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The Kafka-esque Nightmare of Palm App Submission 332

MBCook writes "Jamie Zawinski, shortly after the release of the Palm Pre, wrote two free software programs for the phone: a Tip Calculator and a port of Dali Clock. In trying to get the apps published to the App Catalog, he has had to sign up to be a developer twice; fax contracts around; been told (apparently incorrectly) that he was not allowed to release free software for the phone; and told he had to give PayPal his checking account number. 'It's been two weeks, and I have received no reply. In the months since this process began, other third-party developers seem to have managed to get their applications into the App Catalog. Apparently these people are better at jumping through ridiculous hoops than I am.'"
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The Kafka-esque Nightmare of Palm App Submission

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  • by jo42 ( 227475 ) on Tuesday September 29, 2009 @08:32AM (#29578843) Homepage

    Google "iPhone jailbreak" and then "cydia store". You can then put all the crap that you want on your iPhone.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 29, 2009 @08:53AM (#29578991)
    I can't believe (Ok, maybe I can) that this troll ended up on Slashdot. He put an app out. A tip calculator. One of the forum members asked him to include cents (i.e. to figure a tip from $12.65 if one was so inclined). Instead of doing it, or saying why he didn't want to do it, he added a message into the app "DON'T BE A CHEAPSKATE -- ROUND UP TO THE NEAREST DOLLAR" and went on a rant attack on the forums. Now he doesn't want to be a PayPal verified guy? Doesn't want to re-version his app (when he could add a 0. in front of it)?? Dumbass..
  • Re:Windows Mobile (Score:3, Informative)

    by andymadigan ( 792996 ) <> on Tuesday September 29, 2009 @09:05AM (#29579123)
    Android is the same way, you can download an app from anywhere. Though you do need to check the "Allow third-party applications" box in the configuration, which is trivial. It's nice, it means that T-Mo and Google have very little effective control of the device.

    (Happy owner of a G1, never giving it up until another good capacitive touch-screen based phone with a keyboard comes out)
  • by ta bu shi da yu ( 687699 ) on Tuesday September 29, 2009 @09:06AM (#29579135) Homepage

    Oh hardly. The man wants to distribute free software and he had to print out and sign 10 pages of legal documents. Then he had to comply with a whole bunch of ridiculous demands (like setting his version number less than 1.0.0 for a finished app), then deal with mountains of emails.

    Does this sound like an efficient organization? Could it be that the reason why they've been overwhelmed is (gasp!) their ridiculous and inefficient distribution process?

    Well, no - after all, that would be too much like *bashing Palm*. See how I turned that on you? Instead of *bashing Apple*, I turned it into *bashing Palm*! Neat trick, huh?

  • by daid303 ( 843777 ) on Tuesday September 29, 2009 @09:07AM (#29579153) []
    It's taking a while, but they are getting there.

  • !nightmare (Score:5, Informative)

    by xigxag ( 167441 ) on Tuesday September 29, 2009 @09:17AM (#29579295)

    It should be noted that the developer had his own particular requirements:

    * Would not sign NDA
    * Would not even TALK with Palm about signing an NDA
    * Would not change version numbers
    * Would not get PayPal verified account

    In other words, Palm had certain policies in place. Maybe they were good policies, maybe they were foolish ones. But that was not really the issue. The real sticking point was that the developer felt that, since he was distributing his apps for free, he had an entitlement to be at his own discretion exempt from any policies Palm put in place. And Palm didn't see it that way. Seems to me that there was simply not a meeting of minds and he's better off following his own device and developing for a more open platform. But by his own admission clearly there are plenty of developers who aren't bent out of shape by Palm's policies, which I would certainly not describe as "nightmarish" given the issues stated in his article. To be honest, I was more put off by his whining, histrionic melodramatic tone than by yet another example of Palm's notoriously poor business sense. On a scale of Palm's Pre snafus I'd rate poor battery life as a 10, annoying cursor is annoying as a 2, and the issues outlined in his story as a less than a one.

    (Speaking of "annoying cursor," OT but does anyone else have a problem with trying to drop a cursor on the right hand side of Slashdot's comment box?)

  • by brennanw ( 5761 ) on Tuesday September 29, 2009 @09:18AM (#29579305) Homepage Journal

    ... there is a thriving homebrew community which Palm supports. has a heck of a lot of apps available for the Pre that are not available in the official Pre store.

    (I am not affiliated with, I just have a fair amount of homebrew apps on my Pre).

  • We are in dire need of an eqiuvalent to the Arduino platform in the PDA market. Small, cheap, relyable, open standards, with a simple single-touch screen a neat CPU and some run-off-the-mill LitIon battery industry standard.

    Coming this holiday season: the Pandora PDA []. It's a gaming PDA wrapped around what is essentially a BeagleBoard. Like the iPod Touch, it's not a phone, so I'm not billed per month for services I won't use.

  • by Late Adopter ( 1492849 ) on Tuesday September 29, 2009 @10:42AM (#29580413)
    So what exactly is the problem then? In what ways isn't the Pre open enough? Contrary to GP's post, you can install unapproved 3rd party apps, including a Bluetooth tethering app and a Google Voice dialer.
  • Re:!nightmare (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 29, 2009 @01:31PM (#29582817)

    It seems like you RTFAed, but you should have known that he did agree to change the version number. He just wrote that he thought it was a dumb requirement, but that he didn't care enough to fight it.

Whenever people agree with me, I always think I must be wrong. - Oscar Wilde