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Comments on: PalmSource Launches Inside Track Program for Developers

PalmSource has announced PalmSource Inside Track, a subscription-based developer program specifically designed to further enhance and promote the growth of Palm OS applications worldwide.
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Sounds tempting, but...

Scott R @ 5/26/2005 8:37:00 AM # Q
The part that would be most value to me is this one:
Co-Marketing - Preferred consideration for participation at industry events with PalmSource; Demonstration of applications in PalmSource's booth at select tradeshows; PalmSource support for marketing and public relations activities

Except what does "Preferred consideration" mean? Obviously if a thousand developers signed up, they wouldn't be able to show off all of their apps in their booth. And how many events does PalmSource even have a booth at? Does this just mean next year's DevCon?

http://Tapland.com
- Tapwave Zodiac News, Reviews, & Discussion -

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Run away, then make us pay

eston @ 5/27/2005 1:07:38 PM # Q
What doesn't make sense to me is that a lot of that stuff listed was accessible by developers for free back when it was the Palm, Inc. developer pavilion in 2000-2001.

..: eston
http://www.hyalineskies.com/
RE: Run away, then make us pay
bcombee @ 5/29/2005 12:48:57 AM # Q
Basically, the fee is a small attempt to recover some of the costs of providing this material, and it also establishes a bar between serious developers and people that just signed up to download the emulator ROMs. AFAIK, none of the new material has been avaialble before to developers -- there are some pretty nice apps on the Inside Track site, including the beta version of an ARM bareboard emulator that can run Palm OS 5.4 and 6.1.1 ROM images that were built for the Intel PXA250 boards and that runs on Windows or Mac OS X.

RE: Run away, then make us pay. What IS PalmSource thinking?
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 5/29/2005 2:18:40 AM # Q
the fee is a small attempt to recover some of the costs of providing this material, and it also establishes a bar between serious developers and people that just signed up to download the emulator ROMs.

Ben, as you know, Palm's support of developers has been less than stellar over the past couple of years. Palm's Mark Bercow is currently working his a$$ off trying to win people back to the platform and show everyone that the attitude has changed. Without the enthusiastic support of developers over the past 8 years, Palm would be NOTHING. So can you please explain why on earth PalmSource would try to nickel and dime developers - the very people that are almost singlehandedly keeping the platform alive? It truly boggles the mind. I don't think I'm the only one baffled that PalmSource isn't doing everything possible to cater to developers. It's almost as if someone is deliberately trying to sabotage the company. Hmmmmm...

TVoR

Please pass this on to the PalmSource executives: EVERYTHING PALMSOURCE DOES TO PI$$ OFF DEVELOPERS ONLY DRIVES ANOTHER NAIL IN THE PLATFORM'S COFFIN. Wake up. Please.


------------------------
Press release: CUPERTINO, California — February 11, 2005 — Apple® announced today that Steve Jobs will begin selling his own feces to Apple Cultists beginning March 1. Apple's new iPoo™ lineup is expected to easily surpass the iPod shuffle as the company's most popular product. Yes, Apple Cultists can already easily create their own iPoo™, but feces didn't seem cool until Jobs told them it was cool. Remember, kids: the ONLY cool feces is Jobs' highly individualistic, rebellious iPoo™ (coming soon in six different colors/flavors, including the red [hematochezia] and black [melena] U2 GI bleed model)

------------------------
Sony CLIE UX100: 128 MB real RAM, OLED screen. All the PDA anyone really ever wanted.
------------------------

The Palm Economy = Communism™
The Great Palm Swindle: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=7864#108038

RE: Run away, then make us pay
ocspub @ 5/29/2005 5:02:16 PM # Q
> Basically, the fee is a small attempt to recover some of the
> costs of providing this material, and it also establishes a
> bar between serious developers and people that just signed
> up to download the emulator ROMs.

Ben, do you think we can then expect PalmSource to stop bragging about the 400,000+ registered developers? Will future press releases now state something along the lines of "PalmSource is proud to have 600 serious developers and over 499,400 registered ROM-downloaders..."?

I can't imagine that the cost of making tools and documentation available for download is the justification for this barrier. Most non-serious developers (does picard, developing the GPL'ed TCPMP, count as a serious developer?) probably wouldn't even bother with getting some of the more esoteric tools and materials.

I can understand that PalmSource might need to recoup per-copy license fees if some of the material they offer under this program is subject to such fees, but that's about the only valid justification I can see for PalmSource to put a barrier between its technology and its developer community.

Oliver


Visit www.tapland.com for Zodiac news and discussion.

RE: Run away, then make us pay
bcombee @ 5/29/2005 6:58:30 PM # Q
I argued on both sides of setting up this program when I was at PalmSource. At first, I felt that the program was a bad idea, but when I did more thinking, I realized that it could be a major benefit. However, when I thought of the scale, it made more sense. If 1500 (of the 400,000) developers sign up, that's $150,000 that can be used to hire people to produce content, work on developer marketing, and get internal developers to turn tools they've developed into something that can be distributed.

It's not that PalmSource doesn't want people like Picard or open source developers. However, $150 isn't a large amount of money for serious developers that are building applications for the commercial market, and if that fee helps PalmSource identify which developers should get extra marketing help and early access to OS releases and tools, I think its a small barrier. I'd guess that if a popular open-source app developer really needed access to this, he or she could quickly get the user community to contribute enough to pay the fee.

Ben Combee: Do you REALLY believe what you said? Wow.
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 5/31/2005 2:36:10 AM # Q
I argued on both sides of setting up this program when I was at PalmSource. At first, I felt that the program was a bad idea, but when I did more thinking, I realized that it could be a major benefit. However, when I thought of the scale, it made more sense. If 1500 (of the 400,000) developers sign up, that's $150,000 that can be used to hire people to produce content, work on developer marketing, and get internal developers to turn tools they've developed into something that can be distributed.

It's not that PalmSource doesn't want people like Picard or open source developers. However, $150 isn't a large amount of money for serious developers that are building applications for the commercial market, and if that fee helps PalmSource identify which developers should get extra marketing help and early access to OS releases and tools, I think its a small barrier. I'd guess that if a popular open-source app developer really needed access to this, he or she could quickly get the user community to contribute enough to pay the fee.

Ben, your answer doesn't make much sense and shows how little respect PalmSource STILL appears to have for developers. For years Palm has played the game in which it ridiculously padded its "developer" numbers by forcing anyone looking for POSE or ROMs to register as a developer. I would guess that less than 1% of the "developers" Palm boasts about are actually real developers.

If that's the way Palm wants to play it, fine. But please don't then turn around and separate the "developers" from the REAL developers and expect them to pay for the privilege of being one of "the few, the proud, the REAL developers". If you're going to do that then please stop advertising those people who simply signed up to get POSE as being "developers". It's insulting to the Palm community to play games like this.

And saying that Picard should be able to have people pay the fee for him is BEYOND RIDICULOUS. Here is a guy that has coded an app FOR FREE that actually fills a GAPING hole in the PalmOS library - the crucial multimedia app that PalmSource should have coded itself YEARS ago, by the way - and instead of thanking him for his hard work and tremendous generosity, you'd rather relieve him of $150? Wow. I thought this was the kind of arrogant thinking that the new management was trying to counteract.

"Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss."
- We don’t get fooled again.


------------------------
Press release: CUPERTINO, California — February 11, 2005 — Apple® announced today that Steve Jobs will begin selling his own feces to Apple Cultists beginning March 1. Apple's new iPoo™ lineup is expected to easily surpass the iPod shuffle as the company's most popular product. Yes, Apple Cultists can already easily create their own iPoo™, but feces didn't seem cool until Jobs told them it was cool. Remember, kids: the ONLY cool feces is Jobs' highly individualistic, rebellious iPoo™ (coming soon in six different colors/flavors, including the red [hematochezia] and black [melena] U2 GI bleed model)

------------------------
Sony CLIE UX100: 128 MB real RAM, OLED screen. All the PDA anyone really ever wanted.
------------------------

The Palm Economy = Communism™
The Great Palm Swindle: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=7864#108038

RE: Run away, then make us pay
Surur @ 5/31/2005 3:09:50 AM # Q

This is the route of decline isn't it. PS must be desperate for funds. They just sold their brand name for $30 000 000. Its one of their lasts assets.

It all sounds a bit like a liquidation sale, doesn't it.

Surur

And is the (paltry amount of) money that important?
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 5/31/2005 3:12:18 AM # Q
Say 1000 REAL developers join and PalmSource makes $100,000. Is $100,000 actually a significant amount of money to PalmSource? If the company is unable to come up with $100,000 on its own - or for that matter, ten times that amount - to support ALL developers (Palm's greatest asset), then PalmOS deserves to be put out of its misery. PalmSource should be embarassed that it ever came up with the idea to nickel and dime developers. Shame!


------------------------
Press release: CUPERTINO, California — February 11, 2005 — Apple® announced today that Steve Jobs will begin selling his own feces to Apple Cultists beginning March 1. Apple's new iPoo™ lineup is expected to easily surpass the iPod shuffle as the company's most popular product. Yes, Apple Cultists can already easily create their own iPoo™, but feces didn't seem cool until Jobs told them it was cool. Remember, kids: the ONLY cool feces is Jobs' highly individualistic, rebellious iPoo™ (coming soon in six different colors/flavors, including the red [hematochezia] and black [melena] U2 GI bleed model)

------------------------
Sony CLIE UX100: 128 MB real RAM, OLED screen. All the PDA anyone really ever wanted.
------------------------

The Palm Economy = Communism™
The Great Palm Swindle: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=7864#108038

RE: Run away, then make us pay
Scott R @ 5/31/2005 9:51:39 AM # Q
"If 1500 (of the 400,000) developers sign up, that's $150,000 that can be used to hire people to produce content, work on developer marketing, and get internal developers to turn tools they've developed into something that can be distributed."

That sure is a lot of money to me, and when I first heard about this program (especially in light of the other recent Palm news), I immediately wondered if it might be some finance guy at PalmSource's idea of bringing in some easy money. But this just goes to show you how these companies (like so many others) have lost their way and eventually they'll pay the price. Let's look at some high-level info...

- palmOne and PalmSource execs rake in millions
- Development staff cut
- Whatever can be outsourced is outsourced
- palmOne / PalmSource still living as though they were in their heyday where the Palm OS was the king of the hill (i.e., getting developers to "pay to play" was doable, charging high rates to get into developer conferences, etc.)
- palmOne / PalmSource become cozier with wireless providers and begin to treat them as their most important customers (think these companies like the idea of users loading up whatever app they want on their cellphone with the companies not getting any cut of the action?)

These actions go directly against the things that made them successful in the first place.

I don't have a problem with them charging $150 for truly useful tools and other advantages (if these things truly are worth more than that). Though if they truly cared about hiring some of the people that you claim this money might be used for, the execs could do that easily by taking a nominal pay cut. I also don't mind them continuing to claim 400K developers. That's just marketing...why should I care? But I would like to see them act as though they really cared about:
a) The small developers, and
b) The users

How about some road tours with various giveaways, Mobius-style events, full-time developer and user evangelists who engage the community out in the open, etc.? Right now, I believe that there's a morale problem in both the user and developer communities (for good reason) and these types of actions could improve this immensely.

http://Tapland.com
- Tapwave Zodiac News, Reviews, & Discussion -

RE: Run away, then make us pay
ocspub @ 5/31/2005 10:34:31 AM # Q
> Say 1000 REAL developers join and PalmSource makes $100,000.
> Is $100,000 actually a significant amount of money to PalmSource?

Hopefully not. It wouldn't be enough to hire a (one!) qualified engineer in Sunnyvale to support the developers if you add up salary, benefits, taxes, office space, etc.

The way companies generally operate, those fees tend to disappear in the general fund of the company and, if there was the intention to fund new developer support out of it, this gets quickly forgotten as priorities and plans change.

Also, let's look at some of the benefits beyond the tools we've discussed here:

- Discounts for PalmSource events: so if the discount is significant, it reduces or eliminates the gain from this program -- what happens to the engineer hired from the program fees?

- Co-Marketing: Does PalmSource have the capacity to effectively co-market a thousand software apps, beyond sticking an advert on its homepage every once in a while? And if I were running PalmSource, I'd demo those apps at tradeshows that best promote the strong points of the PalmOS platform, whether those developers ponied up the $100 or not (hint: TCPMP).

- Hardware lab: most small developers probably wouldn't even have the means to travel to Sunnyvale to test their apps on elusive Cobalt reference boards (and those developers who have so far taken advantage of this probably feel that they've wasted their time and money, given the huge market for Cobalt apps so far). I can't imagine that there is a need to "weed out" the unwashed masses through fees.

PalmSource needs to realize who their customers are that pay their bills. It's the licensees, not the developers.

Oliver


Visit www.tapland.com for Zodiac news and discussion.

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Deadline was 5/30/05 not 5/31/05

mopcodes @ 5/31/2005 11:06:22 AM # Q
Hello.

Deadline for the offer was 5/30/2005. Kind of ignorant considering it was a holiday.

I'll wait for another special offer or make due.

- David


D. Martin
Former Amiga/Commodore Author/Writer/Reviewer

RE: Deadline was 5/30/05 not 5/31/05
SeldomVisitor @ 5/31/2005 11:12:56 AM # Q
Hmmm...is being a former Amiga writer/reviewer a plus?

I still have two Amigas (including inside-signed 1000) - great machine, way ahead of anything available technically but HORRENDOUSLY marketed (the infamous Guru Meditation Error wins over the Blue Screen of Death any day for absolute worst "dynamic PR" a machine can engage in!).

SeldomVisitor:
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 5/31/2005 4:21:39 PM # Q
hengeem, are you willing to sell your Vectrex? I know someone interested in buying it.


------------------------
Press release: CUPERTINO, California — February 11, 2005 — Apple® announced today that Steve Jobs will begin selling his own feces to Apple Cultists beginning March 1. Apple's new iPoo™ lineup is expected to easily surpass the iPod shuffle as the company's most popular product. Yes, Apple Cultists can already easily create their own iPoo™, but feces didn't seem cool until Jobs told them it was cool. Remember, kids: the ONLY cool feces is Jobs' highly individualistic, rebellious iPoo™ (coming soon in six different colors/flavors, including the red [hematochezia] and black [melena] U2 GI bleed model)

------------------------
Sony CLIE UX100: 128 MB real RAM, OLED screen. All the PDA anyone really ever wanted.
------------------------

The Palm Economy = Communism™
The Great Palm Swindle: http://www.palminfocenter.com/comment_view.asp?ID=7864#108038

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