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FileMgr and SysToolsMgr arrive for webOS 2.x
by Jason Robitaille on 3/4/2011 | Filed Under: Apps; Tags: - none - | 60 comments

Between the Palm Pre 2, Metadoctor'd legacy devices, and the FrankenPre2 conversion, there's more people than ever running on webOS 2.x. And while webOS 2.x contains a huge amount of awesome, there were some sacrifices. For instance, the JVM was removed, and thus every java homebrew service was broken. This caused apps and patches like Internalz, Advanced Reset Options, and Video Camera Flashlight to stop working for those devices.

That all stops now.  I'm proud to announce the immediate availability of the next generation of my services: FileMgr v2.0 and SysToolsMgr v1.0, as well as a custom Homebrew JS Service Framework.

As some will remember, webOS 2.0 brought with it the ability to run third party custom Node.js-based services. So about two and a half months ago I began work on Node.js ports of my java services. Some don't realize how truly powerful Node.js can be, but evidently Palm did.

The first challenge encountered was a built-in Palm service jailer, which prevents js services from doing anything destructive or harmful to the system. A smart idea for App Catalog releases, but for homebrew services like FileMgr and SysToolsMgr, full system access is a must. With that in mind, Homebrew JS Service Framework was created.  It contains an opensource modular script that any homebrew service can take advantage of very easily. When harnessed, it allows homebrew services to have full root access.

With root access obtained, both FileMgr and SysToolsMgr were able to be completely recoded into Node.js format.  And in fact, they were improved. Both services now stay permanently in the launcher with a redesigned frontend app.  Oh, and old 1.4.5 users, don't worry; the old java services are bundled so the new releases will be backwards compatible.

In addition to the Homebrew JS Service Framework, I've also released a few other opensource tools for developers. A very simple on-device service tester, as well as a generic service frontend, like used with both FileMgr and SysToolsMgr. The best part of the service frontend is that all you need to do is edit the appinfo.json file and it'll work out-of-the-box, so to say. And as always, SysToolsMgr is still opensource and both it, and FileMgr, are fully documented.

The next generation of my services are here and now all those apps and patches will work on webOS 2.x. For example, install Homebrew JS Service Framework, FileMgr 2.0, and then the current version of Internalz will work fully.

Once last note, the NDA that prevented release for the past many weeks is not removed, however Palm has given permission for this release.  Be sure to pass along your thanks to them. And hey, if you'd like to support continued development, consider a donation.

Update: Homebrew JS Service Framework 1.0.0, FileMgr 2.0.0, and SysToolsMgr 1.0.0 are now in the PreCentral ipkg feed.