Friday, July 24, 2009

WebOS 1.1.0 released (oooh yay...sort of)

The good folks over at Palm have seen fit to bless the world with a significant update to their Web Operating System. There are plenty of goodies in this update  for corporate users and according to, plenty of secret (??) goodies for everyone else as well. All of this is good news for the Palm devout. There are, however, a few things that are not in this much lauded upgrade that have been over due since 1.0.2.

  • generic copy and paste -- I should be able to select text from a text message, IM, e-mail message, or web page and paste it into any of the aforementioned without being limited to "editable text fields" of a web form

  • password retention/auto-fill -- I still need to re-enter my password for websites when the device is rebooted. This is exceedingly vexing with good secure passwords that are more than 18 characters long

  • Integration with other information services -- Facebook is nice and it was a smart move on the part of Palm to get that working well. If they were concerned with real synergy they would allow us to integrate information from OpenSocial or Naymz, LinkedIn, MySpace, and others.

  • IMAP 'idle' support for subfolders -- It's great to get IMAP "push" for email in my mail box. Now let me get it on the subfolders that I've marked as favorites. Waiting for the sync of 12 different mailboxen is not fun when you have to go though them one at a time and each receives several tens of messages an hour.

  • Resolution of the iTunes Sync Issue -- The new version of WebOS manages to re-enable iTunes sync compatibility for version 8.2.1. Great news for those who are inept enough to let iTunes manage all of their media exclusively. For the rest of us this is almost a non-issue. I say almost because the real issue is this sophomoric game they are playing with Apple. Okay, so the lead engineers of the first generation iPhone are now working on the Pre score 1 Palm. They launched a device that's not blessed by Apple and it syncs with iTunes, score 2 Palm. Apple insinuates that they may consider certain technologies in the Palm Pre to be infringing on their IP rights, score 1 apple. Apple disables iTunes sync with the Pre, score 2 Apple. Palm re-enables iTunes Sync with WebOS 1.1.0. It's starting to feel like a high school "who can be the biggest jack-ass" contest. You can only win by loosing. Apple can just play defense and ride this out while Palm will be left with egg on their face if they don't buck up and figure out a way to cut the crap.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


CAWK (Cawk's Another Web Kit) is a web framework written in AWK that is soon to be under development. When we started working on it we discovered that we needed a better way to manage file inclusions than the '-f' command line option. We decided to write our own pre-processor and package it with the custom libraries that we were developing.  That project grew into two separate projects. The first being BangCAWK (so named for the 'shebang' line that it replaces), the pre-processor, the second being CAWKLib, the library of functions.

Writing code that others may use is vexing and trying On the one hand you'd like for others to be able to use your code if it can help them out. On the other hand you've now got to now make it better documented, more readable, and robust so that people who decide to pick it up don't either shoot themselves in the foot or want to shoot you (in the head).

We're trying to balance the development of the features that we need with implementing things in a logical and consistent manner for people who may choose to reuse what we produce. I don't know how well we're doing that but you can decide for you self by checking it out @