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How can a user help Webos?
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Old 12/05/2012, 11:03 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Remy X View Post
@dignitary, 35? I have been way off, thinking 45 to 49. It must be the mature attitude and how it comes across in print / written word.

You have really surprised me with your human side, considering that you are all-business the rest of the time. I have read what you wrote and really thought about it, Revision 1 and 2 (i have both copies of your post in different browser tabs )

Thanks for taking the time to reply like that. I must say that i'm really touched. It made me just stop for a moment.
No problem. I edit a lot since I'm always re-reading what I wrote and revising; it drives the mods bonkers sometimes, but it's because I'm a perfectionist about how things come across in emphasis and clarity. (But I've gotten better, mods!)

But seriously, it's always good to impart some advice and insight when someone demonstrates they're actually listening rather than merely reacting. I'm glad you found it useful and worthwhile to take in.

I'm also one of the last of the first crop of webOS developers from back in mid-2009 that hang around here with any regularity, so I like to keep tabs on where things are now development-wise and where they're going. This community keeps me coming back, for better or for worse.

Last edited by dignitary; 12/05/2012 at 11:09 PM.
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Old 12/05/2012, 11:10 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Remy X View Post
@dignitary, 35? I have been way off, thinking 45 to 49. It must be the mature attitude and how it comes across in print / written word.

You have really surprised me with your human side, considering that you are all-business the rest of the time. I have read what you wrote and really thought about it, Revision 1 and 2 (i have both copies of your post in different browser tabs )

Thanks for taking the time to reply like that. I must say that i'm really touched. It made me just stop for a moment.
No problem. I edit a lot since I'm always re-reading what I wrote and revising; it drives the mods bonkers sometimes, but it's because I'm a perfectionist about how things come across in emphasis, facts, and clarity. (But I've gotten better, mods!)

But seriously, it's always good to impart some advice and insight when someone demonstrates they're actually listening rather than merely reacting. I'm glad you found it useful and worthwhile to take in.

I'm also one of the last of the first crop of webOS developers from back in mid-2009 that hang around here with any regularity, so I like to keep tabs on where things are now development-wise and where they're going. This community keeps me coming back, for better or for worse.
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Old 12/06/2012, 01:01 AM   #23 (permalink)
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I've actually been meaning to comment here for a couple of days. There have been some interesting (and realistic!) comments.

I just spotted an article about the HB google maps app and commented there. I would like to repeat one of my points.

From a user perspective, this is what makes webOS good:
1. UI
2. Synergy
3. Just Type

For openwebOS to become successful... do I need to repeat?
1. It's the apps, stupid!
2. Good Hardware.

My understanding (feel free to correct me) is that openwebOS lacks synergy (or it's not implemented), because it requires cooperation from service providers or is proprietary in some way. So, we are left with UI and Just type, with some great Home-brewers, patching, maintaining and improving the experience.

I'm all in favour of trying to revitalise development by helping users get apps and devs get paid. However, is a third app catalogue necessary? Is it reinventing the wheel? I think if you can work with HP, this would be the ideal solution as everyone has this included. If as suggested previously, this isn't HP's strategy, then Preware contains all the official feeds anyway.

The lack of a payment option in Preware may be a way to avoid all the legal complications that inevitably come when money is involved (I'm always shocked to see complaints from people who have spent the kind of money a smart phone costs, then complain about a 99p app). Or it may be a way to continue operating with HP's blessing. It would be short term thinking on HP's part - they may later fret about missing out on a golden egg, but having killed the goose already, they really ought to be grateful for any help.

To get to the point:
It's a great idea, but HP & Preware have already done the heavy lifting for you. If you can get HP to work with you on enabling an international payment system (and possibly reducing their cut while webOS is in limbo), then that's ideal. Or talk to Preware / webOS internals and see if you could take on or supply a paid feed (semi-detached if necessary) and handle the payment/tax/legal side.

If that all fails, then think about a third App Catalogue - even if it's just emailing apps after a paypal transaction and using WOSQI to start with.

My final suggestion is this: We have webOS-internals. Now, there's webOS-Ports. The actual number of apps on a platform doesn't really matter as long as there are enough to do what you want and they are quality apps. The apps most used are likely to be the core, stock apps that come with the OS: PIM, Phone/messaging, camera, location, browser. On a popular platform, better than stock core apps may appear, but the user's experience starts with the stock.

Using the HB google maps as an exemplar, I would suggest that a good step for a new app catalogue (or feed) would be the encouragement and possibly governance of a suite of core apps - developed from what exists or newly built if license issues arise. You could call it webOS-apps and become a hub for the improvement of the daily-use core apps. These will probably need to be free, or at least only paid to go from, "great" to, "awesome!"

The improved productivity and UX will attract users/customers - who could then pay from anywhere in the world, which will attract developers - who will make money and you will have built a virtuous circle...

Last edited by Preemptive; 12/06/2012 at 01:08 AM.
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Old 12/06/2012, 03:32 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Preemptive View Post
[snip]
However, is a third app catalogue necessary? Is it reinventing the wheel? I think if you can work with HP, this would be the ideal solution as everyone has this included. If as suggested previously, this isn't HP's strategy, then Preware contains all the official feeds anyway.
[/snip]
Is it really necessary? Yes it is.

Sounds like you really make an effort to stay up-to-date on everything that goes on, but aren't a webOS developer yourself. So let me just reiterate what i've said, but in a clearer way.

The HP App Catalog has:

1) DRM (to keep a lid on piracy)
2) payment options

sounds fine and well, but the payment options suck (credit card only) and there are those bizarre geo-restrictions even on apps that do not license US-only content. So if you live in South Africa and want to buy an app that's not available in your market because someone didn't check the correct checkbox, you need a US credit card.

And that's just the user's headache. Now the content publisher (developer) has his own, such as API restrictions that severely limit what an app can do. This is what i (and others) are referring to when we mention the com.palm.* namespace. It's a whole new world of off-limits functionality, and many Preware apps utilize it every day.

So if we go with HP, we inherit the problems we were trying to solve. Not very useful.


Now, moving onto Preware. There is no DRM, no way of paying now and receiving a licensed copy of the app later. Everything is "donationware", free for the taking

Both catalogs have their glaring faults that make it impossible to design an app with certain advanced functionality and get paid for it every time a user downloads. The HP catalog is better than nothing, Preware is wonderful... but think about the percentage of sales lost by existing apps and the apps we have lost when the developers decided it was not worth it. Developers giving up on catalog apps (whether it's deleting the app or ending support), developers abandoning award-winning commercial apps after the catalog rejects them for using advanced system APIs (the NaNplayer by Blubble is one..) or developers deciding not to build an app like that in the first place after seeing Blubble's effort wasted. The damage here is worth some $100,000 if you want to look from a purely financial standpoint. Or maybe more. The cumulative damage to the OS, platform, developer base, user experience. Maybe it was millions, i don't know.

Furthermore, neither catalog sells controversial material. Not a big deal, but many people like to consume it. Even if we limit the options to a Playboy app and some artful nudity, it will bring more life to the platform.

It's human nature to want freedom, whether it is in the area of business apps or some sort of entertainment.


You mention adding a payment option to Preware... that would open them up to legal and tax liability and will do nothing to control piracy. Preware was never built to be a commercial storefront.

So we are back to having to start a third catalog. This is it. Either we do it or we continue to sulk about status quo
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Old 12/06/2012, 09:56 PM   #25 (permalink)
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No problem. I edit a lot since I'm always re-reading what I wrote and revising; it drives the mods bonkers sometimes, but it's because I'm a perfectionist about how things come across in emphasis, facts, and clarity. (But I've gotten better, mods!)
That sounds like me

You were right when you said we have more in common than i realize. You've read me very well.

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Originally Posted by dignitary View Post
But seriously, it's always good to impart some advice and insight when someone demonstrates they're actually listening rather than merely reacting. I'm glad you found it useful and worthwhile to take in.

I'm also one of the last of the first crop of webOS developers from back in mid-2009 that hang around here with any regularity, so I like to keep tabs on where things are now development-wise and where they're going. This community keeps me coming back, for better or for worse.
....i appreciate that But don't mean this to sound like i'm here to consume something. I value being able to learn things and share a moment or a thought with someone who has interesting things to say... because time doesn't stop and one day it will all be gone....

Thank you for your time and Take care

I guess it's time for this thread to go to sleep until i have any updates on this project
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Old 12/06/2012, 11:23 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Is it really necessary? Yes it is.

(snip)

You mention adding a payment option to Preware... that would open them up to legal and tax liability and will do nothing to control piracy. Preware was never built to be a commercial storefront.
Just to bolster Remy X's point here, as far as I'm aware, neither Rod nor webOS Internals in general has had any interest in getting their hands dirty in anything but intelligently furthering the future of webOS on their terms through code, sweat, and tears.

If it's one thing I've learned over the past couple of years observing these forums, it's that a lot of people love to volunteer webOS Internals for roles and responsibilities they have no interest in pursuing nor taking the liability for. Unless Rod or webOS Internals has indicated interest in whatever the pet idea of the moment is, people here need to stop pretending that they'll do whatever anyone wants them to do and volunteering them for it as if it's perfectly feasible that it'll happen.

It's disrespectful and unrealistic. They'll do something if they want to do it, and they work on their own terms with their own plans in mind. Nothing more, nothing less.

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Old 12/06/2012, 11:27 PM   #27 (permalink)
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But don't mean this to sound like i'm here to consume something. I value being able to learn things and share a moment or a thought with someone who has interesting things to say...
Didn't take it like that at all, but we're all consuming something by the very action of reading and sharing here.
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Old 12/08/2012, 11:59 AM   #28 (permalink)
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Is it really necessary? Yes it is.

Sounds like you really make an effort to stay up-to-date on everything that goes on, but aren't a webOS developer yourself. So let me just reiterate what i've said, but in a clearer way.

The HP App Catalog has:

1) DRM (to keep a lid on piracy)
2) payment options

sounds fine and well, but the payment options suck (credit card only) and there are those bizarre geo-restrictions even on apps that do not license US-only content. So if you live in South Africa and want to buy an app that's not available in your market because someone didn't check the correct checkbox, you need a US credit card.

And that's just the user's headache. Now the content publisher (developer) has his own, such as API restrictions that severely limit what an app can do. This is what i (and others) are referring to when we mention the com.palm.* namespace. It's a whole new world of off-limits functionality, and many Preware apps utilize it every day.

So if we go with HP, we inherit the problems we were trying to solve. Not very useful.


Now, moving onto Preware. There is no DRM, no way of paying now and receiving a licensed copy of the app later. Everything is "donationware", free for the taking

Both catalogs have their glaring faults that make it impossible to design an app with certain advanced functionality and get paid for it every time a user downloads. The HP catalog is better than nothing, Preware is wonderful... but think about the percentage of sales lost by existing apps and the apps we have lost when the developers decided it was not worth it. Developers giving up on catalog apps (whether it's deleting the app or ending support), developers abandoning award-winning commercial apps after the catalog rejects them for using advanced system APIs (the NaNplayer by Blubble is one..) or developers deciding not to build an app like that in the first place after seeing Blubble's effort wasted. The damage here is worth some $100,000 if you want to look from a purely financial standpoint. Or maybe more. The cumulative damage to the OS, platform, developer base, user experience. Maybe it was millions, i don't know.

Furthermore, neither catalog sells controversial material. Not a big deal, but many people like to consume it. Even if we limit the options to a Playboy app and some artful nudity, it will bring more life to the platform.

It's human nature to want freedom, whether it is in the area of business apps or some sort of entertainment.


You mention adding a payment option to Preware... that would open them up to legal and tax liability and will do nothing to control piracy. Preware was never built to be a commercial storefront.

So we are back to having to start a third catalog. This is it. Either we do it or we continue to sulk about status quo
My point was simply that it might save a lot of effort if you first investigated improvement of the existing options. Perhaps you have already contacted the existing players, I don't know.

If HP implemented a world-wide payment option (e.g. Paypal or similar), then the main complaint is addressed: App access for all.

As you say, I'm not a developer so the advantage of the 'palm namespace' means little to me and I'm slightly confused as to why HomeBrew can use it when those who could make money for HP via the official catalogue cannot. On the surface, it seems self-defeating, but perhaps there is some strategic reason - can using this component potentially damage the device? If there is no good reason, then I think they would be wise to offer dev access to the full API. Maybe this is something to do with proprietary code and the problem won't apply to openwebOS.

Again, if HP can't or won't play ball, Preware can connect to the HP feeds (the content of which they are not responsible for). Perhaps they could function as a delivery conduit without liability for a third source of feeds and a payment channel...

If neither of these solutions work out, then yes, you would have to reinvent the wheel... I mean the app catalogue!

You raised another point about controversial material. The nature of this stuff may mean that HP and Preware avoid it for the potential legal problems or even as a matter of PR. They are after all, effectively publishers (HP clearly and maybe Preware have an approval process) but we're talking about apps here - all kinds of material are available via the web browser. If you finally need a 'controversial' app, there remains the basic option of the paypal transaction and IPK download for WOSQI.

My personal beef is about Classic. As far as I can tell, all materials were turned over to HP, so why they can't sell or allow license to use this, I don't know - it's a huge app catalogue! Yes, the apps will look dated, but some will retain their usefulness and if you find one that's good it could be ported or a developer could recreate it as native webOS / enjo or whatever.

Good luck in your endeavour.
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Old 12/08/2012, 01:48 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Preemptive:

Basically, apps that have their app-ids starting with "com.palm." are allowed to access any service on the device, where as "regular" apps are limited to only "public" services. Basically, so you can't have an app that has unlimited access to anything on the device, that you get from the catalog. There are many things that are questionably private, but were left that way for security purposes. webOS has much better app security than Android, because apps just plain aren't allowed to do a lot of the things that Android apps do. For some things this is, unfortunately, detrimental to what the users want.

However, if everything were dictated by the users, then everything would all have security as good as WhatsApp -- which might as well not even have any security. In case you haven't been following along in the various WhatsApp threads, WhatsApp isn't like the house that you leave unlocked, it's more like the house that has no doors. Or windows. Or maybe even walls. And it's the most popular mobile messaging platform (other than SMS) by FAR. Probably -because- it has no security, so people find it convenient.

It wouldn't surprise me if some more system services end up publically accessible in the future, but for now, it's kind of a limitation on some things that people have wanted to do. Like, you can't easily make an app that triggers vibrate on your phone, because vibrate is a private service. Well, you can, but you have to give it access to private things, which means it can't go in the main catalog.
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Old 12/08/2012, 02:58 PM   #30 (permalink)
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@Preemptive,

Your point about Classic extends to everything else. HP just can't be bothered to do anything, especially something as far-reaching as fixing the catalog. A middle manager might recognize the importance of fixing all the things we have outlined here, but he would still have to go through the high-priced corporate lawyers before anything is approved. He isn't paying for the lawyers himself, but his access to them might be restricted until the higher-ups agree with changing the app store, and they won't, until an independent committee investigates the whole situation and confirms all of what we've said. And there won't be an independent committee because the product line(legacy webOS) is "dead" and the next gen stuff belongs to the spun-off Gram.

Gram has more influence here if they will be actively using the HP app store (they aren't yet), but HP at this point is only providing "hospice" services, waiting for the legacy user base and devices to die off completely so they (HP) could move on after writing off the purchase price of Palm and spinning off what's left of it as Gram.

Yes, all of what i said also applies to Classic by extension.. And when HP/Gram donate $40,000 worth of brand new blade servers to webOS Ports, this is something that is done, and they release all liability. The app store is not a piece of hardware, but a huge, tightly wound ball of intellectual property, a big responsibility and they consider it a legal hornets' nest, not to be disturbed. HP would rather just let it become obsolete and then close it five years later. HP is bureaucratic like the Soviet Union and many of the bright minds have already left. So at best, we can create a free info app to host in the HP app store that shows all of the new homebrew developments, so that the users who have never heard of Preware can finally go and check out the goodness


What i say might sound strange or wrong in some ways if you count on Gram to succeed, but it's only after they succeed, with the release of new, popular webOS-powered hardware that we can truly know that the old app store will become someone's priority. For now, it's only an old, disused warehouse.


P.S. To add to what dignitary said a few posts ago, we can't volunteer anyone to this project but ourselves. We can't volunteer the reasonably-minded ex-Palm people still somehow left at HP, we can't volunteer Rod and Jason for anything they haven't themselves decided to do. It's even rude to ask in the first place, when you cross a certain point of what's a single day's work and what's equivalent to moving a mountain. I'm fully invested into making this work and anyone who wants to work alongside me is welcome, but i'm not about to embarrass myself by going around asking for someone to do this for me.

P.P.S. On the subject of controversial material... there is still the issue of DRM and access control, Flash, user interface/controls, etc. What's available on the web to a malware-ridden PC is not the same as what a person can experience on a Touchpad. I'm not an expert in this because i rarely partake, and my tastes are modest (18+/restricted submissions on art sites like DA is fair game, but i don't do videos, never bothered), however it's a business, no different to selling a word-processing app or some paid streaming video feed. Apple has their moral high-horse, and i have my particular tastes, but we can't go overboard dictating morality in a free market. To some people this stuff is as valuable as the apps that use make use of restricted functionality, and it's a chance for us to boost the independent app store a bit more in the sense of value, popularity and perceived freedom. For HP, allowing that stuff in the app catalog would be bad PR, for an independent catalog it's a PR boost. And it's not like we would go out and obtain the material, it will show up anyway, and it's our choice of what to censor.

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Old 12/09/2012, 12:57 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Sorry, Preemptive... I don't want it to seem like ganging up on you, but you do raise excellent points for discussion and they are very much worth examining. I have two more cents to throw into the kitty.

Preware will not host paid Apps. It is contrary to their mission statement. I wouldn't ask them to either.

So far as HP is concerned, Legacy webOS is a burden. They have washed hands of all support.

The infrastructure they have left will most likely be turned over to supporting OpenSource webOS and most specifically, the Professional Edition that was announced.

I don't believe they will even wait for all the Legacy devices to die of old age and fall off the grid. I have a gut feeling that soon all that capacity that was used to support Legacy will start getting systematically scaled down so it can be repurposed to supporting Open and PE. They will begin putting all their eggs in the next gen basket one by one.

That is a one way door. There is going to be the same effect when trying to download Apps from whatever new Catalog they set up if you use a Legacy webOS device or an Android device - no effect. Incompatibility.

HP/gram donating 5 brand new servers to webOS Internals is a great gift...

...and an omen.

It's a sign that the community needs to grow its own capacity, support Legacy in a self-sufficient manner.

GMMan's Homebrew Backup Server project and RemyX's webOS App Bazaar will be necessary steps if Legacy webOS is to have a future beyond the next few Quarters.

That's my take on it anyway.

Better we have it and not need it than need it and not have it.
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Old 12/09/2012, 02:44 PM   #32 (permalink)
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That seems a little far out there, considering that that donation of servers is specifically for building Open webOS. You may notice that a reasonable desktop or laptop system can take upwards of 8 hours or so to do a complete build of the system. And that's just the parts that are out there now. As more parts get added to it, it necessarily gets to be a longer process. (I hear doing a complete build of 3.0.5 took a desktop machine, a reasonable developer's machine, about 45 hours to complete)
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Old 12/09/2012, 04:07 PM   #33 (permalink)
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That seems a little far out there, considering that that donation of servers is specifically for building Open webOS. You may notice that a reasonable desktop or laptop system can take upwards of 8 hours or so to do a complete build of the system. And that's just the parts that are out there now. As more parts get added to it, it necessarily gets to be a longer process. (I hear doing a complete build of 3.0.5 took a desktop machine, a reasonable developer's machine, about 45 hours to complete)
Yeah, that build time does sound reasonable, including the 45 hours.... The QtWebKit browser also seems to take a while from what i've seen/heard

Those servers' configuration is definitely geared toward data processing and not hosting. Data storage/hosting servers are cheaper, and focus mostly on bandwidth and process concurency, from disks to the network switches, for the data to simply flow, uninhibited. While build servers, like these here have more RAM and CPU power because that's where all the work is.

But i like how he said it:

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Originally Posted by RumoredNow View Post
Better we have it and not need it than need it and not have it.
A very level-headed approach to in a situation like this.


P.S. I hope webOS Ports takes out an insurance policy on those servers. If anything breaks, donations from users like us won't be enough to replace the equipment
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Old 12/09/2012, 09:23 PM   #34 (permalink)
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For sure. Right now, a desktop build is about 6 hours for me when done from scratch, though about an hour of that is downloading

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Old 12/10/2012, 09:32 AM   #35 (permalink)
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OK, I'm back for more!

Firstly, I don't feel I'm being ganged up on! ;-)

Secondly, I've had a look at my earlier posts and I don't see that I'm volunteering webOS-internals for anything. Were I doing that, I would first be volunteering HP, not least because they are likely to realise the greatest profit from any future success. (I say 'likely'...). It would be a temptation to appeal to webOS-internals, as Preware and the products it delivers are the gift that keeps on giving. But they didn't sell me the hardware, apps, services..etc. They owe me nothing. I WAS suggesting the possibility of leveraging existing services to supply the additional usability or bootstrapping a new service though them as a faster and easier option than a new service from the ground up. That said, I don't see why it's rude to ask for help anymore than it would be rude for them to say, "No."

My interest in this thread is primarily from a users point of view. I'm not aware that there is a 'smartphone standard' in the way the PC was first specified and licensed by IBM. Maybe that will come, maybe it will be open (maybe there's one out there?). Anyway, it seems to me that a dead mobile OS will gather dust far more quickly than a desktop one.

The way to keep webOS from expiring is the appeal to users. It's not really a question of webOS being able to do things that other OS's can't (more so as time passes and this situation continues), it's because it does things better, smoother, easier and in a more integrated fashion. In other words, it's the user experience. I imagine the questions asked in phone shops beyond the basic specs, are all about, "can it do X?", where X is facebook, angry birds, etc. After that, the key is how it feels. It's the apps, it's the UX. Many on these forums are jumping because of the former, while complaining about the latter on the new device.

This thread is a good thing because it addresses the question of App availability and developer retention. Some modest success here will help retain users of legacy webOS - No one is joining this platform in any numbers that count and (again, correct me if I'm wrong) there is no device for openwebOS that is in a usable state for the average user. The existing user base is all there is and it shrinks every day. (I've been looking at Sailfish - nice interface, I'm just ignorant of it's actual features and of course, ecosystem). Once the users have left, then I really can't see the game as being anything other than over - unless the OS is re-purposed/customised for TV's & kiosks.

Perhaps I'm unclear about the HP/gram relationship. Are they really a complete spin off with some HP seed funding? Has HP totally washed it's hands of past and future webOS? If that is the official (or even unofficial) position, then it seems clear that the official catalogue will either transition to gram or eventually close. If the commercial players hope for any transition from legacy, surely they would support any proposal that enabled it?

As for webOS internals, if they don't want to participate in the commercial arena or are too busy or wary of legal issues, then simply supplying a conduit to a third party in the way your ISP allows you to access the internet without being responsible for content, might work. But perhaps Preware simply doesn't have the capability of supporting of DRM and payments in any case.

I realise there's no point in building a shop if the finished product (openwebOS) isn't ready, but it would be sad to see so much effort being put into the project if it should ultimately die for want of commercialisation. This, then is the reason I see this 'Better App Catalogue' proposal as important. If it is truly the case that development of openwebOS as a mobileOS is only in the hands of independent developers, then things look dark indeed. On a side note, I notice that mobile nations has no sites for Symbian, Meego etc. I think they started as Palmcentral and perhaps it's nostalgia that keeps this site alive. All the other sites are for phones you can go and buy in a shop. I wonder how long webOSnation will be able to justify the server space...

If users who are able want to build a new app catalogue, I can only applaud and hope to benefit. Following on from eblade's explanation of the palm namespace, I infer that it would be wise to avoid the security problems of Android. You will likely need to look at issues of protecting intellectual property, secure payment and delivery etc. for the benefit of suppliers and users. Perhaps apps that access the palm namespace (at least) will need to be reviewed prior to release.

As ever, I suggest from the sidelines rather than volunteer anyone... ;-)

OpenwebOS could be great as a user run and maintained OS, but I'm not aware of such a model ever succeeding - Linux had commercial players involved - maybe that's gram, maybe not.

To take the optimistic view, I'd like to ask some questions if I may...

I'm curious about the new servers. I understood webOS-internals to be an international affiliation. Where are the servers installed? Do internals have an actual base or is HP simply supplying dedicated space from their own installation?

What are the chances of an open source synergy service? Is it more an issue of open API's from service providers?

If users are to ultimately manage webOS themselves, I suppose a way of keeping the palm profile on one's own home computer or server would be needed. Is this possible in openwebOS or will that need to be built also?

Finally, again, I wish you luck. I guess shop front software is available off the shelf, but there will no doubt other aspects that will require a lot of work.

I just had an idea: Snap is a game of duplicates, an expression of enthusiasm and a description of something being easy ("It's a snap!"). You could call it the Snapp catalogue. Use it if you like it, but maybe a competition to find a name for your service, would generate a webOSnation article and a bit of publicity.

Last edited by Preemptive; 12/10/2012 at 09:47 AM. Reason: Removed quote, added line to 3rd paragraph.
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Old 12/10/2012, 06:43 PM   #36 (permalink)
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OK, I'm back for more!

Firstly, I don't feel I'm being ganged up on! ;-)
I appreciate your good attitude

I may have come across as being a little harsh or negative, so i'm glad this isn't turning into a conflict now.

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Secondly, I've had a look at my earlier posts and I don't see that I'm volunteering webOS-internals for anything. Were I doing that, I would first be volunteering HP, not least because they are likely to realise the greatest profit from any future success. (I say 'likely'...). It would be a temptation to appeal to webOS-internals, as Preware and the products it delivers are the gift that keeps on giving. But they didn't sell me the hardware, apps, services..etc. They owe me nothing. I WAS suggesting the possibility of leveraging existing services to supply the additional usability or bootstrapping a new service though them as a faster and easier option than a new service from the ground up. That said, I don't see why it's rude to ask for help anymore than it would be rude for them to say, "No."
Well, the "volunteering" point wasn't directed at you as much as it was for everyone looking for an easy way out. The thing is, that if we team up with someone, we inherit their baggage and have to work on their terms. Or more likely they won't agree to help at all, and both them and us would look bad in someone's eyes.

Starting from scratch allows one to analyse the good and bad of what's available and still have room to innovate before anything is set in stone. A blank sheet to solve the old/existing problems and also the new ones that aren't so apparent yet but will come up anyway.

This is our chance, to let go of the things that are holding us down and preventing progress.

All we have to do is plan diligently, test everything over and over, and not freak out if something looks harder than it seemed before. Drop by drop, brick by brick, we'll get it done.

Well, it's not rude or wrong to ask, for you. But you are user, a consumer. For me on the other hand, it is an issue of professional credibility. I've been around long enough to know what works and what doesn't, to know a little law, a little reality, to have had some personal experience and a chance to talk to people who've been around even longer and know even more than i do. I'm a risk taker at times, but i put a lot of thought into everything i do, and won't take a risk when the chance of failure is almost 100% and the result would make one look like a naive fool. A "clueless" consumer is not a bad thing at all though. It's the norm


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My interest in this thread is primarily from a users point of view. I'm not aware that there is a 'smartphone standard' in the way the PC was first specified and licensed by IBM. Maybe that will come, maybe it will be open (maybe there's one out there?). Anyway, it seems to me that a dead mobile OS will gather dust far more quickly than a desktop one.
There isn't a formal standard, the standard is consumer expectations and that's constantly evolving as manufacturers try to one-up each other with every new device that come out. Thinner, faster, shinier, and so on.
The "standard" for the current smartphone was set by Apple with the original iPhone. Before them, there were the PDA pioneers, like Palm, there was Blackberry with its business phones and Nokia with its own offerings. But Apple is the company that started from scratch to design something that borrowed the good elements, and then tied them in together with its own concepts and innovation, creating something that was fresh and new at the time, something that appealed equally to a Fortune 500 executive or his three year old son, or any person you met on the street. That became the standard that everyone built upon and copied. Palm then took the iPhone to use as the baseline and reinvented its UI while keeping the touchscreen, UNIX-like OS kernel and WebKit browser, giving us the webOS we love

Maybe this explanation was unnecessary, but that's the history of the modern smartphone. All the pieces came together, the capacitive touchscreens, faster ARM chips and Apple's WebKit (which they built up from the KDE Konqueror browser and donated back to the community) which weren't there before, when Palm and Blackberry first started, and boom, a whole new device category was created.

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Originally Posted by Preemptive View Post
The way to keep webOS from expiring is the appeal to users. It's not really a question of webOS being able to do things that other OS's can't (more so as time passes and this situation continues), it's because it does things better, smoother, easier and in a more integrated fashion. In other words, it's the user experience. I imagine the questions asked in phone shops beyond the basic specs, are all about, "can it do X?", where X is facebook, angry birds, etc. After that, the key is how it feels. It's the apps, it's the UX. Many on these forums are jumping because of the former, while complaining about the latter on the new device.

This thread is a good thing because it addresses the question of App availability and developer retention. Some modest success here will help retain users of legacy webOS - No one is joining this platform in any numbers that count and (again, correct me if I'm wrong) there is no device for openwebOS that is in a usable state for the average user. The existing user base is all there is and it shrinks every day. (I've been looking at Sailfish - nice interface, I'm just ignorant of it's actual features and of course, ecosystem). Once the users have left, then I really can't see the game as being anything other than over - unless the OS is re-purposed/customised for TV's & kiosks.
Great point about the UX. The only people who still devote any attention to webOS are the more-technical diehard fans like us, and the only developers that stick around are also in the same category. But there's thousands of consumers that still remember the feel of webOS and will buy a webOS device if a modern one became available with a healthy ecosystem.

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Perhaps I'm unclear about the HP/gram relationship. Are they really a complete spin off with some HP seed funding? Has HP totally washed it's hands of past and future webOS? If that is the official (or even unofficial) position, then it seems clear that the official catalogue will either transition to gram or eventually close. If the commercial players hope for any transition from legacy, surely they would support any proposal that enabled it?
AFAIK, Gram is no longer controlled by the HP board, but they still aren't independent enough to stand on their own, so there's still a lot of work ahead of them. I think Gram realizes that, and how much their survival depends on the Homebrew community. But there are too many unanswered questions. There are people here who know more about Gram than i do. But from what i can tell, the situation is split between guys who are trying to secure the future on a personal friendship level, working with everyone they can, and almost the same people being stuck with having too much outside their control. It's a transitional period, and we can't sit there waiting for things to be settled out, because they are counting on us.

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Originally Posted by Preemptive View Post
As for webOS internals, if they don't want to participate in the commercial arena or are too busy or wary of legal issues, then simply supplying a conduit to a third party in the way your ISP allows you to access the internet without being responsible for content, might work. But perhaps Preware simply doesn't have the capability of supporting of DRM and payments in any case.
Precisely

Quote:
Originally Posted by Preemptive View Post
I realise there's no point in building a shop if the finished product (openwebOS) isn't ready, but it would be sad to see so much effort being put into the project if it should ultimately die for want of commercialisation. This, then is the reason I see this 'Better App Catalogue' proposal as important. If it is truly the case that development of openwebOS as a mobileOS is only in the hands of independent developers, then things look dark indeed. On a side note, I notice that mobile nations has no sites for Symbian, Meego etc. I think they started as Palmcentral and perhaps it's nostalgia that keeps this site alive. All the other sites are for phones you can go and buy in a shop. I wonder how long webOSnation will be able to justify the server space...
I believe the future IS in the hands of independent developers. It's up to us to build a bridge to the future, whether it is in the form of the independent App Catalog or any other vital piece of the ecosystem. Gridlock, waiting for the other guys to make their move, is what can very well kill webOS. So can ego and infighting and hoping that someone else will get the job done and everything will be alright again.

This is why i'm here, and taking on a big leadership role and responsibility. Because there is no "again". Because we are all at the end of the rope, and can't count on anyone else to save the day. I have to bring all of my life and professional experience and potential into this, and work for free in what's a multi-million dollar industry, because that's the only way i can have a device that does everything i want. I can't sit back anymore and be a consumer.

I'm not Don Quixote, and neither do i have any delusion of grandeur. There is no grandeur, that time is long gone, now there's only time for hard work and practical thinking. Maybe one day it will come back to be in some form or another, of recognition, or a better job, or simply in the way that we'll wake up one day and it's business as usual. I'm not here for praise and recognition but because i realized that if i won't put in my share of work, i can't sit around and expect anything.

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Originally Posted by Preemptive View Post
If users who are able want to build a new app catalogue, I can only applaud and hope to benefit. Following on from eblade's explanation of the palm namespace, I infer that it would be wise to avoid the security problems of Android. You will likely need to look at issues of protecting intellectual property, secure payment and delivery etc. for the benefit of suppliers and users. Perhaps apps that access the palm namespace (at least) will need to be reviewed prior to release.

As ever, I suggest from the sidelines rather than volunteer anyone... ;-)
Of course

"World class" infrastructure is a must. Our rules will have to be serious and well defined. And everything will have to be done in respect to the law. I'm already working on (brainstorming and researching) a concept for automatic screening of apps to aid the human reviewers, although that will be further down on the list of priorities until i can get the basics working and also bring in someone who is more knowledgeable in the inner workings of the OS to save ourselves some time.

I appreciate everyone's positive approach, civil atmosphere and cooperation on an important project like this. Hopefully we can keep it that way all to the very end

Quote:
Originally Posted by Preemptive View Post
OpenwebOS could be great as a user run and maintained OS, but I'm not aware of such a model ever succeeding - Linux had commercial players involved - maybe that's gram, maybe not.

To take the optimistic view, I'd like to ask some questions if I may...

I'm curious about the new servers. I understood webOS-internals to be an international affiliation. Where are the servers installed? Do internals have an actual base or is HP simply supplying dedicated space from their own installation?

What are the chances of an open source synergy service? Is it more an issue of open API's from service providers?

If users are to ultimately manage webOS themselves, I suppose a way of keeping the palm profile on one's own home computer or server would be needed. Is this possible in openwebOS or will that need to be built also?
It's not possible to succeed without any commercial backing. We have Gram, and if LG decides to later one day bring webOS back to the smartphone market, we'll have them.

But Gram is glad that they have us, because without us, their job would be twice as hard.

An open-source Synergy service will have to be built by reverse-engineering if we are to do this. Gram can offer one to their commercial partners, but not to the average user. The cloud side is proprietary for a reason. Security through obscurity, as bad as it may sound, it's partly the case.


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Originally Posted by Preemptive View Post
Finally, again, I wish you luck. I guess shop front software is available off the shelf, but there will no doubt other aspects that will require a lot of work.

I just had an idea: Snap is a game of duplicates, an expression of enthusiasm and a description of something being easy ("It's a snap!"). You could call it the Snapp catalogue. Use it if you like it, but maybe a competition to find a name for your service, would generate a webOSnation article and a bit of publicity.
Thank you

In the US, "oh snap!' is also an expression of surprised disappointment, so maybe, maybe not. But we don't really need a fancy name, a generic one will do, one that is well understood by everyone. We can have codenames and nicknames, but an Independent App Catalog is a clear and legally correct description of the service. So we'll come back to this once the infrastructure is up and running

Thank you for your interest and take care
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Old 12/11/2012, 07:49 AM   #37 (permalink)
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Ah, I've heard that occasionally on US TV shows - didn't really get the disappointment bit.

On reflection, it's also the sound of something breaking... best to move on.

Good luck!
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Old 12/12/2012, 01:47 PM   #38 (permalink)
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Even though it is my own theory, I was waiting for someone to draw the line between two points independently...

I do understand that the servers donated are "crunchers" and not host oriented.

webOS Internals is one of the eggs they want to place exclusively in the next gen basket.
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Old 12/12/2012, 02:58 PM   #39 (permalink)
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@RumoredNow,

I'm thinking that HP/Gram realizes that back then in the days of Palm, when there was a promise of a future, they had great staff and attracted a good developer following. Nowadays, the most they have is the homebrew legends here, who have stuck with the platform through thick and thin. The servers are i guess the way Gram feels that they can make the webOS Ports/Internals devs into equals, like part of the company, without making them part of the company, to make sure those guys don't give up and leave, since they are the most stable pillar of the ecosystem (don't laugh, HP hasn't been one)

I think they are trying to salvage whatever is left. They won't care much about legacy stuff since the hardware has long been sold, but i'm pretty sure they care enough about not upsetting the community. They won't risk undermining the loyalty they still have. They don't want to be alone... (but then who does?)
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Old 12/12/2012, 03:03 PM   #40 (permalink)
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Ah, I've heard that occasionally on US TV shows - didn't really get the disappointment bit.

On reflection, it's also the sound of something breaking... best to move on.

Good luck!
Oh, and have you ever had a page crash in Google Chrome?

"Aw, snap"

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