I was responding to folks over at Maemo when I remembered this post that I did at Brighthand when it became official that Palm (as it was known) was gone. The feeling for many is similar for Nokia, Symbian, Maemo, and MeeGo. And yet, I find this response that I did then just as appropriate.
There are a few sociologists who studied Amiga and Newton communities who continue to mourn over the loss of support for their hardware and softawre, yet continue to develop and refine what the originators of their tech would not. However, those same sociologists spoke of the dedication to these unsupported pieces of technology as an “unhealthy religion.”
When I had made that decision to move away from Garnet and to something a bit more befitting, I felt like a lot of you now. But I really had to sit and ask myself if the device was serving me, or if I was serving it – because of the attachment that I had to it. Seriously, you couldn’t tell me something was better than the Palm OS – I had “seen the light.”
But a funny thing happened in the mist of my Symbian conversion. I started to see where my loyality wasn’t being upheld by Palm nor Access. On Palm’s side, I understood. They pushed it far, but still not enough to satisify my mobile needs. But Access’ lack of getting some signifiant inroads to “me the loyalist” felt a lot like being told that the Tooth Fairy wasn’t real. It was a kick in the pants and a needed reality check.
Palm made a choice, and essentially stated how they were going to flow nearly three years ago. Anyone expceting Garnet to stay on Palm devices forever lived on borrowed time. Palm wasn’t going to do it, and they would stick to their guns. Despite that, some of us believed on. Even going as far as pushing some developers to extend their stay, even at the expense of their headaches.
Look. I don’t say this to mean “get real” or anything like that. But most of us here knew that this was coming. To look at this announcement and express shock and dismay is being overly idealistic. Sure, we “hoped” for a change, and that faith drove a lot of us to continue where others would not. But the mark in the road is here. Garnet is not being produced in any more new devices, and is only supported as far as Centro deployments go. Anything else is of the good will and religious fervor of developers who should go down in history as some of the best that mobile tech has ever known.
I hope though that many of you stick with your devices until they are done. Even after the backups are done. And then come into the “then modern” devices with a refreshed mindsest and a legitimate consumer-driven approach to saying what you want and what you will pay for.
Right now, I don’t know that many here are ready to move. And that’s a good thing. Palm PDAs are going to be good devices. The software was designed almost too well. But expecting something like that to be supported forever is in effect blind faith. Faith yes, but leads to nothing except unmet expectations and a missing tooth without the change.
What can I say… sometimes, we just have to take what life gives us. Better can and will come from it if we continue to live.