and has no value. RSS feed apps, wallpapers of images from other games, copy/paste a wikipedia article, "howto: guides for other games, etc. Putting a price on it should eliminate some of that shit.

Re:I disagree about the $200 (1)

GaryOlson (737642) | more than 3 years ago | (#35323692)

Exactly. $200 is a low price to enter an already defined market of enterprise customers who have real money to spend. And enterprise customers who have real security requirements which Android hasn't even begun to address.

Re:I disagree about the $200 (2)

Trufagus (1803250) | more than 3 years ago | (#35323702)

Agreed. $200, $100, whatever. Some fee is fine. (Mind you, they must be careful - for devs in other countries those can be large amounts).

What is much more important is the rules of the App Store. Does the App Store have simple, written rules?

I remember the story of the dev who had an app for both iPhone and Android and in his listings he mentioned that he had won an award for best Android app. He got rejected by Apple for even mentioning Android. On a practical level that is easy to fix, but it makes you feel like the App Store is some kind of arbitrary and petty despotism.

More significant was when Apple changed their rules to block all location based ads (not delivered by Apple and partners). Lots of companies were affected by that.

So, I'm not going to fret about the $200 fee. Just tell me what the rules are.

Re:I disagree about the $200 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35324128)

I don't think the point was the amount, but rather the rigamarole of having to provide the same information several times, and then this:

"You wanted me to print off a notarized statement of identification form, fill it out, take it to notary with government issue ID to have it notarized, and then return it to you so that you could be absolutely sure with 100% accuracy that I was who I said I was."

This is lunacy at it's best. I know apple makes you fax something, and google barely asks you to do anything, but this is just cheezeball redtape designed to make only "serious" developers even try to develop for it.

All the development environment issues are non-issue, the iPhone has the easiest "out of the box" environment to setup, and it's emulator is actually just runs the application compiled for x86. Likewise so is Windows Phone 7 (install and off you go.) Android is a bit more of a PITA (especially if you have an x64 system and were setup for x64 Java on the machine) but if you follow the instructions it works nearly out of the box as well. Don't get me started on Symbian and WebOS... while WebOS was rather easy to download, it requires installing so many frivolous things ... for development?

Here's another complaint I'm going to throw out there, and please someone run with it:
Why the fark do I have to have 3 different CVS programs... by the same software company (CVS, SVN, HG), and they all install services that run all the time as well?

Re:I disagree about the $200 (3, Insightful)

EvilIdler (21087) | more than 3 years ago | (#35324424)

Apple don't even need you to fax anything nowadays. Everything can be filled in on iTunes Connect. RIM's process is ridiculous by comparison.

Requiring VMWare? Installing an ISO from an installer, THEN requiring you to install that in the VM? What the hell? Android's SDK, which is about one download more complicated than Apple's (in other words, not very complicated) gets you a simulator/emulator right there in the IDE. Why couldn't RIM look at a working setup like that for inspiration?

Re:I disagree about the $200 (1)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 3 years ago | (#35323758)

I think the idea that they are aiming towards businesses is quite relevant. iOS took off in a big way as a platform precisely because anybody could develop for it. Some of the biggest successes on the App Store are from lone developers or just a couple of people collaborating. You might very well get rid of the shit by raising the bar... but unfortunately you'll be throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

Re:I disagree about the $200 (0)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 3 years ago | (#35323960)

anybody could develop for it.*

as long as the final product is approved by St. Jobs

Compare to Nintendo (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#35324056)

but unfortunately you'll be throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

Nintendo manages to print money [google.com] despite its stated policy [warioworld.com] of "throwing the baby out with the bathwater".

Re:I disagree about the $200 (1)

gaspyy (514539) | more than 3 years ago | (#35324684)

That was Android's Marketplace philosophy. $25 (on-time I think) developer fee and that's it. Self-signed (aka worthless) certificates. No review process. The result is that the store is full of shitty (and sometimes malicious) apps.

Blackberry is over. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35323618)

Only corporate drones and hipsters use blackberries. Everyone else has gone to better stuff. Nokia was defeated, now Blackberry. Get an ipad, you know that you are an Apple fanboy in the closet.

Re:Blackberry is over. (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 3 years ago | (#35324084)

The company I work for even has started allowing people to use their iOS based systems for work e-mail and calendar. The only catch is that you have allow them to remote wipe the device if it is stolen.

Whining, nothing more (4, Interesting)

gaspyy (514539) | more than 3 years ago | (#35323620)

Random whining programmer thinks process X is too complicated for him.

For me it was a non-issue. It took me exactly 2 hours to port my game (http://itunes.apple.com/app/sparkchess/id398133128) from iPad/Android to Playbook and test it, including installing the simulator. The signing process was a little more complex but really nothing fancy. If anything, on the whole I found the process faster and easier than publishing on iOS.

It took about one week for the app to be approved and it's now in AppWorld.

Re:Whining, nothing more (1)

kangsterizer (1698322) | more than 3 years ago | (#35323930)

in any case the $200 per 10 apps is a rip off, even if they'd streamline the process.

Re:Whining, nothing more (1)

gaspyy (514539) | more than 3 years ago | (#35324058)

It's a non-issue: for now it's totally free.

Re:Whining, nothing more (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35324454)

It pretty much eliminates the need to moderate for crap apps...why would anyone pay $20 to release a crap app? They probably wouldn't...they'll take their time and make something creative/useful to help guarantee that they'll get tat $20 back! It also helps prevent free apps..which tend to be low quality or otherwise sponsored versions of their costly clones.

If they don't have any money makers out of those 10 applications to cover the $200 (that's only $20 each or $40 if you including the demo)...then aren't they're quite literally pumping out apps that nobody thinks is worth anything? I have no problem with that, as a developer or a user.

At least that's where I think they're going with all of this.

Re:Whining, nothing more (2)

opportunityisnowhere (1877452) | more than 3 years ago | (#35323932)

Granted, the letter might be a little over the top, but he makes a lot of valid points. RIM's developer website is notoriously terrible, the organization sucks, it typically takes forever to find what you're looking for, and like the guy said, you have to enter your personal info over and over anytime you visit the site. RIM's infrastructure is plagued with issues, their signing servers go down routinely and AppWorld has constant hiccups. If they want to seriously complete with Android and iOS marketplaces, they have a lot of work to do.

Re:Whining, nothing more (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35324000)

Really? Tell me more about SparkChess By Media Division SRL (http://itunes.apple.com/app/sparkchess/id398133128).

Re:Whining, nothing more (1)

Tharsman (1364603) | more than 3 years ago | (#35324016)

Do those 2 hours include the entire time spent configuring the environment for the first time and the time it took you to get notarized papers and send them to RIM?

Re:Whining, nothing more (2)

gaspyy (514539) | more than 3 years ago | (#35324102)

Do those 2 hours include the entire time spent configuring the environment for the first time and the time it took you to get notarized papers and send them to RIM?

Yes, the 2 hours included installing the SDK and reading through the documentation as well as installing the simulator. They have step-by-step tutorials for this.

As a company, I didn't have to get a notarized paper, I only had to provide a scanned company registration, just like with Apple. Approval time was 2 days I think.

Getting the app signed was a 3 step process - ask for permission, get a file, run 2 command line tools.

Of course, it's much simpler with Android, where you can use a self-signed certificate, but for a user, I think it's beneficial to have some sort of verification process for vendors. I don't want my apps lumped together with scammers.

Re:Whining, nothing more (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35324468)

2 hours to install a new SDK, read through the SDK documentation, and port a game to a new OS they've never seen or used before?

Bullshit!

Does anyone who's an actual developer believe this?

Re:Whining, nothing more (1)

gaspyy (514539) | more than 3 years ago | (#35324578)

You can find SparkChess in AppStore, Android Marketplace, AppWorld and Google Webstore (no.2 paid app).

Show me something you've done, Mr. Anonymous Coward and then you can call bullshit on me.

Re:Whining, nothing more (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35324808)

I believe you; the interface looks rushed.

Tool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35324710)

I hope you remembered to ask yourself, "Is this good for the company?"

Re:Whining, nothing more (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35324708)

Random reply from some programmer charging a lot of money for a yet another chess game with a poor GUI. No wonder you can't see the problem with RIMs dev environment.

sounds like windows phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35323648)

200 dollars early on, now eur 113, notorized and all, even passport send, w-8 (incl. wrong address), i-tin taking months and no notice of problem until after then repeat multi-month delay. one can go on and on but the incompetence is mind blowing. go google.

Re:sounds like windows phone (1)

andrea.sartori (1603543) | more than 3 years ago | (#35323852)

i beg your pardon?

bush era theft of freedom/privacy to be undone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35323656)

instead of increased under the current regime? if the egyptians can do it?

apple fanboi blog posted on slashdot... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35323784)

8 out of 10 posts are about how wonderful and correct apple is, and how horrible and wrong everyone else is...

  • You Win, RIM! (Apple is better!)
  • What's Wrong With Being Wrong?
  • Why Apple Doesn't Need Feature Parity
  • $4 iPad Stand
  • Quick Thoughts on the iPad
  • A Bad Day To Be An Apple Hater
  • Gizmodo's Trade Secret Liability (Apple should sue!)
  • Cross Compilers & Public APIs (Banning them on Apple devices was smart!)
  • The Moderate’s Position on iPad Openness
  • Rupert Murdoch and The Laws Of Economics

RIM is not long for this world. (1)

LoudMusic (199347) | more than 3 years ago | (#35323820)

RIM is not long for this world.

What? RIM is being obtuse with developers? (2)

Chas (5144) | more than 3 years ago | (#35323824)

NO WAY MAN!

This is status quo for them.

Let's just say I'm NOT enamored of the platform and let it go at that.

Then again, my experience with several third-party BB app developers has been less than stellar as well. But it'd really help if RIM's infrastructure wasn't such a shoddy hodge-podge to begin with.

Re:What? RIM is being obtuse with developers? (1)

blincoln (592401) | more than 3 years ago | (#35324290)

"What? RIM is being obtuse with developers? NO WAY MAN!"

I came here to say this. RIM's "support" of third-party developers (and system administrators, etc.) has always been the worst, which is why there are virtually no decent third-party (or even first-party) applications for their platform.

I had a good laugh when they announced "AppWorld", because I knew there was no way they were going to offer something as mobile-developer-friendly as Apple, Google, or even Microsoft. It's the same level of spin on a crappy product as Qualcomm trying to portray "BREW" as being anything like Java.

I'm also glad to know they still haven't fixed that ridiculous issue with your website where you are prompted for personal information every time you download a file, and there is no way to get the form to remember what you entered 30 seconds ago when you downloaded a different file. Hey, guys, it was doing that six years ago. Maybe you should take a look into it?

Come on! It's still beta! (2)

quetwo (1203948) | more than 3 years ago | (#35323826)

This is still all beta software he is dealing with. The platform is still not complete, and RIM is still tweaking the process for creating applications for their new, still unreleased tablet. This is why it's called bleeding-edge -- it's because it's not polished and you may bleed a bit working with it. That is also why those who take the pains and actually publish to the AppWorld first are the ones who are most rewarded. If your app is the first on the market, you will be most visible on opening day, and since it is still free -- you really are only loosing time.

On another note -- there are plenty of walk-throughs available when working with this beta software, from both RIM and Adobe. RIM has also been offering nearly weekly developer web-casts on how to work with it too. Sure, it's not as polished as the iOS development platform (you know, with it being Apple only, certificate issues, profile issues and publishing issues aside), but it does work.

Re:Come on! It's still beta! (1)

blincoln (592401) | more than 3 years ago | (#35324318)

This is still all beta software he is dealing with.

You could say that about all of RIM's software. I can virtually guarantee that the experience will not improve significantly between now and the "release". Or ever, most likely.

Can we let RIM die, already ? (2, Interesting)

billcopc (196330) | more than 3 years ago | (#35323918)

I'm going to be a dick, as usual, and ask why people still bother with RIM in 2011.

I'm in the frustrating position of having to develop (admittedly simple) apps for iOS, Android, BB and WinPhone7. After experimenting with all four platforms, I found iOS by far the most "pleasant" to work with, as both user and developer. Now this was the first time I ever worked with a Mac, and I was pleasantly surprised by XCode and its tight integration with the SDK. The whole drag&drop thing between interfaces and code was a bit of a mindfuck, but it does make sense once you learn it. More importantly, almost everything you learn for the iPhone carries over to the iPad, and the workflow is identical.

Android was a not-too-distant second, their Eclipse toolkit is decent, if slightly disjointed, but app performance and usability is greatly dependent on the actual phone hardware, and it seems 99% of them are utter garbage except for that coveted Samsung Galaxy.

BB's interface makes me want to throw puppies in a wood chipper, and the JDE is a throwback to the 90's, lacking many creature comforts found in modern IDEs. Code signing is a pain in the ass, and even though the JDE said I had no "restricted items" in my code, it still refused to run on a real phone. And that emulator ? Fuck sake, do I really need to "boot" the emulator every single time ? Slowest dev cycle ever! I'm just grateful they used the WebKit browser like the other two, so once I got my hybrid app to compile and run, I was pretty much done, though I dread the day the client hires me to build the 2.0 version. The actual phones seem to be plagued with stability issues, freezing or losing network connectivity for no apparent reason, and I regularly encountered an issue where it simply refused to sync, requiring a reboot of the phone, and killing of the host-side tasks that were stuck in limbo. Just messy all around.

And finally we have Windows Phone 7. Development was actually decent, maybe because I was already familiar with Visual Studio, maybe because they significantly improved things since WinMobile 6. Now the browser, on the other hand, is a steamer. Apparently it's "based on" IE7, well to my untrained eye it's based on Netscape 3.0, because the damn thing can't compute HTML5, nor CSS, nor half of jQuery. It's ass. I don't care for the phone's UI, though it seems sleek and more streamlined than all the others.

So to me, it seems the Blackberry is sorely outclassed. They were early to the game, but failed to keep up with the times. So I reiterate my question: why in hell are people still buying and supporting this dinosaur of a platform, and the near-sighted company behind it ?

Re:Can we let RIM die, already ? (3, Informative)

opportunityisnowhere (1877452) | more than 3 years ago | (#35324020)

Users stick with the platform because it works, it still does what it was designed to do extremely well and that's what most enterprise users are looking for. That's users though, RIM is losing developer support left and right. I attended a local dev group meeting and I was the only mobile dev that still supported RIM in the bunch.

Re:Can we let RIM die, already ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35324444)

As soon as iOS/Android get real granular app permissions that *I* have control over (not the app developer), I'll jump ship in a heartbeat.
Example: You can either have access to my personal information OR access to the internet, pick one.

It's amazing the number of apps out there with the "default" permission-set of "EVERYTHING".

It's not even that hard (2)

Rossman (593924) | more than 3 years ago | (#35323978)

As someone currently developing an app for the Playbook I can tell you that article is mostly b/s.

It's hard to defend the RIM setup, because it's a bit absurd, but it's not nearly as bad as this guy is making it out to be.

Let's take a couple things off the table right away:
> pricing - well yeah i guess that sucks for but now it's free so don't worry about it
> AIR SDK installer - well he can't put this on RIM because this is an Adobe package. honestly is installing an SDK hard for any developer?

As for the rest of his rant, if he just used Flash Builder instead of compiling from the command line he would have quite easily been able to deploy an app to the simulator without any problems. You can get a free license for it from Adobe as well. It's a reasonably ok workflow, and if you've used eclipse before you will have a good grasp of what to do.

Honestly my biggest complaint is how incomplete the simulator seems to be at this point, there is still loads of the API that does not work in the simulator, and last update I got they completely broke sound :(

Re:It's not even that hard (2)

gaspyy (514539) | more than 3 years ago | (#35324118)

I agree with you, and just to make it clearer, I DID compile from commandline and it was very straightforward. As mentioned elsewhere, my app was ported from iOS and Android to Playbook in a couple of hours and within a week it was signed and approved in the AppWorld.

Ignorant (1)

swalve (1980968) | more than 3 years ago | (#35323996)

Standard gimme gimme gimme crap. Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the correct place for userland software the home directory? At least in the *NIX world, anyway. One user can't be going around polluting the whole filesystem with their barely alpha software. What? You're the only user? Then why aren't you root? Or why are you using a multiuser OS?

Listen, smart guy, developing is hard. That's why professionals get paid money to do it. That's why developers who have the patience to jump through the hoops of developing for a yet to be released piece of hardware are rewarded by being at the top of the list and ready to go when it is released.

How easy was it to develop for iOS before the iPhone ever hit the streets? I could be wrong, but I'm betting it was impossible.

RIM makes their money off of being a reliable TOOL for communication. Not by being a toy that you can make calls on if you hold it just right. If your app isn't going to sell enough to make the $200 investment pay off, RIM doesn't want you hanging around stinking up the joint.

Got one word for this guy: WUSS! (2)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 3 years ago | (#35324048)

Until you had to pull drivers from install CD's from outofdate versions on a korean site in chinese, to even get a input device working you payed thousands of dollars for the hardware, you ain't got a right to talk.

Oh come on, who here hasn't experienced FAR FAR worse in the past? Fill in a form three times? Ah, you poor baby. Ever had to fax your passport to some backwater place like the US back when all faxes didn't work with each other? Then find out you been trying their BBS because you got an old number? How about having to download 100mb of data on a stand alone PC with a 28.8 modem with only floppies available and no option to install any software for a fix that needs to go life NOW!

How about going into a server room to find the case padlocked by some past sys admin and NOBODY noticed in years, got to love quality hardware. BTW, sparks from an angle grinder do not go well with a dusty environment and electronics... OOPS!

RIM released a BETA that isn't all that convenient and stable... OH NO! Then don't develop for it, don't develop for one of the biggest platform that thanks to PING at least in europe is selling like hotcakes. The kids don't have iPhones, they got RIM and are typing away like mad on those keyboards.

As for limitting the amount of apps, maybe the just don't want their marketplace absolutely flooded with crap. Really, Android market gives me the warm fuzzy feeling of the days of finding software on tucows, but without that sense of high quality and service...

Basically, get of my lawn you whipper snapper. In my day we had to crawl uphill both ways throught ten meter snow and blazing heat to get a floppy that would work once if only it had been the right size for a piece of software that refused to run with any other software on our DOS machines, and we LIKED IT! Made us what we are today.

Bitter.

Re:Got one word for this guy: WUSS! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35324364)

don't develop for one of the biggest platform that thanks to PING at least in europe is selling like hotcakes. The kids don't have iPhones, they got RIM and are typing away like mad on those keyboards.

  Really? I'm in Europe and haven't noticed any of this.
The only RIM products I see people using here are crusty business types on their equally crusty BBs, and that's the image people around here have of RIM, they're something from the past.
And kids love them?
  All I heard from friends and work collegues late last year was how their kids wanted an iPhone or Android phones for Xmas.

Re:Got one word for this guy: WUSS! (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 3 years ago | (#35324688)

Do you travel by public transport? Read up on PING. Rim's are very distinctive with their qwerty keypad that isn't a slideout. But it might depend on income, PING is cheap and I the kids I see are not the type who can afford an iPhone. This is in Holland by the way.

were you talking about Git? (1)

JimTheta (115513) | more than 3 years ago | (#35324190)

Sometimes the gap between developers and users (even when those users are other developers) can be more of a chasm.

You're talking about Git right?

Hate bait (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35324194)

Random guy whining about no-biggy issues. What a big deal! Yeah, I'm sure there is no one complaining about the Android process or Apple process. Oh but this is RIM, an effective name for hate bait.

(Is this what Slashdot has become?)

Total Whinner (1)

JavaTHut (9877) | more than 3 years ago | (#35324560)

I've made an app using the Adobe Flex Builder Burrito Blackberry sdk and thought it was great. Better than iOS even. Essentially, his argument boils down to saying "they made me use VMWare for a virtual machine and I'm an idiot who can't differentiate the free VMWare Player that I'm given a download link to on the blackberry site from VMWare Workstation, which I'd need to use a trial version of."

I will gladly have to click three separate download links (oh no!) in order to get a more exact desktop emulation experience than be stuck with an emulator that just shows the target device screen resolution and no other changes. Even on Android Emulator I had an issue once where the emulator said everything was great and then running on the device, key information was placed off-screen. Dealing with that was far worse than having to click download 3 times.

This guy should be thankful he's never had to develop for Nokia OVI store. As for Blackberry, they can probably be thankful not to have to deal with this guy anymore.

RIM is clearly targeting business (1)

File_Breaker (16834) | more than 3 years ago | (#35324576)

It seems to me the ranter doesn't get that RIM doesn't care about having a mass of junk apps which are usually the result of have a low bar for entry into the app store. Not to say their app store for their phones is amazing (I own a BB Torch that I do love), but RIM is mostly targeting big business and government where when they need an app that's not already part of the system, they want something that works well (well enough if we are talking government) and are willing to pay a significant amount.

Also complaining about all the forms ignores that RIM has to deal with a bunch of export controls because of the encryption algorithms used in their software. While I'm not 100% sure, I do believe that they are required by law to have you put in all of your information for each download. Which is why they ask for all of your information every time you download a new OS image for their phones as well.

I do hope however that they make their development process a bit more streamlined, but I won't be sad if I don't end up seeing 1000 tetris clones or hundreds of other mindless games.

I am still holding off on a tablet purchase until I see the PlayBook alongside the upcoming Android tablet. I've already decided against the iPad after having used my friends' iPads.

I applied for a RIM job once. (1)

orphiuchus (1146483) | more than 3 years ago | (#35324606)

But it turned out shitty.

What?

Prior Experience Attempting to work with RIM (2)

crog (82891) | more than 3 years ago | (#35324852)

In the early 2000s, my firm was trying to work with RIM to develop apps for the Blackberry platform. RIM set the bar very high on accepting partners and our take was that the really didn't want (or felt they needed) external apps developers. This accounts for the paltry set of apps available on the BB in the pre-iPhone days. And those that were available were expensive. They have ambitious plans but I think their corporate arrogance will ultimately lead them to failure. If they haven't arrived already.

WTF? Just a single SDK on the ipad? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35325070)

With the iPad, all I need to do is download a single installer that contains the IDE, the SDK, and the simulator. Youâ(TM)ve decided that itâ(TM)s better to make me download the Adobe AIR SDK, the Playbook SDK, and the Playbook simulator in three separate downloads. Itâ(TM)s not optimal, but Iâ(TM)m sure you have your reasons, right? RIM? Bueller?

WTF?
Dude wait...

Correct me if my wrong but for apple you just dont need a SDK and voila, you need to FIRST have Apple Mac (R), considering that you wanna invest low and buy yourself a mac-mini (currently 699 usd) to start developing its pretty expensive to be and apple appworld developer considering that with RIM i can use my currently using platform and also with RIM i can have more potential to reach enterprise customers (Which will not buy just one single license but hundreds) then is obviously that even that the process sucks its more cheap, could be more profitable and hell yeah i dont need to invest 99 bucks everytime apple want me to upgrade my OS to get the latest SDK for the latest apple device...

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