I mentioned previously that I’ve taken on an intern position with a company specialising in making child safety/security apps, and I’ve been given the role of developing the Blackberry version of the app. Well, after being in the job a few weeks now, theres some thing I’ve noticed.

The JRE version used to make Blackberry apps is JRE 1.3, which basically means no ArrayLists, no generics (the pointy braces , eg ArrayList) and no StringBuilder. The absence of StringBuilder isnt that big a deal since you can still use StringBuffer. There’s also no template classes, but I think thats more of a Java thing. Coming from a C++ background, I like to have Template classes instead of overloading where possible, but I suppose thats more of a preference, and not really a limitation.

I’ve also noticed that the simulators (not emulators ;)) for blackberry can be very slow and memory intensive. Much like that Android emulators, they take forever to load up, but unlike that Android emulators, you can’t skip the boot animation to slightly speed things up. My laptop has 1GB of RAM, but I’ve ordered another 1GB off eBay so hopefully that speeds things up a bit. From what I’m told, RAM is more important than CPU speed here.

Also, there are 2 IDEs that are commonly used for Blackberry. There’s the Eclipse plugin, and then there’s RIMs own Blackberry JDE, built in Java. Both work fine but the one thing its missing is the ability to filter the console. In Android, you can filter by a tag or app name. In blackberry there is no such option, so your console outputs get lost in a sea of scrolling lines! The best workaround I’ve found is to get a plugin for eclipse, called grep console that highlights lines in a specificed colour based on text matching. So if you output to the console something like: MyApp::Error with database then the plugin can match MyApp:: and highlight it red, or whatever colour you choose.

Anyway, that’s just my initial observations and a newbie to the Blackberry world. Will keep updating here as I find out more.