Articles / PalmOS Software on freshmeat

PalmOS Software on freshmeat

By now, you've all had time to wander through freshmeat ][ and get the lay of the land. You've found your way around the Trove category system we've adopted, and many of you have recategorized your projects to fit into the Trove map, so people browsing through it will find your work. (Those of you who haven't are heartily encouraged to use the "recategorize" function on the project menu on your project's page. :) You may have noticed that there are categories available for software that runs on several operating systems, and that one of them is for PalmOS projects.

If you look at the PalmOS category, you'll see that a few projects have already been added to it. This notice is here to announce that we are officially welcoming PalmOS software into freshmeat.


Why do we want to do this? Well, a large percentage (perhaps a large majority) of you use Palm devices all the time. Many of you write PalmOS software. It makes sense to include it.

But there are already several sites that let you search for PalmOS software and which announce new software. Why do we want to add another one to the mix?

A few reasons, at least:

  1. We don't see any PalmOS software indexes which are geared toward development. The ones that are out there now don't tell you where to go to join the project's mailing list, to check out its CVS branch, etc. Most don't provide a comments section with each project where users (and authors) can discuss the project, report bugs, and help one another with problems.
  2. Although we accept projects which are available under any license, people most closely associate us with Free/Open Source software. A freshmeat catalog of PalmOS software is different from a catalog just by virtue of the character of freshmeat. It will be a more hacker-oriented catalog, and one that will be used as a tool in the development of PalmOS software, not just as a set of links that are useful to the end users of it. It may even help promote the development of open code and APIs for Palm devices, though whether effort should be put into writing open code for a closed OS is something you can debate amongst yourselves... :)
  3. We happen to like our interface, and think that we provide more -- and hopefully more accurate -- information, in better and more concise writing, than many of the alternatives.

Do I have to see PalmOS Software on freshmeat?

Absolutely not. If you go to the preferences page for your account, you can add the PalmOS category to the list of those that you want to be excluded from your search results and your version of the freshmeat news page, and you'll never even know that it's here.

Hey, what about... ?

Before the comments board gets going about it, let me make a preemptive strike about something that may occur to you.

You may say to yourself, "Huh... Look what else is here in the OS categories... Several varieties of Unix, MacOS, and... Hey! Several varieties of Windows! And those categories have projects in them! I'm going to submit my Windows taskbar weather applet!"

No, sorry; I'm afraid not. We would just delete it. Even if we had the staff to keep thousands and thousands of Unix project records and thousands and thousands of Windows project records up to date, Windows software is just not who we are, and there are plenty of Windows download sites around if you need them.

So why do we have some Windows software in our database? Well, we do allow some things in if they meet one of two conditions. We'll accept a project if it:

  1. is a Windows branch of an application that's also available for Unix systems. In other words, if it only runs on Windows, we're not going to include it. If it runs on Windows, Linux, and Solaris, we will.
  2. is used for Unix-Windows interoperation. In other words, if it's a defragmenter for NT partitions, we don't want it. If it lets you access NT partitions from Linux, we do.

So get busy...

If you've written Palm code that you want to have shouted from the rooftops, submit it! If there's an app on your Pilot that you couldn't live without, let everybody know about it. If there are PalmOS development tools that you use all the time, get them in there. If we don't list your favorite Palm emulator or desktop sync app, obey the submit link that's calling out to you. We're looking forward to learning what you have to teach us.

RSS Recent comments

03 May 2001 09:36 killerhippy

good software for useable OS's at one place, wow!
That's great!

As I am using Linux Slackware as my OS at home and work - and the palm, too, I am looking forward to watch for palmsoftware at this place.

Both systems are the best to work with, so let there be place for software for both, yeah!

This will make me visit this page even more often.


03 May 2001 10:45 Hattig ?

There isn't much open source code for the Palm (when compared with Unix software), as many of the authors are well into Shareware and the like (for silly little games as well). is a web site dedicated to open source Palm software, and you can see how little there is by the fact that the front page has a whole months submissions (about 15 programs).

It is nice that freshmeat is now listing Palm software though. What would be nice is an option to only have a brief description (e.g., in a box) for recent Palm software, otherwise I can easily see the sheer volume of software on the Palm platform turning the already bulging Freshmeat into something horrific...

03 May 2001 10:55 frogface

Existing sites and requirements for listing
I'm not sure this is a good idea. It may be
better to set up a separate site, with the same
backend software, to keep these things separate.
Either way, I'd like to see packages limited to
those which satisfy two requirements:
Open Source and/or Free Software
Designed for Linux/Unix interoperability

I'd also like to point out a couple of existing
sites which collect free Palm software:
a large
collection of free and freeish stuff at
Does just
what it says on the box -

06 May 2001 19:09 irivera

Great Idea
I realy think this is a good idea. I encourage people to start (continue) the free software development, now in the Palm plataform. Linux can serve us as inspiration. We have the tools, we can find the info. So let's go for it.

07 May 2001 21:38 i0lanthe

Nice to know
I was just looking over freshmeat last month and wondering whether PalmOS software "belongs" here. I guess now I will visit more often too. :-)

13 May 2001 14:30 cactus0

Shameless plug
I would just like to shamelessly advertise Guikachu (, a project of mine which is one part of the jigsaw puzzle needed to develop PalmOS applications in a Free environment using Free software. Other pieces of this puzzle are the GNU PalmOS SDK (with a port of GCC for PalmOS) and PilRC for compiling resource files.

11 Jun 2001 02:19 thollins

Adding PalmOS stuff here
I am new here but would like to address the negative comments.
I am working on a multi-PDA program and have decided to use WABA. In the spirit of hacking and open source, and just plain old fashioned programmer ingenuity, these guys have put together a JVM without the JVM restrictions, and allows you to create a program on one platform but run it on many. Now isn't that what Open source is all about? Getting rid of the restrictions which hamper creativity?
I do know that there are hundreds of sites with Palm OS programs which are mostly junk that was created on a whim. But you guys need to look at or provide a link to WABA, SuperWABA, Jump, UIGen and the ever important GCC for PalmOS cross platform compiler.
Btw the Virtual machine for WABA is only 73K. Go look at it.

07 Jul 2001 11:37 straylight


If freshmeat wants to support PDAs, then shouldn't
it support PDA's running a form of Unix first and closed source OS's like PalmOS last?

Because you're including PalmOS, you now should also include the worlds first Linux powered PDA, Agenda. (

10 Jul 2001 21:01 KrisJohnson

Re: Agenda
The Agenda community doesn't need Freshmeat's
support; they already have a development community
and some sites that categorize and publicize the

18 Jul 2001 19:04 jeffcovey

Re: Agenda
The Agenda runs on Linux. Programs written for it will be written for
Linux. Obviously, these will fit perfectly on freshmeat. Why do you
even need to ask?

04 Mar 2002 02:32 Velhyven

Why not?
I use freshmeat as a free software database like everybody else here.
If you go browse applications, you will see a section "Operating system". Why Freshmeat ][ shouldn't put PalmOS in it?
By the way, most sites I've seen for PalmOS don't offer high quality freewares as I can see here...

So, IMHO, it's great to find PalmOS freewares on Freshmeat ][

05 Apr 2002 15:27 mysidia

Re: Agenda
% If freshmeat wants to support PDAs, then
> it support PDA's running a form of
> Unix first and closed source OS's like
> PalmOS last?

No, it shouldn't. Or why should it?

I see no reason that Freshmeat should be biased to any particular OS.. it is after all, an index of software.
Worthwhile things for any OS should be indexed, and it is good to have appropriate categories.

I agree good to support Agenda. But Unix doesn't deserve any special treatment here IMO.


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