Monday, May 25, 2009

Counting down (12 days left) to Palm Prē launch: Palm finally decided to support prēDevCamp

Sammy has just posted up prēDevCamp date announcement from Michael McAsey, and the date is set at June 13th. And as I was keeping tabs with the prēDevCamp website, there's a big and joyful announcement for all of us Palm Prē-fans: Palm supports prēDevCamp!

Before I lost you on the basic questions such as: "Why is the news such a big deal?" or "What is that suppose to mean? Did previously Palm disacknowledge prēDevCamp?" or even question like "What is prēDevCamp anyway?!?" I think I should start over from the scratch before the latter question pops up for real, but don't worry I promise I'll make it as brief as possible. ;-p

In essence; prēDevCamp is an upcoming not-for-profit gathering to develop applications for Palm Prē using both the Mojo SDK and traditional web standards, the event inspired by the original iPhoneDevCamp and other similar events. The founders and organizers of prēDevCamp are consist of three great whiz people with their own unique backgrounds: Giovanni Gallucci, Dan Rumney and William Hurley (a.k.a. 'whurley').

The community quickly captured the attention of many developers and mobile fans, who are willing to line up and commit to local events. Just in the first week, they saw 10 cities sign up for the event. As in today, prēDevCamp already has a camp that is scheduled to host over 1000 developers in almost 100 events around the world. A testament to the huge, sleeping community/fan base that Palm has been ignoring over the past several years.

From the very start, prēDevCamp has agreed that the community would live and thrive with or without Palm, Inc.’s support or participation. The fast growing popularity of prēDevCamp soon enough made Palm Inc. interested, but Palm Inc. asked the organizers to put a disclaimer that they were not affiliated with them, before Palm Inc. would enter into a relationship with prēDevCamp. So thus now you'll see the said 'disclaimer' on the top of prēDevCamp website whenever you visit there.

Since the first contact, the conversation began to developed some kinda theme that sounds more or less like these: “do you work for Palm?” or “why are you doing this?” and better yet: “why would you do this if we’re not paying you to?” And so, Gio's (one of the co-founders) answers would seems to answer your question too about what is the nature of prēDevCamp event:

"We hoped to help breathe new life into the mobile development marketplace via a grassroots effort by building a developer ecosystem around the first mobile device, The Palm Pré, to generate widespread excitement in and out of the tech press since the iPhone."

"The event is not about Palm. It’s about the community. The brand is a vehicle to rally a number of like-minded people around, but it’s not the reason for the event. We do this because we want to build community, connections, cool products, make great software, solve problems, meet new friends."

What happened next, without spilling out the whole ugly nitty-gritty, there was a misperception on both sides of prēDevCamp and Palm Inc. about the NDA they've agreed upon. I won't spoiled the emotional story, so I'm sorry my good readers but you'll have to read Gio's side of story to know the entire chronology. In the end, the 'never real to begin with' relationship between prēDevCamp and Palm, Inc. was over. The experience from the contacts left a certain bitter taste for prēDevCamp...

Predevcamp photo But now, to put aside the differences and the bitter taste from the previous mischief relationship, Palm Inc. has decided to fully support prēDevCamp. This mirrored in a recent post on the Palm Developer Network blog from Pam Deziel, VP of Developer Marketing at Palm:
  • Palm supports prēDevCamp 100%
  • We overreacted to the whole disclosure issue. We’ve been in stealth and super secret mode for so long now, we needed a real world conversation to see how we needed to work things so everybody can operate in their own environment.
  • As messy as it feels right now, the passion of the community is incredibly positive
The announcement carries a very good sign from Palm Inc., which soon later one of the prēDevCamp co-founders Dan Rumney responded with a wise comment: "prēDevCamp cannot exist without support from the community and we’ve seen that in spades. With the addition of Palm’s support, we can expect prēDevCamp to thrive."

After a heart-warming conversation and an exchange of 'virtual hug', Giovanni also posted up his own take about those recent discouraging events: "Everyone now has a better understanding about the reasons why folks made certain decisions, internal workings on each side, and some of the thought processes that led to these recent events. ... With all that being said, the end result has been a more active, genuine, intelligent, and serious relationship between Palm and its independent developer community. Everyone wins!"

This is how it all should worked out from the beginning, and we at PalmAddict camp can't be more happy for both sides (prēDevCamp & Palm Inc.), and wishes the best of luck for prēDevCamp to become a major contributor to the success of the Prē. After all, the success of Palm Prē may very well depend on developers. Namasté.

* Special note about this blog post's title: as I'm writing this blog, the time in my country already gone to the next day so it's '12 days left' for me since the previous post. ;-p

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