What’s Happening in webOSLand

0 BY devrel

What’s happening in webOSland is a collection of interesting links to articles and conversations about webOS and webOS development. If you have something you think we might want to include in future postings, you can send it to us at pdn@palm.com or via twitter to @webosdev

  • webOS School: a nice video discussing the changes important to developers in 1.3.1
  • Pre101: a look at Zombie Invasion

Mojo SDK 1.3.1 Now Available, featuring Pixi emulator support and docs enhancements

5 BY devrel

Now that Palm Pixi is on the verge of shipping, we’ve released both webOS version 1.3.1 and the new version of the Mojo Software Development Kit.

The highlights of the Mojo SDK version 1.3.1 release are the following;

  • Enhanced Pixi support in emulator
  • API to keep screen from auto-dimming
  • Auto-generation of app Help / Support scene
  • Numerous framework doc enhancements

Elaborating a bit on the last item, we’ve heard the developer community’s feedback about webOS docs loud and clear. You’ll see the first efforts to expand, clarify, and improve quality of the docs with this release. Notably, we’ve provided new step-by-step installation instructions, with more thorough information about how to get your system ready before you download and install the SDK. Start on our Download page by selecting the version of the SDK you’d like to use.

For more complete information about Mojo SDK Version 1.3.1, see the Release Notes on webOSdev.

What’s Happening in webOSLand

0 BY devrel

What’s happening in webOSland is a collection of interesting links to articles and conversations about webOS and webOS development. If you have something you think we might want to include in future postings, you can send it to us at pdn@palm.com or via twitter to @webosdev

What’s Happening in WebOSLand

1 BY devrel

What’s happening in webOSland is a collection of interesting links to articles and conversations about webOS and webOS development. If you have something you think we might want to include in future postings, you can send it to us at pdn@palm.com or via twitter to @webosdev

  • Prethinking: Interview: Twee, Feeds, and WootOn! We speak to Delicious Morsel about WebOS and their apps.
  • Jay Geiger has some suggestions on how to debug webOS Apps based on things he learned writing Cell Stalker.
  • Pre101 has done a nice interview with Jason Robitaille, who’s been very involved with the homebrew community.

webOS game development lessons learned: Self Aware at the Sprint Developer Conference

0 BY devrel

Dan Kurtz, the resident web expert at Self Aware Games, joined Palm on-stage at the Sprint Developer Conference to share his team’s lessons learned from having developed two games for webOS, Word Ace and Card Ace.

The team came to webOS thinking that first reports made it an attractive platform for some of their gaming ideas, especially if they matched the games to webOS core capabilities, such as always-on web connectivity, easy text entry from a physical keyboard, and multitasking. That said, they didn’t take the task of developing a webOS game lightly. As Dan said, “A new platform means problems. Developing a new game means problems. So developing a new game on a new platform meant problems squared.”

To help manage the risk inherent in such an undertaking, they prototyped their first game, Word Ace, on iPhone, since they already had experience on the platform and could get to a playable app quickly. When they turned to implementing the same functionality on webOS, they were able to take advantage of their knowledge of JavaScript, focus on learning the new platform, and implement already-robust features without having to solve for multiple unknowns.

Dan summarized their lessons learned in a few brief points. To paraphrase him:

  • Happiness is designing for a single, cutting-edge web environment, which is provided by webOS
  • To develop great games on webOS, you need extremely detailed knowledge of JavaScript and CSS
  • You can make your life much easier if you design your game around the webOS strengths summarized above
  • When you need help or to learn more, use resources on the web including Palm’s webOSdev community forums and open source code.

You can read a lot more about Self Aware and its early webOS development experience in the webOSdev profile of Self Aware Lead Designer Seppo Helava in the “Getting Their Mojo Working” series.

Palm at the 2009 Sprint Developer Conference

14 BY devrel

Here’s a summary of all our postings — starting with the latest entry — about Palm’s activities at the Sprint Developer Conference, which was held October 26-28 in Santa Clara.

webOS developers at Sprint Developer Conference: Pivotal Labs

0 BY devrel

Palm engineers had a lot to say at the Sprint Developer Conference. Instead of trying to have the last word about webOS development, Palm shared the stage with four of your colleagues‹developers who already have apps available on Palm Pre. We thought you’d want to get a glimpse of what they had to say.

Chris Sepulveda from Pivotal Labs demoed their first webOS app, the Twitter client Tweed, as well as Scoop, an RSS reader that’s just about to hit the catalog. He mentioned that Tweed was really Pivotal’s chance to kick the webOS tires, to try it out and see what they could do with it. “It was our ‘Hello World’ app, so to speak,” Chris said, “and it took us a couple of months to finish it.” By the time they got to Scoop, Pivotal engineering already had enough experience with webOS and the MOJO SDK that they were able to complete development in weeks.

Among the reasons Pivotal decided to jump into webOS were that Pivotal engineers had a lot of experience coding in JavaScript from their web dev project and because of that they were able to experiment and iterate with ease. It also made it easy do test-driven development, a style favored by the Pivotal team. (You can read more about test driven development and webOS in the webOSdev article, Mojo Test Framework. Additionally, they felt that webOS allows for a “stickier” user experience rather than one that prompted users to get in and get out quickly.

Next he turned to the Mojo SDK and Framework. Chris said it was really easy to learn for those with experience with JavaScript and, in particular, Ajax, adding that if you only know request/response web development the transition to Mojo would be more difficult than if you are used to asynchronous programming techniques. He also pointed out that you really don’t have to use much CSS or HTML if you use native Mojo widgets and default styling, and if you decide to use your own widgets/styling, things get interesting fast.

He concluded with a couple of general points for web developers considering webOS development: First, when building a mobile app, you have to be much more concerned with ergonomics, that is your use of space and how users reach each part of your application. And, second, he suggested that webOS lets the developer focus on building the best applications, not simply
applications that work.

Don’t forget to read the webOS developer profiles series, “Getting Their Mojo Working,” in the webOSdev magazine.