08-24-2011 05:49 AM
It looks like Marmalade development kit(Previously AirPlay) has finally release the beta support for the playbook.
For those who don't know it is a cross platform SDK which allows you to write in C and C++ for all the platforms with one standard model. I am sure they are just using the beta of RIMs for this but it is awesome to finally get some support for C++ even if it didn't come from RIM directly.
08-24-2011 10:50 AM
I don't know that it's completely accurate to call the Marmalade software "native support".
You write code that gets compiled down to a common denominator binary, which is then supported by their platform-specific runtime environment. That's a similar concept to AIR, though Marmalade may end up being slightly closer to the metal than AIR. So for example to get screen dimensions, you don't call a native API. You call their API, which in turn calls the native API. In fact, they talk about the ability to call out to native code, but don't mention PlayBook as one of the platforms where that is currently possible.
If you value portability across platforms that may be a good thing, but it's not truly native.
As I read their features chart on the "buy" page, the free version of Marmalade does not permit you to deploy apps commercially. So it may be useful for investigation, or for fun, but not for any app you intend to sell.
The next level up, for $149, allows you to deploy commercially but only on IOS and Android (according to the chart). To deploy on other platforms, which again according to their chart would be where PlayBook sits, will cost you $499 for the license.
08-24-2011 12:49 PM
@Ken Salmon : IIRC, I have seen it stated explicitly (somewhere online / in Marmalade doco) that the PlayBook is one of the Marmalade-supported platforms that currently supports Marmalade EDK (Extensions Development Kit) access to native APIs. Of course, for this to all come out cleanly in the wash, we'll need the PlayBook Native SDK (too).
From my experience (getting several sample apps to deploy and run on the PlayBook), Marmalade certainly needs to mature its PlayBook support. For example, currently not much of the PlayBook hardware is supported, configurability is not complete (e.g., the PlayBook requires the ability to specify two splash screen images, not one), etc.
So come on Marmalade, keep up the good work, and don't **bleep** out before the finish line !
@ Golden Joe : No kidding. C++ is what I hoped to leave behind when Java 1.2 arrived, circa 1995. In this vein, Marmalade mentions "additional high-level languages" to be supported by November of this year.
08-24-2011 12:59 PM
08-24-2011 01:44 PM
You clearly don't understand the marmalade architecture. It is more of a wrapper around their API allowing you to write code only once for things like photos, maps, video, etc. You C++ code actually runs on the device. Also you can directly program using OpenGL ES 2.0 to talk directly to the GPU. That is a huge performance benifit.
Also I am all for not having to deal with memory management however if kill the performance of OMAP4(which is a great chip) to the current level the AIR platform does I say screw it.
08-24-2011 01:45 PM
Am I weird for liking memory management, C/++ in general and having more control?
You can still have leaks with garbage collection.
No you are not. When you are working on a performance constrained system like the mobile platform it is always nice to have the most control you can.