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First Look At Palm's Mojo SDK

timothy posted about 5 years ago | from the commodity-bits-making-a-new-whole dept.

Handhelds 128

snydeq writes "Peter Wayner puts Palm's Mojo SDK through its paces and finds the general outline of the system solid and usable despite 'numerous rough edges and dark, undocumented corners.' The main draw, of course, is the reliance on HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, which lower the barriers to entry, though with Mojo, HTML and JavaScript do at times work against each other, with JavaScript occasionally 'wiping out anything you do with HTML.' But more than anything, Wayner sees the current version of Mojo as 'merely the start of access to a very fertile platform. 'Developers are actively digging into the Linux foundations of the Pre and finding they can build tools that work with the raw guts of the machine. Some are talking about writing Java services underneath,' Wayner writes, pointing to sites such as PalmOpenSource.com and PreCentral.net that are cataloging dozens of apps that come complete with the source code. 'I know people are doing similar things with the iPhone — such as selling the source to people who must install it themselves — but the entire scene emerging around Palm has a much more organic and creative vibe. It's not getting hung up on parsing and reparsing the App Store rules.'"

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Panties STINK! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29043565)

Panties Stink!
They really, really stink!
Sometimes they're red, sometimes they're green,
Sometimes they're white or black or pink
Sometimes they're satin, sometimes they're lace
Sometimes they're cotton and soak up stains
But at the end of the day, it really makes you think
Wooooooo-wheeeee! Panties stink!

Sometimes they're on the bathroom floor
Your girlfriend- what a whore!
Sometimes they're warm and wet and raw
From beneath the skirt of your mother-in-law
Brownish stains from daily wear
A gusset full of pubic hair
Just make sure your nose is ready
For the tang of a sweat-soaked wedgie
In your hand a pair of drawers
With a funky feminine discharge
Give your nose a rest, fix yourself a drink
cause wooooooo-wheeeeeee! panties stink!

First Look at the Back of My Palm (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29043577)

first, bitches

Like with the original Palm OS (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29043591)

Seems like it was this same type of development culture that helped to launch the first Palm Pilots to popularity.

Re:Like with the original Palm OS (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | about 5 years ago | (#29043979)

I'm just curious why the Android OS doesn't get this level of love and affection from the mainstream.. yeah, the G1 isn't as sleek/sexy as the new Palm... just the same, the OS/platform is at least as interesting. Not to mention even more open.

Re:Like with the original Palm OS (2, Insightful)

arbiterveritas (1617099) | about 5 years ago | (#29044025)

I'm just curious why the Android OS doesn't get this level of love and affection from the mainstream.. yeah, the G1 isn't as sleek/sexy as the new Palm... just the same, the OS/platform is at least as interesting. Not to mention even more open.

The key is striking the right balance [in the public's eye] between closed and open source. Yes, the G1 is even more open, but is it too open? Also, what language is required to program the G1? I've never heard anything about it aside from ads and comments saying "Open source!!11!" This system leads with its strengths: design, programming, and the Palm name. Google isn't known for their phones. Palm is.

Re:Like with the original Palm OS (1)

cmdr_tofu (826352) | about 5 years ago | (#29044309)

Java

Re:Like with the original Palm OS (1)

BikeHelmet (1437881) | about 5 years ago | (#29045145)

This is a negative in the eyes of many devs, even though it shouldn't be.

Re:Like with the original Palm OS (1)

Stupendoussteve (891822) | about 5 years ago | (#29045163)

Hasn't hurt Blackberry too much.

Re:Like with the original Palm OS (1)

Qwavel (733416) | about 5 years ago | (#29044527)

'the public' doesn't actually care whether it is open source or not.

Developers (and other techies) often do, and hopefully they know the difference between an OS that is really open source (e.g. Linux or Android) and one that just uses open source code where convenient and keeps everything that they create themselves as closed as they can get away with (e.g. MacOS and WebOS).

Re:Like with the original Palm OS (1)

QuoteMstr (55051) | about 5 years ago | (#29044565)

closed as they can get away with (e.g. MacOS and WebOS).

Say what you will about WebOS licensing, but because all the built-in applications are just written in Javascript, it's trivial in practice to customize and extend [webos-internals.org] them.

Re:Like with the original Palm OS (1)

Stupendoussteve (891822) | about 5 years ago | (#29045181)

Because Apple doesn't own CUPS or anything.

I don't get this (2, Interesting)

commodoresloat (172735) | about 5 years ago | (#29044757)

yeah, the G1 isn't as sleek/sexy as the new Palm...

Have you actually used a Pre? It may look sleek and sexy in pictures, but actually holding the thing it feels completely flimsy, the keyboard is shit (and I say that as someone who really likes my Treo keyboard), and the application interface is frustratingly slow (half the time I couldn't even get the touch screen to work when I played with it). I didn't find it sleek or sexy at all.

Re:I don't get this (1)

ksheff (2406) | about 5 years ago | (#29045185)

When was the last time that you played around with a Pre? The update to WebOS 1.1.0 improved the UI speed quite a bit. I don't think Foxconn had much quality control in place for some of the early production units. I think a non-slider version would probably have been a better device. Palm apparently has one in the works. Maybe it will be introduced after Verizon gets the Pre....

Re:I don't get this (1)

IHateEverybody (75727) | about 5 years ago | (#29046117)

In addition to what you said, it should be noted that the default glossy back cover on the Pre can quickly get coated with grease from your fingers and take on a slimy feel. The Touchstone back cover by contrast has a soft touch feel which is much nicer and makes the entire device feel much better in the hand. Palm should have included this cover with the Pre IMHO.

Finally, you can complain about slowness all you want but the only Android device I have experience with, the T-Mobile G1, is even slower than the Pre ever was before the 1.1.0 patch.

Re:Like with the original Palm OS (2, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 5 years ago | (#29047089)

Palm Computing invented worthwhile handheld computing. The Newton had its uses, but it was strictly for nerds. The Palm Pilot was the first pocket computer useful to suits. Graffiti was the first pen-recognition system worth using. Apple has done a lot to change things, but to a lot of people a PDA will always be a Palm Pilot.

Obligatory... (2, Funny)

swanzilla (1458281) | about 5 years ago | (#29043673)

PRAY...FOR...MOJO

Resurrecting the Palm (0, Offtopic)

chickenarise (1597941) | about 5 years ago | (#29043771)

"Ultra Mega Chicken? No, no - shhh - he is legend!"




...




"One convenient locations...in Africa"

Re:Resurrecting the Palm (1)

iluvcapra (782887) | about 5 years ago | (#29048271)

palmwitchdoctor.com work mostly in chicken.

Tethering (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29043779)

Palm doesn't like this, but it's awesome so do it.

http://forums.precentral.net/homebrew-apps/191213-my-tether-tether-over-wifi-usb-bt.html

Re:Tethering (0, Flamebait)

Yeorwned (1233604) | about 5 years ago | (#29044023)

Palm put in the effort to design very well functioning tethering, only to have it restricted due to a service provider with a network so fragile that tethering with unlimited data might break what little service there is. :(

Tethering? (4, Interesting)

QuoteMstr (55051) | about 5 years ago | (#29044295)

"Tethering"? I don't need to "tether" my Pre.

It's just an ordinary Linux computer that runs iptables and iproute2 like any other Linux computer. If I want to forward traffic over it, I can do it in exactly the same way I would forward packets through any other Linux machine. (Hint: the wifi interface is called eth0. The cellular interface is called ppp0. And it supports USB networking.)

The Pre is mind-bogglingly banal. We're so accustomed to twisted, badly-designed platforms in the mobile world that when we're confronted with what's more or less a boring old Linux system, our jaws drop in flabbergasted amazement.

Re:Tethering? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29046379)

Errrr... so when I do the exact same thing with my BlackBerry and my Windows PC, that's bad, because it's "tethering" and what you're doing is not. Something like that?

i am playing with my balls (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29043807)

while compiling a linux kernel

What the hell? (2, Insightful)

DeathMagnetic (1365763) | about 5 years ago | (#29043865)

I know people are doing similar things with the iPhone â" such as selling the source to people who must install it themselves â" but the entire scene emerging around Palm has a much more organic and creative vibe.

What does this even mean? Are we measuring mobile phones against each based on "vibes" now? And how is doing the same thing on a different device somehow more creative?

Re:What the hell? (4, Interesting)

jo42 (227475) | about 5 years ago | (#29043927)

Think of it this way:

iPhone == Windows (closed source)

Palm Pre == FOSS

Re:What the hell? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29043945)

Then make your arguments on that and not on ephereal "vibes".

Re:What the hell? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29044059)

Does that mean in future:

iphone == 95%

Palm Pre == 1%

Re:What the hell? (0)

WiiVault (1039946) | about 5 years ago | (#29044327)

I'm not sure you can really say WebOS is FOSS. Bits and pieces are, just like in the iPhone OS. But not it isn't Linux.

Re:What the hell? (3, Informative)

QuoteMstr (55051) | about 5 years ago | (#29044417)

But not it isn't Linux.

Uh, what?

quotemstr@castle ~$ uname -a
Linux castle 2.6.24-palm-joplin-3430 #1 175.1.23 armv7l GNU/Linux

Re:What the hell? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29045123)

I think the point was, it isn't necessarily GNU/Linux just because the kernel is Linux.

Does Palm release all of the source to WebOS?

Re:What the hell? (1)

QuoteMstr (55051) | about 5 years ago | (#29045155)

I think the point was, it isn't necessarily GNU/Linux just because the kernel is Linux.

The userland is in fact GNU/Linux. Hell, it runs dbus and pulseaudio! WebOS is just a few conventional userland applications.

Does Palm release all of the source to WebOS?

No, but the source is sitting in plain sight right on the phone. You can even modify it if you'd like.

Re:What the hell? (2, Funny)

threephaseboy (215589) | about 5 years ago | (#29045675)

I think the point was, it isn't necessarily GNU/Linux just because the kernel is Linux.

Does Palm release all of the source to WebOS?

Is that you, RMS?

Re:What the hell? (1)

illumin8 (148082) | about 5 years ago | (#29045673)

Palm Pre == FOSS with Big Brother controlling the OS

Fixed that one for ya...

Re:What the hell? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29046713)

Windows (CE / PocketPC / Mobile) shouldn't be equated with the iPhone. Although not open source, it is far more open than the iPhone. Unlike the iPhone, you can run whatever programs you want on it; there is no need to seek Microsoft's approval.

They even released parts of the CE code under Shared Source.

Re:What the hell? (2, Insightful)

arbiterveritas (1617099) | about 5 years ago | (#29043969)

What does this even mean? Are we measuring mobile phones against each based on "vibes" now? And how is doing the same thing on a different device somehow more creative?

I think what was meant is a reference to the developers' [demonstrated] willingness to listen to the community's developers, along with the overall design of the operating system which is drastically different from the massively popular contender: the iPhone. If you read the palm developer website, it appears much friendlier and more open than anything I've seen on the iPhone website.

As for your comment, when phones can do very nearly anything our laptops / netbooks can do, then yes, I would measure a phone based on its "vibe." It's not so much -what- is being done, but how it is done that makes it different.

[Cue the "vibe" jokes]

Re:What the hell? (1)

DeathMagnetic (1365763) | about 5 years ago | (#29044103)

I don't know. Seems more like rampant fanboyism to me. Tell me why the Pre is better than the iPhone and I'll listen. A lot of hand-waving and vague references to being more free and creative doesn't really mean anything unless you can point to something more tangible. What has been produced on the Pre, which could not have been done on the iPhone? Keep in mind to all those who would rail against Apple's restrictive App Store, there is (and has been for years) a vibrant jailbreak community which I'd say shares a lot of these nebulous traits that are supposedly so unique to the Pre.

Re:What the hell? (2, Informative)

ksheff (2406) | about 5 years ago | (#29045069)

A nice thing about the WebOS SDK is that the developer doesn't have to buy anything to develop for the Pre. One thing that turned me away from getting an iPhone is that I would have to buy a Mac if I wanted to develop for it.

Re:What the hell? (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | about 5 years ago | (#29046181)

A nice thing about the WebOS SDK is that the developer doesn't have to buy anything to develop for the Pre. One thing that turned me away from getting an iPhone is that I would have to buy a Mac if I wanted to develop for it.

Most people would have seen that as a good excuse to buy one.

Re:What the hell? (1)

dwater (72834) | about 5 years ago | (#29046711)

I know of at least one developer that uses the hacked version of OS X for iPhone development. Of course, that doesn't change the fact that Apple expect you to buy an Apple computer to develop for an iPhone - that is what warns me off.

Re:What the hell? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29049205)

Most people would have seen that as a good excuse to buy one.

I do not need an "excuse" to buy trendy, overpriced hardware from an evil corporation desperately trying to found a monopoly.

Re:What the hell? (1)

chriso11 (254041) | about 5 years ago | (#29046611)

Having to jailbreak your own phone is a big deal. Jailbreaking undercuts any argument of "It just works on Apple..." The main thing is I do not like Apple (and/or AT&T?) being able to restrict what app I can run on my phone. If the situation were reversed (i.e. the iPhone didn't need to be jailbreaked but the Palm did), then there would be no end of derision on the Palm Pre for that from the Apple fanbois.

Now, that said, there is a possibility that Palm will be restrictive on which apps it allows into the store. But Palm does have a history of openness that the iPhone does not, so it is not that likely.

Re:What the hell? (2, Interesting)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 5 years ago | (#29044041)

Creative in the iPhone world means "App Store will likely tell you to fuck off". So I would think a more open platform is going to attract more creativity than one where a bunch of Apple goons hold all the cards.

Re:What the hell? (1)

tyrione (134248) | about 5 years ago | (#29046863)

Creative in the iPhone world means "App Store will likely tell you to fuck off". So I would think a more open platform is going to attract more creativity than one where a bunch of Apple goons hold all the cards.

Save your impotent problems to the privacy of your own life.

Re:What the hell? (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | about 5 years ago | (#29049177)

handful of apps get rejected from the app store and suddenly Apple's the gestapo now?

I know the GV thing was just fucking stupid but...

Re:What the hell? (2, Funny)

spinlight (1152137) | about 5 years ago | (#29045583)

I know people are doing similar things with the iPhone â" such as selling the source to people who must install it themselves â" but the entire scene emerging around Palm has a much more organic and creative vibe.

What does this even mean? Are we measuring mobile phones against each based on "vibes" now? And how is doing the same thing on a different device somehow more creative?

The new Palm Pre will dynamically synergize your social network with it's organic and creative Web 2.0 cloud-computing vibe, helping you leverage your open source collaboration.

Real programming/scripting language (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29043925)

Wish they'd support some decent languages like C/C++ and Python or even regular Java. because JavaScript is the most awful excuse for a scripting language I have ever tried to work with

Re:Real programming/scripting language (1, Informative)

hoggoth (414195) | about 5 years ago | (#29043971)

Javascript is actually an awesome powerful language with features rivaling Ruby. The problem isn't the language, the problem is the development environment. Edit, Upload, and Pray isn't very productive. Get yourself some real Javascript (ECMA-script) debugging tools and enjoy a great language.

Someone want to reply with some suggestions. I'm using the Firefox plugin Javascript Debugger and Profiler, but I don't do much Javascript these days and I'm sure there is much better.

Re:Real programming/scripting language (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29044069)

firebug

Re:Real programming/scripting language (5, Informative)

rsborg (111459) | about 5 years ago | (#29044293)

The problem isn't the language, the problem is the development environment. Edit, Upload, and Pray isn't very productive.

If you're programming javascript and still haven't learned about Firebug or even Webkit (aka Safari/Chrome) inspector, you're doing it wrong.

Firebug is a better "development/debug" tool than many IDEs, it's usability is insane. For me, Firefox+Firebug and a syntax-highlighting editor that can edit files over SFTP is all that's really needed (ok, svn support is nice).

Re:Real programming/scripting language (1)

QuoteMstr (55051) | about 5 years ago | (#29044505)

syntax-highlighting editor that can edit files over SFTP is all that's really needed (ok, svn support is nice)

GNU Emacs [gnu.org] and (warning: plug) espresso-mode [nongnu.org] . Emacs supports sftp out of the box using tramp [gnu.org] , and of course it interacts with subversion (among other version control systems) elegantly.

Re:Real programming/scripting language (1)

Alex Zepeda (10955) | about 5 years ago | (#29045507)

Firebug is great except for when it's not. It breaks Google Maps [google.com] and the devs aren't in any hurry to fix it, ever. It occasionally doesn't show exceptions [google.com] . Sometimes the console logging functions disappear. Ever try to use real debugging functions like stepping through functions? Ugh. Having to reload the window because Firebug has lunched itself slows you down quite a bit.

Javascript may be a decent language... altho without a proper == operator [jasonclawson.com] how good could it really be?. Okay, no, it's not. Javascript is a shitty language with even worse implementations and horribly immature development tools. I despise having to deal with it on a daily basis.

Re:Real programming/scripting language (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29045711)

a proper == operator

===

Re:Real programming/scripting language (1)

OverZealous.com (721745) | about 5 years ago | (#29046795)

If you are looking for an excellent web-oriented IDE, I highly recommend Aptana Studio. It's available as an Eclipse plugin, or, if you are like me and just want Aptana, as a standalone app (Eclipse pre-built with Aptana modules).

It has excellent support for most of the JavaScript libraries out of the box (as well as PHP, Ruby, and more), and you can add SVN and other features through plugins. (The JavaScript editor can even run a trimmed-down version of jslint over your code in real time.) The paid version adds SFTP support.

Combine all that with a very powerful syncing tool, and my productivity has literally doubled (or tripled).

I have nothing to do with the company, but having switched from DreamWeaver (I know, I know... well, I was used to CFStudio/HomeSite+ before I switched away from Windows), I was very impressed with it.

Aptana's Website [aptana.com]

Re:Real programming/scripting language (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29048581)

"Firebug is a better "development/debug" tool than many IDEs, it's usability is insane."

I'd say you haven't used many development environments if you truly believe that. I use Firebug for Javascript debugging, but it's really not close to any mainstream IDE for development and especially debugging. Netbeans, Eclipse, Visual Studio all completely blitz it in terms of ease and productivity of development and debugging.

Firebug is an awesome tool for the constraints around a plugin based system but the only way I can see you justifying the "many IDEs" claim is if you're talking about crap IDEs that no one uses anyway because it's definitely not better than any mainstream IDEs.

Re:Real programming/scripting language (1)

Qwavel (733416) | about 5 years ago | (#29044469)

> The problem isn't the language, the problem is the development environment.

The problem isn't the language, it's the API's.

I don't care what language I have to use, if the OS doesn't provide me with access to useful API's then the applications will be boring.

For example, can I write a Bluetooth application and distribute it to Palm users without them having to rebuild the OS or jail break it or anything like that.

Re:Real programming/scripting language (1)

Virus Hunter (1274224) | about 5 years ago | (#29044851)

Javascript is actually an awesome powerful language with features rivaling Ruby. The problem isn't the language, the problem is the development environment. Edit, Upload, and Pray isn't very productive. Get yourself some real Javascript (ECMA-script) debugging tools and enjoy a great language.

Someone want to reply with some suggestions. I'm using the Firefox plugin Javascript Debugger and Profiler, but I don't do much Javascript these days and I'm sure there is much better.

I don't know. I've written a number of programs with javascript, and each time it was a terrible development experience. The language was arcane at best. I can't stand how you have to fake inheritance in javascript, and it drives me crazy that I don't get any type checking. I'd much rather use a fully object oriented, strongly typed language like C# any day.

Re:Real programming/scripting language (1)

QuoteMstr (55051) | about 5 years ago | (#29045115)

I can respect your preference for statically-typed languages, even if I disagree with it. Dynamic typing has a long history going back all the way to the original LISP. Wonderful programs have been written in both kinds of language.

As for inheritance: Javascript is prototype-based, not object-based per se. It's actually a superset of many object models. You can easily [dojotoolkit.org] use it as if it were a normal language with object-oriented features.

Re:Real programming/scripting language (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | about 5 years ago | (#29045221)

As for inheritance: Javascript is prototype-based, not object-based per se.

You mean, "prototype-based, not class-based", right? Prototype-based OOP is at least as much object-based as class-based OOP is.

Re:Real programming/scripting language (1)

QuoteMstr (55051) | about 5 years ago | (#29045247)

Err, of course. Thanks for catching that.

Re:Real programming/scripting language (1)

rebullandvodka (569646) | about 5 years ago | (#29047673)

Test drive your javascript development. Check out jasmine [github.com] . Safari's inspector is no firefox/firebug, but it gets the job done.

Re:Real programming/scripting language (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29045233)

Hi, PHP here. We haven't met yet, have we?

Re:Real programming/scripting language (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29047357)

I have to call BS on this. If you've seen the programs I've seen, you wouldn't call C++ "decent."

How will this Help Palm? (2, Interesting)

mpapet (761907) | about 5 years ago | (#29043967)

Since when does something that is technically better mean it's a viable competitor to Apple? History is *full* of technically better failures.

I've come to the inflammatory conclusion regarding the iPhone. The crazy rules of the app store and the phone's 'jail' are a demand accellerant. The intricate craziness of the Apple culture wins out over a vendor developing a relatively open phone OS.

Re:How will this Help Palm? (3, Insightful)

Fallen Seraph (808728) | about 5 years ago | (#29044587)

I wouldn't be so sure. I'm a Pre owner and pretty much everyone I know is an iPhone owner. The reason the iPhone's been so successful thus far is that it's really lacked any competition. The G1 was both aesthetically and technically inferior to the iPhone, and Android itself has been taking it's sweet damn time growing into a powerful mobile OS. It's only now, in the latter half of 2009 that we're seeing it grow into something really worthwhile, especially with the coming explosion of new hardware for it.

But I digress. All of my iPhone owning friends have played with my Pre for a bit and have conceded that it is indeed a decent rival, technically speaking, to the iPhone, but the conversation didn't stop there. Pretty much all of them agreed that their current iPhone would be the last one they own. Why? A few reasons. Some feel the hardware's appearance is beginning to look dated, especially compared to the Pre and HTC Hero, others are sick of waiting for a decent multitasking solution for it, which both Android and WebOS already have, some are sick of AT&T's horrible network, and still others are just tired of being forced into using iTunes, which in recent years has become an immensely bloated app in it's own right.

Admittedly, none of these people are Apple fanatics, though some do own Apple computers. Their primary reasons for using an iPhone, as I said, were because until recently, there wasn't much in the way of competition that could even approach the iPhone's usefulness and usability. I'll be the first to admit that my personal friends, family, and acquaintances are likely far removed from the average cross-section of iPhone owners, but they brought up valid points, and I honestly wouldn't be surprised if the next iteration of the iPhone doesn't sell nearly as well unless Apple begins looking into some pretty big ways of updating the device, something they failed to do with the 3GS imo. It's kind of telling when WebOS, which is still very much in it's infancy, is already being seen as a legitimate threat to the iPhone by CNet and others, even though Apple has had such a huge head start with both their OS and hardware, and that in a similar time span, Android has gone from a crawl to a run, with each new OS update bringing tons of new features, and with handset manufacturers building some amazingly slick interfaces on top of it.

Re:How will this Help Palm? (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | about 5 years ago | (#29049235)

You sort of invalidate yourself, but yet you want to be taken with a degree of seriousness.

Regular users don't even know that they can't have multiple apps running at the same time.

The only people that need, want or even aware of what background apps are tend to be tech savvy nerds. I don't understand the huge hype about being able to run apps in the background, only because i treasure my battery life. Even if I wasn't an iPhone user, it's pretty ridiculous to tell me that carrying around spare batteries is a solution.

The only app I can think of wanting to run in the background is maybe an ssh app in case I'm asked to fix something while I'm on the go. But given my hand size, I would absolutely hate life if my lively hood was determined by how well I can type on the Pre's mobile keyboard. Sure there's tethering but that's an other point all together.

That being said, it's pretty clear that unless Apple has a complete meltdown with the next gen iPhone, the Pre is no threat to the iPhone. As bad as the AT&T network is and as good as the Pre is(it IS a decent phone, but no iPhone killer), Sprint can't seem to retain customers or float a profit. The real flaws with the iPhone have nothing to do with background apps or a puzzling app store rejection policy, it has everything to do with everyday foibles that most of us iPhonites have just put up with. Palm hasn't solved those problems either. Palm going up against Apple in terms of usability is a complete joke. Unless the next few versions of the OS change dramatically.

Have you seen my mojo? (2, Funny)

lawnboy5-O (772026) | about 5 years ago | (#29044115)

"numerous rough edges and dark, undocumented corners"

They found it!! they finally found my Mojo!!!

I think this will gain steam overtime... they needed to just get it out there and get customer-driven direction from developers....

Hey, beats the piss out of the last Palm OS SDK approach.

mmmm... warm... fuzzy ... squishy! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29044187)

"the entire scene emerging around Palm has a much more organic and creative vibe"

mmmmm... warm fuzzy feelings... and ya'll can support the darn thing when Palm discontinues it!!

Simplicity is Complex (2, Interesting)

Ukab the Great (87152) | about 5 years ago | (#29044191)

HTML, CSS, and JavaScript are three separate programming language/syntaxes (JQuery syntactic sugar would add yet one more pseudo syntax). To design graphical applications with them for the Pre, I'd have to use a text editor. And if I read the article right, I would have to fiddle with the command line to do development.

The Cocoa API is essentially one programming language/syntax. And I can design graphical interfaces with a graphical application (Interface Builder). And I never have to touch the command line.

No contest.

Re:Simplicity is Complex (2, Insightful)

QuoteMstr (55051) | about 5 years ago | (#29044261)

Your post is pure FUD. The bottleneck in any application worth writing isn't actually laying out the widgets on the page. Also, I can't see why using a graphical HTML editor if you were so inclined would be out of the question.

It's not how many "languages" or "syntaxes" one needs to learn that counts, but the complexity of the whole system. The system complexity is roughly comparable, and if anything, favors the Pre. Objective C is still an esoteric language; HTMl, Javascript, and CSS have been universal for 15 years.

Re:Simplicity is Complex (2, Informative)

Ukab the Great (87152) | about 5 years ago | (#29044383)

The first HTML browser was written in that esoteric language.

Re:Simplicity is Complex (1, Insightful)

TheKidWho (705796) | about 5 years ago | (#29044497)

That doesn't make it any better.

Re:Simplicity is Complex (1)

dwater (72834) | about 5 years ago | (#29046653)

Really? I just looked at Mosiac's source and it looks like regular C to me. The last time I looked at Objective C, it looked, er "not a lot like C".

I've probably missed something, and I'm sure you'll let me know what it is :)

Re:Simplicity is Complex (1)

iluvcapra (782887) | about 5 years ago | (#29048345)

Look harder. [wikipedia.org] A shocking level of ignorance from a 5-digiter; did you buy your UID from someone?

Fun fact: the original HTML text attributes were based on the available text attributes in NSAttributedString, and HTML pages didn't support inline images until NSAttributedString did.

Re:Simplicity is Complex (1)

dwater (72834) | about 5 years ago | (#29048471)

Thanks for being rude. I had thought I was looking quite hard, since I actually downloaded the source code to have a look.

The link you referenced had no reference that I could see to 'objective' but I found this one which did, so I assume you meant this :

Re:Simplicity is Complex (1)

aftk2 (556992) | about 5 years ago | (#29045125)

I don't do iPhone development, so this may be off base: but isn't it trivial to drop a "web view" or something like it into an iPhone application? From that point forward, you'd be able to use standards compliant CSS, JavaScript and HTML to your heart's content.

Re:Simplicity is Complex (3, Interesting)

tyrione (134248) | about 5 years ago | (#29046909)

Your post is pure FUD. The bottleneck in any application worth writing isn't actually laying out the widgets on the page. Also, I can't see why using a graphical HTML editor if you were so inclined would be out of the question.

It's not how many "languages" or "syntaxes" one needs to learn that counts, but the complexity of the whole system. The system complexity is roughly comparable, and if anything, favors the Pre. Objective C is still an esoteric language; HTMl, Javascript, and CSS have been universal for 15 years.

I'll raise you FUD with FULL OF SHI*! CSS has not been universal for 15 years. Objective-C has been universal since 1989. I'm sorry you're to f'n lazy to write with it as part of GCC, but that's not stopping the massive surge in books being published for ObjC now that Apple is finally pushing Cocoa [NeXTStep made the Browser viable first: so much for the esoteric language] and with LLVM GCC can no longer keep politically delaying additions because let's face it, LLVM is pairing up with GCC and beating it on performance.

HTML 5 is the first version of HTML in 10 years. It's not because it's so universal and standard. It's because people spent 10 years trying to make XML be the end all, be all, of web development. And ten years later Apple and Google bring us HTML 5 with really useful CSS APIs now in WebKit dealing with 2D/3D space.

Meanwhile, we are just getting bits and pieces of CSS 3 with CSS2.1 still not universally adopted and implemented. I'll stop here. I could go on and on.

Re:Simplicity is Complex (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29044267)

Except you have to run it on your douchebag Mac.

With Palm and Android, you can develop on your Mac while waiting for your Latte. Or, the rest of the development world will do it on Linux and Windows.

Count the JavaScript vs Cocoa developers? (1)

Rog7 (182880) | about 5 years ago | (#29044393)

HTML, CSS, and JavaScript are three separate programming language/syntaxes (JQuery syntactic sugar would add yet one more pseudo syntax). To design graphical applications with them for the Pre, I'd have to use a text editor. And if I read the article right, I would have to fiddle with the command line to do development.

The Cocoa API is essentially one programming language/syntax. And I can design graphical interfaces with a graphical application (Interface Builder). And I never have to touch the command line.

No contest.

First, claiming that the Cocoa API is simpler than HTML, CSS and JavaScript together is misleading.

Second, it assumes starting from scratch, but the point of the route Palm is taking is that there are already bucketloads of developers fully immersed in web development.

Third, isn't this exactly how Apple started out for iPhone development? Okay, Apple was much slower but they're where they are now and that's mostly what matters. Still, you're being very disingenuous overall.

Now personally, I've been developing web applications for the iPhone. In part because I've got my hands on one today and the Pre is still in the future for us Canadians. Regardless, I'm not developing with the Cocoa API exactly for the reason you've inadvertently illustrated: I'm leveraging the knowledge I already have.

Using what you already know = much simpler.

Re:Count the JavaScript vs Cocoa developers? (1)

iluvcapra (782887) | about 5 years ago | (#29048383)

Maybe you can answer this: So Palm Pre apps are written in Javascript, HTML and CSS. What if I wanted to ship an app without giving the end user source code? Or, in other words, what if I actually wanted to credibly sell a Palm Pre app to someone?

I can see why FOSSies are happy about all of this, but the reason the iPhone app store took off is because people could make money selling apps. It just seems like this new Palm acts like the old Palm, in that you the developer sell one unit to someone and he beams it to a hundred of his friends, whereas with iPhones this is impractical.

Re:Simplicity is Complex (2, Informative)

rho (6063) | about 5 years ago | (#29044457)

JQuery syntactic sugar

JQuery's syntax is anything but sugar. It's a hideous mess. It's as if C++ and Lisp fucked and shat out an assbaby.

I like JQuery, for what it does, but for serious...

Re:Simplicity is Complex (1)

maxume (22995) | about 5 years ago | (#29045371)

Good news! Something like 'Array.map(document.querySelectorAll("div.commentBody"), function(e){})' works in recent versions of Firefox, jQuery or not (obviously, you would normally want the function there to actually do something).

(I suppose that the collection returned by querySelectorAll will probably eventually support map directly, but it doesn't currently seem to; it might also be more proper to use forEach if the array resulting from the call to map is not needed)

Re:Simplicity is Complex (1)

tyrione (134248) | about 5 years ago | (#29046921)

JQuery syntactic sugar

JQuery's syntax is anything but sugar. It's a hideous mess. It's as if C++ and Lisp fucked and shat out an assbaby.

I like JQuery, for what it does, but for serious...

Succinct and factual.

Re:Simplicity is Complex (1)

Whitemage12380 (979267) | about 5 years ago | (#29044459)

There are Eclipse plugins. You never have to touch the command line or use a (basic) "text editor" for the Pre either. As for interface, yeah, you don't get the graphical editor, but HTML/CSS are pretty straightforward, especially if you don't have to worry about IE testing.

Re:Simplicity is Complex (1)

ksheff (2406) | about 5 years ago | (#29044967)

Did you stop reading at the first instance of "command line"? The Eclipse plugin that provides a GUI interface to those steps was mentioned in the next sentence. The great thing about WebOS and its SDK is that it is built using open source tools - the emulator is just VirtualBox running an x86 version of WebOS. You aren't tied to having to buy a Mac for development and then shelling out another $99 if you want to publish something. Since the core of it is just an ARM based Debian distribution, people are using existing Debian software or developing 'headless' apps using their *nix skills. It's a nice low cost way of being able to develop software for a platform.

When the webkit developers provide support for WebGL, WebOS developers will be able to take advantage of the 3D hardware in the phone. Hopefully, Palm will also expand the SDK to allow people to write their own Mojo services.

Decent Article on Mojo SDK State (5, Interesting)

El Royo (907295) | about 5 years ago | (#29044207)

I've been developing applications for the Palm Pre for about a month and this article does a pretty good job of summarizing the state of the SDK. I was never a Javascript fan and was disappointed at first to learn that it would be the language for developing apps. However, I've since discovered that there's actually quite a bit of power in Javascript. One of the big hurdles for 'traditional' developers approaching the Palm Pre is that you have to learn up to five new technologies at once: Javascript, HTML, CSS, the Mojo framework and, optionally, Prototype. None of these is difficult on their own. Diving head first into all of them leads to a bit of confusion at first as you wrap your brain around them.

I have set up a blog where I discuss some of the more user-facing aspects of the Palm Pre: Pre101.com [pre101.com] . I hope to bring out a more developer oriented site later.

Re:Decent Article on Mojo SDK State (1)

recharged95 (782975) | about 5 years ago | (#29045613)

One of the big hurdles for 'traditional' developers approaching the Palm Pre is that you have to learn up to five new technologies at once

Huh, the learning curve required to learn those 5 things is less than OSX, Obj-C, and XCode--not to miss the appstore cert/provisioning website/setup... and getting used to not having a real delete key (but replacing it with the backspace functionality).

Re:Decent Article on Mojo SDK State (1)

Serious Callers Only (1022605) | about 5 years ago | (#29048595)

and getting used to not having a real delete key (but replacing it with the backspace functionality).

I'm curious, as I often see this complaint from ex-Windows users. When I'm typing and notice a mistake, I am always in front of the mistake with the cursor, so I just back up using backspace and then start typing again. When do you use the delete key normally?

PS You can press function-delete if you want forward delete.

Re:Decent Article on Mojo SDK State (1)

Xest (935314) | about 5 years ago | (#29048765)

When you're not in front of the mistake.

i.e. if you're navigating around a document such as a bunch of source code with the cursor keys you wont necessarily find yourself in front of the problem, unless you waste extra time navigating to it. The section you want to delete wont necessarily be at the end of the line either so you can't depend on "End".

The point is, not all text that needs deleting needs to be deleted as you type, it's when you're editing, if something doesn't sound quite right. If you want to change the start of a line you can just hit "Home" and "Delete", rather than Home, right x20 then back space.

Using an extra key to get the functionality isn't great for usability or productivity as it means using both hands, rather than one for deleting, and the other for navigating/replacing.

So basically, you don't delete stuff only when you make mistakes, you delete stuff when you edit too.

HTML+JS+CSS? Apple did it in 2005 (2, Interesting)

toby (759) | about 5 years ago | (#29044291)

Dashboard widgets, [apple.com] Dashcode IDE. [apple.com]

Re:HTML+JS+CSS? Apple did it in 2005 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29047681)

Just like Active Desktop on Windows 95 huh? Really, you just sound like a fanboy who has to say that "Apple did it first", even if it's a desktop application with nothing to do with the Palm Pre.

Language exclusive SDKs. (2, Interesting)

BlueKitties (1541613) | about 5 years ago | (#29045281)

Microsoft at least has one thing it knows: cross language APIs/SDKs are a good thing. I wanted to perform some data mining on an Excel Spread sheet, I just popped open Python file and imported COM support -- tah-dah, Excel access in the language of my choice, with as many supporting features as the Java/C#/C++/PHP/Ruby approaches.

too lazy to read the article (1)

larry bagina (561269) | about 5 years ago | (#29045377)

but there are 3 (that I can name!) next generation javascript frameworks that may help:

GWT [google.com] -- google's java to javascript translator.

Sproutcore [sproutcore.com] -- Apple is using it for .Mac

Cappuccino [objective-j.org] -- more or less complete reimplementation of Cocoa via objective javascript

I'll also mention OpenLazlo [openlaszlo.org] , though I haven't paid any attention to it, so I don't know the internals.

Someone Way More Schooled Than Me... (1)

Vortran (253538) | about 5 years ago | (#29045553)

Please explain why 'Java services' are a good idea? I don't mean to disrespect Java.. but my understanding is that it is not compiled to native code. If I really want something like a service, don't I want it to be as efficient and spanky fast as it can be? Don't I want it running in native machine language? I see so much being done these days with 'interpreters' (.Net CLR, Java, Flash, Python, Perl) and I wonder how good the interpreters REALLY are and how they would fair against native code? I come from an assembler background so it's difficult for me to appreciate how giving up the efficiency of native code is a good idea for something like a service, especially in a small portable platform where resources may not be abundant? Do people ever compile Java to native code?

Re:Someone Way More Schooled Than Me... (2, Informative)

abigor (540274) | about 5 years ago | (#29046511)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Just-in-time_compilation [wikipedia.org]

Short answer: your Java program will run natively, as it gets compiled at runtime.

The problem with Java isn't the speed, it's the memory overhead and startup time of the runtime.

Re:Someone Way More Schooled Than Me... (1)

Desler (1608317) | about 5 years ago | (#29046677)

I see so much being done these days with 'interpreters' (.Net CLR, Java, Flash, Python, Perl) and I wonder how good the interpreters REALLY are and how they would fair against native code?

*facepalm*. .NET programs aren't interpreted. They are JIT-compiled into native code.

Losing your Mojo (1)

cbraescu1 (180267) | about 5 years ago | (#29045565)

So, if you lose your Mojo, does it mean you got Austin Powers around?

CAn you use it to report usage of an app? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29046039)

Can you use it to automatically report all data (number, gps loc, usage , all installed apps etc...) that a user of your app is using to your own central server ? Because REALLY that is what I want, to get no privacy at all [slashdot.org]

Lol - the tags! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29046743)

'crap', 'dataloss' - at first I thought wtf? But soon realized that it's nothing more than the Apple fanbois are taking their tagging work a tad bit too seriously today!

Who cares (1)

twoHats (1253090) | about 5 years ago | (#29048451)

Who cares - They are a bunch of snoops who don't deserve any apps at all. (see earlier story)

...but does it run Linux? (1)

Narcocide (102829) | about 5 years ago | (#29048837)

This is all well and good but what I really want to know is can I install emacs?

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