"My ongoing Kafka-esque nightmare of dealing with Palm and their App Catalog submission process"

JWZ tears his hair out: though among the earliest Palm Pré developers, trying to get stuff into its app store is a pointless waste of time.

Apple devs think they have it bad, but at least Apple is strongly motivated to exploit their work. The odd part to this story is that Palm's app store is like a bizarre cargo-cult echo of Apple's: it copies all the wrong things (absurd submission policies) but none of the right ones (attaining hordes of customers before turning the screw.)

Beggars can't be choosers.

Published by Rob Beschizza

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  1. Not encouraging in the least. I’m a longtime (i.e., since the 1997 Palm Pilot) user, but I recently realized that the annoying touchscreen input of the iPhone wasn’t really all that worse than the hard keyboard of my Treo 755p. So now I’m realizing that I’ve lost my primary reason to stick with the Palm/WebOS approach. And things like this don’t help.

  2. There are more ‘homebrew applications’ available for the Pre than there are official apps! Installing Preware/filecoaster isn’t as difficult as jwz is making it sound. He needs to keep on them to make it easier for open source software developers since it looks like the marketing side of things is only thinking about closed source stuff. IMHO, this isn’t a big enough reason to avoid the platform since other installation methods exist.

  3. Damn, no wonder there are still crickets in the app store. Though it would help the credibility if it was someone more reasonable than JWZ. He may be a good programmer, but he’s not exactly a level headed, patient person. [i.e. Calling someone “Scrooge McAsperger” because they think a calculator should have the ability to handle decimal places..]

  4. kafka-esque is when a government or some agent of society interferes with an individual ability to sustain their life in a normal fashion.
    I am all for complaining about gadget makers’ authoritarian business practice, but the coalition of the willing just killed a million iraqi’s – lets keep a grip on reality.

  5. I’ve read the article, and the author (jwz) comes across as a pedantic nit-picking ubernerd who explodes with rage when something doesn’t go his way. From reading his account of the process, it also looks like they tried to work with him, and he stomped his feet whenever they tried to use actual adult rules with him.

  6. Peter/#5: I too read the article and completely disagree with your characterization. He comes across as someone unwilling to compromise with unreasonable demands, and who has a longstanding love of PalmOS and is sad to see it dieing. I’m thankful for the stand he’s taking and the publicity its getting since maybe just maybe it’ll have an effect on Palm’s policies. Remember the “iPods are disposable” bruhaha, and how Apple then started replacing iPod batteries?

    And anonymous/#4, Kafka-esque can also mean “marked by a senseless, disorienting, often menacing complexity: Kafkaesque bureaucracies”, which certainly describes this situation.

    Sheesh, are #4 and #5 both Palm employees or something?

  7. JWZ may indeed be “a pedantic nit-picking ubernerd” (I hope he prints that on his next business card) but he’s hardly impatient. Read his stories of the hell he went through on Mozilla or running DNA Lounge.

    Besides, ubernerds are exactly who you want to attract to your nerdy new phone.

  8. I think some of these comments are unfair to jwz. I read his LiveJournal blog thingy regularly, and I don’t see how someone could criticize him for not being patient. This has been going on since July. They made him change the version number of Dali Clock to something less than 1.0.0! It’s something he wrote (well, re-wrote someone else’s version of) in 1991! And he did!

    And, DCulberson I’m talking to you, I don’t think it’s fair to say he’s not level-headed because of these comments:

    By default, it only does whole numbers, because if you insist that your tip be accurate to the penny you are a cheapskate weirdo. Here in the Colonies, we use paper money, not coins. If your bill is $44.22, just enter $45. Don’t go all Scrooge McAsperger’s on us, ok?

    I take that as a person saying: lighten up, it’s only a tip calculator. And I agree. If you want to find 20% (or 15%, or 18% or whatever) of $44.22, what you want is a calculator, not a tip calculator.

  9. Yes, occasionally JWZ gets it wrong (his urban cycling guide was sort of crap), but this still doesn’t bode well for Palm. I was a Palm user for ten years before giving my life over to jesusPhone 3G, and this sort of erases any lingering regret that I had for not holding out for the Pre. Palm really can’t screw up anything if they want to stay in the game.

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