Mojo SDK 1.1

With Palm's WebOS and development tools, Web programming ascends to the throne and powers the app layer, but Palm's platform is clearly a work in progress

Palm Mojo SDK 1.1
  • Expert Rating

    Not yet rated

Pros

  • Web-based paradigm is well understood by many developers, model-view-controller structure is widely embraced, open architecture for the tools encourages integration with Eclipse and other environments

Cons

  • Rough edges everywhere in the documentation and the functionality, game programmers can't get at OpenGL or the lowest layers easily.

Bottom Line

Palm Mojo SDK 1.1 feels unfinished, but has enormous potential. Palm's new webOS places classic JavaScript, HTML, and CSS in the driver's seat for the apps for the Palm Pre. Borrowing the tools from browsers makes it easy for talented JavaScript programmers (but not Web designers) and opens the possibility for many ideas from the Web to flow smoothly to Palm Pre users.

Would you buy this?

  • Price

    Free (AUD)

When the Palm Pre appeared two months ago, the world took one look at the graceful curves and immediately decided there was finally a contender that might stand a chance of attracting some of the crowds clustered around the iPhone. While the Palm Pre's shell may lure some buyers, the software on the inside is just as important. After all, smartphones are just computers for our pockets, and the depth and breadth of software available is a big selling point.

The software at the core of the Pre is even more novel than the design. Palm calls it WebOS because the dominant programming languages are HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, the three syntaxes that power Web sites and browsers. This combo is dramatically simpler to use than old-school languages like Object C, so Palm has lowered the hurdles for any new programmer. If you can build a Web site, you can build a phone app.

To test this out, I built a few phone apps with the Palm Mojo SDK and came away thrilled with the simplicity. The Mojo SDK doesn't have the word "beta" floating around it, even though it's much younger than many other products that still sport the label. I think it would be fair to apply it here. The general outline of the system is solid and usable, but there are numerous rough edges and dark, undocumented corners. These should be easy for Palm to fix with ample time and attention.

Mojo rising

The SDK comes with an emulator, an inspector, a few command-line tools for compiling the code, and some samples. Many people will probably want to get the extensions for Eclipse that hide the command-line complexity and handle the compilation and installation for you. Eclipse is used by most other smartphone manufacturers as well.

The Mojo tools show flashes of genius but often reveal strange glitches. The Inspector would often get disconnected from the Emulator, so I couldn't use it to dig into the structure of the running application. Debugging is an exercise in command-line fun because you ssh into the emulator to look at the processes. I'm hoping for something like Firebug in the future.

The options are coming quickly because of the relative openness of the platform. There are now extensive automatic completion routines for WebOS programming for the Komodo editor from ActiveState Software. I'm sure other tool companies will jump on board.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Skywatcher Dobsonian 8″ Collapsible Telescope

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Whodunnit™ Duo-Scope MFL-007 Microscope Kit

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Logitech Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 Bluetooth Speaker

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?