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Palm Frees Up webOS Development 117

Posted by kdawson
from the more-open-than-thou dept.
Per Wigren writes in with news that Palm has just announced a number of changes to its webOS development platform that should really be welcomed by developers — especially after the chilly reception that Palm seemed to be giving to open source in recent days. OSnews notes that "This moves the webOS much closer to Android territory." Quoting TechCrunch: "The first is that they're allowing developers to fully distribute their apps via the web. What this means is that developers can simply submit their apps to Palm, and Palm will return to them a URL that they can then blog, tweet, do whatever they want to share it. When a person then clicks on that URL they can easily install the app, bypassing any kind of store. And while Palm is providing the URL, it is not going to be reviewing the apps in any way — a clear dig at Apple's approval process. The next announcement is that Palm is waiving the $99 yearly fee it normally charges to developers to make webOS apps if those apps are going to be open source."
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Palm Frees Up webOS Development

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  • by monoqlith (610041) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @02:16PM (#29660393)

    I'm all for letting any non-maleficent app through without some ridiculous approval process, but some common sense restrictions should be applied. Shouldn't Palm at least be checking to see if the apps are malware?

    • by Improv (2467)

      No. This is a difficult thing to judge, and the benefits of an open platform are worth the risk.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Hognoxious (631665)

        No matter what the smallprint says, it looks like they're associated with it. The first time something goes wrong they'll be getting the blame - and most likely, a lawsuit too.

        They're insane. Never, never associate your brand with something that isn't reasonably under your control.

        • by Improv (2467)

          Like IBM was with every piece of software that ran on the IBM PC and its later clones?

          • by Tacvek (948259) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @04:04PM (#29662075) Journal

            Palm here though is hosting the apps on palm owned webspace.

            I just don't get it. If palm is letting non-reviewed apps be made available (They will probably still review any placed in the store, but being in the store will not be a requirement for installation), then why require them to come from a special location?

            Why not just create a standard archive format for app distribution, and let anybody make and distribute apps. Just like with the Windows Mobile platform, or for that matter the PalmOS platform?

            • Why not just create a standard archive format for app distribution, and let anybody make and distribute apps. Just like with the Windows Mobile platform, or for that matter the PalmOS platform?

              So that if they get complaints, they have archived copies of the apps in question. It also removes the chance of the apps just vanishing.

              Recently I was trying to install a Firefox extension... but the homepage was down, and only the old version for FF2 was available from Mozilla.

              Recently I installed BackInTime - an incremental GUI backup program for Ubuntu. A few days ago its website and repositories went down.

              Seems logical to have a central repository for everything.

              • by Tacvek (948259)

                Perfectly logical to have a central repository for everything. That way when Palm decides it does not want to support the phone anymore, or it goes out of business, the phone effectively becomes worthless, unless there is some way to bypass both the store, and the hosting by palm, and still be able to install software on the device.

                At least with Apple, I can be reasonably confident that the company will remain around for a while, and that the App store will be there for many, many years in the future.

                Given

            • by punzada (1557247)

              Why not just create a standard archive format for app distribution, and let anybody make and distribute apps. Just like with the Windows Mobile platform, or for that matter the PalmOS platform?

              IPKG, it's already on the system.

            • by drizek (1481461)

              Because this way Palm will have the IP, personal info and so on of the app developer. I was skeptical of the system at first, but I can think of a number of ways now that this helps. At the very least it allows palm to do an automated sanity check on the app, ensuring it doesn't run any scripts, doesn't modify certain system files, installs cleanly, uninstalls cleanly, etc.

        • by rwa2 (4391) * on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @04:39PM (#29662531) Homepage Journal
          Well, they still control the URL used to download the app, so they can ostensibly yank an app if "the community" finds out something is laden with malware. Pretty much the same way big open source distribution points work.

          I bet they also make you click through some legal disclaimer when you download any app through them anyway.

          I'm glad they're going for the side of "too open" vs. "too closed", while still maintaining some modicum of control. It's not like they let people load apps directly from anywhere, propagating who-knows-what.

          • they also get developers to identify themselves through a verified paypal account.

            That reduces the risk somewhat of a rogue developer unleashing malware and expecting to disappear into the ether...

      • by node 3 (115640)

        No. This is a difficult thing to judge, and the benefits of an open platform are worth the risk.

        How much benefit is there and how much risk? How much different would the available apps for the iPhone be were there no app approval process? And consider the fact that it's also possible to improve the process without scrapping it altogether.

        Consider that Apple, imperfectly, filters for:

        1. Spyware/malware
        2. Bugs
        3. UI issues
        4. Core iPhone functionality duplication
        5. Pornography
        6. Disallows some cell network usage as per the telco's user contract

        Of those, which do you think we'd see significant benefit from

        • I would disagree on "Spyware" part. I saw developers on digg bragging stupidly about how they know who uses their software, when, their IPs etc. In my OS X focused way of thinking, it is spyware for me. Every OS has different levels for "pua" you know. On a Desktop, you wouldn't care too much about vendor having your mail for freeware but if vendor abuses some glitch and actually CALLS YOU, over your private phone line, that is some real big issue.

          I agree to you on other issues, they are in fact doing false

          • I would disagree on "Spyware" part ... On a Desktop, you wouldn't care too much about vendor having your mail for freeware but if vendor abuses some glitch and actually CALLS YOU, over your private phone line, that is some real big issue.

            They pulled the app once that was reported.

            I didn't say Apple perfectly stops all spyware, I said that they filter for it. Once it's discovered, it's either rejected or pulled.

            The part I ellipsed out was the IP address/time stamp info. Any app that makes a network connection is going to do that. I'd actually prefer if the iPhone asked before making a network connection (like it presently does for location services), but time stamp and IP address are standard bits of info everyone knows. It's inherent in the

        • by mcvos (645701)

          I would also argue that the iPhone user experience would be *nowhere near* as great as it is were Apple to not filter their app store. User complaints about buggy and ugly apps would skyrocket. The quality and ease of use of the app store is just as important to Apple as the smoothness of the multitouch, or the quality of their mobile web browser (which is so fully capable, it almost seems wrong to call it a "mobile" browser).

          Are you kidding? Apple doesn't filter on quality. There's tons and tons of crappy, useless, buggy apps in the app store. What Apple filters on is stuff they don't like. Apps that compete with or replace existing iPhone functionality, apps that provide new functionality that Apple doesn't want users to have, etc. They ban Google Voice, thethering, improved mailreaders, etc. The allow apps that make fart noises.

          Of course there is a way around this: jailbreaking. The only way to get full value out of your iPho

          • by node 3 (115640)

            Are you kidding? Apple doesn't filter on quality. There's tons and tons of crappy, useless, buggy apps in the app store.

            And things would be worse without that filter. Apple doesn't say, "you have to meet some great and awesome standard", they say, "dude, this UI think here really sucks, fix it and we'll talk...".

    • I agree, this is a ridiculous cost-cutting measure disguised as a clever marketing trick.

      I predict in a couple months we'll be calling it the HairyPalmOS.

      • Palm traditionally has let any program from any source run on their OS's. The initial restriction of only allowing programs installed via their app store is Apple thinking, not traditional Palm thinking.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by NiteShaed (315799)

      Yesterday: Palm is EVIL! They're forcing us through a proprietary app catalog, and ruling out choice and freedom and forcing developers to play by their rules! Down with Palm!
      Today: Palm is EVIL! By letting people download from anywhere, they're not checking these apps for safety before people can download them, which will infest the Pre with malware! Down with Palm!

      Meet the new Slashdotters, same as the old Slashdotters.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by ArsonSmith (13997)

        Yesterday some slashdotters opinions were: Palm is EVIL! They're forcing us through a proprietary app catalog, and ruling out choice and freedom and forcing developers to play by their rules! Down with Palm!
        Today some other slashdotters opinions are: Palm is EVIL! By letting people download from anywhere, they're not checking these apps for safety before people can download them, which will infest the Pre with malware! Down with Palm!

        Meet the new Slashdotters, they have differing opinions.

        FTFY

      • by DrgnDancer (137700) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @02:45PM (#29660897) Homepage

        I think you will find that Slashdot is made up of more than one person, and that the opinions expressed here are often variable. Surprisingly enough, all of the thousands of people that read a story, and the hundreds that often comment on a story do not agree on everything. See any story or post that mentions: "Apple", "Microsoft", "iPhone", "Linux on the Desktop" for examples of this fact.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by monoqlith (610041)

        I never said Palm was evil on either side of this gesture.

        If you criticize somebody make sure you review their side of the argument so you're not attacking a straw man.

      • Meet the false dichotomy.
      • by Ilgaz (86384)

        I think you are Palm PR guys dream, easily fooled with keywords like "open", "web", "linux" and not seeing the greater scheme of things.

        Next time you have your hands on some iPod touch or iPhone, directly run "Settings", click "General", click "About", "legal". You will see the use of open source, open libraries and even things like Freetype doesn't necessarily mean it will be some kind of "freedom device".

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      That's what the official App Catalog will be for: safe, screened little confections for the average Joe. This is simply an alternative for developers and consumers who don't want to go through Palm for whatever reason. Keep in mind the old Palm OS, Windows Mobile, and Symbian have always allowed you to load whatever random app you found on the net, too. Apple's the one that came along and made the walled garden popular.
    • No. Why not have MS do the same thing? Or apple do the same thing for their OS X software? Apple wants control of the iPhone apps for one reason: volume. There are so many little iPhones out there that a $0.99 app could easily translate to tens of millions of dollars in fees for Apple.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by metamatic (202216)

      Shouldn't Palm at least be checking to see if the apps are malware?

      'cause Apple's application inspection regime has worked well to prevent malware [slashdot.org], right?

      If your platform security relies on code inspection to catch malware, you're setting yourself up for epic fail.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by tlhIngan (30335)

        Shouldn't Palm at least be checking to see if the apps are malware?

        'cause Apple's application inspection regime has worked well to prevent malware, right?

        If your platform security relies on code inspection to catch malware, you're setting yourself up for epic fail.

        Is that functionality malware? From post #29585841 [slashdot.org],

        I was curious if this was possible on other devices. Seems like all the big ones have some API functionality to retrieve similar information:

        - http://docs.blackberry.com/en/developers/deliverables [blackberry.com]

    • by 0xdeadbeef (28836) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @03:01PM (#29661093) Homepage Journal

      Shouldn't Palm at least be checking to see if the apps are malware?

      Mama's gonna check out all your applications for you. Mama's not going to let anything dirty get through. Mama's gonna wait up until you sign in. Mama's going to always find out where you've been. Mama's gonna keep baby healthy and clean.

    • by Bluecobra (906623)

      No, Palm shouldn't be checking apps and they should keep webOS as open as possible. Anybody in the world should be able to write an application for a phone and the end user should be able to run it with no restrictions, just like I can on my computer. I am not a baby and shouldn't be treated as such by my phone company/headset maker. I can download applications to my Android phone from anywhere (by enabling a checkbox in my phone's settings) and yet to encounter any malware. I like how people keep throw

      • by Ash Vince (602485)

        I really wish I has some modpoints for this since it is easily the most insightful comment in this whole thread to this point.

        I have another example of a fairly open platform that does not suffer from a large volume of malware though: Linux.

        I have been using it for years and have never come across any.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by SCHecklerX (229973)

      Why? Your device. Securing it is your responsibility. Don't like that? tell all the windoze lusers with zombie-infested machines they can't install whatever they want anymore. Blackberry deals with this well with their application firewall. No reason palm (or, gee, a 3rd party!) couldn't do the same.

      I'm looking forward to getting a pre, but not sure about the reliability of Sprint's network vs. ATT. *sigh*. I wish the whole tying of phone to network thing would go away. Pre on Verizon without hobbl

      • I'm looking forward to getting a pre, but not sure about the reliability of Sprint's network vs. ATT.

        Seriously? I've never had a problem with using my phone's data on Sprint's network as long as I had coverage. This is purely anecdotal, but I have coverage everywhere I go... home, work, camping in the boondocks, etc. And I've had high speed EVDO (3G) coverage in all those places for the last couple years. Virtually every Sprint phone (over 90%, I'd estimate... including all their smart phones) operate over 3G.

        AT&T, on the other hand, has a network crumbling under the iPhone's weight. AT&T has very

    • by Old97 (1341297)
      What I like about Apple's process is their requirement for digital signing and a review of the application to insure it causes no harm to the network, the device or the user. What I don't like is their insistence on restricting applications for purposes of protecting their business model. I understand it, but that's what probably irritates most developers. Palm should require digital signing and a review of the application to protect against intentional or accidental damage and they could do this without
    • They need to have same lesson which Nokia had with Cabir worm resulting in billions of dollars of brand value loss and users still getting robbed by AV vendors for non existent threat. Cabir was just a first warning and Nokia took it very serious and fast, coming up with their Symbian Signed initiative which has _nothing_ to do with apple app store.

      Of course, I don't believe you can code such deep level running utility such as AV on an OS named "WebOS". So, malware will be there and protection won't. Palm s

  • Funny they should do that precisely on WM 6.5's launchday...
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Funny they should do that precisely on WM 6.5's launchday...

      Palm's just desperately trying to stay in the news, which is also what the whole Pre-iTunes sync drama is all about. They must be pretty close to the edge. I hope they do well with this move though so they can motivate Apple to do the same.

      • if they're that close to the edge and that transparently desperate, I doubt anyone's going to move based on any activity they may be doing.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Povno (1460131)
      Actually it's funny they should do that before this [wikipedia.org] is released and from what I can tell about this [nokia.com] as an OS, it might turn out to be what Plam promised with the Pre.
      • by Tetsujin (103070)

        Yummy, yummy N900...

        But so expensive... :(

        (Side note: What's with these 1300mAH batteries? I think smartphone makers need to get more realistic about battery needs on these things... If that means it's bigger, then it's bigger... At least I won't be constantly running out of power...)

  • by Anonymous Coward

    This seems nice. WebOS already had open source Linux operating system (some people knows it as "Linux kernel") and now the whole system is a one step more open.

    • by Guspaz (556486)

      The iPhone has a nice open source Unix operating system too. Some people know it as "Darwin", running on the "Mach 3 Microkernel".

      An open source OS has absolutely no bearing on the openness of the device.

  • Now if we could just get an unlocked, quad-band GSM phone running webOS, I'd pick one up to replace my aging Treo650.

    • Who says webOS won't get ported a la Rockbox? And after all, Linux will run on almost anything. I can see where eventually phones will become just like desktops and laptops - pick yer OS.
      • by Tetsujin (103070)

        Who says webOS won't get ported a la Rockbox? And after all, Linux will run on almost anything. I can see where eventually phones will become just like desktops and laptops - pick yer OS.

        At present there's too many hardware differences between platforms for this to be viable. If your OS is built around a particular screen resolution, a multi-touch screen, a hardware keyboard, motion sensor, etc. then the applications written for it won't work nicely on hardware that doesn't fit that rough description...

    • by Andy Dodd (701)

      I gave up and went to WM on HTC devices myself...

    • The Palm Pre is quad band. Don't know if you can get it unlocked where you are, but here in Belgium locking is still illegal (despite heavy lobbying) so we'll probably get it unlocked when it goes on sale here by mid october. I've heard good things about it too.

  • by Jaysyn (203771)

    That was a complete 180 degree turn-around on Palm's part.

    • Re:Wow (Score:5, Funny)

      by MrEricSir (398214) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @02:32PM (#29660665) Homepage

      It's all in the wrist.

    • by dslbrian (318993)

      Yeah desperation for consumer base plainly showing through. I would be surprised if it lasted indefinitely though, I'm sure Palm desires absolute control. Similar moves by Verizon today also, with them announcing they will have android phones now [thestreet.com].

    • by cellurl (906920) *
      Good U-turn I say. Competition is good for consumers. I have an Android exclusive app, and you bet your sweet bippie this will make me port it to Palm ASAP.
      IMHO, the three underdogs better bully up quick (openhandsetalliance) before iPhone moves out and leaves a trail of lithium... For starters, Android needs to get rid of the 48hr free trial thing.

      As my old friend Bob Goodman used to say (God bless Bob), where money goes, hearts and minds follow...
      If you want better apps, daddys gotta get paid....
    • It's actually a 360 back to where they were with PalmOS. Well, almost a 360, before anyone could distribute a Palm app from any site, not a URL generated by Palm themselves.

      • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

        by Planesdragon (210349)

        Well, almost a 360, before anyone could distribute a Palm app from any site, not a URL generated by Palm themselves.

        I had a half dozen Palms from a IIIe to a 680 / TX. Exactly two apps were EVER distributed over the internet, and only after I'd already installed them locally.

        If you have a USB cable and a modicum of search capability, you can instally whatever the hell you want on a WebOS phone.

  • Dig at Apple?

    And just how does a dev earn money for that link if it COMPLETELY BYPASSES ANY KIND OF STORE...?

    Yeah....I'm gonna jump right on that....as soon as the liquor companies start putting cases of Capt. Morgan Silver out on the curb, effectively bypassing the store...
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      Seriously. I can't believe no one has figured out a way of exchanging goods and services on the Internet for some sort of currency without the benefit of monolithic corporate store fronts.
      • Re:Say what? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Tacvek (948259) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @04:21PM (#29662317) Journal

        You mean like all the many independent app stores that previously existed for the PalmOS, Windowm Mobile, and Symbian OS, but are being phased out in favor of Apple style APP stores?

        Or how about independent app sales by the application developer, who you pay with a credit card, and they send you the app, or more commonly they send you an unlock code for the app, which is publicly available shareware style?

        Those systems work well, except that the average moron that buys an Windows Mobile based phone from HTC have no idea they can just go online and download any Windows Mobile 6 compatible application they find.
        For whatever reason that concept just does not occur the the average idiot. I don't know why. Whenever I get a new device where I might be able to run software from the Internet, one of the first things I do is go looking around at what is available. I'm guessing most readers of this site are like this too.

    • by Briareos (21163) *

      Dig at Apple?

      Now all we need is a fully working unrestricted C64 emulator for it and people will be switching from Apple's iPhone in droves... :D

      np: David Sylvian - The Greatest Living Englishman (Manafon)

    • Re:Say what? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Fallen Seraph (808728) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @03:00PM (#29661089)
      Ok, now try reading the article. The link is for devs who want a distribution method other than the store, but want Palm to host it, to make it easy for people to download it. This does not mean the app will be listed in the app catalog. If you want it to be listed in the official app catalog, then you can pay the yearly fee (same as Apple) and pick a price point for your app. The link is simply IN ADDITION to the store, not a replacement for it. They're trying to give developers as many options as possible to distribute their apps, on top of the 3rd party homebrew app catalogs which already exist.

      And the mention that open source apps will not require a fee to be in the official app catalog is a major boon for open source software, because that means there's no cash or fee required to distribute a free and open app. I'm gonna be honest, thus far, WebOS in many ways seems to be a more consumer friendly version of Android. Hopefully when WebOS gets Java support it will expand even further.
      • WebOS in many ways seems to be a more consumer friendly version of Android.

        The company with the least leverage tends to be the most friendly.

  • Does anyone know what development languages this supports? My current phone is Windows Mobile and I'd have a hard time switching to anything that didn't let me use real C++.
    • Close (Score:4, Funny)

      by Kludge (13653) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @03:38PM (#29661625)

      It's HTML, which is really close to C++.

    • It's called WebOS, which is basically Extended JavaScript (for hardware API calls) and HTML. There are some decent tutorials on their developer website, plus O'Reilly has a decent book out for the development on it already.
      • by Tetsujin (103070)

        It's called WebOS, which is basically Extended JavaScript (for hardware API calls) and HTML. There are some decent tutorials on their developer website, plus O'Reilly has a decent book out for the development on it already.

        Proof, IMO, that Palm, who had allowed their PalmOS platform to slowly fester and die over a period of several years, is now fully deranged. Hey everybody... here's a portable device. It has limited storage and battery resources. So how about we all write apps for it using a frikkin' scripting language?

        The bright side, I've heard, is that one can write modules in C or C++ in such a way that they can then be called from the Javascript environment of the phone...

    • My current phone is Windows Mobile and I'd have a hard time switching to anything that didn't let me use real C++.

      1: Mojo apps are written in Javascript. You might get some faster custom API's later, but unless you're an established (i.e., trustworthy) company, Palm won't be giving you the lower level access.

      2: what the hell are you making on a PDA that needs to handle memory allocation, anyway?

      3: It's Linux at the core. If you really want to just muck around with it, you can get root and run whatever the @#$ you want trivially easy.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    To the first drive-by downloader for webOS. Although even the densest user will probably figure out when their phone is turned into a spambot - maybe not until they get the data bill, but they'll notice.

    • by Tokerat (150341)

      Sprint won't let you activate a Pre without an unlimited data plan. Otherwise, my $0.03/KB * 235MB would have been a $7,219.20 bill. Who needs spammers?

  • ... the Palm will be squeezed out again. I think Palm had a great product 10 years ago, but seem to be a day late and a dollar short when it comes to new technology. The Pre LOOKS good, but after using it, you kinda get the feeling it could have been done better. I think once users start getting the HTC Hero (Android) phone, Palm will be an also-ran. Developers will move to the Android market. Just my opinion.
    • by Darknight (8142)

      ... the Palm will be squeezed out again. I think Palm had a great product 10 years ago, but seem to be a day late and a dollar short when it comes to new technology. The Pre LOOKS good, but after using it, you kinda get the feeling it could have been done better. I think once users start getting the HTC Hero (Android) phone, Palm will be an also-ran. Developers will move to the Android market. Just my opinion.

      Sure, because all of the previous Android phones have set the world on fire.

      • by Andy Dodd (701)

        The problem wasn't the phones, but with the provider they were released with. T-Mobile's probably the smallest of the U.S. service providers with the worst coverage, and unlike Sprint, their roaming agreement with AT&T breaks completely on a regular basis. For example, in 2008, T-Mobile phones were unusable for miles around my apartment and workplace, while AT&T worked perfectly.

        Well, yeah, it was with the phones - no support for UMTS850/1900 means it's crippled to any US resident on a provider ot

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by StreetStealth (980200)

      Have you used the Hero? You might be disappointed: [engadget.com]

      The Hero represents a valiant effort from HTC -- though unfortunately, the company appears to have bitten off more than its last-generation hardware can chew. If this build of Android were to be loaded atop the guts of a 3GS or Pre, the performance would likely be astounding, but fused with the two-year old architecture of previous devices, it's mostly disappointing.

      As for whatever succeeds the Hero, that might actually be able to run HTC's UI layer well en

  • Seeing nobody is really eager to jump-start their platform, but who is surprised? They give you Javascript and HTML (webOS) as a creative tool of choice. There are thousands of application and software, but I can't name one that uses Javascript/HTML, so good luck with that Palm, way to follow industry standards and help people transition their software to your platform. Somebody forget to tag this 'defective by design' ?
    • The google folks seem to disagree with you:

      http://googlemobile.blogspot.com/2009/06/palm-pre-launching-with-google-search.html [blogspot.com]

    • by shog9 (154858)

      There are thousands of application and software, but I can't name one that uses Javascript/HTML

      Really? Really? You can't name one app that uses JavaScript and HTML... wow. Gotta say, I'm impressed - using any website via telnet is rough, but composing /. POST requests is a whole new level of dedication!

      • by moon3 (1530265)
        Do not confuse thin HTML/Javascript frontends for server services like /. or Google maps with application software.
        • by Tetsujin (103070)

          Do not confuse thin HTML/Javascript frontends for server services like /. or Google maps with application software.

          There's two sides to this thing...

          First - I have to say that a lot of these web applications really are quite comparable to locally-hosted desktop applications in terms of what they do.

          But the choice of HTML and Javascript in that sort of environment is almost unavoidable, so it doesn't lend much support to the idea that these are good choices for writing an application that doesn't need to run on a web server...

          • by moon3 (1530265)
            Partly agreed, but if the app is HTML/Java and can run in a web-browser like environment then you can find such an app on the web anyway and already. What is the point ? We are talking about the added value of AppStore grade applications that somebody would like to pay for, they are barring open source/free software -- they want money -- while openly promoting low-end application interface (web) that can't bring the added value, this is plain stupid, sorry, but this got failure drawn all over.
            • by Tetsujin (103070)

              Partly agreed, but if the app is HTML/Java and can run in a web-browser like environment then you can find such an app on the web anyway and already. What is the point ?

              Being able to run it without being connected to the web, of course... Even if you've got a data plan on your phone, there are situations (like poor reception, or too many people using the network) where it's not practical to rely upon it.

              they are barring open source/free software -- they want money --

              I think there was some SNAFU there. (This is Palm, after all... I'd feel comfortable labeling them as "fuck-up kings" at this point...) But regardless, this just applies to the application store.

              while openly promoting low-end application interface (web) that can't bring the added value, this is plain stupid, sorry, but this got failure drawn all over.

              Well, I tend to agree, personally. I think it's stupid for an embedded pla

  • Have they stopped stealing other USB vendor IDs? no? Meh.

    • by Tokerat (150341)

      Says someone in response to a company making their own solution to a manufactured compatibility problem WHILE typing from a keyboard connected to a descendant of the IBM PC. Your geek card has been revoked, sir.

      • If being a geek means thinking in shallow terms, then I don't want to be a geek.

        Yes it's a manufactured compatibility problem, but no, I don't think that iTunes should be forced to sync with the Pre, nor do I think it's appropriate for Palm to throw a hissy fit and mimic Apple's vendor ID either. You can pull data from the iTunes music repository from the plaintext XML it generates and you can add content to the iTunes repository using applescript(and COM under windows AFAIK). I don't care how open Palm i

  • This story can be summarized: JWZ Wins. Big Time.

    I'm impressed, I didn't expect he'd get this kind of leverage.

    • by netsharc (195805)

      Indeed, and indeed for the 2nd paragraph.

      Now I wish he'd given Apple the same treatment for their iPhone model. But then again, Jobs probably has more mojo than jwz.

  • ...framebuffer support. Seriously, there's only so much you can do when all you get is a javascript engine and html for your UI elements. I love my Pre as a phone, but the environment doesn't suit my developer needs.
    • by Tokerat (150341)
      Considering how mobile gaming is taking off on the iPhone and related devices, I wouldn't be suprised if Palm comes up with some kind of compiled-application ability in the near future. Until then, webOS is a glorified Mac dashboard. Not that I mind; it's certainly more useful than the Dashboard on my desktop Mac, and it beats having a bill from AT&T and an iron-fisted App Store from Apple hands down.
  • I'm extremely interested in Palm's platform, as well as Android. However I don't want a phone. I want a small, ipod touch-like device that has a slick interface, a good music player, and an all-around mobile computing platform. The iPod Touch, except for being so locked down, has been really an ideal little computer for my purposes. I sometimes listen to music or audio books, but most often read ebooks (a dual-mode LCD/e-paper screen would be slick on a handheld). Or watch the odd movie. Generally spe

    • Sorry, but I don't get why you would want to pay for and carry around a pocket computer AND a phone. Why not combine both? It costs you less and it's less to carry around / charge / sync. That's why I love my iPhone - I have a computer anywhere I go (yea, the lack of flash sucks, but that's the only real downside) and I don't have to carry a cell phone on me as well.
    • by cbhacking (979169)

      Maemo (the OS that runs on the N800/N810) is still under real development, and has gotten a lot better over the last few years (as Linux in general has done). Heck, the differences between Maemo in 2008 and 2009 are quie impressive. If you haven't yet, you might want to take a look at a new build of Maemo, and see if it fits what you're looking for in terms of smooth UI.

      That said, the N810 is a little long in the tooth, technology wise. Its CPU is still pretty good (for an ARM chip) but its RAM and internal

    • The Creative Zii Egg [wikipedia.org] might be what you want, but I'm not quite sure what it's supposed to be. It looks like an iPod touch and is supposed to have an innovative processor and stuff, although I think the hype about the processor is BS for the most part. It runs a Creative Plaszma OS and/or Android. But again, everything about it is really vacuous. I'd buy it to toy around with if I had any faith in Creative being able to actually do something with it, and if I had a significant amount of disposable income.
  • by ghmh (73679) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @09:35PM (#29665371)
  • SourceForge, the parent of slashdot should have this excellent "$50 to be listed on sf.net" idea. CmdrTaco would be a billionaire by now.

    Yes, they tell open source, freeware app developers must pay $50 to get listed! Man, where were them when Download.com had that idiotic idea which resulted in massive loss of developers from all camps? It was changed later but the harm was done, it still effects the download.com even the newly purchased versiontracker which developers think they must pay to get listed.

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