A suggestion on how to fix the BlackBerry JDE Eclipse Plugin

Big ones that I haven’t found good workarounds for include:
src is the only ‘officially’ recognized source folder. I don’t know why or how RIM overrode this, but the bug is: You can set any folder to a source folder (as with any Eclipse project) and things will work, until you shut down and restart Eclipse, at which point only src will still be a source folder. The workaround is to manually re-add your source folders to the build path each time you restart Eclipse (which may not be that often) which works, but is obviously not great (read: very, very annoying)
– you can’t add 3rd party .jar files to a BlackBerry project in Eclipse (mentioned here). The only way around this is to use source files (for KXML/KXML-RPC, the most common one I’ve seen, source is thankfully available, though you have to dig)
– importing from a .jdw (BlackBerry JDE Workspace) file is broken – you get a bunch of symbolic links to your files in your Eclipse project. Just means you have to rebuild your project, making the Import feature pretty useless.

There are others, but you get the idea

Don’t let these scare you away (unless one really is a showstopper) – Eclipse is still the best way to go.

Now, here’s my suggestion for fixing things:

Open source the BlackBerry JDE Plugin for Eclipse!

That’s right, open source it. Please. Listen, RIM, if your’e reading: There’s a big and growing community of BlackBerry developers yearning for a better way to build BlackBerry apps. And you have very strong competition in the form of iPhone and Android, both of which have stunning development environments. They both came to the game late, and they’ve leapfrogged you, and you’re falling further behind.

You don’t have to make it GPL or even LGPL. Something less idealistic would be fine. You don’t even have to open-source parts of the Plugin that we know work (like best fishing rods). Just as much as you can, as soon as you can, so some enterprising BlackBerry developer out there with good knowledge of the Eclipse platform (and believe me, there are enough) can figure out what’s wrong and FIX IT.

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