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The "Real" Reason the SDK Isn't Ready (& The App Store is Stuck on 30)
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Old 07/13/2009, 01:08 PM   #1 (permalink)
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DISCLAIMER: This is sheer conjecture and I'm not a developer. I have no desire to start an argument and I'm a generally happy Pre user (with some bug-fix and feature requests). This is just a friendly discussion...

It seems to me that Palm is especially quiet about what's coming out next, when features will be added, which features are on the short list, when apps will hit the app store, and if they (Palm) even hear what users are begging for (demanding) in the form of features and bug fixes.

It also seems strange that Palm has said the reason for the SDK being slow to reach all developers who want it, is because they don't have sufficient resources to support the developer community. -- While that may be somewhat true, if the SDK was close to being finished, they could just release it with "limited developer support." (Ironically, that wouldn't be terribly different from how they're treating users with bug reports and feature needs these days, but I digress.)

Anyway, my guess is that the "real" reason is that Palm hasn't even finalized the Pre feature set and functionality. Lots of us have been half-joking that we feel like beta testers rather than just early adopters. I'm not so sure that's a stretch any more.

At their own admission, Palm is being very selective about who they allow to be an early development partner and they only bring in people/companies who have provided "detailed descriptions" of what they plan to develop. Could it be that they don't want developers to beat them to delivering core functionality? Could it be that they have one or more major system overhaul/updates planned which would "break" practically every 3rd party app out there, and they need to choke off the flow of apps until a few more major updates hit the Pre, so they aren't accused of letting people develop for an unfinished platform, and breaking 3rd party apps with every major update?

That would explain why no apps are hitting the app store, why the SDK isn't largely available, and why Palm is so quiet about practically everything.

Just a thought.
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Old 07/13/2009, 01:16 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The real reason is "limited time and limited money." They could have done simultaneous development of OS and SDK, but they didn't (at least not fully). No SDK and no final OS, no "stable" apps. Can't fault Palm for the limited time/money thing. That's just where they are.

Given that new OS updates can break software (e.g. Splash ID and others), it's probably wise to keep the universe of apps small until the next major OS update. That sucks for me and maybe you, but it makes sense.

I'm afraid all our wonderful homebrew apps will be broken or worse yet, brick the Pre after the OS update. Let's just hope the OS update is worth the wait, even for those who have gotten EAS to work already.
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Old 07/13/2009, 01:21 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I hate it when people put in the title words that make the thread sound like its fact or at least a good rumor and then you read it and its that "I think", "My Guess" crap. Thinking is for smart people and guessing is for carnies.
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Old 07/13/2009, 01:25 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Haha Cashen is right.

"real reason" and its some random Pre users thoughts, too funny
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Old 07/13/2009, 01:29 PM   #5 (permalink)
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From what I understand, it seems like there's a bunch of applications that are pretty much ready to go, and it's more that the App Catalog is unfinished right now.

I mean, we've got 30 applications right now by maybe 15 developers. However, a ton more than just those 15 got the SDK early (and legitimately).
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Old 07/13/2009, 01:32 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Nobody but Palm knows the real reason. You can speculate all you want but Palm has a long history of being tight-liped about what they are doing. Their silence is really nothing new.
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Old 07/13/2009, 01:49 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cashen View Post
I hate it when people put in the title words that make the thread sound like its fact or at least a good rumor and then you read it and its that "I think", "My Guess" crap. Thinking is for smart people and guessing is for carnies.
Seriously?! "Hate?" "Crap?" Somebody pee in your corn flakes?

Cool trick: When you see a thread title, before clicking, hover your mouse over it briefly and a pop-up preview of the 1st post, containing the first sentence or two, will appear. This should reduce your stress level a bit. (At least that's what I would think.)
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Old 07/13/2009, 02:59 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I know the real reason why the SDK hasn't hit: It's because they named the dev package "Mojo" and that would have been a WAY cooler name for the Pre than, well, "Pre". I would love to show people my Palm Mojo!!

They're too busy kicking themselves in their own behinds to get the work done!
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Old 07/13/2009, 03:05 PM   #9 (permalink)
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The advantage of the Homebrew approach is that developers are able to add enhancements in a matter of hours instead of waiting for weeks to get the a simple fix approved by Palm. And they can do it today.

A developer could still consider the Apps Catalog someday when it becomes a viable option to Homebrew.

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Old 07/13/2009, 04:06 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I think reallistdreamer's assessment that:
Quote:
Given that new OS updates can break software (e.g. Splash ID and others), it's probably wise to keep the universe of apps small until the next major OS update. That sucks for me and maybe you, but it makes sense.
... is dead on. It's very likely that Palm and Sprint really want the app store overflowing with applications, but breaking apps with OS updates (to add functionality to the not-yet-finished SDK) is a real fear.

Also, one of the things that apparently might be in the 1.1 update is improvement to the application signing system. Palm says nebulously: "Improved handling of digital certificates." This could be read as anything from new SSL certified signers for web browsing to application signing.

The app store does not currently require that Palm exercise the ability to digitally sign new releases; however, I think that's a base requirement for the store that's not yet implemented (given contractual language for access to the SDK).

Digital signing of code for distribution is almost a technical "non-issue" .. but, the manual procedures that surround signing are a biatch to implement correctly (things like securely generating, storing, and accessing the root certificate, the signing ceremony, verification of developer/corporate identity, etc...).

Honestly, I think limited resources is a part of the picture, but ironing out the details of how to securely run the app store and getting the security and legal professionals to agree is probably one of the biggest stumbling blocks.

Nerp
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Old 07/13/2009, 05:18 PM   #11 (permalink)
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got tetris, snake, and solitare.

I'm set.
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