So far, Palm’s SDK has not materialized anywhere (except at O’Reilly’s) – however, it looks like the folks at Palm’s have just accidentally admitted to having some sort of caste system in regards to developers.

The offending quote is as follows:

Palm did confirm that games are in development for webOS,

Palm’s currently working with a small amount of developers in private beta, refining the SDK to their feedback and needs, and will slowly expand that as the phone approaches launch, but we don’t expect a full SDK to reach Joe the Coder until very close to before or after the launch.

Apparently, it looks like Palm doesn’t want to repeat the “open approach” we saw with the original Palm OS – this time, they apparently want a small core team of developers supplying the majority of applications under Palm’s control (possibly giving them a revenue share).

I guess that I don’t need to explain that this move will have a devastating impact on the third-party application ecosystem. “Product wars” such as the one between DataViz and QuickOffice or between Agendus and DateBK have led to some of the finest Palm OS programs available today – a scenario which is more than unlikely in a planned economy.

While a “state-directed economy” has always appealed to some, all countries based on this system have proven themselves to be spectacular failures – do you think that Palm’s attempt will be any different?

Related posts:

  1. Palm goes bonkers – attacks further developers
  2. Nova and developers: Tungsten T, redux
  3. Palm works on RSS reader; could anger developers
  4. Palm…move your hide to stop developer erosion
  5. Palm: last call for early access developers

5 Responses to “Palm: some developers are more equal than others”

  1. OR, as the wording suggests, they simply want to use a few of the reliable well established developers to help refine the SDK proper before releasing it to the rest of the community. This seems a fairly logical thing to do: use the companies you know will stick with you to help improve a product so that you don’t release an incomplete or otherwise flawed system to the fickle masses.

  2. Quite correct, medevilenemy. It makes absolute sense to try out the new code within a ‘walled community’ so that mistakes can be ironed out.

    I have to say this site seems to be developing an alarming negative and rather alarmist attitude towards Palm developments of late, which is a shame.

  3. tam, dude, take a chill pill. what’s with all the angst these days? you’re sounding like some sensationalist tabloid.

    Palm knows it’s SDK isn’t ready for prime time yet, so instead of unleashing an unfinished SDK into the wild where they’d waste a lot of time sifting through the signal to noise ratio, they’ve chosen the more conservative and smarter way: leverage on a core of trusted developers who will provide the quality feedback they require at this point. It’s not like they’re disregarding the community or anything, just that right now, Palm needs to get it right. And that’s what they’re intending to focus on. Caste system? Oh please.

  4. I have seen the webcast \Developing Applications for webOS: A Preview\ and I can say that a SDK is free for everyone – later!

    But I don’t know, when \later\ is…

    Of course the best way to get started writing webOS applications is to continue reading this book, but you should also go to Palm’s developer site, and register as a Palm developer and download the Palm Software Developer Kit (SDK). The SDK includes the development tools, sample code, the Mojo Framework, along with access to the Palm Developer Wiki, where developers will find formal and informal training materials, tutorial and reference documentation.

  5. I can only second what was said above. It’s a shame. TamsPalm renders itself useless this way.

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