It’s been a stressful 24 hours, and I don’t want to recap on it, nor do I wish to dwell on any of the rumours or conjecture regarding the future of webOS. Instead I want to talk about my future in mobile development. In particular, I want to talk about Gemini.
Gemini File Manager was my love letter to webOS. It was everything I had wanted and been trying to do for the platform – and so much more than that – all wrapped up into one app, and built for a tablet OS that genuinely is (in my not-so-humble opinion) far superior than it’s competitors. I always had big plans for Gemini, and in some senses I still do, but sadly there are changes that will have to be made to the roadmap. I love webOS development but (and I’ve said this in many other places in the last day), I cannot conceivably continue to give my full support to a platform that has been damaged so badly by it’s maintainers.
That said, I have far too much respect for my customers to just abandon them. So here it is, a list of confirmed features that you can expect in coming Gemini updates.
- Remote access via desktop – this is essentially finished, and so once I’ve added the final layer of polish it will be released.
- New support pages – again these are finished and so will appear in the next update.
- ZIP (and other archive) support – I’m still researching this but it looks viable, and if it is it will definitely be integrated.
- Homebrew support – this will provide full filesystem access and is coming very soon.
The following is a list of features that I will be discontinuing development on for the forseeable future:
- FTP support – this was a huge task to even begin working at – which I have – and has grown larger with time, much like Gemini itself. I already have Simple FTP Client available for webOS 2.x and I will probably have to pull it from the catalog in the near future anyway. I put a lot of time in to it, and have so far sold less than 20 copies …
- webDAV support – A few people in the corporate sector, including HP employees requested this.
- Other third-party network support – with the addition of remote access, and Dropbox/Box.net in the wings, I don’t see the point in continuing with any more network integration. This is business as usual for me and continuing with this simply would not be profitable.
There’s something that I have purposely left out of this list: SMB/CIFS support. Let me clear something up. With the constraints imposed on catalog apps, it is simply not possible to integrate directly into the existing app. However after discussions with various people and some investigation, I have found multiple homebrew methods that I’m looking to investigate. If I think it is worth my time – and CIFS support would be as valuable to me personally as it may be to you – then I will likely produce a full and separate homebrew solution, rather than attempt to shoe-horn it into the Gemini homebrew project.
As for my other apps, I’ll be slowly pulling anything for phones – lack of sales and time-consumption were an issue here long before HP dropped the bomb – and I’m considering options for my TouchPad apps that are still under development. For now, all I will say is that they won’t go to waste if I can avoid it.
As some of you know I’ve already started to explore other avenues for mobile development, but I should make this final point clear and resounding: I’m not abandoning webOS, and I do not regret being a part of the community, or developing the apps that I have completed for those devices. However, I can’t continue to give my full and undying support to the captains of a sinking ship.
If you’re one of my customers, or a fellow developer, and you have any thoughts or concerns, comment below or mail me.