Sporting a new CEO in the shape of Thorsten Heins and staging its first European DevCon developer conference this week has clearly put an ebullient pep in Research In Motion's step; the company has pushed its BlackBerry 10 Native Software Development Kit (SDK) to open source.
"One of the biggest complaints I heard when I joined the company was from developers who said, you know, I can't use open source on Blackberry OS and that means it takes longer to write code for Blackberry and makes it more expensive," commented Alec Saunders, VP of developer relations at RIM.
Saunders followed up with customary superlatives by saying that RIM is "super committed" to open source. He also suggested that the SDK will become an appealing amalgam of open source, multimedia, and general-purpose libraries. There will also be gaming frameworks, scripting languages, physics engines, and code samples and snippets.
These developments for RIM's BlackBerry Native SDK also see the company adopt the Qt cross-platform application and UI framework. The SDK itself is said to be made up of other open source components including contributions from Bullet Physics, Lua, Marmalade, and SpiderMonkey.
Chris Smith, VP of application platform and tools at RIM, added to comments on these technologies saying, "So Blackberry 10 here is committed, as ever, to open standards and meeting developers on their turf, on their terms, and driving content into our ecosystem. In fact, our entire web platform — the WebWorks framework which takes HTML5 outside the browser in a secure environment and our Ripple web IDE — is all being done as open source development out there in the open. We are really committed to driving this open community commitment."
The Canada-based smartphone maker has also worked to ramp up developer monetization options for applications taken to market. It released an assorted bag of software development tools this week including BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) Social Platform SDK for BlackBerry Java, and the BlackBerry Theme Studio toolkit, a product which provides a suite of design options for developers (and developers) to create themes for BlackBerry smartphones.