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RANT! Why Is Developing For BlackBerry Such A Pain?

I know I can’t speak from direct experience but this point just keeps on getting raised. The creator of BBSmart, Neil, wrote a whole rant about his experiences with developing themes for BlackBerry. Personally I tried picking up some of the BlackBerry tools but even with my background in programming and graphic design I just threw in the towel.

TearhairoutThe shocking part is that Neil is already a veteran BlackBerry developer so he must have walked in with low expectations but even he was amazed. In his words “Everything Sucks!”

Turns out that Plazmic is riddled with bugs and can easily wipe out a users device. Anybody have to reload their device due? It also has not been updated in over a year!!!

All of these Plazmic 4.3 beta themes recently have shown that the new version offers a larger feature set but it seems to have th same stability bugs. The crazy part is that RIM is already releasing themes using Plazmic 4.3 on their mobile.blackberry.com website. Theme developers are telling me horror stories about what a Plazmic 4.3 theme can do to a device.

Weirdly enough RIM seems to be fine with developers releasing Plazmic 4.3 themes for free but if they charge for them RIM sends in their legal department.

So did I get all the details right Neil? Personally I just think this sucks that there is no end in sight for theme developers. Or am I missing the silver lining. Let me know!

7 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. Heh, you always link to my ranty posts! :)

    What shocks me the most is that even RIM is releasing dodgy themes. About a day or so ago you posted about how RIM had released a theme obviously built using Plazmic 4.5 (http://www.berryreview.com/2008/06/16/rim-just-released-another-nice-theme/).

    I was there when this theme was announced on BlackBerry forums all over the place and I watched the carnage happen in real-time as people reported bricking their their devices, which happened to be running OS 4.5. How funny/sad is it that a parent company is out there releasing software that bricks users devices.

    But yeah, I think you covered all my points well thanks Ronen! :)

  2. I’ve posted about it elsewhere, but I’ll chime in just cuz I LOVE your RANT threads Ronen!

    It’s far more than just themes. Those are merely eye candy. It’s lack of applications that will diminish RIM’s user base FAR more than pretty pictures and icons. RIM had better do something, and do it quick. Their token 3rd party developer efforts are, I suspect, already DWARFED by what is being done by 3rd parties for the iPhone. The RIM SDK is a joke. RIM hasn’t taken the clue (at least publicly) of how badly just this ONE aspect of iPhone is going to hurt their future. If there isn’t a sea change soon, I can’t imagine anyone but die hard Blackberry lovers staying in the BB development camp. With such easy tools to use (and arguably even WinMo devices are easier for which to develop) RIM is soon going to be left holding the bag being the ONLY ones developing anything to run on their hardware.

    Then again, might that actually be their intent???

  3. Well, speaking as a relatively recent convert (I’ve been writing for BB about 5 months now), I’ve seen better dev. environments and I’ve seen worse.

    WRT the iPhone – that ain’t exactly a walk in the park either. First you have to a) get a Mac because the SDK won’t work on anything else, b) learn/use Objective-C to write all the code and c) get somebody at Apple to call you back to give you a signing key (they’re “too busy” right now). This, of course, doesn’t include having to spend the bucks for the actual device and inflated data plan (which is how they can afford to give it away for $200).

    What about Android? Great development environment but absolutely 0 customers probably until early next year.

  4. @Neil, Yup count me in, bricked my device, loading surreal theme on 4.5, luckily I’m a person who can fix it in 20 mins flat..but my PM box was full of users on crackberry who did NOT know how to correct this issue on their own.

  5. 20 minutes? Slacker…took me like 5…

    Load the Apploader, uncheck the deviant theme..and reboot your berry..works perfect! I even “bricked” a berry to try it out…

  6. Gents, we have developed a secure delivery and secure forms app, which is a MIDP2 port of our normal java app…we only have two complaints: 1) we had to build some RIM API specifics into the API and (2) because of this we have to have a RIM build and a MIDP2 build for S60/Nokia and others. We have not have any experience with themes and plazmic, but the java sdk ain’t bad.

  7. I ignored the warnings about 4.5, and attempted to install the BB theme on my poor baby. I don’t have to tell you what happened. After the initial panic, I used my common sense and had it working in about 10 minuts. Never again!

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