Palm preDevCamp Postponed for Two Months

While Palm is set to launch its widely publicized Pre, the developer camps that were scheduled to take place June 13 have been postponed for two months. The camps are now scheduled for Aug. 8.

The organizers of preDevCamp, an independent volunteer effort, had planned to hold the dev camps on the first Saturday following the launch of the Web-based smartphone. However, a rift between preDevCamp and Palm resulted in two of the three preDevCamp founders walking away from the project.

The remaining founder, Dan Rumney, a global support manager with IBM, has agreed to function as the camp's coordinator. Palm has said it will support the events, and Rumney said he has had an improved dialogue with the company over the past week.

Joining as organizers are Lisa Brewster, who is also an organizer of the San Diego BarCamp, and Greg Stevenson, who is based in Irvine, Calif. and has developed a scheduling app for Pre called Runway.

Rumney said in an interview that the decision to postpone the preDevCamps, which are slated for more than 80 cities worldwide, was made because many organizers needed time to find locations, among other organizational issues. "A lot felt they wouldn't be ready," Rumney said. "They didn't think they would have the time to organize an appropriate event."

In the meantime, Rumney said the organizers will put out material to educate developers about Pre's new webOS platform. That will include familiarizing developers with Prototype, a JavaScript framework for building dynamic Web applications. Mojo, the development environment for webOS, is based on Prototype. "A lot of people may not be aware that webOS is based on the Prototype framework. We can talk about that, and introduce people to stuff as it becomes available in the public domain," Rumney said.

The first reviews of Pre were published today, and many described it as a potential rival to Apple's iPhone. However, many reviewers questioned whether it would be able to take any meaningful share from Apple or others in the smartphone market.

Among those questioning Palm's prospects was one of the original founders of preDevCamp, William Hurley. A member of the original iPhone development team, whurley (as he also known) explained in a BusinessWeek column why he believes Pre faces stiff odds.

However, Rumney is optimistic that Palm will support the camp's efforts, though he declined to elaborate. "Right now, we're working to define how that support is going to manifest itself," he said.

About the Author

Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.

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