|Thu Jan 8, 2009 - 8:49 PM EST - By Dieter Bohn|
Palm has put up a page at http://developer.palm.com/ detailing their new "Palm Mojo Application Framework." As I discussed in my article "Palm Pre Impressions, Part One," Palm intends for the vast majority of developers to take advantage of existing web-technologies to develop applications for webOS and the Palm Pre. In essence, the SDK will involve a mix of web-standards combined with specific webOS calls for device functionality:
Palm made a special point during their keynote to say that most of their native applications that are built-into the OS were created with these same standards.
In addition to HTML, Java, AJAX, and the like, there will be special calls for gesture-based navigation, creating background notifications, local storage, and the "JSON-based message bus" to allow applications to interoperate with each other and with the calendar, contacts, etc. The full SDK will include sample code, an Eclipse-based IDE, and more/
The SDK is currently in private beta, with a release planned 'later this year.'
I spoke with Palm directly about the SDK and what developers would be able to accomplish on the Pre. Palm was very bullish about the Pre's multitasking capabilities as well as developer's chances for making great applications. In particular, they did mention that there will be no backwards-compatibility out of the box with previous PalmOS software, but that "it could be possible with 3rd party work."
I pressed on the issue of "immersive" applications like games that would require technologies not available via web technologies. Although Palm could not officially comment on how access would work beyond their 'Mojo' framework, they did say that they would work to ensure that such apps were possible (we suspect that "extra help" would come on a case-by-case basis for the time being, a suspicion Palm could not comment on). Beyond that Palm couldn't say, but it does seem clear that while there may not be widespread "true" native app development for everybody, solutions in that direction will come eventually.
In the meantime, Palm should manage to grab quite a few developers as a result of their web-standards-based strategy.
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