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Open Source Not Welcome At Palm App Catalog 174

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the well-thats-not-very-friendly-of-you dept.
davidmwilliams writes "It appears Palm is seeking to follow Apple's footsteps in gaining a reputation for inconsistent and spurious rejections and removals of iPhone and iPod Touch applications. In this case, Palm has resisted including a free application because the source code is attainable elsewhere."
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Open Source Not Welcome At Palm App Catalog

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  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn.gmail@com> on Thursday October 01, 2009 @11:03AM (#29606029) Journal
    From the article:

    In September Zawinski was called by Joe Hayashi from Palm, formerly Senior Director of Product Management for Yahoo!. Despite the treatment from Palm over this matter Hayashi said "We aren't asking that you remove the binaries or source of your apps from your web site, and we aren't restricting anyone from distributing their source code, open source license or otherwise."

    Yet the Palm SDK License [palm.com] (as linked to in the article) states under section 4. Developers' Ownership and Ability to Distribute its Applications:

    4.3 Applications Can Only Be Distributed Through the Palm Application Catalog. Developer acknowledges and agrees, that absent a separate written agreement with Palm, Developer may not distribute any Application except as allowed by Palm's formal approved distribution process and channel (the "Application Catalog"). Developer acknowledges and agrees that (a) distribution of Applications will be subject to further terms and conditions, which may include a share of the revenue generated from sale of the Applications to be paid to Palm by Developer, where such terms and conditions shall be presented to Developer upon or before Developer's request for distribution of any Application, (b) because of certain laws, regulations, as well as contractual or other restrictions, Palm may refuse to allow the distribution of certain types of Applications, and (c) distributed Applications may be viewable or inspectable by third parties, and Palm is not obligated to take any steps to obfuscate the code associated with the Applications or take any other steps to prevent third parties from viewing or inspecting Application code.

    Now this is assuming Jamie Zawinski used the SDK to produce the Palm Pre programs (I'm not sure what the Pre can run and these programs seem to be merely ports). After searching around for the terms of service for the application store for the Palm Pre, I came up pretty empty handed aside from the Developer SDK License. The fact that it says 'Beta' on the app store may make this forgivable but I'm not seeing a clear distinction on the fine details and legal on what you may or may not do when submitting an application. It appears there may be some internal conflicting views also -- considering what Hayashi said and what Palm did.

    • by Kasracer (865931) on Thursday October 01, 2009 @11:13AM (#29606187) Homepage
      This article is dumb. Palm is working hard on getting everything in line and many policies have evolved. They have ALREADY said they're working with the developer and that it's okay that the source is available.
      The App Catalog is still in beta so the latest terms, etc are not there. I don't even know why Slashdot accepted this article as it was already debunked and addressed by Palm.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Icegryphon (715550)
        Maybe some people on Slashdot can't wait to get developing for the palm pre.
        But Palm has an uphill battle so it better get started on making a happy fanbase,
        The G1 and the iPhone already have a head start.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by MightyMartian (840721)

          Indeed, and the best way to do this is not to become the control freaks that Apple are.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by ColdWetDog (752185)

            Indeed, and the best way to do this is not to become the control freaks that Apple are.

            Maybe yes. Maybe No. [wired.com]

            "Tell me, do you know what this is?"

          • by sopssa (1498795) *

            Modded as troll? Come on. Apple is control freak, iPhone is a really locked up device and you can only get software from their store. On top of that they do not approve any apps that they dont like, even if there wasn't any reason for it. Best example is Google Voice and how FTC started investigating it too.

            For that matter I like Windows Mobile. They will also roll out an official Store in 6.5 version, but you're still allowed to install any .cab you like and you are free to distribute your app elsewhere to

            • by MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) on Thursday October 01, 2009 @01:22PM (#29607987)

              Modded as troll? Come on. Apple is control freak, iPhone is a really locked up device and you can only get software from their store.

              The Pre and the G1 are already doing it 'the best way', according to you, and they're being left in the dust.

              I don't know if I would have modded your post 'troll', but it definitely wasn't very useful for doing much other than getting argued with by fanboys.

              • by _Sprocket_ (42527)

                Modded as troll? Come on. Apple is control freak, iPhone is a really locked up device and you can only get software from their store.

                The Pre and the G1 are already doing it 'the best way', according to you, and they're being left in the dust.

                So you're saying that having market dominance means never being called a control freak?

                • Modded as troll? Come on. Apple is control freak, iPhone is a really locked up device and you can only get software from their store.

                  The Pre and the G1 are already doing it 'the best way', according to you, and they're being left in the dust.

                  So you're saying that having market dominance means never being called a control freak?

                  I'm saying calling Apple a control freak then saying the Pre and the G1 should keep going down their failing path is useless.

                  • by _Sprocket_ (42527)

                    So then you agree that the OP shouldn't be modded troll for noting that Apple is a control freak. But you're willing to side-track that to discuss whether being a control freak is effective in the market.

                  • by LurkerXXX (667952)

                    The Pre has been out for all of about 4 months, and it's responsible for 4% of the world and 9% of North America mobile traffic.

                    Not bad for that new of a phone that doesn't have it's app store out of beta yet.

                    The iPhone has a 3 year head start. I hardly think you can call the Pre failing when it's captured a very respectable market share when it's so new when the support infrastructure such as the app store isn't finished.

            • Are we talking the same Apple? You know, the ones who sell the iPod Nano? Just because they updated the firmware on the iPod Nano, so that a third party docking station (Which only has two functions. 1. Charge the iPod. 2. Provide speakers. That's it, nothing else.) stops working and the iPod Nano suddenly reports an "unsupported device found" is NO reason to think that Apple is in ANY way controlling. What possible reason could there be to call Apple a control freak?

              By the way, I understand that Apple h
            • Microsoft isn't entirely spotless. The only reason they're so "open" is that OEMs and carriers have the right to lock down the individual phones much more than Microsoft would like. They can ban Microsoft's app store from their phone/users and force their own if they wish... that's not "better" than iPhone because in the past it means not only are WinMo phones fractured by version and processor, AND individual models of popular phones have apps limited by carrier preference/branding as well.

              In short the cri

        • by ksheff (2406)

          Maybe some people on Slashdot can't wait to get developing for the palm pre.

          What's stopping them? The SDK can be downloaded for free and has been available for a while now and is available on Windows, OS X, and Linux. There are several open source apps, patches, tweaks, etc on the various WebOS enthusiast sites. No jail breaking required.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I don't even know why Slashdot accepted this article as it was already debunked and addressed by Palm.

        *gasp* jwz is GOD ALMIGHTY. Every move of his is WORTHY OF SCRIPTURE. Those denying any news about him to Slashdot are tantamount to HERETICS.

        Begone, sinner! A hundred XScreenSaver modules as penance! And it had better be downloaded through the original Mozilla browser!

      • by oblivionboy (181090) on Thursday October 01, 2009 @12:35PM (#29607305)

        Ah. The Palm appologist fanboys are already out in force. Jump all over Apple sure, but if its Palm then "Noooes, Palm is just working out kinks", despite strong evidence that internally the whole Pre developer program is riddled (and I mean riddled) with schitzoid internal behaviour from executives and others within Palm. And I haven't seen any sign that its improving.

      • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Thursday October 01, 2009 @12:37PM (#29607331) Journal

        They have ALREADY said they're working with the developer and that it's okay that the source is available.

        In private email, they did. And if you TFA (and the blog post [livejournal.com]), they said that "it's okay" before they released a new version of SDK, the license agreement for which explicitly states that it's not okay (which is the one linked from GP's post). So their position is at best unclear, and at worst - if you consider chronological order - they've rescinded their earlier words.

    • This is not the current developer agreement that you have to accept to submit applications. The developer agreement does include a clause allowing open source distribution as long as you do not distribute Palm's IP or charge a fee for that distribution.
      • And as I mentioned in my response in the original slashdot thread linking directly to jwz's post, based on the time frame and description Jaime gives, he should have had the current agreement in his hands at the same time as he was throwing his fit about open source.
      • by metamatic (202216) on Thursday October 01, 2009 @02:00PM (#29608531) Homepage Journal

        The developer agreement does include a clause allowing open source distribution as long as you do not distribute Palm's IP or charge a fee for that distribution.

        So it's still incompatible with the GPL, then.

        (GPL allows you to charge a fee, and doesn't allow you to impose additional restrictions on people such as prohibiting them from charging a fee.)

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by ceoyoyo (59147)

          How is that incompatible?

          You write some code and GPL it. I take it and build it into an app. Palm tells me sure, I can put the app on their store, but I can't charge for it. If someone else takes my code and wants to charge a fee for it, they're free to do so.

          No incompatibility.

          • by metamatic (202216)

            If Palm have made it that easy to bypass their restrictions, great. Everyone can nominate a friend as the person to be bound by the restrictions and submit the code to the app store, then ignore the restrictions themselves.

            But somehow, I suspect their legal agreement has clauses to prevent that.

            • by ceoyoyo (59147)

              That's a lot of assumptions.

              I don't see why Palm would care. They don't want people selling other people's code on their store, which is reasonable, but I really doubt they care if you do it somewhere else. I also don't see what you'd get out of it. Unless their app store is a complete flop, your app is going to get more exposure there, where it's free, than it is somewhere else, where it costs money.

    • "The Application" could mean the application for Palm, i.e. I can't distribute the Palm Pre application file, but if I build a Linux version that is not a Palm Pre application and I can distribute that. Could. Weak legalese.
  • Actual blog post (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 01, 2009 @11:05AM (#29606063)
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 01, 2009 @02:51PM (#29609251)

      Good find. And now that I've RTFA, I disagree with the title of the /. post. It should be "jwz Doesn't Want to Follow Any of Palm's steps for Submissions, Equates Opening a Paypal Account with an Existentialist Nightmare, Even His LiveJournal Sycophants Call Him An Ass."

  • Buzzwords (Score:5, Insightful)

    by whisper_jeff (680366) on Thursday October 01, 2009 @11:06AM (#29606067)
    Is it possible for people to submit a story without loading it with buzzwords (Apple, iPhone, etc.) just to increase the chances of it being posted despite the fact that the story isn't actually about Apple, the iPhone, or anything of the sort. It's about Palm. Sure, I know that new cool thing is to hate on Apple, the iPhone, iTunes, and the like, but this story isn't about any of that. Want to post a story about Apple, the iPhone, iTunes, and the problems associated with them? Go for it - submit the story. But, if your submitting something about Palm (or Microsoft or whatever), let's keep it focused on the actual subject of the submission.

    I know. I know. I must be new here...
    • by ElKry (1544795) on Thursday October 01, 2009 @11:26AM (#29606369)
      You must be... oh.
    • Its hardly the cool new thing to hate on Apple here. Its just gotten much more virulent now that Apple is more and more in the media.
      • Re:Buzzwords (Score:4, Interesting)

        by whisper_jeff (680366) on Thursday October 01, 2009 @11:33AM (#29606451)
        Compare Slashdot now to Slashdot from five years ago and try to tell me it's not the cool new thing to hate on Apple. The difference in just five years is night and day. Success makes a company worthy of being hated even when they have nothing to do with the story at hand (same applies to Microsoft and now Google).
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by webheaded (997188)
          Hey I've been hating Apple since WAY before it was the cool thing to do. I am now like all those douche bags that tell you how they totally loved that band way before you'd even heard of them, dude.
          • by ceoyoyo (59147)

            I don't think we had UIDs pushing one million five years ago.

            • by webheaded (997188)
              The nerdier and nerdier I got over the years the more I moved from just lurking to posting. Up until now, I pretty much just posted at my forums but now I occasionally post on Slashdot and Digg. You read stuff on the sites enough and eventually you want to respond.
              • by ceoyoyo (59147)

                True. I guess we should wait five years to see what the major opinions on Slashdot are today.

                the GGP's point stands - Slashdot, meaning those who bother to leave some trace of themselves, has generally moved from Apple loving to Apple hating over the last five years.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by jpmorgan (517966)
          Some people hate success. But success is also a powerful spotlight to illuminate a company's misdeeds.

          Apple receives a lot more attention, from a lot more sources than it did five years ago. Many of those new interested parties are a lot less willing to put up with Apple's shenanigans than its traditional fanbase.
          • Success also attracts many people who aren't that desirable. At the start of something you have people that care about it. Later on, if something is becoming a big success, there will also be people that are just in it for the fame and money. These people tend to have a little less ethical balance.

        • Re:Buzzwords (Score:4, Interesting)

          by walshy007 (906710) on Thursday October 01, 2009 @12:24PM (#29607125)

          well... apple did a lot less things to piss people off five years ago, while the ipod was a success they weren't actively trying to kill anything and everything that could interact with it by any means possible like they are now.

          The only thing left still relatively 'free' in the sense you can do what you like with it is the mac computers, almost everything else they touch these days tends to have a horrible taint to it of 'you will not do what we do not want you to do'

          While I'm a linux user there was once upon a time I'd buy mac hardware just because of the build quality, but with recent shenanigans I just can't justify it... the perception of them has changed in the last five years, but for good reasons. (depending on your qualification of 'good') Almost everything they sell is in a walled garden, to protect you from *gasp* running something useful.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            well... apple did a lot less things to piss people off five years ago, while the ipod was a success they weren't actively trying to kill anything and everything that could interact with it by any means possible like they are now.

            For me it's simpler. Diehard apple fans were a lot less numerous. I don't think they are any more rabid than they were - but there are so many more of them, and so quick to tell us how "if this was mac it wouldn't.. " or "on mac this isn't a ..." or... or...

            I find the same attitude equally annoying from diehard linux fans, and diehard windows 7 fans. (I didn't see many windows fanatics before win7, not the way we do now.) There is no single operating system or platform that's a panacea. Stop trying so

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Blakey Rat (99501)

          Previously, the Apple hate was technical in nature: "Oh, Macs don't have pre-emptive multitasking, Macs don't have protected memory, Macs don't have any CLI-- they must be toys you can't use for actual work!"

          (Which completely ignored the fact that back then, Apple's UI was *so much* better than Windows, Mac users were much more productive despite the lack of those OS features. Not as much now that Microsoft's UI people have more-or-less caught-up, and Apple's been making their OS less usable each version. B

          • My biggest OSX complaint is that it can't format stuff properly.

            I just had to drag an SD card over to a Windows 2000 PC to format it, so that a Kodak camera wouldn't lock up immediately after it was inserted.

            That's because OSX throws all these crappy hidden folders inside every mounted volume. Linux(Ubuntu) does the same thing. Windows does too, but for XP at least it was very easy to turn off. And XP has the correct (to me) behaviour of just deleting stuff permanently from flash drives, rather than making

          • Re:Buzzwords (Score:4, Insightful)

            by Draek (916851) on Friday October 02, 2009 @02:54AM (#29614415)

            Windows? you compare Apple's products to Windows!? if there's a constant for Slashdot throughout the ages its been its complete devotion to UNIX. Which is why the Apple love was at its zenith two or three years ago, when Apple had an *usable* UNIX as an OS (rather than the bloated piece of shit that was 10.0) but hadn't started their current game of "let's cripple our own products for fun and profit". Or, at least it wasn't in full force yet.

            But yeah, while before the criticisms were mainly about what Apple *couldn't* do, these days it's about Apple *doesn't allow you* to do. It's switched from technical to legal, as a result of Apple keeping a walled garden by means of NIH syndrome to an army of well-paid lawyers writing draconian EULAs and pursuing frivolous lawsuits.

      • by 0xdeadbeef (28836)

        Its just gotten much more virulent now that Apple is acting like the Microsoft.

        Fixed that for you.

    • Re:Buzzwords (Score:5, Insightful)

      by pandrijeczko (588093) on Thursday October 01, 2009 @11:52AM (#29606741)

      Sure, I know that new cool thing is to hate on Apple, the iPhone, iTunes, and the like

      I'm a middle-aged, overweight fat computer bloke that moans if he has to spend more than £8 (=$12) on a pair of jeans and listens to Jethro Tull in his spare time - believe me, I gave up on "cool" a long time ago...

      I just don't want you getting the impression that most people like or hate things because it's "cool" to do so. In 30+ years of working and playing with computers, I've never found a single reason to own anything or buy anything made by Apple and that isn't going to change any time soon.

      Yes, maybe if Apple were less proprietary and locked in than Microsoft, I might consider ditching both Windows and Linux for their products, but the fact is I don't like Apple because they charge far too much for something that looks nice yet doesn't let you do what you want with it... ...and my experience with most (but not all) Apple users is that they pay a premium price in order to join an exclusive little club where they are permitted to sneer at anyone who doesn't use Apple products without having any requirement to give any technical justifications for it. That, in turn, creates the anti-Apple backlash.

      • I'm a middle-aged, overweight fat computer bloke

        You're posting on slashdot with a UID less than 890721. No need to restate an obvious truth.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Steffan (126616)

          > by Red Flayer (890720) Alter Relationship on Thu October 01, 09:01 AM (#29606869) Journal
          >

          > > I'm a middle-aged, overweight fat computer bloke

          >You're posting on slashdot with a UID less than 890721 No need to restate an obvious truth.

          Nice! It took me a second to figure out what your benchmark was...

        • by ryanov (193048)

          Funny, I'm young and in relatively decent shape.

        • by SJ (13711)

          Hey i'm not fat, i'm just big boned. (And in my 20's!)

      • Re:Buzzwords (Score:4, Insightful)

        by samkass (174571) on Thursday October 01, 2009 @12:02PM (#29606881) Homepage Journal

        You haven't looked very hard. Most Mac communities are accepting folks who would rather generate content than tinker with their machines, but otherwise don't particularly sneer at anyone or act exclusively that I've seen.

        Yes, maybe if Apple were less proprietary and locked in than Microsoft

        When's the last time you recompiled your Windows kernel from its open source distribution, like you can with MacOS? Or used a Microsoft browser's nightly builds?

        Anyway, I understand if you don't like the Mac or iPhone, but there's no reason to go around insulting those who do.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          When's the last time you *legally* installed your MacOS on hardware from any manufacturer other than Apple? Even with a few pseudo-open-source components, Apple is still vastly more "proprietary and locked in" than Microsoft (unless you are comparing Apple to Microsoft's console offerings, which, I guess, would actually be a pretty fair comparison).

          You seem to think that "proprietary and locked in" is insulting to Mac or iPhone users; if you don't like using the most "proprietary and locked in" systems ava

          • by ceoyoyo (59147)

            Whenever I want. Apple's window manager now, that they're pretty sensitive about.

          • by Sir_Lewk (967686)

            "Even with a few pseudo-open-source components, Apple is still vastly more "proprietary and locked in" than Microsoft"

            As a linux user and fellow Apple hater, I've got to say I think this critisism is a bit off base. In the very least they have put out Webkit which my prefered webbrowser (Arora) uses as it's rendering engine. Webkit was based off of KHTML and is as opensource as anything.

            Besides that point, I wholly agree though.

      • What, you caught the virus Weird Al warned us about?
        "(Look out!) And [the virus will] make your iPod only play Jethro Tull"

        Okay, considering the content of your post,
        s/iPod/$some_MP3_Player/g

        j/k, I have a few Tull albums in rotation myself.

      • by Greenisus (262784)

        It's a nice UI with no driver issues and a unix terminal. That's the only reason I switched.

      • by merreborn (853723)

        I just don't want you getting the impression that most people like or hate things because it's "cool" to do so

        Got it. People who hate macs aren't just jumping on the bandwagon

        my experience with most (but not all) Apple users is that they pay a premium price in order to join an exclusive little club where they are permitted to sneer at anyone who doesn't use Apple products

        ...But people who like macs are just jumping on the bandwagon? Wait, didn't you just say "I just don't want you getting the impression t

    • by _Sprocket_ (42527)

      Apple is a market leader and has already set the example of this kind of behavior (fulfilling the paranoid fears of many). When you start noting this behavior in a possible up-and-coming contender, it's not all that unusual to reference previous history even when that history is from said market leader. None of this happens in a vacuum despite your apparent desire to present it as if it does.

  • by MikeRT (947531) on Thursday October 01, 2009 @11:11AM (#29606153) Homepage

    Palm, get your act together. Apple is "good enough," and the only way you can differentiate yourselves is by being substantially better. Treat developers like gold and get your story 100% consistent, unlike Apple, if you want to succeed.

  • by krid (26077) * on Thursday October 01, 2009 @11:11AM (#29606161) Homepage

    I've released an open source password management app for webOS (http://www.precentral.net/homebrew-apps/keyring), and a rep from Palm contacted me to offer help in getting my app into the catalog. They have no issues with open source, and no problem with the code being available elsewhere. The problem here is that jwz got his panties in a twist, and he needs to take a few deep breaths.

    • by SuperKendall (25149) on Thursday October 01, 2009 @12:27PM (#29607167)

      The problem here is that jwz got his panties in a twist

      Actually if you read his original post, that is most certainly not the root problem. He had very valid reasons to be upset, and only posted a long rant when the whole process had gone beyond absurd.

      That said, as others have noted Palm has already stated they are clearing this up for him, and I really think Palm is trying to do the right thing in general - they just slipped up very badly here. But Palm has a history of treating developers well so I would cut them some slack now that they have addressed this problem.

  • Ultimately Android (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Bullfish (858648) on Thursday October 01, 2009 @11:14AM (#29606193)
    is going to grow up (it really is still stumbling along, show up on more phones and spread because the shenanigans of companies like this... When Android hits that critical mass and these companies start crying and whining about the implosion of their market share, I am going to laugh my ass off. While Google has punted some developers off their site, it's no where near what the other companies have done.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Darkness404 (1287218)
      The problem with Android is it needs geeks to survive and Google seems to not welcome them. First off is the fact that your device must be "rooted" in order to have full control, really, all Google needed to do is provide some obscure command to root your device so the geeks can use the device how they wanted and the masses could be protected. Android isn't as shiny or as polished as WebOS or iPhone OS, it -needs- geeks to survive, but how does Google expect that to happen when they send takedown notices to
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Zencyde (850968)
        Are you not even paying attention to that issue? Google sent the C&D because Cyanogen was distributing applications that are sold with the Google Experience. It's not so much that the users aren't allowed to download it as much as it is the distributor lacks a method for verifying that the users have the appropriate license to acquire such content. In fact, some Google employees are assisting with the project at this point.
        • Sure, but the community doesn't see it that way. They see Google as control freaks.
          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by mafian911 (1270834)
            I dont see why Google would be considered a control freak. Android is probably the most open mobile OS available. That is the premise behind Google's "Open Handset Alliance" after all. Considering the fact that you can put any application you want on the market, without fear of rejection (unless it gets reported, which is mostly a community decision), and the fact that their OS is open source itself, I think they've gotten pretty close to being truly open as it is. I don't blame Google for trying to protect
            • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

              by Captain Spam (66120)

              Considering the fact that you can put any application you want on the market, without fear of rejection...

              I hate to be pedantic, but I'm in fact helping your case when I inform you that you don't even need to put it on the Marketplace if you choose; you can just point the browser to an .apk file hosted somewhere and the phone will offer to download and install it without problems (after you confirm you really want to do so).

    • by raddan (519638) *
      Your post doesn't compile. I think you need one of these:

      )
    • I've heard this same thing about Desktop Linux for the past decade too....hasn't happened yet...

  • by girlintraining (1395911) on Thursday October 01, 2009 @11:23AM (#29606325)

    Seriously people, you're the authors not them. You choose what rights others are offered -- that's the goal of Open Source: Giving you the choice, not them. But if you want to make bad choices about your intellectual property, such as signing all your rights over to a greedy corporation, we're not going to stop you. I fail to see why we're even discussing this, beyond pointing out so everyone knows Palm is not a company worth developing for.

    If you're going to support open source, then do it already--stop complaining about companies that don't. In return, don't support them by buying their products. It's simple, really -- we like our freedom and we're willing to pay for it. Is there any other message we can realistically send as a community and have any credibility?

    • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Thursday October 01, 2009 @11:32AM (#29606445)
      One of the main advantages to open source is the ease of portability. Some open source application can work fine on Windows, OS X, Linux, a hacked Wii, a smartphone, an obscure Linux powered device, and so on. If people keep using non-free applications you get vendor lock-in. Just look at IE and ActiveX, if ActiveX was used even more than it was back before Firefox became popular, we might still be forced to run IE in an emulator layer just to use the web. If you can get open source out on every single platform for free, especially the newer ones where people don't have to "un-learn" something to use them, it helps spread open standards and in the end a better computing world.
    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      I am glad that this story was posted because it convinces me that I am right not to buy a Pre. I can stop worrying about it while I know that Palm is just monkeying around, and go back to playing with the Android SDK.

  • by Spencerian (465343) on Thursday October 01, 2009 @11:40AM (#29606531) Homepage Journal

    Palm is only partially getting the big picture of the iPhone's success. Admittedly, however, they're doing a better job of it than, say, the carriers supporting the Android initiative. The Pre is the closest thing to an "iPhone killer" out there.

    But Palm, you need the apps. Nay, you MUST bring the apps if you want your phone to begin to compete on Apple's multiple levels.

    I agree that the person involved in this Palm app flap is likely overreacting. And for the dweebs that don't seem to get it regarding Apple's vetting process for apps: Don't think the FCC wouldn't haul Apple to court (and the cell owners lynching any Apple employees they'd see) if Apple couldn't show that they've checked EVERY app they've allowed on their phone (and, as a result, into the international cell network) without reasonably ensuring that the app doesn't cause an individual's phone to die or, worse, infect the iPhone net (and others) with bad or malicious code that could compromise the cell networks. Sure, Apple seems sometimes political about the vetting (note a recent app about health care that Apple seemed to reject arbitrarily), but otherwise they're only hurting themselves if they don't allow most apps from being available.

    The iPhone is (as a fan and an owner) an fair phone but a very powerful and extensible mobile computer and Palm must match that functionality. The Pre is it's only decent competitor in terms of its relative features, OS and flexibility based on its carrier's desire to support the hardware without butchering it down for carrier-only apps (**cough**Verizon**cough).

    But the apps bring Palm only so far. They need a mechanism that isn't carrier marketing specific to support and augment the hardware features of your phone. For the iPhone, iTunes handles everything and fairly well. Palm must bring it's own iTunes-like PC/Mac application that handles syncs, mates with their new Amazon music initiative, can access their Palm app store, AND even (get this) use the approved Apple process for third-party iTunes library support that won't get them into trouble as they did with spoofing their hardware with iTunes itself.

    Right now, Palm is shooting themselves in the foot if they are rejecting apps for any reason other than gross obscenity or copyright/IP issues. They'll soon headshot themselves if they don't get even a modest competitor to iTunes running, in my humble Mac-consultant opinion.

  • by necro81 (917438)
    Isn't this just the same story [slashdot.org] from two days ago?
  • by darrenkopp (981266) on Thursday October 01, 2009 @11:47AM (#29606673) Homepage
    The twitter app i use (spaz) is open source and it's in the app catalog. and they were able to do it before the SDK was even available to the public. they got permission from palm.
  • by ConfusedVorlon (657247) on Thursday October 01, 2009 @11:55AM (#29606783) Homepage

    C'mon /.
    Not only is this a rehash of an article posted before.
    It is pretty clear from that article that Palm is doing nothing remotely deserving this title. /. can and should do better.

    • by jdgeorge (18767)

      /. can and should do better.

      Should, yes. Can... seriously? I'd give you a "Coffee-spewing Hilarious" mod if I had points.

  • Overblown story (Score:5, Insightful)

    by El Royo (907295) on Thursday October 01, 2009 @12:01PM (#29606867) Homepage
    Seriously... Palm does get it. They've hired two outstanding people to lead the developer relations (Ben Galbraith and Dion Almaer). They've already reached out to jwz [twitter.com], who just spit in their eye(s) [twitter.com]. This seems nothing more than an overgrown toddler having a tantrum because he doesn't get his way now. I wrote about this on my blog [pre101.com]. I tried to keep it a somewhat balanced article but seriously, his actions since just make him seem petulant. Is Palm without reproach in this? No, they're going through the pains of releasing an app catalog, SDK and an app approval process all at once. Things aren't as smooth as they could be but they're nowhere near 'kafkaesque'. This certainly didn't warrant a slashdot post and certainly doesn't warrant two of them.
    • Neither you, nor Palm representatives you link to, have provided a coherent explanation as to why JWZ's applications are not published yet. He's absolutely correct - this sort of thing shouldn't involve any "reaching out" or "going through pains". Just release it already, or say why you can't. Meanwhile, all I see is a bunch of marketing-speak with "fantastic experience" in every sentence - a sure sign that bending over is going to be involved.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by El Royo (907295)
        JWZ already describes in his post why it's not released yet. Palm is under no obligation to change all their rules to suit one person. He wouldn't agree to cooperate with any of their requests. Palm should probably create more open-source friendly submission requirements but their requirements during the beta period are what they are and if he wants it released now he needs to play by their current rules. If he wants to wait to see if the rules change, that's fine, too.
      • by alen (225700)

        it was in the first story. Palm wants $99 and a paypal account linked to a checking account to allow you to upload apps to their store. whether the apps are free or not. he thought he was above the rules

        • by jjo (62046)
          Actually, JWZ is willing to pay to join the developer program, but he doesn't trust PayPal with his checking account. He invited Palm to say: "screw you, we won't change anything, you are not above our rules". It that case JWZ will simply walk away. Palm has not confirmed neither that they will change these rules, nor that they will keep them in place and JWZ should go and have a nice life.
    • Ben Galbraith seems like a sweetheart and everything, but his blog post was devoid of content. And so what if JWZ is an overgrown toddler. Most developers are overgrown toddlers. Their app store should work without phone calls. As per a thread in his LJ, if you've written a killer app or you are famous, obviously Palm wants your experience to be flawless. The whole point is that it should work for everyone else too. Even if Palm doesn't care about you specifically.

    • by Blakey Rat (99501)

      He posted his phone number on Twitter?! Heh. Gutsy.

    • by Sir_Lewk (967686)

      They've already reached out to jwz, who just spit in their eye(s).

      Really? Lets take a look at what he said in your linked twitter post:

      @bgalbs no, I have no interest in wasting my time talking on the phone over this. just post my apps already. what more is there to say?

      Now maybe I'm just similarly difficult, but that doesn't seem unreasonable at all.

      • by El Royo (907295)
        If someone walks up to you to shake your hand and you refuse their offer then you are the one being rude. Ben wasn't even with Palm during the time JWZ had his problems. I just take it as more of 'it's my way or no way'.
  • It looks like Palm seriously needs to find some old timer from the Days of IIIc and give him a blank cheque just to tell them what they have forgotten about the business of making a platform popular.

    All this nonsense about a central app store (which was IIRC started by no other than Apple) needs to stop and stop soon because it's an unprecedented level of lock-in. Imagine if Microsoft announced every Application, every .EXE file running on Windows 7 needs to be downloaded from Microsoft Store [windowsmarketplace.com]? (which, by th

    • Dion Almaer and Ben Gailbraith (worked on Bespin at Mozilla) are now Palm employees and in charge of developer relations. Obviously, Palm is taking the problems with their app store and developer program seriously.

      And you know that it really breaks down to a distribution arguement, right? JWZ can distribute his apps through other channels all he wants. But for the official store, which is still in beta and therefore not a done deal, you have to agree to their hoops. Their hoops can, and have, changed.

      Th

  • Moot point (Score:3, Funny)

    by sbeckstead (555647) on Thursday October 01, 2009 @12:50PM (#29607519) Homepage Journal
    The Pre is not exactly selling like hot cakes. So does it really make a difference that they have nine million free programs that all the other phones have too. They should be looking to lock developers into exclusivity just to be able to differentiate from the other phones.
  • I mean, the old PalmOS was all about supporting open source developers, with a free open source dev kit, emulator, all open source, no Tivoization. It's not Hawkins fault, the Visor was extremely open as well, I reckon it's those people from Be because the weird decisions started when they decided to dump the 68000 platform and build a new OS (that never got anywhere) with BeOS genes on the ARM so they could compete with Windows CE... despite the fact that they consistently outsold Windows-powered handhelds

  • I believe the poster means "obtainable."

    Anybody watch "Castle"? "He also murdered the English language." LOL.

  • The new Palm is a reasonably nice platform, but it's too little too late. Before iPhone, they had a reasonable chance. Before Android, they had a fighting chance. Now, they don't have much of anything. In addition to iPhone and Android, they're competing with Maemo, Symbian/Qt, Moblin, and WinMo. And they have given up on those features that traditionally made the Palm nice and competitive: full programmability, simple hardware switches, and pen-based input. Android, in particular, offers the same de

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