There’s no direct link to the post itself, but right now it’s the top post at the Palm Developer Network blog.
What’s most interesting is this confirmation of rumor and revelation:
The core OS is based on a version of the Linux 2.6 kernel with the standard driver architecture managed by udev, with a proprietary boot loader. It supports an ext3 filesystem for the internal (private) file partitions and fat32 for the media file partition, which can be externally mounted via USB for transferring media files to and from the device.
So there are two file partitions? For some reason, that makes me itchy. It brings back visions of classic PalmOS — especially the flavor on my LifeDrive, where, surprise!, there are two file partitions. The apps can reside in any partition, but media (.jpg, .mp3, .avi) can only reside in certain ones.
And the kernel of Linux 2.6? According to the Linux Kernel Archives, 188.8.131.52 is the latest stable release. So, it seems the heart of the Pre is in the modern era.
Then there’s this bit:
The media server is based upon gstreamer and includes support for numerous audio and video codecs, all mainstream image formats, and supports image capture through the built-in camera. Video and audio capture is not supported in the initial webOS products, but is inherently supported by the architecture. Video and audio playback supports both file and stream-based playback.
Bold emphasis added by me.
The author of this book is Palm’s own Vice President and Software Chief Technology Officer, which makes me wonder if the claim that “video and audio capture is not supported in the initial webOS products” is rather slanted and should actually be, “video and audio capture is not supplied by Palm itself in the initial webOS products.” Given that the hardware is capable of both, I see no reason why a third-party couldn’t supply them, unless doing so would rely on low-level APIs Palm isn’t (yet) willing to distribute. Let’s remember that the iPhone out-of-the-box can’t do video recording, but that didn’t stop a developer from providing a hack.
Finally, let’s chew on these:
Palm webOS is designed to run on a variety of hardware with different screen sizes, resolutions and orientations, with or without keyboards and works best with a touchpanel though doesn’t require one.
Different resolutions? In what way is that meant? Are all stable screen elements — such as icons and UI gadgetry — based on dynamically-rescalable outline graphics and not bitmaps?
Because the user interface and application model are built around a web browser, the range of suitable hardware platforms is quite wide, requiring only a CPU, some memory, a wireless data connection, a display, and a means for interacting with the UI and entering text.
Bold emphasis added by me.
That’s confusing. It makes it sound as if everything is running in a browser. Is it?
It’s way too early to tell — at least for a non-coder eejit like me — if we’re going to see any confirmation of the architectural speculations David Beers made, quoted in a previous post: The Heart (And Tentacles) Of The Pre?
Even in the first chapter, it’s clear this book isn’t intended to be Palm Pre Development for Dummies. It presupposes some prior knowledge, such as that of both DOM and MVC. I’m sure those already in the know will find it very helpful.