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Cellphones Handhelds Software

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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  • Re:Windows Mobile (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 29, 2009 @08:27AM (#29578805)

    This is what's actually good in Windows Mobile. Anyone can write software for it and anyone can start a Store site for it. In this respect Windows and Windows Mobile are quite open architectures. All iPhone, Palm and Symbian are really restricted and closed architectures (Symbian requires you to get certificate for the app too), and getting your apps on the stores are a real bitch.

    To be fair, there is already an alternate package manager / store application you can install with minimal hassle. http://www.webos-internals.org/wiki/Application:Preware

    TFA is concerned with the difficulty of getting an app into the official store, not homebrew apps which are exceedingly easy to do. Its rather hard to call an architecture closed that has the Konami code as the means by which you unlock dev mode. There is a rapidly growing base of homebrew stuff, including apps that add functionality like onscreen keyboards, wireless tethering, etc all with no objection from Palm.

  • by Qbertino ( 265505 ) <moiraNO@SPAMmodparlor.com> on Tuesday September 29, 2009 @08:45AM (#29578929)

    The old, imho to date unmatched, Palm OS is dead, the new Palm seems to become a screwup, iPhone/iPod Touch is a lockdown nightmare, WinMobile is a no-go and developing, integrating and deploying to Blackb*rrys is like grating your fingernails.

    The Matter of fact is: Mobile is a mess, very much the way desktop computers were in the mid-eighties.

    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. 6 months into the first batch we'll have FOSS programmers and hardware hackers expanding it to be a cellphone for those who want it to be one.
    THAT is what we need.

    Just the open standard equivalent of my oldest colorscreen Palm at the price of 100 Euros and an FOSS OS that comes with it, that's all I ask. It can't be that difficult with hardware prices dropping left right and center.

    My 2 cents.

  • Re:Windows Mobile (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Niedi ( 1335165 ) on Tuesday September 29, 2009 @08:52AM (#29578983)
    Yup, that's definitely good about windows mobile. However, if that article's right microsoft appears to be working very hard to fix that.
  • Re:Hmmm... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by sacherjj ( 7595 ) on Tuesday September 29, 2009 @09:47AM (#29579671) Homepage

    Stuff like this?

    I opened a free bank account and pointed a free PayPal account to it. Total time, 1 hour at bank and on computer.


    Apps submitted for sale from Palm.

    Yes, there are issues with Palm creating the infrastructure to handle all developers apps being submitted. However, the poster is constantly deciding that he won't do the simple things Palm asks, to help them manage the volume. Fine, those "problem" developers can wait until everything is figured out.

    Why in the world should Palm spend hours and hours appeasing a developer of two mediocre apps (yes, I've used both) when the same time could get a dozen more developers setup for submitting apps. Obviously, it is some sort of conspiracy, rather than just good business sense.

  • by L4t3r4lu5 ( 1216702 ) on Tuesday September 29, 2009 @10:45AM (#29580465)
    I press the green "phone" button and get straight to the dialing interface. It loads instantly.

    Strip out the bloat [xda-developers.com], and it runs really well. Three days battery life, no resets / powering off, and plenty of storage space.
  • by sjames ( 1099 ) on Tuesday September 29, 2009 @10:46AM (#29580489) Homepage Journal

    Any situation that requires printing, signing, and scanning plus giving your checking account number to a 3rd party (in this era of identity theft and bank account hoovering) to GIVE AWAY an app certainly is Kafkaesque. This is especially true when they could just let people download and install the app like they did with every previous Palm product including cellphones.

    It seems that Palm has caught Apple's attachment issues. They manufacture a product and then offer it for sale, but when you hand over your cash and they put the product in your hands, they just can't bring themselves to let go. They recognize in some sense that it's yours now, so they let you leave with it, but they follow you wherever you go so that their precioussssss is never out of their sight.

    They REALLY need to see a shrink about that, it's not healthy!

  • Re:Windows Mobile (Score:2, Interesting)

    by genmax ( 990012 ) on Tuesday September 29, 2009 @10:48AM (#29580527)

    Actually, getting certified is not essential for Symbian platforms --- it is possible to disable/ignore "not certified" warnings when installing an app. This seems like a good trade-off to me: Nokia's providing users the option of only installing vetted software, but if someone believes that they know what they're doing and are able to spot malware, then these certificates aren't binding.

    This is true of only unlocked phones though --- don't know about the AT&T branded ones.

  • Re:1993 Called... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Tetsujin ( 103070 ) on Tuesday September 29, 2009 @12:44PM (#29582133) Homepage Journal

    1993 called, they want their site design back.

    Don't be silly. 1993 would pretty much predate the availability of color choices on the webpage...

    The black background is more of a 1996/1997 thing, as I recall.

  • Re:Windows Mobile (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Chyeld ( 713439 ) <chyeld&gmail,com> on Tuesday September 29, 2009 @12:56PM (#29582287)

    One one hand, yes. On the other hand, I've worked with enough overworked 'pigeon holers' in my life to know that once their level of stress gets high enough, they start giving you shit to do just to keep you in a holding pattern while they take care of the rest of their stack. It's quite possible that JWZ just got stuck with someone who is too overwhelmed with what's hitting their desk to give a shit about 'developer experience' and are just finding as many roadblocks to toss out as they can so they can have some breathing room.

  • Re:Windows Mobile (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sacherjj ( 7595 ) on Tuesday September 29, 2009 @01:57PM (#29583199) Homepage

    If you don't use the Palm SDK to develop, you can sell your wares any places you like. But downloading THEIR SDK means you agree to THEIR CONDITIONS.

    NOTHING is keeping you from developing software on your Pre and selling to off your web site. You just can't use the Emulator or other software Palm developed to do so.

    Far be it for Palm to want a solid and worry free user experience.

The Macintosh is Xerox technology at its best.