Ben Galbraith and Dion Almaer leave Palm 84
The dynamic duo of Ben Galbraith and Dion Almaer, who have spearheaded webOS evangelism, web-standards-based app development, and probably done quite a bit to drive the webOS platform towards better integration with HTML5 technologies have announced they're leaving Palm:
it’s with mixed emotions that we share that we have decided to leave employment at HP. It’s been a singular experience being part of the Palm webOS story up to now and we’re confident that the new resources HP brings will take the developer program to the next level.
We are happy to share that we will continue to work with HP as consultants and we look forward to being an active part of the webOS developer community
It's not clear from the posting on the Palm Developer blog what led to the decision, but it's hard not to read this as a blow to the webOS platform. The guys who have been the face of webOS development and the best-known personalities championing the platform's development have left the company a mere year-and-a-month after they came on board.
In leaving HP, Ben and Dion follow what feels like nearly the entire brain trust behind webOS, from Matias Duarte to Rich Dellinger to Mike Abbott to Mike Bell to Jeff Finkelstein to the bevy of people who left for Nokia, including Peter Skillman.
No word yet what the two plan next. We hope they stay true to their promise to stay an active part of the webOS developer community, cause, sniffle, we'll miss those guys. (Update: they'll be at Palm Developer Day in NYC next month)
Update: Ben Galbraith adds thoughts on his personal blog, as does Dion Almaer. Looks like the two will be starting their own company focusing on consulting with companies on software development - naturally with a focus on HTML5 tech. We have heard that their first client will be none other than HP.
Update 2: Dion Almaer chimes in in our comments:
It has been an honor to be the voice of developers within Palm, and we look forward to continuing the fun from the outside, and trying to influence on the inside as consultants.
People like to make a big deal out of departures, but we are but two guys. With HP, Palm has a ton of resources now, and we can look to them to deliver some fantastic hardware and software that gets the community excited. I look forward to that.
Update 3: Lots of comments, so forgive us for missing Ben Galbraith's response in there as well:
I'm getting an inflated ego reading about how important our departures seem. In all seriousness, thanks so much for all the support you guys have given us during our time at Palm and for the passion you bring to the community.
As Dion mentions in his comment on the thread, the Facebook app will continue unabated. While he and I coded a ton in the initial release, since then Kevin Decker has stepped up as the lead developer and our contributions have been in the design of the app. And don't worry, as consultants, we'll continue to contribute in that role.
In terms of the future of HP webOS, it's in good hands. I can say with no exaggeration that the leadership of the developer / app ecosystem at HP is in the hands of one of the most talented and impressive executives I've ever met in my life. The team we've worked with is fantastic as any of you who have joined our developer program will know. And we will continue to contribute to the direction of the platform moving forward.
So in sum, things are moving forward unabated and we're still around. The best is yet to come.
(Still) Director of Developer Relations at Palm (until 5 pm)
Source: Palm Developer Blog