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Handhelds Programming

First Look At Palm's Mojo SDK 128

Posted by timothy
from the commodity-bits-making-a-new-whole dept.
snydeq writes "Peter Wayner puts Palm's Mojo SDK through its paces and finds the general outline of the system solid and usable despite 'numerous rough edges and dark, undocumented corners.' The main draw, of course, is the reliance on HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, which lower the barriers to entry, though with Mojo, HTML and JavaScript do at times work against each other, with JavaScript occasionally 'wiping out anything you do with HTML.' But more than anything, Wayner sees the current version of Mojo as 'merely the start of access to a very fertile platform. 'Developers are actively digging into the Linux foundations of the Pre and finding they can build tools that work with the raw guts of the machine. Some are talking about writing Java services underneath,' Wayner writes, pointing to sites such as PalmOpenSource.com and PreCentral.net that are cataloging dozens of apps that come complete with the source code. 'I know people are doing similar things with the iPhone — such as selling the source to people who must install it themselves — but the entire scene emerging around Palm has a much more organic and creative vibe. It's not getting hung up on parsing and reparsing the App Store rules.'"
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First Look At Palm's Mojo SDK

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 12, 2009 @04:34PM (#29043591)

    Seems like it was this same type of development culture that helped to launch the first Palm Pilots to popularity.

    • I'm just curious why the Android OS doesn't get this level of love and affection from the mainstream.. yeah, the G1 isn't as sleek/sexy as the new Palm... just the same, the OS/platform is at least as interesting. Not to mention even more open.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        I'm just curious why the Android OS doesn't get this level of love and affection from the mainstream.. yeah, the G1 isn't as sleek/sexy as the new Palm... just the same, the OS/platform is at least as interesting. Not to mention even more open.

        The key is striking the right balance [in the public's eye] between closed and open source. Yes, the G1 is even more open, but is it too open? Also, what language is required to program the G1? I've never heard anything about it aside from ads and comments saying "Open source!!11!" This system leads with its strengths: design, programming, and the Palm name. Google isn't known for their phones. Palm is.

        • by cmdr_tofu (826352)
          Java
        • by Qwavel (733416)

          'the public' doesn't actually care whether it is open source or not.

          Developers (and other techies) often do, and hopefully they know the difference between an OS that is really open source (e.g. Linux or Android) and one that just uses open source code where convenient and keeps everything that they create themselves as closed as they can get away with (e.g. MacOS and WebOS).

      • I don't get this (Score:3, Interesting)

        yeah, the G1 isn't as sleek/sexy as the new Palm...

        Have you actually used a Pre? It may look sleek and sexy in pictures, but actually holding the thing it feels completely flimsy, the keyboard is shit (and I say that as someone who really likes my Treo keyboard), and the application interface is frustratingly slow (half the time I couldn't even get the touch screen to work when I played with it). I didn't find it sleek or sexy at all.

        • by ksheff (2406)
          When was the last time that you played around with a Pre? The update to WebOS 1.1.0 improved the UI speed quite a bit. I don't think Foxconn had much quality control in place for some of the early production units. I think a non-slider version would probably have been a better device. Palm apparently has one in the works. Maybe it will be introduced after Verizon gets the Pre....
          • In addition to what you said, it should be noted that the default glossy back cover on the Pre can quickly get coated with grease from your fingers and take on a slimy feel. The Touchstone back cover by contrast has a soft touch feel which is much nicer and makes the entire device feel much better in the hand. Palm should have included this cover with the Pre IMHO.

            Finally, you can complain about slowness all you want but the only Android device I have experience with, the T-Mobile G1, is even slower than th

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by drinkypoo (153816)

        Palm Computing invented worthwhile handheld computing. The Newton had its uses, but it was strictly for nerds. The Palm Pilot was the first pocket computer useful to suits. Graffiti was the first pen-recognition system worth using. Apple has done a lot to change things, but to a lot of people a PDA will always be a Palm Pilot.

  • PRAY...FOR...MOJO
  • Tethering (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 12, 2009 @04:46PM (#29043779)

    Palm doesn't like this, but it's awesome so do it.

    http://forums.precentral.net/homebrew-apps/191213-my-tether-tether-over-wifi-usb-bt.html

    • Tethering? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by QuoteMstr (55051) <dan.colascione@gmail.com> on Wednesday August 12, 2009 @05:38PM (#29044295)

      "Tethering"? I don't need to "tether" my Pre.

      It's just an ordinary Linux computer that runs iptables and iproute2 like any other Linux computer. If I want to forward traffic over it, I can do it in exactly the same way I would forward packets through any other Linux machine. (Hint: the wifi interface is called eth0. The cellular interface is called ppp0. And it supports USB networking.)

      The Pre is mind-bogglingly banal. We're so accustomed to twisted, badly-designed platforms in the mobile world that when we're confronted with what's more or less a boring old Linux system, our jaws drop in flabbergasted amazement.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Errrr... so when I do the exact same thing with my BlackBerry and my Windows PC, that's bad, because it's "tethering" and what you're doing is not. Something like that?

      • by rbanffy (584143)

        Unix has been flabbergastingly amazing since pretty much day 1.

        The trick is to continue to do so for 40 years. Being simple, elegant and straight-to-the-point is, probably, what makes it so obsolescence-resistant.

        My early 90's RISC workstations still play fine with my network. My Mac SE from the same period doesn't even have an ethernet port, not to mention a TCP/IP stack.

      • by Junta (36770)

        Which is exactly the sort of thing that the 'tethering' app enables.

        Of course, it's a pain manually because a certain binary (unless hexedited) will keep zapping ip_forward. (PmConnectionManager)

  • What the hell? (Score:2, Insightful)

    I know people are doing similar things with the iPhone â" such as selling the source to people who must install it themselves â" but the entire scene emerging around Palm has a much more organic and creative vibe.

    What does this even mean? Are we measuring mobile phones against each based on "vibes" now? And how is doing the same thing on a different device somehow more creative?

    • Re:What the hell? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by jo42 (227475) on Wednesday August 12, 2009 @04:59PM (#29043927) Homepage

      Think of it this way:

      iPhone == Windows (closed source)

      Palm Pre == FOSS

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Does that mean in future:

        iphone == 95%

        Palm Pre == 1%

      • by WiiVault (1039946)
        I'm not sure you can really say WebOS is FOSS. Bits and pieces are, just like in the iPhone OS. But not it isn't Linux.
        • Re:What the hell? (Score:4, Informative)

          by QuoteMstr (55051) <dan.colascione@gmail.com> on Wednesday August 12, 2009 @05:50PM (#29044417)

          But not it isn't Linux.

          Uh, what?

          quotemstr@castle ~$ uname -a
          Linux castle 2.6.24-palm-joplin-3430 #1 175.1.23 armv7l GNU/Linux

      • by illumin8 (148082)

        Palm Pre == FOSS with Big Brother controlling the OS

        Fixed that one for ya...

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      What does this even mean? Are we measuring mobile phones against each based on "vibes" now? And how is doing the same thing on a different device somehow more creative?

      I think what was meant is a reference to the developers' [demonstrated] willingness to listen to the community's developers, along with the overall design of the operating system which is drastically different from the massively popular contender: the iPhone. If you read the palm developer website, it appears much friendlier and more open than anything I've seen on the iPhone website.

      As for your comment, when phones can do very nearly anything our laptops / netbooks can do, then yes, I would measure a p

      • I don't know. Seems more like rampant fanboyism to me. Tell me why the Pre is better than the iPhone and I'll listen. A lot of hand-waving and vague references to being more free and creative doesn't really mean anything unless you can point to something more tangible. What has been produced on the Pre, which could not have been done on the iPhone? Keep in mind to all those who would rail against Apple's restrictive App Store, there is (and has been for years) a vibrant jailbreak community which I'd sa
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by ksheff (2406)
          A nice thing about the WebOS SDK is that the developer doesn't have to buy anything to develop for the Pre. One thing that turned me away from getting an iPhone is that I would have to buy a Mac if I wanted to develop for it.
          • A nice thing about the WebOS SDK is that the developer doesn't have to buy anything to develop for the Pre. One thing that turned me away from getting an iPhone is that I would have to buy a Mac if I wanted to develop for it.

            Most people would have seen that as a good excuse to buy one.

            • by dwater (72834)

              I know of at least one developer that uses the hacked version of OS X for iPhone development. Of course, that doesn't change the fact that Apple expect you to buy an Apple computer to develop for an iPhone - that is what warns me off.

            • by sucati (611768)
              I love my mac -- it's the 99/yr just to put my own apps on it which killed it for me.
        • by chriso11 (254041)

          Having to jailbreak your own phone is a big deal. Jailbreaking undercuts any argument of "It just works on Apple..." The main thing is I do not like Apple (and/or AT&T?) being able to restrict what app I can run on my phone. If the situation were reversed (i.e. the iPhone didn't need to be jailbreaked but the Palm did), then there would be no end of derision on the Palm Pre for that from the Apple fanbois.

          Now, that said, there is a possibility that Palm will be restrictive on which apps it allows into

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by MightyMartian (840721)

      Creative in the iPhone world means "App Store will likely tell you to fuck off". So I would think a more open platform is going to attract more creativity than one where a bunch of Apple goons hold all the cards.

      • by tyrione (134248)

        Creative in the iPhone world means "App Store will likely tell you to fuck off". So I would think a more open platform is going to attract more creativity than one where a bunch of Apple goons hold all the cards.

        Save your impotent problems to the privacy of your own life.

      • handful of apps get rejected from the app store and suddenly Apple's the gestapo now?

        I know the GV thing was just fucking stupid but...

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by spinlight (1152137)

      I know people are doing similar things with the iPhone â" such as selling the source to people who must install it themselves â" but the entire scene emerging around Palm has a much more organic and creative vibe.

      What does this even mean? Are we measuring mobile phones against each based on "vibes" now? And how is doing the same thing on a different device somehow more creative?

      The new Palm Pre will dynamically synergize your social network with it's organic and creative Web 2.0 cloud-computing vibe, helping you leverage your open source collaboration.

      • by weszz (710261)

        I want to synergize!

        Where can I pick one of these up to maximize the opportunities to leverage shiny things?

        I really need to "Do the needful."

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 12, 2009 @04:59PM (#29043925)
    Wish they'd support some decent languages like C/C++ and Python or even regular Java. because JavaScript is the most awful excuse for a scripting language I have ever tried to work with
    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by hoggoth (414195)

      Javascript is actually an awesome powerful language with features rivaling Ruby. The problem isn't the language, the problem is the development environment. Edit, Upload, and Pray isn't very productive. Get yourself some real Javascript (ECMA-script) debugging tools and enjoy a great language.

      Someone want to reply with some suggestions. I'm using the Firefox plugin Javascript Debugger and Profiler, but I don't do much Javascript these days and I'm sure there is much better.

      • by rsborg (111459) on Wednesday August 12, 2009 @05:37PM (#29044293) Homepage

        The problem isn't the language, the problem is the development environment. Edit, Upload, and Pray isn't very productive.

        If you're programming javascript and still haven't learned about Firebug or even Webkit (aka Safari/Chrome) inspector, you're doing it wrong.

        Firebug is a better "development/debug" tool than many IDEs, it's usability is insane. For me, Firefox+Firebug and a syntax-highlighting editor that can edit files over SFTP is all that's really needed (ok, svn support is nice).

        • by QuoteMstr (55051)

          syntax-highlighting editor that can edit files over SFTP is all that's really needed (ok, svn support is nice)

          GNU Emacs [gnu.org] and (warning: plug) espresso-mode [nongnu.org]. Emacs supports sftp out of the box using tramp [gnu.org], and of course it interacts with subversion (among other version control systems) elegantly.

        • Firebug is great except for when it's not. It breaks Google Maps [google.com] and the devs aren't in any hurry to fix it, ever. It occasionally doesn't show exceptions [google.com]. Sometimes the console logging functions disappear. Ever try to use real debugging functions like stepping through functions? Ugh. Having to reload the window because Firebug has lunched itself slows you down quite a bit.

          Javascript may be a decent language... altho without a proper == operator [jasonclawson.com] how good could it really be?. Okay, no, it's not. Java

        • If you are looking for an excellent web-oriented IDE, I highly recommend Aptana Studio. It's available as an Eclipse plugin, or, if you are like me and just want Aptana, as a standalone app (Eclipse pre-built with Aptana modules).

          It has excellent support for most of the JavaScript libraries out of the box (as well as PHP, Ruby, and more), and you can add SVN and other features through plugins. (The JavaScript editor can even run a trimmed-down version of jslint over your code in real time.) The paid vers

      • by Qwavel (733416)

        > The problem isn't the language, the problem is the development environment.

        The problem isn't the language, it's the API's.

        I don't care what language I have to use, if the OS doesn't provide me with access to useful API's then the applications will be boring.

        For example, can I write a Bluetooth application and distribute it to Palm users without them having to rebuild the OS or jail break it or anything like that.

      • Javascript is actually an awesome powerful language with features rivaling Ruby. The problem isn't the language, the problem is the development environment. Edit, Upload, and Pray isn't very productive. Get yourself some real Javascript (ECMA-script) debugging tools and enjoy a great language.

        Someone want to reply with some suggestions. I'm using the Firefox plugin Javascript Debugger and Profiler, but I don't do much Javascript these days and I'm sure there is much better.

        I don't know. I've written a number of programs with javascript, and each time it was a terrible development experience. The language was arcane at best. I can't stand how you have to fake inheritance in javascript, and it drives me crazy that I don't get any type checking. I'd much rather use a fully object oriented, strongly typed language like C# any day.

        • by QuoteMstr (55051)

          I can respect your preference for statically-typed languages, even if I disagree with it. Dynamic typing has a long history going back all the way to the original LISP. Wonderful programs have been written in both kinds of language.

          As for inheritance: Javascript is prototype-based, not object-based per se. It's actually a superset of many object models. You can easily [dojotoolkit.org] use it as if it were a normal language with object-oriented features.

          • As for inheritance: Javascript is prototype-based, not object-based per se.

            You mean, "prototype-based, not class-based", right? Prototype-based OOP is at least as much object-based as class-based OOP is.

      • Test drive your javascript development. Check out jasmine [github.com]. Safari's inspector is no firefox/firebug, but it gets the job done.
      • by Junta (36770)

        Javascript is powerful, but I would not call it 'awesome'. It is very verbose and has very peculiar ways about it. Javascript frameworks alleviate some of the pain with nice functions like '$' to do getElementsById, but fancier even, but some of the weirdness still shines through.

        Also, Javascript is only as powerful as the primitives exposed by the interpreter. For example, try writing a hardware accelerated 3D application in javascript. The language could describe such a thing, but as it stands it has

    • by metamatic (202216)

      JavaScript is the most awful excuse for a scripting language I have ever tried to work with

      Never used Perl, eh?

      You should read "JavaScript: The Good Parts [oreilly.com]". I used to think JavaScript was crap, but that book converted me. Sure, JavaScript is no Ruby, but it's a pretty good language with a few rough edges and only a couple of fundamental misfeatures... a bit like Python really.

  • by mpapet (761907) on Wednesday August 12, 2009 @05:03PM (#29043967) Homepage

    Since when does something that is technically better mean it's a viable competitor to Apple? History is *full* of technically better failures.

    I've come to the inflammatory conclusion regarding the iPhone. The crazy rules of the app store and the phone's 'jail' are a demand accellerant. The intricate craziness of the Apple culture wins out over a vendor developing a relatively open phone OS.

    • by Fallen Seraph (808728) on Wednesday August 12, 2009 @06:04PM (#29044587)
      I wouldn't be so sure. I'm a Pre owner and pretty much everyone I know is an iPhone owner. The reason the iPhone's been so successful thus far is that it's really lacked any competition. The G1 was both aesthetically and technically inferior to the iPhone, and Android itself has been taking it's sweet damn time growing into a powerful mobile OS. It's only now, in the latter half of 2009 that we're seeing it grow into something really worthwhile, especially with the coming explosion of new hardware for it.

      But I digress. All of my iPhone owning friends have played with my Pre for a bit and have conceded that it is indeed a decent rival, technically speaking, to the iPhone, but the conversation didn't stop there. Pretty much all of them agreed that their current iPhone would be the last one they own. Why? A few reasons. Some feel the hardware's appearance is beginning to look dated, especially compared to the Pre and HTC Hero, others are sick of waiting for a decent multitasking solution for it, which both Android and WebOS already have, some are sick of AT&T's horrible network, and still others are just tired of being forced into using iTunes, which in recent years has become an immensely bloated app in it's own right.

      Admittedly, none of these people are Apple fanatics, though some do own Apple computers. Their primary reasons for using an iPhone, as I said, were because until recently, there wasn't much in the way of competition that could even approach the iPhone's usefulness and usability. I'll be the first to admit that my personal friends, family, and acquaintances are likely far removed from the average cross-section of iPhone owners, but they brought up valid points, and I honestly wouldn't be surprised if the next iteration of the iPhone doesn't sell nearly as well unless Apple begins looking into some pretty big ways of updating the device, something they failed to do with the 3GS imo. It's kind of telling when WebOS, which is still very much in it's infancy, is already being seen as a legitimate threat to the iPhone by CNet and others, even though Apple has had such a huge head start with both their OS and hardware, and that in a similar time span, Android has gone from a crawl to a run, with each new OS update bringing tons of new features, and with handset manufacturers building some amazingly slick interfaces on top of it.
      • You sort of invalidate yourself, but yet you want to be taken with a degree of seriousness.

        Regular users don't even know that they can't have multiple apps running at the same time.

        The only people that need, want or even aware of what background apps are tend to be tech savvy nerds. I don't understand the huge hype about being able to run apps in the background, only because i treasure my battery life. Even if I wasn't an iPhone user, it's pretty ridiculous to tell me that carrying around spare batteries

        • You sort of invalidate yourself, but yet you want to be taken with a degree of seriousness.

          I'm speaking seriously, but I admit that my personal observations of the people I know may not be reflective of iPhone users as a whole, but obviously there are some others who share their perspective. It's called being honest ;)

          I don't understand the huge hype about being able to run apps in the background, only because i treasure my battery life. Even if I wasn't an iPhone user, it's pretty ridiculous to tell me th

        • Oh! I almost forgot!

          The only people that need, want or even aware of what background apps are tend to be tech savvy nerds. I don't understand the huge hype about being able to run apps in the background

          Multi-tasking is kind of like broadband internet, multiple desktops, and, really, smartphones in general, in that it's often difficult to see the appeal until you've used it and realized how much easier it makes your life. Palm's implementation is especially satisfying and intuitive to use imo, whereas Andro

          • I've owned several WinMo devices.

            After having to reboot because a few stray processes decided to eat up a shitload of ram while I was trying to do a bit of business, I'm convinced this isn't so much a feature as trying to shoe horn the desktop concept on the mobile platform.

            • WinMo botches a lot of other things too. Just because they screw something up doesn't mean their competitors do too.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by metamatic (202216)

          Regular users don't even know that they can't have multiple apps running at the same time.

          They do once they ask why they can't use their phone for proper instant messaging, file sharing, streaming music, or any of a dozen other things you might want to use a 3G-connected smartphone for.

      • Hmmm one point. It's easy to catch up to the leader - they've already set the pace and broken the path. Forging ahead is much more difficult. It's uncharted territory. It's the same reason Apple was able to jump into the MP3 player space so quickly and overtake everyone else even though there were players with much more experience.

        I would say that it's now a competition for whose platform can be adapted the quickest. Apple still has a really really strong entry with the iPhone OS. Much stronger IMHO than An

        • Java is the language of banking and financial systems... that's it really, nobody else uses it.

          That's not quite true. First off, most colleges and universities teach Java nowadays in lieu of C++. Second, a friend of mine actually uses Java for work quite often, and he works for a defense contractor, so there are other industries which use it. I do agree though that the interesting case is going to be WebOS, since they're going after an already existing pool of developers, much like Yahoo! Widgets/Konfabula

  • "numerous rough edges and dark, undocumented corners"

    They found it!! they finally found my Mojo!!!

    I think this will gain steam overtime... they needed to just get it out there and get customer-driven direction from developers....

    Hey, beats the piss out of the last Palm OS SDK approach.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    "the entire scene emerging around Palm has a much more organic and creative vibe"

    mmmmm... warm fuzzy feelings... and ya'll can support the darn thing when Palm discontinues it!!

  • HTML, CSS, and JavaScript are three separate programming language/syntaxes (JQuery syntactic sugar would add yet one more pseudo syntax). To design graphical applications with them for the Pre, I'd have to use a text editor. And if I read the article right, I would have to fiddle with the command line to do development.

    The Cocoa API is essentially one programming language/syntax. And I can design graphical interfaces with a graphical application (Interface Builder). And I never have to touch the command lin

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by QuoteMstr (55051)

      Your post is pure FUD. The bottleneck in any application worth writing isn't actually laying out the widgets on the page. Also, I can't see why using a graphical HTML editor if you were so inclined would be out of the question.

      It's not how many "languages" or "syntaxes" one needs to learn that counts, but the complexity of the whole system. The system complexity is roughly comparable, and if anything, favors the Pre. Objective C is still an esoteric language; HTMl, Javascript, and CSS have been universal fo

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Ukab the Great (87152)

        The first HTML browser was written in that esoteric language.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by TheKidWho (705796)

          That doesn't make it any better.

        • by dwater (72834)

          Really? I just looked at Mosiac's source and it looks like regular C to me. The last time I looked at Objective C, it looked, er "not a lot like C".

          I've probably missed something, and I'm sure you'll let me know what it is :)

          • by iluvcapra (782887)

            Look harder. [wikipedia.org] A shocking level of ignorance from a 5-digiter; did you buy your UID from someone?

            Fun fact: the original HTML text attributes were based on the available text attributes in NSAttributedString, and HTML pages didn't support inline images until NSAttributedString did.

            • by dwater (72834)

              Thanks for being rude. I had thought I was looking quite hard, since I actually downloaded the source code to have a look.

              The link you referenced had no reference that I could see to 'objective' but I found this one which did, so I assume you meant this :

              • by stang (90261)

                The link you referenced had no reference that I could see to 'objective

                You were supposed to have noticed this part:

                By Christmas 1990, Berners-Lee had built
                [...]
                the first Web browser (named WorldWideWeb
                [...]
                it could run only on the NeXT
                [...]

                And then remembered that the preferred language of the NeXT boxen is Objective-C.

                • by dwater (72834)

                  I noticed that part, but didn't know much about NeXT - it's a bit obscure.

                  I think the link to WorldWideWeb is more helpful, since it states out-right that Objective-C was used.

                  In any case, I thought Mosaic was the first web browser, so I was wrong all over the place.

      • by aftk2 (556992)
        I don't do iPhone development, so this may be off base: but isn't it trivial to drop a "web view" or something like it into an iPhone application? From that point forward, you'd be able to use standards compliant CSS, JavaScript and HTML to your heart's content.
      • by tyrione (134248) on Wednesday August 12, 2009 @10:27PM (#29046909) Homepage

        Your post is pure FUD. The bottleneck in any application worth writing isn't actually laying out the widgets on the page. Also, I can't see why using a graphical HTML editor if you were so inclined would be out of the question.

        It's not how many "languages" or "syntaxes" one needs to learn that counts, but the complexity of the whole system. The system complexity is roughly comparable, and if anything, favors the Pre. Objective C is still an esoteric language; HTMl, Javascript, and CSS have been universal for 15 years.

        I'll raise you FUD with FULL OF SHI*! CSS has not been universal for 15 years. Objective-C has been universal since 1989. I'm sorry you're to f'n lazy to write with it as part of GCC, but that's not stopping the massive surge in books being published for ObjC now that Apple is finally pushing Cocoa [NeXTStep made the Browser viable first: so much for the esoteric language] and with LLVM GCC can no longer keep politically delaying additions because let's face it, LLVM is pairing up with GCC and beating it on performance.

        HTML 5 is the first version of HTML in 10 years. It's not because it's so universal and standard. It's because people spent 10 years trying to make XML be the end all, be all, of web development. And ten years later Apple and Google bring us HTML 5 with really useful CSS APIs now in WebKit dealing with 2D/3D space.

        Meanwhile, we are just getting bits and pieces of CSS 3 with CSS2.1 still not universally adopted and implemented. I'll stop here. I could go on and on.

    • HTML, CSS, and JavaScript are three separate programming language/syntaxes (JQuery syntactic sugar would add yet one more pseudo syntax). To design graphical applications with them for the Pre, I'd have to use a text editor. And if I read the article right, I would have to fiddle with the command line to do development.

      The Cocoa API is essentially one programming language/syntax. And I can design graphical interfaces with a graphical application (Interface Builder). And I never have to touch the command line.

      No contest.

      First, claiming that the Cocoa API is simpler than HTML, CSS and JavaScript together is misleading.

      Second, it assumes starting from scratch, but the point of the route Palm is taking is that there are already bucketloads of developers fully immersed in web development.

      Third, isn't this exactly how Apple started out for iPhone development? Okay, Apple was much slower but they're where they are now and that's mostly what matters. Still, you're being very disingenuous overall.

      Now personally, I've been developi

      • by iluvcapra (782887)

        Maybe you can answer this: So Palm Pre apps are written in Javascript, HTML and CSS. What if I wanted to ship an app without giving the end user source code? Or, in other words, what if I actually wanted to credibly sell a Palm Pre app to someone?

        I can see why FOSSies are happy about all of this, but the reason the iPhone app store took off is because people could make money selling apps. It just seems like this new Palm acts like the old Palm, in that you the developer sell one unit to someone and he b

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by rho (6063)

      JQuery syntactic sugar

      JQuery's syntax is anything but sugar. It's a hideous mess. It's as if C++ and Lisp fucked and shat out an assbaby.

      I like JQuery, for what it does, but for serious...

      • by maxume (22995)

        Good news! Something like 'Array.map(document.querySelectorAll("div.commentBody"), function(e){})' works in recent versions of Firefox, jQuery or not (obviously, you would normally want the function there to actually do something).

        (I suppose that the collection returned by querySelectorAll will probably eventually support map directly, but it doesn't currently seem to; it might also be more proper to use forEach if the array resulting from the call to map is not needed)

      • by tyrione (134248)

        JQuery syntactic sugar

        JQuery's syntax is anything but sugar. It's a hideous mess. It's as if C++ and Lisp fucked and shat out an assbaby.

        I like JQuery, for what it does, but for serious...

        Succinct and factual.

    • There are Eclipse plugins. You never have to touch the command line or use a (basic) "text editor" for the Pre either. As for interface, yeah, you don't get the graphical editor, but HTML/CSS are pretty straightforward, especially if you don't have to worry about IE testing.
    • by ksheff (2406)

      Did you stop reading at the first instance of "command line"? The Eclipse plugin that provides a GUI interface to those steps was mentioned in the next sentence. The great thing about WebOS and its SDK is that it is built using open source tools - the emulator is just VirtualBox running an x86 version of WebOS. You aren't tied to having to buy a Mac for development and then shelling out another $99 if you want to publish something. Since the core of it is just an ARM based Debian distribution, people ar

  • by El Royo (907295) on Wednesday August 12, 2009 @05:27PM (#29044207) Homepage
    I've been developing applications for the Palm Pre for about a month and this article does a pretty good job of summarizing the state of the SDK. I was never a Javascript fan and was disappointed at first to learn that it would be the language for developing apps. However, I've since discovered that there's actually quite a bit of power in Javascript. One of the big hurdles for 'traditional' developers approaching the Palm Pre is that you have to learn up to five new technologies at once: Javascript, HTML, CSS, the Mojo framework and, optionally, Prototype. None of these is difficult on their own. Diving head first into all of them leads to a bit of confusion at first as you wrap your brain around them.

    I have set up a blog where I discuss some of the more user-facing aspects of the Palm Pre: Pre101.com [pre101.com]. I hope to bring out a more developer oriented site later.
    • One of the big hurdles for 'traditional' developers approaching the Palm Pre is that you have to learn up to five new technologies at once

      Huh, the learning curve required to learn those 5 things is less than OSX, Obj-C, and XCode--not to miss the appstore cert/provisioning website/setup... and getting used to not having a real delete key (but replacing it with the backspace functionality).

      • and getting used to not having a real delete key (but replacing it with the backspace functionality).

        I'm curious, as I often see this complaint from ex-Windows users. When I'm typing and notice a mistake, I am always in front of the mistake with the cursor, so I just back up using backspace and then start typing again. When do you use the delete key normally?

        PS You can press function-delete if you want forward delete.

        • by Xest (935314)

          When you're not in front of the mistake.

          i.e. if you're navigating around a document such as a bunch of source code with the cursor keys you wont necessarily find yourself in front of the problem, unless you waste extra time navigating to it. The section you want to delete wont necessarily be at the end of the line either so you can't depend on "End".

          The point is, not all text that needs deleting needs to be deleted as you type, it's when you're editing, if something doesn't sound quite right. If you want to

          • So basically, you don't delete stuff only when you make mistakes, you delete stuff when you edit too.

            Thanks, just curious because I've never used it myself - if I'm editing, typically I'll select a word to delete it. I can see how it'd be useful if you only use the keyboard arrows for editing.

  • by toby (759) * on Wednesday August 12, 2009 @05:37PM (#29044291) Homepage Journal

    Dashboard widgets, [apple.com] Dashcode IDE. [apple.com]

  • Microsoft at least has one thing it knows: cross language APIs/SDKs are a good thing. I wanted to perform some data mining on an Excel Spread sheet, I just popped open Python file and imported COM support -- tah-dah, Excel access in the language of my choice, with as many supporting features as the Java/C#/C++/PHP/Ruby approaches.
  • but there are 3 (that I can name!) next generation javascript frameworks that may help:

    GWT [google.com] -- google's java to javascript translator.

    Sproutcore [sproutcore.com] -- Apple is using it for .Mac

    Cappuccino [objective-j.org] -- more or less complete reimplementation of Cocoa via objective javascript

    I'll also mention OpenLazlo [openlaszlo.org], though I haven't paid any attention to it, so I don't know the internals.

  • Please explain why 'Java services' are a good idea? I don't mean to disrespect Java.. but my understanding is that it is not compiled to native code. If I really want something like a service, don't I want it to be as efficient and spanky fast as it can be? Don't I want it running in native machine language? I see so much being done these days with 'interpreters' (.Net CLR, Java, Flash, Python, Perl) and I wonder how good the interpreters REALLY are and how they would fair against native code? I come f

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by abigor (540274)

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Just-in-time_compilation [wikipedia.org]

      Short answer: your Java program will run natively, as it gets compiled at runtime.

      The problem with Java isn't the speed, it's the memory overhead and startup time of the runtime.

    • by Desler (1608317)

      I see so much being done these days with 'interpreters' (.Net CLR, Java, Flash, Python, Perl) and I wonder how good the interpreters REALLY are and how they would fair against native code?

      *facepalm*. .NET programs aren't interpreted. They are JIT-compiled into native code.

    • by cbhacking (979169)

      Java and .NET are both just-in-time compiled to native code. The per-machine optimizations this permits means that the resulting code is actually sometimes faster than a generic i386 (or generic ARM) binary produced by the best optimizing compiler in the world. JIT compilation takes a moment when the program first starts, but then (at least in the case of .NET) the native binary is stored for future use. In the case of a background service, you wouldn't even notice the difference.

    • by Vortran (253538)

      Thanks everyone. I did know that it wasn't straight interpreted but rather JIT compiled. Mentally I still just separate static/native compiled versus not.

      The shocker for me (thanks for the wiki, abigor) is that a really good JIT compiler can often outrun a good static-compiled program. I'd never have thought that possible.

  • So, if you lose your Mojo, does it mean you got Austin Powers around?

  • Who cares - They are a bunch of snoops who don't deserve any apps at all. (see earlier story)
  • This is all well and good but what I really want to know is can I install emacs?

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