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Adobe AIR Development

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Developer
JRab
Posts: 2,462
Registered: ‎11-04-2010
My Device: Bold 9700

DEVBLOG: Thanks for the Open Letter to RIM Developer Relations

Hey guys and gals,

 

Tyler Lessard from RIM has posted a follow up to a disgruntled developer for the PlayBook who posted a viral blog entry just yesterday. It has raised quite a few eyebrows. It is the newest article on the Developer's Blog:

 

http://devblog.blackberry.com/2011/02/thanks-for-the-open-letter-to-rim-developer-relations/

 

My thoughts on this is wow. It's one of the fastest responses from RIM which shows they are quite alive and looking with boths eyes and ears. and on a weekend no less! Love the structure of the response and timing. keep up the great work!

 

P.S. Thank you @JLX for bringing it to my attention!

J. Rab (Blog) (Twitter)
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Developer
jffurlan
Posts: 1,003
Registered: ‎01-16-2011
My Device: PlayBook (sim)

Re: DEVBLOG: Thanks for the Open Letter to RIM Developer Relations

Lol, I commend rim for being the bigger man, but I'm not sure his complaints were justified. As a new developer (who has played with apple sdk's and sim) having to learn the ins and outs of development has greatly helped me. So thank you RIM, because while your development tools can sometimes be repetitive, I feel it encourages good practice and will only help me in the future as a developer.
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Developer
jtegen
Posts: 6,541
Registered: ‎10-27-2010
My Device: HTC One, PlayBook, LE Z10, DE Q10

Re: DEVBLOG: Thanks for the Open Letter to RIM Developer Relations

I have to say that Jamie's blog posting was spot on.  I am certain it would be several more pages if he was actually going to try to build an AIR app via one of X number of development methods.  I've been developing in Flex/AIR since it very beginnings and getting an app to build with the QNX controls have been very diffilcult.  I do hope that RIM has been getting Adobe to help with this, but it has always felt that the QNX controls were not developed by experienced Flex/AIR developers (sorry guys if that is not the case), or (more likely) tested in real world test scenarios.

 

Don't get me wrong.  Love Flex, love AIR, love BB, will hopefully will love the PB (if I ever get my free offer email), but BB sure has not made it easy.  If I have not offered help and received help to the level that this forum has, I would probably have ended up like Jamie.

 

Some day we will reflect on how hard it was those first 6 months.

Developer
JRab
Posts: 2,462
Registered: ‎11-04-2010
My Device: Bold 9700

Re: DEVBLOG: Thanks for the Open Letter to RIM Developer Relations

[ Edited ]

hey john,

 

im sorry, but spot on? that blog entry is anything but spot on. have you read it in its entirety?  sure he has a few good points. but to say it was a 100% accurate is an overstatement. developing is hard and i totally get that. i've been there, but to say it was impossible and one of the hardest things to do, thats just plain wrong. if it was truly impossible could we all have done as much as we have done? there would be a zero submission rate if that was the case. The tools are all in their beta stages and has yet to reach version one. and we have seen some updates from RIM and they are working on them. i mean the device has yet to be released and is currently being worked on as we speak. i for one am content with the big picture when it comes to developing for RIM's PlayBook.

 

dont get me wrong either, i dont mean to bash on you or anything its just to say the blog entry was spot on is wrong - it is clear he did not work as hard as the rest of us to follow through with his task of submitting an application. and i 100% agree with you that these forums provide new and old developers alike a helping hand to get to their end game of submitting an application and them some. he could have done the same thing and asked for help here. if a company gives you help in other ways than direct - you should accept it and not claim there was no help offered. jamie's blog entry is too much of an extreme and i will go as far as to say im not 100% sure that it was an unbiased account of his experience either. seeing his blog entries prior or even his twitter (yes i looked him up well) he is clearly a fan of apple and not the objective type.

 

and i strongly doubt that you would have ended up like jamie. you are clearly more competent than he is and are more willing then he is on many levels. you shouldn't have to compare yourelf to him.

 

and i agree while some will look back on these past 6 months and see how difficult it was, i cannot say that will be the case for me. it has been one of the greatest experiences i've had in a long time and i know there will be much more of it in the future.

J. Rab (Blog) (Twitter)
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Developer
pedgarcia
Posts: 119
Registered: ‎03-10-2010
My Device: Bold 9000

Re: DEVBLOG: Thanks for the Open Letter to RIM Developer Relations

Hi,

I'd agree with JRab on that one. I read the mentioned blog, and although almost everything he's complaining is fair, it seems he was actually trying to put out his frustrations, instead of point out problems in the development process.

Without being naive, I think the process is not as hard as it seems to be (except the sign command line ones, imho). I started doing some BB development about one year and a half ago, and I can say that RIM has improved its relation with developers, with a better website and better tools. I think they seem to be pretty slow in that process considering the company size though. For me, RIM didn't give to 3rd party developers the importance that they should, and they are trying to catch up now. Maybe be it is an internal problem, and the decision makers are now being convinced that for e AppWorld success they really have to give small developers the fair importance. RIM quick response seems to prove that.

The registration process is somehow annoying (notarizing documents, etc), but it is part of the business. Try starting developing for Microsft's game or mobile platform and you'll see it's way worst for non-american to get all red tape sorted out. You have to invest time and money in any case. Even when thinking about iOS development - it's 99 a year, but at least you have to buy a Mac to get started...

The PB development process has rough edges for sure, but the only real problem with all of that is that RIM is not really transparent about what they are planning to do in the near future. I can accept problems, but it is hard to keep going when you don't know when those problems are going to be fixed.

So, to wrap up: the guy isn't wrong in most of his complaints, but the quick response makes us believe that RIM is with theis eyes open, and willing to provide a better experience. To RIM, I'd say: let's us know more what is going on, and what the roadmap to fix these problems is. We deserve it!

Cheers





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Developer
jtegen
Posts: 6,541
Registered: ‎10-27-2010
My Device: HTC One, PlayBook, LE Z10, DE Q10

Re: DEVBLOG: Thanks for the Open Letter to RIM Developer Relations

What I meant by "spot on" in that the steps that he outlined to get authorized, to get up and running to use the development environment.  I never said that he was 100% accurate.  The process of all the paperwork, multiple logons, and multitude of installers that cross reference other directories I felt was clear and accurate.  The current process makes a developer feel un-trusted.  He never got to a point to deal with the confusing questionnaire in the vendor portal to submit an app, he only touched upon the trials and tribulations of the simulator, and luckily for him, he never had to sign an app.  Not impossible, just very time consuming to do the simple things.

 

Yes, he did not stick it through and have the diligence to ask for help.  One trait of a good developer is their tenacity to overcome obstacles.  You and Peter are two excellent examples of that (and many others on this forum).  We all develop for different reasons and we all bring a legacy of experience that help or hinder our ability to succeed.  His expectation to develop for the PB was referenced from his experience with iPad.  If he has bias, then there is little we or RIM can do to bring him back (assuming he has worthwhile apps to provide).  However, his blog is full of items that RIM needs to address.  All those items have at one time been discussed here, but he was able to put it one blog posting instead of thousands of forum postings. 

 

It might be hard to believe, but if I continued to hit road blocks to get the QNX controls to work, I probably would have worked less on it and been less vocal on this forum.  When I first joined the forum, I was very surprised that many developers for the PB had no experience in Flex/AIR and in many cases, no experience in developing apps.  I figured that anyone with Flex/AIR experience would flock to this environment.  Maybe many those that are more experienced are the silent ones that hover.  I try out new development environments all the time.  If I cannot get it up and running with a sample app in a reasonable amount of time, I move on.  I was one of the lucky ones to get the PB environment up and running without many difficulties (had to upgrade to FB4 and increase system memory).

 

This is not the first hardware device RIM has released.  RIM is also not a new company that does not know how to deal with developers, product releases, web sites, and registrations.  And it is not the first ever tablet, or application store developed. RIM can learn from others.  We are basically a month or so away from the product release and we still have early beta functionality.  Granted that RIMs partners probably have daily updates and more resources available to them to overcome inherit obstacles.  We have each other.  My guess is that RIM has gained invaluable insight from the activity of this forum and I hope that insight will translate into better processes in the future.

 

RIM, as they said in their response, are trying to address these and other issues.  I would not spend the number of hours developing for the PB and helping out on the forum if I did not believe in the product.  I just thought the process of getting going to PB development was accurate.  RIM can do better.  I just wished RIM would lean on us a little more for assistance.  For example, if they gave a few of us a heads up on the signing process, we could have given them invaluable feedback before the hundreds of others got bogged down in the process.

 

Developer
billfoust
Posts: 382
Registered: ‎05-19-2008
My Device: BlackBerry Torch

Re: DEVBLOG: Thanks for the Open Letter to RIM Developer Relations

I have to say that I was very confused in the beginning just like Jamie. Having no Flex/Air/Adobe experience at all, I found it to be very frustrating and confusin just figuring out what tools I needed to use. Using FB Burrito made things a lot easier, but even there, just building the samples was a challenge because they are all made with FB, not FB Burrito, and there is so much that is different between them. I essentially had to rebuild the samples from scratch.

 

But, the original blog poster, Jamie, didn't persevere. As I commented in my reply, he missed out on all of the real 'fun'! I can only imagine what he might have to say about the code-signing process.

 

Also, he was working with the WebWorks SDK, not the Table OS SDK. But, I've been trying to work with webworks a lot too, and I can say its been no picnic either.

 

So, I'll take the middle road on it. Yes, he made many comments that hit close to home and which I chuckled about as I recalled my own similar reaction. But, at the same time, he went overboard on the whining and quit too soon. Tenacity is one of the most important attributes of a developer. When you can stick with the problem and get through the mess to find an answer when everyone else has given up, you become the hero and, well, thats what companies will pay the big bucks for.

 

Bill

 

 

Bill
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Developer
daviesjm
Posts: 111
Registered: ‎08-31-2008
My Device: Z10

Re: DEVBLOG: Thanks for the Open Letter to RIM Developer Relations

OK... My first thought after reading that rant was "what a whiner!".  Yes, I experienced some of the same pains, but I was more than willing to drive through the process. I learned a lot and didn't feel that it was all that out of the ordinary for a brand new product and development platform.

 

Dont' get me started on Apple.  Try developing for the iPhone when you don't own a Mac.

 

I like the response from RIM and if there is anything to come from this child's whining, it is that RIM will likely make some overall improvements that we'll benefit from.

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Developer
smiley
Posts: 1,523
Registered: ‎07-14-2008
My Device: Z10

Re: DEVBLOG: Thanks for the Open Letter to RIM Developer Relations

so what made rim to response to his whining posting so quickly?  I'm sure we all bitched about rim here or somewhere else.

 

If  he can't follow simple instructions on setting up the sdk then he should stay with his iphone.

 

Developer
ahazdesigns
Posts: 152
Registered: ‎08-25-2010
My Device: 9530, 9550, 9630

Re: DEVBLOG: Thanks for the Open Letter to RIM Developer Relations

Definitely did take a minute to get everything set up correctly. But if you dont just give up you can always get something to work. My biggest problem was when trying to extract the iso it would give me a not supported on this operating system error.

 

like smiley said, follow instructions....