Jamie Zawinski regarding his experience submitting an application to the Palm App Catalog:
In the months since this process began, other third-party developers seem to have managed to get their applications into the App Catalog. Apparently these people are better at jumping through ridiculous hoops than I am.
So at this point I think it’s safe to say that I won’t be developing any more software for the Palm Pre.
Ben Galbraith, director of developer relations at Palm, responds to Zawinski, writing:
We are sorry that Jamie feels the way he does, but we’ll fix what’s broken and are going to deliver a fantastic opportunity to developers as they in turn help create a fantastic experience to users.
Ben Galbraith gives hope that the submission process will improve also stating:
We’re trying to strike the right balance between locking down our device and making it a free-for-all. Like all great things, this will be an iterative process and we are eager and open to your participation and input to make it better for everyone.
As annoying as this must be to Jamie Zawinski it isn’t nearly as bad as the horror stories we’ve heard about the App Store submission process. But, time will tell if Palm can improve their developer relations and truly steal developers from the Apple camp.
Update 10/7/09: Palm may have found a better solution to dealing with questionable applications. MG Siegler reporting for TechCrunch:
The first is that they’re allowing developers to fully distribute their apps via the web. What this means is that developers can simply submit their apps to Palm, and Palm will return to them a URL that they can then blog, tweet, do whatever they want to share it. When a person then clicks on that URL they can easily install the app, bypassing any kind of store. And while Palm is providing the URL, it is not going to be reviewing the apps in any way — a clear dig at Apple’s approval process.
If Apple did this for every application that was rejected it would truly solve the App Store problem. Every application would be available for the iPhone but not every application would be found in the App Store. To find those “questionable” applications you would have to find them on the web.