RIM is actually doing something decent for QNX

Well how about that, looks like RIM has realized that, UNIX-like as it is, QNX could take advantage of all the UNIX frameworks and applications out there:

http://blackberry.github.com/

I entirely missed that when it was announced (apparently October 18th), largely because I've been ignoring what RIM does other than to point and laugh or shake my head on occasion. But if they actually manage to get the Android app stuff working well (does it yet? my housemate who had a Playbook recently sold his, so I've yet to see it in action in person), and they pull this initiative off, the ecosystem will start to look a lot better for the Playbook. The stuff that interests me most are:

 

Qt: this is the application framework that stuff like KDE and the N9 are based on. I'm writing this post using a Qt-based browser myself (people may not know this, but WebKit originally comes from this world; it's a fork of KHTML, a KDE browser engine, and these days QtWebKit is tightly integrated into Qt) and applications like Marble and KOffice are pretty cool. QML is brilliant and straightforward for making quick touch-friendly frontends to existing Qt-based backends (which can be written in C++, Python, JavaScript, whatever), so this would provide QNX with a very nice app framework (as mentioned, the same framework that made it possible for Nokia to create such a great interface for the N9).

DosBox: I mean, who *doesn't* want to play DOS games on their tablet? I merely dream of a day when I can lounge around on my couch, playing a game of Master of Orion 2 against friends all sitting comfortably and on their own tablets too. That's what the future was supposed to look like, back in the day. OpenAL, SDL, Lua, Boost: I see these libraries come up all the time (you'll notice that even Apple uses OpenAL on all their platforms these days). With those there, not only would porting existing OSX, Linux and etc games be much easier, but writing ones specifically for QNX (if that ever happens) would be far, far less of a hassle.

OpenTTD and Wesnoth: Maybe I'm just old, but Transport Tycoon Deluxe and turn+hex-based strategy games are my cup of tea, especially on a mobile-ish platform. That's two decent games right off the bat; not a bad start.

Will this be even remotely enough to keep RIM's product lines alive? Naw, not unless they pull off a lot more than just this, and I think very few of us have much confidence in their abilities to quickly release their new OS to mobile, get the dev features actually out to consumers, and etc. Still, though, it's enough to make me interested to see what RIM's next few moves are. Stranger comebacks have happened in the tech world.