DocsToGo for webOS 'at a standstill' | webOS Nation
 
 

DocsToGo for webOS 'at a standstill' 181

by Dieter Bohn Tue, 27 Apr 2010 3:27 pm EDT

This hurts: DataViz has come right out and said that DocsToGo for webOS is no longer under active development, which is to say we have no idea when or if we might expect it happen on webOS. So writes Kathleen McAneany of DataViz:

We are continuing our efforts to work with Palm to clear the path for a full editing version of Documents To Go. However, given the current environment at Palm, as well as the necessary collaboration with the device manufacturer that is required to bring an app like ours to a platform like webOS, our Documents To Go editor product for webOS is essentially at a standstill.

As soon as we have any additional information, we will inform you immediately.

Thanks for your passion surrounding our solution.

We've gone from hope, to hoping for Early 2010, to 'no ETA,' to a 'standstill.' This is a big blow for Palm, since true document editing was one of the missing pieces for making it a true business phone. We don't want to parse words too closely here, but when we read 'given the current environment at Palm,' we're not exactly filled with warm feelings. Pretty hard to see this as anything put DataViz putting the ball in Palm's court.

DataViz makes it a little clearer on Twitter: "[...] we can only work so hard without help from the manufacturer. Tough to write an robust office suite all in javascript."

If nothing else, this news puts an exclamation point on the interest in X-Server/Open Office and other community-based attempts to build an office suite for webOS.

Update 4/27: Not sure if DataViz is just looking for more attention, making sure that their email-only customers are up-to-date, or just trying to set our tipline on fire from folks who missed this post five days ago... but they've emailed the same text from the above blog post out to their email list of people waiting for webOS. In other words - they're pretty serious about this here work-stoppage.

Thanks to miles4000 and Colonel Kernel for the tip!

Category:

181 Comments

Good, maybe now some other smart developer will take up the slack and leave DataViz twisting in the wind.

it won't be that easy to develop an entire office suite from scratch, especially in javascript.

Granted, it does stink that dataviz just isn't doing anything, however you cannot completely blame them. Palm created this mess that they're in and they're leaving everyone hanging. You don't come out and make an announcement that you're looking to either sell the company off or give doubt to the public and then disappear with no news for over a week. What's a developer to do? Seriously. If I were a developer and I knew a company had the potential of going out of business, would I invest my time and money into a product that might not return on my investment? I don't think so.

Palm, you came out and made it obvious you cannot survive on your own for much longer, so do something already. Taking your time will only hurt your company and all developers.

There is no reason to develop it in Javascript. Office Suite on WebOS should be PDK.

They can develop with the PDK, I am sure Palm is giving them access to it. Seems like a cop out.

The PDK has been out for over a month. HAD DataViz asked Palm about early access for an important product like Docs to Go, Palm would have bent over backwards.

This sounds like a company trying to pass of the business decision they made as another company's fault. I don't buy it. I did until the stupid Twitter comment. Any serious WebOS developer, knew that Javascript wasn't the only answer at CES, if not before.

Competition loves a vacuum. Someone will surely step in here. I am rooting for the makers of Scratch. Its a fabulous word processor. I know it needs some beefing up to work like docs to go but I hope they do it, and add the other office components. They would profit nicely. A docs app is the one app EVERYONE needs (which is why I do not get Dataviz' stalling). Even on a small platform like WebOS there is money to be made on a docs app.

Scratch developers: Go for it!

thank god for homebrew.

Well...poo...

So completes the transition of webOS from a potential mainstream commercial platform to a tech hobbyist platform.

Not really. All Palm has to do is make the office suite themselves, just like Microsoft always has. The main reason Palm has held back is because they generally don't like squashing their third party developers if they can't help it. But they have a vested interest in this, and they'll do it if Dataviz is copping out.

Far-fetched, but I'll take it!

If they put half as much effort into it as their Facebook app I'll wish DataViz had given up much sooner.

i agree on the point that it's a "tech hobbyist platform" right now. unfortunately that's not me. And it's never gonna be me. Like it's great you can hack the kernal and overclock stuff and their are the novelty apps. i just don't want a tech hobbyist phone. Like i run windows and i'm happy with it. i'm not looking for linux builds.

Dude will you go already! Enough of the GBCW stuff and don't let the door hit your ass on the way out.

amen!

@ you Brett and the guy above you: Take care of your Pre for the remainder of this year because it'll be discontinued soon.

Discontinued (TM) because of Build Quality (TM), Soon (TM) and Epic Fail (TM)

how about no? i don't even know what your "GBCW" speak means? Sorry. I don't speak text acronyms. But No i won't go. you can feel free to Bite me when ever you want.

children, settle down, or you are all going straight to bed!

"So completes the transition of webOS from a potential mainstream commercial platform to a tech hobbyist platform."

+1

What burns me about this is DataViz has been lying for over 6 months. Whatever the reasons, they've done nothing but reassure Pre users that "it's on its way".

But it isn't.

That's called -- lying.

Elizabeth1129 -- Well said! I'll be the first to admit that companies need to make money and in so doing, make good business decisions. However, at some point DataViz began to lie with money in mind -- lying -- bad business no matter how you slice it.

How I hope webOS and Palm succeed. And in that success may I never have to use another DataViz product so long as I live.

Speaking of companies that lie, don't forget Splashdata with SplashID. They have been telling us they have been "working on it," even when they admitted in another post, they took a wait and see attitude. Then they had the nerve to send me an e-mail announcing the availability of the new iPhone version. I understand their reasoning - I regret buying the phone, but don't lie to a very long-time user, who has bought several versions of nearly every product they have offered.

I'm confused. We already have SplashID.

I call cop-out on DataViz's side. Their statement, to an experienced developer, essentially reads "The management isn't sure if they'll make big cash really fast to cover the cost of hiring a few developers to port our Office Suite over, so we're putting it on hold until we can ascertain whether or not we can score a licensing deal or a big investment."

That should read to any independent developer as "if you want this market and have the means to release something as good as we could do before we get around to dipping our toes back in the water, feel free to do so."

Agreed entirely. If they were interested in the platform, they'd be able to get it done.

They're clearly not because of potential turmoil. Understandable, but I mean, be honest. Up until now they've said that they would be DELIVERING a product by now.

In other words, they've been lying to us for months now, and only decided now to come clean.


The idea of Palm developing their own suite would be interesting. They could easily base it on Abiword and Gnumeric, both open-source applications, and save themselves a ton of work.

I'm going to have to debunk this assumption.

DataViz's statement appears to imply that they need resources from Palm that Palm is not capable of providing. If they can't collaborate with DataViz, they certainly cannot do it in-house.

Of course their statement says that.

What do you expect them to say, "We just don't think there's enough of you to make it worth our while" or something?

They have the PDK (and have had it for longer than the general public, most likely). Palm is already hinting that they're wanting to get some more PDK apps out earlier than their initial timeline.

Dataviz just clearly has no interest. I don't necessarily blame them, but that has no meaning towards whether or not Palm could.

I never said I think it's likely, but it's possible that Palm could easily.

Nope. Palm doesn't allow JavaScript+PDK apps on the Catalog, it would require an OS upgrade. So DataViz cannot continue development, as that is their requirement.

Yeah, later found that out and commented on it below. It doesn't change the fact that they've been lying to us for months.

They should do it full PDK. And even so later this year Palm will allow JavaScript+PDK, if I understand correctly.

I agree with the lying part. They should have just been up front about what was going on. I would really like to hear what Palm has to say about this. Its just so ironic, seeing them diss the company that made them. What a Punkish way to deal with a lot of former customers.

I agree that this is a cop-out on the part of Dataviz. If I recall the statement about not being able write an office suite with Javascript is BS. I do believe Google got it done with Docs. I hope Quickoffice picks up the slackers at Dataviz.

+1

Dataviz people are a bunch of butts.

And no mention (or rumor, if you will) of Netflix developing a webOS app for streaming. But all others (Apple, Android, WM7) will.

Switching to the HTC Incredible in 3...2..

You go ahead and do that, and see if that Netflix app is the ONLY reason you'd switch...or if you start to miss how much better, cleaner, and more intuitive the webOS UI is.

+1

You misunderstood my comment. Netflix is just one example. You're going to start seeing a trend of more "major" companies not developing for webOS. It's called ROI.

I loved my Pre Plus for webOS, but if I can't get some of the more important apps I want, I'm going to switch to a platform that has them. While Sense UI isn't webOS, it'll help me get by.

ROI depends on a key piece..the investment. I am not a developer nor do I know DataVizs software well enough to make a guess on how long it would take to port. But if this platform is as easy to develop for as it supposed to be the cost to any company should be much lower than the pia coding for the iphone. So although total sales may be lower than other larger platforms the ROI could be quite high. Just saying...

DataViz's loss, Open Office will work just fine. It's just a matter of time.

"as well as the necessary collaboration with the device manufacturer that is required to bring an app like ours to a platform like webOS, our Documents To Go editor product for webOS is essentially at a standstill."

Necessary collaboration? Not sure what to make of this.

It means they want their old licensing deals back. Basically, it means they want money from Palm to do it. Palm provides all kinds of "collaboration" with developers, but DataViz had a special deal going on back in the old PalmOS days, along with some other big PalmOS devs, which is why you don't see those guys putting out loads of webOS apps. They're waiting to see if Palm will give them a handout.

Okay, I'm just a guy behind his desk and on his phone. I don't get to peak behind the curtain to see what's really going on. All I have to go on are what people feed me. I don't believe Wall Street or the tech pundits. I'm inclined to believe what I see from Palm employees on Twitter because it's direct and, yeah, it's what I want to hear.

But now DataViz mentions "...the current environment at Palm...." and I have to wonder. They have/had at least a little access behind that curtain. Maybe they're still smarting from the cancellation of the Foleo. I don't know.

Just, grrrr. I can't focus my words right now.

Or they could be looking for a justification that might make people believe it isn't DataViz's fault they promised something they can't or won't deliver.

Reading comments made by @DataVizInc on Twitter it sounds like Palm's at fault, not DataViz.

Not saying I agree or disagree, but of course they'll blame the other company involved. :p

That's how I read their Twitter comments, too, but Palm Dev Day is tomorrow. If the Dev Rel team can't answer their specific questions, they know the people that can.

Audible is saying the same thing, and they developed for every PalmOS platform. They claim lack of cooperation by Palm.

I love the Pre and it does most of what I want. But boy, I'd like Docs and - ESPECIALLY - Audible.

I waited a year for Pre on Verizon. I almost went for the android operating system and didn't because the Hero (whatever it was called on Verizon) was a version back on the OS.

I hope hope hope Palm pulls it together. Couldn't be happier with their phone. Hate the rumors. I think they're shooting themselves in the foot.

Eff DataViz... There are more pre's being sold not just in the US but globally than ever... if anything there is more momentum now then there was at any previous point for the new OS. I hope someone else makes a similar app and makes a fortune.

Good point. With rumors of a Chinese buyout, I wonder about the Asian market.

They don't do iphone in Asia. And they LOVE a good phone it's a very sophisticated market.

Deiter perhaps you should forward that to Quickoffice. Sounds like a wide open door for them.

Has anyone looked at Microsoft Office 2010 and Office Web Apps and Office Mobile?
I am not so sure we need DocsToGo.

There will be another option, sure and they'll regret later on. Maybe even googledocs will work, MS office cloud service, Openoffice, whatever...something will work soon. Remember it is the 10th month of a new system.

Cheers

DataViz = Adobe

Both are lazy and greedy...had they put out the programs when the device was talked about so much, I honestly think more people would have adopted the phone. Look how many reviews mention the lack of an office suite as a negative. I hope Palm adopts another office program for the c40 and never lets DataViz back in.

This is the type of crap that Adobe pulled on Apple when things were not great for Apple. Just wait, and DON'T forget. When things are looking better for webOS and Palm, don't support DataViz when they want to be on the platform. This is what is happening to Adobe where Apple is concerned, and a great deal of iPhone/iPad users don't care that Flash isn't on their Apple iProducts.

Are they saying they planned on using the javascript api's, and not the PDK or something more low level? My assumption all along was that they were going to go very low level/native.

Hmmm.

I agree with the others - Dataviz is hoping for a return to the old Palm days when Palm licensed the apps from them.

I am truly bummed out by this news. To play devil's advocate though, Palm only has two devices which are failing to sell. The news changes daily about what their future in the mobile industry is going to be, and there has been nothing but horrible news about them financially.

From a business standpoint I can see why they would not allocate resources on this platform, from a users standpoint, I'm bummed.

Its all up to PreDocs now! Way to feel the pressure. Atleast the project will be opensource and will last forever this way...

Out with the PreDocs, how about we get some PostDocs here...LOL

Deiter perhaps you should forward that to Quickoffice. Sounds like a wide open door for them.

"[...] we can only work so hard without help from the manufacturer. Tough to write an robust office suite all in javascript."

Lies. Launch partners have access to APIs not available in the SDKs. Look at MotionApps with Classic. If they can get something as low level as emulation, there's no reason why an office suite is so difficult.

I'm with those who says it's all about licensing.

Completely agree! DataVis was a launch partner, the official PDK is out, and yet they claim javascript is the only option. Nonsense!

Unfortunately, a year after release there is not a thriving ecosystem for webos. The only hope palm/webos has is that the PDK will lead to an explosion of epic proportion in the app catalog when it leaves beta. Without it, I think webos/palm as we know it are dead. Premeir multitasking is useless without any apps to run concurrently. The homebrew community is great and I love dr podder and geostrings (my first paid app). I also think webos is the best os, but as more and more teir 1 services exclude webos, a nail gets hammered into the coffin. :(

i wish someone would port a version of http://www.omnilect.com/apps/editor/ to webos all it needs are save load functionality its a web based editor and it work great.

I've posted in the blog, but I doubt it will be approved. Here's what I wrote:

This is really unfortunate and I have to express my sincere disappointment at this news. I've been a DocsToGo user for years now on various Palm devices. I made the move to a Palm Pre from my DocsToGo-equipped Palm Treo based on your company's public statements of interest in developing a webOS version of the application (http://www.precentral.net/dataviz-reaches-out-palm-pre-community). I had been looking forward to using your product, and was prepared to pay for it - again - to do so. This is really bad treatment of existing and future customers that won't be forgotten.

+1

Would have been nice if they didn't wait A YEAR to figure this out. Then maybe some other developer would have come up with something in the meantime.

Oh well, I bought Scratch the other day, and it will do nicely.

+2 So much for the integrity of a launchday partner and tap dancing away from their commitments. They could have helped palm and done well enough by helping complete the WebOS functionality. Karma will find it's way to Dataviz's door.

Unfortunately, a year after release there is not a thriving ecosystem for webos. The only hope palm/webos has is that the PDK will lead to an explosion of epic proportion in the app catalog when it leaves beta. Without it, I think webos/palm as we know it are dead. Premeir multitasking is useless without any apps to run concurrently. The homebrew community is great and I love dr podder and geostrings (my first paid app). I also think webos is the best os, but as more and more teir 1 services exclude webos, a nail gets hammered into the coffin. :(

It sucks that this is going on but also if google would let us edit word on the pre like we can with spreadsheet that would work great also

at least they were straight up about the info, and not giving us the run around...for once.

The bottom line is that Dataviz doesn't believe that Palm will be around next year and coupled with the poor financial state of Palm it is not worth their time to develop a full blown office suite for WebOS. Open Office will never be as good as what Dataviz Docs to Go would be.

Dataviz has a suite for every platform other than WebOS, so it really sheds light on how bad Palm's situation and outlook is. I hope they can turn it around, but even if they do I think Dataviz will focus on Android and iPhone moving forward. I have been waiting for this solution since the fall and can no longer justify keeping my Pre. I need editing capabilities for work and have been holding on, but no longer. Good luck to those of you that are business users. Hopefully the HomeBrew community can develop something comprehensive for you soon.

To answer a previous poster. Palm does not have the resources or the money to develop a full-blown document editing suite. That is why Dataviz is the largest, OEM's don't want to mess with it and given Palm's current situation there is no way they will develop their own. I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for a Palm solution!

It's not like Palm would have to start from scratch, they could easily use existing open-source applications as the basis.

Dataviz did get burned by the Foleo... but that's no reason to claim something will be out by a certain date, like they were at the beginning, and then months later reveal that they haven't done ANY work on it, because that's pretty much what they're saying here.

There are enough webOS devices out there and counting...enough market already...they simply haven't put their ass behind it...that is all.

What is exactly missing from the PDK that this company needs to complete this project???????

No one was expecting them to write this in JavaScript... If the PDK can do 3D games then it certainly can do a fancy document editor as well...

I think they just want Palm do develop all the underlying base libraries for them so they can just port what ever code they have easier...

Thats what I think...

My guess is, at least until the PDK was release for beta, the current SDK APIs are not sufficient for this type of app. If the PDK does have all the needed APIs available, I imagine DataViz could create a PDK only version of DocsToGo, but they would have to provide their own GUI. They may not want to do that. Hopefully, in the near future, support for hybrid PDK/JavaScript apps will be released so the webOS GUI could be used with a more-robust-than-JavaScript backend via the PDK.

But that's just a guess.

"we can only work so hard without help from the manufacturer. Tough to write an robust office suite all in javascript."

Read As "we are incapable/incompetent...."

hysterical

Some people might have that opinion. However, I would not want to write one in JavaScript, either. IMHO, this type of application requires PDK-level code (C, C++, Java, etc.), at least on the backend. The difference is MSWord on your desktop versus Google Docs. No doubt Google has done a great job with Docs, but it is a long way off from the speed and functionality of MSWord or Writer from OpenOffice.

Sure, and as a Palm partner, they had access to C/C++ development months ago, same as the fine folks who made the palmOS emulator. Oh and EA. And Gameloft. JavaScript was never their only option.

I call bull on dataviz part. They've got the PDK, what else do they need? I say we all ask them on twitter...

Ditto. The PDK has been available to select developers for some time... how hard would it have been for these guys to get early access to it ala Gameloft? I bet it would have been even easier than Gameloft or EA given DataViz' previous relationship with Palm.

This just reeks of something else... like (a) they don't think they'll make any money in the webOS world (arguably a fair concern and ultimately a very fair concern for any company), or (b) they want Palm to pay them, or pay them more than they may be already, or (c) they want some other special concessions that Palm isn't willing to give.

Whatever the real reason, I don't buy what they're saying given the existence and availability of the PDK... even if it was that they were trying to do it in web technologies and weren't having any luck, that would be fine... come out and say that and tell us you're going to do it with the PDK and it won't be available for a few months. That would be acceptable in a sense. But now we see they've been basically dishonest for months. Not cool at all no matter what the reasons.

So yeah, I'm with you, I call BS too.

It might not also be just the cost to develop it but the cost to maintain it. Dataviz might be looking at Palm's low sales figures and wondering if it is cost-effective to maintain a special port for the WebOS platform. Maybe they planned on doing that originally (having a 100% Mojo front-end) but are having trouble justifying it now - that leads to the question of mixed PDK/Mojo elements not being supported in WebOS yet.

Of course, the irony is that the tables are turned in this situation. A few years back, Dataviz put a lot of effort into Docs2Go for the Linux version used on the Palm Foleo only to see no return on investment when Palm canceled it (Palm never brought the product to market).

Either way - I wish the companies would work out their differences and get it done or Palm would find another company (QuickOffice) who would out.

Remember, the current version of webOS only supports PDK only apps. That is, they run in a card and provide none of the webOS GUI. Since most games already provide their own GUI, it is "easier" to port them to the current PDK only option. An application like DocsToGo might rather use the hybrid PDK solution that uses the webOS GUI with PDK "backend".

DataViz may not want to provide their own GUI like games do. They may be waiting for the hybrid solution.

its still a bull**** excuse. use the iphone GUI and tweak some of the graphics so they don't look too similar. done.

if what this boils down to is the lack of Palm sales, they should just say that instead of lying to potential customers.

The iPhone's APIs are not available in the Palm PDK. The Palm Developer site says this about the PDK: "The API that extends SDL capabilities for webOS devices." The games are coded to use SDL which bypasses the native GUI and "draws" its own interface. A native iPhone app that is not designed to provide their own GUI via SDL must use the iPhone APIs -- which are not supported by Palm's PDK. Also, the iPhone uses Objective-C instead of C or C++.

I really wish it was as simple as you stated.

Well, this was quite obvious. However, when I add this company's statement to Sling's statement on WebOS, I wonder if this will add up to a growing trend towards WebOS abandonment.

They had the PDK on day one... just like GameLoft,EA and others did... This has to be because they don't think its worth while for them or some other licensing issue...

The PDK is more than capable of doing such an app...

Maybe now it will open door for another company to build something better...

Remember, the current version of webOS only offers the "all or nothing" PDK-only option. That is, the PDK app cannot use any of the webOS GUI. Since games usually have their own GUI anyway, they were "easy" to port to the PDK. An app like DocsToGo needs a substantial GUI, so DataViz may be waiting for the hybrid PDK/webOS option so they do not have to provide their own GUI.

I don't care about doc2go. But my general comment is this is one of the biggest things that has pushed me away from Palm and towards android (EVO) or iphone.

Major apps from major companies like this are not coming. I dont' care why. i'm a consumer. i just want apps. I don't care about 99% of the apps coming out now. I don't care about developer conferences, or pdk, or whatever dks. I'm fine with zero insight into the developer world. I just want what average not tech geek consumers want. And even with great new hardware i'm gonna find it hard to not leave webos when every day apps come out and they are things not mainstream. The last new app that interested me was facebook several months ago. I think it's a major problem for the platform. some will be swayed by hardware alone and that's fine. it's just not me. And my contract is almost half over. I'll say when i decided to pay for the contract i expected better apps by this time period on a much regular basis.

And I think this is the general mind frame of consumers when out shopping for a new phone. They don't care about what's going on behind the curtain, they just want the device to do the things they want it to do. If it doesn't, they walk right on by.

I cannot dispute what you have said. However, for it's first year, the iPhone only offered "web apps". There was not native API available. Too many people in the Tech Industry keep forgetting this fact. Palm is already ahead of Apple by having the PDK in beta within the first year. Yes, I realize the buying public may not care if it is unfair that Apple got an extra year to get their APIs ready, but Palm is really not doing a bad job with far fewer resources than their competition. Having said all of that, I do believe Palm really needs to get their APIs finished and released.

It's not 2007 anymore, chodaboy. People can't get away with not having a legitimate development environment anymore.

You're absolutely right, but as ninjasinc said, it's not 2007 anymore. Had Palm released the Pre a couple of years ago, and gone at it like they have, it may have been a much bigger success. But here we are now, the competition way ahead of the game, and Palm playing catchup. And so I fully agree with your last point as well. I do really hope they can keep going, I don't like the idea of having to use a different mobile OS.. and of course, just as I'm typing this, I get an email alert on my Pre, go to check it and I get a Luna restart... damnit lol

It is not 2007 any longer, though. Palm has to compete with Apple's App Store *today*. It is a moot point that Apple had no app store 3 years ago :(

I understand that. Not to sound mean to Palm but I don't care that they are doing their best. And To many average consumers it's just doesn't matter what apple did in 2008. Or Android for that matter. They are comparing the current state of phones. But since you compared Apple to Palm. the Apple app store opened on June 18, 2008 (according to wikipedia at least). By April 23, 2009 they had 35,000 apps. April 23, 2010 is tommorrow and in a similar time frame Palm isn't anywhere near 35,000 apps. Some will say it's been in beta. well ok but i'd bet there even with the same amount of time they still don't have half the apps. Now to be clear the raw numbers aren't important and i'm for quality over quantity. But since you mentioned Palm being ahead with their PDK or and api stuff i brought the whole app number up. Because you mention pdks and apis but consumers just don't care. I'd ask what's more likely to persuade a potential customer, that palm is ahead in apis and pdks that most consumers have no idea what they are and never will use or that apple is ahead in apps at this stage that customers do use and would see everyday in the catalog on their phone? Personally i think pdks and apis are a developer issue and concern but they are no solace at all to most consumers. again i'm not really concerned with raw app number comparisons just that i think what you're comparing, apis, doesn't touch the normal consumer. But i think palm needs to do a much better job courting these companies. They must have been working with people to get launch apps. What did they stop? Don't know but it's an issue.

Reading news like this from a developer completely sour my hopes that Palm will be able to succeed. One on side, you have Rubenstein telling everyone he is "confident" and on the other, you have developers saying that they can only do so much on their own without the help of the manufacturer.

I hate to say this. I really do. I am a professional that uses Microsoft Exchange and document editing - even if it's "just on a phone" is sometime very crucial. If a VERY VERY small percentage of people leave Palm due to this, then I would fit into that statistic. :-(

+1 (TM)

You're liying, Dataviz. Your visor isn't done in Javascript at all, you've had access to PDK months before day 1, you don't need any help from Palm. Hell, only one guy is porting the entire Firefox in his spare time...

Tell us another tale, not this.

I call shenanigans. You know what DataViz? Go take your iPhone app. Stick it into the PDK. Fix it for webOS in 3 days, and submit. Standstill is what we like to call, BOoOoOoOoOOOGUUUUUUS. So, as they say, get 'er done!

I think the help Dataviz was looking from Palm is $$$$$. On the Treo, DocstoGo was bundled, so Palm must have paid lots of $$ up front. Not so this time. Now Dataviz will have to invest it's own money to build it.

I'm using Scratch anyway. As soon as NoInsultsSoftware gets a decent spreadsheet, I'm solid.

As it turns out, it doesn't matter how many people express interest in a feature, the feature itself will not define success for a mobile platform.

As with all products, reliability and quality trumps any specific feature.

I have seen Palm cater to a lot of user requests over the past few months and I don't think any of the excitement generated by features can be sustained.

So... gaming, document editing, banking, speed will not define success for Palm and/or webOS. Not at this stage.

Interestingly, the only thing that can sustain excitement is marketing!
And... they need to market to users.

...LCGuy ... you are right.

I'm going to be that entrepreneur. I have an extensive background in C/CPP/Delphi and I've been wanting something to cut my teeth on. Be patient. It may take me a year to go beta with it, but I promise you it will be PDK and it will be awesome...

I'm going to be that entrepreneur. I have an extensive background in C/CPP/Delphi and I've been wanting something to cut my teeth on. Be patient. It may take me a year to go beta with it, but I promise you it will be PDK and it will be awesome...

BobAtPitt:

I sincerely wish you the very best of luck.. its likely going to be a frantic race between you and others, given DataViz's comment and statement that they are out of the market thats a HUGE cap to fill and, the US is an incredibly ambitious country with bright opportunist progammers around every corner.

The faster you get to market, even with a "limited function" version, the better chance you will have of grabbing a major portion of those sales, and being a leader in this space; then you can port to Android and make even more there!

:)

While I still disagree with Dataviz's handling of this.... there's a few more responses on Twitter.

Namely: "I don't believe apps that mix PDK and JavaScript code (which we would need to do) are allowed yet."

And from Ben Combee: "@DataVizInc we (Palm) are doing early access for some full-screen PDK apps now, but hybrid PDK/JS apps require an OS update."

I still think it's BS. While that's a fine excuse for them to use, it's still just an excuse. It's not like they have a product anywhere near ready (or even started), yet they claimed for a long time that they were working on it and would have something out by the end of (last) year.

Like I said, they've been claiming stuff for a while, and needed an excuse to pin the fact that it's just not coming true on.

To all:

I'd try not to read too much into this statement. It's quite likely that they made thier minds up long ago not to provide this program, otherwise, they would have had it finished by now, and have reaped the rewards and revenues all along.

It isnt uncommon for developers to not provide applications for certain OS's.

Remember, when one door closes, usually that leads to the opportunity to explore the other doors.

There are many developers out there that may want this market for thier own, versus trying to fight with the major players in the Android/iPhone markets, which have become overpopulated and almost impossible to get exposure in, much less make any real money, when you compete with the major players there...

DataVz just opened a huge door for any 1 developer; here's the math:

2 - 3 million WebOS users. Lets say half want an application that can read and write office files: 1.5 million sales

What's the going price? $10.. would you pay $10 for an office domument program? I know I would. Its invaluable.

1.5 millon users at $10 each = $15 million revenue.

I dare say they'd spend not even $1 million developing it, even in expedited progress.

:)

Brighter days are ahead for some lucky entrepeneurial programmers!

Your math is suspect. Half want an application that can read and write office files? I would be surprised if half ever get around to buying any apps. The one guy I ever saw with a Pre didn't know how to download apps. Try 5% max. Figure in a 50/50 chance that webOS won't exist as a platform in a year.

UntigyGuy;

My math isnt suspect, its arithmetic. :)

My prediction on usage is subjective, and based on the fact that more and more users will want and need this capability. Not just the PreCentral members, but, those that go to college, or have business meetings, or share files with one another.

Of the measily 2 million current WebOS users, id bet almost all of them are more than average "tech savy" userrs, versus the iPhone and Android, which, Id say would be more likely the normal 5%.

Oh, and, one more thing:

I think your "odds" are a little suspect.

The chances are WAY higher, given the fact that PALM itself has $500m in the bank and WILL have continued revenue (can you say AT&T launch, European launch).

You need to take emotion out of your predictions. Perhaps if you said "2 years", you'd have a bit more meat to your prediction, and then we could discuss the unkown at that point.

FYI...

=======OH BOY, YOU'RE VERY VERY WRONG!========

Less than 5% of webOS users are willing to pay for apps. And even GOOD ___free___ apps have around 20-50k downloads these days.

So let's see: 2(?) mil webOS users and maybe 10% of them are interested in an office app. So we're down to 200k. Now, 5% of them would actually pay for it, but not more than 3-5 bucks. Believe me - 60+% of those 5% think that 99 cents is a small fortune for a developer.

So let's say they will price it @ 5 bucks and all 5% will buy it - that's $50k MINUS 30% for Palm = 35K at best. MAYBE

But you can't expect more that 2-5000 downloads for a GREAT paid app, so yea...

Most webOS users are kids - they want GAMES but they're not willing to pay for them.

No new devs are coming to webOS because:
- you can't really make any serious cash here (the same app ported from iPhone ($.99) to webOS makes 40-90 times less!!!)
- tech issues
- users are cheap and annoying

... double post

Odd. I don't remember hitting Save more than once... :( That's ok - let that be a double affirmation of my resolve!

Well....Damn :/ And I was really hoping that this would come to the phone, so I could do my homework while at work (yeah I don't have a laptop *sad face*)

So, since they're NOT making this....Is there an alternative out there for me to use? The cheaper the better =D lol

Google Docs? It's free.

At least we have Google Docs. I'm sure the mobile version of the site will only improve over time. There's always the possibility that Docs.com will be usable with WebOS.

Of course, ironically, Google Docs is JavaScript. Although it is "good enough" to create simple documents, it is still no competition to a native app like MSWord or Writer from OpenOffice. I would wager DocsToGo is shooting for something like MSWord, rather than Google Docs for their product.

Hi Dieter and PreCentral - have you already reached out to Palm to get an official comment from them on this?

To everyone who is looking for OpenOffice.org to address this gap, I'm doubtful about that - the issue there is that OpenOffice.org does not have a mobile version (for any platform - it's a huge gap. As an analogy, Firefox has Fennec for mobile platforms). Having a streamlined interface for mobile platforms is most definitely needed for any kind of mainstream user. Creating one would not be trivial (if it was, it probably would already exist).

Maybe QuickOffice would commit to a port now?

I guess it depends on what Dataviz is saying they need from a technical perspective - wish we had more details. I don't understand how the full version has significantly greater demands than the reader. Ultimately, the PDK is needed to leverage and expose C/C++ based functions back to a Mojo front-end. Perhaps Dataviz did not want to rewrite the entire front end and prefer to mix-match Mojo and PDK GUI elements.

There is plenty of blame to go around. However we shouldn't crush the messenger.

Data Viz is guilty of dragging us around with BS availability dates. Which they knew they wouldn't hit. I give them credit for finally stepping up and addressing the issue, as opposed to continuing avoiding us.

Palm however may be the major culprit, and shame on them for letting DataViz take the heat. If they don't have the groundwork available for the app to function, then I think its over. This is major functionality that is missing regardless of how long its been around. For Palm to be successful this needed to be available immediately.

I hate to say it but there will be a pretty major exodus come June. The Pre has been one of the best phone's I've owned, but without a document editing function its nothing more than a pretty paperweight.

Sorry Palm but I cant wait any longer for you to catch up.

These two statements shouldn't come from the same person, let alone in the same sentence:
Extreme High: "The Pre has been one of the best phone's I've owned"
Extreme Low: "without a document editing function its nothing more than a pretty paperweight"
That's about bipolar. As to the possibility of Palm's culpability, you raise a decent point. However, even if that were true, there's no reason DataVis couldn't have implemented a less ambitious editing suite sometime over the past 10 months. Their apps that shipped on the phone render documents pretty well with whatever limitations they had back then. Ten months of updates must be good for something. Haven't we seen every indication that Palm is working hard to help developers?

Well...this is bullshit and puts it over the edge....Ready to switch to a different phone...held out for this and now this crap...what a joke...can't even do business on this junk without some type of editing (EXCEL) program...JUNK !!!!

DataViz's back out is a symptom of a much bigger problem. The Major App developers are not and most likely now will not develop for this platform. This was first brought to my attention when GM as a marketing ploy came out with an app for their new EV car the VOLT. Now was it a great App, probably not. What it did say though was for who this was being released to. Namely Iphone Android and Blackberry. Who's the one missing? Palm WebOS. This was indicative of what people thought of what was going on with Palm.

Where are the Major apps like quicken ect.? None are being made and are probably never going to be made. 2 months 3, 4 even 6 months out we all gave Palm a pass. NO MORE.

What we are seeing now is as much Palm's fault as it is dataViz's. Heck we can't even get an sdk that has access to the F@#$%ing microphone. This is why it's all falling apart now. People both Corp and Consumer are giving up. If I hear anyone say "Well Apple didn't have major apps right away" I'll slap you silly for that. Apple didn't have to have Major apps right out the box. They could take their time. This isn't 2+ years ago. Times change. Palm has been behind from the beginning and haven't figured a way to catch up. What we are seeing now is that the rest of us are seeing that to. Sad part is I really do like WebOS. It just doesn't have as much as I would like for it. And that's the truly sad part.:(

I think the Foleo is to blame. They spent too much time and energy on it and it died before it even came out. The time spent on development of the Foleo was wasted and put them behind.

They had an excellent phone with the Treo, but they stopped improving and developing for it.

Don't forget the mighty iPhone did not have native APIs for its entire first year...

So either Palm is not helping them OR they don't think they cn make money on the platform.
either way you can't blame them.

It's only a matter of time before we see more developers dropping out unless Palm gets it in gear and starts sqaushing rumors.

I always preferred QuickOffice to Docs To Go anyway...

Love the idea of using OpenOffice though...

That would pretty much end the need for a Docs To GO - and be cross-platform (at least 'Droid).

Open Office on WebOS and Android would put that much more pressure on the iPhone platform

I just had a idea why doesn't Palm get Kim Kardashian showing off how she uses the palm pre while multitasking her busy life on it then have Ray J send her a picture or text then show her erase it. That would be silly huh.

I know its off subject but it would give Palm, Kim and Ray J some exposure.

I'm sick and tired of all the iphone and drod ads showing off their best features.. why can't Palm do that? Marketing 101 here folks, I just don't get it.

Also, with over 600M in the bank, why can't Palm PAY major developers to write apps and take a cut in the proceeds? Then put WebOS on the Dell Lighting and we're in business again.

I tell myself everyday things can't get any worse and then surprise, they do.. this is ridiculous. Blame can be pointed in alot of direction but if Dataviz really is blaming it on their need for hybrid JavaScript/PDK options, why are they not just porting the iphone version as is? The iphone version doesn't use JavaScript right? We don't need a special Hybrid version, we just need a damn version, period! Anything at this point!

There is a comment forum at QuickOffice's site (http://quickoffice.ideascale.com/a/dtd/21866-5219) with users asking for a version for webOS. The more people to comment on it and request a webOS version, the more likely they will do one. Let's all go over there and ask for it.

Bad news indeed. I wonder what next?

I had this Pre phone for almost a year and I still can not watch my Sling Box or edit documents, but I can get over 10 fart apps. I miss my 700P.

I see an IPhone in my future.

I am concerned about this only because other developers may not develop or may abandon webos. But I had docs-to-go on palm pda and treo and I rarely used it for editting. Mostly I played around with it to impress non-tech saavy friends. A better reader for word, pdf, powerpoint is all I need. And if it's not dataviz, I don't care. As I remember dataviz's products were crash-prone,they charged a lot for their products, and constantly hassled users to upgrade. (I learned quickly to ignore their suggestions!)
Look forward to seeing new developers entering the field!

lets go to (http://quickoffice.ideascale.com/a/dtd/21866-5219)and post comments to quick office so they can make the app, screw Dataviz, they suck!, Dieter should post a direct link to that thread so we could all vote. Just like when we won the smart phone madness. the palm community could make some amazing things.... Thanks..daveandcori, for the suggestion

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I for one have never liked Dataviz's apps anyway. They are buggy and basically ignore the established user interface of the OS. That was what I always hated about their office suite on Palm OS. Quick office has always been a better product, but it never got the play/press that Dataviz did on Palm OS.

With more and more going to the cloud, I am not convinced that Dataviz is even relevant anymore. Google Docs would be a better solution if it fully supported the WebOS browser.

I can understand the Docs2Go people stopping this. They have been so slow getting this done, that everyone is switching to GoogleDocs and OffiSync (in Office) to keep documents on Google to access with GoogleDocs. It works reasonably well, except you cannot edit PowerPoint or Excel in GoogleDocs unless you save them in the Google Docs format. Small price to pay. Actually much better than the $40 o4 $50 that we would have to pay for Docs2Go. I was getting a bit fed up with all of their upgrades on my older Palm devices, anyway.

I just discovered another solution by Microsoft and Facebook. Go to Docs.com and check it out. This was announced just today. You can upload your Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents then access them via a Facebook account for editing or even writing a new document. This product is based on Office2010. It sounds like a great solution but I am not sure if it will work on the Pre.

I hope Dataviz goes bankrupt !!!!
Bring Open Office to the Pre and I will be happy to donate to the developer team =)

I don't think I would trust a document editing company that makes grammatical errors in their statements.

We can write off DataViz. Their statement is not a business decision, it is emotional. There may be bad blood between Palm and DataViz or there may be genuine concern for the future of the webOS platform but issuing a statement like this is childish.

I've updated D2G through every version since 3 (I think)on my Vx through 11 on my series of Treos. They are not just taking a shot at Palm, they are alienating good customers.

"[...] we can only work so hard without help from the manufacturer. Tough to write an robust office suite all in javascript."

WHY DataViz? Why did you not say this when you missed your first ETA? Hmmmm.

I did my part and posted on the QO site... I don't even want to begin imagining what this implies...

Optimistically, this is an opportunity for someone else... (thanks for the SCRATCH, looks like a neat app)

I did some BASIC programming back in High School. I will try and write something up and see if I can help with a nice document editing program. Does WebOS accept apps written in BASIC or PASCAL?

All the more reason for Palm to develop an exclusive App Suite ala iLife that makes sure WebOS is not left behind when it comes to providing it's users w/ great functionality!

Imagine a...

Music Player that offered (playlists, lyrics, editing, and built in integration w/ services like Pandora, Slacker, and Groove Shark)

Photos App that let's you perform basic edititing functions, create slideshows, custom albums and more robust organization!

Calendar App capable of tracking not only your schedule & appointments but w/ the enhanced ability to get you directions to those appointments via GPS and to notify you if your running late!

Tasks and Notes app that integrates traditional tasks with Location based reminders!

Docs app w/ full viewing and editing capabilities!

An App Suite that not only blew away the competition but was exclusive to Palm would give Palm the edge it needs to become a strong player in the emerging superphone market!

I'm imagining...

...I see the EVO 4G

You need to see an eye doctor.

accidental double post!

this pretty much seals the deal for me, HTC EVO has my name on it as soon as I'm upgrade eligible. Damn I was really hoping to stay with palm.......