10 Reasons for Geeks to Love HP webOS

31 BY unwiredben

There comes a time in a Linux-loving geek’s life when he or she needs a new challenge. Making desktop apps isn’t hacking it anymore and building yet-another-website seems passe.  If you want to jump into the world of mobile, here are a few reasons why HP webOS is the platform for you.


#1: It’s free.

There’s no cost to become a developer.  You don’t have to pay any sort of fee to download the SDK or submit apps. The webOS emulator is free and our tools support development on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. We also have discount programs to help developers to get their hands on real devices.


#2: We give you full access to your device.

You don’t have to jailbreak or root your device.What other platforms call jailbreaking or rooting, we call entering developer mode.  We don’t make you jump through hoops, purchase device certificates.  or use questionable tools; instead, we provide simple shortcuts from our launcher and phone apps.  Just tap on the “Just Type” search bar and enter “upupdowndownleftrightleftrightbastart” (the classic NES Konami code!); an icon appears that lets you toggle this mode on and off. In developer mode, you can get full access to the device over your USB cable.

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Cross Platform Text-Indexer

3 BY devrel

While working on a recent Facebook release, we ran into a performance bottleneck in the Mojo.Format.runTextIndexer API. Performance on-device was on the order of a couple of seconds to process the content for feed items 30-50. This combined with the other tasks in the formatting and rendering cycle led to poor performance in the news stream. In this post, I’ll describe a JavaScript implementation of this function we used to improve performance considerably.

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Preview Image Widget Implementation

0 BY devrel

This post is the second in the series describing the usage and implementation of the preview image widget developed for the Featured Apps app. The first post can be found here.

Today’s posts covers the general implementation details of the widget as well as the movement and animation implementation.


Implementation of this widget is fairly straightforward from an HTML standpoint, consisting of a series of divs, with the associated JavaScript and CSS performing most of the heavy lifting.

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Featured Apps Preview Image Widget

0 BY devrel

Preview Image Widget
For Featured Apps we wanted to provide an attractive means for users to view the application preview images. Initially we investigated attempting to scale the ImageView widget to provide this functionality but its logic is tuned for displaying a single image and did not fit this design well, thus the creation of the new widget.

This UI displays up to three images to the user at a single time with one image being the focal point and portions of the next and previous images displayed for the user on either side of the focused image. The user is able to swipe between each of these images, allowing them to display an entire list of images without taking up significant screen space or resources.
Since this sort of UI may be a common need we have decided to open source its implementation as well a highlight some of the challenges that we ran into during it’s implementation. Today I will be covering just the usage of this widget, but future posts will highlight some of the nitty gritty details of the implementation.

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Topics  Featured Apps, Open Source Tagged , |

jQuery Mobile Announced; Palm excited to sponsor the effort

6 BY devrel

Palm made a huge bet on the web when we decided that our next generation operating system would have a Web runtime at its core. We are constantly investing in the Web and are always looking for great Web developer products, especially anything that focuses on device form factors.

When we heard that the jQuery team was putting a lot of effort towards supporting their great library on devices, we wanted to help. At first we started with devices for John to test on as he explored compatibility, but with the newly announced jQuery Mobile initiative, we wanted to do more.

What are we doing? We are going to sponsor some of the great work that will go into jQuery Mobile from jQuery team members such as the Filament Group who are well known for their work on jQuery UI and ThemeRoller. First and foremost, we want to allow the team to focus on making a great jQuery experience across the mobile Web.

Secondly, we will be working hard to make sure that webOS itself is a fantastic host for the product. This will mean testing help, and also some jQuery plugins that show off some of the great abilities of webOS (e.g. the notifications system) in a progressive way.

We are really excited to be working with the team as their launch into jQuery Mobile en force.

Here are some more details on the goals of jQuery Mobile from Mr. John Resig himself:

The jQuery project is really excited to announce the work that we’ve been doing to bring jQuery
to mobile devices. Not only is the core jQuery library being improved to work across all of the
major mobile platforms, but we’re also working to release a complete, unified, mobile UI

Absolutely critical to us is that jQuery and the mobile UI framework that we’re developing
work across all major international mobile platforms (not just a few of the most popular
platforms in North America). We’ve published a complete strategy overview
detailing the work that we’re doing and a chart
showing all the browsers that we’re going to support.

Right now we're working hard, planning out the features that we want to land and doing testing
against the devices that we want to support — and hoping for a release later this year. 

If you wish to help, please join the discussion in the jQuery Mobile Community.

Our aim is to provide tools to build dynamic touch interfaces that will adapt gracefully to a
range of device form factors. The system will include both layouts (lists, detail panes,
overlays) and a rich set of form controls and UI widgets (toggles, sliders, tabs).

But wait, “What about other libraries, frameworks and tools?” I hear you ask. The Web has a huge number of great projects. It has been enjoyable to see the great touch and mobile support that YUI 3.2 is adding, and we look forward to hosting the Dojo team at Palm for one of their events. Sencha Touch and SproutCore are showing us that Web applications can feel like “native” apps on other platforms. All in all, the future for a cross platform Web application world is bright. We look forward to working with the entire community to make it happen.

Be on your best behavior with Jasmine; Open source BDD testing framework from Pivotal

0 BY devrel

Davis Frank and other awesome mobile pivots have released a new BDD testing framework for webOS. Jasmine webOS builds on the generic Jasmine JavaScript framework that provides the syntax for specs and the environment to execute them. Davis has more:

Jasmine webOS adds platform-specific testing pieces for testing Scene Assistants, the Palm Depot, Ajax calls, etc. and a way to execute specs and view the results on a webOS emulator or phone.

Jasmine webOS defines a convention for plugins into webOS applications, allowing collections of JavaScript code to be included into Palm Mojo applications apart from an application’s code & other resources. This is distinct & unrelated from Palm’s PDK (Plugin Development Kit).

When your application has Jasmine webOS installed, you run your specifications by launching it with a parameter telling Jasmine webOS to execute your Jasmine specs and report the results in webOS UI (emulator or phone).

Read up on the user guide, download the plugin or go to the source!

Thanks for a fantastic resource guys!

Palm at OSCON

1 BY devrel

Palm will be at OSCON next week in Portland. Josh Marinacci will be joining the rest of the HP crew in the HP booth, demonstrating Ares and webOS. He will also be giving away T-shirts, books, super nice water bottles, and you’ll even have a chance to win some phones! Here’s the full schedule of webOS related events during OSCON.

(BTW, even if you aren’t attending all of OSCON you can come see us in the Expo Hall for free!)

  • Tuesday 6:00PM: Introduction to the Mobile Web

    Portland Java User’s Group

    (not part of OSCON. it’s free!)

    Oracle Building, 8th Floor room 8005

    Pacwest Center,

    1211 SW 5th Avenue

    Portland, Oregon
  • Wednesday: 10:40AM HP’s Session: Cloudy with a Chance of Revolution

    This is an overview of where HP is going in the cloud, including a section on webOS and Ares.
  • Wednesday and Thursday: HP Booth

    Palm will be in the HP Booth demoing Ares and giving away great stuff. You will also learn about how you can win a webOS developer phone.

Though not Palm related, Josh will be doing a session on marketing your open source project with zero budget. It’ll be tons of fun!

New PDK Samples on GitHub

1 BY unwiredben

Back in January, Palm started using GitHub as a repository for sample code and other open-source projects. We’ve got several different trees hosted there, including our collection of webos-samples, Frank W. Zammetti’s game Far Out Fowl, and the RSS reader sample app from the O’Reilly book “Palm webOS” called News.

We’re now proud to add a new tree to our forest… please give a big welcome to pdk-samples.  This collection shows off our Plug-In Development Kit that’s used to turn your C and C++ code into programs for webOS.

We are starting with two chunks of code.  The first is “simple” which you might recognize from the current PDK installer.  It shows a rotating shape using OpenGL ES, it’s a nice piece of bling for your phone that won’t cost you $999.

The second and more extensive sample is called “shapespin”.  It seems similar to “simple” at first glance, then you realize that it’s mixing Mojo-based JavaScript code with PDK-based OpenGL goodness in a way reminiscent of those peanut butter-and-chocolate cups.  Not only can you adjust the rotation using a Mojo slider control, but you also can freeze its movement just by minimizing the application to a card.  Lots of people have been asking for more help with hybrid apps, and here an example to get started.

Palm’s Open Source Portal is now available

10 BY devrel

We are excited to announce the availability of Palm’s open source portal at http://opensource.palm.com. We’re using Linux and various other open source software in webOS to allow us to accelerate innovation through collaboration with the global community of open source developers.

The benefits of teaming with the open source community come with the important responsibility of ensuring compliance with applicable open source license obligations. For that, we have established a compliance program including:

  • Enforcing open source compliance policy, processes and license obligations;
  • Establishing an internal team to oversee open source compliance;
  • Using a range of commercial and Palm-developed tools to help with the compliance activities including a compliance project management tool, an open source software inventory tool, a code scanning tool, a linkage analysis tool; and
  • Establishing open source internal training to continue to raise awareness and reinforce open source compliance within Palm.

For details about the compliance practices, we will be publishing an article to cover this topic in detail. We will announce when the article is available in this blog and make a copy available for download as well.

From http://opensource.palm.com, you can:

  • Learn how to contact the open source team
  • Download the various open source components we are making available along with our modifications
  • Download a copy of the latest open source license file that includes a listing of open source software used, along with their respective licenses and notices.

Stay tuned as we add functionalities to our open source web site to reflect the progress in our open source activities.

Palm Open Source Team