Shane O'Sullivan's technical blog… really ties the room together

Archive for October, 2011

Tracking memory usage on WebOS with GnuPlot

Posted by Shane O'Sullivan on October 16, 2011

I’ve been fighting against a serious memory leak in a WebOS app I’m developing, and unfortunately the tools available for WebOS are no help whatsoever for these kinds of problems. There is a program available for WebOS called JsTop, but the data that it tracks doesn’t show that my app is using lots of memory, while at the same time the Touchpad is crashing with the infamous “Too Many Cards” error, with just one card on the screen.

So, I decided to see what I can do about it. A little fiddling with novaterm, grep, awk and GnuPlot has helped me a lot, and hopefully it can help you too.

The image above shows the percentage memory (red) and CPU (green) usage over time of the WebAppMgr process in WebOS, which is essentially where all the apps are executed.  To get a graph like this, download the following two scripts (Mac/Linux/Cygwin only): [Source]

You’ll probably have to make them executable, so do:

chmod +x
chmod +x

Then plug in your WebOS phone or TouchPad via USB, and run


and you should see a graph like the one above.  If you don’t see it, it’s likely that you don’t have GnuPlot installed, so Google how to do that for your system, it should be trivial.

For what it’s worth, I get a “Too Many Cards” error just before the process hits 60%, meaning that the other running processes are taking up the remaining ~40% of memory.

If you feel like playing around with this script and doing something else cool, let me know!

Posted in performance, WebOS | 3 Comments »

How to easily check a WebOS app version

Posted by Shane O'Sullivan on October 7, 2011

If you’re a WebOS developer and would like to be able to notify your users when a new version of your app is available, a very efficient way to do that is to use the Yahoo Query Language.

Take a look at this page:

It shows a YQL query to select the version of the app com.chofter.palmdevutils, giving the following result

 "query": {
  "count": 1,
  "created": "2011-10-07T14:58:53Z",
  "lang": "en-US",
  "results": {
   "p": "Version: 1.3.0"

Fetching this JSON object requires far less data that reading the entire HTML page and parsing it yourself. To see the final link that you would use, copy the link from the bottom of the Yahoo page, like this one*’%2F%2Fdiv%5B%40id%3D%22app-price-system-version%22%5D%2Fp%5B3%5D’&format=json&callback=

Posted in Javascript, WebOS, yql | 1 Comment »


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 535 other followers

%d bloggers like this: