Palm hosts webOS development tutorial

Palm last week hosted a teleconference tutorial for developers interested in creating applications for its forthcoming webOS mobile operating system. Led by Palm CTO Mitch Allen, the tutorial stressed the ease of developing on webOS, contending programmers must know only JavaScript and CSS to write for the platform. According to Allen, webOS will offer significant creative latitude to game developers: "There are great web based games that will work well in this environment," he said. "Other categories of games require deeper access to the OS and that is something we intend to improve as time goes on."

In addition, the Palm Pre--the first device based on webOS--will support Adobe Systems' Flash technology, unlike Apple's rival iPhone, which should further expand the possibilities of game development. Palm has said, however, applications built for webOS will not offer backward compatibility, although the device maker has reassured developers it will offer tools and services to help them migrate their existing apps to the new platform.

Developers appear enthusiastic about the webOS opportunity and its promises to simplify the programming process. "Palm alluded a lot to what makes the platform and web elements attractive to developers," Pivotal Labs' vice president of technology Ian McFarland told Wired. "The cost of learning is very low and people can use existing JavaScript libraries to speed up their development process." While Palm has not confirmed when it will release the webOS DSK to the development community, a select few coders have been given a sneak peek: "Earlier, to create an application for a phone, you needed developers with embedded programming skill sets, which is much more difficult to find," said Amit Patel, who leads the Pre development team at TeleNav, which is presently working on a navigation app for the device. "Now Palm has made it easy and has provided some very good tools for app development."

For more on the Palm tutorial:
- check out the recorded teleconference or read this Wired article

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Palm webOS update: Games coming, everything else a mystery
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Why the Pre won't save Palm