The Talent Show: Palm adds Ben Galbraith and Dion Almaer to its line up | webOS Nation

The Talent Show: Palm adds Ben Galbraith and Dion Almaer to its line up 16

by Robert Werlinger Fri, 25 Sep 2009 2:57 pm EDT

File under "Coup:" Today Palm announced the addition of Ben Galbraith and Dion Almaer to head their developer relations team. Why is this a big deal? Consider: the Palm webOS' core is HTML, AJAX, and Javascript. WebOS will only be successful if Palm is able to take that core and help developers extend it in surprising ways (don't forget about WebGL, guys). If you were to name a team of guys who can make these technologies not only do more, but help others make these technologies do more, there's a very strong chance you'd come up with Ben and Dion, founders of and creators of the very cool Mozilla bespin project.  Sincerely, developers: be excited.

Both took some time to write about their path going forward on their respective blogs. Dion Alamer discusses the hire:

I have long been frustrated with the status quo with certain platforms, and as I thought about what makes me happy as a developer, it is freedom, choice, and information flow. I feel passionately about bringing these values to mobile, and carry my Web DNA with me. When Palm came to Ben and I, we were curious to see how much they understood what it really meant to have a “webOS”. The management team impressed us, and persuaded us that they understand how important the principles of the Web are, as well as the crucial role of developers. By giving us the honor of this responsibility, they signal their intent.

Not clear enough that Palm is positioning webOS as the 'open' standard up against Apple's non-open philosophy? Check out how Ben Galbraith discusses the mobile landscape:

However, my enthusiasm for this amazing new world is tempered by some unfortunate decisions made by some of the players in this space. It seems that some view this revolution as a chance to seize power in downright Orwellian ways by constraining what we as developers can say, dictating what kinds of apps we can create, controlling how we distribute our apps, and placing all kinds of limits on what can do to our computing devices.


Jon Rubinstein wasn't kidding when he said that (and I paraphrase) they're looking to pack Palm to the gills with some of the most talented folks in their respective fields during his interview on the Engadget show. 

Thanks to everybody who sent this in!



WOW...Palm strikes again...

I wish we could fast forward a few years and see how everything is going to pan out...I have a feeling that this thing (WebOS) is going to really be the mobile market changer and soon followed by others in the making of their platforms.

MAN, I LOVE PALM! Hire me, I want to make your hardware (I suck at programming), but am very creative and OCD about build quality.

I've mentioned before that Apple has become the very authoritarian fascists that they chastised in the 1984 commercial. Nice to see other developers realize this. Still don't think Palm is being open enough though. We should be able to sideload without special tricks, just as PalmOS allowed any app to be installed. They also need to allow/support binary development and full API access.

I'd love to see palm team up with an open source version of a media sync program.

+1 pleaqse sick of this iTunes crap... in a PC anyway, and mac's are have a pint-size marketshare anyway. Never used Songbird, but heard that's the way to go... iTunes on steroids lol

I'm yet to be convinced that Palm isn't going to try to be one of those companies that tries to control how 'we' use the web language and infrastructure. Rubenstein learned at temple of Jobs, and I get the feeling that the only reason Palm is not exercising more control is because they don't currently have enough market presence.

This is exactly why I bought this phone. The phone is ok now, but it's what lies ahead that I'm waiting for. I'm waiting for the day when I can hook it up to my PS3 remotely and play. Don't say it can't be done NO LIMITS! - NO MOTIVATION NO RESULTS!!!

LOL Great imagination my friend, but I'd say stick with a PSP at minimum, as idk how playing with such small screen and no dedicated buttons would work.....

I honestly want PALM to inovate as far as productivity and business, bump games. Games aren't as important as what will appeal to just about EVERYONE. I sure enuff won't be using my Pre or any future PHONES for intense gaming at all. I have a PS3 and a 360 + NATAL in the wings.... I like my chances there ;) Just give me a top-of-the-line, feature-packed phone for personal organization and business needs.

PALM has the advantage of having a web-based phone, that can probably be modified to take advantage of the deep, linux kernel access at any time for all users. Just optimize the OS and innovate sum new battery tech alreadyyyy.....! =)

Yeah you're right. I would really want to get my game on on such a small device, the point is though I want to be able to just because. These smartphones can be remotes, controllers, GPS units, maybe a bluetooth mouse and keyboard, a modem etc. My point is with these guys onboard and if Palm keeps its developer-friendly attitude, there's no telling what people will be able to come up with. My phone already does a lot of stuff i dont need it to do, but what the hell - just in case i need it someday even it the reason is just to say "hey men check this out!"

Hi guys,

Thanks for the post Robert, and the for the comments, everyone else.

Really look forward to working together to do some great things on the mobile Web. I am interesting in partnerships, not just making a mother ship happy.

We have a strong vision for where we want to go, and in time you will see concrete actions that show us on that path. We want you to be treading the path with us though, having a conversation along the way.


Dion Almaer

Love your attitude. Glad you're onboard. Go for it - we got you.

Hey guys, glad to see you both involved! I went to TAE two years in a row (co-spoke with Joe Walker one year and Ted Husted another as a matter of fact... kind of spur of the moment "wanna get up and talk with me?" deals) and one thing I always looked forward to were when you guys took the stage because I knew it was going to be both entertaining and insightful.

Writing a webOS book (shameless plug: ... pushing for a December release) has been very enlightening... let me know when you're settled and I'll send you a list of things to work on! LOL It's been a hugely positive experience overall, I'm loving what Palm is doing by and large, but there's work to be done for sure, and I think you two will bring a lot to those efforts.

I know I have some rather extensive plans for webOS-related projects myself once the book is wrapped up... I can't wait to be able to dive in completely, and I definitely get the impression your enthusiasm level is at least as high as mine :)

I don't need games on the phones. Go play on your console. A phone is a phone. I am more looking into work/busyness phone than a game/multimedia plateform. But thats just me

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