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):
You’ll probably have to make them executable, so do:
chmod +x plotWebOS.sh
chmod +x driveGnuPlotStreams.pl
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 »
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
"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 http://query.yahooapis.com/v1/public/yql?q=select%20*%20from%20html%20where%20url%3D%22https%3A%2F%2Fdeveloper.palm.com%2Fappredirect%2F%3Fpackageid%3Dcom.chofter.palmdevutils%22%20and%0A%20%20%20%20%20%20xpath%3D’%2F%2Fdiv%5B%40id%3D%22app-price-system-version%22%5D%2Fp%5B3%5D’&format=json&callback=
Posted by Shane O'Sullivan on September 2, 2011
… pity it had to happen as a result of a liquidation sale.
WebOS looks to be on it’s last legs, and HP has announced that it’ll never make new WebOS hardware. In the meantime, the fire sale of TouchPads has done fantastic things for us WebOS developers. The image below is a graph of the Flickr Mundo HD sales for 2011.
If only HP had anything resembling courage, rather than wimping out with the revelation that “Competition is hard? What? No one told me! Run away!!”, this sales trend might have actually continued for a long time.
Ah well, I’ll enjoy it while it lasts!
Posted in apps, Flickr Mundo, Palm, Tablet, WebOS | 2 Comments »
Posted by Shane O'Sullivan on August 28, 2011
Quick tip: For some reason, the archive files that webOS uses as application installers are very awkward to extract on a Mac. It’s simple on Windows.
After a little digging, I found a handy script at http://forums.precentral.net/webos-development/235149-extract-build-ipkg-mac-osx.html that does the trick.
Posted in Palm, WebOS | 3 Comments »
Posted by Shane O'Sullivan on November 14, 2010
If you are a
webOS developer with an interest in Flickr, you can now greatly improve your users experience by integrating your app with Flickr Mundo. (thanks to @rparvez for the idea to integrate with @neato_webos)
I’ve added the ability for other webOS apps to launch Flickr Mundo with a Flickr URL. This gives a far better experience to the user than simply loading Flickr in the browser – they’ve already purchased the app, it is built natively for webOS and can do many things that the web interface cannot.
For example, loading the link
Many different patterns of Flickr URLs are supported. However if you pass a URL that is not supported, Flickr Mundo will simply launch the browser at that URL.
var url = "http://flickr.com/upload";
As you can see, you can even upload photos to Flickr using this method. So if you have some kind of photo app, would like to be able to upload to Flickr but don’t want to have to go to all the trouble of correctly authenticating a user, you can just use Flickr Mundo to do it for you.
The version of Flickr Mundo with this included, v1.4.0, was submitted for review today, Nov 14th 2010, and should hopefully be available for download in a couple of days. Many different URL patterns are supported, but if you find one that isn’t, please let me know and I’ll look into adding it.
A future version will also include the ability to specify the file to upload – v1.4.0 asks the user to pick the file, similar to the stock Photos app on webOS.
Posted by Shane O'Sullivan on September 5, 2010
I am very happy to announce the release of Flickr Mundo, a fully featured Flickr app for Palm webOS devices. It is packed full of pretty much everything that a Flickr addict could possibly want, including:
- Photo upload and download, with multiple simultaneous supported for both.
- Read & add comments to photos and photo sets
- Add/remove favourites
- Bulk editing, e.g. choose 6 photos and add tags to them all in one go, add/remove them from a set or group, add/remove person tags…. and much more.
- A great browsing experience, jump from one user to another, open photo sets, groups and galleries. Swipe from photo to photo.
- Auto rotated wallpapers. All the functionality from my other app Flickr Addict is included in Flickr Mundo. Automatically download images in the background based on many different criteria and change the phone wallpaper on a schedule chosen by you. No more boring backgrounds!
- Context sensitive ‘Just Type’ search. Wherever you are in the app, either hit the search icon or just start typing to search Flickr. If you’re looking at a user, you can choose to just search that user. If looking at a photo group, you can search just that group.
- Group search, find a photo group.
- Location based search. Find photos near you using GPS, or search for photos close to anywhere else you name.
- Fullscreen slideshows with an optional audio playlist for playing music while watching your photos.
and much, much more, all wrapped in a highly polished UI that maximises the space of a small screen to the best effect.
A special thank you goes out to Jake and all the guys on the Palm Pre group on Flickr who did huge amounts of user testing on the beta version of the app. They spotted many obscure bugs, and made many suggestions for features and tweaks, most of which have ended up in the app. Without them Flickr Mundo wouldn’t be anywhere near as complete, functional and fun as it is.
Flickr Mundo will be submitted to the Palm App Catalog in the next 24 hours, and should be available to everyone as soon as Palm approves it!
Update: Flickr Mundo has now been submitted to the App Catalog
Posted by Shane O'Sullivan on June 22, 2010
I’ve been working a lot on Dojo’s new mobile framework (see HERE for my intro post on dojox.mobile.app) and the Image widgets are coming along very nicely. I just checked in a new Thumbnail viewer, and enhanced the ImageView widget. Check them both out at http://bit.ly/cU3akI.
Click the “Browse Flickr” selection to see both images integrated with Flickr, as well as a dynamic group search view using the TextInput and List widgets. Given that these widgets use cool fancy HTML5 effects, you’re best off viewing them in a WebKit browser, so Safari, Chrome, webOS, iPhoneOS (iOS now I guess) will give you the best experience.
The ImageThumbView uses CSS3 transforms to position the thumbnail images, and animates the opacity with CSS3 to fade in/out images.
Posted by Shane O'Sullivan on June 13, 2010
Dojo v1.5, which should be released in the coming weeks, will contain an early beta of a new infrastructure for building Mobile Apps. Currently it is called dojox.mobile.app, but that is expected to change. Check out the test apps (the bottom section) at http://www.skynet.ie/~sos/misc/dojoxMobile/tests/dojox/mobile/tests , which work best in WebKit, so use Safari or Chrome for best results.
Jared Jurkiewicz and Yoshiroh Kamiyama recently added the dojox.mobile project. It provides some very nice widgets for use on mobile phones, such as views that can transition between each other, rounded lists, tab containers etc.
Hence, dojox.mobile.app is born.
It is built on top of dojox.mobile, but adds many new features, with more on the way.
- Templated views that can be pushed and popped off the stack of views, all of which are lazily loaded.
- Templated lists
- Input widgets
- Image Gallery
- Dialog Boxes
- Popup Menus
are all available now. The structure of a dojox.mobile.app application is modeled very closely to a webOS app. The templates and code are in a similar folder structure, and the lifecycle for creating and destroying (popping) scenes/views are very similar.
The goal of dojox.mobile.app is NOT to replace or duplicate the functionality in PhoneGap. PhoneGap provides low level access to many phone features. dojox.mobile.app aims to provide an easy to use, flexible application structure, and many widgets that you will find useful, all themed to appear native to each platform. In a real world app, it would make most sense to use both PhoneGap and dojox.mobile.app.
One of the cooler widgets currently available is the ImageView widget, check it out at http://www.skynet.ie/~sos/misc/dojoxMobile/tests/dojox/mobile/tests/imageControlsApp . Some of its features include
- Canvas based
- Touch capable
- Swipe across to change images
- Tap to zoom in, and then swipe to move around an image
- Progressive loading of images – first load a small version of an image, and later a larger version
dojox.mobile.app is currently tested mostly on the iPhone, but will soon support webOS and Android also. The mobile world is an exciting place to be right now, and Dojo is jumping in feet first
Posted by Shane O'Sullivan on March 14, 2010
My webOS Apps, the great tool I’ve written for webOS developers, is now available in the Palm App Catalog. See my previous post about it here.
Using My webOS Apps a developer for webOS can
- Keep track of their app download count. That’s the real download count, not the inaccurate number shown in the Palm feeds which include updates. You can also see how many apps were downloaded both today and this month, as well as your average download count and your best days download count for each app.
- See each apps user ratings
- Read the comments on each app
- See your downloads for each app in graph form. Three chart types are supported, line, column and area. You can graph the downloads per day, by week or month.
- View a timeline of events for one app or all apps. This shows what happened to an app by date, from submission through to being accepted and published.
- Tweet about your apps directly from the app.
- Auto-Tweet when an app is published. Set up a custom message to be tweeted automatically when an app is published.
- Read your forum posts on developer.palm.com.
- Read the latest forum posts on developer.palm.com.
- See your financial reports per month, showing how much you’ve earned per month.
- Backup and restore your data. As many webOS developers wipe their phone on a regular basis to test different webOS releases, this makes sure you never lose any data.
See the video below for a run through of the app. For a webOS developer, this is an invaluable tool. Once you start using it, you’ll wonder how you ever did without it!
Posted by Shane O'Sullivan on March 8, 2010
Twitter Wallpaper, my latest app for the Palm Pre & Pixi smartphones has just been approved for the App Catalog. As the name suggests, the app prints your Twitter updates to the wallpaper of the phone, and is far and away the most convenient way to keep up with Twitter on your phone.
You can choose to track updates of your followers, updates from a List, or show the latest Trends on Twitter.
No more going through the laborious task of tapping an app icon, waiting for it to start up, and then wait for it to pull down the latest updates. Using Twitter Wallpaper, just pick up your phone and there are the latest tweets right in front of you.
Head on over to the App Catalog now for a look!