The news about Palm’s buyback of OS5 rights has slowly but surely sunk in – we now have two Palm OS ‘owners’. The current version of Garnet has a few quirks, but is a reliable platform…this is what its owners should do to it 2007 to keep it competitive:

Get a GOOD web browser
Face it, all current Palm Os web browsers suck badly. OK, the Treo 680 version of Blazer/Netfront is said to be decently usable at the least – but it still lacks many features in comparison to PDA browsers for other platforms.

This point should be really simple for Access – all they need to do is add a few features to their old Sony Clie Palm OS NetFront browser. Alternatively, Palm could bug Opera or buy up the Universe3 project before it ships.

Give Garnet a competitive UI
Face it – Garnet looks ugly compared to Windows Mobile. Ok, black on white means great contrast, but the average user doesn’t give a f*** about a few nits more. Instead, he wants a cool-looking device…

This is also a no-brainer for a licensee. Buy up either SkinUI or its competitor(probably cheaper) – and party.

Unlock the multitasking API/ARM development API
First of all – I got much of this information from a reliable source inside a Palm OS licencee. However, I cannot disclose the name for obvious reasons.

Palm OS’s core is multitasking capable – people like Dmitry Grinberg have used the Kernel for quite some time. The problem is somewhere else – Palm’s original license for the Kadak kernel forbade them to publicly release the multitasking API(Kadak sold such an SDK, fyi only).

Now, if Palm owns the complete rights to the OS, what speaks against looking at the kernel rights once again and maybe opening up multitasking in one sort or the other? And if you are already at it, why not unlock the ARM native stuff, too?

IMHO, the three steps outlined above should help Access/Palm get their operating system back in-line. Garnet’s days may still be counted and its architecture may eventually need an overhaul(dual core ARM processor, come) – but implementing the 3 commandments should be able to add at least 3 more years of life to Palm OS Garnet.

Related posts:

  1. Straight Netfront Petition (If you own a newer Palm, read this!)
  2. Where Garnet (still) 0wns
  3. Palm OS becomes Garnet OS – what I think about it
  4. Garnet is in bad hands if purchased by Palm
  5. ACCESS publishes Garnet VM Emulator

11 Responses to “My 3 commandments for all Palm OS Garnet owners”

  1. very nice commandments, i agree with you.
    Well i think Palm need more seriously on making handheld device coz there are so many competitors like Win Mobile, Symbian, Linux handheld.

    Well i like the info about Palm Kernel can do Multitasking, still the question is it real multitasking like WinMobile or not ? If it is it will be great but i think for the next few years Palm will only use ALP (Palm Os on Linux) rather than Garnet since ALP already adopt many features for the current need of OS.

  2. Garnet is black on white? I’d say my T|X looks pretty snazzy even without SkinUI. (speaking of, I just gotta stop screwing round and buy it) I, personally think that just adding more customability to he UI would do a load of good. Instead of just giving the cruddy built in themes, there should be a theme sdk, or something, straight out of PalmSource, instead of making Dmitry do everything (just the same as all the other things he’s made: fixes for PalmSource’s Dumb mistakes)

  3. Just as a note, the origin of the kernel found at the core of PalmOS 5 is not really known. It is believed to be an in-house solution created by Palm. Kadak’s kernel was used for OS

  4. my question is: where and how did Dimitry get the multitasking API?

  5. Hi Alphasmart,
    if you ask me, he got it by reverse engineering the hotsync application.

    This is the app where Palm openly admits that it is multithreaded – so reverse engineering that is the best way IMHO.

    Best regards
    Tam Hanna

  6. Hi,

    IIRC, isn’t the hotsync app’s source somewhere on ACCESS’s page?
    Much easier than reverse engineering :-)

  7. I did not know hotsync was open source! I’ll google it.

  8. Hi,

    Just IMO of course :-) All of Palm/ACCESS’s core apps are open sourced on their site (IMO you need to be in the ADN, but w/e)

    I could be wrong as per HotSync!

    Best Regards,
    Ryan Rix

  9. Hi,
    I am not 100% sure myself – IMHO, the old OS4 was opensourced one day.

    But it was IMHO removed again due to Grafitti…

    Best regards and please keep me posted
    Tam Hanna

  10. I thought Grafitti was resolved a while back so theu should be able to put it back up… I’ll Google it.

  11. Hi,
    IMHO, they didn’t reupload the sources afterwards…

    Best regards
    Tam Hanna

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