As you might have noticed from my previous post I am currently evaluating Appcelerator and I have to say, the early frustrations are far too common. In the future I may do a full review, if I don’t give up on it completely. For now though, let me share a few of the issues I’ve run into, beyond the one described in the previous post.
Failed to find Javac.
I got an error the first time I tried to compile my code, stating that it failed to find javac. So I opened a command prompt, CD to %JAVA_HOME% and there it is. WTF? Some Googling later and I discover it doesn’t support file paths with spaces! Seriously? What, is this 1994? Moved Java to c:\jdk and problem went away. Seriously, when was the last time you ran into an app that didn’t support spaces?
A big part of why I chose Appcelerator in the first place is support for iOS, Android AND Blackberry, as I have all three tablets in my house. I go to make a Mobile application in Appcelerator and Blackberry is grayed out. I click through to a “Get SDK” link, download 500mb of Blackberry stuff, restart Appcelerator Studio and… Blackberry is still grayed out. Turns out this is a “pro only” feature… and that’s only discovered by reading a forum post, their own documentation says nothing of the sort! Disappointing, not only that it’s a premium feature, but because they didn’t indicate this anywhere, the UI suggests otherwise, causing me to waste a couple hours of my life.
Android device support
So, native blackberry support isnt a huge deal, now that you can bundle Android apps as Blackberry Playbook apps, so I continue on targeting just Android. I configure and setup the Android SDK, create a demo app, launch it on by Transformer, all good so far. So I set a breakpoint, hit debug and…….. the emulator launches. If you’ve done any Android development, you know using this emulator is somewhere between an 8 and 9 out of 10 on the “Things that hurt” scale. It is sloooooooooooooooow. But get this, Appcelerator can’t debug on device, emulator only. This. Sucks. Hard.
So, let’s just say, after two days I am extremely unimpressed, and I haven’t even got around to coding yet!
Anyone out there have prior experience with Appcelerator? Am I just hitting all the bad stuff up front, or is this what I should expect as the norm?