Should the App Catalog be purged? [from the forums]
RumoredNow brings up an interesting question in the webOS Nation Forums: should HP purge the App Catalog of dead and broken apps? It's been over a year since HP killed webOS hardware development and sent the webOS app development community into panic and disarray. Considering the questionable future of webOS, developers have understandably become less enthusiastic about webOS as a whole (our favorite mobile operating system doesn't even factor into polls of developer enthusiasm anymore). The result is that despite there being thousands of apps available for webOS smartphones and tablets, and new and updated apps joining the App Catalog on a regular basis, there are a good many apps that have been abandoned by their developers.
For some apps, abandonment isn't the end of the world. For example, a unit converter app will continue to work no matter what happens on the internet, as it doesn't need to tie into a web service in order to support converting ounces into kilograms (currency conversion is another story, admittedly). But a Twitter app, that's an app that needs regular updating to keep up with changes to Twitter's API, lest the app be irrevocably broken and leave a slew of frustrated and disappointed users in its wake.
These broken apps are littered throughout the App Catalog, and to be fair the webOS App Catalog is not the only app store that has this problem. It's just exacerbated on webOS given the state of the platform and the subsequent drought of new apps to replace the abandoned ones.
Spitballing in the forums, RumoredNow proposes that HP enable a purging of the App Catalog of these defunct apps. The problem is, how to do it? Are app developers given the opportunity to tag their apps as still good, and if not they're dumped? Or do you put the onus on the users, who upon finding an out-of-date app tag it themselves for review and potential removal?
And is purging, pruning, or cleaning up the App Catalog something that needs to happen? The current state of the App Catalog isn't what's holding back new app development - it's the state of the platform. webOS users by now should be aware of the boat their in and be prudent when exploring the legions of old apps in the App Catalog. Is there a tangible benefit to purging the App Catalog, a process that could, depending on how pursued, dramatically reduce the number of available apps?
And what about the App Catalog going forward? If we assume that HP's going to provide App Catalog services to some third party someday, should that App Catalog include all of the apps currently in the Catalog, or should HP start over without the baggage of the TouchPad weighing on the future of webOS app distribution? All important and intriguing questions, ready for your thoughts in the webOS Nation Forums.