12-26-11 09:43 PM
36 12
tools
  1. xoenik's Avatar
    Alright, so after the sale, a lot of people have jumped in on the bandwagon, including me. With another sale coming soon, what can we do to get developers to join in? It seems a lot of threads here are more or less about praising the playbook or shaming other tablets. How can we start some quality development and discussion? Personally, I think the ndk 2.0 and android porting will make it easier for not only ports, but to work more closely with the hardware. What's your idea to get devs?
    12-25-11 02:08 AM
  2. lynntarbox's Avatar
    Alright, so after the sale, a lot of people have jumped in on the bandwagon, including me. With another sale coming soon, what can we do to get developers to join in? It seems a lot of threads here are more or less about praising the playbook or shaming other tablets. How can we start some quality development and discussion? Personally, I think the ndk 2.0 and android porting will make it easier for not only ports, but to work more closely with the hardware. What's your idea to get devs?
    android porting doesn't work closely with the hardware at all. in fact, no android apps that use androids ndk specifically will work on the playbook. this is why you won't see android ports of heavy games since they all rely on native code. they'd have to be rewritten specifically for the playbook.

    imo, its too late to get devs. most people already consider the playbook to be a failure. it had an AWFUL start and interest has been on a steady decline ever since.

    look at cross platform mobile dev tools like appcelerator and look at their end of year 2011 reports. there is actually more interest in the other failing device windows phone 7 than there is in QNX/playbook.

    12-25-11 02:18 AM
  3. KermEd's Avatar
    Just my two cents here... the biggest problems I've been seeing:

    - Air: Not as powerful as needed for full-on development. Flash has never been a good platform for speed and applications. Its an akward language, for example, try working with multi-dimensional arrays, using images, or carrying over variables to events. It requires more work than it should.

    - NDK: Still quite crashy. And has very poor documentation. Lots of concerns with the NDK itself, for example a lot of NDK1 items were incompatible with OS2. Devs dont like updating SDK's & rebuilding apps.

    - Webtoolkits: Few of these flying around, but they are pretty weak in terms of actual output power.

    - Android: Not true android. Has some quirks. The Android Player is still quite crashy. Not sure I would feel comfortable porting any of my Android games to the PB through the Android Player. Just feels risky to me.

    ---------------

    But with all of that said, I still build for the platform. So, I think it just needs some time. Typically, developers will rise when sales increase as they did. Just lots of developers debating on where to place their time I think.

    Ed.
    app_Developer and FF22 like this.
    12-25-11 02:18 AM
  4. KermEd's Avatar
    Ah, and just to add, what the PB needs to do is regular (real) developer competitions. Give us a challenge twice a year. i.e. best Tower defense game. Or best meeting room notation software.

    Something useful. The current developer challenges aren't even worth reading imo. But building up a community with online polls, and online voting for the community to participate would be nice to see for once. They should emulate the GP2X-Wiz community in this regard.
    12-25-11 02:21 AM
  5. xoenik's Avatar
    If some people got together to improve on the NDK (in terms of user documentation and support) would it come out as a viable platform? IMO C++ is more flexible than say, iOS' objective c.
    12-25-11 02:23 AM
  6. lynntarbox's Avatar
    If some people got together to improve on the NDK (in terms of user documentation and support) would it come out as a viable platform? IMO C++ is more flexible than say, iOS' objective c.
    few projects like jquery have had excellent documentation and its probably the main reason its the most popular js library being used today.

    but wiki versions of 'improving' user documentation by end-users has historically NEVER worked well for any platform. developers by nature already hate writing documentation let alone just 'some people'
    KermEd likes this.
    12-25-11 02:43 AM
  7. app_Developer's Avatar
    A lot of us want to build utility or business apps (including LBS and social apps), and for that we need a proper UI framework like we have on iOS and Android. We're told that Cascades will be the answer there, we're just waiting for RIM to finish that.

    Another idea might be for RIM to give a $25 credit to each new buyer to use in the app store. This will be an investment for RIM of course, but would get some $$ flowing through the store and encourage new users to explore apps.

    Lastly, I think many of us are waiting for some announcement on the number of PBs sold with the new discounts.
    KermEd likes this.
    12-25-11 02:44 AM
  8. lynntarbox's Avatar
    A lot of us want to build utility or business apps (including LBS and social apps), and for that we need a proper UI framework like we have on iOS and Android. We're told that Cascades will be the answer there, we're just waiting for RIM to finish that.

    Another idea might be for RIM to give a $25 credit to each new buyer to use in the app store. This will be an investment for RIM of course, but would get some $$ flowing through the store and encourage new users to explore apps.

    Lastly, I think many of us are waiting for some announcement on the number of PBs sold with the new discounts.
    i find it completely bizarre that RIM wants to push this device as a professional business tablet and yet their focus in native SDK has primarily been for gaming? it makes no sense! wasn't cascades supposed to have been available by now?? i guess no one should be surprised that once again RIM didn't make good on their promises.

    meanwhile the bb app world is being filled with apps with the most horrendous UI's that completely do not match the look and feel of what TAT did for the OS itself. its like android but WAY worse.
    bbfan1040 likes this.
    12-25-11 02:50 AM
  9. KermEd's Avatar
    Good points. UI needs to be more strict to make sure applications flow and pull together nicely. I think right now we are split between AIR (simple flash like) apps and NDK (complex, time consuming) apps. But each dev is stuck building their own app engine which means features and buttons behave differently per app.

    But it looks like the RIM development team have not been putting out many apps. Look to Android here. You have Google Maps, Docs, Apps, Markets you name it. I think Google has a couple dozen apps for free in theirs.

    But what I really need to do for business involves a lot of advanced port management, conversions, etc. And I just dont see a lot of stable frameworks to do that with.

    Its also difficult working with RIM --- they love to block your apps from the appstore without saying why. And so you justs lose time and effort...
    12-25-11 03:12 AM
  10. app_Developer's Avatar
    i find it completely bizarre that RIM wants to push this device as a professional business tablet and yet their focus in native SDK has primarily been for gaming? it makes no sense!
    It makes perfect sense to me. Getting Open GL ES and things like Box2D running is a lot easier than building a whole coherent UI framework. That took Android/Google and Apple years to do. It's not a small task, and I don't think anyone has done one so quickly since maybe the original Macintosh (which was of course super simple compared to a modern framework)

    wasn't cascades supposed to have been available by now?? i guess no one should be surprised that once again RIM didn't make good on their promises.
    It's a huge task, and QNX (the company) did none of this earlier. This all fell on RIM and TAT.

    meanwhile the bb app world is being filled with apps with the most horrendous UI's that completely do not match the look and feel of what TAT did for the OS itself. its like android but WAY worse.
    Of course, because everyone has to roll their own UI. That will get much better when they give us Cascades.
    Last edited by app_Developer; 12-25-11 at 11:13 AM.
    12-25-11 03:18 AM
  11. app_Developer's Avatar
    In addition to proper, official, no guesswork, sales number from RIM, it would also be nice if they published the total number of downloads from the app store per month. Hard data like that is key for us to make any kind of business case.
    bbfan1040 likes this.
    12-25-11 03:33 AM
  12. xoenik's Avatar
    Hmm... Cascades looks promising, but it seems there really is little interest for anyone at all, let alone the big names. Maybe a competition could really work though, I'd pay money towards something like the 48 hour make your own game event
    12-25-11 03:39 AM
  13. justincase1911's Avatar
    I'm not a developer and have no clue how to create an app. However, as a consumer, I have a point or two to make.

    First: During the holiday shopping season, the PB sold well enough that it became a "hard to get" item. Many stores sold out of them. This means there will be a lot more in use, so the market for apps just got a lot bigger as of this morning.

    Second: It is up to developers to either, help create or doom from the beginning, a profitable market. The consumers are out here and we are ready to buy. We may not be as big a market as the apple or andriod market, but we could be. If devs fail to supply apps, we surely won't. You can either expand the market, or not. Remember, you can often make more profit being a big fish in a small pond than you can being a small fish in a big ocean.

    As for me, I'm guessing that when os2 is officially released, there will be a flood of new apps to go along with it. At least I hope so. I (the consumer) am looking forward to buying them. Heck, I'm even willing to pay a buck or two more for them. But if no one offers them up... Congratulations, you just killed a potential market.
    ALToronto likes this.
    12-25-11 10:53 AM
  14. BuzzStarField's Avatar
    I'm not a developer and have no clue how to create an app. However, as a consumer, I have a point or two to make.

    First: During the holiday shopping season, the PB sold well enough that it became a "hard to get" item. Many stores sold out of them. This means there will be a lot more in use, so the market for apps just got a lot bigger as of this morning.

    Second: It is up to developers to either, help create or doom from the beginning, a profitable market.The consumers are out here and we are ready to buy. We may not be as big a market as the apple or andriod market, but we could be. If devs fail to supply apps, we surely won't. You can either expand the market, or not. Remember, you can often make more profit being a big fish in a small pond than you can being a small fish in a big ocean.

    As for me, I'm guessing that when os2 is officially released, there will be a flood of new apps to go along with it. At least I hope so. I (the consumer) am looking forward to buying them. Heck, I'm even willing to pay a buck or two more for them. But if no one offers them up... Congratulations, you just killed a potential market.
    Interesting - it's my fault that you can't find the apps that you are looking for! Actually, the developer's proper role is to make apps and sell them in order to put food on their tables. We can play a very small role in making a particular market more popular but basic principles of economics require that we pay most of our attention to markets that are already successful. Just as the consumer is not responsible for growing the market, neither is the third-party developer.

    You are correct in saying that RIM is doing some of the things that are necessary to grow their market and make it more attractive to developers. But bear in mind that until RIM releases the basic stuff that attracts consumers (OS2?) and also releases a complete set of tools (we are still waiting for some important ones) that we can use to develop apps, your supposition that a "flood of new apps" will materialize in February is a false hope.
    KermEd likes this.
    12-25-11 11:26 AM
  15. justincase1911's Avatar
    All I'm saying is that RIM has offered up a great piece of hardware. QNX is no slouch and about to get better. As of today, there are a bunch of PBs in the hands of consumers. If devs come through with amazing apps, more PB owning consumers will come.

    Steve Jobs and Bill gates didn't wait around for the market. They created it. Tablets are a platform for devs to make money. Do you want to expand the market or shrink it? Who knows, you could be the guy who makes the app that is so fantastic, it makes the PB the "Go To" device. Then what happens? That's right, you get filthy stinkin rich.

    I've got money in my pocket. Do you want it?
    sk8er_tor and KermEd like this.
    12-25-11 11:51 AM
  16. FF22's Avatar
    As a NON-developer, I like the discussion going on in this thread. Lots of give/take and interesting perspectives.
    frankzaman and justincase1911 like this.
    12-25-11 11:52 AM
  17. kill_9's Avatar
    i find it completely bizarre that RIM wants to push this device as a professional business tablet and yet their focus in native SDK has primarily been for gaming? it makes no sense! wasn't cascades supposed to have been available by now?? i guess no one should be surprised that once again RIM didn't make good on their promises.

    meanwhile the bb app world is being filled with apps with the most horrendous UI's that completely do not match the look and feel of what TAT did for the OS itself. its like android but WAY worse.
    The dirty little secret is the "Play" in PlayBook does not really mean a sports metaphor but rather was always intended as a reference to recreational activities. Thus far The Astonishing Tribe have been anything except astonishing in my opinion. Why did Research In Motion buy this company and its development team? Anyone? Anyone? If I had the time I would be developing high-quality applications for the academic and workplace markets. Maybe in 2012 I will devote some time to undertaking such a project.
    12-25-11 01:13 PM
  18. lynntarbox's Avatar
    The dirty little secret is the "Play" in PlayBook does not really mean a sports metaphor but rather was always intended as a reference to recreational activities. Thus far The Astonishing Tribe have been anything except astonishing in my opinion. Why did Research In Motion buy this company and its development team? Anyone? Anyone? If I had the time I would be developing high-quality applications for the academic and workplace markets. Maybe in 2012 I will devote some time to undertaking such a project.
    well i think TAT did a great job UI-wise for the overall look and feel for the playbook. it was definitely in response to the fact that a lot of people were saying the blackberry was looking outdated compared to other mobile OS's out there. RIM needed something fresh and i think TAT delivered in that department.

    everything else about the playbook though for both consumers and developers...SO much more work needed. i really think RIM got in over their heads with this transition phase and how much harder it was actually going to be.
    12-25-11 01:17 PM
  19. kill_9's Avatar
    It's a huge task, and QNX (the company) did none of this earlier. This all fell on RIM and TAT.
    The beauty of the modular *nix architecture, which includes QNX, is the user interface (UI) runs atop the kernel and unlike Microsoft Windows a bug in the UI does not crash your entire system. QNX was primarily an embedded operating system and as such user interface was the command-line, where I prefer to live, but the tablet needs a graphical user interface (GUI) for ease of use. Again where is the UI promised shortly after the purchase of The Astonishing Tribe? Produce or be terminated should have been the message from the executive suite and it should have been stated during the summer. In my opinion, the wrong people (management, development, marketing, distribution) have been assigned to the tablet initiative; they are not worth a tinker's d-a-m-n. Even Homer Simpson would have been more competent.
    12-25-11 01:25 PM
  20. app_Developer's Avatar
    All I'm saying is that RIM has offered up a great piece of hardware. QNX is no slouch and about to get better. As of today, there are a bunch of PBs in the hands of consumers. If devs come through with amazing apps, more PB owning consumers will come.
    Well, one, right now the development tools exist really only for games so far. Just look at the sample apps to give you an idea of where the tools are right now:

    https://bdsc.webapps.blackberry.com/...eta/sampleapps

    So far we can open a GL context. That's great. And we can present media. OK. But there is a huge missing piece there that we have on other platforms. And I'm not even talking about a visual interface editor (like what the Android and Apple teams have built). I'm just talking about the UI framework itself. Even if we have to hand code to it, like we all did for the first few months on iPhone, that's OK. But we have to at least have that. No one is going to write a business app one triangle at a time.

    Presumably, they have this internally and they've used it for the built-in apps. But the fact that they haven't published it yet probably means it is still very much in flux.

    Two, "a bunch of PBs" is not enough data for shops like ours to write a business case (either internally or for clients). We need real data. Hopefully Rovio will report something, because so far RIM won't (we've asked).

    But once those are in place, I totally agree with you that new markets are new potential opportunities. That part is exciting. That's why I've been reading this forum for the past few months. I'm ready to jump in when there is a UI framework. And I can bring my team in when there is a business case for it.
    Last edited by app_Developer; 12-25-11 at 01:40 PM.
    KermEd likes this.
    12-25-11 01:31 PM
  21. kill_9's Avatar
    well i think TAT did a great job UI-wise for the overall look and feel for the playbook. it was definitely in response to the fact that a lot of people were saying the blackberry was looking outdated compared to other mobile OS's out there. RIM needed something fresh and i think TAT delivered in that department.

    everything else about the playbook though for both consumers and developers...SO much more work needed. i really think RIM got in over their heads with this transition phase and how much harder it was actually going to be.
    What amazing UI has TAT delivered to date? Research In Motion got in over their heads? The understatement of the year. And what was supposed to leapfrog the competition? I enjoy using my BlackBerry PlayBook each and every day so I am not a hater nor a troll by any means. The utility of this little tablet is amazing. February 2012... I await.
    12-25-11 01:34 PM
  22. app_Developer's Avatar
    The beauty of the modular *nix architecture, which includes QNX, is the user interface (UI) runs atop the kernel and unlike Microsoft Windows a bug in the UI does not crash your entire system. QNX was primarily an embedded operating system and as such user interface was the command-line, where I prefer to live, but the tablet needs a graphical user interface (GUI) for ease of use. Again where is the UI promised shortly after the purchase of The Astonishing Tribe? :
    Sometimes I really wonder if the executives at RIM even understood exactly what they were buying in QNX, and exactly what they were asking TAT to produce on top of that kernel in such a short period of time.

    But, that doesn't matter now, we're eagerly awaiting them getting it done. But it is a HUGE task.
    12-25-11 01:38 PM
  23. BuzzStarField's Avatar
    The dirty little secret is the "Play" in PlayBook does not really mean a sports metaphor but rather was always intended as a reference to recreational activities. Thus far The Astonishing Tribe have been anything except astonishing in my opinion. Why did Research In Motion buy this company and its development team? Anyone? Anyone? If I had the time I would be developing high-quality applications for the academic and workplace markets. Maybe in 2012 I will devote some time to undertaking such a project.
    I believe that one reason RIM acquired TAT was not so much to develop apps for consumers but to develop UI tools for native developers. In this regard, we are still waiting for the Cascades library which TAT demonstrated (again) at DevCon. Some folks have speculated that it may be available in January so your decision to wait until 2012 to begin your development projects is in line with other devs' plans to postpone work for the time being.

    You should also note that notification APIs are also unavailable at this time as are other useful APIs and services that you will need to complete your projects - host USB support and, Bluetooth profiles come to mind. I think that people extolling developers to get on board the QNX express are missing the point that the train has only just left the station has has a way to go before it generates a full head of steam.

    With any luck the train will deliver the goods in the new year and we will see some frantic dvelopment work happening. On the other hand, maybe not.
    Last edited by BuzzStarField; 12-25-11 at 02:59 PM.
    12-25-11 01:54 PM
  24. app_Developer's Avatar
    You should also note that notification APIs are also unavailable at this time as are other useful APIs and services that you will need to complete your projects - host USB support and, Bluetooth profiles come to mind.
    Yes, and some constructs for asynchronous tasks would be nice also. And some framework for managing lifecycles of the different components of an app. You can't expect your average developer to write those things correctly given just the kernel APIs. Some of us may write those libraries for our own teams, but it's certainly very nice that Apple and Google did that in a consistent way for us on their platforms.

    So those things will have to come in time also. They have a whole operating system to build.
    BuzzStarField likes this.
    12-25-11 02:22 PM
  25. gord888's Avatar
    android porting doesn't work closely with the hardware at all. in fact, no android apps that use androids ndk specifically will work on the playbook. this is why you won't see android ports of heavy games since they all rely on native code. they'd have to be rewritten specifically for the playbook.

    imo, its too late to get devs. most people already consider the playbook to be a failure. it had an AWFUL start and interest has been on a steady decline ever since.

    look at cross platform mobile dev tools like appcelerator and look at their end of year 2011 reports. there is actually more interest in the other failing device windows phone 7 than there is in QNX/playbook.

    Click to view quoted image

    The interest in WP7 is because there is an army of .Net developers that can easily port ASP/C#/VB skills over to a mobile application with very little lead time.

    As a developer, i hate building the ui - i found web development great for getting it done quickly, so i tried the webworks sdk out - it's far too limited for anything complex, but it works ok for basic applications. Little annoying things - file browsing, camera hooks, animations - all require more work than it ought to.

    The ndk for the playbook was far too naked for my tastes - i will admin i'm spoiled by MS and their .net framework - RIM needs to add more canned ui components before i get going on the ndk.
    12-25-11 02:35 PM
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