A Plea for Mobile Developer Simplification

by Daniel Raffel

As the number of Apple Dashboard Widgets, Google Gadgets, Microsoft Gadgets, and Yahoo Widgets being created grows I hope that emerging telephony hardware device manufacturers are comparing and contrasting what it currently takes a developer to make one of these apps vs developing a full-blown mobile application. Frankly, it's just too hard to develop on mobile and combined with the poor carrier distribution options it can be pointless for many to waste cycles innovating here unless they are seriously funded.

So, what about developer simplification?

The companies mentioned above could start encouraging hardware developers to support (and soon help roll out) portable devices that run all the necessary local software sandboxes and free things like Gadgets/Widgets from the PC desktop and extend them onto portable mobile devices. Even better, if mobile devices ran something like the traditional LAMP architecture many developers could migrate their projects right over. Granted, there are some heavy browser, CPU, memory and HD requirements in my proposal but it feels like things are heading in this direction anyways.

While this only solves a part of the problem it immediately increases the size of the telephony application developer base (which I think is a good thing for everyone.) If a web developer can start creating mobile apps imagine the opportunities for cool new services, especially if hardware dependent telephony and GEO APIs are easily exposed?

Flash Lite, Mobile Processing, Python for S60 and Motorola's Open Source Initiative are standout leaders making development easier but I'm still left hoping for mobile sandboxes that look and act like my webservice developer environments. If they initially look a lot like the widget engines out there, that's good step in the right direction.

4 Comments

Thomas Landspurg
2006-10-24 00:52:11
Hello Daniel,


hopefully, some poeple are already working and close to deploy such thing: we are currently creating "Mobidget", which is the first framework of this kind. Easily programmable widgets, using a javascript like scripting language, with XML descibed widgets. The widget engine itself is available under J2ME and Symbian which are fare more deployed than any of the other technology you describe....
Not yet public, but really cool from what I can tell you.....


http://mobidgets.com


Some snapshots:
http://blog.landspurg.net/mobile-widget-frenzy-mobidget-is-coming>Mobile Widget Frenzy

Moshe Yudkowsky
2006-10-24 03:18:19
Good grief, Flash on mobile devices? What an absolute horror. And what a severe indictment of mobile telephony.


The main use of Flash on the Web is to deliver advertising; I have Flash turned off on my Web browser, and I suspect that most people would do the same if they could only figure out how. Now Flash has migrated to the Web, where it can eat precious handheld CPU time, distract me from my actual tasks, and generally make handheld browsing as painful as possible. Mobile Flash is scarcely a cause for celebration -- it shows that mobile apps remain scarce, and the driving force behind the next generation of mobile apps will be dancing polar bears selling beer instead of useful applications.

Antoine
2006-10-29 15:06:18
Have you tried Widsets ? it sounds like your hopes..
mika li
2006-11-02 08:27:19
Daniel, i share your comments here. Have a look at UK startup's innovative mobile widgets platform. http://www.tricastmedia.com/v1/twuik.php