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The Kafka-esque Nightmare of Palm App Submission 332

Posted by kdawson
from the next-the-hoop-of-fire dept.
MBCook writes "Jamie Zawinski, shortly after the release of the Palm Pre, wrote two free software programs for the phone: a Tip Calculator and a port of Dali Clock. In trying to get the apps published to the App Catalog, he has had to sign up to be a developer twice; fax contracts around; been told (apparently incorrectly) that he was not allowed to release free software for the phone; and told he had to give PayPal his checking account number. 'It's been two weeks, and I have received no reply. In the months since this process began, other third-party developers seem to have managed to get their applications into the App Catalog. Apparently these people are better at jumping through ridiculous hoops than I am.'"
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The Kafka-esque Nightmare of Palm App Submission

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  • by smitty_one_each (243267) * on Tuesday September 29, 2009 @07:57AM (#29578573) Homepage Journal
    Palm app clunker?
    A who'd've thunker.
    What way could this pave,
    For another DC save?
    Burma Shave
  • Windows Mobile (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sopssa (1498795) * <sopssa@email.com> on Tuesday September 29, 2009 @08:13AM (#29578717) Journal

    This is what's actually good in Windows Mobile. Anyone can write software for it and anyone can start a Store site for it. In this respect Windows and Windows Mobile are quite open architectures. All iPhone, Palm and Symbian are really restricted and closed architectures (Symbian requires you to get certificate for the app too), and getting your apps on the stores are a real bitch.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 29, 2009 @08:22AM (#29578781)

      Dear Sir or Madam,

      The responsible Anti-Microsoft Troll that should have replied to this post by now is on sick leave and was unable to prepare a custom flaming reply to this particular post. In lieu of that, attached is our generic template which we use to write all our flaming responses.

      1. Make a general anti-Microsoft jab
      2. Blame Microsoft for it's stance against Free Software (and also for lack of network neutrality, the current state of patent laws, the Iraq war, and the extinction of the dinosaurs)
      3. Accuse the poster who wrote something positive about Microsoft of being either a fanboy or a Microsoft employee. If the poster in question made a comment about Microsoft's actual support of Free Software in a particular instance, accuse the poster of being an oblivious idiot unable to see through their Embrace-Extend-Extinguish approach
      4. State that the Linux revolution is inevitable
      5. Finish off with another outpour of flames

      We hope you will be able to infer the potential content of the post that should have been done by the respective Troll. Please accept our apologies.

      Sincerely,

      Assistant Secretary,
      Anti-Microsoft Trolling Association, Ltd.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      This is what's actually good in Windows Mobile. Anyone can write software for it and anyone can start a Store site for it. In this respect Windows and Windows Mobile are quite open architectures. All iPhone, Palm and Symbian are really restricted and closed architectures (Symbian requires you to get certificate for the app too), and getting your apps on the stores are a real bitch.

      To be fair, there is already an alternate package manager / store application you can install with minimal hassle. http://www.webos-internals.org/wiki/Application:Preware

      TFA is concerned with the difficulty of getting an app into the official store, not homebrew apps which are exceedingly easy to do. Its rather hard to call an architecture closed that has the Konami code as the means by which you unlock dev mode. There is a rapidly growing base of homebrew stuff, including apps that add functionality like o

    • by Tridus (79566)

      Yeah. It's gotten pretty ridiculous that you need approval to put things in a specific store so people can use them. This is something that Microsoft actually got right.

      • I don't see any problem with companies requiring an individual approval for apps being sold through their app store -- if you want to sell your software through a specific venue then it is entirely reasonable that it will be thoroughly vetted before being allowed into the store. The problem comes when the developer prevents software from outside the app store from being installed -- that is just ridiculous nonsense. From what I hear, it seems to be much easier to install third party software on the Pre than
      • Re:Windows Mobile (Score:5, Insightful)

        by tepples (727027) <tepples@gmaiBLUEl.com minus berry> on Tuesday September 29, 2009 @09:18AM (#29579307) Homepage Journal

        Yeah. It's gotten pretty ridiculous that you need approval to put things in a specific store so people can use them. This is something that Microsoft actually got right.

        Yet on Xbox 360, developers still need to pay $99 per year for Creators Club and then get approval to get their XNA games posted.

      • We'll see how long that lasts. I'm sure Microsoft is rushing even now to follow suit and build their own app store for Windows Mobile devices...

      • by sacherjj (7595)

        Yep, you should be able to walk into a store and just dump your stuff on the shelf without any approval. Ridiculous that stores don't let you.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Niedi (1335165)
      Yup, that's definitely good about windows mobile. However, if that article's right microsoft appears to be working very hard to fix that.
      http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/09/09/16/microsoft_sells_restrictive_new_wimo_marketplace_via_iphone_ads.html
    • by noundi (1044080)

      This is what's actually good in Windows Mobile. Anyone can write software for it and anyone can start a Store site for it. In this respect Windows and Windows Mobile are quite open architectures. All iPhone, Palm and Symbian are really restricted and closed architectures (Symbian requires you to get certificate for the app too), and getting your apps on the stores are a real bitch.

      Symbian is hopefully dying in favor of Maemo, and what goes for iPhone you don't even want to get me started. However this isn't "good about Windows Mobile", this is required for me to even look at it once, and I'm not asking for much here. I don't know why the author bothers to develop for Palm when... well do I need to continue that sentence or can I let TFA speak for itself?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by andymadigan (792996)
      Android is the same way, you can download an app from anywhere. Though you do need to check the "Allow third-party applications" box in the configuration, which is trivial. It's nice, it means that T-Mo and Google have very little effective control of the device.

      (Happy owner of a G1, never giving it up until another good capacitive touch-screen based phone with a keyboard comes out)
    • This is what's actually good in Windows Mobile. Anyone can write software for it and anyone can start a Store site for it.

      Well, this is both good and bad. You see, a lot of users consider a centralized store combined with a package manager is a feature and are voting with their wallets. MS will doubtless respond eventually. It is possible they will do it right, but unlikely.

      What they should do is open an official app store, but rather than making it monolithic, allow any server to serve applications through the store. Handle all licensing/sales centrally and send out checks. Don't outright block any applications for any reason

    • Re:Windows Mobile (Score:5, Insightful)

      by rboatright (629657) on Tuesday September 29, 2009 @10:07AM (#29579925)

      Excuse me for not jumping on the giant bandwagon here, but let's try something different.

      Back in the "good old days" of palm before the pre, there WAS NO over the air app store installed on the treo. You had to google for someplace to find apps for your treo, you had to go there, you had to down load them, and you had to install them using the hot sync program.

      That was easy for Aunt Minnie (NOT!)

      Palm has NOT FORBIDDEN that process, Dali Clock and Tip calculator are available at this web site, and at PreCentral EXACTLY as they were back int he Treo days, and can be installed by any user EXACTLY as they were back in the treo days.

      Palm has ADDED the over-the-air app store so that AUNT MINNIE can find apps. And people are bitching that there is a small set of hoops that Palm and the cell carriers want you to jump through that if you distribute apps (which could be evil) over THEIR NETWORK not over the in-tar-tubes.

      They want to be able to verify who you are but having a tax ID, and they want to validate that you're serious by charging you $5.00 Wow, that's SO irrational.

      I'm sorry. I disagree.

      Rick Boatright

  • by autojive (560399) on Tuesday September 29, 2009 @08:15AM (#29578739)
    And they say that Apple's App store process is a pain in the ass. Looks like Palm is emulating more of Apple than we thought. :-)
  • The difference between arrogance and hubris is what you can get away with.

    Apple's authoritarian submission policies are on one side of that line, and I'm pretty sure that Palm is going to find out that theirs are on the other.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Zarf (5735)

      wait... which one can you get away with? What?

    • by sacherjj (7595)

      The difference between arrogance and hubris is what you can get away with.

      Sorry, confused as to if your are talking about the programmer who wrote the article listed or Palm. Hard to tell who has more hubris.

  • by jekk (15278) <mcherm@mcherm.com> on Tuesday September 29, 2009 @08:28AM (#29578811) Homepage

    So Palm decided that they wanted to imitate Apple? After all, "no press is bad press", and Apple sure has been getting a lot of press for the way it runs the AppStore. Locking down the device... it may not be useful to the *customers*, but it couldn't harm the company at all, could it?

    Well, not unless they abandon your platform (or never flock to it in the first place) in favor of Android or even Nokia's Maemo -- platforms that allow the USER to control what they run on their devices.

    I think I've learned my lesson. I am not buying an iPhone, Kindle, or (after reading this) Palm -- no devices from a company that intends to control what I can run on my device. Offering a store: GREAT idea. Carefully controlling what goes in this store and prohibiting any other means of getting apps onto the device: that makes it THEIR device, not mine, and I don't want to play that game.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by jo42 (227475)

      Google "iPhone jailbreak" and then "cydia store". You can then put all the crap that you want on your iPhone.

    • by Old97 (1341297) on Tuesday September 29, 2009 @08:44AM (#29578927)

      You are confusing users with developers. Very few users are developers. Those who aren't developers aren't interested in what hoops you need to jump through or in how much "freedom" you have as a developer. They want a reliable, easy to use device and they want a lot of easy to use applications that are useful to them, easy to install and easy to use. Apple has accomplished that. Their numbers of users and available applications prove that. I doubt if any of these companies care about what you personally will buy or not buy. You are not the market they are going after.

      As for developers, if you give them a few tools and access to millions of potential customers, they will jump through any hoops they have to in order to compete in a lucrative market.

      • by walshy007 (906710)

        You are confusing users with developers. Very few users are developers.

        You don't need to be a developer to enjoy the programs others have written for free.. I don't have to have written for example inkscape in order to want to use it on what I have for free. non-developers jailbreak iphones too.... to use what they want on their phone, not necessarily develop on it.

        • by Old97 (1341297)
          Enjoying an application is not a compelling reason to buy a device.
          • by walshy007 (906710)

            while it's a very sysadmin like example, my last phone purchase was precisely about that. The nokia n95, the iphone had been released and jailbroken already, but I didn't get it.. why? because I wanted to be able to do what I want with my phone without having to dick around with it. Putty port already existed, as did an xmpp client, and I was set.

            So I haven't developed for the phone, yet the ability to do what I want with it was a compelling enough reason to decide what kind of device I was getting.

      • by Sloppy (14984)

        Those who aren't developers aren't interested in .. how much "freedom" you have as a developer.

        Which is why people should just shut the fuck up about how much their computers suck.

      • by tepples (727027)

        As for developers, if you give them a few tools and access to millions of potential customers, they will jump through any hoops they have to in order to compete in a lucrative market.

        Unless the developer prefers to work part-time, perhaps because he has an unrelated day job, and the hoops include "have a dedicated office" and "already have relevant industry experience". A lot of developers will choose another platform instead of trying to jump through these hoops.

        • by Old97 (1341297)
          Small part time developers are not that important in the scheme of things. People who want to make money will invest their time or money (e.g. venture capital) in things that will make them money. If the potential ROI is great enough, they will jump through whatever hoops it takes. Small time part time developers don't drive the market. They just nibble the crumbs.
    • by node 3 (115640) on Tuesday September 29, 2009 @08:50AM (#29578955)

      Locking down the device... it may not be useful to the *customers*

      Apple has recently served up it's two billionth app (this number does not include updates).

      More open devices like the old Palms and Windows Mobile may seem more consumer-friendly at first, but when you take a closer look, you'll see that Apple's approach is *far* more consumer-friendly. Far more apps have been sold through iTunes than ever would have been sold if developers had to peddle their wares independently. And even free apps are easier to find, download and install.

      Do you even know how easy it is to get an app for the iPhone? Once you find an app that interests you, it just takes one click to acquire it and have it installed on your iPhone. One click! No downloading zip files, extracting them then installing via some menu system. Just click, and plug in your phone. Done.

      Apple keeps your credit card information for iTunes when you set up your account. You don't have to enter anything in for each purchase, and Apple is more trustworthy than some random web site.

      As far as the customers are concerned, the iTunes App Store is a smashing success.

      • by jedidiah (1196)

        > Apple has recently served up it's two billionth app (this number does not include updates). ...which may or may not be terribly impressive all things considered. Of course it is a number
        specificially engineered to look and sound impressive but it may not really be all that. It's
        just saavy marketing that easily impresses rubes. It's a figure that's easy to inflate. Time
        will tell. This approach may eventually end up biting Apple in the butt as they (despite all
        of the hype to the contrary) are very much i

        • Come back two years later and we'll see. Apple is doing very well because, as always, they make things much more easy and user-friendly for the customer. I know it's trendy on Slashdot to bash Apple as "overhyped" and superficial and marketing-driven, but in reality they often make the most well-designed and engineered products on the market. People buy Apple gear because it works really well for the average person.

          Unfortunately the "superior" types who look down on everyday people as sheeple and lusers can

          • but in reality they often make the most well-designed and engineered products on the market

            Youll want to cite that. If youre referring to the cases / chassis, you might have a point, but otherwise there are a large number of competitors. ASUS for example makes some very nice screen-integrated desktops, Blackberries are STILL considered the gold standard of the corporate phone market (and not because of poor engineering either), and Sansa Fuzes are, as i understand it, generally considered superior to iPods (and if those dont float your boat, i hear the COWONs are pretty decent too).

            Not that A

            • I think the parent was pointing out that Apple products tend to do everything well instead of specializing in one place while utterly dropping the ball in every other category. Have you actually used those ASUS screen integrated desktops? They are pretty, but slow enough to where they just feel clunky. The rest of the list you rattled off have similar shortcomings. And yes, this is being typed from a Macbook...while being surrounded by 4 other desktop systems running different OS's.
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              but in reality they often make the most well-designed and engineered products on the market

              Youll[sic] want to cite that.

              What's the measure of well-designed and engineered? The most sales? The best customer satisfaction? What study criteria would you accept as a citation for such an assertion? Is it even possible to objectively measure without more parameters? He did provide more parameters you know, talking about making things suitable for average users. For that you can actually look at formal usability studies of users performing common tasks.

              Sansa Fuzes are, as i understand it, generally considered superior to iPods...

              Generally considered by whom? By geeks on slashdot or reporters for Wired magazin

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Kidbro (80868)

        Apple keeps your credit card information for iTunes when you set up your account. You don't have to enter anything in for each purchase

        As far as praise goes, this one is pretty hilarious.

        • Its not necessarily a bad thing for the consumer, Amazon does something similar-- have you ever bought mp3s off of their site?
          • by sacherjj (7595)

            Yep. It downloads automatically to my Pre over WiFi or EVDO and I can play it in about 20 seconds. Works GREAT.

        • by blueZ3 (744446)

          Well, for one thing, it's not accurate.

          When you download an app, the phone asks for your iTunes password. It isn't just a "one click and you're done" thing like the GP posted. Or maybe it's the way I have my phone configured?

          But more to the point: I think your quote from the GP didn't correctly communicate the value he's commenting on. Sure any developer can set up a WinMo app store and collect CC info. But how many users are going to be willing to pass their CC information to "JoesFlyByNightApps.com"? And

      • by dirk (87083)

        The app store itself is a good idea other companies should imitate. The issue is that with Apple, it is the only way to get your app on the iPhone (yes, I know that people can jailbreak their iPhone and then visit other stores and install other apps, but that is a fairly small number of users and can be undone at any time Apple wants to). I have a WinMobile phone and would love to have a good app store for it, as it would make finding things easier. What I don't want is for that to be the only way to ins

      • And what you say is not a huge bag of fail why, exactly? He just said that having stores makes perfect sense, since they make money for the parent company and nudge the consumer in the right direction, plus maybe make life easier on the developer. All he was saying was that he wouldn't trade that OMG one click!!eleven! for a device that won't let him install what he wants from it; there isn't a dichotomy between an app store and a user's ability to install stuff on their phones.

        As far as the customers are concerned, the iTunes App Store is a smashing success.

        As far as customers are conce

    • Offering a store: GREAT idea. Carefully controlling what goes in this store and prohibiting any other means of getting apps onto the device: that makes it THEIR device, not mine, and I don't want to play that game.

      I would reword that statement to say: "Offering a store: GREAT idea. Carefully controlling what goes in this store: also a GREAT idea. Prohibiting any other means of getting apps onto the device: BULLSHIT."

      If these companies are going to offer app stores it makes perfect sense for them to do extensive QA on the apps before allowing them in. In other words, the app store should be a gated community, so to speak, so that those who want to be able to get apps quickly and easily with the peace of mind of k

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Late Adopter (1492849)
        So what exactly is the problem then? In what ways isn't the Pre open enough? Contrary to GP's post, you can install unapproved 3rd party apps, including a Bluetooth tethering app and a Google Voice dialer.
    • Palm doesn't prohibit other means of getting apps onto their device. There's quite a few third party apps out there you can download and install unofficially. But Apple, conversely, after locking down their device, actually does a (moderately) solid job implementing their app system. Guess which one wins in the eyes of consumers and developers?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 29, 2009 @08:37AM (#29578875)

    Maybe the world doesn't need another tip calculator...

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Shrike82 (1471633)

      Maybe the world doesn't need another tip calculator...

      Why do we need any? Is it really that hard to work out a fairly simple percentage in your head? Perhaps it's easier to leave a small tip when a machine is telling you to do it. "It's not me that's cheap, it's my iPhone."

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        Depends on what portion of the bill is food, and what portion of the bill is drinks.

        Not that the tipping rules are any different; but applying them can get tricky...
        • No, not really, just use some common sense and dont leave a 15% tip on a $5 meal if you spent 45 minutes eating at a restaurant. Its not a hard and fast rule, you know, just leave whats fair and use 15-20% as a guideline.
  • by tgv (254536) on Tuesday September 29, 2009 @08:41AM (#29578909) Journal

    The name Kafka now gets invoked whenever someone doesn't immediately get what he/she wants. Some administrative thingy gone wrong? Kafka! Your broadband connection doesn't allow you to download at 20Mb and the help desk says that the speed is not constant? Kafka! Your microwave's remote control's batteries are not in stock at your local supermarket and it will take more than an hour to restock? Kafka! You wake up and you find yourself turning into a giant beetle? O wait...

    • by bwalling (195998) on Tuesday September 29, 2009 @08:59AM (#29579037) Homepage
      To quote Wikipedia: "Kafka's work, in this sense, is not a written reflection of any of his own struggles, but a reflection of how people invent struggles." So, this guy whining about his app submission being to trying, is actually Kafkaesque - he's inventing a struggle so he can whine about it on the Internet to satisfy his narcissism.
    • The name Kafka now gets invoked whenever someone doesn't immediately get what he/she wants.

      Perhaps, but not in this case. Kafka's name is usually brought up to describe situations where bureaucracy has run amok and replaced reason with rules that are blindly followed, much to the protagonist's (and the reader's) frustration.

      So in this case, the analogy is apt.

    • Clearly, you missed the part where a baroque and terrible machine scribes an NDA into the flesh of the developer, over and over until he dies...
    • by db32 (862117)

      I don't know if you can really consider it hyperbole inflation given so few people are familiar with Kafka. I mean...it is probably on a similar scale of having the value of the dollar inflating .0000001 and then complaining inflation went up.

  • by Qbertino (265505) on Tuesday September 29, 2009 @08:45AM (#29578929)

    The old, imho to date unmatched, Palm OS is dead, the new Palm seems to become a screwup, iPhone/iPod Touch is a lockdown nightmare, WinMobile is a no-go and developing, integrating and deploying to Blackb*rrys is like grating your fingernails.

    The Matter of fact is: Mobile is a mess, very much the way desktop computers were in the mid-eighties.

    We are in dire need of an eqiuvalent to the Arduino platform in the PDA market. Small, cheap, relyable, open standards, with a simple single-touch screen a neat CPU and some run-off-the-mill LitIon battery industry standard. 6 months into the first batch we'll have FOSS programmers and hardware hackers expanding it to be a cellphone for those who want it to be one.
    THAT is what we need.

    Just the open standard equivalent of my oldest colorscreen Palm at the price of 100 Euros and an FOSS OS that comes with it, that's all I ask. It can't be that difficult with hardware prices dropping left right and center.

    My 2 cents.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Zhiroc (909773)
      What about Android? TBH I haven't looked into it all that much, despite the hype. A while back (before the iPhone and Android), when I made the decision to move off of Palm OS, I chose Win Mobile for the sheer fact that it looked like the most open platform, which is pretty amazing... And to reply directly to your comment, the problem is that we haven't yet really gotten too far down the line towards open hardware. The level of miniaturization and integration you need to make a small appliance like a PDA
    • WinMobile is a no-go

      Tell that to these folks [xda-developers.com]

      • Windows mobile may be ok for devs, but its terrible for users. Ive only ever heard one person claim winmobile was awesome, and that was only because of the apps. Everyone else seems to agree its slow, bloated, nonintuitive, and a hassle to use. When you need to click 5 buttons to get to the phone function, and it takes ~6 seconds for the machine to get there, its a disaster.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702)
          I press the green "phone" button and get straight to the dialing interface. It loads instantly.

          Strip out the bloat [xda-developers.com], and it runs really well. Three days battery life, no resets / powering off, and plenty of storage space.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by tepples (727027)

      We are in dire need of an eqiuvalent to the Arduino platform in the PDA market. Small, cheap, relyable, open standards, with a simple single-touch screen a neat CPU and some run-off-the-mill LitIon battery industry standard.

      Coming this holiday season: the Pandora PDA [openpandora.org]. It's a gaming PDA wrapped around what is essentially a BeagleBoard. Like the iPod Touch, it's not a phone, so I'm not billed per month for services I won't use.

    • by sacherjj (7595)

      Seriously? The Pre is the most open platform out there (including Android with its locked down ROM).

      QuickInstall and the average user can hack the WebOS and install programs to load whatever homebrew they want. No jailbreaking, easy as pie.

    • integrating and deploying to Blackb*rrys is like grating your fingernails.

      It is? Have you actually done so yet? So far, I've been finding it pretty easy... hope to post my first submission to BB appworld later this year.

  • Seriously. It's a tip calculator, and a clock. These are the kinds of applications we can do with less of anyway. FOSS software is rife with these small and pointless programs. I agree such software is great as learning tools for others to get a foothold with when writing their own more complicated software, but they're hardly worth getting your panties in a twist over. Palm OS comes with a clock, and last I checked, is bundled with a calculator.

    I could understand if it were something truly useful that

    • by jekk (15278) <mcherm@mcherm.com> on Tuesday September 29, 2009 @09:00AM (#29579049) Homepage

      The point is not what YOU think of the quality of the apps. It's not what PALM thinks of the quality of the apps. The point is that the author of the software must jump through ridiculous hoops and beg permission of someone before they can give their app to people who want it. And if the someone says "No", then no one can have it.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Tetsujin (103070)

        The point is not what YOU think of the quality of the apps. It's not what PALM thinks of the quality of the apps. The point is that the author of the software must jump through ridiculous hoops and beg permission of someone before they can give their app to people who want it. And if the someone says "No", then no one can have it.

        ...Except for not. The apps can still be distributed outside of Palm's store.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Palm OS comes with a clock, and last I checked, is bundled with a calculator.

      Yeah, but the clock doesn't melt! And the calculator doesn't automatically type in *1.2=
    • by jedidiah (1196)

      > FOSS software is rife with these small and pointless programs.

      Have you actually used an iphone?

      FOSS is not the only "platform" that has this "problem".

      Whenever I hear that "billions and billions served" nonsense from the
      Apple fanboys I think of all manner of little nonsense apps like this
      one that you are complaining infests Linux. Nevermind Linux. The iphone
      has the exact same crap but multiplied at least an order of magnitude.

  • by alen (225700) on Tuesday September 29, 2009 @08:52AM (#29578977)

    Palm, Apple and MS want you to sign up once pay the fees and have the ability to upload free or paid apps. no one wants to wasted time on a second process for paid apps. the reason for paypal and other access is if you write paid apps and people ask for refunds then Palm needs the ability to get money from you.

    While this genius is complaining about these "hoops" others are writing apps and will be getting paid soon.

    • At the very least Apple, and I'd presume Microsoft too, although I don't really know (or care), does not require bank or tax information if you don't plan on selling your app. The developer account registration does not ask you for that information and once you've got your developer credentials, you already have an active contract with the iTunes App store for worldwide distribution of free apps. The developer in TFA claims that Palm asked him to provide PayPal seller credentials (or whatever you call them
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 29, 2009 @08:53AM (#29578991)
    I can't believe (Ok, maybe I can) that this troll ended up on Slashdot. He put an app out. A tip calculator. One of the forum members asked him to include cents (i.e. to figure a tip from $12.65 if one was so inclined). Instead of doing it, or saying why he didn't want to do it, he added a message into the app "DON'T BE A CHEAPSKATE -- ROUND UP TO THE NEAREST DOLLAR" and went on a rant attack on the forums. Now he doesn't want to be a PayPal verified guy? Doesn't want to re-version his app (when he could add a 0. in front of it)?? Dumbass..
  • I've seen them for android as well, tens, if not more!
    it's even a web page going through the 10 best tip calculators for iphone (http://www.everythingicafe.com/news/software/iphone-tip-calculator-smackdown-20080731827/)
    Personally I cannot see any use of such an app. What is this about? is it a US thing? (as I understand that tipping is a bit of a bigger business than europe and hence far more advanced formulas are used, derivates, fourier transformations etc).
    What happened with doing a simple calc in your h

    • FYI, if you do ever visit the US, the "standard" tipping percentage here is 15 to 20% for table servers. They aren't paid adequate salary (current minimum for table servers is about a third of regular minimum wage, and because of the tipping expectation even high-priced restaurants pay low wages): they make their money on tips. In fact, it's best to think of your server as an independent contractor who delivers your food and beverages. By money, they work for you more than the restaurant.

      Other service in

  • !nightmare (Score:5, Informative)

    by xigxag (167441) on Tuesday September 29, 2009 @09:17AM (#29579295)

    It should be noted that the developer had his own particular requirements:

    * Would not sign NDA
    * Would not even TALK with Palm about signing an NDA
    * Would not change version numbers
    * Would not get PayPal verified account

    In other words, Palm had certain policies in place. Maybe they were good policies, maybe they were foolish ones. But that was not really the issue. The real sticking point was that the developer felt that, since he was distributing his apps for free, he had an entitlement to be at his own discretion exempt from any policies Palm put in place. And Palm didn't see it that way. Seems to me that there was simply not a meeting of minds and he's better off following his own device and developing for a more open platform. But by his own admission clearly there are plenty of developers who aren't bent out of shape by Palm's policies, which I would certainly not describe as "nightmarish" given the issues stated in his article. To be honest, I was more put off by his whining, histrionic melodramatic tone than by yet another example of Palm's notoriously poor business sense. On a scale of Palm's Pre snafus I'd rate poor battery life as a 10, annoying cursor is annoying as a 2, and the issues outlined in his story as a less than a one.

    (Speaking of "annoying cursor," OT but does anyone else have a problem with trying to drop a cursor on the right hand side of Slashdot's comment box?)

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      So let me get this straight, Palm needs people to sign an NDA in order to release an app to an app store? And people accuse the Apple store of being non-transparent. Wow.

      Maybe I'm being ignorant here, could you please explain why would you need to sign an NDA to release an app to an app store? It's not like he's selling company secrets. It's a tip calculator and a dali clock, if palm actually needs the person who developed that stuff to be under an NDA, they're in pretty bad trouble since things like t
  • by brennanw (5761) on Tuesday September 29, 2009 @09:18AM (#29579305) Homepage Journal

    ... there is a thriving homebrew community which Palm supports. Precentral.net has a heck of a lot of apps available for the Pre that are not available in the official Pre store.

    (I am not affiliated with Precentral.net, I just have a fair amount of homebrew apps on my Pre).

  • dont write apps for conglomerates that treat you like dog shit. with a lack of developers any project offering collaboration with a community will die a very swift death. Teach megacorps how to properly court and foster an open community of developers. make sure you blade on the sword always points the other way.
  • The author must be color-blind. Seriously, I have a headache from attempting to finish reading it.
  • by aminorex (141494) on Tuesday September 29, 2009 @09:56AM (#29579785) Homepage Journal

    It's called freedom: You get to choose which monopoly owns your ass.

  • > Jamie Zawinski

    Ah, the maestro has struck again.

It's time to boot, do your boot ROMs know where your disk controllers are?

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