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Home webOS News and Rumors webOS developer webcast with Mitch Allen: Summary, Part 1 of 2

webOS developer webcast with Mitch Allen: Summary, Part 1 of 2


Update: Part 2 of the webcast summary has been posted. Click here.

Earlier today, we were on hand for the webOS webcast presented by Mitch Allen, vice president and software CTO of Palm. The event, titled "Developing Applications for webOS: a Preview" was approximately 1 hour long, and gave us a preview into application development and the Mojo SDK. It also served as a recap for the material introduced in chapter one of "Palm webOS: Developing Applications in JavaScript Using the Palm Mojo(tm) Framework" by O'Reilly.

This article will only be a short summary of the first part of the presentation; we will get into more details later (for now, you can check out our summary of Chapter 1 of the O'Reilly book, which elaborates on much of the same material). Also, full HD video footage is available below in case you missed the webcast.

To begin, Allen gave an introduction on the anatomy of webOS, including basic architecture, cards, and notifications.�


The application model and anatomy of a webOS Application were then covered, using charts describing differences between the native application model, classic web app model, and ajax web app model (with Javascript).


Mojo was next up. Allen first described that as a JavaScript framework, it provides UI APIs, widgets, and services. "All you need is a text editor and a web browser", with skill in JavaScript an asset but not required. Palm's SDK was touched upon next, and although we didn't get a release date, Allen stated that it will include an Emulator with DOM Inspector, JavaScript Debugger, and a tool bundle including project generator and app package tools. Don't keep us waiting much longer, Palm!

We then got into the bulk of the presentation, with Allen walking us through creating a simple app using HTML5 and javascript. The example he showed was on a Mac using TextMate and Safari, however he reminded us that with the SDK, we would have access to a full emulator and tool bundles compatible with Eclipse and Aptana Studio. The steps he went through were:

  • creating a new project
  • adding a scene
  • adding a widget
  • storing local data
  • generating a notification
  • using a service


For the simple application, we will look into details in Part 2.

Q&A Session:

Several questions were brought up in the Q&A session after the webcast, here's a summary of the answers that Palm had for us today.

  • They would not comment on the release date for the SDK or the Pre.
  • They expect to see a fair amount of games on the platform. Right now, web-based games will be most suitable; other games (that need deeper access to the hardware) will come later.
  • When asked if "connected" apps will run when no connection is available, they should. Apps are designed with storage functions so even web apps will have storage functions and be able to cache and load data, rather than just displaying a blank page.
  • Headless apps are not limited other than the fact that they have no associated card. They operate in the dashboard panel, and technically can be as functional as a card app.
  • The app catalog was mostly under wraps, but will be the primary way to get apps at launch.
  • The ability to build apps will not be operating-system specific. The tools in the Mojo SDK will be supported on Mac, Linux and Windows.
  • Performance is of primary concern, and once the device has been released, perfomance should be just as good as the pre-release demos from CES and the MWC.
  • They are not commenting on how fullscreen will be implemented in 3rd party apps (currently the pic viewer and video player will support this feature), but they stated it was important, and will be looked into. They noted that window sizing will be handled at the system level.

Also notable is that PreDevCamp, an international webOS developer event hosted in over 60 cities, got a plug in the presentation. As a result, 3 more cities�were added to the list. The event is scheduled worldwide for just after the release of the Mojo SDK.

That's it for today. Later, we will look into scenes, widgets and detail the steps that Allen took when building a simple app. The Q&A videos will also be posted. Go to Part 2.


altWebcast Footage (720p HD): We have upgraded our YouTube footage to full 1280x720 widescreen for ease of viewing. Click here.

Note: There were audio issues in part 1, so the first 1:35 has no sound. (Only introductory topics were reviewed at the beginning, so nothing too important was missed).

Ready to start developing? Check out our Tutorials section.



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