Will the Blackberry Tablet (and tools) Impress?

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.

A New Page for Newbies

Starting out on the path of J2ME development can be hard.  You have to get a computer, get a phone, install software from at least two different companies, and then hope that you get all the information in one spot.  On top of that there’s the J2ME tutorials/training, reference information from the phone manufacturer, etc … much of which you have to search for on the massive websites of large mysterious companies.

The end result can be a feeling of mental retardation.  Or, worse.  A conviction that there’s some conspiracy determined to keep the “average citizen” from breaking into J2ME development seriously.

This new page is for you, wayward J2ME traveller…