Palm‘s new software development kit for its WebOS, Mojo, includes the complete library for developing WebOS applications, as well an emulator that runs under Sun VirtualBox. The SDK also includes a plug-in for Eclipse so you can do all your development right within the Eclipse SDK.
Of course, the downside (and this is due to the SDK itself, not the Eclipse plug-in) is that you can’t write native, compiled applications in C or C++ as you could with earlier Palm products. For some developers, this could be a problem. The WebOS SDK does include a complete library for accessing the hardware, going well beyond what you could normally do in a Web application. But there’s still the issue of speed and, more importantly, graphics (which limits the creation of games).
In general, however, with the help of the Eclipse plug-in, you can easily get started writing WebOS applications.
Installing the Eclipse plug-in is easy with the Install feature within Eclipse. Once the plug-in is installed, the IDE has several wizards to help in your WebOS development.
During tests, I created a new WebOS project by simply choosing Palm WebOS -> Mojo Application from the New Project wizard. The wizard asked for the project name, a separate title for the project, a vendor name, and an ID and version.
Clicking Finish will create all the basic files for a new WebOS project.
Because the applications are browser-based, they can be created as you would a typical Web application-by building HTML complete with DIV tags and style sheets. The WebOS includes a standard style sheet that provides a uniform look and feel across applications, as well as a whole set of controls that go beyond what’s normally available in a Web application. These controls are called widgets, and include buttons, menus and dialog boxes. The built-in libraries include full APIs for accessing and controlling the widgets.
The WebOS plug-in is supposed to officially work with Version 3.4.2 of Eclipse (code-named Ganymede). However, I was able to successfully run it on Version 3.5 of Eclipse (code-named Galileo) without any problems.
For more information on installing the Eclipse plug-in, click here.