Palm Developer Relations Co-Leader Responds to JWZ

webos-devRecently Ben Galbraith and Dion Almaer (of Ajaxian.com and Bespin fame) joined Palm to lead developer relations.  They faced their first crisis with Jamie Zawinski’s well-publicized complaint about Palm’s app approval process.  Ben has posted an early response to the community on his blog.

Here’s the long and the short of it:  Jamie Zawinski, also known as JWZ, posted his perspective on Palm’s app approval process.  This process is still in beta and it’s clear that Jamie is quite frustrated by the process as it has evolved.  It’s a pretty serious allegation when a developer claims the approval process is so onerous that he’s going to stop developing for the platform.  As a webOS developer myself I’ve seen the process, though my experience doesn’t exactly mirror Jamie’s.

It seems that Jamie hit a few points in the process where he decided that he did not wish to comply with Palm’s requirements and decided to push forward hoping to get his way.  Add to that the well-known app backlog and it’s unsurprising that he became frustrated.

However, Ben insists that they are working on improving the process:

We’ve seen some folks assert that Jamie’s case indicates a general pattern at Palm that we don’t really care about developers and aren’t operating in a developer-friendly manner. While we undoubtedly have some work to do here, we hope that people do notice how we treat the “homebrew” community (e.g. PreCentral) and how our current SDK agreement calls out the inspectability and reusability of our own Palm applications. (By the way, several applications from the homebrew community have already made it into our App Catalog.)

While we have yet to finalize and announce our developer program, we hope these points demonstrate our general attitude of embracing developers and empowering them. We’re trying to strike the right balance between locking down our device and making it a free-for-all. Like all great things, this will be an iterative process and we are eager and open to your participation and input to make it better for everyone.

What does this mean to non-developers?  Hopefully, it means that Palm is serious about working with developers to simplify the submission process and make it easier to develop quality webOS applications, which will lead to an App Catalog brimming with apps.  I’m confident that Palm is heading in the right direction, particularly in light of the appointment of Ben and Dion to their post.  Sound off with your perspective below.

Updated:  Corrected Jamie’s initials.

2 Responses to “Palm Developer Relations Co-Leader Responds to JWZ”

  1. l.m.orchard says:

    Psst. You might want to run a s/JZW/JWZ/g on this story.

  2. [...] can read about the Palm’s app approval process kerfuffle, if you’re so inclined.  That post also mentions Palm’s new additions: Ben Galbraith [...]