Palm release webOS 2.0 SDK beta to devs - if you ask nicely

Earlier this morning, Palm announced the limited release of the webOS 2.0 SDK for developers looking to build applications that run on the upcoming version of the webOS 2.0 mobile operating system. To sign up you apparently just need to email palm (how web 1.0!).

webOS is Palm’s mobile smartphone operating system, first released in a little over a year ago on the Palm Pre device. The operating system is so named because it makes use of web technologies such as HTML 5, Javascript and CSS for developing applications. It also makes use of an innovative “cards” approach to allowing multitasking between several applications on a single device.

There are a number of interesting new features in webOS 2 that bring it in line with other mobile platforms such as Android. For example, application developers can now hook into phone contacts and the calendar to provide enhancements; and build special apps that display when the phone is charging in its cradle.

But it is some of the tools made available to developers that are particularly exciting.

For example, you can now build your own services on the device using Node.js. Node is a runtime environment built to run Javascript in an event-based manner on servers. It is used today in many situations where event-based development is beneficial, such as in streaming servers and chat hosting applications.

“It turns out that Node.js works fantastically well on a mobile device! Major kudos should go to the V8 team for creating a great VM and to Ryan [Dahl, creater of Node.js] for writing efficient code that scaled down from the cloud to the device” said Dion Almer, director of Developer Relations at Palm. “I am really excited about this move for us.”

Another feature for developers coming out of beta for the version 2 release is “PDK Plugins”, which give developers the flexibility and power of including both the previously mentioned web technologies and C or C++ code into a single application.

For more on Node.js and webOS, check out Dion’s blog; for more features of webOS 2.0 check out the Palm developer site.

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