Syntactix drops support for YouView and Pack 'n' Track | webOS Nation

Syntactix drops support for YouView and Pack 'n' Track 27

by Ryan St. Andrie Fri, 19 Oct 2012 11:09 am EDT

Syntactix drops support for YouView and Pack 'n' TrackAs webOS users we are definitely no stranger to developers leaving our platform. Even before former HP CEO Leo Apotheker killed webOS hardware developers were already abandoning the platform by the boatload for "greener pastures". Fast forward to today where there is no webOS hardware to look forward to, a customer base that is shrinking by the day, and an uncertain future in the open source world and we are truly lucky to have any new app development at all. One has to be a true die hard webOS lover to continue to develop apps for the various webOS devices that we hold so dear. With that said, a "die hard" webOS developer leaving the platform kind of stings a bit. So when we heard the news that developer extraordinaire Syntactix announced that they would be dropping support for two of the most popular webOS apps we were a bit taken back. 

As of October 16 Syntactix developer Greg Hrebek announced that they will be dropping support for both YouView and Pack 'n' Track. These two apps were prime examples of webOS apps done right and really showed what was possible on the platform. As a matter of fact YouView (a YouMail visual voicemail client) won the Palm Hot Apps contest by a sizable margin earning Syntactix a cool $100k. Their other app Pack 'n' Track also won best Business/Finance app in our Best of 2010 awards. Last but certainly not least we had a nice in depth interview with Greg Hrebek (Syntactix President) a little over a year ago in our Developer Spotlight series. So to say that both Syntactix and their apps played a very big role in webOS history would be a huge understatement.

So why if they are so loved and well respected in this community is Syntactix dropping support for their webOS apps? Well both apps are facing ongoing API changes which the now aged legacy webOS hardware simply does not support. Add that to the anemic webOS userbase and you're left with two projects that unfortunately do not justify further development. As much as it pains us to hear that it is the harsh reality of the situation. 

In closing Greg did say that Syntactix is interested in Enyo 2 and have been monitoring the framework's progress closely. So it wouldn't be too far fetched to imagine more of their great work in the future using the framework which is something we look forward too. In the meantime we here at webOS Nation would like to collectively wish Syntactix the best of luck in the future and thank them for all their hardwork and dedication over the years. 

Source: Syntactix



perhaps a substitute for for pakage tracking is omoco Package Tracker named 'Paketverfolgung' in german and should be most used tracker in germany:

has a lite version to test

Didn't they also dev the Trip That app for TripIt? Any word on that app?

The TripIt API is pretty stable so support for that app should continue.

It is generally a shame that developers don't use Enyo or Phonegap more often. If they would, they could program once and then bind/compile the app for more than one platform...
That wouldn't cost more than developing the same stuff each time anew for every platform, and it would open up so many more plattforms at one click...

A shame.

This gets mentioned a lot for something that will never happen. With hundreds of thousands of apps, the Android and iOS App Stores are highly competitive. Only entities with captive user bases like banks are willing to compromise the user experience with these multi-platform development environments just to get the 10% of the users out there who aren't using Android or iOS. It's not about how hard or easy it is, it's about the competitive advantages of using native code.

One could similarly say that it's a shame that users don't just choose between iOS and Android, now, so that developers would only have to target two platforms rather than five.

A shame.

I really hope they consider open sourcing their YouView application. Maybe the community could tackle updating it to support the new API's. :(

What part of...
"Well both apps are facing ongoing API changes which the now aged legacy webOS hardware simply does not support." people not understand?

I am curious to know what API changes require more advanced hardware? I call BS on that statement... Maybe software changes to LunaSysMgr and WebKit.... But that doesn't mean there are not ways to make things work... It may not mean getting into the app catalog, but... it seems most of the apps that are surviving the Leo-pocolypse are in Preware, anyway. (At least, most of the apps that I find useful, like the Google Maps app.)

Of course, I am not here to force people to open source their software. That is a personal or business decision. I support any decision made, but also offer my developer services as a Pack'n'Track user (it does have the best UI out of the package tracking apps).

The "more advanced hardware" was a misquote its webOS software (webkit limitiations).

they probably also don't want to spend the time to support an application for a dwindling user base.

If they open source it, I'd love them. We should try contacting them to do so.

youview knew I was going to call this weekend to get it up and working AGAIN for my 3

I love the thing when it works...but alas it is not to be apparently.

Loved and used both apps. Very sorry (but understand) to see them go

I'm a developer, and developing for webOS can be a little frustrating. Building cross platform apps in a "write once, run everywhere" philosophy is a great goal, but relies on each platform implementing technologies to the same standard. Especially when you're working with HTML5. The performance of Canvas on webOS trails other tablets of similar spec. webGL is absent and as the standard continues to evolve, webOS becomes more of a technology relic (in it's current TouchPad incarnation).

It can be done, but as the article points out, it's no longer done for economic reasons, just whatever attachment a given dev may have to the OS.

But for me, the users commitment to the platform presents a great opportunity. As a small indie developer, I can get access to an enthusiastic audience and gain a valuable insight into my users, without having to compete for attention from thousands of other devs. I get to improve my app on a small but dedicated environment, which in return gets new apps.

Could somebody explain me what is happening, cause I m not able to get any Updating of APP Catalog for 1.4.5 and 1.4.0 version, HP dropped all updating for the whole APP Catalog??


Pack N Track hasn't worked for months and the developers haven't responded to any requests for help. I'm not sure what the hardware has to do with checking tracking numbers, but at least this developer announced they were leaving, unlike others who just pull their apps and disappear.

I mourn youview and nanplayer every day. It seems to me if a developer has no intention of ever updating the app it would just be nice to have some other developer take it over instead of just walking away. Youview hurts the most because it was the only one for visual voicemail. Maybe some one will have pity on us and make another visual voicemail app

As a developer, you can't always just give your app to another developer to work on, due to licensing agreements, legal reasons, API access applied for and tied to the developer rather than the app, etc. And no, it's not as easy as snapping your fingers and those issues go away, either. It's way more complicated than that.
I know of at least one app that can't be open-sourced because the developer would remain liable for upholding the terms of the licensing agreement and conducting regular check-ins with the data provider's legal department for brand compliance...and when they left webOS, they wanted nothing to do with the app anymore.

I'm not a developer, but those don't sound like impossible obstacles to me. I bet it could be done if the will was there

I almost stopped reading at "I'm not a developer, but..." but I had to stay for the punchline. You didn't disappoint.
If the developers of the apps themselves say webOS isn't cut out to handle the APIs necessary to continue support (along with any other reasons unstated), I'm strongly inclined to believe them before someone who has no experience in the industry confidently claiming otherwise.
Be realistic, not idealistic.

I second that "thank you". Pack 'n Track has been one of the most useful tools I have in my day to day routine. Hope to see you all on an open webOS device soon!

Please OPEN youview in the hopes that someone can change the api to work again!! I really want my visual voicemail back again!!

Open Source of Refund !!!!

For someone who supported this developer and one that made 100k off of Palm this is just low. Thanks Syntactix for just letting us know now instead of several weeks ago. That very important business voice message would have been great to have gotten it.

Probly it would go over better if they had fixed it this last time and then make an announcement that they quit. And its not too late

edit: developer is saying its a problem with webos webkit

They stopped responding to support requests MONTHS ago. I've yet to get pack n track to work on my veer, tho I think it still works on my touchpad. Are there any other alternatives?

Does anyone have the .ipk for YouView?