At next week's Game Developers Conference (run by UBM TechWeb, as is Gamasutra), Palm will release a public beta of its webOS Plug-in Development Kit (PDK), a set of tools that will assist developers in creating and porting mobile applications for webOS.
Palm created the PDK to supplement the web technologies-focused webOS SDK. Palm notes that the webOS PDK allows for easy integration of C/C++ components, and streamlines porting of C/C++ applications, including those that use OpenGL ES 1.1 or 2.0.
The PDK is particularly helpful in the porting of applications originally developed for the iPhone and iPod Touch. The webOS-supporting Palm Pre smartphone includes a multi-touch touchscreen display and a 3-axis accelerometer -- key hardware elements shared by Apple's devices.
Though Palm's App Catalog currently offers significantly fewer applications than Apple's App Store, the Palm library could expand rapidly as App Store developers port their titles using the webOS PDK.
Palm's webOS Graphics & Gaming Director Jeff Bush will host a session
at GDC 2010 providing an architectural overview of Palm's hardware and instructing programmers in the use of the webOS Plug-in Development Kit.