Calling All BlackBerry Developers – NetBeans Grants

JumpingbeansNeil, the developer of BBSmart, has kindly forwarded one of his posts over to me. His latest find is that Sun Microsystems which develops the NetBeans environment has offered 10 large ($11,500) grants and 10 small ($2,000) grants to teams or individuals with great ideas on how to improve or expand the NetBeans Project. There is also extra grant money for the best implementations, extending the grant to more than US $20,000. The project can be a NetBeans Module or a couple of other variants. In case you don’t know NetBeans is the developer environment used to create J2ME programs for BlackBerry.

Since I don’t understand some of what Neil is talking about I will just copy the pertinent information below. You can read his post at this link:

Full details are available over at http://www.netbeans.org/grant/ and you can also find some potential ideas which were suggested by NetBeans Engineers and Evangelists at http://wiki.netbeans.org/GrantProjectIdeas

This got me thinking especially since I recently talked about the Eclipse plugin RIM is working on. Why doesn’t somebody (or a team of people) take this opportunity to develop a BlackBerry development plugin for NetBeans? I bet you could win a large project grant with this idea.

Jonathan Fisher is somebody who has done some work in the past on NetBeans plugins for BlackBerry development. I’m also familiar with the work of Josh of Slashdev who seems to be a bit of an Open Source advocate and wrote the BlackBerry Ant Tools, a GPL’d collection of Ant tasks for building BlackBerry applications (which are excellent by the way, check them out when you get a chance). Guys, think you would be interested in running with this idea?
If I had more free time, I think I’d give this a shot. I know how to write Eclipse plugins at quite an in-depth level so learning how things work in NetBeans land shouldn’t be that hard. But hey, I’ve got a company to run! :)

So there you go enthusiasts, innovators and OS advocates. Go forth and build. How interesting would it be if somebody did this and it ended up better than RIM’s plugin for Eclipse? Imagine if someone did take up this project and the community rallied behind it as the standard for BlackBerry development? What better way to demonstrate to RIM that there are advantages in growing and sustaining a passionate developer community!

Edit: I should note if a couple of people are interested in running with this idea, get in touch with me. I wouldn’t be after any of the money but would still be interested in providing assistance and feedback, time permitting.

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