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Mozilla coders join Palm, criticize phone app market leaders

updated 12:20 pm EDT, Sun September 27, 2009

Directors of Palm Developer Relations team

Two Web-based programming advocates, Dion Almaer and Ben Galbraith, announced on Friday their departure from Mozilla, stepping into new roles as directors of the Palm Developer Relations team. Almaer voiced concerns in his blog about the control companies have over the apps people can use on their phones saying "some view this revolution as a chance to seize power in downright Orwellian ways by constraining what we, as developers, can say, dictating what kinds of apps we can create, controlling how we distribute our apps, and placing all kinds of limits on what [we] can do to our computing devices."

Almaer did not explicitly name Apple in his statement, however, Apple has consistently been accused of exercising flimsy rationale for App Store approval process. The company has faced heavy criticism since its rejection of the Google Voice application -- something Apple claims is still undergoing review.

The developers will be tasked with improving the "developer experience" using Palm's Webkit-based browser. Palm's approach to apps strays away from Apple's development model, instead focusing on the development of Web programs.



By Electronista Staff
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  1. SlimGem

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2008

    +2

    Power To The People !

    It's truly a tragedy that developers like these guys should have to suffer the indignity of limits and constraints that infringe on their First Amendment rights. They are courageous leaders in the fight against oppressive corporations like Apple that are destroying the very soul of democracy. Yeah, whatever.

    Let's wait and see how much these two rebels accomplish in the next year.

  1. mrmambo

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2002

    +8

    Whiners

    I'm so sorry developers don't get to create whatever they want to for whatever platform they want to write for. It's not like AT&T or Apple have invested millions in creating the platform. Why should they have any say over what gets loaded on their phone...it's not their business they've created, right? It's all for the developers!

    Damnit...what b******* these companies are for creating opportunity for others in the first place...

  1. DanielSw

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2009

    +5

    These guys are delusional

    Guess Palm really is in trouble. . .

  1. slider

    Mac Elite

    Joined: Oct 1999

    +5

    Easy to Say

    Hmm, I really don't believe Apple is an oppressive corporation reveling in its seeming control of phone apps. Apple isn't in this to make money on apps, they want to sell iPhones and iPod Touches. The iPhone OS is only three years old and is still developing, it has come a long way from iPhone OS 1.0. Apple has a vested interest in preserving the user experience and a positive image. For example: Allowing any app to be installed from any site that could contain some kind of virus or malware that causes the iPhone to crash all the time or sends out all your personal information to facebook, etc. I just don't believe any mobile platform is ready for this yet.

    Administering the App Store has not exactly been a big plus for Apple - it's the one thing that Apple has been getting beat down on. My guess is that as the OS, hardware, and networks continue to develop and these handheld computers begin to have the same presence as computers have now, you will indeed see an opening up of the iPhone platform. And even if Apple 'is' this big evil company trying to M$ the market, Apple would probably have to open up the platform just to keep up with other emerging platforms such as Android.

  1. Peter Bonte

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2001

    +5

    also a Android problem

    Samsung uses Android but butchers it into a custom version with proprietary API and limited app distribution. I don't think he is singling out Apple, also company's that misuse Linux on there phones by making it proprietary.
    Android is rapidly becoming a big joke, Google will have to step in and dictate the shape and form of a real Google phone.

  1. Bobfozz

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2008

    +2

    Whipping Boys

    Clearly those two were "thinking" of Apple. Yep, it sounds like Palm is in trouble.

    The solution, as usual, is quite simple--since apparently money is no object, because complaining is no object--invent your own iPhone, your own OS, get lawyers to defend you against every guy who has ever mouthed the word "previous patent, and infringement."

    I heard these types yelping years ago when I was in grad school. They want SOMEONE else to do the hard work, to THEIR specs, while playing with their infantile toys, fantasies, of applications the world just can not live without.

    DanielSw is right, "delusional.
    I'm sure in another week MacNN will carry another similar whining story of how Apple is preventing certain developers from becoming millionaires. What have these TWO done that we should take notice of them.

  1. Bobfozz

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2008

    0

    Whipping Boys

    Clearly those two were "thinking" of Apple. Yep, it sounds like Palm is in trouble.

    The solution, as usual, is quite simple--since apparently money is no object, because complaining is no object--invent your own iPhone, your own OS, get lawyers to defend you against every guy who has ever mouthed the word "previous patent, and infringement."

    I heard these types yelping years ago when I was in grad school. They want SOMEONE else to do the hard work, to THEIR specs, while playing with their infantile toys, fantasies, of applications the world just can not live without.

    DanielSw is right, "delusional."
    I'm sure in another week MacNN will carry another similar whining story of how Apple is preventing certain developers from becoming millionaires. What have these TWO done that we should take notice of them?

  1. Chris_G

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Feb 2000

    +2

    iTunes

    Maybe one of them will "want" to write an application that will allow Palm to legally sync with the iTunes library, instead of blatantly trying to dupe iTunes to do the work for them. Probably not, as its much more fun blaming someone else for your inadequacies.

  1. iphonerulez

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Nov 2008

    +3

    Suddenly, Apple is the evil empire...

    I'm fairly certain that over 95% of iPhone users are more than satisfied with the iPhone ecosystem (at least the people I know that use iPhones). Most likely the problems people have are connection problems from an over-taxed 3G network. Apple would be wise to be very careful about programs that use a lot of bandwidth. I'm not sure about other apps they reject for various reasons, but it is Apple's App Store and it's Apple's mobile platform, so they run it as they see fit.

    Anyone can just toss their iPhones and head to another mobile platform if they're not satisfied. I think some of the unsatisfied users should have done more research before signing a contract for the iPhone. They should have realized the platform is restricted in a number of ways. Or they could just jailbreak their iPhones. I don't really see what the furor is all about in that Apple is crippling its users. The platform and user base is still growing rapidly so it can't be all that bad.

    I doubt if Palm's platform will be any better than Apple's. I think all platforms must have some problems in some form or another and Palm's webOS will be no exception. Apple should stick to building a stable platform and get developers and users to adhere to their rules for the benefit of the majority of users.

  1. pairof9s

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Jan 2008

    +4

    Most here are right

    Wasn't Android set up just for these kinds of developers to develop the kind of programs they want in an unobstructed environment? So these guys are pissed that Apple's device, which is more successful than Android, has a method of development they don't like. Hey guys...this is a business!

    We the public aren't really concerned with how, why, or where an iPhone app was developed as long as it provides a service on our device we like at a price we approve. This perception of the importance of developers to the success of a technology product is no longer the reality it was with Windows software. Welcome to commoditisation of software, folks!

    /

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