I’ve been heads down on a Blackberry assignment, that is thankfully coming to a close in the next few days.
I’m a pretty fair minded person. And I am totally platform agnostic.
Hands down, Blackberry is the worst SDK of any ilk I’ve ever worked upon.
You know your platform has issues when:
- You have to re-install your development environment numerous times in the course of a project (me? I’m on time five. Imagine having to re-install XCode five times to finish one Apple app, because of an inexplicable issue with the IDE. Yeah. It sucks).
- When the user community’s primary contribution to sharing knowledge is “use search”…
- Your simulators leak like a sieve. I checked my memory this morning: the simulator was taking over 300,000,000 bytes of RAM. Yeah. Tasty.
- You don’t support the latest OS under which you purport to support your product. My environment? Well, I was running Eclipse and the BB Eclipse plug-in on my MacBook Pro using VMWare running a Windows 2003 VM… until of course the simulator stopped loading one morning for no reason. I am now running the SDK under a Windows 2003 VM running under Windows 7. Why not just run it under Windows 7? Isn’t it supposed to be made for Windows? Sorry Charlie – Windows 7 is not supported. Oh, you can run the Eclipse plug in under 32 bit compatibility mode. But the MDS service, which you need in order to communicate over the internet won’t load under Windows 7, period. I feel like I’ve spent more time just getting the damn thing up and on it’s legs than actually working on product.
- You would rather try to explain the plot of “Lost” than work on a project on the SDK.
- No – zero, zilch, nada – screen design tools.
- Missing language elements and libraries – like being able to use the String “split” function. No support for Apache HTTP calls. No support for ArrayLists. No support for java.io.Serializable. Shit – I’ve had to refactor standard “java” so much on this project I may have well written the damn thing in Esperanto.
I really hate to “hate” upon a platform before I even get product out the door. But damn. It. Shouldn’t. Be. This. Hard.
I’m not some noob. I’ve been writing software for devices since the mid 1980’s (Omron credit terminals – that takes me back). I’ve written code for Apple, Android, Palm.
Frankly, Blackberry’s SDK is just an embarrassment. And it’s no surprise that even though they have market share and should be crushing the competition, they have no mind share among people doing cool things on mobile.
It’s because they have brought a stick to a gun fight.