Today, Palm is excited to announce the public beta release of the Plug-in Developer Kit (PDK), which was announced in January at the Consumer Electronics Show.
The PDK is a new component of the webOS SDK, letting developers use C and C++ alongside the web technologies that power the SDK, and even mix them seamlessly within a single application. The PDK brings new functionality to webOS, including immersive 3D graphics, and gives developers who have built games for other platforms an easy way to bring their titles to the webOS platform.
The webOS PDK takes its name from the way that C / C++ components integrate into webOS applications. The webOS platform is built on web technologies, with an application environment built on the WebKit browser engine. Components built with the PDK “plug in” to webOS apps using the same mechanism that supports desktop browser plug-ins.
The webOS PDK incorporates the widely used multimedia library SDL (Simple DirectMedia Layer) and the OpenGL ES graphics API, making it easy for developers to port existing code to webOS. The PDK includes its own tools to support development and debugging of plug-ins for webOS applications, and (like the webOS SDK) will allow development on the Windows, Mac and Linux platforms (though only Windows and Mac are supported in the public beta).
(Note that distribution of apps built with the public beta PDK will require functionality provided in an upcoming Palm webOS update, to be released during the middle of this year. The current version of webOS supports limited distribution of games built with the private early-access PDK, but the technologies and processes that enable this limited distribution don’t allow for wider distribution.)
We’ve updated the Developer Portal with all the information you’ll need to get started. The Developer and Reference Libraries have new “Plug-in” sections that talk about the new tools and APIs, and describe how to get up and running quickly.
So what are you waiting for? Head over to the Developer Portal, download the PDK and start developing today!