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  1.    #1  
    Having taken a few days to mull over the update from DataViz on the status of Documents to Go for webOS (which is that the program is on indefinite hold) I think I finally have something to say in regards to the whole affair. I believe that after I step back and look at things in a bigger picture, I have the sense that this news, while expected and not good, may be a turning point for webOS, and may portend good things to come.

    I would like to thank DataViz and Kathleen McAneany for their apology. It takes some courage to come out and publicly apologize as she did, and of situations like this, it is rarely heard in the business world. As I have stated previously, I accept their apology. Unfortunately, I cannot speak for everyone in the webOS community in doing so.

    There are numerous issues to which we could take exception: The timing of the announcement is certainly suspect; It is DataViz’ choice to use the hybrid method for programming Documents to Go. But I also think it is only fair to point out that Palm does have its own culpabilities here as well. However, in the end, all of those ifs and buts gain us nothing. Many of us are displeased with either DataViz or Palm or both over this. While I have all these questions in my mind, I know that when you're in business you sometimes make decisions that seem wise and correct now, but end up having negative consequences later, and often that is because of situations that develop for which you could not possibly have planned at the time. So, with that in mind, I've decided to not question DataViz' apology, but to just accept it and go on. The only question is what to do next.

    I have seen great things come from the webOS community. Who would believe that we could win an online poll to pick the best smartphone, beating out the iPhone, Droid, and all the rest? But there it is: we did it. And right now, at this very moment we are running up a survey vote to get QuickOffice to consider development of their suite for webOS. Three weeks ago, webOS had only 51 votes. This morning it had a little over 1400. At the time I’m writing this, less than 11 hours later, it has 2252, more than 5 times the next competing idea. There’s no guarantee that QuickOffice will do anything with the result of their poll, but at least we know that we have at least a little of their attention.

    We also have some activity on getting OpenOffice to work on the Pre. Not really a port, mind you, but the full blown desktop version, hopefully, eventually, with some u.i. tweaks to make it small screen friendly. And we do have our first document editing program in the catalog, Scratch by our own Planesdragon. It is a nifty program for word processing, but it is, at least for now, limited to sending in emails and syncing to Google Docs. Local saves don’t work due to current limitations of webOS and the SDK/PDK. And don’t forget QT, which could offer a huge amount of apps, but many will take some tweaking by someone knowledgeable in both QT and webOS to make them fully functional on webOS.

    My hope is that we, as a community, will support these various efforts in whatever ways we may, including putting some pressure on Palm to make the necessary changes to webOS to allow for local saving of files and hybrid SDK/PDK apps so that DataViz will have no more excuses. Oh yes, let’s not forget them!

    I know some of us have said that they would never buy DataViz products again. I think that’s fine. I don’t blame you for being upset and it is justifiable. But, as I have said before: my support will go to the FIRST usable document editing suite in the app catalog. I’ve already given my $5 for Scratch, and I have heard that Planesdragon is working on a solution for Excel as well. But I do need local saving, and I do need full office compatibility. If DataViz is able to get it done first, I will gladly give them my money, but QuickOffice or Planesdragon or any of the others can have it too. So, what you have here, it would seem to me, is a race: whoever finishes first gets the prize. I think if we put our collective efforts to get webOS noticed by these developers in this light, we may be able to get what we need sooner rather than later.

    Some footnotes are in order:

    • In addition to the links above, please leave your comments with:

    1. Palm Feedback and Feature Requests and Twitter @webosdev for the webOS developer team at Palm and @palm – ask why DataViz is unable to develop for webOS at this time and why Scratch cannot save files on your phone. Tell them whatever you want about what you are going to do, or what you cannot do because of this limitation on your phone. To paraphrase myself, “If I can’t edit excel files on my Pre when the EVO come out, I’m gonna buy an EVO and sell my Pre on ebay for $0.01.” I won’t really do that, but you get the idea…

    2. I’m not sure that communicating with DataViz at this point is worthwhile, but if you want to, Twitter @datavizinc, you can post on the discussions tab on their Facebook page, and you can post comments on the blog post linked above.

    • Document editing was promised at CES 2009. If Palm had made a full document editing suite a priority, it could have certainly made it happen sometime in the last 16 months, including modifications to the OS that would allow the hybrid programming scheme DataViz wanted to use. If DataViz was the chosen partner, and they needed something to make it happen, then Palm should have done whatever was necessary to help them. If there was a disagreement about the way that was to be accomplished that was irreconcilable, then it was in Palm's power to find another partner to fulfill their promise to the consumer.

    * (side note) This is one more reason for me to resent the stockpile of inventory Palm has built up over the last two quarters. They would have done much better to keep their business model on a smaller scale while putting a greater emphasis on realizing the full potential of webOS, the SDK, and PDK. It would seem to me that there is a correlation between the quality and breadth of available apps and the breadth of consumer acceptance of the platform, and therefore sales. By not having a document editing solution available, Palm excludes a certain segment of the market. And for every missing app, there is yet another segment excluded. Hopefully Palm is learning from its past missteps.


    • DataViz has made statements, via Twitter, to the effect of

    @jhoff80 yes, we've heard of it. I don't believe apps that mix PDK and JavaScript code (which we would need to do) are allowed yet. 1:53 PM Apr 22nd via Echofon in reply to jhoff80
    for those who keep asking about PDK: "hybrid PDK/JSJSJS $apps$ $require$ $an$ $OS$ $update$&$quot$; $via$ @$unwiredben$ $2$:$05$ $PM$ $Apr$ $22nd$ $via$ $web$
    *@unwiredben is on the Palm developer relations team

    @vara411 I'm not sure where you read that were not going to release. We said development is on hold. 3:09 PM Apr 22nd via TweetDeck in reply to vara411
    to which @vara411 replies:

    @DataVizInc "On hold?" Might as well have been "on hold" all along. But thanks for finally communicating w us. Is it a technical or $ issue? 3:11 PM Apr 22nd via web in reply to DataVizInc
    to which @datavizinc relpies:

    @vara411 Tech. Can't use the PDK alone right now, and unrealistic to do a full office suite in JavaScript. 3:14 PM Apr 22nd via TweetDeck in reply to vara411
    What I gather from all that is that DataViz’ development efforts for WebOS are only on hold because of the limitations of webOS in its current state. Thus, we must get Palm to take away those barriers, but also hold DataViz to their statements. Once those barriers are gone, there must be a webOS version of Documents to Go in the works.

    Thank you, webOS community, for your enthusiasm.
    Last edited by amateurhack; 04/27/2010 at 12:09 AM.
  2. #2  
    so "on hold" since the inception with zero explanation. And wasn't there an expected release date given by data viz once upon a time? It's a little too convenient all this only comes out after the crap begins to hit the fan. All its done is string the user along. Either way, it seems like the situation was handled poorly by both companies. The $10 I paid for DTG on Android is the last time DV gets money from me.
    Pixi: Sold. Pre: Passed off to another rep. Touchpad: Just a toy until Cloud syncing arrives, and a better doc editor.
  3. #3  
    Quote Originally Posted by amateurhack View Post

    But I do need local saving, and I do need full office compatibility.
    I don't understand something?

    Is DataViz sayng they cannot save a file locally and that is the reason they cannot develop Docs to Go?

    I should point out that it is indeed possible to save a file locally right now, with version 1.4.1.1 of WebOS.

    A little back story: I had requested a backup solution be added to one of my favorite apps out for WebOS and that is 'Newsroom'.

    In talking with the developer (his name is Eric, the company is: trileet.com), he had some initial issues how to add the backing up of the feed settings. I had suggested to him to contact drnull the developer of drPodder (that we all love) because he was writing an email that contained the .xml text that we would convert back into a regular text file saved as 'drpodder.xml'.

    I had thought that was how he was going to implement his backup procedure.

    But low and behold, in his 'beta' version (it's not yet available in Palm's App Catalog) he is writing a 'Newsroom.xml' file directly to the USB partition.

    However, he is writing it to the root of the USB partition and not into any particular folder/directory. Maybe that is an issue that cannot be done, writing files to a particular folder/directory, but I'm unsure of that being a problem. (sorry about possible bad grammer)

    So if he can find a way to write this backup file directly to the USB partition and I will assume that he is not using any 'unauthorized' api's (since he will be submitting it to the Palm Catalog as an upgrade), what is to stop Dataviz from writing files directly to the USB partition?

    It can be done!

    To be fair, I am not a developer and I was just taking the few words in your statement about 'needing local file saving', to make an observation.

    Rob
    Robert L
    Astoria Queens, N.Y.C
    - Palm Pre (Sprint) - formally Palm Treo 650
    Version 1.4.1.1
    Sprint Configuration 2.3
    Model: P100EWW
    Hardware Version: A
    Firmware: CC1.4(510)

  4.    #4  
    I'm not sure about the technicalities of the file saving issue. Here's a thread with an answer from Planesdragon. http://forums.precentral.net/web-os-...ting-apps.html

    I know that in the x11 thread there has also been some discussion about it as well. All of it over my head. I would hope that this is something that is being overcome now. Heck, I hope all of it is overcome now!
  5.    #5  
    Also, to be fair and clear, DataViz is not claiming that limitation, just Planesdragon. Either way, it needs to be gone.
  6. #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by amateurhack View Post
    Also, to be fair and clear, DataViz is not claiming that limitation, just Planesdragon. Either way, it needs to be gone.

    See that's what I am talking about, it doesn't make any sense, since Newsroom is able to write files to the USB partition any other developer that knows what they are doing should be able to do it as well.

    So to say it's a restriction is nonsense, since it can be done and is done all the time.

    Now again to be fair, maybe they want to write to the closed off section of the file system (the protected part), but then they should rethink their program and use the USB partition as Palm is now using it to write the apps there because they ran out of space to store app in the closed of area.

    I say they are making excuses or really haven't looked outside the box with programming their apps.

    And if a developer can't think outside the box, they are not really developers with any real skills.

    Rob
    Robert L
    Astoria Queens, N.Y.C
    - Palm Pre (Sprint) - formally Palm Treo 650
    Version 1.4.1.1
    Sprint Configuration 2.3
    Model: P100EWW
    Hardware Version: A
    Firmware: CC1.4(510)

  7.    #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by rlanza1054 View Post
    See that's what I am talking about, it doesn't make any sense, since Newsroom is able to write files to the USB partition any other developer that knows what they are doing should be able to do it as well.

    So to say it's a restriction is nonsense, since it can be done and is done all the time.

    Now again to be fair, maybe they want to write to the closed off section of the file system (the protected part), but then they should rethink their program and use the USB partition as Palm is now using it to write the apps there because they ran out of space to store app in the closed of area.

    I say they are making excuses or really haven't looked outside the box with programming their apps.

    And if a developer can't think outside the box, they are not really developers with any real skills.

    Rob
    Okay, Rob. Fair enough. I'm not a programmer. It seems to me that there is some sort of limitation on file i/o that needs to be addressed. It was discussed at the developer conference this weekend. What it means is greek to me. Scratch is in the catalog right now, so maybe it was a limitation, but the SDK now supports it in beta form for the next group of apps. Just a possibility.
  8.    #8  
    Tag: Software Autopsy - LOL! It hasn't even had a chance to live yet!
  9. #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by amateurhack View Post
    Tag: Software Autopsy - LOL! It hasn't even had a chance to live yet!
    OK, this will be my last post about this!

    Yes, I read about all the new stuff coming that was announce at the Developers Conference.

    The long awaited api for the microphone seems to be a big one in my mind, because I am tired of hearing about 'I want to make a voice recording'.

    To me that seems to stand out so big in my mind, that everyone was complaining about.

    But can't those people just do a video recording and ignore the video part and then there you have your audio recording?

    See there is a way to 'think outside the box' until you get what you want!

    LOL!

    Goodnight!

    Rob
    Robert L
    Astoria Queens, N.Y.C
    - Palm Pre (Sprint) - formally Palm Treo 650
    Version 1.4.1.1
    Sprint Configuration 2.3
    Model: P100EWW
    Hardware Version: A
    Firmware: CC1.4(510)

  10. #10  
    This thread makes me somehow hoping that "on-hold" means 90% finished, just waiting for Palm's release of PDK/SDK hybrid support to release D2G...

    Well, wishful thinking.
  11. #11  
    I know the download manager can save files to the usb partition, and obviously the Palm apps, but I have seen a number of threads on the developer forums about filesystem access even within the PDK not being finalized. I think drPodder can only read the file from /media/internal, not write it, or it wouldn't use email to do the backup.
  12. #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by Grabber5.0 View Post
    I know the download manager can save files to the usb partition, and obviously the Palm apps, but I have seen a number of threads on the developer forums about filesystem access even within the PDK not being finalized. I think drPodder can only read the file from /media/internal, not write it, or it wouldn't use email to do the backup.
    If you read one of my previous posts, it can be done, because Newsroom is writing 'Newsroom.xml' to the USB Partition and using it to restore the feeds.

    Actually, when you tap on Restore in Newsroom it brings up a dialog box and there you can see any .xml file in the root of the USB partition.

    That means I can see the drpodder.xml file as well.

    Drnull, just hasn't changed the way he is doing his backup (or export, whatever term you want to use). And in some way, drpodder is doing something that Newsroom is not, and that is getting the export file off the Pre and storing it somewhere other than the Pre itself. Because if we do a Doctor on the phone and do a full erase that backup file will be lost.

    In a nutshell, you can write and read to the USB partition!

    (BTW, the Newsroom app, does not currently have this, as I have a beta version of it, but it will be updated and released soon enough, if you have this app yourself.)

    Rob
    Robert L
    Astoria Queens, N.Y.C
    - Palm Pre (Sprint) - formally Palm Treo 650
    Version 1.4.1.1
    Sprint Configuration 2.3
    Model: P100EWW
    Hardware Version: A
    Firmware: CC1.4(510)

  13. #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by rlanza1054 View Post
    If you read one of my previous posts, it can be done, because Newsroom is writing 'Newsroom.xml' to the USB Partition and using it to restore the feeds.

    Actually, when you tap on Restore in Newsroom it brings up a dialog box and there you can see any .xml file in the root of the USB partition.

    That means I can see the drpodder.xml file as well.

    Drnull, just hasn't changed the way he is doing his backup (or export, whatever term you want to use). And in some way, drpodder is doing something that Newsroom is not, and that is getting the export file off the Pre and storing it somewhere other than the Pre itself. Because if we do a Doctor on the phone and do a full erase that backup file will be lost.

    In a nutshell, you can write and read to the USB partition!

    (BTW, the Newsroom app, does not currently have this, as I have a beta version of it, but it will be updated and released soon enough, if you have this app yourself.)

    Rob
    I read it. I am not doubting that it worked. I am just a bit skeptical that it would be allowed based on what I have seen prior to this. Maybe he has discovered something that others have overlooked. Or maybe he got lucky and the automated process missed it.
    Last edited by Grabber5.0; 04/27/2010 at 01:21 AM.
  14.    #14  
    So, Rob, do you know of any programs in the app catalog right now that write directly to the USB pertition? The newsroom program that you have is in beta, and is being submitted, as you say. Are any others doing it the same way, that you know of?
  15.    #15  
    Wow. The QuickOffice ideas poll (survey, whatever) is up to 2343. 900 points in 15 hours. Amazing of what a little front page blog coverage will do.

    Thanks guys!

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