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The Kafka-esque Nightmare of Palm App Submission

kdawson posted about 5 years ago | from the next-the-hoop-of-fire dept.

Cellphones 332

MBCook writes "Jamie Zawinski, shortly after the release of the Palm Pre, wrote two free software programs for the phone: a Tip Calculator and a port of Dali Clock. In trying to get the apps published to the App Catalog, he has had to sign up to be a developer twice; fax contracts around; been told (apparently incorrectly) that he was not allowed to release free software for the phone; and told he had to give PayPal his checking account number. 'It's been two weeks, and I have received no reply. In the months since this process began, other third-party developers seem to have managed to get their applications into the App Catalog. Apparently these people are better at jumping through ridiculous hoops than I am.'"

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Palm App Clunker (3, Funny)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 5 years ago | (#29578573)

Palm app clunker?
A who'd've thunker.
What way could this pave,
For another DC save?
Burma Shave

Re:Palm App Clunker... NOT! (0, Flamebait)

d3ac0n (715594) | about 5 years ago | (#29579071)

I don't suppose it could be, say, the completely and totally overwhelming response from developers has overloaded Palm's limited ability to process new App Store submissions [precentral.net] that has led to some isolated developers having issues?

NAH, IT'S KAFKA-ESQUE!

I mean, hey. It's not an Apple product, so WE MUST DUMP ON IT! Let's just ignore the vibrant and rapidly growing Homebrew scene [precentral.net] , many of which are already in the official App catalog [precentral.net] , with many many more on the way. Let's just focus on the one unfortunate who had a bad experience, and then blow it all out of proportion so that we can all sit back in smug iSatisfaction.

Which iSlave is posting these "stories" and why are they allowed to get to the front page?

Re:Palm App Clunker... NOT! (4, Informative)

ta bu shi da yu (687699) | about 5 years ago | (#29579135)

Oh hardly. The man wants to distribute free software and he had to print out and sign 10 pages of legal documents. Then he had to comply with a whole bunch of ridiculous demands (like setting his version number less than 1.0.0 for a finished app), then deal with mountains of emails.

Does this sound like an efficient organization? Could it be that the reason why they've been overwhelmed is (gasp!) their ridiculous and inefficient distribution process?

Well, no - after all, that would be too much like *bashing Palm*. See how I turned that on you? Instead of *bashing Apple*, I turned it into *bashing Palm*! Neat trick, huh?

Re:Palm App Clunker... NOT! (2, Insightful)

d3ac0n (715594) | about 5 years ago | (#29579355)

Does this sound like an efficient organization?

It sounds very much like an organization that has never had to deal with this type of application submission situation, and is still working out the kinks in what what would naturally be a complicated process whole at the same time dealing with a significantly larger response than expected.

Is Palm and their App Store submission process perfect? Hell no! But to call it Kafka-esque is crude hyperbole of the most insulting form.

Oh, and this IS /. Lots of Apple fanboys submit stories all the time here. Or have you not noticed the overwhelmingly positive iPhone stories, even back when they were initially launched and had many similar issues? Or are you blinded by your own fanboyism?

Re:Palm App Clunker... NOT! (1)

lptport1 (640159) | about 5 years ago | (#29579457)

Please.

For an Apple fanboy to submit this, they would have to care about it. To them, all that exists is the iPhone, and they do not deign to recognize any other handset.

To them, there can be no iPhone killer.

Re:Palm App Clunker... NOT! (1, Funny)

dangitman (862676) | about 5 years ago | (#29579191)

NAH, IT'S KAFKA-ESQUE! I mean, hey. It's not an Apple product, so WE MUST DUMP ON IT!

Wow, insane much?

Official Heretic from the "Church of Global Warming".

Wow, insane much?

Re:Palm App Clunker... NOT! (0, Flamebait)

d3ac0n (715594) | about 5 years ago | (#29579221)

Wow, insane much?

wow. Troll much?

Re:Palm App Clunker... NOT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29579555)

Wow, take yourself too seriously much?

Oh, insane, right...

Re:Palm App Clunker... NOT! (5, Funny)

jayspec462 (609781) | about 5 years ago | (#29579391)

If you'd RTFA, you would have seen that the morning after he submitted the apps to Palm for approval, he turned into a giant cockroach. Therefore, Kafkaesque is a completely appropriate adjective.

Windows Mobile (5, Insightful)

sopssa (1498795) | about 5 years ago | (#29578717)

This is what's actually good in Windows Mobile. Anyone can write software for it and anyone can start a Store site for it. In this respect Windows and Windows Mobile are quite open architectures. All iPhone, Palm and Symbian are really restricted and closed architectures (Symbian requires you to get certificate for the app too), and getting your apps on the stores are a real bitch.

Re:Windows Mobile (0, Troll)

rootofevil (188401) | about 5 years ago | (#29578775)

This is what's^wthe only thing thats actually good in Windows Mobile.

FTFY

Re:Windows Mobile (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29578781)

Dear Sir or Madam,

The responsible Anti-Microsoft Troll that should have replied to this post by now is on sick leave and was unable to prepare a custom flaming reply to this particular post. In lieu of that, attached is our generic template which we use to write all our flaming responses.

1. Make a general anti-Microsoft jab
2. Blame Microsoft for it's stance against Free Software (and also for lack of network neutrality, the current state of patent laws, the Iraq war, and the extinction of the dinosaurs)
3. Accuse the poster who wrote something positive about Microsoft of being either a fanboy or a Microsoft employee. If the poster in question made a comment about Microsoft's actual support of Free Software in a particular instance, accuse the poster of being an oblivious idiot unable to see through their Embrace-Extend-Extinguish approach
4. State that the Linux revolution is inevitable
5. Finish off with another outpour of flames

We hope you will be able to infer the potential content of the post that should have been done by the respective Troll. Please accept our apologies.

Sincerely,

Assistant Secretary,
Anti-Microsoft Trolling Association, Ltd.

Re:Windows Mobile (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29578805)

This is what's actually good in Windows Mobile. Anyone can write software for it and anyone can start a Store site for it. In this respect Windows and Windows Mobile are quite open architectures. All iPhone, Palm and Symbian are really restricted and closed architectures (Symbian requires you to get certificate for the app too), and getting your apps on the stores are a real bitch.

To be fair, there is already an alternate package manager / store application you can install with minimal hassle. http://www.webos-internals.org/wiki/Application:Preware

TFA is concerned with the difficulty of getting an app into the official store, not homebrew apps which are exceedingly easy to do. Its rather hard to call an architecture closed that has the Konami code as the means by which you unlock dev mode. There is a rapidly growing base of homebrew stuff, including apps that add functionality like onscreen keyboards, wireless tethering, etc all with no objection from Palm.

Re:Windows Mobile (1)

tony.damato (13665) | about 5 years ago | (#29579151)

With respect to JWZ, for anyone who has been following the Palm Pre these last few months, Palm has been doing their best to accommodate the deluge of developers who want to create for the platform:

http://www.precentral.net/palm-overwhelmed-application-submissions [precentral.net]

According to the article, Chuq Von Rospach, the Palm Developer Community Manager stated in the developer forums at https://developer.palm.com/distribution/viewtopic.php?p=7622#p7622 [palm.com] :

We got more applications than we could handle well, which is a good problem to have. Unfortunately, it means we dropped some things on the floor, and that's bad, but with the impending "stuff" that's coming, this is all going to get a lot easier for everyone and a lot more transparent.

If you didn't get a response in a timely manner, let me apologize to you. We should have done a better job on this, and I apologize for this. I'm working with the people I work with on this to try to make sure we do a better job of this moving forward. Good news is we've hired some people -- one's started, one starts next week, and the third starts the week after that, and that'll give us some great people and some new resources to make sure this gets fixed and works properly.

As the previous poster started, unlike the iPhone, there is a very active home brew community which Palm has not only blessed, but has assisted with:

http://www.webos-internals.org/wiki/Application:Preware [webos-internals.org]

Re:Windows Mobile (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29578837)

Is there a market place for Windows Mobile where you can you apps sold?

I am sure Microsoft will have an approval process for that as well when it comes... Just isn't there yet!

Re:Windows Mobile (1)

Tridus (79566) | about 5 years ago | (#29578873)

Yeah. It's gotten pretty ridiculous that you need approval to put things in a specific store so people can use them. This is something that Microsoft actually got right.

Re:Windows Mobile (1)

thisnamestoolong (1584383) | about 5 years ago | (#29579183)

I don't see any problem with companies requiring an individual approval for apps being sold through their app store -- if you want to sell your software through a specific venue then it is entirely reasonable that it will be thoroughly vetted before being allowed into the store. The problem comes when the developer prevents software from outside the app store from being installed -- that is just ridiculous nonsense. From what I hear, it seems to be much easier to install third party software on the Pre than the iPhone, but I have not really been following either too closely -- all the smartphones that have come out so far are WAAAY too locked down for me to ever even consider wanting one, which is exactly the opposite effect of what they were intending with all of this draconian bullshit.

Re:Windows Mobile (4, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | about 5 years ago | (#29579307)

Yeah. It's gotten pretty ridiculous that you need approval to put things in a specific store so people can use them. This is something that Microsoft actually got right.

Yet on Xbox 360, developers still need to pay $99 per year for Creators Club and then get approval to get their XNA games posted.

Re:Windows Mobile (1)

indiechild (541156) | about 5 years ago | (#29579495)

We'll see how long that lasts. I'm sure Microsoft is rushing even now to follow suit and build their own app store for Windows Mobile devices...

Re:Windows Mobile (2, Interesting)

Niedi (1335165) | about 5 years ago | (#29578983)

Yup, that's definitely good about windows mobile. However, if that article's right microsoft appears to be working very hard to fix that.
http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/09/09/16/microsoft_sells_restrictive_new_wimo_marketplace_via_iphone_ads.html

Re:Windows Mobile (1)

noundi (1044080) | about 5 years ago | (#29579059)

This is what's actually good in Windows Mobile. Anyone can write software for it and anyone can start a Store site for it. In this respect Windows and Windows Mobile are quite open architectures. All iPhone, Palm and Symbian are really restricted and closed architectures (Symbian requires you to get certificate for the app too), and getting your apps on the stores are a real bitch.

Symbian is hopefully dying in favor of Maemo, and what goes for iPhone you don't even want to get me started. However this isn't "good about Windows Mobile", this is required for me to even look at it once, and I'm not asking for much here. I don't know why the author bothers to develop for Palm when... well do I need to continue that sentence or can I let TFA speak for itself?

Re:Windows Mobile (2, Informative)

andymadigan (792996) | about 5 years ago | (#29579123)

Android is the same way, you can download an app from anywhere. Though you do need to check the "Allow third-party applications" box in the configuration, which is trivial. It's nice, it means that T-Mo and Google have very little effective control of the device.

(Happy owner of a G1, never giving it up until another good capacitive touch-screen based phone with a keyboard comes out)

Re:Windows Mobile (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | about 5 years ago | (#29579301)

This is what's actually good in Windows Mobile. Anyone can write software for it and anyone can start a Store site for it.

Well, this is both good and bad. You see, a lot of users consider a centralized store combined with a package manager is a feature and are voting with their wallets. MS will doubtless respond eventually. It is possible they will do it right, but unlikely.

What they should do is open an official app store, but rather than making it monolithic, allow any server to serve applications through the store. Handle all licensing/sales centrally and send out checks. Don't outright block any applications for any reason, even if MS considers them to be confirmed malware. Instead, review all software for safety and provide it with a rating. Unreviewed software where MS knows nothing about it can be a 5. Software which is confirmed by multiple parties to be malware can be 1. Software with open source whose code has been reviewed by multiple partners and has a posted bond can be 10. Raise the rating of software from known reputable companies and for signed software. Lower the rating for software from companies that publish adware or other near-malware. Raise the rating for software from companies that have multiple products, signed and known good. Allow for user reviews to be taken into account. Finally, build a system into Windows Mobile so that by default only a certain level of software will run and any risky software will result in a warning and prompt the user to confirm they want to buy software that is rated as potentially dangerous. Make the warnings increasingly dire. Allow the user to change the settings on their device for what level of risk is acceptable.

By implementing something like I've described a company can have all the benefits of a central store and more, but with none of the drawbacks and hassle.

Re:Windows Mobile (1)

bostei2008 (1441027) | about 5 years ago | (#29579321)

Just a pity that the OS sucks so much.

Honestly, I have done quite some windows programming and always thought it better than its reputation. But I always hated developing for Windows Mobile. It felt to me like the most neglected corner of Windows Development. Confusing and contradicting documentation, a toolchain that was a pain, a totally over engineered syncing process (ActiveSync). Part of the .NET toolchain does not work... I could go on and on.

And they say... (3, Funny)

autojive (560399) | about 5 years ago | (#29578739)

And they say that Apple's App store process is a pain in the ass. Looks like Palm is emulating more of Apple than we thought. :-)

Hmmm... (0)

Jaysyn (203771) | about 5 years ago | (#29578745)

Sounds like it's much more trouble than it's worth.  I guess you have to do stuff like this if you want to make money programing for a walled garden like the iPhone or Pre.

Re:Hmmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29579173)

The apps JWZ wants to distribute are open-source. Try again.

This seems like a terrible plan. (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 5 years ago | (#29578751)

The difference between arrogance and hubris is what you can get away with.

Apple's authoritarian submission policies are on one side of that line, and I'm pretty sure that Palm is going to find out that theirs are on the other.

Re:This seems like a terrible plan. (2, Funny)

Zarf (5735) | about 5 years ago | (#29579189)

wait... which one can you get away with? What?

GPLV3 is the very definition of Kafkaesque (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29578763)

so is Slashdot's mod system

Jamie (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29578807)

And u carped about Linux. Can u not find a platform that makes you happy?

Re:Jamie (2, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | about 5 years ago | (#29579197)

Once I realized it was JWZ, I had that same thought. It is perhaps possible that NOTHING would please this guy.

Let's all be like Apple! (3, Insightful)

jekk (15278) | about 5 years ago | (#29578811)

So Palm decided that they wanted to imitate Apple? After all, "no press is bad press", and Apple sure has been getting a lot of press for the way it runs the AppStore. Locking down the device... it may not be useful to the *customers*, but it couldn't harm the company at all, could it?

Well, not unless they abandon your platform (or never flock to it in the first place) in favor of Android or even Nokia's Maemo -- platforms that allow the USER to control what they run on their devices.

I think I've learned my lesson. I am not buying an iPhone, Kindle, or (after reading this) Palm -- no devices from a company that intends to control what I can run on my device. Offering a store: GREAT idea. Carefully controlling what goes in this store and prohibiting any other means of getting apps onto the device: that makes it THEIR device, not mine, and I don't want to play that game.

Re:Let's all be like Apple! (2, Informative)

jo42 (227475) | about 5 years ago | (#29578843)

Google "iPhone jailbreak" and then "cydia store". You can then put all the crap that you want on your iPhone.

Re:Let's all be like Apple! (4, Insightful)

Old97 (1341297) | about 5 years ago | (#29578927)

You are confusing users with developers. Very few users are developers. Those who aren't developers aren't interested in what hoops you need to jump through or in how much "freedom" you have as a developer. They want a reliable, easy to use device and they want a lot of easy to use applications that are useful to them, easy to install and easy to use. Apple has accomplished that. Their numbers of users and available applications prove that. I doubt if any of these companies care about what you personally will buy or not buy. You are not the market they are going after.

As for developers, if you give them a few tools and access to millions of potential customers, they will jump through any hoops they have to in order to compete in a lucrative market.

Re:Let's all be like Apple! (1)

walshy007 (906710) | about 5 years ago | (#29579033)

You are confusing users with developers. Very few users are developers.

You don't need to be a developer to enjoy the programs others have written for free.. I don't have to have written for example inkscape in order to want to use it on what I have for free. non-developers jailbreak iphones too.... to use what they want on their phone, not necessarily develop on it.

Re:Let's all be like Apple! (1)

Old97 (1341297) | about 5 years ago | (#29579475)

Enjoying an application is not a compelling reason to buy a device.

Re:Let's all be like Apple! (1)

Sloppy (14984) | about 5 years ago | (#29579401)

Those who aren't developers aren't interested in .. how much "freedom" you have as a developer.

Which is why people should just shut the fuck up about how much their computers suck.

Re:Let's all be like Apple! (1)

tepples (727027) | about 5 years ago | (#29579407)

As for developers, if you give them a few tools and access to millions of potential customers, they will jump through any hoops they have to in order to compete in a lucrative market.

Unless the developer prefers to work part-time, perhaps because he has an unrelated day job, and the hoops include "have a dedicated office" and "already have relevant industry experience". A lot of developers will choose another platform instead of trying to jump through these hoops.

Re:Let's all be like Apple! (1)

Old97 (1341297) | about 5 years ago | (#29579521)

Small part time developers are not that important in the scheme of things. People who want to make money will invest their time or money (e.g. venture capital) in things that will make them money. If the potential ROI is great enough, they will jump through whatever hoops it takes. Small time part time developers don't drive the market. They just nibble the crumbs.

Re:Let's all be like Apple! (5, Insightful)

node 3 (115640) | about 5 years ago | (#29578955)

Locking down the device... it may not be useful to the *customers*

Apple has recently served up it's two billionth app (this number does not include updates).

More open devices like the old Palms and Windows Mobile may seem more consumer-friendly at first, but when you take a closer look, you'll see that Apple's approach is *far* more consumer-friendly. Far more apps have been sold through iTunes than ever would have been sold if developers had to peddle their wares independently. And even free apps are easier to find, download and install.

Do you even know how easy it is to get an app for the iPhone? Once you find an app that interests you, it just takes one click to acquire it and have it installed on your iPhone. One click! No downloading zip files, extracting them then installing via some menu system. Just click, and plug in your phone. Done.

Apple keeps your credit card information for iTunes when you set up your account. You don't have to enter anything in for each purchase, and Apple is more trustworthy than some random web site.

As far as the customers are concerned, the iTunes App Store is a smashing success.

Re:Let's all be like Apple! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29579257)

"If you make your system idiot-safe then only idiots will use it".

That describes the Apple Store and the iPhone system in general very well.

Re:Let's all be like Apple! (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about 5 years ago | (#29579259)

> Apple has recently served up it's two billionth app (this number does not include updates). ...which may or may not be terribly impressive all things considered. Of course it is a number
specificially engineered to look and sound impressive but it may not really be all that. It's
just saavy marketing that easily impresses rubes. It's a figure that's easy to inflate. Time
will tell. This approach may eventually end up biting Apple in the butt as they (despite all
of the hype to the contrary) are very much in a minority market share position.

IOW, there are smaller numbers of iphones. Sure they are very profitable for Apple but they
are still a small minority of the overall market.

The Billions and Billions served counting approach may make other platforms look better in the end.

Re:Let's all be like Apple! (1)

indiechild (541156) | about 5 years ago | (#29579433)

Come back two years later and we'll see. Apple is doing very well because, as always, they make things much more easy and user-friendly for the customer. I know it's trendy on Slashdot to bash Apple as "overhyped" and superficial and marketing-driven, but in reality they often make the most well-designed and engineered products on the market. People buy Apple gear because it works really well for the average person.

Unfortunately the "superior" types who look down on everyday people as sheeple and lusers can't factor this into their narrow worldview. Sour grapes and all that.

Re:Let's all be like Apple! (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 5 years ago | (#29579611)

but in reality they often make the most well-designed and engineered products on the market

Youll want to cite that. If youre referring to the cases / chassis, you might have a point, but otherwise there are a large number of competitors. ASUS for example makes some very nice screen-integrated desktops, Blackberries are STILL considered the gold standard of the corporate phone market (and not because of poor engineering either), and Sansa Fuzes are, as i understand it, generally considered superior to iPods (and if those dont float your boat, i hear the COWONs are pretty decent too).

Not that Apple doesnt make some nice laptops with magnetic connectors, but to say that most things they make are "best in category" is probably pushing it too far. "some of the most well-designed..." would have been perhaps more reasonable.

Re:Let's all be like Apple! (2, Insightful)

Kidbro (80868) | about 5 years ago | (#29579347)

Apple keeps your credit card information for iTunes when you set up your account. You don't have to enter anything in for each purchase

As far as praise goes, this one is pretty hilarious.

Re:Let's all be like Apple! (1)

dirk (87083) | about 5 years ago | (#29579381)

The app store itself is a good idea other companies should imitate. The issue is that with Apple, it is the only way to get your app on the iPhone (yes, I know that people can jailbreak their iPhone and then visit other stores and install other apps, but that is a fairly small number of users and can be undone at any time Apple wants to). I have a WinMobile phone and would love to have a good app store for it, as it would make finding things easier. What I don't want is for that to be the only way to install something on the phone, as then they have complete control over what I can install on my phone. We have all heard the nightmares from developers about the random apps that Apple doesn't approve, as well as the apps they won't approve because it may compete with their products (and god forbid someone be able to choose to use something other than the app Apple has designed).

Re:Let's all be like Apple! (1)

DangerFace (1315417) | about 5 years ago | (#29579481)

And what you say is not a huge bag of fail why, exactly? He just said that having stores makes perfect sense, since they make money for the parent company and nudge the consumer in the right direction, plus maybe make life easier on the developer. All he was saying was that he wouldn't trade that OMG one click!!eleven! for a device that won't let him install what he wants from it; there isn't a dichotomy between an app store and a user's ability to install stuff on their phones.

As far as the customers are concerned, the iTunes App Store is a smashing success.

As far as customers are concerned Vista was better because it was shinier. Customers are marketing's job - down here's for people who want stuff to work.

Re:Let's all be like Apple! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29579137)

In this day and age of open software, and the entire philosophy behind it, it's pretty amazing to me that Apple has found a way to exert more control over their h/w than they ever have. And more than the dreaded M$ ever has. And yet, the lambasting that M$ would have gotten (and rightly so) for trying something like this has not really materialized.

Re:Let's all be like Apple! (1)

mdarksbane (587589) | about 5 years ago | (#29579209)

I'd say it's largely because they're doing it on a market that has traditionally been incredibly closed and controlled. Phones have never been an open platform.

You can argue that Windows mobile or Symbian are more open in what apps they allow, but you need to be both *good* and open before anyone cares. The ability to install any app you want is nice, but secondary to have an app you want to install in the first place.

Re:Let's all be like Apple! (1)

thisnamestoolong (1584383) | about 5 years ago | (#29579485)

Offering a store: GREAT idea. Carefully controlling what goes in this store and prohibiting any other means of getting apps onto the device: that makes it THEIR device, not mine, and I don't want to play that game.

I would reword that statement to say: "Offering a store: GREAT idea. Carefully controlling what goes in this store: also a GREAT idea. Prohibiting any other means of getting apps onto the device: BULLSHIT."

If these companies are going to offer app stores it makes perfect sense for them to do extensive QA on the apps before allowing them in. In other words, the app store should be a gated community, so to speak, so that those who want to be able to get apps quickly and easily with the peace of mind of knowing that the software is safe should have a place to go (this also helps retards not get viruses and pollute the rest of the ecosystem). Making that app store the only place to get software, however, is retarded. These developers need to get off their collective high horse and realize that these smart phones are nothing more than little computers, and start treating them as such. Sell me a solid device with a solid O/S. That is all I want. I don't need you to hold my hand the whole way, and tell me what I can and cannot do with the piece of hardware that I own. I know I speak for a lot of other nerds in saying that I will not own one of these devices until they open things up a little bit.

Tip calculator?! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29578875)

Maybe the world doesn't need another tip calculator...

Re:Tip calculator?! (2, Insightful)

Shrike82 (1471633) | about 5 years ago | (#29578959)

Maybe the world doesn't need another tip calculator...

Why do we need any? Is it really that hard to work out a fairly simple percentage in your head? Perhaps it's easier to leave a small tip when a machine is telling you to do it. "It's not me that's cheap, it's my iPhone."

Re:Tip calculator?! (2, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 5 years ago | (#29579129)

Depends on what portion of the bill is food, and what portion of the bill is drinks.

Not that the tipping rules are any different; but applying them can get tricky...

Re:Tip calculator?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29579167)

Maybe the world doesn't need another tip calculator...

Why do we need any? Is it really that hard to work out a fairly simple percentage in your head? Perhaps it's easier to leave a small tip when a machine is telling you to do it. "It's not me that's cheap, it's my iPhone."

Expecting a tip is anti American. The minimum wage is so low that these people working as waiters depend on tips to make ends meet. However who decides minimum wage? The government, and in our beloved capitalistic country which is the very definition of the word American I get to choose who I want to tip. I choose none, and if you critisize me for it then you too are anti American.
 
Think about it.

Re:Tip calculator?! (1)

TTURabble (1164837) | about 5 years ago | (#29579047)

But how else am I going to multiply the check amount by 15%??

It's not like I can punch N * .15 into any calculator and get the right answer...right?

Hyperbole inflation (5, Insightful)

tgv (254536) | about 5 years ago | (#29578909)

The name Kafka now gets invoked whenever someone doesn't immediately get what he/she wants. Some administrative thingy gone wrong? Kafka! Your broadband connection doesn't allow you to download at 20Mb and the help desk says that the speed is not constant? Kafka! Your microwave's remote control's batteries are not in stock at your local supermarket and it will take more than an hour to restock? Kafka! You wake up and you find yourself turning into a giant beetle? O wait...

Re:Hyperbole inflation (5, Insightful)

bwalling (195998) | about 5 years ago | (#29579037)

To quote Wikipedia: "Kafka's work, in this sense, is not a written reflection of any of his own struggles, but a reflection of how people invent struggles." So, this guy whining about his app submission being to trying, is actually Kafkaesque - he's inventing a struggle so he can whine about it on the Internet to satisfy his narcissism.

Re:Hyperbole inflation (4, Funny)

ta bu shi da yu (687699) | about 5 years ago | (#29579165)

I'm struggling to understand you. It's almost Kafkaesque.

Re:Hyperbole inflation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29579525)

To quote Wikipedia: "[citation needed]"

Re:Hyperbole inflation (1)

Civil_Disobedient (261825) | about 5 years ago | (#29579449)

The name Kafka now gets invoked whenever someone doesn't immediately get what he/she wants.

Perhaps, but not in this case. Kafka's name is usually brought up to describe situations where bureaucracy has run amok and replaced reason with rules that are blindly followed, much to the protagonist's (and the reader's) frustration.

So in this case, the analogy is apt.

Re:Hyperbole inflation (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 5 years ago | (#29579487)

Clearly, you missed the part where a baroque and terrible machine scribes an NDA into the flesh of the developer, over and over until he dies...

We need an open platform / open source PDA. Now. (4, Interesting)

Qbertino (265505) | about 5 years ago | (#29578929)

The old, imho to date unmatched, Palm OS is dead, the new Palm seems to become a screwup, iPhone/iPod Touch is a lockdown nightmare, WinMobile is a no-go and developing, integrating and deploying to Blackb*rrys is like grating your fingernails.

The Matter of fact is: Mobile is a mess, very much the way desktop computers were in the mid-eighties.

We are in dire need of an eqiuvalent to the Arduino platform in the PDA market. Small, cheap, relyable, open standards, with a simple single-touch screen a neat CPU and some run-off-the-mill LitIon battery industry standard. 6 months into the first batch we'll have FOSS programmers and hardware hackers expanding it to be a cellphone for those who want it to be one.
THAT is what we need.

Just the open standard equivalent of my oldest colorscreen Palm at the price of 100 Euros and an FOSS OS that comes with it, that's all I ask. It can't be that difficult with hardware prices dropping left right and center.

My 2 cents.

Re:We need an open platform / open source PDA. Now (2, Insightful)

Zhiroc (909773) | about 5 years ago | (#29579045)

What about Android? TBH I haven't looked into it all that much, despite the hype. A while back (before the iPhone and Android), when I made the decision to move off of Palm OS, I chose Win Mobile for the sheer fact that it looked like the most open platform, which is pretty amazing... And to reply directly to your comment, the problem is that we haven't yet really gotten too far down the line towards open hardware. The level of miniaturization and integration you need to make a small appliance like a PDA is too expensive. As a case in point, I don't see much in the way of "hobbyist" laptops either, and that would be the first platform such attempts would have broken into by now.

Re:We need an open platform / open source PDA. Now (2, Informative)

daid303 (843777) | about 5 years ago | (#29579153)

http://openpandora.org/ [openpandora.org]
It's taking a while, but they are getting there.

Re:We need an open platform / open source PDA. Now (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29579293)

Android's a step in the right direction, but it still seems to be a little locked-down with third-party code being forced into Java.

Right now, the most free option looks to be the Maemo platform [nokia.com] that Nokia's pushing with their new N900. Like Android, it's Linux-based, but it apparently also gives you access to a root shell and native code.

Re:We need an open platform / open source PDA. Now (2, Insightful)

fifewiskey (1608023) | about 5 years ago | (#29579131)

I believe it would be nice to set up some standards but I enjoy the extreme openness that we have today. Anyone can write an app for the phone, and who cares if it gets published or not. It's truly back to the old days of write whatever you need to make things better and share it. Once you begin to lay done the standards and organize the structure you begin to loose that "wild west" feeling.

There is a golden mean between chaos and order, however I lean a little more towards chaos in this situation.

Re:We need an open platform / open source PDA. Now (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about 5 years ago | (#29579201)

WinMobile is a no-go

Tell that to these folks [xda-developers.com]

Who cares about these apps? (2, Insightful)

kuzb (724081) | about 5 years ago | (#29578941)

Seriously. It's a tip calculator, and a clock. These are the kinds of applications we can do with less of anyway. FOSS software is rife with these small and pointless programs. I agree such software is great as learning tools for others to get a foothold with when writing their own more complicated software, but they're hardly worth getting your panties in a twist over. Palm OS comes with a clock, and last I checked, is bundled with a calculator.

I could understand if it were something truly useful that added to the platform, but these programs do not.

Re:Who cares about these apps? (4, Insightful)

jekk (15278) | about 5 years ago | (#29579049)

The point is not what YOU think of the quality of the apps. It's not what PALM thinks of the quality of the apps. The point is that the author of the software must jump through ridiculous hoops and beg permission of someone before they can give their app to people who want it. And if the someone says "No", then no one can have it.

Re:Who cares about these apps? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29579053)

Palm OS comes with a clock, and last I checked, is bundled with a calculator.

Yeah, but the clock doesn't melt! And the calculator doesn't automatically type in *1.2=

Re:Who cares about these apps? (1)

FrozenGeek (1219968) | about 5 years ago | (#29579057)

The point is not the apps themselves. The point is the process. If this is indicative (please, note the 'If' at the start of this sentence) of the process of developing apps for the Pre, then Palm is toast. They need the Pre to be a success. For that to happen, their app store needs to be a success. And for that to happen, developers have to develop (and market) apps. Making life difficult for developers will kill that right away. While you may not care for Palm (personally, a company is a company is a company), having a wide range of competitors in any given unregulated market tends (not always, but usually) to result in better products (or service), so we all have an interest in the success of Palm.

Re:Who cares about these apps? (1)

alen (225700) | about 5 years ago | (#29579275)

i see that Apple is a total failure with their policies. from 0 to over 75,000 apps in just over a year and everyone is trying to copy them. Blackberry had tons of apps and most people didn't know about them because you had to hunt them down on developer websites or via stores like crackberry. with the appstore you have all apps in one location making search and purchase easier.

there was even a survey out a few weeks ago that found that developers make a lot more money via Apple's AppStore than selling the same app over Google's Marketplace. One reason is that the Android Marketplace people request a lot more refunds than iphone users. And most developers will follow the money

Re:Who cares about these apps? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29579073)

Innovation, welcome to one of your worst enemies: jaded apathy. This is the same argument made against FOSS all the time by makers of proprietary crap. It doesn't matter if it is FOSS or not.

Re:Who cares about these apps? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29579077)

Mod parent UP

Re:Who cares about these apps? (1)

ashtophoenix (929197) | about 5 years ago | (#29579111)

Never the less...

Re:Who cares about these apps? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29579159)

Woooosh much?

The issue here is that a closed, locked-down platform is unappealing to work with, and that many programmers would greatly an open solution. So let's talk about that, instead of using the opportunity to insult open source software developers.

It's pathetic how any offtopic insult to open source software gets modded up on slashdot nowadays. Far cry from the civilized technical discussions we used to have 10 years ago.

Re:Who cares about these apps? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29579471)

Most of the people responding don't even know who JWZ is. That says a lot about how far Slashdot has fallen.

Re:Who cares about these apps? (1)

isThisNameAvailable (1496341) | about 5 years ago | (#29579211)

Yeah, this almost reads like Palm simply isn't interested in lame, free apps littering their official store. And I love how this guy keeps saying that the UNofficial store is so impossible to access. Let's see, step 1) run an app on your desktop; step 2) drag the store app to an icon on your desktop; step 3) access homebrew store with his crappy apps getting in the way of the good ones. If he really doesn't want money, he can very easily distribute his stuff without Palm. Palm even specifically told the NaNplayer developer to distribute his player as homebrew until they finalize some of the APIs it uses. This guy doesn't exactly seem to have the healthiest relationship with reality.

Re:Who cares about these apps? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about 5 years ago | (#29579357)

> FOSS software is rife with these small and pointless programs.

Have you actually used an iphone?

FOSS is not the only "platform" that has this "problem".

Whenever I hear that "billions and billions served" nonsense from the
Apple fanboys I think of all manner of little nonsense apps like this
one that you are complaining infests Linux. Nevermind Linux. The iphone
has the exact same crap but multiplied at least an order of magnitude.

what a moron, meanwhile others are making money (2, Insightful)

alen (225700) | about 5 years ago | (#29578977)

Palm, Apple and MS want you to sign up once pay the fees and have the ability to upload free or paid apps. no one wants to wasted time on a second process for paid apps. the reason for paypal and other access is if you write paid apps and people ask for refunds then Palm needs the ability to get money from you.

While this genius is complaining about these "hoops" others are writing apps and will be getting paid soon.

Re:what a moron, meanwhile others are making money (1)

lurch_mojoff (867210) | about 5 years ago | (#29579427)

At the very least Apple, and I'd presume Microsoft too, although I don't really know (or care), does not require bank or tax information if you don't plan on selling your app. The developer account registration does not ask you for that information and once you've got your developer credentials, you already have an active contract with the iTunes App store for worldwide distribution of free apps. The developer in TFA claims that Palm asked him to provide PayPal seller credentials (or whatever you call them), even though his only two apps are free.

Re:what a moron, meanwhile others are making money (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29579575)

Fucking retard. Do you even know who JWZ is?

Re:what a moron, meanwhile others are making money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29579577)

"this genius"

you seriously don't know who Jamie Zawinski is? seriously? and you're calling HIM a moron? nice. welcome to the Internet. you must be new here.

Seriously, He's a troll. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29578991)

I can't believe (Ok, maybe I can) that this troll ended up on Slashdot. He put an app out. A tip calculator. One of the forum members asked him to include cents (i.e. to figure a tip from $12.65 if one was so inclined). Instead of doing it, or saying why he didn't want to do it, he added a message into the app "DON'T BE A CHEAPSKATE -- ROUND UP TO THE NEAREST DOLLAR" and went on a rant attack on the forums. Now he doesn't want to be a PayPal verified guy? Doesn't want to re-version his app (when he could add a 0. in front of it)?? Dumbass..

Re:Seriously, He's a troll. (0, Offtopic)

c0d3g33k (102699) | about 5 years ago | (#29579465)

You must be new here. He's not "this guy", he's Jamie Zawinski - if you were sufficiently nerdy (this IS news for nerds, after all) you would understand why this is on slashdot. The fact that you're very likely reading this story using a browser other than IE is in part due to his efforts. Have a little respect for your elders. Here's a hint: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jamie_Zawinski

Re:Seriously, He's a troll. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29579541)

are you old enough to know who he is?
not that it matters who he is, but a troll??
JWZ is no troll... Full of himself, most definitely, a troll not so sure.

Tip calculators??? (1)

fredrik70 (161208) | about 5 years ago | (#29579161)

I've seen them for android as well, tens, if not more!
it's even a web page going through the 10 best tip calculators for iphone (http://www.everythingicafe.com/news/software/iphone-tip-calculator-smackdown-20080731827/)
Personally I cannot see any use of such an app. What is this about? is it a US thing? (as I understand that tipping is a bit of a bigger business than europe and hence far more advanced formulas are used, derivates, fourier transformations etc).
What happened with doing a simple calc in your head and give 10-12% (if you think you had good service???

Kafkaesque? (1)

Subm (79417) | about 5 years ago | (#29579215)

Gregor Samsa awoke one morning after unsettling dreams to find himself transformed not into a monstrous bug, but a feature.

What's all the fuss? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29579217)

How hard is it to fax a contract and link PayPal to a checking account? I learned how to work a fax machine when I was 8 and linked my PayPal when I was 10. So I guess the real question is: who would want an app from this guy in the first place?

Re:What's all the fuss? (2)

Fujisawa Sensei (207127) | about 5 years ago | (#29579539)

How hard is it to fax a contract and link PayPal to a checking account? I learned how to work a fax machine when I was 8 and linked my PayPal when I was 10. So I guess the real question is: who would want an app from this guy in the first place?

Not everyone finds PayPal's Terms of Service acceptable.

In addition its none of Palm's business where your payment vendor points; checking account or no.

Meanwhile, others prosper. (1)

thomsomc (1247152) | about 5 years ago | (#29579287)

I'm sure the experience was very frustrating, but if there's one thing I've learned when dealing with roadblocks, especially when you're working with a submission system, is that you keep trying until you find a way to make it work. It's a bummer that he couldn't get his apps up on the store, and I'm sure it speaks to some inefficiencies in Palm's procedures, but while the author is crying into his livejournal, another guy just put three Tip Calcs, four World Clocks, and a frogger clone up from his mom's basement because he got the right customer service rep on the phone. Business is business baby, no hard feelings unless you lose.

Tactical Mistake (1)

ashtophoenix (929197) | about 5 years ago | (#29579289)

In my opinion getting a Palm PRE when you have available good Android phones (I just got the myTouch 3G from T-Mobile and so far I love it) or even an IPhone, is a mistake. If your hobby/business-idea is app development, you won't be able to generate enough of a network effect on a Palm PRE as there are not enough users and hence won't be able to make money or be able to get the pleasure of a lot of people using your app. Android, in my view, is a good programming platform and has a good chance of catching on to the I-Phone in terms of app users (or at least generating a non-trivial user base). Of course you get the best network effect with the iPhone but then you also face the challenge of making an app which stands out among the plethora of already available apps (apart from dealing with app-store rejection idiosyncrasies). If you bought the PRE because you happen to love the classic Palm (like me), well, my main reason for liking the Palm was the ability to use the stylo to write on it. It made life easier for me. The PRE doesn't have that...

Completely swamped (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29579291)

In all fairness, their app store just opened up and they are completely swamped with submissions. They've already apologized for this and are attempting to smooth things out.

!nightmare (5, Informative)

xigxag (167441) | about 5 years ago | (#29579295)

It should be noted that the developer had his own particular requirements:

* Would not sign NDA
* Would not even TALK with Palm about signing an NDA
* Would not change version numbers
* Would not get PayPal verified account

In other words, Palm had certain policies in place. Maybe they were good policies, maybe they were foolish ones. But that was not really the issue. The real sticking point was that the developer felt that, since he was distributing his apps for free, he had an entitlement to be at his own discretion exempt from any policies Palm put in place. And Palm didn't see it that way. Seems to me that there was simply not a meeting of minds and he's better off following his own device and developing for a more open platform. But by his own admission clearly there are plenty of developers who aren't bent out of shape by Palm's policies, which I would certainly not describe as "nightmarish" given the issues stated in his article. To be honest, I was more put off by his whining, histrionic melodramatic tone than by yet another example of Palm's notoriously poor business sense. On a scale of Palm's Pre snafus I'd rate poor battery life as a 10, annoying cursor is annoying as a 2, and the issues outlined in his story as a less than a one.

(Speaking of "annoying cursor," OT but does anyone else have a problem with trying to drop a cursor on the right hand side of Slashdot's comment box?)

Fortunately for Pre Users... (5, Informative)

brennanw (5761) | about 5 years ago | (#29579305)

... there is a thriving homebrew community which Palm supports. Precentral.net has a heck of a lot of apps available for the Pre that are not available in the official Pre store.

(I am not affiliated with Precentral.net, I just have a fair amount of homebrew apps on my Pre).

easy fix! (1)

nimbius (983462) | about 5 years ago | (#29579477)

dont write apps for conglomerates that treat you like dog shit. with a lack of developers any project offering collaboration with a community will die a very swift death. Teach megacorps how to properly court and foster an open community of developers. make sure you blade on the sword always points the other way.

Obl: Seinfeld - Tip Calculator (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29579493)

I wasn't going to get a Palm Pre, but if it had a Tip Calculator - I'd get on for me and for my father [wikipedia.org]

OMG it actually hurts to RTFA (1)

RetiredMidn (441788) | about 5 years ago | (#29579497)

The author must be color-blind. Seriously, I have a headache from attempting to finish reading it.

With 3G, the web is the new smartphone OS ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29579587)

Why bother with proprietary APIs and Appstore and its wannabe competitors when you can deliver your application to your customer directly.

The web gives you faster time to market, unlimited distribution -- no platform comes close.

Just optimize your site for the various smartphones.

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