New Proxy Server Starting Monday

Palm is planning to roll out a new version of its Palm.Net proxy server on Monday. Version 3 has been in beta since October and after this change will be the software running on the primary server. According to a message sent to Web-Clipping developers on the pqa-dev mailing list, the new version has some new proxy capabilities.

Earlier this week, Palm temporary CEO Eric Benhamou said that his company would be releasing its much delayed new wireless device within two months. Its possible that this new version of the proxy server has functions built into it to support the new capabilities of this device, but Palm hasn't said anything about that.

Recently, a rumor circulated that Palm was cancelling the Palm.Net service. This announcement makes that rumor seem extremely unlikely.

The Palm.Net proxy server is used by Web Clipping applications to get the information they display. Web Clipping apps don't directly contact websites. They contact the proxy server which then gets the information the app requests and returns it to the Palm running the Web Clipping app.

The complete text of the message, which came from Kathy Ly at Palm, is as follows:

    This is a message to let all web clipping developers know that a new version of the proxy server has already been rolled onto (IP address: over the holidays. This version is an update from the beta version of the proxy server that was previously rolled out in October. This new version of the proxy server will have a version number of 3.0.

    Please start testing your applications NOW against this proxy server, because VERSION 3.0 OF THE PROXY SERVER WILL BE ROLLED OUT ONTO THE PRODUCTION SERVERS ON JANUARY 7, 2002. Please report any problems to

    On developers' part, please adjust your HTTP header, USER AGENT string, to search for "Mozilla/2.0(compatible; Elaine/" WITHOUT the version number. The former version number was 2.0 and the new version number will be 3.0, but please do not hardcode this number because it may well change again in the future. There are a number of other ways to check that the request is coming from a Palm device, including checking the IP address is the coming from Palm specific IPs. Additional information regarding this topic has those posted here and on the PQA Developers Forum and is currently on the website.

    Web clipper will also get some new features, including refresh-based redirection, and more lenient HTTP header parsing.

    Developer Technical Services
    Palm OS, Inc.

Thanks to Ben Combee for the tip. -Ed

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Web Clipping is Under Rated

Edward @ 1/5/2002 2:42:49 PM #
WCA 4 found in all PalmOS 4 devices is an extremely acomplished HTML renderer, and the proxy server software is often updated. Unfortunately many people use 3rd party browsers because, unless told not to in HTML, WCA tends to truncate large pages.

The only way to open a web page using WCA is using the MyPalm app, which will allow you to enter a url, but doesn't offer you bookmarks or much else.

There is an app called Poplet which allows you to do all sorts of cool things, and integrates WCA into the user experience, as well as offering other handy short cuts.

RE: Web Clipping is Under Rated
digichimp @ 1/5/2002 3:20:42 PM #
I concur with Edward, Clipper, the WCA browsing app for the Palm is seriously under rated. When tied with the Poplets Kit from Handwave, you can really work some cool functionality like searching the web off say a piece of text in WordSmith without leaving WordSmith! you highlight the term in the text field and invooke a poplet and get a contextual menu for or google or whatever you want to customize to. Handwave has also incorporated location based services tying the address book with clipper. You can say leverage the Starbucks site to find the nearest starbucks to a selected address without having to use the Starbuck PQA.
I hope Handwave will incorporate some of the palm calls with the treo and i705 in the Poplets Kit.

RE: Web Clipping is Under Rated
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/6/2002 10:13:17 AM #
Ed-Went to the link and in reviewing their claims it appears that Poplet will replace the now defunct DPWeb on the Palm VII. Is this true?

RE: Web Clipping is Under Rated
digichimp @ 1/6/2002 1:23:52 PM #
DPWeb was never part of the PalmVII ROM. It's free but can be had for $20 for extra features like bookmarking and SSL. I bought mine and it was worth it (i guess while it lasted) You can purchase the Poplets Kit from Handwave at PalmGear or i think? Handango. It is worth every penny.

I don't work for handwave just an admirer of their products. I know that HandWave is trying to work some of the poplet funcitonality into the treo and i705

I think the wireless web in Palm form will be carried with the intro of i705 and Treo. One has to wonder what is Sony Erricson and Kyocera doing?

2002 is going to be #$%#ing exciting in the handheld space

RE: Web Clipping is Under Rated
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/6/2002 3:12:57 PM #
The folks at heard that the service will be discontinued due to the slow demand for WCA's. This has led to the demise of Dpweb. Many WCA's are not being maintained due to lack of use by comsumers. $50 is too much for the sevices offered by will be phased out sometime this next year.

RE: Web Clipping is Under Rated
bcombee @ 1/6/2002 5:08:47 PM #
I think a big problem is that there are a lot of bad web clipping apps out there. I was a heavy Palm VIIx user, but that stopped after I got my QCP-6035. I still use web clippings on the phone, however, as they tend to work much better than standard web pages. My favorite ones tend to be the shopping sites, where I use them for comparison shopping while out at stores. I also have used M-W's dictionary PQA a lot, along with travel-related ones from the airlines and MapQuest.

RE: Web Clipping is Under Rated
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/6/2002 6:52:33 PM #
Ben, totally agree. I use the Amazon PQA all the time while shopping for books, software, hardware, etc. Not necessarily to see if I can get a cheaper deal (I do tend to support my local stores if the prices are not too outrageous), but just being able to pull up some reviews is often helpful.

I also frequently use the Starbucks finder, the yellow pages, the Weather Channel PQA, and airline PQAs.

Having developed wireless services myself, I also agree with the subject of this thread: Palm's webclipping and the services offered by many PQAs are superior to what else is out there. WAP for the most part is a usability nightmare, and 'surfing' websites that are not targeted towards handheld devices with Pocket IE on pocket PCs is just not very efficient at all (if it works at all). Unfortunately the naming of the Palm technology is, in my humble opinion, very bad. "PQA" implies that you're writing an application that runs on the Palm, which in general isn't true. "Web Clipping" implies that it clips stuff out of existing web pages, which again isn't really the case.


Cancel Palm.Net?

Edward @ 1/7/2002 8:02:53 AM #
The Palm.Net service in its widest form is the Proxy service that serves VII's, MIK users and WCA 4 users. If it was canceled that would meen no Net access by that means and no Palm i705.

After all the effort Palm put into integrating WCA with Palm OS 4 I can't see them dropping the proxy service that makes it work.

As for the lack of PQA's they are not difficult to make. I could easilly make one for myself that just had links to major sites I visit wirelessly. If Palm released a consumer PQA builder that allowed you to create a "My Bookmarks" PQA I'm sure it would encourage people to use the OS's built in HTML rendering. In fact I may dig out NSBasic and the Palm WCA tech info and knock something up Palm Side.

Of course this is assuming that people use their Palms wirelessly. I would say 50% of Palm users I know do with their mobile phones.

My Bookmarks PQA
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/7/2002 5:37:19 PM #
It would be a great add-on for VII and presumably i705 users. I don't understand why Palm has not made this available. Ed, thanks for the tip on Poplet. I purchased it yesterday and my grief regarding the demise of DPWeb has evaporated.

RE: Cancel Palm.Net?
Edward @ 1/7/2002 6:16:38 PM #
Yep. Poplet gives the PalmOS better web integration than many full scale OS's



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