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Comments on: Interview with Pandora About Developing for WebOS

Pandora WebOSTom Conrad has a long history in engineering and product design: he's led teams that have worked on everything from operating systems to video games, including the fondly-remembered PC classic You Don't Know Jack. Currently the Chief Technical Officer for Pandora Internet Radio, Tom's in a unique position to offer insider opinion on the development and capabilities of Palm's new WebOS and Pre smartphone, having worked with the company on these products for a number of months now while creating a version of the Pandora player for webOS. On Monday he generously gave up some of his time to talk to Palm Infocenter about his experiences with Palm's new baby and the development process.

Hit the jump for the interview transcript, or listen to the audio.

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well..

cgk @ 1/13/2009 5:50:56 PM # Q
great interview - some real meat in there.



RE: well..
twrock @ 1/14/2009 5:09:31 AM # Q
Yes, that was great. It's nice to hear something directly from a developer who has already been working with the new OS. Sounds quite a bit more positive than the early speculation would lead one to believe. I guess that's why it pays not to listen to the early speculation too much.


"twrock is infamous around these parts"
(from my profile over at Brighthand due to my negative 62 rep points rating)
RE: well..
CADJedi @ 1/14/2009 8:37:54 AM # Q

I would like to hear from someone like C.E. Steuart Dewar at Pimlico Software. His program Datebk6 is a larger, complex, robust, and powerful application that hooks into all kinds of aspects of the Os and to other PIM apps.

Datebk6 is a hugely popular Palm OS application and one that shows just how robust and full featured a Palm app can be. If Steuart has seen the new webOS and thinks that he could replicate Datebk6 with it, then I would really be a believer!



RE: well..
freakout @ 1/14/2009 1:47:53 PM # Q
^^ Your wish is my command. I sent some questions over to Pimlico just now.
RE: well..
daveandjen1999 @ 1/14/2009 4:13:22 PM # Q
Wow, hope he responds. DateBk6 has literally changed the way I do my job. It is *the* killer app. Hope he's got positive things to say.

RE: well..
alanh @ 1/15/2009 6:37:53 AM # Q
I asked Mr. Dewar prior to seeing this and he was gracious enough to respond. Paraphasing, he said it is too early to say much of anything since there is no technical information published yet. He said he'd be unlikely to do something native unless Palm ships 1 million+ handsets per year, but if they support Java, it would be much more likely.

On the other hand, he says that his new Java app, Pimlical, will be able to free us from PalmOS and will hopefully be supported on several platforms by the end of the year.

-alan

-alan

RE: well..
SeldomVisitor @ 1/15/2009 6:46:22 AM # Q
That's actually a fairly significant statement from Dewar.

RE: well..
freakout @ 1/15/2009 12:58:34 PM # Q
Alan, David Beers blogged recently about the likelihood of the Pre running Java:

http://www.pikesoft.com/blog/index.php?itemid=207

Here's what else we know: it's not a J2ME MIDP environment on the Pre like the ones on most other phones. To run an application server it's at least a CDC environment with Foundation Profile, which means it's pretty beefy and has a lot of the power of the underlying Linux system available to it. That doesn't necessarily mean that Palm will be letting 3rd parties write applications that run in the Java runtime as opposed to WebKit, but they certainly could.

So hopefully Palm are going to expose that to devs later on. It's difficult to imagine they're not going to open up deeper layers of the device once it's launched, given all the clamouring for it.

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Nice work

mikecane @ 1/13/2009 6:03:43 PM # Q
Interesting, that comment about Flash being used for games.

Flash could also be used to deliver, for instance, a daily webOS comic. With animation! (I would squeal like a girl if Sinfest did that!)
http://www.sinfest.net/

Also interesting for him to bring up a medical encyclopedia. I'd take that as a hint that you next contact the people at ePocrates! Doctors, as you've seen from some comments here, are BIG Palm users.

And because I know you people tend to ignore iPhone developments, look at this and drool for a port to the Pre:
http://www.mobilesyndicationservice.com/

Watch the video. This is a killer app!

RE: Nice work
DrewT3 @ 1/14/2009 6:27:08 AM # Q
Flash support would be fine, but not a game-changer for Pre gaming. Javascript and HTML 5 can do scripting, vector and bitmap animation just like Flash. They are both interpreted code running in a sandbox. Flash has a larger group of developers who know how to do it, though.

Palm could let developers write 3D games in Javascript if they gave Javascript access to a 3D API like OpenGL. This probably woudn't be too hard if they can port a Linux OpenGL implementation to WebOS and then create javascript wrappers around the methods and properties.

RE: Nice work
Gekko @ 1/14/2009 7:07:30 AM # Q

nice job freakout. you actually sound relatively articulate.

RE: Nice work
freakout @ 1/14/2009 1:16:58 PM # Q
^^ I was raised under a stern directive: "Speak properly or don't speak at all!"
Reply to this comment

Fantastic Interview!

rc46 @ 1/13/2009 6:38:24 PM # Q
Great interview Very informative. There are really some interesting gems in there.

Thank you,
Karl

Pilot 1000 -> Pilot 5000 -> Palm Pilot Professional -> HP620LX-> TRG Pro -> Palm V -> Palm Vx -> Palm m505 -> Palm i705 -> Palm TT - Samsung i500 -> Treo 600

RE: Fantastic Interview!
freakout @ 1/13/2009 11:55:44 PM # Q
thank you. It was a learning experience for me in many ways... like "next time, use a better damn app than the standard Windows Sound Recorder" on an original Eee PC for recording (which is how I lost that snippet from his first answer). I was actually just expecting an email response to my questions and was pleasantly surprised when they offered to talk on the phone instead. Although that meant I was a little under-researched going in... I didn't know Pandora already had such a strong mobile presence, for example.

Nor did I know Tom had worked on You Don't Know Jack, which is probably a good thing because I may have just wound up gushing about that instead of asking real questions.

all in all though, turned out even better than I thought it would.

Tim
I apologise for any and all emoticons that appear in my posts. You may shoot them on sight.
Treo 270 -> Treo 650 -> Treo 680 -> Centro

RE: Fantastic Interview!
twrock @ 1/14/2009 5:13:03 AM # Q
"next time, use a better damn app than the standard Windows Sound Recorder" on an original Eee PC....

Yep, you should have gone with the Linux version. ;-)


"twrock is infamous around these parts"
(from my profile over at Brighthand due to my negative 62 rep points rating)
RE: Fantastic Interview!
freakout @ 1/14/2009 1:41:11 PM # Q
^^ Haha. Would you believe I did buy a Linux version? I used it for awhile and actually quite liked it, but got annoyed at the version of Skype. I mainly use the Eee for video chats with my brother who lives in another state, and the Linux version of Skype refused to display in the correct aspect ratio at full screen.

I'm gonna roll it back off Windows eventually I think, see if the initial problems have been fixed - there's got to be new versions of the apps by now...

Reply to this comment

Internet Radio

sford @ 1/13/2009 6:45:38 PM # Q
I've been using Slacker; but heck, if Pandora is ready to go with the Pre, I'd switch. :)

Pilot Pro, III, IIIe, Nino (yeah...oops!), IIIc, VIIx, m505, NR70V, NZ90, NX60, T3, Zire 72s, NX80V, Treo 90, Treo 650
Reply to this comment

Other Palm developers

palmit @ 1/13/2009 8:44:46 PM # Q
I wonder if any other know Palm developers would be willing to discuss appls currently they are working on. I heard somewhere that the iPhone version of Pandora took a few months to write.



RE: Other Palm developers
freakout @ 1/13/2009 11:57:16 PM # Q
Stay tuned on that, I'm still trying to round up answers from a lot of them.
RE: Other Palm developers
palmato @ 1/14/2009 8:31:45 AM # Q
It would be interesting to hear from dataviz. They must be having much tougher decisions to make.


-------------
Hey Admin: Why do we have to keep two profiles?

RE: Other Palm developers
LiveFaith @ 1/14/2009 8:57:16 PM # Q
Dataviz may trying to figure out how to bundle the Docs2Go package for Pre with all those leftover versions for the Foleo.

More to the point. I must say that I hope someone, anyone, else besides Dataviz creates an office suite for this device. I've been a D2G user since the v2 release back in the days of the Sperry Univac. That software has NEVER and I mean never functioned on ANY and I do mean any device properly. Yes, I have gotten some use out of opening attachments and sending updated spreadsheets out etc. But the sync has constantly been filled with little time consuming landmines. The apps on the Palm have always been unstable and crash every single device from the Palm Vx all the way up to my Treos and Roteo beta test unit. High on features but low on user confidence.

No way, I'm paying for their upgrades. After seven times and still unreliable operation, I have given up. I'll try the freebie version in my mythical ATT Pre with SD micro, but I have little hope of reliability. Just a rant and a hope of a stable office suite.

Pat Horne

RE: Other Palm developers
Gekko @ 1/14/2009 9:05:22 PM # Q

hmmmn....i must disagree. you know i'm the first to bitch about anything but my DTG has always been great.

RE: Other Palm developers
SeldomVisitor @ 1/15/2009 3:57:40 AM # Q
> ...days of the Sperry Univac...

36 bits rule!

Load Modifier and Jump - yay!

[I wrote my first compiler for an Algol-like language on a Univac...and that damn computer was NOT stack-oriented!]

Reply to this comment

Palm and WebOS

JEMShoe @ 1/13/2009 9:10:11 PM # Q
One of the shortcomings for me as a long time PalmOS user is that Palm does not provide upgrades to their OS for your current phone. You have to buy a new PDA or phone. I would like to buy a Pre and use it forever...until the phone's technology is physically outdated with either the OS' capability to be backward compatable or the carrier no longer supports that technology.

If Android is truly open source where it can be updated indefinately, that is a better route. Although I love PalmOS and I like this Pre...at least what I know of it.

Gee, will my current apps work with it? Or do you have to run StyleTap on it:) And gee, will StyleTap work on it??

RE: Palm and WebOS
hkklife @ 1/13/2009 9:42:02 PM # Q
No carrier or handset manufacturer is going to allow "infinite updates". In this day and age, that's sure-fire way to going broke post-haste.

In fact, Palm removing the microSDHC memory card slot on the Pre (ala iPhone and ALL damn Apple products!) speaks volumes about their business model...suck you into a crippled "gotta have it" product, sign a 2yr contract, then clobber you 6-12 months into that 2yr contract by having you pay full price for the new-otherwise-identical 32GB model.

It's pretty tragic when you can hack Dmitry Grinberg's PowerSDHC driver + FAT32 libraries onto a 4.5 year old Treo 650 and potentially have more storage onboard via 32gb SDHC card than the Pre's feeble 8GB.

Pilot 1000->Pilot 5000->PalmPilot Pro->IIIe->Vx->m505->T|T->T|T2->T|C->T|T3->T|T5->Zodiac 2->TX->Verizon Treo 700P->Verizon Treo 755p->?

RE: Palm and WebOS
DrewT3 @ 1/14/2009 6:31:09 AM # Q
Even back in the 90's, Palm rarely let you upgrade the OS thier devices. The Pilot 1000 could be upgraded via a new memory card, and I think there was an OS 4 upgrade for the Palm V, otherwise you were stuck with what it shipped with.

RE: Palm and WebOS
skaorsk8 @ 1/14/2009 7:02:31 AM # Q
hklife - I agree with your comments 100%. To me, this is the first device that would allow me to eliminate my smartphone and iPod (recently upgraded to the iPod Touch for the apps) and support all the things I would be looking to do. But cramming all my music/videos/ebooks/applications is hard enough on a 32GB iPod Touch - doing that on an 8GB Pre would be impossible.

Might I also add that I have Verizon, and refuse to get a data plan on any smart device I have, simply because I'm not paying more than $15/month, and wifi is free. If I can get data on the Pre for $15/month on Sprint ... that, to me, is worth the switch. That alone. (Well, plus the card slot.)

RE: Palm and WebOS
hkklife @ 1/14/2009 7:03:52 AM # Q
The last official OS update that Palm was the CD that upgraded the Palm III (or Pilot/PalmPilot w/ III upgrade card), and V series to OS 4.1. Kinda amusing that you could take a Pilot 1000 from 1996, install a III upgrade card, and then flash it to be as current OS-wise as the m500 from nearly 6 years later.

http://www.palminfocenter.com/view_Story.asp?ID=2607

Prior to that, Palm was pretty good about releasing OS updates though that was a different era, totall different economic climate and different product lines.

Aside from that, there have been a few fairly hefty ROM updates for the T5, LifeDrive and T|C but nothing that ever actually changed the OS version # in ROM.



Pilot 1000->Pilot 5000->PalmPilot Pro->IIIe->Vx->m505->T|T->T|T2->T|C->T|T3->T|T5->Zodiac 2->TX->Verizon Treo 700P->Verizon Treo 755p->?

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icarus @ 1/14/2009 5:53:13 AM # Q
Tim, thanks for this great interview.
I enjoyed listening to it. Got some great insights and improved the already great impression of webOS and palm pré.


icarus

Palm III, Palm III, Palm m105, Palm Tungsten T, palmOne LifeDrive, palmOne Tungsten T5, Palm TX, palm Tréo 680.
& palm pré on the wish list !

Reply to this comment

SD

dandrade @ 1/14/2009 6:47:15 AM # Q
I'm thinking that with all the comments about the missing SD slot, that the final hardware might have one. Even Pandora mentioned that there were differences in the hardware between November and January, so we can always hope.

T3 -> Lifedrive -> TX -> Centro
RE: SD
alanh @ 1/14/2009 7:37:51 AM # Q
Personally, I'm torn on the SD issue. While 8 GB isn't a heck of a lot to have built-in when you consider that 32 GB flash drives aren't too expensive these days, the fact that I don't have to worry about file management or where things are installed makes life much easier on an iPhone. I have yet to see a truely seamless implementation of removable memory in a phone/PDA/MP3 player, and file management is a pain for everyone except hardcore users.

I have used a memory card on various Palm devices ever since I bought an m505 back in the day, and still use one on my Treo today (for apps, NVBackup, and Plucker data storage), but I would much rather have a large monolithic dedicated file system. I would rather not have to think about and manage two separate systems. On my Treo, I have to consider where I'm installing my software (card or internal), where the data is going to live, etc. I'm a "power user" and have used several things which make using a card easier over the years (PowerRun, LauncherX, ZLauncher, etc), and I still appreciate the simplicity and convenience that a large, non-removable FS offers.

The only way I could see it done with seamless integration would be to have something with multiple slots with smart-RAID-like behavior akin to what a Drobo can do with differing sized SATA drives. If things aren't implemented that way (i.e. with a single growing/shrinking filespace that isn't dependent the presence of any single card), the user is required to be smart about file management.

Also, I know that for the vast majority of Palm and Treo users I've known (a number that has dwindled rapidly over the past few years), only the very-rare "power user" types actually use the memory card slot. The rest, even if they bought a card, simply don't use it.

-alan

RE: SD
Winterbay @ 1/14/2009 8:00:20 AM # Q
I don't know about that. At least if you have (like me) a Z72 you need the card if you want to be able to use the device as a media player, which I wanted then due to lack of other mp3-player. The sound has since then died (due to me accidentally dropping it in the floor too many times) but it worked great before that :)
RE: SD
alanh @ 1/14/2009 8:27:47 AM # Q
@Winterbay: Since the Pre claims that it will have 8 GB of storage and work as a USB mass-storage drive with a cable, why would you need a card for that particular use?

My claim is that it is an option exclusively for power users and 95%+ of people ignore it, especially if there's a simpler option available: e.g. USB mass storage or automatic iTunes-style syncing.

-alan

RE: SD
Gekko @ 1/14/2009 8:34:41 AM # Q
>My claim is that it is an option exclusively for power users and 95%+ of people ignore it, especially if there's a simpler option available: e.g. USB mass storage or automatic iTunes-style syncing.

i disagree. that might have been the case yesterday, but given the popularity of digital media (music, movies, photos) even people who aren't really techies (or were never considered "power users") can really QUICKLY accumulate a lot of media which will take up a lot of GB. me, i'm a minimalist - but i'm a power user in other ways. yet some 17 year old kid who doesn't care about PIM who maybe yesterday wasn't considered a "power user" probably have many GB of media they want to carry.

don't forget about parkinson's law.

also - how much does each GB cost these days? i'd imagine it's pretty cheap - maybe they should have offered an 8GB and a 32GB and cover both bases???

RE: SD
Gekko @ 1/14/2009 8:39:11 AM # Q

sorry - i think i answered a different question. i was talking about the need for 16GB+ memory - not necessarily an SD slot.

RE: SD
hkklife @ 1/14/2009 9:01:39 AM # Q
Palm's reps were either trying to blow smoke up our arses last week or else were pitifully uninformed. The guy was trying to tell me that 8gb SDHC cards were "just not hitting the market" and were really expensive. He said that by including 8gb onboard, they were saving the customer a lot of aggravation and time as well as saving the customer the cost of a $50 card.

I told him that for about $60 shipped, I could buy 2x16GB SDHC cards now and 32GB cards would be probably at that price probably by year's end. He just ignored me and said that the added complexity of spring/eject mechanisms (not required by most microSDHC devices-in fact, I have a digital photo frame here with a fullsize SD card in it that doesn't have an ejecting mechanism.

My point is this:

Flash prices are constantly dropping and in flux. It takes Palm so long to conceptualize, design, approve, place orders for, manufacture, sell to the carriers and receive FCC certification that yesterday's 8GB is today's 2GB. And remember, Palm doesn't have Apple's NAND purchasing power/influence and Palm's product refresh cycles are traditionally glacially slow. So why try to anticipate market trends by crippling your device with a tiny amount of onboard storage? Either fill it with 16gb/32gb from the onset or just put a damn slot in it and leave it up to the customer to keep it empty or max it out.

Do you know how many people would be crying the blues if digicam companies went back to having a small amount of fixed memory in their cameras? My first digital camera had something like 2mb onboard and it was a huge PITA, even when limited to shooting 800x600 images.

No, my guess is that Palm's just trying to be like Apple and being greedy. They want us to buy a new Pre everytime they refresh the design to get the latest version of their browser & email apps and to gain a few more GB of storage.


P.S. As far as seamless expansion card integration goes, I have a cheap-o Sandisk Sansa for working out. It's got 2gb onboard and I think I have a 2gb microSD card installed in it. Either volume is seen as a removable USB drive when I plug it into my PC. So if I drag & drop folders A-J in the internal space and put K-Z on the SD card, the whole selection of songs is "seen" by the Sansa as one contiguous volume of music (after it does its kinda slow routine at startup of assembling the library but that's only a one-time thing when you add new music).

So if that $40 MP3 player can do it so elegantly, then I am sure the combined might of WebOS + the TI chipset COULD handle seamless integration of an external expansion if Palm wanted it. It's just that Palm doesn't want it for $$$$$ reasons.

Pilot 1000->Pilot 5000->PalmPilot Pro->IIIe->Vx->m505->T|T->T|T2->T|C->T|T3->T|T5->Zodiac 2->TX->Verizon Treo 700P->Verizon Treo 755p->?

RE: SD
Scotland @ 1/14/2009 9:33:14 AM # Q
This phone looks great EXCEPT for the lack of an SD slot. Adding it from a hardware perspective wouldn't be hard - the excuse offered that it takes up too much space is weak (it could even be under the battery for all I care - I don't swap them that often).

The discussion on this thread about how they would handle it from a software perspective gives me some pause, though - however, I'm sure they could figure out some way to add that option that would be intuitive. For example, they could have both the device storage and the SD storage each show up as a mass storage drive when connected to a PC, have any apps installed either place register with the OS (I'm guessing apps install to some sort of apps dir and this could be consistent both places).

If they are not going to have removable flash storage included, then they need to include more storage on the device - 8GB standard is too small in today's world (though I suspect they will bump this up to 16GB standard with a 32GB option before launch) - I currently have 16GB of music on my Treo. 8GB isn't going to allow for many movies, especially after a user adds their music...

A really nice SURPRISE for launch would be the same or more onboard memory (16GB) with removable storage. If available in time, SDXC would be amazing! Imagine... allowing up to 2TB storage on an SD card! This would be the uber device to have at almost any price - a really powerful multitasking device, with a growing software library, with an OS platform with growth potential (Apple has set the standard on evolving the OS platform via updates and Palm has implied they will match this) with unlimited storage. Maybe Palm would call it the Palm Pre Pro. :)


RE: SD
Winterbay @ 1/14/2009 2:28:33 PM # Q
@alanh: I hope they won't do any kind of iTunes automatic synching of media. It is one of the many reasons I will never buy an iPhone or iPod. I want to chose what to put where by myself and not have some program decide that for me. The fact that iTunes have this behaviour as the standard choice is something I can't really understand.

RE: SD
Gekko @ 1/14/2009 2:34:41 PM # Q

i agreed. im hoping for an "initiate from desktop" and an "autosync at 2am" option.


RE: SD
alanh @ 1/14/2009 4:13:39 PM # Q
@Scotland
If they are not going to have removable flash storage included, then they need to include more storage on the device - 8GB standard is too small in today's world (though I suspect they will bump this up to 16GB standard with a 32GB option before launch) - I currently have 16GB of music on my Treo. 8GB isn't going to allow for many movies, especially after a user adds their music...

I agree with this wholeheartedly. 8 GB isn't a whole lot. I would greatly prefer 16 or 32.

@Winterbay

I hope they won't do any kind of iTunes automatic synching of media. It is one of the many reasons I will never buy an iPhone or iPod.

iTunes is highly configurable. I have never had something on my iPod that I didn'dt want to be there. I have my iPhone (hacked so I can use it with no service: might as well be an iPod Touch...) set so that it automatically updates my podcasts, but the music it includes is only a small set of playlist that I created.

-alan

RE: SD
hkklife @ 1/14/2009 4:23:41 PM # Q
I detest iTunes and everything about it. I have meticulously cataloged and organized music folders on my PC and I would give anything to be able to drag & drop those folders onto any other device. THAT is a huge bonus on the Pre, though I must say I've been doing that for YEARS now on my Palm OS devices, all the way back to the m500 series with the first SD card slots.

For years now I've been putting videos/photos/songs/large databases onto my Palm's SD card via card reader & WIndows Explorer, not Hotsync, just for speed reasons. Though I imagine I am in the tiny majority of users who know/care to do so.

Nonetheless, it's nice being able to know you'll be able basically access anything on your Pre's 8GB internal volume on any mass storage USB compliant PC, regardless of OS.

Pilot 1000->Pilot 5000->PalmPilot Pro->IIIe->Vx->m505->T|T->T|T2->T|C->T|T3->T|T5->Zodiac 2->TX->Verizon Treo 700P->Verizon Treo 755p->?

RE: SD
alanh @ 1/14/2009 5:15:24 PM # Q
@hkklife: While the default setting for iTunes would indeed mess up your organization scheme, you can uncheck that option in the settings and do all the organization yourself. I, personally prefer to let iTunes handle it, but I never had a great organization scheme for my MP3s prior to acquiring an 80 GB iPod a couple of years ago (the 80 GB is big enough for our (wife and myself) music collection with plenty of space left over).

There are pros and cons to each approach. I think the best compromise would be "large fixed storage." YMMV.... 8 GB is too small if it's going to be heavily used for media though. I have found I, personally can get by with that if need be.

-alan

Reply to this comment

Game development?

hotpaw4 @ 1/14/2009 8:48:45 AM # Q
How fast were games back on the Palm Vx and IIIc?

Games newly written in JS under webOS and running on the Pre should be able to do at least as well, if not better, especially if there are any graphics API enhancements or any graphics acceleration provided.

.

RE: Game development?
hkklife @ 1/14/2009 8:59:55 AM # Q
At the time, Zap 2016 was pretty much my gaming benchmark of choice due to a large number of onscreen sprites and being in 16-bit color (on devices that supported it, like the Handspring Prism). It ran plenty fast on the Prism as well as in monochrome on my Vx and 8-bit color on the IIIc. The Pre's TI 3430 chipset is certainly up to the task but with Palm claiming gaming is not a priority, the proper APIs may not be provided.

Another potential drawback to gaming is going to be the lack of hard buttons. Sure, you can do motion sensing or onscreen "buttons" ala iPhone but those just don't work as wel for most titles as a nice old-fashioned analog stick or digital pad.

Oh well, that's what the DSi and PSP are for, right?

On a rather OT note, I think whoever (Sony or Nintendo) can hit the market with a nice touchscreen + d-pad + analog stick enabled device with oodles of onboard storage and a rock-solid content delivery system via wi-fi will win the next portable gaming console battle.


Pilot 1000->Pilot 5000->PalmPilot Pro->IIIe->Vx->m505->T|T->T|T2->T|C->T|T3->T|T5->Zodiac 2->TX->Verizon Treo 700P->Verizon Treo 755p->?

RE: Game development?
Gekko @ 1/14/2009 9:02:25 AM # Q

i wonder how easily the iphone apps can be ported over to WebOS? they make it sound so easy to program for WebOS.

RE: Game development?
SeldomVisitor @ 1/14/2009 9:05:51 AM # Q
Let's see them port THIS iPhone app: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_EIY3-_HOY

RE: Game development?
Gekko @ 1/14/2009 9:14:55 AM # Q
RE: Game development?
SeldomVisitor @ 1/14/2009 9:17:36 AM # Q
I'd like to see them do iBeer and iBoobs (!!! LOL!) on the Pre - the bubblewrap one, though should be "easy" - no motion sensing.

RE: Game development?
DrewT3 @ 1/14/2009 9:53:22 AM # Q
The Pre has lots of buttons on the keyboard :)

RE: Game development?
mikecane @ 1/14/2009 10:55:04 AM # Q
This is clever touchscreen UI for a game:

Dropship showing what good UI is…
http://cimota.com/blog/2008/12/17/dropship-showing-what-good-ui-is/

RE: Game development?
SeldomVisitor @ 1/14/2009 11:04:13 AM # Q
I'd like to see that one done in Javascript.

RE: Game development?
hotpaw4 @ 1/14/2009 12:30:10 PM # Q
Someone wrote:
> I'd like to see that one done in Javascript.

Until I see some benchmarks, I will assume that if a game could be done for a Palm IIIc (C, or maybe even hand-coded asm), it can likely be written for webOS in JS on a Pre, a give roughly the same range of performance.

If a game requires something significantly faster than a Palm IIIc, it currently looks like it can't be done, unless Palm has something else major up their sleeves (JIT, Java, magic API's or some-such...)

.

Reply to this comment

Doesn't really answer any questions.

pmjoe @ 1/14/2009 1:11:51 PM # Q
While it was nice that PIC got this interview, as a developer, there's nothing new here. It's still HTML/JavaScript/CSS.

In all honesty, writing a quality standalone mail client (which appeared to be one of the given examples) in JavaScript does not sound like a fun proposition (or "fantastic to build" as the interviewee put it). There are plenty of other languages which are far better qualified for that kind of development. And I'm not talking about a web mail-like client where you're required to go through some 3rd party server.

And Google Maps in Safari on the iPhone is terrible (which is why Apple has a separate Maps app). I see no reason why it'd be any better on the Pre. It looked like Palm had their own map application, so hopefully there is some way to plug that into a WebOS web app. So, I'm not even sure what he meant about a class of apps like Google Maps ... why as a developer would you want to have to reinvent the wheel?



RE: Doesn't really answer any questions.
freakout @ 1/14/2009 1:36:53 PM # Q
So, I'm not even sure what he meant about a class of apps like Google Maps ... why as a developer would you want to have to reinvent the wheel?

That's the point, isn't it? You don't have to. Google Maps is a web application that could very, very easily be ported to run locally on a Pre, like Pandora. As he said - one of their web devs who'd never done mobile before was able to get a version of Pandora running very quickly on the platform.

And heck, in high school I was able to make half-decent web pages using technologies that are positively ancient now. From the sounds of it even a simpleton like me could make a Pre app, if I was willing to take a refresher course in HTML...

RE: Doesn't really answer any questions.
pmjoe @ 1/14/2009 3:36:48 PM # Q
Google has plenty of well trained, top notch software developers and tons of money. Google Maps was not developed by some high school hacker or some small software development house.

RE: Doesn't really answer any questions.
freakout @ 1/14/2009 8:16:29 PM # Q
^^ That's not what I was saying. As Colligan noted at CES: there's ass-loads of web developers out there, and making web programming languages the basis of webOS apps enables them to leverage a lot of talent. And web languages are very easy to learn and play with, especially compared with the likes of C.

My bet is that the decision to go with web languages will lead to an explosion of new mobile app developers on webOS. One of the smartest things Palm has done in awhile.

(Not that I don't want to see a native SDK also...)

RE: Doesn't really answer any questions.
jca666us @ 1/15/2009 5:28:36 AM # Q
Again, why is it good for the Pre to support web technologies, but bad when apple did it?

Your bias is inconsistent - to say the least.

Even with a web environment, you'll need some more power under the hood (C, assembly) to really create some kickass apps.

Once Palm releases a proper SDK then the apps. developed for the Pre will really take off.

As we saw with the iphone, even the best web apps. are no substitute for an SDK.

RE: Doesn't really answer any questions.
freakout @ 1/15/2009 12:48:55 PM # Q
^^ (sigh>)

Pre's "web apps" aren't actually web apps. They are installed locally on the phone, can make use of the hardware and can run offline just fine. They are merely applications written using web languages.

iPhone's "web apps" all ran inside the browser, were useless without a data connection and were actually just web pages coded to use mobile Safari.

Big difference. (Maybe you should try reading the article you're actually commenting on?)

RE: Doesn't really answer any questions.
SeldomVisitor @ 1/15/2009 1:06:06 PM # Q
You are making up more and more stuff the more you write.

RE: Doesn't really answer any questions.
freakout @ 1/15/2009 1:22:39 PM # Q
Such as?
RE: Doesn't really answer any questions.
pmjoe @ 1/15/2009 3:36:33 PM # Q
^^ (sigh>)
Pre's "web apps" aren't actually web apps. They are installed locally on the phone, can make use of the hardware and can run offline just fine. They are merely applications written using web languages.

iPhone's "web apps" all ran inside the browser, were useless without a data connection and were actually just web pages coded to use mobile Safari.

Big difference. (Maybe you should try reading the article you're actually commenting on?)


WTF? The ONLY difference is that the Pre's apps would be available offline. I just went through all the iPhone apps I use regularly. None of the ones I use are at all useful offline.

All of the Pre's apps run within a browser.

So, IMHO, the thing you emphasized the least: Pre web-apps accessing the "hardware" is the real difference vs. web-apps on the iPhone. But once again, that's a losing argument. None of the iPhone apps I use need access to the hardware either, except to get your GPS location (which if Apple really wanted to, they could make available in Safari).

The fact of the matter is that web-apps were a flop on the iPhone, and I see no reason for them to do any better on the Pre. They apparently weren't so "fantastic to build". This article does nothing to answer those questions.

RE: Doesn't really answer any questions.
palmato @ 1/15/2009 4:45:01 PM # Q
The advantage is that this SDK is relatively simple to release. A true native SDK requires a lot of time and work to prepare, starting from the cross build tools down to the Api and documentation. I believe Palm will deliver, one day.

In the meantime, the mojo SDK gives a way to quickly build simple applications that only need limited access to the OS API. Whether there's a real market for that kind of applications, only time will tell. I personally think that this is not the case and only a handful will shine.

PS: There are some interesting comments at boygeniusreport:
http://www.boygeniusreport.com/2009/01/12/your-first-look-at-palms-webos-sdk-mojo/
(scroll down to the comments section)


-------------
Hey Admin: Why do we have to keep two profiles?

RE: Doesn't really answer any questions.
freakout @ 1/15/2009 5:09:49 PM # Q
WTF? The ONLY difference is that the Pre's apps would be available offline... All of the Pre's apps run within a browser.

No, they don't. Try reading the interview again:

TC: Well, I think one of the important little nuances here to understand is that you might think from the name "webOS" and from the technologies used – HTML and CSS and Javascript – you might think that this is the whole thing, just kind of a fancy web browser, and that you're – y'know, any interaction you take is interacting with web content. That's really not how it works at all. What you really have, is that you have an environment where a developer can write a traditional application – so, an application that gets installed onto the phone with all its code and all of its user interface elements and that is actually local to the phone. There's also a database and file storage that allows you to take data from the internet connection and store it locally – so when you're browsing your contacts, for example, you're interacting with an application that's local to the phone, with interface elements that are local to the phone and with contacts that are actually sitting on the phone.

What makes it this "webOS" is that the programming models for your developer rather than being C or Java is really just HTML and CSS and Javascript.

David Beers has a good explanation on his blog also:
http://www.pikesoft.com/blog/index.php?itemid=204

If you watched any of the announcement you know that webOS is also intended for delivering a cutting edge web app experience, but that has to do with the browser they developed. It should also be clear that applications originally written for the web using JS/HTML/CSS (like GMail, BaseCamp, Facebook, etc.) should be easy to port to webOS and be enhanced to run in offline mode, due to webOS's HTML 5 support for offline databases.
RE: Doesn't really answer any questions.
mikecane @ 1/15/2009 5:59:18 PM # Q
Go read the post there about the OS being nearly all Java-based.

I'm still trying to wrap my head around that.

But what Palm doesn't seem to understand - yet - is that they've perpetuated a model of *productivity* for ten years now. DocumentsToGo has basically been their cheerleader for "Hey, get some work done in your pocket."

I need to see *that* for the Pre too. And I don't mean just D2G (which I despise!). I mean a home for my over 2,700 Memos (yes!) residing on my LifeDrive. I don't see that sticky-notes corkboard-like note-y thing demoed on the Pre being that! Why do I want to have to go through screen after screen of little colored graphics of notes when a frikkin LIST VIEW is superior?

Hell, Palm, you can do it as a SEPARATE APP on your App Catalog. I'd damn well BUY it!

RE: Doesn't really answer any questions.
freakout @ 1/15/2009 8:02:12 PM # Q
Go read the post there about the OS being nearly all Java-based.

I'm still trying to wrap my head around that.

Sounded really interesting, I thought, especially the bit about them being able to port the features over to their WinMob devices if they wanted to. Although it still wouldn't be enough to make me want a WinMob devices.

...LIST VIEW is superior?

I was wondering about that too - but for the app launcher. I much prefer list view.

Reply to this comment

Flash Gaming Summit

mikecane @ 1/14/2009 4:30:19 PM # Q
http://www.flashgamingsummit.com/

- 66 days from now. It'd be great if there was a Flash on Pre announcement before then. It'd energize them. And us!

RE: Flash Gaming Summit
hkklife @ 1/14/2009 4:35:45 PM # Q
I think looking at the amount of chatter on PIC, we're quite energized enough, giggles, gacks, me-too media and all!



Pilot 1000->Pilot 5000->PalmPilot Pro->IIIe->Vx->m505->T|T->T|T2->T|C->T|T3->T|T5->Zodiac 2->TX->Verizon Treo 700P->Verizon Treo 755p->?

RE: Flash Gaming Summit
mikecane @ 1/14/2009 4:53:03 PM # Q
Flash is the Final Frontier.

Flash means YouTube, Veoh, and embedded vids of the kind we've been looking at here in PIC.

RE: Flash Gaming Summit
hkklife @ 1/14/2009 5:00:47 PM # Q
I know, I know. I was just being silly.

Let me reiterate:

At BARE minimum, we need a YouTube app like the superb one on the iPhone/Touch. Ideally, I just want Flash on that thing right out of the box. Not having it available at launch would be an even worse oversight IMO than not shipping the original T|T with mp3 player software in ROM.

Pilot 1000->Pilot 5000->PalmPilot Pro->IIIe->Vx->m505->T|T->T|T2->T|C->T|T3->T|T5->Zodiac 2->TX->Verizon Treo 700P->Verizon Treo 755p->?

RE: Flash Gaming Summit
mikecane @ 1/14/2009 5:20:56 PM # Q
Man, I really really want full Flash. Doesn't a site like http://www.scribd.com rely on Flash to do what it does?

And, I'd be able to watch The Prisoner!
http://www.amctv.com/videos/the-prisoner-1960s-video/

RE: Flash Gaming Summit
SeldomVisitor @ 1/14/2009 5:39:33 PM # Q
RE: Flash Gaming Summit
mikecane @ 1/14/2009 6:18:37 PM # Q
Yeah. I knew about that one, but forgot.

And let's not forget the goodies on Hulu, either! It has full freakin movies!

Palm, do you see us drooling here?

RE: Flash Gaming Summit
freakout @ 1/14/2009 8:22:26 PM # Q
I'd like to see Flash... implemented with a system like Flashblock on Firefox. It's such a damn resource hog that I only want it to activate when *I* tell it to.
RE: Flash Gaming Summit
LiveFaith @ 1/14/2009 9:12:38 PM # Q
Seems that Palm held on to most the devices and did not allow a lot of user hands-on. I expect that is because the software and hardware may become more robust before launch and that some areas of the preinstalls may still be unstable.

I agree with the sentiment here 100%. The time has come for Flash vids to work properly right outta the box without any downloads, software purchases etc. Hopefully, this will not be left to a 3rd party dev, at least directly. Palm needs this integrated into the browser and / or a solid iPhone/Touch-esque solution.

BTW Kris, shipping the TT w/o MP3 software was not that bad. Remember how cheesy Realplayer was when it actually arrived and even worse how bad the DSP was as far as audio quality. They never resolved it all the way until the TT3 either. When I got my T3, I kept buying more and more expensive earbuds so that they would sound good. After reading PIC, I finally realized that audio on it was hopeless. Sometimes less is more.

Pat Horne

RE: Flash Gaming Summit
hkklife @ 1/14/2009 10:00:59 PM # Q
Oh Pat, HOW could I forget that huge fiasco?

T|T shipped without RealPlayer and buzzy audio, despite the fact that Sony had been killing 'em with multimedia functionality ever since the OS4 days. Then Palm improved the T|T audio quality via a ROM update but that killed the output volume. Then the T|T2 bafflingly didn't improve on the volume problem. Only with the T|T3 (a year after the T|T) did they finally get it right! Let's hope it doesn't take that long to see Pre hardware improvements. And the T3 strill didn't have very good quality audio output hardware (amp, headphone jack etc) compared to any reasonable mp3 or audio player of that era.

Pilot 1000->Pilot 5000->PalmPilot Pro->IIIe->Vx->m505->T|T->T|T2->T|C->T|T3->T|T5->Zodiac 2->TX->Verizon Treo 700P->Verizon Treo 755p->?

RE: Flash Gaming Summit
SeldomVisitor @ 1/15/2009 3:52:37 AM # Q
RE: Flash Gaming Summit
mikecane @ 1/15/2009 7:47:03 AM # Q
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