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Palm Mojo SDK released for all!

It's official: The Palm Mojo Software Development Kit was released publicly today, for all those interested in developing for webOS and the Palm Pre. So there's no need to rely on the leaked beta version any longer to satisfy your webOS development needs. Palm is declaring the early access program a success, so the previous end of summer estimate for the public SDK was moved up.

A new developer portal, Palm webOSdev, has been instituted by Palm at http://developer.palm.com/. Now any developer with a valid e-mail adress can access the SDK and all related support! Palm Developer Community Manager, Chuq Von Rospach writes:

I’m very pleased to announce that effective today we are wrapping up the webOS early access program. We are doing this because today we opened up the program to everyone and released our new public developer portal at http://developer.palm.com. This is the culmination of a lot of hard work by a lot of people here at Palm, and I want to be the first to thank them for making this happen. This is one more step in delivering webOS to all developers and providing the tools they need to build great applications for Palm phones.

Also, beginning this Fall you will be able to submit your apps to the App Catalog. So with that said...it's time to start your apps!

Thanks to camiller for the heads up!



Palm webOS developer talk in SF next week

Recently coming from a webcast on unit testing in Palm webOS, Pivotal Labs will be hosting a webOS developer event next week in San Francisco, titled Potential Prē Programmer. Topics are to include:

  • An introduction to webOS concepts
  • Developing mobile applications for webOS and the Palm Pre™ phone
  • Working with webOS using Agile Software Engineering Methods

Also on hand will be Mitch Allen, Palm Software CTO (who also hosted an earlier developer webcast) and Jesse Donaldson, Sr. Manager of Mojo Framework at Palm, who will be presenting an introduction to the Palm webOS platform. Davis W. Frank will continue the discussion of Pivotal Labs' experience with developing for the platform.

Also, don't forget about an upcoming webOS meetup, happening July 28 at Palm Headquarters in Sunnyvale, CA.

Time: Tuesday, July 21, 2009 from 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM (PST)

Location: Pivotal Labs, 731 Market St. (3rd Floor), San Francisco, CA 94103 




First webOS developer meetups to take place in NYC, Sunnyvale

For those interested in meeting other developers, sharing code, and getting an inside scoop on developing with the Mojo SDK, the first organized events have been scheduled in the East and West; Lower Manhattan, NYC and Palm Headquarters in Sunnyvale, CA. Spaces are limited, so if you live nearby it may be a great opportunity to start networking before PreDevCamp arrives on August 8th.

New York webOS Developers Meetup

Right around the corner is the NYC event, headed by Michael Prenez-Isabell, director of mobile development for BlueSwitch, NYC. The speaker for the first meeting (expect more events in the future) is Eric Marthinsen of Agile Commerce. His company created Flightview for the Pre, an airplane flight status tracker downloadable from the App Catalog. Marthinsen will be giving an overview of the development process, going over an app demo, and a discussing the challenges that a JavaScript webpage developer faces when transitioning to webOS and Mojo.

Date: Monday, July 13 at 7:00 PM

Sign Up

Sunnyvale Pre, Mojo, and webOS Meetup

For those in the West, you may be interested in the developer meetup happening at Palm Headquarters in a couple weeks. Organized by John Wyles, the event will feature Davis Frank from Pivotal Labs, maker of Pre apps Tweed and Associated Press (Pivotal Labs will also be hosting a webcast on July 14 that you can sign up for). An engineer at Palm will also be on hand to discuss the platform and development process. Spots are going fast, so if you want to get on the inside and meet other developers, now is your chance. Our own Ken will be attending the event.

Date: Tuesday, July 28 at 7:00 PM

Sign Up



webOS 1.1 confirmed; improved MS Exchange security, new apps; UPDATE: coming July 22nd?

A tipster has given details of the first "major" webOS update for the Palm Pre, which will bring the version up to 1.1. The previous, mandatory 1.04 update did little more than to close an install loophole, so Pre enthusiasts may have a lot more to look forward to this time. The information notes a timeline of 30 days, as well as hinting at new apps (TBD).

For existing apps, they plan to tighten up security issues by offering improved handling of digital certificates, as well as a much-needed overhaul of MS EAS security policies, including:

  • IT initiated Remote wipe
  • PIN/password of minimum length w/ complexity (numeric or alphanumeric)
  • Device wipe with X number of failed PIN attempts
  • Auto-lock after X minutes of activity

With the increased security features, enterprise and corporate users may finally feel comfortable picking up a Pre. If Palm is serious about enterprise adoption, addressing all the security weaknesses on the device will give them a shot at attracting the corporate, Blackberry-toting crowd.

As for new apps, it's unsure at this time whether they will come in the form of first or third-party titles. Is there anything else you would like to see in the next update?


UPDATE: The update was since confirmed during a press brief with Palm UK and O2, in which the Pre unit was found running version 1.1.0. Could this be an indication that the update is just around the corner for the rest of us?

UPDATE #2: Another screenshot (see right) confirms again that the new update is nearing. July 22nd is rumored to be the release date, and it will include improved battery performance, better UI animations, and more.


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Upcoming developer webcast: Unit testing with the Palm Mojo SDK

Back in February, Christin Sepulveda, VP of Business Development for Pivotal Labs (one of the Pre launch partners), talked about webOS development. In the interview, he stated that even Mojo novices can "get productive quickly" in webOS, highlighting how Mojo used common tools and languages in JS and HTML already accessible to most developers.

To continue sharing his knowledge, Sepulveda has tapped O'Reilly to present a webcast next week, Tuesday July 14, on automated unit testing with the Palm Mojo SDK. Previously, Palm CTO Mitch Allen gave a webcast with O'Reilly on developing applications for webOS.

Unit tests are supported in webOS, and are useful in testing various program features using the compiler to compare output to reference values. This allows you to keep an eye on specific modules of the program which interface with the rest of the app, essentially building your app in smaller steps, and allowing you to change code without breaking other parts. The webcast will focus on Behavior/Test Driven Development (TDD/BDD) through Jasmine, a BDD framework for Javascript. A summary of the webcast is below:

In this webcast we'll:

  • introduce BDD & Jasmine
  • install Jasmine & add related code to the app to support BDD
  • discuss how to write a failing test first, then add functionality to make a test pass
  • develop a simple webOS application test first, with the Mojo SDK

Target Audience: Developers who are interested in developing webOS applications with the Mojo SDK.

Date: Tuesday, July 14th at 10 am PT
Price: Free
Duration: Approximately 60 minutes
To register: oreilly.com/go/palmmojo
Questions? Please send email to

Head over to the official site for more information and to register for the event.



Update on Palm Mojo SDK Early Access Program

Palm hasn't said much to the community since the Mojo SDK was leaked over a week ago; that is, until this past weekend, when Developer Community Manager Chuq Von Rospach responded to questions as to why the bulk of developers still are not approved for the Early Access Program. So why the foot-dragging? Also, what criteria are they looking for to get into the program? Here's what he had to say:

The primary limitation we have today is the capacity of our developer area, which wasn’t built to support the number of developers who want access. That’s actually a good problem to have, and we have a team working on bulking up the infrastructure, too. There are some really interesting things just over the horizon here, but it takes time.

If you think about it, if we let too many people in too fast and everything does the fail whale, we’ll get yelled at and developers will give up on us. I realize that there are some developers who are tired of waiting — and I fully understand — but I hope they’ll come and take another look at us later when we finish the SDK up and get it out to everyone. If we mess up the SDK or the tools, we risk driving away lots of developers and convincing them not to come back. It’s a fun and challenging balancing act.

Our current admission policy is fairly simple: we’re accepting in applications based on how complete and detailed the applications were. I’ve broken that up into a few different piles of applications, and within each pile, we’re admitting them based on when they sent us the application. Right now, the most detailed applications are going in; when we finish that, we’ll grab the next set and do the same until everyone is in the program or we release the SDK to the public and end the early access program.

So looks like if you're applying, it's probably best to go through the application thoroughly, as the form asks for a summary your development background and to describe the great webOS app(s) you plan on creating (but better save plans for your fart app until later). Otherwise, all we can say is good luck, and know that everyone will have access to the SDK in good time, likely by summer's end.



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Palm Pre hacked as Apache webserver

Looks like your webOS Pre can now serve web pages, thanks to Nebula (also recently responsible for porting MAME to the Pre). A how-to guide has been posted on PreDevWiki on turning your Pre into a webserver. By rooting your Pre and installing a few IPKs, you can configure your device under a traditional LAMP setup (Linux + Apache + MySQL + PHP/Python/Perl). Cacti was used as a Network Monitoring System. And how does it perform? "It runs very well", he notes.

By following just a few steps, your Pre can also be a bonafide Linux Apache webserver. Hit up the link below for additional sceenshots and the .ipk downloads. For those desiring additional Linux functionality, a hack was previously detailed to enable the Optware Package Feed on the Pre.


Basic Instructions (Nebula promises more detailed instructions to be posted):

  1. Install the above ipk's
  2. Configure apache to load the php module, and the appropriate directory assignments (ex. /cacti/)
  3. Install cron
  4. Configure whatever LAMP application you want to use
  5. Configure cron and init scripts to run at boot time.
  6. Allow port 8000 traffic to specific interfaces. (iptables)


webOS Playstation, MAME emulators coded for Palm Pre

As a good compliment to the Linux-based NES emulator that was hacked for webOS earlier, developer ZODTTD rooted his Palm Pre as soon as he got it, and is now well into work on a PS1 emulator (the program is part of the psx4all project). While still in its early stages (sound, controls and scaling are still being worked on), the graphics are looking quite impressive so far, and he notes that the performance is better than the iPhone 3GS.

In addition, gaming geeks can also look forward to some MAME action, with Nebula coding up an emulator, complete with sound and, of course Contra to boot (the Konami code was previously shown to enter Pre dev mode). From the video it still looks to be a little choppy, but we can definitely see some retro Pac-Man and Galaga action in the near future.





Interview with Spaz developer Ed Finkler - talks webOS, Pre, Apple

Back in Febrary, we covered a series of interviews with webOS developers-to-be, with Palm OS developers such as Resco and Ilium sizing up the new platform. Now that the SDK early access is rapidly expanding and a beta has been leaked, more and more devs are getting aboard the webOS train.

It comes at a good time then, that Ars Technica interviewed webOS developer Ed Finkler, whose popular Spaz Twitter client is one of the first third-party app to be available through the App Catalog (which just passed a million downloads). And whether you're already expecting your app to reach the top of the App Catalog or just testing the waters with your first scene, it's always good to hear from someone who has already been there, done that.

Although still under a strict NDA, Finkler had some insights to share from porting Spaz from the desktop to the Pre.

"Anyone who has done some significant rich application work in either the browser or a Web runtime like AIR or Titanium should be fairly comfortable with webOS. I'd say that getting used to the way applications are structured in mobile is more of a challenge, with the separation of functionality into different scenes and passing data back and forth between them."

Developers accustomed to JS frameworks such as YUI or Dojo, will have little difficulty with webOS, he notes. Also, the HTML from Spaz is heavy on nested div elements (with a few Palm-specific attributes throughout), and uses the open source jQuery library extensively. This is a sign that Pre developement model is conducive to reusing JS code, making it ideal for existing web developers. More after the break (including source code).


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