dots & lines discontinues webOS versions of Carbon and Graphite Twitter clients | webOS Nation
 
 

dots & lines discontinues webOS versions of Carbon and Graphite Twitter clients 46

by Derek Kessler Sun, 15 Apr 2012 12:46 pm EDT

dots & lines discontinues webOS versions of Carbon and Graphite Twitter clients

One year ago, one of our favorite webOS Twitter client - Carbon - launched into the App Catalog for webOS smartphones. That was a different time, and the past year has been full of twists and turns for webOS, enough to give any mobile developer the chills. Carbon developer dots & lines has fought through those chills to release Graphite for the TouchPad and recently updated Carbon with a slew of fixes. But one can only handle so much, and the small development firm of dots & lines has decided to call it quits on webOS.

Citing the continued cost of development to keep up with changes to Twitter's APIs and user expectations coupled with unsurprisingly declining sales, dots & lines made the decision to pull both Carbon and Graphite from the App Catalog. That means no more sales for either app, but it also means that existing purchasers of the app won't be able to redownload the apps after deleting them or when setting up a new webOS device.

While we can understand the thought process behind ceasing development on Carbon and Graphite, especially with dots & lines already having released Carbon for Windows Phone and with Carbon for Android in alpha and Carbon for iOS on the drawing boards. We are disappointed by the decision to pull Carbon and Graphite from the App Catalog, as it denies current users the option to redownload it in the future. Sure, Carbon stands a very good chance of becoming abandonware as Twitter makes changes that break the current API implementation, but we know that now going forward. Then again, new purchasers might not realize that and could be stuck with an app that only functions for a short time. dots & lines is at least considering open sourcing the code for Carbon, even if it is the year-old Mojo framework and not the newer Enyo.

Update: dots & lines has announced on Twitter that they are offering refunds to anybody who purchased Carbon or Graphite for webOS in the last two weeks.

46 Comments

Glad I never threw money at them. Spaz HD for me.

- .... .- - ... ..- -.-. -.- ...

That's really disappointing to hear. In my opinion, Graphite is one of the best looking apps on webOS and really makes an elegant use of sliding panes.

The "buy once at $1 and expect maintenance and support for life" philosophy will not cotinue to work for webOS. webOS devs need to come up with a way to charge a periodic (Yearly?) support/maintance fee to customers who want to continue to receive support.

I for one would not mind having to pay a small yearly fee to continue receiving app updates for any/all of the paid apps that I use on a regular basis. This would give developers an incentive to keep customers happy since unhappy customers could simply opt out of paying for any additional maintenance. They would keep the app but they would stop receiving updates unless they renwed their maintenance/support subscription.

-Jeremy

But discontinuing Graphite after ~6 months is a major disappointment. I understand that you can't support something forever, especially with slumping sales, but people who don't know it's being discontinued might buy it today, and if it stops working tomorrow, who do they call?

People can't buy it today. Both Carbon and Graphite have been pulled from the catalog and are no longer available for purchase or download.

That's exactly the point of what I said: Developers currently have no interest in maintaining happy customers. They've already got your money and if they decide to throw in the towel they have nothing to lose.

By switching to a subscription based system they would continue to see future income even if "sales" are slow because existing customers keep paying. This gives the developer an incentive to keep developing. What happens today is a developer launches an app, sells it to what's left of the webOS population over a few months, then once most webOS users have already bought the app, sales slump and the developer loses interest. If the developer could count on those existing custoers renewing a maintenance subscription every year, they would have more incentive to stick with webOS.

-Jeremy

I think most current webOS users would. Anyone still using webOS is probably pretty loyal to the platform and willing to pay a little extra if it means not having to switch. I have hundreds of dollars invested in paid apps, I'd much rather prefer to pay a small yearly fee to avoid losing that entire investment by switching platforms.

Most apps are around $1 to purchase. The "maintenance fee" would obviosuly be a fraction of the initial cost of the app, so lets say an app that costs $1 costs 50 cents a year for maintenance. That doesn't seem "ridiculous" and I think most webOS users would agree that 50 cents a year for an app would be worth it if it meant continung to receive support from developers and not having to throw away our entire investment in webOS and start over with something else.

-Jeremy

o.O

There's ZERO chance i'd want to pay many times for app updates. The current market says you pay once and get updates. it's like that on all platforms for the most part. It in no way makes webos more appealing to say, "on webos you'll pay more for the same updates that are free on other platforms." Hell many webos apps are already more expensive then their ios or android counterparts. You model ignores that webos isn't in a vacuum. It competes for customers, to the extent it competes at all, with every other platform. Asking for more money from customers didn't work for the Touchpad which everyone said needed to be cheaper. There's no reason paying more for apps would would be better or more inciting.

This is nothing more then economics. They aren't gonna keep making it cause there aren't enough paying customers. your answer doesn't change that problem and would likely mean less customers for an app not more.

WebOS really doesn't compete for customers anymore, that's the thing. At this point it's just trying to keep the ones it has.

this even doesn't work for the other mobile operating systems. If v.2 of an app would have more features than v.1 it would be worth paying again. But then there are lots of limitations in the OSes itself that prevent apps from such big steps in development.

At the moment App development might be quite attractive regarding the many users the other platforms gain every day. Alas, there's no such thing like endless growth in a market segment. Just compare the game business of the 90s and today.

Sad to hear that...
What are the best twitter clients for Pre3 and Touchpad now?
I will continue to use Carbon and Graphite for some time, till twitter server changes broke them and will switch to something else...

i personally suggest project macaw, it is an open sourced project based off phnx. Been a long time since i used carbon, and at this point happy (and sad) i never bought graphite.

Project Macaw is on github if you want to contribute, or just play

I was gonna suggest the same thing.

I am sorry, but not surprised, to hear this.

The really sad part is, if they open the source code, the people who will be providing the updates will likely be volunteers, doing it for free in their downtime (while still attending to their normal lives and jobs).

I still use Bad Kitty most of the time on the phone, even though it basically hasn't been updated in forever (and never will, most likely). I liked the way Carbon looked, but I was holding out for them to go Enyo.

Developers only maintain "happy customers" if those customers are paying them a couple bucks a month. If you paid them 2 bucks a year ago, that's like buying someone coffee in 2009, then approaching them out of the blue 2 years later and saying "hey, man, I need a ride to the airport, I bought you coffee two years ago you know". When you pay next to nothing for something, you're not buying maintenance. If you're still making money on something and plan to launch more apps for a platform, you'd want to keep good relations with your customers by keeping things up. Right now, HP hasn't really done anything to excite the developer community in the short term...it's all very nice that all this stuff is open source, but what's the point of having all this open source if HP can't come out and say "and these are the devices that we've already signed agreements for in 2013 to debut openWebOS on"? At that point it becomes a complete hobby.

I thought webOS was such a great platform that you don't really need apps.

No no no... that's the original iPhone.

Zing!

+1 for open sourcing it. Would be nice if the community had a simple way to receive code for abandoned apps...need to keep the zombie ecosystem alive somehow...

This is a consequence of choosing to develop an app in Mojo when HP was well underway in Enyo development.

Enyo at the time Carbon development was begun was still part of the early access program and it was unknown if/when it would make it to webOS smartphones.

But it was known that Enyo was the development framework of the future, and HP often told developers not to develop Mojo anymore, and to go to Early Access to be ready for the Touchpad.

And that's what happened with Graphite, and Enyo app for the TouchPad.

When Carbon was developed and released there was no Enyo SDK for smartphones.

Really? And HP discontinuing hardware development, leading to virtually no new customers had nothing to do with it.

Sad, but not surprising. I don't think we can really complain about this one, they did give webOS a fighting chance for awhile even after many had already given up.

Argh! I waited a day too long to upgrade from Pre+ to Pre2, now I've got to find new software. Why can't this be available for re-download, even if it's no longer available for sale. Why not make it available as a free, unsupported, as-is app?

I don't see why they could not go ad supported. I would not mind an ad banner to keep it going. The AccuWeather app does it and it works out just fine.-Koa-

I agree with the idea of ad supported app, but maybe those people from dots & lines didn't even tried making that approach. Because to them its easier to quit on WebOS(like HP did), instead of trying to support it even a dead operating system walking. I don't think that it may be fair for them to say switching platforms will result them into any better.

But again, no blame there. (STUPID)HP without any kind of clue as to what the company will be doing with webOS? All HP plans to this day, has been to abandon Webos and dumping it to open-source community. And Plus WebOS without any hardware, I'm pretty sure the devs from the company Dots&Lines have asked themselves, If HP won’t support it, why should I?

Sad but true, thanks HP great company you are.....you should change your motto of invent. Instead switch to destroyer of great platforms and companies like Palm.

well, this is bad, but if graphite is made in Enyo, doesn't this means that the app could be made for webOS and ported for other platforms as well... this will make easy to mantain or bring apps to webOS... this is why HP open sourced Enyo, right?

they should continue developing the Enyo version and port it to other platforms...

or why they don't want to open source the enyo version?

the community can Unify a Twitter Client and create a single one from Project Macaw and Graphite/carbon...

RQ

At the same time we cannot judge Lines&Dots (oops) for leaving webOS, we sure can express our disappointment to non committed developers. Although they give webOS a "fighting chance", they certainly weren't the most supportive (took them several months and lots of users begs to update one app). The only reason I see they'll not open source their apps, is selfishness. If they can't have it, well... we won't either. I'm Phnx/ProjectMacaw user and I'm very happy with it. The very sense of using a real webOS project makes it appealing. If they open source their non_supported_now_discontinued twitter apps, that would probably the best they've done. I just hope they don't do as some developers out there tend to these days, take the open_source_webOS_community_enyo_tool and use it to benefit/profit to/from another platforms (enyo crossplatform magic). If you're gone, be gone and if you use Enyo, have the decency of paying back to the community you took it from.
Despite of a lot of people (some devs included), LONG WILL LIVE webOS!!!

The only reason I see they'll not open source their apps, is selfishness.

LOL at this logic. Spend lots of money and time developing something for sale and when you no longer sell it, you're selfish if you don't give it away. I'm heading over to the Mercedes Headquarters and I'm going to demand that those selfish b***tards give me last years model for free!

I just hope they don't do as some developers out there tend to these days, take the open_source_webOS_community_enyo_tool and use it to benefit/profit to/from another platforms...

If you make cross-platform tools, users of said tools are not obligated to support any specific platform.

I'll never buy another Dots and Lines app no matter which platform it is. Their attitude to folks who spent good money is a joke.

£5 is a premium price for an app and Graphite was buggy and laggy from the start - so I at least expected one or two updates to fix the bugs, but nothing..no support whatsoever.

Now I hear that if I delete the app I can't get it back? What a farce - they never made it clear I was renting it from them?

Scumbag developers like this should be boycotted....

you're gonna burst a blood vessel

Swap out "Dots and Lines" and replace it with "Palm" or "HP". Swap out Graphite and its price and replace it with any of the webOS products Palm/HP has sold since 2009 and you start seeing a clearer picture of who should be boycotted.

Also it's not "renting". Won't your copy of the app continue to function until you delete it or the provider's API changes significantly?

Really Dots and Lines is doing just what everyone else did: respond to poor sales. Palm didn't have enough sales so they had to sell the whole company or go bankrupt. HP didn't get enough sales so it stopped making devices. Dots and Lines, like many other app and accessory makers, didn't get enough sales to justify continuing so they stopped. Just the unfortunate result of economics if you ask me.

Exactly.

From their blog: Maintaining a Twitter app is real commitment that needs to be financially feasible unless it’s a free app done for fun of it.

Seems reasonable to me.

I was just planning on purchasing this this week. I started to do it last week and purchased some different apps instead. I'm still willing to pay for it. I hope they at least consider making it a free download with the specification there is no ongoing support for it. I still use tweed on my webos phone and it hasn't had support for a longggg time.

Shit frack and damn! I picked the wrong time to Doctor my Pre 3 after a database corruption.... What a waste...

Wow, after reading these comments I now see why webOS is failing. And for their sakes I hope it fails completely. Talk about selfishness.

Sorry to hear this.
I was about to post a positive experience I recently had with Carbon.

When live-tweeting events, it is a pain to remember to type the hashtag for the event.
Carbon's Hash Card setup makes it easier to cover such events on twitter, with the hashtag automatically added.

I haven't discovered how to do this on other apps. Does Project Macaw or Bad Kitty do this?

Have to find out how to save my whole USB partition, and to sideload the app if I have to wipe the Pre2.

I hope this isn't an ongoing trend.

May Open WebOS survive & thrive soon!

More Bad News: ZumoDrive is leaving webOS also!! It's getting Darker & Colder!

ZumoDrive went belly up and is shutting down permanently, has nothing to do with webOS. So everyone with accounts well lose their data and whatnot very soon if not already regardless of platform they used.

a twitter client? you gotta be kidding me.
what's wrong with your browser?
is not it amuzing that many folks do not use email clients on desktops, and craving for a twitter client on smartphones?
if nothing else' hp ought to release
"Just Type" - "Post to Twitter" webOS 'action' on the app catalog

At least it is open sourced so anyone can work on our and or release it to the app store again. The sad reality of mobile platform apps (smartphone, tablet, etc) is that apps are expected to be cheap or free. The problem with that is the developers don't really make much unless they have millions of buyers over years of time. The current reality with webOS is there is a combined total user base of at most a few million. And of that maybe a fraction use twitter which is further divided by the various client choices. Not enough income to justify continued development of a free or paid app. The best option for a developer to make money over time is to make the app advertisement supported or charge for major updates. Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on point of view, advertisement supported apps is the way to go for continued income stream. Bottom line until webOS has new device to keep the current user base and grow the user base developers aren't going to spend much time or money developing and maintaining apps. So open source collaboration and advertisement supported apps are the best way to go for now.