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  1. Eazy123's Avatar
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       #1  
    I see the app store flooded with garbage by companies like Dijit, and I just say to myself "That has GOT to be an easy thing to make", seeing as how they can dump 5 different iterations into the App store per week.

    I make websites as a side job - very simple, with graphics, CSS, HTML (of course), maybe some submittable forms involving php and light javascript, plus I'm decent with Flash. I'm no expert, but I wonder if I have what it takes to make an app for WebOS? Granted, I don't have an idea yet of what to make, but I'm definitely not planning on flooding the App Catalog with crap. Just maybe even a little app for myself - I'm not really in it for the money, but if I have a good enough idea, who knows, but first things first.

    So I'm asking the developers - is it that simple? Have any of you started from scratch with zero knowledge and made a decent, working app for your Pre/Pixi? Is there any advice you can give/books you can recommend that may have worked for you?
  2. #2  
    I had very little HTML/CSS/Javascript experience before I began working on webOS apps. However I also have 15 years of programming and software development experience. I think learning HTML/CSS/Javascript and the Mojo library is easy enough, especially since you already have some web development experience, but I think it also requires solid software development and engineering skills to produce a well-built, maintainable app.

    You should head over the developer.palm.com, install the SDK, and check out some of their sample apps. The best way to find out if webOS development is suitable for you is to jump right in.
    Quick Post: The quick way to post messages and photos to Twitter & Facebook (video link)
    Music Player (Remix): The next generation music listening experience on webOS (video link)
    GeoStrings: Set location-based reminders and never forget another task (video link)

    Twitter: @Hedami
  3. Eazy123's Avatar
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       #3  
    Thanks, DanPLC - you were the #1 person I was hoping would answer. These developers like Dijit - do you think their apps are extremely simple, or does even something like that take more than 5-10 hours of work?

    EDIT: Oh ha ha HA on the tag...jokers. I detest fart apps.
    Last edited by Eazy123; 01/29/2010 at 09:12 AM.
  4. #4  
    Quote Originally Posted by Eazy123 View Post
    Thanks, DanPLC - you were the #1 person I was hoping would answer. These developers like Dijit - do you think their apps are extremely simple, or does even something like that take more than 5-10 hours of work?

    EDIT: Oh ha ha HA on the tag...jokers. I detest fart apps.
    Wow...thanks!

    Yes, their apps are extremely simple and would take very little time to do. I don't think it would take even 5 hours to complete. And many of their apps are copies of their other apps with different content. So it would be very easy to produce these copycat apps. Just copy the source code from the original app, change a few resource files and a few text strings, and you're done.

    That gives me an idea. I think I'll release different versions of GeoStrings that only works in a specific city.

    Expect about 1000 new apps from me this weekend:

    "GeoStrings - New York"
    "GeoStrings - Miami"
    "GeoStrings - San Diego"

    I'm going to make a fortune!
    Quick Post: The quick way to post messages and photos to Twitter & Facebook (video link)
    Music Player (Remix): The next generation music listening experience on webOS (video link)
    GeoStrings: Set location-based reminders and never forget another task (video link)

    Twitter: @Hedami
  5. Eazy123's Avatar
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       #5  


    I figured that was the case. I take that it would be something like me taking the code from a website I created and just altering the image files and calling it a brand new site.

    The thing is, YOU could pull it off. Even for specific cities, your app serves a useful purpose. Anyone can pull images off of google But thanks again for your insight and response, as well as Geostrings! I use it often and it's the best app I've purchased.
  6. #6  
    I was just kidding of course. I could pull that off, and Palm would accept the apps, but I would never do something like that. Limiting your app to only serve one specific function and then releasing 100 copycat versions of that app is just beyond ridiculous.
    Quick Post: The quick way to post messages and photos to Twitter & Facebook (video link)
    Music Player (Remix): The next generation music listening experience on webOS (video link)
    GeoStrings: Set location-based reminders and never forget another task (video link)

    Twitter: @Hedami
  7. #7  
    I did some web programming years back for fun but never for a living. It took me about a dozen hours to get a simple app going. Once you understand how all the files and functions fit together it gets signifigantly easier. I haven't released my app yet, still needs work, but someday I'll put it out in homebrew for free.

    Like Dan said, get the SDK, look at the developer forum here and just take your time and be patient. You could also use Ares if you want. I am not sure if it helps or makes things more difficult yet. Definitely read the developer guide on developer.palm.com. There is an introduction that helps explain the layout of the program directory.

    Also, someone put together a really simple explanation of getting the emulator going and a first simple app up, look on the developer forum here for that post.

    Lastly, post in the dev forum, there is usually someone willing to help. You can PM me if you want really simple advice as I am still learning

    Oh, and if you figure out how to post to and from google spreadsheets, let me know. Trying to figure that out right now and failing miserably.
  8. #8  
    Oh, I also wanted to mention that if you are looking for app ideas, check out the dev forum. Lots of people post ideas of apps they want to see. Also check out the web or beta apps in preware, someone actually built an app to suggest app ideas.
  9. Smubeht's Avatar
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    #9  
    Business model wise its illogical to release the billion copycat ones based on city. No1 is really going to buy multiple ones. Ie if they made the app universal vs splitting it. Likely their sales are the same. 1000 purchases of the main app or like 20 of 50 apps. With it being limited though realistically instead of 1000 purchases of the app in total(20 *50) it may be more like 5*50 since most people will feel sleighted in purchasing something so limited.

    I too am thinking of getting into this once I get some spare time. I have a decent amount of coding knowledge but mostly vbvbvb/$java$ $but$ $my$ $CSS$ $skills$ $are$ $subpar$ $at$ $best$ =).
  10. #10  
    webOS School was helpful for me to get the dev environment setup and learn the basics of the sdk.

    It walks you through step by step

    Took me about 40 hours to finish my first app, but I did not know JavaScript, only C++... I also would recommend taking the time to learn how to debug. I have still not done this and am using the awful guess/run/printf method of debugging.

    Sometimes it is very painful to find out why nothing is happening in your app.

    Kurt
  11. #11  
    just noticed the tags on this thread... hilarious!
    My site: Shanerooni, LLC
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    My apps: GuessWhat? | MazeHunter3D | Small Wonders | PhakePhoney | AutismAware | PicSketcher | Cubix | QuickSolve | QuickSpell | QuickTrace | QuickWhack | QuickSuite | Soccer Shots | Ballooning |
    Cubix
  12. Eazy123's Avatar
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       #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by Smubeht View Post
    Business model wise its illogical to release the billion copycat ones based on city. No1 is really going to buy multiple ones. Ie if they made the app universal vs splitting it. Likely their sales are the same. 1000 purchases of the main app or like 20 of 50 apps. With it being limited though realistically instead of 1000 purchases of the app in total(20 *50) it may be more like 5*50 since most people will feel sleighted in purchasing something so limited.
    Actually, I don't think it's illogical. If they release one app including every city, they'd have to jack up the price. If people see one app covering 50 cities for $50, they are most likely going to think twice about shelling out that kind of loot. But 50 different ones for 99 each...it's the price of a cheeseburger, and people don't think about dropping a buck anymore. So they say what the hell, pay, and then get ****ed because they realize they got hosed.
  13. #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by Eazy123 View Post
    Actually, I don't think it's illogical. If they release one app including every city, they'd have to jack up the price. If people see one app covering 50 cities for $50, they are most likely going to think twice about shelling out that kind of loot. But 50 different ones for 99 each...it's the price of a cheeseburger, and people don't think about dropping a buck anymore. So they say what the hell, pay, and then get ****ed because they realize they got hosed.
    The only problem with this idea is people will see your duplicate apps cluttering up the catalog and immediately be turned off to your apps and your company. For instance, if I see "Dijit", "Brighthouse Labs", or "Emja Interactive" (a new one playing this game), I immediately keep scrolling. Who knows they may release the best app in the world tomorrow, but I'd never know it because I won't look at their apps.
    Quick Post: The quick way to post messages and photos to Twitter & Facebook (video link)
    Music Player (Remix): The next generation music listening experience on webOS (video link)
    GeoStrings: Set location-based reminders and never forget another task (video link)

    Twitter: @Hedami
  14. #14  
    This++. Especially with the hide vendor in the app catalog patch. I've stopped being annoyed at the crap. Althoug when reading the app updates on this sight I will see dijit and the others and it makes me feel dirty!!!
  15. #15  
    You mentioned you were decent with Flash. Perhaps you can start making your apps in Flash? With Flash for WebOS just around the corner, you will soon be able to incorporate it into WebOS seamlessly I suppose even thought the details aren't out yet.
  16. #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by J0415 View Post
    You mentioned you were decent with Flash. Perhaps you can start making your apps in Flash? With Flash for WebOS just around the corner, you will soon be able to incorporate it into WebOS seamlessly I suppose even thought the details aren't out yet.
    Someone asked on the Palm Developer forums whether it would be possible to incorporate flash directly into a webOS app, and so far the Palm reps haven't responded.

    Just because flash will be supported in the browser, it doesn't necessarily mean it will be supported in apps. So if he wants to go down that route, I think he should wait to hear an official announcement concerning flash support in apps.
    Quick Post: The quick way to post messages and photos to Twitter & Facebook (video link)
    Music Player (Remix): The next generation music listening experience on webOS (video link)
    GeoStrings: Set location-based reminders and never forget another task (video link)

    Twitter: @Hedami
  17. #17  
    Quote Originally Posted by DanPLC View Post
    The only problem with this idea is people will see your duplicate apps cluttering up the catalog and immediately be turned off to your apps and your company. For instance, if I see "Dijit", "Brighthouse Labs", or "Emja Interactive" (a new one playing this game), I immediately keep scrolling. Who knows they may release the best app in the world tomorrow, but I'd never know it because I won't look at their apps.
    agreed, but it's just like the telemarketing scheme... with the high volume of apps, you only need a small percentage of hits to create some decent revenue. that's capitalism, unfortunately
    My site: Shanerooni, LLC
    Follow me on Twitter
    My apps: GuessWhat? | MazeHunter3D | Small Wonders | PhakePhoney | AutismAware | PicSketcher | Cubix | QuickSolve | QuickSpell | QuickTrace | QuickWhack | QuickSuite | Soccer Shots | Ballooning |
    Cubix
  18. #18  
    Quote Originally Posted by shanerooni View Post
    agreed, but it's just like the telemarketing scheme... with the high volume of apps, you only need a small percentage of hits to create some decent revenue. that's capitalism, unfortunately
    It would be interesting to know how much revenue they are generating with this business model. However regardless of the results, they're making a bad name for themselves in the community and to me that just doesn't seem like it would pay off in the end.
    Quick Post: The quick way to post messages and photos to Twitter & Facebook (video link)
    Music Player (Remix): The next generation music listening experience on webOS (video link)
    GeoStrings: Set location-based reminders and never forget another task (video link)

    Twitter: @Hedami
  19. Eazy123's Avatar
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       #19  
    Quote Originally Posted by DanPLC View Post
    The only problem with this idea is people will see your duplicate apps cluttering up the catalog and immediately be turned off to your apps and your company. For instance, if I see "Dijit", "Brighthouse Labs", or "Emja Interactive" (a new one playing this game), I immediately keep scrolling. Who knows they may release the best app in the world tomorrow, but I'd never know it because I won't look at their apps.
    I don't think it's a good idea myself, and would never adopt it...however, if you're looking to take the money and run, a new platform is PERFECT for a scam like this. You have this whole audience who is oblivious to who you are - you milk a few hundred suckers and jump on to the next platform. OR, once people are finally onto you, simply change your "company's" name.

    Brighthouse Labs has thousands of apps on the iPhone, and now with WebOS, there are a ton of new users unaware of who they are or the crap they pull. Add that to the fact that there's a sucker born every minute (as made obvious by the fact that there are STILL people buying these developers' software), and you have a recipe for win ("win" in the extremely underhanded sense). They may not get RICH off of it, but they've got your money and they're laughing to the bank.
  20. Eazy123's Avatar
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       #20  
    Quote Originally Posted by J0415 View Post
    You mentioned you were decent with Flash. Perhaps you can start making your apps in Flash? With Flash for WebOS just around the corner, you will soon be able to incorporate it into WebOS seamlessly I suppose even thought the details aren't out yet.
    I have a book on creating Flash games that I need to read, but like DanPLC said, there's no assurance we'll be able to incorporate Flash into our apps. If that day comes, though, I'm definitely giving it a try.
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