Clearing up the confusion about headless apps

By Shao128 on 20 Sep 2013 03:06 pm EDT
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My article yesterday on headless apps sparked up quite the discussion. At the time I'm writing this the blog has accumulated nearly 500 comments and yes, I've read each and every one of them.  Rather than attempt to reply throughout the comments I thought it would be better to address as much as I could in a singular post. 

First off, I stand by my original article. That being said I think some clarification on a few points is in order. I did speak to many developer before writing the article and read posts made on the official BlackBerry developer forum.   I don't claim to speak for all developers and I do apologize to any developers that may have interpreted that I was speaking as a collective for the entire developer community. After my article went live I received a ton of feedback not only from the comments, twitter, BBM and email – both positive and negative. The overwhelming feedback I personally received from other developers was positive and appreciative of speaking out against the shortcomings of headless applications. I wasn't speaking of what is going to come in the future, I am basing it on what is available right now. People are getting tired of waiting....

Now to clarify my intent of my article, at its core, was to help the end users understand why headless apps won't be available in large numbers when OS 10.2 is released and for BlackBerry to understand that they are falling short on what their users really want. For many users, its hard to understand the challenges developers face when writing apps, not only technical challenges but other factors such as an app being approved for long run headless.

Many developers pointed out in my article the portion where I discussed developers splitting the the UI and logic, so this next section is directed at developers.

It is good coding practice to split UI and logic, I agree on that, I never said it wasn't. It was my fault for poorly explaining my point there. I have developer friends that send me code to look at when they have trouble or are looking for ways to improve certain code. Based on that I've seen developers using a few lines of Javascript in QML to do some simple logic (some of it based on the code samples BlackBerry provided on github). So I wasn't saying or implying that it was a bad thing that developers have to re-write some code, I was using it to illustrate that there is some additional work involved, again for end user understanding. The problem with splitting the app is that the last official word that I've seen from BlackBerry is that the headless portion of the app cannot be debugged (this was from a the 10.2 webcast chat as posted by a member of BlackBerry Developer Relations). If this has changed I may have missed it, but I've looked for an update from them and could not find it, but if it has then by all mean, please post a link down in the comments. 

Now moving on, some people have said they are happy that BlackBerry is going to be manually approving long running headless apps. Now I wouldn't have a problem except for 3 things. 

  1. The problems myself and others experienced with getting approved for Built for BlackBerry until the changes were made last month.  I don't have a lot of confidence that BlackBerry will be fair in their approval process or will have a proper recourse of  dealing with denied apps. That part is my personal opinion. 
  2. Turn around time. It's been 5 weeks since the initial opening of the application process and I don't know any developer that's been approved yet. I realize this is just the start and things will improve here, but without them giving us a specific time for turn around (say 10 business days) this could also be problematic. Again this point is just my opinion. 
  3. Android. Android ports submitted to BB World can run in the background without the restrictions that are placed on native developers. For those who made the point that the restrictions that BlackBerry has put in place are good for the reasons of CPU/Memory/Spyware etc... the argument holds little water if Android apps are given free reign. If you've run Skype on your BB10 device you probably know what I'm talking about. If native apps have to go through this approval process and meet certain requirements why aren't ported Android apps subject to the same? It would seem contradictory would it not?

So it all boils down to this, my post stirred up a lot of attention, positive and negative, which is great to see, developers and users alike are passionate about this issue. I think the poll in the last article sums it up very well 83% of users want the choice to hide active frames. BlackBerry, are you listening now? Lets find a way to give people what they want. The suggestion I made before about long pressing on the X on an active frame (not a short press as some interpreted it as) then prompting the user to hide the active frame and placing a badge on the icon may not be the best solution. But lets look at ways we can give users and developers what they want without all the hassle - while still being conscientious of device resources. 

Maybe BlackBerry will have something in store for BBJam Asia next week and hopefully we can get some clarification on their plan for where headless apps are heading.

Topics: Developers

Reader comments

Clearing up the confusion about headless apps

139 Comments

As long as they can implement background apps easily and well I'm all for it. Very soon (in a couple months), I'll be able to write apps too. So I hope that process only gets better.

I was really frustrated and still am that other OSs can run background apps without a problem and their OS is heavier (yes, Android), but as long as it works rather well on BlackBerry and it doesn't hinder that much of UX, then it's okay.

I want instagram and snapchat to be able to run in background without trouble though. Sort of like skype can now. But they just terminate when closed. :(

It's more of a "by dev" article, does not reflect the views of many other devs at all. He just has a means to complain that all other devs do not, and that's a front page post on CrackBerry. His views do not reflect the views of other developers on the platform at all.

Yay. More misinformation ;)

I don't have the time to argue with the article. BUT people be warned. There is a lot technically incorrect in this post

Apps are not forced to split UI and logic.
Android apps do not run unchecked in the background.
There is a reason no one is approving him for unrestricted background access.

The issues are not headless apps, it's his interpretation. There is a lot technically incorrect in both of his posts that affect his core statements.

#justsaying but two posts with the same errant details gets tiring as a CB visitor and developer because it's going to get people mad due to Shaos inability to understand, not because the headless api is a problem

Please. Can someone please stop letting this guy post so much incorrect information. Thn,

Agreed, I mean come on.. I'm sorry but he just compared Skype (a HUGE company and immensely important app - which partnered up with BlackBerry to make the app) as the example of all ported Android Apps getting free reign Headless Support...?

"Android apps do not run unchecked in the background."

I've been wondering about this. Skype seems to self close after a while, but Water Your Body can run in the backgroud forever? o.0

What gives?

Actually I think it's less about my "interpretation" and more about some personal issue you seem to have with me.  I dont think I've ever spoken a word to you, but you also seem to continually chime in on my blog posts and on the forums either attacking me or my apps.  #justsaying

I don't know / care or really have interest in you - sorry :). If I comment on your posts a lot it's probably an issue with the content. I'm assuming you have more posts?

Actually, I agree with the guy... I know neither of you but your interpretation of the headless apps is off. You should do your research again, I'm sure if you do it again, even you will realize the incorrect information in this article and the previous article.

I agree. It seems shaosoft guy constantly misinterpret the logic behind headless apps. CrackBerry, please stop him from keep posting on this site..

It's funny how if you actually look at the comments and read them, it's mostly developers who are having issues with Shao's statements.. What does this say about his claims? It proves that they simply do not hold water. This is just a place where he can freely vent at the expense of everyone else.

Agreed. I'm a Dev too and his statements are all failings on his part and have nothing to do with BlackBerry or headless apps. He can't program and structure his apps properly. That's what the article should say. Nothing else.

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Really appreciate the support, makes my day when I read something like this. Didn't start making apps for the money, but instead to help out the platform, so thank you, this means more to me than you probably think (:

That is good to read, but that is something you must read very often, let me just tell you 1 situation I use it and it's been a life saver: Phone interviews!, your app actually helped me to answer many questions in a row. I'm really eager to have JavaScript purchased as well... I'll wait for it.

Regards

Hahaha I love it! :D

Also, I am eager to develop that section, but college started up literally days after getting the CSS3 section out (didn't think I'd get it out in time, but I pulled many all-nighters). So I'll try to get it out eventually, but school is really controlling my life at the moment.

Not to mention, I also need to work so I can actually pay the bills, developing a niche app doesn't pay the bills very well (well, not at all actually) haha

Really glad to hear that though, thanks for sharing :)

Yep. You guys are all correct. I could not be more wrong. The experience of.4 posters on this page is clearly the most typical. It fully explains the large influx of native apps and we should ignore developers like mlb media, nba media, NY, Endomondo, Run tactic, Chase, City bank, Food, Xfinoty, roadrunner, Netflix, Instagram, Sirius, YouTube, NPR, etc. It's why countless apps running headless are due shortly, the stock price has rebounded to the 2008 average around 80, and this never happenned:

http://forums.crackberry.com/news-rumors-f40/blackberry-announces-prelim...

Yep. You are developing for a vibrant brand that will be around forever. Good luck.

So moral of the story is that you actually hate BlackBerry Developers and laugh at us for spending our time and resources developing for a great platform. I think any integrity you have left has been destroyed by making fun of us all for our efforts to help out a platform we all love.

Great work man!

As a (somewhat) technical layman who got the gist of both posts, I'd be interested to know some of the "technically incorrect" things in the posts that affect his arguments. Maybe you could also let us know what your opinion is regarding headless apps in 10.2 - do you agree that we will see little changes from devs to implement headless apps due to the (supposed) difficulty of implementation? Thanks!

Great point,

I'll do some quick fly-by topics.

He suggested that developers must build two apps, one a UI and one a codebase, and come up with magic to combine them.

That's not true at all. You CAN add headless support to a UI coded application. You should only use one application or at worst two embedded packages. Developers have the option of doing it anyway they want. He just chose the difficult path and decided it was the rule. The technical answer is you have to specify your 'start' points for the normal running operation and the 'background' running operation. Both can even be one and the same if you want.

Android apps run in the background anytime they want

Not true, in reality android applications may run for about 10 minutes in the background once you exit all android 'frames'. He also says theey an use unlimited RAM and CPU. No, if the CPU or RAM reaches a point where the OS will stutter, it not only kills the app (same as headless) it shutsdown the entire android runtime. That's why you see a long loading bar on android sometimes its reinit the android side.

Skype can do background, why cant I?

the Skype android app has special signing permissions that allow it to run at the OS level. This is very high importance and lets it run all the time n the android environment. Its a special case scenario, which is exactly what BBRY wants for all 24/7 apps.

He suggested the documentation is terrible, I wrote my first headless app in under 20 minutes to log restart times on my phone to compare against the OS tracker. The 20 minutes was mostly creating custom icons.

5 weeks without a response to all developers

No, 5 weeks without a response to him - but hes not asking. He filled out a form that is intended to notify him when they are ready - and they aren't - for him to have 24/7 support. I consider this a good thing! I don't want every app developer without sufficient skill to have 24/7 background access. now, as for me, they have told me several times where thinks are on 24/7 background API support. He again makes it seem like all developers are ignored, he just isn't asking or is asking the wrong people because I have my answers and expectations. Further, isn't that an issue for him to work out with BlackBerry? Why is that a CB issue?

The rest of the ranting is just about BFB - BFB is not headless. Why is that even in here? Again, that's more than likely the quality of his apps.

Now, TOTALLY not saying headless is perfect. But he makes it seem like it doesn't work (it does, extremely well) and impossible to code for (its very easy... you follow the instructions its like what, 30 lines of code, get over it) and that every user should be mad at BlackBerry because he isn't getting attention (maybe, he doesn't deserve it at this point).

Anyway, I'd have to reread the articles to hammer out more of the problems with it. But it is just a lot of hot air and getting people mad about nothing... it can be frustrating as a developer to see someone like Shao who's been spoonfed so many things having a temper tantrum because he had to wait for answers on something. /endrant

Edit: I need to add as well, I'm not even a Cascades guru. If I can find that many holes in one sitting... What concerns me is he sad he spoke with many developers and is posting on their behalf. I'd love to know who, because none of them are part of my circles.

Thanks very much KermEd! I appreciate you taking the time to answer. This is more than enough information without you having to go back to the original post. This also makes me feel better about the state of headless apps on BB10. This makes the original post look like flame bait too. Thanks again!

Thanks KermEd - heard, understood, acknowledged... Shao, it may be time for some thought filled reflection. CB, it may be time for some better moderation and editorial

BlackBerry10 is a fantastic platform to build on, and headless apps work beautifully and exactly as promised by BlackBerry. :)

I'm not going anywhere. And I spoke to about 60 developers about Shao's posts. Many of them have headless app support. And all of us agree that the real issue isn't headless apps. There is room for improvement absolutely, but all this post is, is hot air. He says he's giving you this information to share it with you as a user. But it's foundation is based on false statements so what value is it to users really? Its just for attention.

You are so FOS! We all know you are a joke. Tell me what 60 3rd party native apps are running headless? Tell me 10?

It's ok. Come fly over here on your personal jet and we'll tour Manhattan with the live muppets that live in your armpits...

I get that he is your friend, and you want to do your best to support him :) And I can respect that.

With that said, its this same kind of selective misreading and generalization that got him into such a frenzy with headless apps.

I don't have 60 applications I have seen and tested. What I do have is 8 different development groups ranging from 30 to about 100 users where I help mentor some of the developers in each group. And you'll find quite a few developers who know me for this.

From there, I spoke to about 60 who had headless app experience. Including developers who helped BlackBerry during the very early architecture when you had to hack your qml files outside the IDE. Of those 60, I'd say its safe to say 20 or so actually have implemented it or started implementing it into apps for the 10.2 release.

Now, your going to have a party with this one :) I can't give you appworld links until 10.2 is officially released and they all make it through appworld. Additionally, some of the developers are working on projects (10.2 must have apps) that the public isn't allowed to know about. But I will tell you they include IM and photo applications.

Now, you can take a deep breath and relax. I have no issue with you friend Shao, I disagree with his headless posts.

Wrong. I don't know Shao, and not sure I even have one of his apps. So the answer is - NOT ONE SINGLE APP SINCE 10.2 HAS GONE GOLD HAS BEEN APPROVED TO RUN HEADLESS. NOT ONE.
But you know lots of folks who are readying their apps to do so. But you can't say.

I understand.

These headless apps - you might say, "they are coming soon".

Yes, and please understand - I KNOW there are huge gaps still and I fully agree with you its not close to where it needs to be. And it is long overdue.

But of all the relevant issues with headless apps, why would he pick these topics, I just don't know...

There were a few approved, one is a Bluetooth / geotracker. I'll try and dig up the link. But yeah, I don't know how any are at the end of the tunnel.. [not many I don't think] and the big ones coming are still under development.

Thanks for the clarifications. This shouldn't be an issue. But BlackBerry is turning it into one by failing to response and address this issue. This should be one of the top developer depts priorities.

Exactly, 5 weeks of virtual silence on their part on the subject. Hopefully next week they will surprise us.

Shao, I read both your articles. The lack of responses to devs is literally your only legitimate point. And it is completely unrelated to the thesis of your articles. Please, accept some of the responsibility for nor getting headless. Your apps are most likely not deserving of it or structured in such a way that you do not have the knowledge needed to implement it. Next time you write an article please consult real devs who know what they are doing. Maybe stop by #blackberrydev on IRC.

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There really isn't an issue. 10.2 isn't out yet and they are only granting 24/7 background status to developers and applications that deserve it - like Skype. One off apps supported by some garage developer will be looked at after the big guys. And he will get his response before 10.2 releases, he is just angry he's not first in line ;)

Here you go again, attack me some more why don't you?  Really helps your credibility, Im not even going to respond to the misinformation you've been posting.  But I'm sure you've got it all figured out.... I dont care if Im first in line (It's not even close to what I wrote), my point was after 5 weeks BB should have given the developer community some feedback as to how the process was going, instead they have just ignored us thus far. 

It really is too bad that Kevin has let CB get to this point. I've Uninstalled to CB10 app. Just started coming back to the site and am now remembering why I took a break. Kevin and his band of merry men need to take control of this site again.

They have a few other things on their plate right now.. Like saving the company from going under maybe? And trying to get the extremely important apps on board like Instagram, etc. I'm sure they have sound reasoning as to why they have not responded to you or any of the other non-big name devs yet. They are going the smart route which doesn't always mean it's the quickest. But for the long-term, it's what will make sense.

I've gotten feedback at all stages since applying. BlackBerry have been amazing in explaining how they've implemented headless api's. Couldn't ask for a better platform to code for, great to have the support of Devs like KermEd and Flip4Bytes.

I think you are the one that is angry. Any experienced BB10 developer will tell you that the current Headless API is useless.

I'm not saying it doesn't have room for improvement, but its hardly useless.

It works exactly as it was originally architected. If your a developer without push experience, and have a difficult time following step-by-step articles, yes it can be confusing. But it is far from useless.

The API's today allow for things like SMS recognition to generate an email with a GPS coordinate. Or location triggers to activate emails and notifications depending on where the user is. Not to mention any developer with push experience, can remotely launch their app on a client phone at any time they want.

I thank those developers that are still hanging in there and producing great apps for us! We truly appreciate your efforts and faith in out platform. We may be down but in no way are we out!

**Posted via CB10 via my ass kickin Z10**

The "phone" app is headless eh.
While on a call, you can minimize it to active frame, then close the active frame while still in a call.

Posted via CB10

Tons of apps built by BlackBerry are headless.. Just as the alarm app still goes off when the app is closed.. Or how the Timer app still beeps when the app is closed, etc.

So, first you made impression you were talking on behave of all developers, now it seems you trying to make an impression by talking on behave of all users. When you did the poll with impressive 83% of people voting for having minimize button you forgot to add a question how many of them understand the consequences of that feature. I stand behind BlackBerry decision of limiting background apps in processing time and allocated memory. And it's not because I'm not a developer and don't understand challenges you face. It's because I'm a user who wants his phone to function properly without having battery dead in couple of hours just because some lazy developer wanted to make a shortcut instead of properly write an app. Headless apps is an advanced feature and must not be easily accessible to all developers, just like BlackBerry don't give every app a BfB certificate. Only those apps that really need it and properly written (use min CPU, min RAM, etc) should have possibility being approved.

You're absolutely right.
I'm a developer (not for mobile apps, but webservices) and I totally get Blackberry's idea behind the limitations. When we develop our webservices, we try to keep the data we send as small as possible for different reasons and that in the end improves the user experience cause e.g. it's faster.
What would happen if BlackBerry wouldn't review the app and let everything run wild? Many people would integrate headless app functionality and let things run in the background, this would suck up battery life. Nobody and especially not BlackBerry wants that. Microsoft even does the same thing on windows phone 8 and from what I've heard of the limitations are much harder.
So I guess we should honor BlackBerry for implementing headless apps as well as for the way they chose to go with it.

Posted via CB10

Don't back down. Most folks knew exactly what you were saying. Some just latched on to one tiny thing to try and tear down the entire argument.

This has nothing to do with security or memory management. It's just poor management. Same thing that has killed BB since 2008.

They won't let BB World approved Android Ports utilize Bluetooth, but they can auto start and run headless all day long. Let alone converted and sideloaded apps.

"Sure thing giant beer."

I said it before, I will say it again. I do not want anything running hidden or unchecked in the background on my device. This functionality should be heavily restricted as it currently is. Period.

This article appears to be nothing more than a rant from a developer that hasn’t got his app approved yet. Also, I was under the impression that headless apps were supposed to come with BB10.2.

If you haven't read my original article you should.  In it my point to BlackBerry was giving the user the choice.  Perhaps for some users they are ok with BlackBerry telling them what apps they can run in the background and which they cannot.  But myself as a BB10 user I prefer to make that choice myself.

Giving users choice? Let's take a simple example - permissions (choice to turn some or all of them off). I think it's a real nightmare for developers to keep answering stupid e-mail like "your app doesn't work, give my money back" or something similar. Just look in BlackBerry World for any photo editing apps, you'll see many comments "App cannot even load a picture" or "Screen is black, cannot open any photo", etc. And it's all because of damn permission - shared files - that many users turn off for every app thinking they protected themselves from theft of information. No one cares that the same permission tells the OS to disallow app to touch/load/save any file. So, too many choices is not always good - especially when the wrongly made choice leads to blaming BlackBerry/developers/everyone but not yourself.

+1000000

I'm sure Shao has encountered this complaint from customers as well, every developer on the platform has. Just the other day my mom flipped out on me thinking that the application "Parrot" (a voice recording application) that I installed on her phone a month ago was using the permissions of the microphone to record her conversions without her knowing, and giving the developer access to all of her files and documents with the shared permission. Giving the user too many choices is NOT always a good thing, especially when there are clear consequences to those actions.

Am I the only one who doesn't turn off app permission but who knows he can if needed? Android and iOS don't give users this choice.

Well done, BlackBerry.

Basically, the true headless apps everyone has in their minds is possible, just push it through submission.

I would change my vote for wanting the option to 'minimize apps' if I new that it would be used as slander against BlackBerry. Of course I would want background apps, but after reading all the posts and doing some research, what the OP is saying seems largely unfounded. If people want your app and you want it to run headless, you work it out. Good apps will get supported. Needed apps will as well. Doing it right so as to not bog down my phone is important to me. You pick the path shao. Easy or right. Your original article made it sound impossible to make a headless app. It also throws BlackBerry under the bus because you want to be catered to instead of doing it the way they ask(which is done so for good reason). Suck it up.

Posted via CB10

Didn't you get enough attention in your last article and ruined BlackBerry dev image? My god, why are you doing this to us.

He's finally coming to the realisation that he socks at programming and should have never quit his job.

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Hi Shaosoft, people are being mean but I want to take a moment to say thanks for your apps, I like them a lot :) keep making them!

You do realize that the "people who are being mean" are all OTHER developers of which you probably have many apps on your phone from. He is hurting the developer community as a whole, he is hurting us (other developers), and this is what is making us (the other developers) annoyed.

Haha don't be sorry, I just wanted to explain our side of it all. He is able to make it sound like the majority of developers are shared in his opinions and feelings, but in reality it's really just him venting which is making a bad name for the rest of us who understand the real reasoning behind all of this commotion. I didn't want to come off as mean or anything to warrant an apology! Just explaining why you are seeing some of the "mean comments" :)

Cheers!

What apps have you developed Flip? What apps do you have that are headless? Shao is not hurting anyone. Only a Blackberry sycophant would think that he is hurting devs. What devs is he hurting? Not android devs they port and have the access they need to run headless. Just no Bluetooth support. And with all the tools given to the 'Big Boys' Skype is still in freakin Beta! Oh, and where is Instagram, and Netflix? They took one look and couldn't be bothered. What about RSA. 8 months to port over a 1 meg app. And the major banking apps? The professional sports apps (NFL, MLB, etc) had to be practically bribed to port over, and they fully dropped legacy devices. Heck even the weather app still can't run headless. It can't even push alerts into the Hub!

Yeah - Shao's the problem. That's why BB needed to halt trading today at $8 a share. Because Shao wrote that he thinks writing headless apps for BB10 is too difficult.

People need to pull your head's outta your bums and see the truth. As well recognize that half the people attacking Shao are paid to do so. If you can't earn a clean reputation than intimidate one.

I have no reason to implement headless in any of my particular apps, but developers stick together, and I am in multiple BBM Groups with 60+ developers (many of which can be seen on here and the forum posts defending our side of the story) who many of which do indeed use headless and have a very big problem with Shao's claims. You asked what apps I have developed, well one of them is here on CrackBerry if you're that curious if I am really a developer or just pretending to act as one (http://crackberry.com/app/web-design-cheat-sheet). I have tons of fellow BB developers friends which I believe much more than Shao's claims because they have provided evidence and a few are actually very well respected developers of a few big name apps that you most likely have on your phone and are using on a daily basis.

People are mistaking long-run headless and short-run headless using triggers, and the average individual has no reason to understand it all, but the way that BlackBerry has it set up is the right way, and it will only continue to develop more and more over-time. ALSO, KEEP IN MIND! There are apps out that use triggers to be headless, and the remainder will not be out until 10.2 is official (obviously). Just because everyone has a leaked OS on their phone does not mean that the OS is officially out yet and all of the apps who need it will have it before the OS is officially launched.

I have the right to my own opinion. Given the research and hearing the sentiments from those who have more of a say in the matter than Shao, I'd rather not damage BlackBerry's reputation towards devs anymore than it already has been.

It's pointless to go back and forth with you though. I can absolutely guarantee that you will have a lackluster response to this comment, and I am going to tell you now that I am not going to respond to it. I did not even want to respond to you in the first place, but you questioned my integrity to if I am a developer or not, so I simply wanted to prove where I was coming from and that I am indeed not just a random joe schmo who is stressing about BlackBerry's current troubles.

Another one with 60+ developers (un-named). I have also spoken to major developers. And I mean major developers of training and sports apps as well as professional sports apps, and Shao did not harm BB's reputation with developers - BB did. Whether you or I agree or disagree about how easy it is to write for long headless apps, the truth is, major developers don't like to work with BB. That is all BB's fault. And the fact of the matter is looking at the number of apps that could and should be running headless and the number of native 3rd party apps that are (ZERO) running headless, should tell any impartial person all they need to know.

You questioned whether or Flip was a real developer, he proved to you that he was, and no reaction to that? No apology? Go it!

Haha he will just choose to ignore it for the same reason he brought it up. He is only going to listen to what he want's to, and if I were to have said I wasn't a developer, then he would have destroyed me for it. There is no point in reasoning with a person who is in their own world. They will only believe what they want to believe.

My turn to be curious, are you a developer? And what big-name apps have to do with discussions here?

I posted in my response, yes, I am indeed a developer and threw all of my eggs into one basket with BlackBerry 10 - http://crackberry.com/app/web-design-cheat-sheet

Just like BlackBerry, I chose to go with a niche market with my app. Has it been extremely profitable? No, but I have poured my heart and soul into making the best native application possible to fill that particular app gap in the operating system, so I hope that at-least can be respected.

Some of the most respected developers on the platform do not fully agree with all of Shao's posts, so I really urge you all to take everything that Shao says with a grain of salt.

Not saying he is absolutely 100% wrong with every single one of his points, but most of them are blown up much larger than they should be, and some points are just coming out due to his own anger.

EDIT: Oops, I totally responded to a comment that wasn't intended for me.. For some reason, CrackBerry sends email updates to posts which are on comments of comments

Hahaha yeah, stupid me, I just realized it and edited my post about 1 minute ago right before you posted that *facepalm*

But either way, my points still stand, not sure why CrackBerry sends email updates when a post has been posted on that's just a child of your post - my mistake :P

Appreciate it, and as long as BlackBerry is around, I'll continue to support it (:

BTW: Just read one of your comments up above by the way, you hit the nail right on the head!

You probably have the notifications on when you wrote you original reply Flip. CrackBerry make it hard to spot in order to turn it off.

not a developer.

allot. the article and the lash-back are all about developer relations. Don't be fooled into thinking its anything but.

Among BB's many problems is that they have little to no 'good will' on their books. That is, they don't play and work well with others - especially developers. And big name developers are the perfect example.. Shao got frustrated with trying to make his users happy while jumping through what he believes to be unnecessary rings of fire that BB set out for him to run headless

Once he pointed out that many BB enthusiasts may not see headless app in 10.2 because of how difficult it really is. All the BB bogey men came crawling out of the walls, like cockroaches in suddenly dark room.

For non-developer you seems to know a lot of BB developer relations :) To me it looks like BlackBerry is pretty well-behaving: tools, documentation, examples, Jam sessions, webinars, support forums, free dev devices (see Motorola Dev edition for $650). The only thing left is BlackBerry start writing apps for third party devs so they can keep whining about hard life, complicated APIs, etc.

Hahahahahaha 1magine, good one! - wait.. was that a serious comment? I mean really..

"BlackBerry has no 'good will' on their books - they don't play and work well with others - especially developers."

Hold on a second.. HOOOOLLLLDDDDD on.

I was a very small time developer, never developed an app in my life. I tried at it, got tons of support, and not only did BlackBerry reward me by sending me a Developer Alpha B and C, but they ALSO PAID TO FLY ME OUT TO ORLANDO FOR BLACKBERRY LIVE!

I was a small time developer who is just very passionate about BlackBerry, but they saw that, and they hooked me up. Developer relations of BlackBerry is absolutely phenomenal.. There are dozens of success stories online of how great they actually are in helping devs get their apps ported over and such.

They have spend hundreds of millions on these events and Jam sessions to try and get developer support there (as bb10_fan pointed out). And it has WORKED. BlackBerry 10 is an infant platform, and with that, they have an AMAZING amount of app support for how short of a time it's been. Please, look at where Microsoft is, and where they were less than a year with their new platform. - It pails in comparison to the rate that BlackBerry has been moving.

You really think you understand it all, but in reality, this is just all formulated opinion that you as a non-developer have seemed to make. BlackBerry has done an amazing jobs on the Developer Support front and I'm appalled that you believe these lies that you are spewing towards BlackBerry and their developer relations..

+1, I'm a Venezuelan Dev, I'm 17 years old, I have 4 apps in BlackBerry World, BlackBerry has sent me two Dev Alpha B's, will shortly send me a Q10 and LE Z10. But yeah BlackBerry treats us like crap:(. LOL

Oh man, poor guy, you too?? Hopefully these terrible testimonials don't continue coming in, we don't want to tarnish BlackBerry's reputation and expose them for treating developers of their platform like crap anymore, too much has been said already! Lmfao if only people knew.. If only they knew..

Actually I fit into this boat.

LOOOOONG time developer. Like running on 22 years.

But if it wasn't for BlackBerry going QNX, and their amazing developer work going forward from that point, I would have never jumped to mobile.

They have been beyond generous to developers, and most of us remember that. And we stand by BlackBerry because blackberry stood by us. They have given me rewards that are unheard of.

If blackberry dies, a major movement in indie and mobile development would die with it.

Besides that, we have some awesome users on places like CB. Some amazing developers and one heck of a beautiful platform. And I'm normally a negative nelly :)

Posted via CB from my LE

Some people can't be helped. Anyone want to question my integrity can put their money where their mouth is. I have $5k that says there will not be 20 native apps approved to run headless long in BBWORLD over the next 30 days.

Take the bet or STFU and admit Shakespeare and I are right and you are just a bunch of Heinz ball lickers.

And this is the path you choose to take. I doubt that one person takes you any-bit seriously anymore. Have fun with that.

He said himself, he isn't a developer.

He has no idea what he's talking about. He has no experience on the subject, so he has no credibility to lose.

He's just one of those people who blindly follows around everything he reads without understanding the subject matter. Fortunately, very few folks fall into that bucket these days on CB. But I doubt this guys even a blackberry user to be honest ;)

Posted via CB from my LE

Ok, name 20 apps that actually need to be running at all times in your phone.

You're just a sad little troll that knows nothing about BlackBerry dev relations and/or headless apps.

Got argue a point on this one,

No one in this thread is being paid by BlackBerry :). We are all developers who actually understand the API's and know that his foundational arguments are just hot air.

Posted via CB from my LE

I have one of Shao's apps on my Q10, doesn't mean I support his alleged argument against BlackBerry. He's hurting the Dev community with his heedless rants.

Shao, learn to code for BB10. Go ask KermEd to mentor you. For the sanity of good BB10 Devs.

"If native apps have to go through this approval process and meet certain requirements why aren't ported Android apps subject to the same? It would seem contradictory would it not?"

Not necessarily. The Android runtime is there to generate "app tonnage", and to on-board Android devs with the hope that some fraction of them decide to go native ... not to somehow imbue some random Android port with a first class BlackBerry experience.

And besides, the solution is not to cater to the lowest common denominator.

Shao your first article got people thinking that headless apps were never coming to BB10 and you brought on a lot of misguided negativity. That wasn't cool dude, but I don't think you meant to do that intentionally.

Anyway I would like a way to hide certain active frames since I run them 24/7 anyway. If they were poorly written battery hogs I would have known right away. So I kind of liked your idea. On that note I also don't need the extra space. I've never gone beyond 6 active frames. I also read all the comments and what I read was other developers points of view. It helped me realize that it may not be a great idea due to the chance of user experience issues and that could do a lot of harm to the brand. This kind of banter is absolutely good for BlackBerry if they're listening. What developers really need is BlackBerry to get the ball rolling so that the end user can enjoy more headless operation in those apps that need it. Like, for you Shao, I'm guessing you want something like your Wallpaper changer to run headless. I hope BlackBerry can get you going on that soon. That would be a good one.

Thanks to all the Devs for making BB10 better. I hope it keeps getting better for you guys.

Oh no. Not again..

"It is good coding practice to split UI and logic, I agree on that, I never said it wasn't. It was my fault for poorly explaining my point there. I have developer friends that send me code to look at when they have trouble or are looking for ways to improve certain code."

A way to back off and use your "developer friends" to defend yourself. Nope, the original article you have written clearly highlights the lack of understanding on your part in this fundamental software development practice as well as you not being able to grasp the concept of headless apps (not the same thing as "background apps" which has already been implemented in the form of Active Frames).

If you have misspoken, just admit it and move on. Don't use another front page article to put the blame on others. Jeez..

I hate active frame. I need a choice to run some apps in background. I hate add port even it just to get them to BlackBerry, if that the point why other big name are port their apps to BlackBerry? People choice and voice are louder then minority. Face it. Ha ha ha ha ha ha. Boooyaaaa !!!!! ® ™

Posted via CB10

"Now to clarify my intent of my article, at its core, was to help the end users understand why headless apps won't be available in large numbers" lost me here, why would anyone want a lot of headless apps?

There's no need for "lots" of headless apps. I'm pretty sure what most people want is simply the custom notifications/led app to be headless. A proper real time data usage app would be nice as well.

That's a good point. We don't want a lot of headless apps, just the right ones made awesome :)

Posted via CB from my LE

My ASSUMPTION re: Android and background processes is that BlackBerry is constrained in what they can do with the Android runtime to restrict that sort of thing without either breaking lots of other stuff, or creating a bunch of even further convoluted hoops that developers need to jump through to get Android apps ported to the platform.

I feel for the developers having to jump through hoops to get an app confirmed via BlackBerry, or any OS for that matter. But, as a side note, I will say this, I can't stand Active Frames. I hate it with a passion! 
Sorry, I may have been spoilt by other OS', but...
Anyway, all I really want from BB10 is to have the options for battery percentage and weather (weather not compulsory) to show at the top of my screen.
Is that too much to ask for?

Calm down folks, let's keep it civilized please.

While I disagree with Shao's opinion, I DO applaud him for standing up and voicing it. And if you disagree, by all means, send in your own article. Or post a comment. But please don't question his intentions and make it personal.

Perhaps the article should be labeled "Op-ed" or something to make it clear that it is one opinion, and making it sound like all devs feel this way wasn't such a good idea. Also, the title of the article was a bit too sensational for my taste.

Still, I think we need more articles that cover development topics. Enlighten our users, but don't bash each other - or BlackBerry - without proper cause.

I've been holding off on Bebuzz (or any led app)because they seem to be riddled with problems, and limitations, headless or not.

Any of these wonderful developers with their 60+ group of developer friends care to share if bebuzz or any led apps will be fully functional (with multiple colors, not just the few that don't even look like their purported colors, lol) and stable for headless support? I'm not a dev but can we start with something simple like that? Just curios.

Posted from my ZED10

Great question,

I believe, skimming above, the BeBuzz developer was having issues trying to get his app working perfectly.

I'd love to help, he isn't in any of my dev groups, but all developers are always welcome.

The short answer is definitely, we will see many more of those types of apps coming with 10.2 *provided* BlackBerry has its house in order after the layoffs. And based on my headless and LED apps - I can't see any reason a good stable app won't be available in 10.2.

Right now one of the groups I'm in is discussing releasing some of our headless apps for 10.2 as open source so developers learning can use them as a starting point. I'm going to recommend an LED app for SMS as a sample.

To your idea, I think your right, if we all just work together they will get better

Posted via CB from my LE

Can you let us know how to join your dev groups? Speaking only for myself, I know enough about software development to know that I need to learn a lot more in order to create useful, high quality apps in an efficient and maintainable manner.

Great question - absolutely,

Here is a quick way: http://forums.crackberry.com/discover-bbm-groups-f159/junior-dev-chat-gr...

I try to keep everyone in the same group of 25-30 or so as much as possible. We have QR codes for the different chats, each has a bit of a different focus. But if someone replies to the thread (above) or sends me a PM, I add them to the next group with an availability.

This makes it much easier for someone to learn - and it helps with beta testing too :) I usually add folks from the group as sandbox users in BlackBerry World. This way they can get the private betas directly.

Shao, I appreciate your guts to speak out. In general I support you. BlackBerry developers are way too lenient to RIM/BlackBerry since the old days of the old C++ SDK ( I am one of these). Therefore, BB has been spoiled.

I also agree with you in general that BB, especially recently, is manipulating and dictating the dev community too much. BFB and Headless apps issues are two examples.

That has been said I think BB's intention to control headless apps (and BFB as well) are good. Headless apps need to be tightly controlled. The question is how.

I think the real problem here is humans get involved too much, therefore the delays and bias. I am not against human intervention. But BB went too far. Hope today's 40% cut can speed things up (yes few hands get things done faster). In the long run, BB should gradually reduce human intervention and foster the organic growth of the the app community. They should use more technologies than human. For example, machine scanning of app code. Yes, it is not easy. But innovations can make it happen.

"The blog has accumulated nearly 500 comments"... in a short period of time... not bad for "monetizing"... regardless of the "contents"...

Posted via Z10

Keep up the fight!
It's better for all of us!

Sent from my BlackBerry smartphone while in a Russian Gulag with my Green peace counterparts.
JK ;)

Posted via CB10

Thanks Shao. I know your. Heart is in the right place and I hope you continue to support the platform with your apps even if you are unhappy with the response time you've had with the submission you've mentioned here. As a non developer it's been very interesting reading these two articles and the subsequent comments. I hope that BlackBerry and these groups of developers with differing opinions on the subject are able to work together to come up with the best solution for the devs and the end users as well. Our native apps are amazing to look at and interact with. Please keep up the great work and continue to find solutions to continue making BlackBerry the best darn mobile computing platform in the universe. Speaking of which, is 10.2 going to bring with it the fabled superapps of yesteryear?

http://devblog.blackberry.com/2010/02/what-is-a-super-app/

What are some apps you guys already consider "super"?

Posted while peeking and flowing on my incredible BBQ10!

My deep respect for you in two ways: 1. to the developer who accompanied me and my BlackBerry since OS6 with outstanding work and devotion... and 2. for your open and offensive (but always constructive and mediating) words, which were necessary and hit the bull´s eye!
I´m ABSOLUTELY convinced that BlackBerry wont have to go through this hard days if the would´nt have made big mistakes: complete misorientation in marketing and (nearly BlackBerry-tradition!) ignoring consumers voices and wishes!
A saga of faults continues: the fish rots from the head down....
Your intervention is just a small wistleblowing (in comparison with Snowden) and you havent to flee to Russia, but this partial aspect is really important for the future "app-culture" of BB10 and could be a nail more or less at the BB-coffin....

My experience of running the apple IOS and Android makes me. VERY glad that BlackBerry does not do headless apps.

TASA (Terminate and Stay Active) in my opinion hogs resources. I want to know I close something and it actually closes.

Wwhat will happen in time is a bunch of apps running in the background that I forgot to. Close, oh wait, I did close, but, I need to properly close them! Naw, thanks BlackBerry for not doing headless apps.

That's why I choose BlackBerry.

Posted via CB10

Shao, maybe this isn't the best place to ask, but I was wondering if you would share your take on the news of BlackBerry going private. I'm just curious if there are any immediate benefits/concerns. I'd actually be interested in knowing what the entire development community is thinking at this time.