I am excited to see new innovation come out of Research in Motion with the announcement of their tablet. And, I hope it works well.
What I can’t help wonder about though is the quality of the underlying development tools that will be shipped with that product. Is it JDK 6.0? One might assume, but we’ll see when it comes out. But that’s neither here nor there. What’s important is this:
Overall quality of a mobile device is defined as much by the software development toolkit as the device itself.
And that, my friends, is what I’m looking out for.
A healthy, super usable, software development toolkit means you’re going to get healthy, super usable software for the phone/tablet/device/whatever…
On Blackberry devices, the jury is still out. What is clear however, is that many IDEs have long set the standards for mobile development: great toolchains like those for iPhone, cutting edge Android development tools, great IDEs like Netbeans, and even not-so-great IDEs like Eclipse. Even Windows Mobile development tools have a history be being stable and working well. Will RIM finally step up to the plate?
I may have been the first to blog that the lack of an easy to use, stable development and debugging platform, threatens RIM’s domination in the market as much as anything.
I’m trying to get Eclipse today to forget the password I’ve set for an SVN repository. No instructions in sight. No use cases that describe how my desktop configuration is managed. As usual, I find blogs and information that are not very helpful.
More importantly, the SVN plugin itself (Subclipse w/SVNKit @ http://subclipse.tigris.org/) doesn’t have a blatant and simple way to force configuration of passwords, keyrings, etc. Instructions I found after looking for 20 minutes say I should delete a cache file in a directory that doesn’t exist on my Windows machine.
Dealing with this is robbing precious development time from a very tight development schedule. And every time I have to do “just one more search” to find the information I need, I get more irritated.
It’s just …. bad design.
I’ve decided to create a new category for posts: Bad Design
People should realize that software developers are users too. And, one of the things that open source applications in particular suffer from is just ….
I’m not going to make suggestions on how to make it better either. Why? Cause it won’t help. Every application designer needs to go through their own journey to find good design.
I’m not going to let open source projects get away with the “we’re free and volunteers” either. Those projects that are run by volunteers that aren’t hired by software companies get a break. All others … the bar is high. You get no slack because you have money to put into these projects.