Palm Releases Beta of Ares Mobile Development Platform

Palm announces the public beta availability of Project Ares, which the company says is the first complete set of integrated mobile development tools hosted entirely in the browser.

Palm on Dec. 17 announced the public beta availability of Project Ares, which the company called "the first complete set of integrated mobile development tools hosted entirely in the browser."

The goal of the new Palm development platform is to lower the barriers keeping Web developers from getting involved in mobile development. Palm Ares makes it "easier and faster" to create Palm WebOS applications, the company said. Project Ares was demonstrated for the first time during a Palm keynote at the Open Mobile Summit in November and an alpha release has been available to a limited group of developers for the past few weeks. Then Palm Chairman and CEO Jon Rubinstein referred to Project Ares during Palm's second-quarter financial-year 2010 earnings conference call on Dec. 17. The Ares site said:

""Like webOS, Project Ares embodies Palm's belief that the future of mobile will be built on the web. Project Ares aims to enable a next-generation mobile development workflow, in which developers move quickly and seamlessly from editing in a browser, to debugging on a device, to selling applications in Palm's App Catalog or on the web.""

For more information or to join the Palm Ares beta go here.

Palm Ares features include:

""??Ç Complete integrated development environment??Ç Drag-and-drop interface builder??Ç Code editor??Ç Visual debugger??Ç Log viewer??Ç Source control integration??Ç Fingertip access to the full library of Mojo UI widgets??Ç Push-button project & scene creation??Ç Drag-and-drop file upload??Ç Instant project upload & download for seamless desktop/cloud workflow??Ç Preview apps in the browser??Ç Run apps directly on the webOS emulator or device (requires SDK installation)??Ç Use Ares in Safari, Chrome or Firefox""

In a blog post about the beta release of Project Ares, Dion Almaer, co-director of Palm's developer relations effort, said:

""This project is so exciting as the team has managed to kill a couple of birds with one stone. Creating webOS applications has always been simple for Web folk, but with the layout builder you have a UI up and running in an incredibly short order. I am also very proud that we put our money where our mouth is by developing our tools on the Web platform itself. All you need to get going is a Web browser.""

Moreover, Almaer said Ares uses the Bespin code editor, "and this is the first time we have seen the debugging integration at work. I want to thank the Bespin community for continuing to deliver a Web-based code editor and look forward to [seeing] that evolve along with Ares," he said. Almaer and his Palm developer relations colleague, Ben Galbraith, developed the Bespin code editor while at Mozilla.

Added Almaer:

""Because webOS is a Web runtime based on WebKit and V8, and the Mojo framework sits on top of it, you can preview your applications just in a Web browser. Think about that for a sec ;) We don't mock out the services.... but you can get your UI just right, and when you are ready you can quickly deploy to the webOS emulator or device!" "