Mojo and Enyo: Two Great Opportunities

22 BY devrel

This has been quite a week, with the announcement of an incredible lineup of devices in the Veer, Pre 3 and the TouchPad and a closer look at the next generation of webOS development with our new Enyo framework.

Now, I’m sure many of you are wondering where that leaves apps you’ve developed or want to develop with Mojo. In other words, what should I do now? It’s a choice only you can make, but we believe there are two great opportunities for all webOS developers.

Creating Mojo apps for exciting, all-new HP smartphones

Press and users alike are excited about the all-new Veer and Pre 3. The great news is that these new smartphones come with webOS 2.x, which support apps created in Mojo. These phones provide a huge opportunity for you to update and deliver apps for all-new webOS devices people will want and love for a long time.

To help out, we are extending our free Pre 2 program to all qualified developers. Contact us at devmarketing@palm.com to see how you can receive the latest device to test your apps.

Looking ahead, if you choose to develop new apps in Mojo, you should factor in the effort that will be required to rebuild these apps in Enyo. Rest assured, we’re going to give you the tools and resources to make this transition as smooth as possible.

HP is ready to provide the strongest marketing and distribution ever for webOS devices. We want to work with our development community to provide your apps to more customers worldwide.

Creating Enyo apps for the next generation of webOS devices

While Mojo has been the foundation for apps on current webOS devices and the upcoming Veer and Pre 3, Enyo is the future. We’re working hard to get these tools into your hands quickly, so you can start dreaming about the amazing capabilities that will power webOS 3.0 devices, starting with the HP TouchPad. You’ll be able to leverage this work for Enyo-based smartphone updates as well.

Moving forward, working with Enyo represents an enormous opportunity. HP intends to expand webOS to printers, PCs and beyond – tens of millions of devices every year, beyond smartphones and tablets.

Two great opportunities for all webOS developers

Enyo is the future of webOS development. But Mojo still provides a great opportunity for you to develop and build great apps for the Veer and Pre 3, which we’re putting huge resources behind to get them to as many users as possible.

We hope you see great opportunities developing for the webOS of today and the webOS of tomorrow. Every transition has its challenges but we intend to work hard to give you everything you need throughout this transition.

We appreciate your work, patience and support as we all move forward towards this huge opportunity!

PDK Hot Apps Winners Unveiled!

0 BY Fred Patton

We are proud to announce the winners of our PDK Hot Apps Promotion. Check out the complete list here.

This program was a lot of fun, and really raised the bar on the type and quality of apps we offer our Palm Pre and Pixi users. For all those who participated, we hope that in the course of this promotion, you’ve enjoyed the benefits of being a webOS developer and access to our enthusiastic user-base.

An exciting upside for us about the promotion was all the great feedback from developers who said they were porting their apps with the webOS PDK quickly – in some cases two to three days! PDK Hot App winner, Phil Hassey (Galcon, Cosmic Nitro), wrote a blog journaling his three-day port of Galcon to webOS. We also recently featured Hot Apps winner 10tons Ltd., who grabbed top spots for Sparkle and Azkend.

We could go on because there are so many cool winning apps, but for now we’ll wrap with the paid and free $100,000 winners. Stay tuned, though, because we plan to feature more fantastic Hot Apps in the coming months!

Congratulations to all our winners!

Winner, Paid Apps – Angry Birds

Angry Birds by Rovio entered the promotion about half way through with a reputation that preceded it – as one of the most popular games worldwide on iPhone/iPad and now webOS. This game provides hours of fun as users find ways to hurl Angry Birds towards unique castle formations housing a band of menacing green pigs.

Winner, Free Apps – Glow Hockey FREE

Glow Hockey FREE from indie game developer Natenai Ariyatrakool was a real Cinderella story. This classic air hockey game with fun retro Tron-ish visuals was a sleeper hit that took the top spot over some very popular free apps.


A Walk Through the Plug-In Development Kit, Part 3

0 BY unwiredben

It feels like it was only five months ago that we published part 2 of this series.  Sorry for the long wait!

This time, we’re taking our BadFont sample and going in two directions.  First, we’ll add some TrueType font display code using the SDL_TTF library.  Second, we’ll talk about packaging up your PDK app for installing on the device and submitting it to the Palm webOS App Catalog.  As a bonus, we’ll also provide a makefile you can use on Windows for all of this.

Here’s what it will look like when we’re done:

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PDK Hot Apps: X-Plane

0 BY Fred Patton

Editor’s note: Today, we’re featuring a guest blogger – your intrepid editor’s son Rick,  who is 14 and almost as big a flight simulator buff as his dad. When I mentioned that I intended to do an”Interesting Apps” post on X-Plane, he quickly volunteered to do it for me!

We’re both big fans—I was probably one of the very first purchasers of X-Plane for webOS—and we’ve both had a blast playing the many versions of X-Plane that are available. Take it away, Rick!

I’ve played flight simulators for a long time, and when I first played X-Plane for webOS, I was amazed how well it compared to the desktop versions of X-Plane and other simulators. While most of the game apps I’ve played focus on making either the environment, characters, or gameplay beautiful, X-Plane was able to combine all of those characteristics into one amazing package.

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Interviewing the Mighty Eagle of Angry Birds as he publishes the game to webOS

3 BY devrel

Peter Vesterbacka has the coolest title right now. He is “Mighty Eagle” of Rovio, the gaming company behind the mega-hit Angry Birds (which has topped the App Store for what feels like an eternity even though it is a matter of months!). The game has burst onto webOS this week, and we had the pleasure of sitting down with Peter for a special Palm Developer Podcast chat about both the experience of having a run away hit, and the experience of bringing it to the webOS platform.

You can probably see how much Ben and I actually enjoy the game ourselves as we talk about it with Peter. The soundtrack lingers in my head even as I write this post :)

If you watch and listen to the podcast you will learn:

  • What Angry Birds is, and the history behind the title (green pigs? why!)
  • How Rovio is a very experienced gaming company
  • The secrets behind the gameplay, and lessons for game developers out there in this regard
  • Thoughts on why the game has been a success, and where they will be taking it from here
  • How they reached out to the webOS community, and how the community responded in force :)
  • How shocking simple it was to actually port the game to webOS

Fancy writing some games for webOS? Already have something that you would like to port? Check out the PDK to get your share of the $1 million Palm PDK Hot Apps program.

The views expressed on the podcast are not necessarily those of Hewlett-Packard Company, its affiliates or subsidiaries.

Debugging PDK Applications

1 BY unwiredben

When you build a C/C++-based application using the PDK for our webOS devices, you’re effectively doing embedded development. Here are some tips and hints for how you can get data back off the device to see what’s going on.

Getting a Device Shell

PDK developers usually need to get deeper access to their devices than developers using the JavaScript SDK. To facilitate that, we provide a pdk-device-install script in the SDK. This installs an SSH daemon on the device that listens to network connections coming over the USB cable. A tcprelay service installed on your desktop system redirects traffic from your localhost to the device. The usual way to shell into the device is:

  1. If you’ve just updated your OS, or you haven’t installed SSH before, run pdk-device-install install, then wait for the device to reboot.
  2. If you’re using Windows: putty -P 10022 root@localhost
  3. If you’re using Mac OS X: ssh -p 10022 root@localhost

An alternative way to get a shell is available if you’re on Mac OS X. One of the utilities that comes with the SDK on OS X is novaterm. This uses the native novacom protocol to open a shell to the device. Unfortunately, novaterm isn’t available on Windows as part of the SDK, so you’ll need to use SSH/PuTTY there.

Once you have a shell on the device, you have most of the common Linux shell commands available, like cd, cat, ls, cp, du, less, more, and vi. (The vi implementation on device is a version from Busybox, so many of the advanced commands don’t work.)
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A Quick PDK Submission Checklist

1 BY unwiredben

(Note: this checklist is now official documentation!  See it with updates on the Palm Developer Center.)

With the PDK Hot Apps promotion starting in the near future, a lot of developers want to submit their C/C++ applications to our catalog. Here are a couple of things to check first to make sure your app doesn’t get rejected.

First, lets look at your application package and executable:

  1. Is the app a full-screen app? We’re not accepting hybrid apps (ones that use both JavaScript and PDK code) into the catalog at this time.
  2. Does your appinfo.json specify ‘type: “pdk”‘? Earlier examples used the ‘game’ type in the appinfo.json, but we changed that late in the 1.4.5 development cycle so we could better differentiate between apps that were put into the catalog early versus ones from the open submission process.
  3. Did you strip the executable? We require that executable files submitted for PDK apps have their debugging information removed. This is normally done by either using the -s option for the compiler or by using the arm-none-linux-gnueabi-strip tool.
  4. Did you include a “requiredMemory” line in your appinfo.json file? This is needed to tell the system manager how much memory your app is expected to use, as it helps us keep multitasking working well. One way to determine this number is to open a shell on the device while your app is running and use the “top” command to see its memory use.  If you’re supporting both the Palm Pre and Pixi, be sure to test the memory usage on both devices.
  5. Did you build with the 1.4.5 SDK? We changed some API names between our PDK beta and the released version with the 1.4.5 SDK, so make sure you use the latest files to build your application.
  6. Did you use only whitelisted libraries?  At this time, we’re only allowing applications in the catalog that use the set of libraries we provide with the PDK.  This list includes the standard C and C++ libraries, SDL (including SDL_image, SDL_net, SDL_mixer, and SDL_ttf), and OpenGL ES (1.1 or 2.0).  If you need other libraries, you should build them yourself and statically link them with your application.
  7. Did you use the correct processor architecture arguments?  If you’re building to run on the Pixi, you should use “-mcpu=arm1136jf-s -mfpu=vfp”.  If your application will only run on the Pre, you can use the “-mcpu=cortex-a8 -mfpu=neon” switches to take advantage of the new instructions that are only available in the ARM Cortex-A8 processor on the Pre.

Now, let’s look at the actual submission process:

  1. Be sure to you properly specify the devices your app runs on.  If you’re submitting a SDL graphics-based app, make sure you only specify the Palm Pre for your PDK app, as SDL-graphics-based apps don’t update the screen properly on the Palm Pixi device. If you did an OpenGL app, you should test on both devices before submitting. If you need to do separate builds for Pre and Pixi, that’s OK; we suggest you give your Pre version your main package ID, and add a “-pixi” suffix for your Pixi version.
  2. Be sure to specify webOS 1.4.5 as your minimum OS version.  If you specify an earlier version, the PDK app will be rejected on upload.

Following these rules will keep your app from being rejected by our automated security scanners.  Of course, if the app is going into the catalog, it will still need to pass our friendly app review team.  However, you have to get by the scanner before they can look at it.

For more information on packaging PDK apps, see our helpful article in the PDK guide.  If you have questions, please feel free to ask them in our C/C++ Development with the webOS PDK development forum.

Get ready to distribute PDK apps!

3 BY Fred Patton

The PDK is now out of beta, which means you may now begin submitting PDK-based apps to the App Catalog! As webOS 1.4.5 begins rolling out through the carriers, your apps will become available to customers with the update. If you’ve been waiting to develop or port an OpenGL/SDL game, this is the time to start! (Combined JavaScript/plug-in apps are not currently allowed in the catalog; an app must either be developed using the SDK or using the PDK.)

Since the PDK Hot Apps competition is starting up soon, and we know you want to maximize downloads within the competition period, we will begin accepting PDK apps for review immediately, but unless you request otherwise, we will hold Pre-only or Pre-and-Pixi-targeted apps until July 15th. (Apps targeted for Pixi-only will be released as soon as they are approved, because Pixi owners have been so patient…) In order to make sure your app is available on the 15th, please have it submitted by July 7th.

To consolidate installation of webOS tools, we’ve now combined the SDK and PDK into a single installation package. It doesn’t matter whether you download from the SDK page or the PDK page, you’ll get the same package. For SDK developers who don’t want to install the PDK, you can just de-select the “PDK” option during the installation.

FAIR WARNING: You will need to completely uninstall any existing SDK or PDK installations before installing the new package. If you have put any of your own project source code, or any other files, under the SDK or PDK directories, they will be deleted. So please move them before you do this. (You really shouldn’t be keeping your source code in a program directory anyway, but you knew that, right?)

We’ve set up a special PDK email address, where you can reach a team member with your questions. So head on over to the Developer Portal, download the new webOS 1.4.5 SDK/PDK package, and start publishing!

An update on the PDK Hot Apps promotion

1 BY devrel

New Dates for PDK Hot Apps Promotion
webOS 1.4.5 is critical for consumers to access and download PDK applications and we are working hard to get it out to consumers as soon as possible. We expect that 1.4.5 will be available from more carrier partners soon. To ensure maximum reach and distribution of your applications, we have changed the start date of our PDK Hot Apps promotion, and we have extended the length of the program. The promotion will now begin on July 15, 2010, and will run through September 30, 2010.

This is good news for all developers, as you now have more time to get your PDK apps into the catalog. Expect to see Palm continue promoting your apps to give you even more chances of reaching consumers and climbing up the PDK Hot Apps leader Board.

Speaking of Leader board, June 30th marked the close of our first Hot Apps promotion, and we will have much more on the winners in the near future.  In the meantime, we are retooling our Hot Apps Leader Board and will re-launch soon to help you follow along with the progress of our new PDK Hot Apps Promo.

Get your PDK apps in now!
To ensure that your PDK app is reviewed, and in the app catalog on or before July 15th and in time for the start of the promotion, your apps must be submitted for approval by July 7th.  Avoid the rush and get your apps in now.  Developers will want to get in soon and start competing for your share of $1million dollars but remember if you’re not ready by July 7th, you can submit applications at anytime during the promotion and still be considered.

Have PDK questions, want to talk to a real person about porting your app?  Contact PDK@palm.com and one of our team members will get back to you.

To learn more about the promotion go to PDK Hot Apps .

App submission fee eliminated!

3 BY Fred Patton

These are exciting times for Palm and our developer community. The Hot Apps promotion that we kicked off back in February is about to end with over 400 developers receiving a share of a million dollars. We recently launched the Summer Half Off promotion—a 50% discount for nearly every app in our U.S. catalog, funded by Palm. And we’re just getting started.

In July, we’re launching the new PDK Hot Apps promotion-another million dollars to developers, this time focused on the C/C++ apps that were excluded from the original Hot Apps promotion.

And we have one more program change that will benefit all developers. When we launched the developer program, we introduced a $50 per app fee to submit apps to our catalog. Effective immediately, we’re waiving this fee and refunding to all developers any $50 fees collected in the past. If you’re one such developer, you will see a credit in your PayPal account in the near future.

Thank you for being part of the webOS community. We’re excited to continue to evolve the Developer Program as together we build an incredible application catalog for customers.