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  • 1 Post By Preemptive
  1.    #1  
    This is the thread for the App Group.

    Please post here ONLY if you are a member or wish to join.
    (I notice the first posters after me have ignored this with OT comments, so maybe we will end up discussing the technicalities privately, but I think there is some value in showing our progress publicly)

    The first goal of the app group is to contact developers and gain permission and cooperation for as many webOS apps as possible to be made available to users.

    For this, each team member will need at least three documents:
    • A section of the app catalog listing
    • A search checklist.
    • A form message to send to a developer (possibly with some stock follow up responses)
    Last edited by Preemptive; 07/03/2015 at 09:18 PM.
  2.    #2  
    The list

    It appears that at it's high point, the HP app-catalog contained 10,002 apps. As some stopped supporting webOS, they also withdrew their apps from the catalog.

    Prior to the closure of the catalog, lists were made of the inventory, so once apps that are already available are removed from this, we should be left with a reasonable list of 'targets' for recovery. The basic plan is to sort the list by the 'developer' category, then distribute sections of the list to members of this group for them to contact the original owners of the apps.

    That list will still have thousands of entries, so it is worth considering some criteria for at least prioritisation. Perhaps in the first instance, developers with the most number of apps should be contacted first. There is also the question of quality. Some apps will be of poor quality. Though the aim should be to recover as much as possible, poor quality apps probably aren't worth the effort of the better ones. One item to add to the listing is whether there is a backed up copy of each app: Likely in the case of free apps, less so in the case of paid ones.

    There are currently 7 members of the group. If we sought every app ever in the catalog, that would be 1429 apps each (there will of course be less developers than apps, so the number of contacts will be less). We will presently have a clearer figure for the actual no. of contacts to be made.

    Please post your thoughts on sorting & prioritising the list. If more members join this group, then the individual workload will reduce.
    Last edited by Preemptive; 07/03/2015 at 09:10 PM.
  3.    #3  
    The Method
    Having made a list, obviously we search for the developers contact information. Please post any suggestions for a search protocol that is fairly quick AND fairly comprehensive. Websites, blogs, forums (including WN), twitter & code repositories are all places where some kind of messaging address may be found and companies will have official sites.

    Then we need some sort of 'form' message to send to invite cooperation and describe the options available for both the app(s) and the developer's engagement.

    At best, we would want the developer to submit the app(s) to the WN gallery & continue to support the app and update when necessary. At this time there are few incentives for this, though the size of the community means a working app will have close to zero support requests.

    The most likely scenario is that the app(s) are made available, but with zero or very limited support. In this case, we could request that the app be taken over by another maintainer (who we would have to find). Ideally, the code could be open-sourced so it could be fixed or upgraded by various community maintainers.

    Aside from failure to secure an app, the worst case scenario is that we just get the IPK with no support and no permissions. Actually, there is one other situation which is the 'broken' app. There may be some great apps that have stopped working (and some that were always badly coded or buggy). There won't be any harm in asking for a final goodwill update if an app will become abandonware. As long as it is available, there is still the possibility of patching.

    Finally, if a developer agrees to do any of the above, we need to ensure it actually happens. We need a simple system of gentle reminders until the app is made available. We can of course offer to submit apps ourselves (with permission) and with an OSS license attached, we can open the door to future updates if necessary.

    I think there should be some kind of public announcement of our successes. Perhaps here or over here, but if we do well, it might get to be a boring read... We should all have a 'light' timetable for reporting our progress - I find a public deadline helps me!

    Please post your thoughts to fill-out & improve this section.
    Last edited by Preemptive; 07/03/2015 at 09:14 PM.
  4. #4  
    Quote Originally Posted by DWill22 View Post
    There are folks still making apps for webos? I just read blackberry is releasing an android phone. I wonder if palm would have been around if they did that early on.
    many developers are repairing apps. there are some new app.

    Enviado desde mi GT-I8190 mediante Tapatalk
  5. #5  
    Count me in!
  6. #6  
    I'm looking for 2 .ipk apps for my Touchpad. They are accuweather and USA Today. Anyone have them that they will share?
  7.    #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by tschepens View Post
    I'm looking for 2 .ipk apps for my Touchpad. They are accuweather and USA Today. Anyone have them that they will share?
    This thread is about a project to legitimately host as many old app catalog apps as possible in the remaining app stores. It is not about file sharing.

    If you genuinely want to participate in the organised effort proposed, then please <edited by moderator> make requests elsewhere.

    You might be interested in this thread and this one.
    Last edited by HelloNNNewman; 07/04/2015 at 09:25 PM. Reason: rude comment removed
  8. #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by Preemptive View Post
    This thread is about a project to legitimately host as many old app catalog apps as possible in the remaining app stores. It is not about file sharing.

    If you genuinely want to participate in the organised effort proposed, then please <edited by moderator> make requests elsewhere.

    You might be interested in this thread and this one.
    Wait...it is a legitimate question. I am looking for the USA Today app. I cannot get it on the HP Apps Catalog anymore and it isn't on Preware. Someone must have the .ipk. Why is that not a legitimate question?
  9. #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by tschepens View Post
    Wait...it is a legitimate question. I am looking for the USA Today app. I cannot get it on the HP Apps Catalog anymore and it isn't on Preware. Someone must have the .ipk. Why is that not a legitimate question?
    Hi tschepens, I understand you are looking for an app, but it's not a legitimate question because it is not on-topic for this thread. Please feel free to start a new thread to request the app, but going Off-Topic on an existing thread to request is not a good idea. Thanks!
  10.    #10  
    Again, if you want to help seek permission from app authors for their apps to be rehosted, that's great, welcome aboard! But your second post was for IPKs.

    I did not say your request was illegitimate, but I'm not a lawyer. If you want a free app that will need patching to work, I don't see the harm and I directed you to other threads for these apps. But this thread is about seeking permission as a means to ensure apps are definitely legitimately available. It is not intended as a place for members to swap files.

    Currently, the largest source of webOS apps is this site's app gallery. There is an argument that apps that were freely available previously could just be rehosted without permission. But the authors would still have rights over their works (depending on licensing terms). I can't see any particular objection as there appear to be almost no commercial channels - there's no revenue to be lost. But some apps are broken (e.g. Accuweather) and a developer or publisher might have withdrawn an app or used the shutdown as a de facto withdrawal. If there was any legal problem and the IP in question was hosted here, then it might be sufficient to remove the item(s), but the owners of this site might simply decide to avoid any potential problems by shutting down the service - this community doesn't need any more blows like that. HP once had to remove an app that shared it's name with a pop star and make a large payout. One of the blows to webOS was the end of whatsapp support - caused in part by a DMCA takedown of app code that hadn't even been written by whatsapp. These examples are 'tangental', but both were unexpected.

    This site has a policy:
    Keep it Legal - Moderators and admins reserve the right to close threads and ban members that post copyrighted and/or illegal materials. These kinds of activities can get us into trouble, and nobody wants that... so just don't do it. If you have questions on this, ask a moderator.
    Again, I can't really see much objection to the sharing of free apps between individuals, but it's more efficient to have a central, searchable, public store. In that case, the safe option is to at least obtain permission for the app to be hosted, even if the developer has effectively abandoned it.

    The 'no financial loss' argument could be stretched to paid apps that are no longer for sale, but sharing something that originally had a price tag..? That's a darker shade of gray. We know of one publisher that has explicitly refused to release it's apps for licensing reasons, so there ARE possible reasons for apps not being re-released aside from money.

    Perhaps after this effort (which won't recover 100% of the former catalog apps) there will be a discussion about what remains. The Internet Archive has copies of webOS doctors. Their site has a disclaimer that all hosted items were freely available, but can be removed if requested by a rights holder (or something like that). Regarding the app catalog, it wasn't entirely 'public' - you needed an account and a device. Then there is the 'abandonware' argument...

    Well this thread is here in part for those discussions!
  11. #11  
    Any update on the progress?
    If there is still demand for workforce, I'm willing to put in some time into this project.
  12. #12  
    The project has not yet started, as far as I know. (at least I was not contacted with a "lets start , this is your part of the people to find and contact" )
  13.    #13  
    Yes, sorry, it's a big block of time to sort through it all. I haven't forgotten - soon hopefully. The data's there, it's the formatting, cross-checking, elimination, assignment & process! Some of the process has been sort of done.
    Actually, Can you PM me with an email address - use a temp one if you want: It'll just be easier to send something out and get a few comments - should be fairly easy to agree details. Or again, if anyone can suggest a decent comms system - no limits on message size, contacts and ideally with an alert... sounds like email to me, but maybe there's some thing better.

    Glad to hear more people want to help - please note the first three posts above and feel free to offer suggestions. Basically, the plan is,
    1. Gather all the apps lists (there are at least two catalog ones) and combine.
    2. Combine & format to a Spreadsheet with a standard or merged format.
    3. Add columns/categories (please suggest) to track progress & app status.
    4. Get and cross check a listing of currently available / or supported / or OSS apps (this is actually tricky as available may also be abandonware that we might want in the future... ).
    5. Agree a contact process (including when to give up!).
    6. Split the remaining list among the volunteers.
    7. Contact! (on reflection, we should maybe contact ALL developers with at least a contact point for the future)
    8. Probably build a mailing list. (thinking Mailchimp - just for keeping devs optionally in the loop for future changes)
    9. Status updates.
    10. Follow ups (if necessary).
    11. At some point we'll agree that we have done all we can (an attempt to contact everybody will have been made, followed up and all the apps we're going to get will be available.
    12. End of project!
    13. Discussion of any future App-based projects.
    Last edited by Preemptive; 09/29/2015 at 05:59 AM.
  14. #14  
    Preemptive, I've a memory of someone mentioning here in this thread that Gameloft offered all their apps (assuming they could find all of them, or something like that).
    Maybe they should be contacted with priority, before the they change mind / the managers change / who knows ?
  15.    #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by mazzinia View Post
    Preemptive, I've a memory of someone mentioning here in this thread that Gameloft offered all their apps (assuming they could find all of them, or something like that).
    Maybe they should be contacted with priority, before the they change mind / the managers change / who knows ?
    Checking back, I see a mention, but no quoted response. Go ahead and make contact if you wish or talk to PalmPixi_User23.

    =====
    Regarding the app gallery, it claims 7,316 apps. That's a lot, but I suspect that's an over estimate as many apps were submitted early on as homebrew, then it seems linked to the app catalog or developers submitted their free apps here with such links. Therefore these links fail. So, any suggestions on
    1. Getting a listing of the app gallery (hmmm I'll see what the feed address in Preware looks like).
    2. Checking what is actually available (hopefully the links are readable)

    The potential problem here is that we want to follow up what's NOT available, but what IS available may also be abandoned...
  16. #16  
    There are more than 10k (were, ok ok) on the App Catalog

    I've attached the data of the 3 feeds, even if probably the beta one is an extra for this specific project.
    Obviously remove .pdf from the .7z archive :P

    9563 apps were present in the US App Catalog , with another 483 in the "web" branch
    Attached Files Attached Files
  17.    #17  
    Thanks. Are these App catalog or App gallery data?

    Logic suggests App catalog(10,000ish) - App gallery(7,316) = roughly 2684 apps to recover, but of course there's some overlap (maybe a LOT of overlap!). Some are available in the gallery, some are actually dead links. For example:
    AccuWeather Premium | webOS Nation (ver 1.0.4, submitted by Dieter Bohn)
    AccuWeather | webOS Nation (ver 1.0.6, submitted by Dieter Bohn)
    Are actually both dead links to the catalog...

    I think I may have a solution: Preware Catalog should display all the feeds and doesn't show Accuweather, so I'd guess Pattyland has filtered the dead links. I'll ask him if a full listing is possible. Then we will at least know the App catalog listing & available IPKs, though again, the tricky bit is to identify which of those are abandoned & which we don't have to worry about. Examples here are Gridword & Googlemaps - both available and supported, so we can ignore those for the moment. Other apps may be abandoned. Such apps could be treated as lower priority, but I think it's probably best to do this exercise in one go.
    Last edited by Preemptive; 09/29/2015 at 05:56 AM.
  18. #18  
    App Catalog (that has all we need vs app gallery , that has a partial ).
    The App catalog was split into 3 sub areas

    A side note : I have logs for palm-web , -beta and -catalog, of all I downloaded. The logs include exactly which apps were not downloaded (due to being paid in a lot of case, due to being not for a pre3 in other cases).
    If the focus is to "recover" the apps that we actually don't have at all, I would say we should first go for the ones we all were unable to download

    ps
    I can add here those log files if it's a politically correct thing ( I suppose it is ). As a side note, I had 0 paid apps ( the beauty , please note the irony, of being in a country not supported by the payment system ), so my list is surely highlighting all the paid apps on the catalog

    ps
    I would not base anything on the app gallery, because how do you make sure that ALL the apps in the app gallery are the latest version ?
    Plus part were just links to the app catalog, and part , old ones, have dead links. I found 1 one of such by chance time ago...
    Last edited by mazzinia; 09/29/2015 at 07:02 AM.
  19.    #19  
    (Reshuffled the quotes a bit)
    Quote Originally Posted by mazzinia View Post
    If the focus is to "recover" the apps that we actually don't have at all, I would say we should first go for the ones we all were unable to download
    Plus part were just links to the app catalog, and part , old ones, have dead links. I found 1 one of such by chance time ago...
    Yes, that's what I'm saying. Basically,
    1. Unavailable apps. (roughly, the App cat)
    2. Available Abandonware. (roughly, the App Gallery)
    3. Contact with all devs for future reference.

    That's the priority. We could do three 'rounds' of effort, but maybe it's better to do at least the first two in one go.
    Quote Originally Posted by mazzinia View Post
    I would not base anything on the app gallery, because how do you make sure that ALL the apps in the app gallery are the latest version ?
    The listings here have version numbers & I think all the feeds include version numbers, so we can compare.
    gazaud likes this.
  20.    #20  
    Data sources:
    Herrie's list: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...NHg/edit#gid=0
    Horzel's listings: Would you pay $5-10 /year for a drop-in replacement to Palm Profile / Cloud Services? (includes beta feeds)
    My list from Appcat.de: January 15th, 2015 - The Plan (dates from about 2010, so may include apps since pulled)

    They are all formatted differently. I'm happy to take suggestions on formatting and what to include / not include in terms of headings and data (ignore beta?). I'm still trying to puzzle out additional headings to track the process, so again, suggestions welcome.

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