WebOS dead or alive

OK, 1 year and 6 months ago since I write here last time. Much has happened. WebOS is dead, or not. HP kind of killed it and let it live in Open WebOS, without any hardware. The community still hopes and dreams of a new feature. HP released WebOS 3.0.5, the TouchPad version, as open source. Now the community has created a big load of changes. Many of which you wonder why Palm/HP did not put them there.

I do not have any TouchPad. But I managed to get hold of a HP Pre 3. It is really nice. But WebOS 2.2.4 is starting to get little bit too old. And not many of the apps I use is getting updated to the new world outside.

One small hope was given when CEO of HP said, we probably have to make a mobile phone. Please make it a WebOS phone, with good enough specs to be use full for us high end users. And make developers come back.

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WebOS 2.x and the comming phones and tabs.

All you webOS fans already know this but I want to share with the people not reading all the webOS blogs. HP released the Pre 2 in December 2010 on a limited set of operators. It includes webOS 2. But all old webOS phones have been left out of the update to webOS 2.x, until a month ago when O2 Germany got a webOS 2.1 release to deliver to customers using Pre+. But this release is not delivered over the air(OTA) as everything so far has been done. You have to download it and doctor it to your phone. What then happened is that the homebrew community have created scripts to apply this release on a number of different version of the Pre phone. It seems to work great, even for the older versions of Pre. I have not tried this my self yet. Do not have the time, especially if something does go wrong. Biggest problem when it goes wrong is your account/profile on the phone. You might loose your apps or other things. I do not have any apps since I am not on an approved operator.

What has also happened is that HP has announced 2 new phones and a pad. They will be released this summer, actually one of the phones will probably release already in April or May. If it release that early it will most likely run webOS 2.1 or maybe 2.2. webOS 3 is probably ready and a must for when they release the pad. If that is the same for Pre 3 I do not know. Pre 3 is like the earlier Pres but with better hardware and a bigger screen. So that one looks like a must have for me. So I hope it is an early summer release.

So now HP finally is coming with some new hardware. But is that enough?? NO, HP have to make the developers happy. Because without developers there will be no webOS. And I am not talking about the developers at HP making webOS. I am talking about the application developers. webOS need more apps. So what does the developers need? Most, or at least many, need to see that there is money in making apps for webOS. And with no users there is no money. What can be done to make more users? I guess one thing is to make the phones/pad available world wide with an application catalogue that is available to ALL users. At the moment you can use your Pre in many places of the world. But it is almost impossible to buy an application if you do not activate your phone in the 'correct' way and live in the countries that is supported. This really limits the sales of the applications.

Anyway, I hope developers will start making new apps, and updating old ones, NOW. Not wait for the release of webOS 3 or the new hardware. We need to get the application ecosystem growing and healthy. And we as developers need to tell HP we want global access of the application catalogue, NOW.


AR System 7.6.04 now available for download

This Monday AR System 7.6.04 was made available for the customers. And it was really needed. We have very big problems with upgrading our AR System 7.1 servers running 7.0.3 ITSM to AR System 7.6.03 and ITSM 7.6.03. There are so many bugs in 7.6.03. And the bug fix list in 7.6.04 is LONG.

BMC say you need to upgrade all components if you want to run 7.6.04. And that will not really work in this project. So little time left before go live. But now we got OK about support if we only upgrade AR System Server and Mid-Tier to 7.6.04 and leave ITSM at 7.6.03. OK, there are some bugs in ITSM 7.6.03 that need fixing to.

So far we have only tried Mid-Tier 7.6.04. And it works better then 7.6.03, at least when it comes to the cache. 7.6.03 seemed to read the whole server every time somebody logged in on Mid-Tier. But 7.6.04 only loads what is needed to perform the thing the user is trying to do. It is a lot faster.

One of the bugs we have reported on 7.6.03 is when consuming web services. If you get an error in the transaction the set field web service action result in setting the 'Short Description' field to NULL. You will not notice that if you not have error handling built on the work flow. But if you have error handling and want the record to be stored it will fail with 'Short Description' set to NULL. Did not see anything in release notes about this being fixed in 7.6.04. But it is a serious error. All of a sudden we are back in AR System 6.3 functionality.

Another bug is that if you create an new record, does not matter if it is push field, web service, import, or any other way, and you have default values that contain any $$, you will get extra characters at the end of the string. En example, if you have $USER$ as default value on 'Submitter' the resulting value will be like 'userid%s%s%s'. Not working very well if you use the submitter access functionality.

BMC have really made me disappointed with there 7.6.03 release. And I fear that 7.6.04 does not really fix the important bugs that we need fixed in 7.6.03. I hope it will not result in a rollback of this upgrade project. That would be a very big setback for AR System at this customer, and a very big cost. I wonder if BMC is ready to pay customers for total fail using 7.6.03.

Anyway, I hope BMC can solve this fast. I really want all this new stuff, except maybe layers. I would very much want to make some new super application. Not a big blob like the ITSM application.


WebOS application catalog now world wide!

Yes, it has finally happened. Everybody, not only phones with the approved operators, can now access free applications in the application catalog. Even if it is only a small step and a very late step I actually felt happy to notice it. No need to use other tools to insert the free applications to the phone.

I guess readers here have already noticed that there is a Palm Pré 2. It is available at two operators. One in Canada and one in France. And, at least in the US of A you can buy it unlocked from the HP store. The Palm Pré 2 already have WebOS 2.0. But we with older phones are still on 1.4.5. Bummer. And the information from HP Palm is  still, "in the coming months". I have not checked the developer download of WebOS 2.0 if there is better support for other characters then latin. Thai is not there in 1.4.5, and I have not managed to get it working, even when following the steps of the forum at PreCentral.net. I guess I should try some more fonts. And I really hope that old phones will experience better performance not worse with WebOS 2.0.

Now everybody is waiting for CES to see if there are some other phones on the way from HP Palm. What seem to have been leaked so far is a WebOS based pad. I hope there will be some phone with a lot better hardware then the Palm Pré 2. But I really do not want to have a bigger phone then the Palm Pre.


Official features in webOS 2.0

OK, I know, I am not fast. This was new one week ago. But now I write about it. Palm has announced that webOS 2.0 is on its way. Palm has the feature list here. There might be more, this is what is in the beta.

Just Type looks interesting. But it might get flooded with to many hits when you type. And the Quick Actions part might be more fitting the pixi then the pre. Do you really want to pull out the keyboard all the time.

And Synergy needs to get better. So this is welcome. Support for more IMs would be nice. So far I have not really used the phone for IM. But it could happen if support for 'my' IMs get in there. Maybe I could leave SMS for good. Actually this on Precentral shows a lot of more IMs in the list. And it would be nice if Synergy could be used to sync contact between different services. Not only collect them. More pictures here.

PDK plugin, JavaScript Services and better HTML5 support is great for me as a developer. But I guess that JavaScript Services can be a real battery drainer. Actually some of the Just Type and Synergy features might also be big battery drainers.

PDK plugins I hope will give us applications like a port of keepass. I actually have an application on the way that will be a lot better if using PDK plugin. So I really looking forward for the release. I have not applied for the early access program yet. I have to much to do anyway.

Most likely there will be a virtual keyboard. I like the virtual keyboard in the iPhone. You can change between different keyboards very easy. And also I would like for world wide support for the app catalog and fonts for more regions than available right now. And where the phone is, or is registered, does not have to decide what you want to use the phone for. This is a global world. People come from all around the world to different places but want to use tools from home.

So, what everybody is waiting for now is an announcement for a new device. OK, HP has been talking a lot about a tablet. But I just want a new pre with better hardware.

Update: More pictures and a video.


AR System 7.6.03 documentation released

Now it's here for the public. Version 7.6.03 of BMC Remedy AR System. And as expected the "What's New" document start of with Mid-Tier changes, actually new things about installation came first. They seem to have spent everything on making Mid-Tier faster. So I guess this is the next step towards leaving the native windows client behind.

The next thing is new UI things you can do. It is nothing really big. But it is a lot of small changes to existing object. And they are good changes. The thing is slowly moving into a more 'modern' looking UI. That is good. The comments about 'stone age looking UI' might go away. But that will not stop people from screwing the user experience when they develop there applications.

Developer Studio also have some nice new things. First the analyzer and search features have been improved. And then there is a new feature to get graphical view of events and workflow execution. Hope it is better then the one that where in, I do not remember the name. You can now also print/export "documentation" of your application from Developer Studio. It exports to PDF/RTF/HTML. And finally they have added entry points to the Remedy Eclipse-plugins that is Developer Studio. This makes it possible for 3rd party to extend Developer Studio to help the developers.


webOS 1.4.5 is now in all regions

I'm not 100% sure it is really for all operators. But as 10 of August Sprint has had it in the US. And O2 Germany did get it already in 1st of July. And if I understand correct, everyone is getting 1.4.5. There was said that there was a bug in 1.4.5 that some operators said they where waiting for

Anyway, now the big buzz is about new hardware and webOS 2.0. Yesterday HP answered a question about webOS-based tablet with saying it coming early 2011. I am not so interested in that. I more would like a slightly bigger screen Pre with maybe 2GB internal memory and maybe a dual core CPU. And a lot better battery. And most of all, I want the application catalog to be available world wide with no restrictions.