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New Developer
bigb2009
Posts: 34
Registered: ‎11-25-2009
My Device: Not Specified

Why is this so difficult?

So here I am, day 2, and still have yet to get much of anything to work.  I think I am seeing now why development on this platform is so slow, as the only viable solution to developing anything has to be done through Air. 

 

 

I am a C/C++ developer by trade, so this should be pretty easy, but for some reason RIm made this so hard.  I installed the NDK only to realize that there are no UI components available, so you either have to roll your own, or use Qt.  (no problem I think to myself). 

 

I decide to fire up the "Gestures" example, just to see how things work, and see whats going to be involved in rolling my own UI.  It doesn't work in the simulator(not sure about the actual playbook).  So I go off and try to find another way to do it... enter Qt. 

 

I go off and install the Qt SDK from git, and try to build the simple hello world app, it fails.  After hunting and hunting I find that I need to patch 3 files in order to get things to work on the sim(which I did, and it did work). 

 

No problem there, though it shouldn't be this hard.  I know that we've been hearing about Cascades for a loooong time now, but really?  Release a product to the general public when there is no easy way for a developer to actually develop for it, unless your an actionscript/air guy?  Seriously? 

 

Now don't get me wrong, I love my Playbook, as well as my 9900, and I have developed on the 6.X OS BB's before, but this is a joke.  They made a big deal out of releasing the NDK, but there is almost nothing you can do with it from an actual developers standpoint.  The tablet has a beautiful screen, why would'nt something be included in the NDK where you could atleast display buttons, tabs, etc..

 

I guess I'll be with everone else waiting from RIM to actually release Cascades, but really if they wanted their playbook to survive don't make it so difficult to actually develop on it. 

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Developer
BGmot
Posts: 1,068
Registered: ‎11-24-2011
My Device: PlayBook

Re: Why is this so difficult?

Look at those tons of apps that do implement their own UI and you'll understand why release without Cascades.

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New Developer
bigb2009
Posts: 34
Registered: ‎11-25-2009
My Device: Not Specified

Re: Why is this so difficult?

Ohh no, I completely understand. 

 

I am in the process of rolling my own using the NDK on it's own, but it's more work than it should really be.  The average developer would certainly give up at this point.  I have developed for a ton of platforms, from Windows CE/Mobile, Nokia, Android, iOS, and even BB, but this is a royal pain. 

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Developer
BGmot
Posts: 1,068
Registered: ‎11-24-2011
My Device: PlayBook

Re: Why is this so difficult?

That's why only the smartest survive here -))) lol

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New Developer
Vilmos
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎02-29-2012
My Device: PlayBook Developer

Re: Why is this so difficult?

Couldn't agree more, the whole NDK is a terribly frustrating experience.

 

Also the IDE is painfully slow.  What on earth is it doing after stopping a debug thread on the simulator?  I can end task, and restart the IDE and be back where I was faster than that piece of junk can finish debugging.

 

Unfortunately the developer experience seems to be that nothing works first try, you have to fiddle with everything just to get the sample apps to work.  I have yet to get gameplay or sdl working properly on the simulator, the touch events don't work and the whole git nonesense is full of non-working projects.

 

I love the playbook, what a great tablet, but developing for it is a nightmare.  I have more than 10 years experience on mobile application development and started on the Palm which had a pretty steep learning curve but it was easy compared to getting this NDK working.

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New Developer
bigb2009
Posts: 34
Registered: ‎11-25-2009
My Device: Not Specified

Re: Why is this so difficult?

No, that is why people complain about the app selection in the App World. Check the Crackberry forums, it's most people's #1 complaint. (other than Netflix, Skype, and Hulu).
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New Developer
bigb2009
Posts: 34
Registered: ‎11-25-2009
My Device: Not Specified

Re: Why is this so difficult?

I agree with you, and honestly, it's easier to develop an app for the android and than port it.  It sucks not having it run natively and having the lag that the android player sometimes has at startup, but anything is better than needed to code for a button. 

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Developer
BGmot
Posts: 1,068
Registered: ‎11-24-2011
My Device: PlayBook

Re: Why is this so difficult?

Your questions guys(gals) in this thread are rethorical and better ask them on some crackwhatever forums I am pretty sure RIM monitors that.

Here people share their problems and community tries to help them solve those. Thas is it.

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Developer
falo
Posts: 97
Registered: ‎05-12-2009
My Device: PlayBook
My Carrier: 3

Re: Why is this so difficult?

[ Edited ]

@BGmot I was thinking about the community support the other day. So far I've been really impressed with the level of support for developers offered both by RIM and this forum - it's not perfect, but it's really better than some others and I'm grateful for that. One problem is that I think things are solved here and then can be lost to time. Yep, you could search, but it's not ideal. I've also found that a lot of the documentation is sorely lacking (again, I know this will be improved over time, but I'm looking at the now). bigb2009's experience with Qt is a good example: I was overjoyed to see RIM highlighting the open source options for making life better, but they don't "just work". They should, or it should be very obvious what is needed to enable that.

So, minor whining over, what can we do? Well, could RIM maybe offer up a community supported wiki? If the community can start feeding back in examples, code snippets, common troubleshooting steps and so on then the docs will improve and we all become happier! Of course I have no idea how you would effectively control it to stop it getting messy and useless while still encouraging contribution ...

 

[edit: p.s. as a newbie around here I may have missed that something that solves this already exists.  if so then it needs to be more obvious!]

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You can find me (sporadically) writing and developing at http://floor4.co.uk and gaming at http://uk-tf.co.uk
My Apps: Flip!
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New Contributor
drlarsen
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎03-08-2012
My Device: n/a

Re: Why is this so difficult?

To be fair, if one is looking for the easy approach, they could just use WebWorks instead.
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