Spaz Comes to the Palm® Pre™: How You Can Be Part of It

Transparency

Folks who got the fancy lad Palm® Pre™ on opening day found the App Catalog chock full of superapps. One of them is Spaz, a ground-up rewrite of the award-winning desktop application I created for the Adobe AIR platform using pure HTML+JavaScript. Getting Spaz on webOS™ has been a big undertaking for me, and the process has certainly had it’s ups and downs. But I’m proud of the fact that we shipped a truly open source, transparent app on the first day of a new platform.

But much like Spaz on the desktop, this is not a revenue generator for the project. Everyone who works on the Spaz project is a volunteer, and we rely on motivated folks to help us make cool software. It doesn’t need to be a huge commitment — even just getting involved in the discussion and coming up with ideas is a big help. But here’s where we need help the most:

Coding

While I intend to be the lead on Spaz for webOS™ for a while, I really could use help — I’m working in my free time, and that’s pretty limited with a family and a day job. The full source code of Spaz for webOS™ is available on GitHub, and people who want to help make new features happen are encouraged to check it out.

Even if you’re not well-versed in webOS™ coding, if you have a good JavaScript background (or don’t and are just interested in developing one), we need help to build up SpazCore, our component library that drives Spaz for webOS™, and will drive all our projects in the future. Hacking on SpazCore requires no knowledge of webOS™.

Support

We have a brand new, very awesome support site at http://spaz.tenderapp.com/ which is sponsored by the awesome folks at ENTP. We need to direct people there, and we need to get involved in helping them there. We also should build up the FAQ/Knowledge base. In addition, identifying folks on Twitter who are trying Spaz or having issues and pointing them to the support site is very important.

Advocacy

Do you like Spaz? Why? First off, let us know — I’d like to build a repository of positive mentions like that. In addition, telling people about Spaz and encouraging them to check it out is great. Hwoever, this needs to be done in a nice, non-abusive, non-spammy way, and we always need to respect other applications and their developers. THIS IS NOT A COMPETITION — it’s making people aware of quality alternatives to closed, non-transparent software.

Design/UI

I’m an opinionated fellow and rather controlling of how the Spaz apps look, but I also know there are better designers and UX experts than me. If you’re interested in helping with design and UI work on Spaz — including additional themes — I’d love to hear your ideas.

What About the Desktop?

You are not forgotten. Spaz’s desktop client is long in the tooth, and we have Big Plans for a full rewrite based on SpazCore. That’s long-term though, and in the interim work is still being done on the current Spaz codebase, including adding multi-account support and improving filtering capabilities. We also intend to transition away from AIR to the Titanium platform.

So if you want to stop bitching in your Twitter account and actually make things better, here’s your change. Drop me a line at spaz@funkatron.com and we’ll sort out the best way for you to kick ass.