We’ve been reading a lot about Jamie Murai’s PlayBook post entitled “You Win, RIM! (An Open Letter To RIM’s Developer Relations)”. The post garnered a lot of attention by Apple news and Silicon Valley watch sites such as Daring Fireball and Techmeme respectively. The post has also garnered a lot of negative attention by BlackBerry fans who like to point out the inaccuracies in the post and call him an “Apple Fanboy”.
Here we have a young iOS developer who was genuinely interested in PlayBook development but got annoyed with the way RIM has set up the PlayBook dev tools. Also, it doesn’t make sense to spread blame between RIM and Adobe, because in the end it’s RIM’s product. There are a few headaches which the post points out which are difficult to argue:
1. The PlayBook SDK, AIR SDK and beta Simulator do not always work well together. Even members in RIM’s support forums have had to reinstall the beta simulator 3 times to get it working.
2. The Simulator password, separate IP address and command line for deploying an app are cumbersome. We’ve spoken to developers who have written their own scripts for app deployment because the strings are so long.
3. The ending quote makes a lot of sense: “You need to make your tools AT LEAST as good as Apple’s or Google’s, if not more so.” RIM gets nothing but laughed at in Silicon Valley and if you want to get their attention, it’s the small iOS devs that you want to chip away at and get them interested in your product. Convoluted dev tools are not going to get you there.