Palm’s Browser-Based WebOS IDE

The cloud is buzzing,  Google’s Cloud dreams do converge with Palm’s Web based OS apps aspirations. But what comes today takes it one step further into the cloud.

Palm has launched a beta version of their browser-based development environment (IDE) for webOS called Project Ares. The IDE is supported by Safari, Chrome, and Firefox (seems like they ignored IE).

So what this means is that you can simply fire up your browser and go to http://ares.palm.com/, sign in with your developer account, and get coding anywhere, anytime saving tour work into the Cloud.

I underestimated the IDE and had literally no expectations for this web-based-IDE. I logged-in with my Palm developer account and boom. The IDE loaded pretty fast in Chrome and was responsive. The overall feel for the IDE was as good as native App (ofcourse ignoring few delays) Navigation, code editor,  widgets drag-n-drop was all slick! I made a hello world app in under 10 minutes.

Here’s what Palm’s User Guide lists out:

Ares is the code name for Palm‘s browser-based, web-hosted development environment for the creation of webOS applications. It contains:

  • A drag-and-drop visual interface builder
  • A code editing environment
  • Visual Javascript debugger
  • Log Viewer Utility
  • Framework enhancements to support easier layout and event handling
  • Single-click deployment/launch on device or emulator
  • Drag-and-drop file upload, file/project download
  • Version Control Integration (SVN/Mercurial)

Prerequisites: Installed 1.3.1 SDK – While not strictly required for application development, the SDK has drivers for running applications on the device over USB, and has the superior debugging/logging configuration of the Palm Emulator. For best results, you will want the SDK installed.

I`ve seen other web based IDEs that have been just-average that failed to impress us coz of the inherent web-based application limitations but Ares got potential. I don’t know how much the idea will catchup, but it surely makes me realize the gap Apple iPhone SDK/IDE left out for the developers.

Apple’s iPhone SDK and IDE, evolved from the very mature Mac Xcode and Interface Builder, and the Cocoa Touch frameworks are often cited as reasons for the App Store’s success and the quality and consistency of some of the very best apps. So, providing Palm webOS developers with similar tools  is smart and that too programmed in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, moving their IDE processing to the cloud. I’m impressed.

Google (Chrome OS) and Palm are already in the cloud, in different ways, but with one thing similar: All Open, partially/fully cloud based. Now I await for an Open approach from Apple, though it’s not going to happen anytime soon unless competition forces them to. For the rest of us, there are ways to develop iPhone applications on Windows, Linux

Give the IDE a try and let us know what you feel about the approach, and future of Web-based IDEs.

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  • Not easy to say thank you, me english not so well – but these really good. Good read to practice English.

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