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  1.    #1  
    Any thoughts on the (lack of) protection of source code using webOS? I have proprietary code that is sold in apps on more than one platform already and would not be inclined to release it in html-like code in a webOS version. I think it's an issue that potentially affects any paid app.
  2. #2  
    Then write something that's so cool that you'll have the respect of all the programmers, and they won't want to bother trying to recreate it, they'll just want to buy yours.

    Like the guy that wrote iShoot for that other phone and make $600k.
  3. #3  
    I wonder if you could keep part of your code (the proprietary part) in an encrypted database and then unencrypt it when that part is needed. I suppose that would be fairly hackable, but you could keep the encryption key on your own server and force the client to get it every time it is run. This would at least prevent a copy from running on another device.
    There must be other solutions too. But I think nearly any solution would require a developer to separate out the proprietary parts of the code, and that might be a challenge.

    And have there been any rumblings or rumors about a Java VM for the Pre? I suppose that would make this easier too. I would think that there will be a desire for Java at some point on the Pre, and this would seem worthy of access to the underlying Linux.
  4.    #4  
    OK. Well, do you think we are going to see iShoot for webOS if it means that guy has to take most of his $600K source code and put it out in something that resembles unprotected HTML code? My point is that he's not just making it easy for someone to copy his webOS app but his existing iPhone app, also.
    Last edited by StatCoder; 02/25/2009 at 06:24 PM.
  5. #5  
    Wow, statcoder raises a very good point. I'd say we ought to pose this question to the couple of webOS developers forums that I've found, but not much is happening at them yet, understandably!
    -- Josh
  6. #6  
    I can't believe that the HTML/Javascript/CSS of installed applications written that way will be visible to users. There must be a mechanism to restrict access.
  7. #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by johncc View Post
    I can't believe that the HTML/Javascript/CSS of installed applications written that way will be visible to users. There must be a mechanism to restrict access.
    Check out this thread:

    http://discussion.treocentral.com/pa...y-webcast.html


    Much discussion about the topic there toward the end.
    IIIx -> Tungsten T -> Treo 650 -> Treo 700p -> Launch day Pre
  8. #8  
    I don't think they're taking this seriously enough.

    Well, we're pretty concerned about it, we're still looking at it. I don't think we've got any concrete advice to offer yet. I think when the time the SDK comes out we'll be advising developers around that. I think, quite honestly, the community is a bit split. Web content has been fairly exposed [...] some of the people who are providing web content and web services have found ways to protect their applications on the server side. Now, for embedded developers and people who are really purely on the client, that's a lot more of a challenge. I'm not really able to here today say "do this or do that" but we'll have some guidance for people as we come out with the SDK.
    What's the problem with this paragraph? It seems to be centered around giving developers "advice" and "guidance" on what they can do to get around it, which will almost certainly end up being "just run it through an obfuscator." It doesn't sound like they're going to build anything in on their end to support some kind of compiled or secure format.

    I'm beginning to think Palm is charging so hard at web developers that they don't particularly care when they're short-changing traditional application developers. They obviously want them, but mostly by hoping they'll come along for the ride. They're certainly not trying as hard to be accommodating.

    See, web developers are their primary developer audience now, and they don't care about front end code security because all their good stuff is on the servers. Traditional application developers now seem to be their secondary audience, so this is something they'll figure out something later for, maybe just in the form of recommendations, rather than treating it like a significant flaw in their platform that they need to fix right away.

    Keep in mind this isn't happening in isolation, there's also the "you don't really need a binary API anyway" attitude. Well, some game writers do. StyleTap will if you want them to bring their Palm OS emulator over. And Adobe certainly isn't building you Flash support in JavaScript.
    Last edited by GregV; 02/26/2009 at 01:24 AM.
  9. #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    See, web developers are their primary developer audience now, and they don't care about front end code security because all their good stuff is on the servers.
    All the best web developer stuff is on the front end in raw Javascript. Anything that's server based is usually just access connections to the database. Well that's coming from a Front End Engineer. All the stuff that's on the server is web 1.0 and not very dynamic. You can do that stuff with 10 year old technology. Servers take in the milisecond range to respond with data queries, where front end applications respond in the microsecond timespan. With the microsecond time span you can do interactive things like play DHTML Arkanoid. Sure it's 2D, but there's a lot of really fun 2D games, and people underestimate what you can do with Javascript, like Arkanoid.

    So if you're paranoid and you're not a typical web developer then yes you need to worry about your application being on the Pre. If you're a web developer you're used to it and you get on with your life.
  10. #10  
    Well, it depends on where the value is when you look at the product as a whole. Amazon doesn't have to care about the code to its Pre app because the money is in the MP3 sales it generates. Facebook doesn't care either because it just wants more users to make its ad space more valuable. I'm wondering more about companies like SplashData where the app itself is the marketable product and there's nothing more to it than what's sitting on the device. Are they going to be happy about the entirety of the product they're trying to sell being out in the open? What about all the other old Palm OS developers who relied on a similar model?
  11. snowquest's Avatar
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    #11  
    An ideal Open Source platform. Engadget ran an article about the longevity of iPhone apps and it measured in weeks or a month tops.

    I suppose if you develop your app in a client/server model with the client being simply the GUI front end, then your backend code could live in the cloud and be obfusicated. Sounds like it will greatly depend on the type of app your creating...
  12. WhoAmI's Avatar
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    #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by snowquest View Post
    I suppose if you develop your app in a client/server model with the client being simply the GUI front end, then your backend code could live in the cloud and be obfusicated. Sounds like it will greatly depend on the type of app your creating...
    If you're making a proprietary free app that REQUIRES data access then this would work. But how would you make money on this? A one-time fee would be hard to cover the expenses of maintaining a server. Also, you have the problem of how many customers would be willing to pay a subscription fee for your application? And that's assuming that users don't mind their data being transmitted/stored on the web!

    I know I for one would not be buying any subscription based services! I don't even like the idea of my PIM data being synced to the cloud (and neither does me security consultants).

    Palm needs to open up the binary API that we all know they have (have to for things like flash or documents-to-go after all!). Untill then, webOS is going to be more of a high-end development flop then the iPhone!
    --WhoAmI--
    Sprint Palm Treo 700p with MR --> Palm Pre

    T-Money is now available for the webOS! Financial planning has never been easier.
  13. #13  
    I am very surprised that so late in the Pre development cycle that Palm does not have a solid solution for this.
  14. #14  
    What for 3rd party apps were available for the iphone when it was released?
  15. #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by berdinkerdickle View Post
    What for 3rd party apps were available for the iphone when it was released?
    not sure what this has to do with protecting developers source?
  16. #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by mobileman View Post
    I am very surprised that so late in the Pre development cycle that Palm does not have a solid solution for this.
    How late in the development cycle did apple have 3rd party solution?
  17. #17  
    I guess what I'm asking you, is this really so late in the game?
  18. #18  
    Quote Originally Posted by berdinkerdickle View Post
    I guess what I'm asking you, is this really so late in the game?

    With a release only a few months away, I would say yes.
  19. snowquest's Avatar
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    #19  
    Perhaps it will simply mean more free apps...
  20. #20  
    Quote Originally Posted by snowquest View Post
    Perhaps it will simply mean more free apps...

    I wonder how all those developers that were mentioned during CES would feel about this.
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