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PalmSource Announces the ACCESS Developer Network

ACCESS and its wholly owned subsidiary, PalmSource, today announced the ACCESS Developer Network, a new online resource designed to accelerate the creation, distribution and usage of mobile Linux applications for devices based on the ACCESS Linux Platform (ALP).

The goal of the ACCESS Developer Network is to help Linux application developers "go mobile" and provide companies seeking to tap into the rapidly growing worldwide mobile Linux applications market with exclusive access to in-depth technical information and enhanced business development support.

The projected growth in this market is expected to spur the expansion of the mobile Linux ecosystem by attracting new developers interested in creating applications for Linux-based mobile devices, including those based on ALP.

The new ACCESS Developer Network is expected to extend the thriving PalmSource developer community by providing comprehensive developer support & services for ACCESS' next generation mobile Linux platform, ALP. The ADN will provide extensive technical and business information on mobile Linux application development to new Linux developers and more than 420,000 existing registered members of the Palm OS Developer Program, one of the world's largest dedicated mobile application developer communities.

Building a Mobile Linux Ecosystem - Much like PalmSource gave rise to the Palm Powered Economy, ACCESS and PalmSource are focused on enriching the broader Mobile Linux Ecosystem. ACCESS and PalmSource, through the ACCESS Developer Network, will work closely with developers to optimize their mobile applications to run on the ALP platform.

"PalmSource has a great history building a successful developer ecosystem and supporting mobile developers. The ACCESS Developer Network will further enhance the developer offering and be focused on building and growing a robust mobile Linux ecosystem benefiting developers, operators and handset manufacturers while providing end users an extensive catalog of market ready applications- right out of the gate," said Larry Berkin, senior director developer ecosystem & technology acquisition, PalmSource, Inc., an ACCESS Company.

"As the stewards of Palm OS, we have included in ALP a compatibility engine (GHost) that provides forward compatibility for the 25,000 strong Palm OS application titles base - one of the largest in the mobile content & services market," continued Berkin.

About the ACCESS Developer Network (ADN)
As ACCESS and PalmSource's global developer program for Palm OS and ALP, the ADN connects developers to tools, technical information, support, and distribution channels they can use to build and market applications around the globe. From offices in the U.S., Europe, Japan and China, ADN provides technical and business development support to mobile developers, handset manufacturers and operators to assist them in achieving their goal of successfully launching mobile applications and services for Palm OS and ALP to consumers and enterprises.

The ACCESS Developer Network is expected to launch to the public later in 2006, but developers can register now to be notified when the ADN is launched. Further information on developer tools, resources and technical documentation will be made available through the ACCESS Developer Network.

Developers wishing to learn more about ADN and ALP can also visit ACCESS and PalmSource executives at Booth #502 and attend PalmSource Developer Day (Wednesday, August 16th, Moscone Center) during LinuxWorld.

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Nuff' Said ... Palm OS is Dead.

LiveFaith @ 8/14/2006 1:24:21 AM # Q
**PalmSource gave rise to the Palm Powered Economy, ACCESS and PalmSource are focused on enriching the broader Mobile Linux Ecosystem.**

Looks like this puts all $300M in perspective: Access never had an interest in Palm OS, they only have an interest in being the MobiLinux frontrunner. The Palm OS community looks like a bucket of water used to prime the Linux pump. Unless Palm Inc. seeks to extend the "Palm OS" as we know it, she is basically in the history books.

Yet, if they pull this off well, jumping over to such a Linux platform seems a very satisfying possibility. As one being wary of the darkside.

Will it look like Palm OS? Forget it, a new paradigm is underway.



Pat Horne

RE: Nuff' Said ... Palm OS is Dead.
grimpeur @ 8/14/2006 2:20:45 AM # Q
Hopefully Access will sell off the development rights to Garnet and PalmOS iself so that Palm can continue development and leverage legacy support into the rumoured PalmOS II ( based upon Linux ).

I agree with you that ALP was never about PalmOS, it is about developing a feature phone / smart phone OS that will be pervasive throughout the massive asian market, particularly in China.

RE: Nuff' Said ... Palm OS is Dead.
PenguinPowered @ 8/14/2006 5:11:32 PM # Q
Hopefully Access will sell off the development rights to Garnet and PalmOS iself

Not much reason for them to do that. They can just keep licensing the rights and make more money that way.

May You Live in Interesting Times

RE: Nuff' Said ... Palm OS is Dead.
sungod @ 8/15/2006 3:49:00 AM # Q
what is it with all you guys saying palm OS is dead? this is a very exciting time for us. palm is at the some point mac was right befor OSX (unix based) was released i dont here any mac lovers saying mac OS is dead or they wished for OS9.9999 because X is a fantastic OS. ALP is sed to have a palm OS GUI layed over the top of linux so what are you woried about we will have palms ease of use standing on top of the best OS platform thats up for grabs. so stop complaining about the cold and how dark it is like a bunch of whinging poms and look at this beautiful sunrise with me

on a long enough timeline the survival rate of everyone drops to zero
RE: Nuff' Said ... Palm OS is Dead.
Foo Fighter @ 8/15/2006 9:28:03 AM # Q
>> "ALP is sed to have a palm OS GUI layed over the top of linux so what are you woried about"

Where on Earth has that been said? I don't know where you ever came to that notion, but Access has stated publicly, sever times, that ALP will not retain the PalmOS GUI we all know and love. ALP will be a completely new visual environment that bears little resemblance to PalmOS. ALP isn't going to the OSX of PalmOS. It's going to be a whole new, radically different platform. As I've said many times before, it's wrong to even think of this as the next version of the palm operating system.

-------------------------------
PocketFactory, www.pocketfactory.com
Elitist Snob, www.elitistsnob.com

RE: Nuff' Said ... Palm OS is Dead.
cervezas @ 8/15/2006 9:59:04 AM # Q
Well, Foo, as I'm sure you know, ALP *does* run existing Palm applications it it *will* have the familiar Palm OS GUI for those, which I'm sure is what he meant. Everything else will be different, I expect--but I'll know more about that tomorrow.

The question of whether the Palm OS is living or dying has little to do with the technical capabilities of ALP and everything to do with perception. Will licensees (Palm in particular), developers, and Palm users switch to ALP in large numbers? The answer to that question is the answer to whether ALP is considered the successor to Palm OS Garnet or the end of the line.

In the final analysis does it really matter? If what Pat calls "the new paradigm" is a better more progressive one that preserves the excellence of the Palm OS how sad will people be to move to it?

I for one am *way* more interested in ALP than I ever was in Palm OS Cobalt. Definitely feels like a new day.

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
www.pikesoft.com/blog

RE: Nuff' Said ... Palm OS is Dead.
rsc1000 @ 8/15/2006 10:01:20 AM # Q
I don't get why they are throwing the baby out with the bath water. The Palm OS UI is the best thing about the platform - it's whats underneith that needs to change. Instead they are changing everything. So the UI that IMHO is one the main reasons that the Treo is so popular in the smartphone market, is being tossed out? I think that is stupid - not just from a consumer / Palm user point of view - but from a marketing / biz perspective. They should be playing up the Palm OS UI and it's success in the smartphone space. Yes the UI needs to change in terms of flexibility, skinnability (i.e. they need to make it sexier) but the overall flow and use paradign should not change. In otherwords: they need to do what Apple did with OS X. Sadly - they are not.

RE: Nuff' Said ... Palm OS is Dead.
cervezas @ 8/15/2006 10:18:03 AM # Q
I don't get why they are throwing the baby out with the bath water.

For what it's worth, Foo Fighter is up to his usual trick of making up crap and then pretending we all know it's true. Neither PalmSource nor ACCESS has ever said anything about ALP having a "completely new visual environment that bears little resemblance to PalmOS." Expect significant change, yes--this OS has to work on non-touchscreen phones and be operable from soft buttons, for example--but consider that the apple rarely falls very far from the tree.

My feeling is that the Palm OS GUI, too, is ripe for a major overhaul as mobile phones rise triumphant and PDAs slide into the niche. I'm more worried that we won't see enough change than that there will be too much.

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
www.pikesoft.com/blog

RE: Nuff' Said ... Palm OS is Dead.
AdamaDBrown @ 8/15/2006 11:39:15 AM # Q
Neither PalmSource nor ACCESS has ever said anything about ALP having a "completely new visual environment that bears little resemblance to PalmOS."

The available ALP screenshots show a UI which is distinctly and massively unlike anything that Palm OS currently offers.

Really, there's little indication that Access cares about Palm OS continuity at all. Since the buyout, how often have they referred to ALP as a successor to Palm OS, or to Palm OS in a development context? Aside from the half-hearted attempt to throw in the PACE layer that they've talked about, ALP has effectively treated all of PalmSource's old businesses as being dead.

I'd sooner put hopes for a next-gen OS on Palm Inc than expect ALP to save the day.

Silliness
cervezas @ 8/15/2006 11:57:39 AM # Q
AdamaDBrown wrote:
The available ALP screenshots show a UI which is distinctly and massively unlike anything that Palm OS currently offers.

Don't be ridiculous! That launcher thing was a crude placeholder for the purpose of performing demos on a system that was little more than GHost over Linux and X Windows. There was never any intimation that the MAX interface was far enough along in February for us to see what it looked like. You mean all this time you thought that screenshot was depicting ALP?!

Really, there's little indication that Access cares about Palm OS continuity at all. Since the buyout, how often have they referred to ALP as a successor to Palm OS, or to Palm OS in a development context?

Uh... like, practically every other word that comes out of their mouth. The problem hasn't been the words (although we could have used more of them) the problem is that there is no way to gauge how well they can back them up yet.

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
www.pikesoft.com/blog

RE: Nuff' Said ... Palm OS is Dead.
AdamaDBrown @ 8/15/2006 5:08:36 PM # Q
There was never any intimation that the MAX interface was far enough along in February for us to see what it looked like.

Funny, I always thought that when you were demonstrating a platform, you were expected to be, you know, demonstrating a platform. Why else, pray tell, would they have even been showing off the device, if that weren't at least a rough sketch of what the finished product would look like?

Uh... like, practically every other word that comes out of their mouth.

Perhaps my memory is failing me at the moment, but it seems to me that while they may have thrown aroud a few references particularly with regard to software compatibility and vague generalities, they've failed to say in any clear way that ALP is going to maintain any significant amount of the classic Palm look, feel, interface... in fact, they seem determined to indicate the contrary.

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Did that $300M pricetag include the developers?

freakout @ 8/14/2006 3:53:39 AM # Q
Perhaps the developer folk around here could enlighten me. Apart from the Ghost emulation, is there any real incentive for PalmOS developers to move onto ALP as opposed to a more proven OS like, say, WinMob or Symbian?

Tim
I apologise for any and all emoticons that appear in my posts. You may shoot them on sight.
Treo 270 ---> Treo 650
RE: Did that $300M pricetag include the developers?
KultiVator @ 8/14/2006 6:14:32 AM # Q
I think the Access strategy regarding app development is to make ALP attractive to as many different factions as possible.

Obviously, the MAX framework looks like a good option for C programmers with good levels of Linux experience.

Ghost is there to help give an instant base of legacy apps as well as to allow the shrinking base of Palm OS developers to expand the audience for their warez without having to jump ship just yet.

Then the work they are doing with Orange (and no doubt other service providers) helps them provide major carriers with a more bespoke offering.

Seems like Access are making the right kinds of noises - will be interested to hear what folks make of the ALP dev kit on Wednesday! (And whether details of any Western licensees are revealed - or else why should Western developers get excited when they have no prospect of devices or a local user base).

KultiVator

RE: Did that $300M pricetag include the developers?
cervezas @ 8/14/2006 8:48:51 AM # Q
Tim wrote:
Apart from the Ghost emulation, is there any real incentive for PalmOS developers to move onto ALP as opposed to a more proven OS like, say, WinMob or Symbian?

WinMob is attractive because of the great .NET developer tools and the large variety of cool devices, but I've spoken to various developers who agree that .NET is a huge disappointment from a performance and memory standpoint. One prominent long-time Palm developer (whose name I won't mention) spent 9 months on a .NET port only to find that the performance of his application was unusably poor and the memory requirement too great to run reliably on most devices. He's serving WM customers by shipping his Palm OS product with StyleTap now and getting better results.

Symbian has not been very attractive, except to Java developers. The native application development tools are incredibly painful to use. You can spend days getting your first "Hello World" application to work. And despite the large number of devices there is a very small percentage of users who even know that they *can* install software on the their Symbian phone.

Initially the incentive to develop for ALP will be based on "does it look like ALP is going to sell well" and "does this look like a fun platform to develop for." If the answer is yes, then Palm developers will want to use the ALP-specific MAX APIs to develop their applications since this is supposed to give the best user experience. As for Linux developers, based on the developer community that has grown up around a single not-very-popular Linux device (the Nokia 770) they won't be difficult to persuade at all.

Over the longer term keeping developers means maintaining an active and responsive developer program that continuously improves the tools and documents best practices. And it means making sure that licensees are shipping devices that don't break the API contract that ACCESS has made with their developers. Mostly when licensees break stuff that worked on previous devices it's a sign that the licensee is having to shoulder too much of the burden of innovating the platform and the OS vendor not enough. So that boils down to whether ACCESS innovates the platform in step with demand.

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
www.pikesoft.com/blog

RE: Did that $300M pricetag include the developers?
palmato @ 8/14/2006 11:36:38 AM # Q
I somewhat disagree on the Symbian issue.
I did work on it a couple of years ago and while the learning curve was a bit steeper than usual, it wasn't so difficult to get results. Of course the mandatory use of C++ plays a role. But on the other hand the object model was quite usable and understandable.
Java is much better, but AFAIK personal profile is not available yet on Symbian (I may be wrong though).

One problem I do remember were the occasional crashes that came out of nowhere. Since on device debugging was not available on the default programming environment, it was nearly impossible to track them down.
IMHO, the problem with Symbian has much to do with perception (it's a feature phone). Otherwise the platform is not more problematic than PalmOs.

Regarding Alp, my impression is that at least initially, Alp will be a for "linux developers only" thing. May not be as dumb as it looks, since it clearly frames the required skills, and relies on a well established community.

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

RE: Did that $300M pricetag include the developers?
cervezas @ 8/14/2006 7:59:34 PM # Q
The Nokia 9000 series phones do support Personal Profile Java. You can even run Eclipse embedded Rich Client Platform applications on them.

Observing from something of a distance, it seems like the development situation for Symbian (or at least S60) is starting to improve, and the OS is very good. But Symbian has a long way to go before they shake their reputation for a painful development process and there are areas where they are actually moving backwards, making it harder to get your application approved to access the system resources it needs, for example. (Palm's tool situation hasn't been all that great either, of course--especially compared to Microsoft.) In the final analysis it really comes down to whether there are customers for S60 software and the answer so far is mainly "no."

I expect you are right that the Max APIs and tools will be more familiar to Linux developers than Palm developers. Still, I think a lot of Palm developers will happily exchange "familiar" for "better"--especially if it looks like licensees are jumping on board.

Diffusion Group has forecast that Linux will surpass Symbian for phone OS market share within four years. That and $3 will buy you a cup of coffee, but at least its nice to have the positive buzz.

http://www.vnunet.com/vnunet/news/2162281/groups-unite-fight-mobile-linux


David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
www.pikesoft.com/blog

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Comical PR spin

Foo Fighter @ 8/14/2006 7:46:09 AM # Q
This has to be one of the best PR spins I've read in a long time...

"Our participation in this year's LinuxWorld, our ALP Developer Day and today's announcements are a testament to the growing momentum the ACCESS Linux Platform is garnering," said Toru Arakawa, ACCESS CEO and co-founder."

The mere fact that Access showed up at this year's LinuxWorld is proof that ALP is gaining momentum? Bwahahaha! Nice spin job, Yankowski san.

I hope someone snaps photos at the "ALP Developer Day" event so we can see just how much momentum ALP really has. I'm thinking it will be a handful of obese, bearded Linux hacks attending just for the free food and drinks.

-------------------------------
PocketFactory, www.pocketfactory.com
Elitist Snob, www.elitistsnob.com

RE: Comical PR spin
SeldomVisitor @ 8/14/2006 8:27:08 AM # Q
Ahem - someone buying PSRC for SO much over its intrinsic value HAS to pump it up.

Or fall on his sword.

Not all marketing fluff
cervezas @ 8/14/2006 8:38:14 AM # Q
Apparently, one major network operator (Orange) has seen enough to be a believer in ALP: http://www.access.co.jp/english/press/060814.html

Once you've got operators on board you don't have to worry about getting ODMs to follow. I'd say Mr. Arakawa has good reason to refer to this as momementum for ALP.

Worthy of note: Orange is in Europe, not Asia, which defies all the predictions.

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
www.pikesoft.com/blog

RE: Comical PR spin
SeldomVisitor @ 8/14/2006 9:45:34 AM # Q
Hmmm...I took that as pretty much the purest of PR-fluff rather than Something Significant.

It costs a carrier nothing to say "Linux on a phone? Sure, we'll accept a phone with the Linux OS as long as it meets our usability/reliability criteria. Not a problem".

That is to say, every carrier I've ever heard of would say the same.

Orange ALP announcement looks like the real deal
cervezas @ 8/14/2006 10:25:01 AM # Q
SeldomVisitor wrote:
It costs a carrier nothing to say "Linux on a phone? Sure, we'll accept a phone with the Linux OS as long as it meets our usability/reliability criteria.

Sure. But if you read the release you can see it's a lot more than that. Orange and ACCESS have entered a partnership to co-develop an Orange-branded application layer on top of ALP:

"Designed to accelerate time to market for ALP-based mobile phones and devices, the Orange Application Package for ALP is being designed to run on top of ALP. This package, containing applications optimized to deliver the Orange experience, will provide handset and mobile device manufacturers with a turnkey mobile Linux platform. This platform can then be used to easily and quickly develop ALP-based Orange Signature Devices."


David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
www.pikesoft.com/blog

RE: Comical PR spin
SeldomVisitor @ 8/14/2006 1:32:44 PM # Q
And as a software developer you should honestly realize what that means is Orange provides the specs and ACCESS programs to meet them, then does their own QA, then says to Orange "Good enough?" and Orange does what they do with every single phone out there and says Yes or No.

Like I said - the purest of PR-fluff, IMHO.

RE: Comical PR spin
AdamaDBrown @ 8/14/2006 2:23:11 PM # Q
Orange and ACCESS have entered a partnership to co-develop an Orange-branded application layer on top of ALP

Is that supposed to be a good thing? A wireless carrier, which already has too much power, also defining the GUI and app layer? Probably restricting it to run only Orange approved/sold software?

RE: Comical PR spin
cervezas @ 8/14/2006 3:51:14 PM # Q
SeldomVisitor wrote:
Orange provides the specs and ACCESS programs to meet them

Sure. After the check clears.

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
www.pikesoft.com/blog

The nature of the Orange/ACCESS partnership
cervezas @ 8/14/2006 7:35:57 PM # Q
AdamaDBrown wrote:
Is that supposed to be a good thing? A wireless carrier, which already has too much power, also defining the GUI and app layer? Probably restricting it to run only Orange approved/sold software?

I don't think so. Orange was a co-founder with ACCESS of the Linux Phone Standards forum, which was specifically set up to avoid that kind of fragmentation. If they go with ALP they have a vested interest in keeping the platform open and consistent. Orange has also been exemplary among operators in making the promotion of third party application development a priority. They even hold Code Camps here in the US to attract and train American developers for developing on their phones.

LinuxDevices.com reports it more like what I said: Orange wants its branding put on ALP (maybe a customized launcher, for example, a custom ROM app or two, and maybe some extra APIs that give access to certain Orange specific service tasks from 3rd party apps) and ACCESS is going to help with the integration. The goal is to make it easier for the ALP licensees to produce Orange-ready handsets.

http://www.linuxdevices.com/news/NS7533886035.html


David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
www.pikesoft.com/blog

Reply to this comment

meanwhile, across the street

PenguinPowered @ 8/14/2006 11:06:47 PM # Q
http://www.linuxdevices.com/news/NS8030785497.html

Trolltech woos developers with "open" Linux phone

sayeth the headline. Very amusing story associated with.

The usual caveat about the optimism of LinuxDevices applies, of course.

May You Live in Interesting Times

RE: meanwhile, across the street
cervezas @ 8/14/2006 11:20:27 PM # Q
Greenphone? I've seen prettier gall bladders!

If this is LinuxDevices optimism we should be worried:

"The Greenphone appears to be a working GSM/GPRS mobile phone."

"Anticipated applications include... 'unpredictable' applications."

"With Greenphone, the sky is the limit when it comes to creating and testing new applications on a powerful mobile device platform."

As a developer, the last thing I want hear is tht "the sky is the limit when it comes to testing new applications." Been there. Done that. :-p



David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
www.pikesoft.com/blog

RE: meanwhile, across the street
PenguinPowered @ 8/15/2006 1:23:27 AM # Q
I'm curious which radio they're using and how much documentation there is for the radio.

But yeah, that's clearly a color chosen to make you not want to carry the phone on your person

May You Live in Interesting Times

RE: meanwhile, across the street
cervezas @ 8/15/2006 1:56:10 AM # Q
I'm curious which radio they're using and how much documentation there is for the radio.

The radio? Uh uh uhhh. That's not the kind of curiosity the operators want to hear about, Marty. No Greenphone for you.


David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
www.pikesoft.com/blog

RE: meanwhile, across the street
SeldomVisitor @ 8/15/2006 5:45:20 AM # Q
That's a fairly big smack upside the head to ACCESS, ain't it?

Nuthin' like getting 10,000 eager open-source programmers developing in their off-time...

Whatta game!

RE: meanwhile, across the street
PenguinPowered @ 8/15/2006 11:38:10 AM # Q
I'd call it a medium sized one. Trolltech is first out of the gate with a development platform, but a lot depends on how much it costs to get and how stable it is. Also, the big deal here is going to e which platform, if either, the name players, like Motorola in the US, align with.

The 10k open source developers will be developing mostly for linux and so they give about the same support to Trolltech as they do to ACCESS

May You Live in Interesting Times

RE: meanwhile, across the street
SeldomVisitor @ 8/15/2006 11:46:23 AM # Q
No, the 10,000 developers I was talking about were OS developers, not applications developers.

This is not a plus for Access (nor PALM, for that matter).

RE: meanwhile, across the street
cervezas @ 8/15/2006 12:09:11 PM # Q
PenguinPowered wrote:
a lot depends on how much it costs to get and how stable it is.

Let's face it: a lot will have less to do with technology that with who has relationships with the carriers and ODMs. That's where ACCESS seems to have the edge.

There's also the question of who has the most bandwidth available for supporting operators and device vendors with integration projects like the one ACCESS and Orange just announced. I don't really know how ACCESS and Trolltech compare on that front, but I'm guessing ACCESS compares fairly favorably since Trolltech is newer to developing complete phone stacks than PalmSource or CMS.

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
www.pikesoft.com/blog

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