Thanks for the Open Letter to RIM Developer Relations

Announcements

Hi everyone: I’m Tyler Lessard from RIM. I head up our BlackBerry Developer Relations and Developer Programs team. I wanted to take a moment to provide some updates on our PlayBook developer tools, app submission process, and address some concerns that were raised in a blog post by mobile app developer Jamie Murai.

Jamie’s posting on Friday raised a number of challenges that he faced while getting started with development for the BlackBerry PlayBook and while registering to become a BlackBerry App World vendor. First off, I’d like to thank Jamie for his candid feedback. Suggestions like his are critical in helping us improve our products and processes. I want you to know that we are absolutely listening.

Our development teams here at RIM have been working hard to get our tools ready for PlayBook launch. While we’ve come a long way for a pre-release product, we know that we have a lot of work left to do to ensure that our developers can build and distribute apps without any hindering costs or painful download processes.

Jamie’s post covered various topics, including the process for registering for downloads, managing the install and configuration procedures on a Mac, and using the simulator tools. The concerns he described were completely fair – in fact, they include some of the priority items that we’ve been working to improve prior to our final gold release. So we’ve taken this feedback, along with other information we’re collecting from our dev community, and are prioritizing it as we continue to refine the platform and development process leading up to launch. One example that directly relates to Jamie’s feedback is that if you register an account on our Developer Zone web site, you can sign in with that account and download all of our tools without needing to re-enter your information several times. However, we’re going to work on improving the download steps for those of you who just want to get at the tools without registering an account. I apologize that this was overlooked up until now.

Jamie also discussed our current App World vendor process and posed some good questions. We are continuing to evolve this process and remain committed to ensuring developers can register and submit apps at no cost. We will also review the requirement to have a Notary as this has come up as a challenge for some members of our community recently. I’m grateful this was brought to our attention.

We will be making a concerted effort over the next few weeks to publish more information to help our developers be successful in developing for PlayBook. We will work hard to resolve the issues being raised by our community, and we will use our Inside BlackBerry Developer’s Blog and forums to update you as key improvements are made. For those of you who are having challenges getting started today, we’ll be providing some updated information on our site to help you understand exactly what steps you need to take to get up and running with the latest Beta tools. We’ll also be providing more and more practical tips and best practices – from RIM and from PlayBook developers — to ensure you’re able to get going as quickly as possible. Stay tuned for further updates on this.

I want to thank Jamie and all of our developers for their open partnership. We look forward to working with our community to get better every day. Please continue to use our developer forums to ask questions, to provide feedback, and to share your experiences with us.

Cheers,
Tyler

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