webOS developer situation: unacceptable
Mood: angry
Posted on 2011-07-23 16:57:00
Tags: palm rant palmpre
Words: 340

I develop software for a living, so I tend to be more tolerant of bugs, realizing that even though it seems simple to fix, that isn't necessarily the case. And I've cut HP/Palm a lot of slack in the past from a developer standpoint, but things have recently gotten to a ridiculous point and I have to throw up my hands and rant about it.

Since the TouchPad launched on July 1, the sales numbers for apps have been wrong. And not even wrong in an obvious way - one app has gotten exactly 2 sales per day, while every other (paid) app has gotten zero. There's no notice on the page that things are messed up, although there is a thread on the developer forums. Yesterday, after we were told they had identified the problem and a fix was in the works, the sales numbers dropped dramatically, and now we're told not to trust the numbers until we hear otherwise. And last week, the June app payments were sent out, but for the wrong amount.

I've cut Palm developer relations a lot of slack, since the people are very friendly, their policies are much nicer than Apple's (no fee to join the program or submit apps, no arbitrary rules for rejection, quick turnaround times on reviewing apps), and they seem to realize that the webOS platform needs as many good apps as possible and as such, treat us pretty well. But when I say things like it seems they're chronically understaffed, this is the sort of thing that I'm talking about. And I haven't even touched on the tiny screenshots in the App Catalog and the inconsistent "For TouchPad" labels on apps.

Palm has been a part of HP for over a year now, and I know they've been in a mad frenzy to get the TouchPad out, but the time for excuses is over. I'm not leaving the platform anytime soon but things like this sap my will to work on apps. Please get this taken care of soon!


Comment from anonymous:

The situation is known and the communication went out to developers. The fix is being tested this weekend, to which we also noted ('numbers may fluctuate, please wait until we tell you the fix is good to go') We expect it to be corrected early this coming week and we will post as soon as it is. Sorry for the inconvenience, and thanks for your support.


PS: ...and yes, we are hiring!

Comment from gregstoll:

Thanks for the reply, Richard! Looking forward to having this all fixed up...

Comment from andrewhime:

Work from home doable? I'd love to work for HP/Palm, but I'm dedicated to living in Denton, TX.

Comment from gregstoll:

(just fyi, not sure if he'll be checking back since he won't get emails for responses...you might want to contact him more directly :-) )

Comment from andrewhime:

Was trying to find out a direct point of contact last night, wasn't very successful...

Comment from andrewhime:

Also, I'm kind of use I've gotten email responses on anon posts before, but I could be wrong.

Comment from andrewhime:

If you have some more direct contact info, I'd appreciate it.

Comment from gregstoll:

I caught him at @richardkerris on Twitter. (cc'ed him on this post, which is presumably where he saw it)

Good luck!

Comment from anonymous:

When you say "we will post", please mean you will post it in the developer blog. Communicate this somewhere more public, besides somewhere deep in a forum thread.

Comment from anonymous:

I bought all your products for the Touchpad and they.re all great. Since I got my Touchpad a couple of weeks ago I must of spent fifty bucks on apps.

Comment from gregstoll:

Thanks for the kind words! Yeah, I've spent quite a bit on apps too...exciting that there are lots of good ones out there!

This backup was done by LJBackup.