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Palm releases Mojo SDK for Pre/WebOS development

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Palm announced today that its new Software Development Kit for the Pre is now available to all interested app developers, following an early access program that has been limited to a few Palm partners since April.

The company has rushed to ready the Pre's SDK, which allows developers to write Pre applets based on web-standards, in order to catch up to the mobile software-oriented success Apple's iPhone has experienced over the past year since the release of the iPhone 2.0 SDK.

Once developers complete their Palm Pre applets, they'll have to wait for the Palm App Catalog to go online later this fall, according to a statement released on the company's official blog.

The SDK Catch-22
Palm Pre's limited sales currently do not offer developers much of an installed base to target, causing the same Catch-22 problem that plagues Android development: few phone sales provide scant demand for apps, while the few available apps provide less reason for consumers to choose the platform.

Apple skirted the classical problem of installed base vs. development interest in the iPhone by initially launching the iPhone as closed to third party development in the same manner as the iPod.

After its first year of sales, Apple could boast an installed base of six million users to attract developers; once apps went on sale, Apple sold nearly seven million more iPhone 3G models in that quarter and another eight million over the next two quarters. The iPod touch is also compatible with iPhone software, providing an installed base currently over 40 million devices.

Jury still out on Mojo SDK
One difference between the iPhone SDK and Palm's Mojo SDK that may help Palm is that Pre software is built using web standards (JavaScript, CSS, and HTML), which are already familiar to a large audience of potential developers. Palm isn't forcing developers to learn another new, complex and unfamiliar programming environment.

Software for the iPhone is built using Cocoa, which is familiar to Mac developers but requires some adjustment for anyone who hasn't ever worked with the Objective C language, Apple's development frameworks and Xcode tools. The iPhone's popularity and vibrant mobile software market have made the issue irrelevant for most coders, but a new platform lacking Apple's installed base would have a much harder time attracting interest.

One of the aspects that helped to kill interest in Apple's Newton MessagePad in the 90s was its radically novel and partially unfinished development environment; at that time, Apple didn't have the sales numbers to overcome the steep learning curve.

While Palm's Mojo should be naturally approachable to many web-savvy developers, there has not yet been enough discussion of the new SDK's quality and completeness to judge whether it will enable Pre developer to be highly productive yet. Simply having an SDK doesn't mean everything will work flawlessly.

It also doesn't mean the Pre can offer the same types of applications as those that run on the iPhone and iPod touch. One of the most popular segments of the iPhone catalog are games, but the Pre isn't designed to be a strong games platform. Instead, it presents simpler applets that work more like Dashboard widgets, allowing users to quickly switch between them.

Palm Mojo vs other platforms
Somewhat like Mojo, Google's Android platform is also based on a familiar development concepts, specifically Java and a byte code interpreter that works a lot like the standard JVM used in other smartphone and desktop Java development. Even so, the Android SDK has been criticized for lacking features common to standard Java, and other underlying deficiencies.

Depending on how well Palm has done on its own SDK, the company could attract more attention than Android, particularly if Android continues to be limited to a random phone or two, and especially if Palm chooses to license its WebOS software platform to other manufacturers, or can stay alive long enough to deliver a variety of devices for the market itself.

RIM's BlackBerry has had a Java-based SDK available since 2001, but that hasn't resulted in a rich variety of mobile software. Finding, installing and using BlackBerry software has remained difficult enough so that relatively few users buy or download apps.

After Apple announced iPhone 2.0, RIM announced nearly an identical set of catch up features at its BlackBerry Developer Conference, although the company's development efforts are split between the various models, such as the Bold and Storm. Interestingly, the best selling app for BlackBerry at the CrackBerry App Store is iBerry, a theme for making RIM's phones look more like Apple's.

Palm's historically strong position in the business market, despite having waned along with the company's fortunes, does provide the company with the opportunity to take on RIM on its home turf. Whether the Mojo SDK will offer developers the tools to deliver stronger and more cohesive (there's currently only one Pre model) solutions than RIM's Java-based BlackBerry SDK remains to be seen.

The Palm Mojo SDK is available at Palm webOSdev.
post #2 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Interestingly, the best selling app for BlackBerry at the CrackBerry App Store is iBerry, a theme for making RIM's phones look more like Apple's.

Oh, the humanity! (and the irony)
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post #3 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

Oh, the humanity! (and the irony)

Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!

Ever since Apple came to market, it has been "copy and paste" . Apple allways was the innovator!!! Think different! There is no reason not to like Apple!!!
I love the snappiness - I adore the sazzyness - I need the intuitive
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post #4 of 23
Maybe I missed the memo but when did appleinsider become palminsider?
post #5 of 23
Don't be silly. Prior to the iPhone, the Treo was the go-to smartphone for Mac users.

Palm still has a lot of interested Apple users, and so the article is relevant to the audience.
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post #6 of 23
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Originally Posted by Macfabulous View Post

Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!

Ever since Apple came to market, it has been "copy and paste" . Apple allways was the innovator!!! Think different! There is no reason not to like Apple!!!

I don't think they really innovate - per se. They sit back, look at what everyone else has botched up and learn from those mistakes before making their own devices.

Apple have rarely been first-to-market with anything, there's *almost* always a model produced by someone else which is then crafted in the Apple way.

The more I look at the the iPhone's UI for instance, the more I see the influences of the Palm Pilot. Go back 12 years and you'll see the same grid arrangement of application icons. The four fixed icons that make up the bottom row clearly perform the same quick access function that the hard buttons on the Palm Pilot did all those years ago. I am not for a second saying they are the same, just that Apple build very well on *what is already known*.
post #7 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by djsherly View Post

Go back 12 years and you'll see the same grid arrangement of application icons. The four fixed icons that make up the bottom row clearly perform the same quick access function that the hard buttons on the Palm Pilot did all those years ago. I am not for a second saying they are the same, just that Apple build very well on *what is already known*.

Kind of like the... Newton?
post #8 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlux View Post

Kind of like the... Newton?

You might wanna explain what a Newton is.


Quote:
Originally Posted by djsherly View Post

Apple have rarely been first-to-market with anything, there's *almost* always a model produced by someone else which is then crafted in the Apple way.

Actually... not true. Apple creates products that are new in form and function. The iPhone is not influenced by Palm. Palm is influenced by an eralier Apple product called Newton. Newton

Go back in time and you will see that Apple is THE innovator for much of what you use today computer wise.
post #9 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by djsherly View Post

I don't think they really innovate - per se. They sit back, look at what everyone else has botched up and learn from those mistakes before making their own devices.

Apple have rarely been first-to-market with anything, there's *almost* always a model produced by someone else which is then crafted in the Apple way.

The more I look at the the iPhone's UI for instance, the more I see the influences of the Palm Pilot. Go back 12 years and you'll see the same grid arrangement of application icons. The four fixed icons that make up the bottom row clearly perform the same quick access function that the hard buttons on the Palm Pilot did all those years ago. I am not for a second saying they are the same, just that Apple build very well on *what is already known*.

You on a Mac? Right-click the word innovate and choose "Look up in dictionary." Read the definition. Now re-read what you just wrote and ask yourself why you didn't know the real meaning of the work "innovate" when writing all that. Like so many others out there, you are adding some connotations to the word that implies innovation is a completely new product or an entirely new concept or being first to market when, in fact, it's exactly the opposite. It's just changes to established things.
post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by inkswamp View Post

You on a Mac? Right-click the word innovate and choose "Look up in dictionary." Read the definition. Now re-read what you just wrote and ask yourself why you didn't know the real meaning of the work "innovate" when writing all that. Like so many others out there, you are adding some connotations to the word that implies innovation is a completely new product or an entirely new concept or being first to market when, in fact, it's exactly the opposite. It's just changes to established things.

There's a right click thingy? I just have this bar under the trackpad which is 'the button'.

–verb (used without object)
1. \tto introduce something new; make changes in anything established.
–verb (used with object)
2. \tto introduce (something new) for or as if for the first time: to innovate a computer operating system.
3. \tArchaic. to alter.

Kind of six of one, don't you think? To satisfy your point, remove the innovate statement and what I wrote still holds true. True: I should have used the word 'inventive'.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlux View Post

Kind of like the... Newton?

Have a flick through here: http://interfacelove.blogspot.com/20...ts-page-1.html

and tell me how the iphone looks anything like the aspect of the UI I described. I noted a specific aspect of the UI (the grid layout) for the application icons and the simulated hard buttons on the iPhone interface and noted the similarity of that specific layout to the way the Palm Pilot presented its UI.
post #11 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by iPeon View Post

You might wanna explain what a Newton is.

it's a cookie dude.



post #12 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by iPeon View Post

You might wanna explain what a Newton is.




Actually... not true. Apple creates products that are new in form and function. The iPhone is not influenced by Palm. Palm is influenced by an eralier Apple product called Newton. Newton

Go back in time and you will see that Apple is THE innovator for much of what you use today computer wise.



Newton is kind of like an apple ii e but smaller. Remember when it was released
post #13 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by success View Post

it's a cookie dude.




Thats not a cookie, it's a biscuit.
post #14 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by macintoshtoffy View Post

Thats not a cookie, it's a biscuit.

looks like it says cake on the box.

who cares.
post #15 of 23
I've just been reading the doco. As a professional developer, everything is where I expected and the concepts are familiar. A typical enterprise developer will have no problems writing apps for this device.
post #16 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

One difference between the iPhone SDK and Palm's Mojo SDK that may help Palm is that Pre software is built using web standards (JavaScript, CSS, and HTML), which are already familiar to a large audience of potential developers. Palm isn't forcing developers to learn another new, complex and unfamiliar programming environment.

65,000 apps on the App Store. I guess it is not so complex and unfamiliar as to discourage thousands of new developers from jumping onboard. It really only takes a couple weeks to learn. Apple has done a fantastic job on the SDK.

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post #17 of 23
woo. hoo?
post #18 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

65,000 apps on the App Store. I guess it is not so complex and unfamiliar as to discourage thousands of new developers from jumping onboard. It really only takes a couple weeks to learn. Apple has done a fantastic job on the SDK.

Yup. AI is only repeating the same meme propagated by everyone else. The original premise of using scripting languages allowing WebOS to have a lot of good applications because there is huge population of developers is awesomely wrong, the fact of the matter is that there is no free lunch.

Any application that has good design (UI, functionality, stability, speed, size) requires considerable time and effort on the part of the developer. That a lot of people know HTML, CSS and Javascript really doesn't play one nit into that. For success, especially long term success, only money entering developer pockets will enable good applications.

Now there are plusses and minuses to various SDK environments, but SDK quality is a minor one. Heck, the Pre homebrew crowd appears to do just as good a job as the people with the SDK, with barely any documentation. Palm Pre developers will be spending most of their time understanding the Mojo API, just like other platform developers spending most of their time with the platform's libraries. There simply is no free lunch. (Cocoa touch has benefits not available to other platforms, but not sure that is because of market sector or the tools easily enable it.)
post #19 of 23
Ive been playing with Mojo for the past 24 hours. From the initial DL and install to the actual SDK there are so many niggling issues that make Mojo look far from professional.
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post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Ive been playing with Mojo for the past 24 hours. From the initial DL and install to the actual SDK there are so many niggling issues that make Mojo look far from professional.

That's really no surprise. It's a brand new system. It'll take years. 50/50 odds on Palm simply releasing a native C/C++ SDK within a year.
post #21 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by djsherly View Post

There's a right click thingy? I just have this bar under the trackpad which is 'the button'.

verb (used without object)
1. \tto introduce something new; make changes in anything established.
verb (used with object)
2. \tto introduce (something new) for or as if for the first time: to innovate a computer operating system.
3. \tArchaic. to alter.

Kind of six of one, don't you think? To satisfy your point, remove the innovate statement and what I wrote still holds true. True: I should have used the word 'inventive'.



Have a flick through here: http://interfacelove.blogspot.com/20...ts-page-1.html

and tell me how the iphone looks anything like the aspect of the UI I described. I noted a specific aspect of the UI (the grid layout) for the application icons and the simulated hard buttons on the iPhone interface and noted the similarity of that specific layout to the way the Palm Pilot presented its UI.

I bolded and colored it red to highlight his point to clarify what he stated, in response to your original statement.

Quote:
I don't think they really innovate - per se. They sit back, look at what everyone else has botched up and learn from those mistakes before making their own devices.

Then you cite the UI for the Newton [Apple IP] to aide your original position. How does that improve your position?
post #22 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

I bolded and colored it red to highlight his point to clarify what he stated, in response to your original statement.

I'm not sure you read my entire post? The bit where I said "Kind of six of one?"

Quote:
Then you cite the UI for the Newton [Apple IP] to aide your original position. How does that improve your position?

Actually, what I did cite initially was a direct comparison between the Palm Application Launcher of yore and the current iPhone Springboard. Someone else completely randomly brought up the Newton (you missed that as well?) - I posted a link to suggest that nothing about the Newton UI was directly comparable in context. I think you've missed big chunks of what was written. It can't be explained any other way?
post #23 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by djsherly View Post

Actually, what I did cite initially was a direct comparison between the Palm Application Launcher of yore and the current iPhone Springboard. Someone else completely randomly brought up the Newton (you missed that as well?) - I posted a link to suggest that nothing about the Newton UI was directly comparable in context. I think you've missed big chunks of what was written. It can't be explained any other way?

Here's the Newton OS All Icons screen, ca. 1993:



And here's your original claim:

Quote:
The more I look at the the iPhone's UI for instance, the more I see the influences of the Palm Pilot. Go back 12 years and you'll see the same grid arrangement of application icons. The four fixed icons that make up the bottom row clearly perform the same quick access function that the hard buttons on the Palm Pilot did all those years ago.

It looks like we can actually go back 16 years and "see the same grid arrangement of applications", including a number of "fixed icons that make up the bottom row". On an Apple product.
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