Palm launches PDK beta, brings C and C++ development to webOS

Good news, everyone! We’ve got another acronym for you to remember! Back at CES 2010, Palm announced that they’d be launching a “PDK” at some point in the future – and, well, it’s here, and it’s time to pay some attention to it.

You see, “PDK” stands for “Plug-in Development Kit” (as opposed to “SDK”, or Software Development Kit). Being that webOS is built on various web technologies, its been tough for them to get any boastable number of games into their app store — it’s tough to design a killer 3D game in HTML and Javascript, you know? That’s where the PDK comes in.

The PDK allows programmers to execute native C and C++ code in webOS apps. Ran through the geek translator, that means that game developers can make radically more intensive games in a programming language they’re long accustomed to working with. Even better, it helps folks who have already designed games on other platforms (coughiPhonecough) port their games over to webOS with considerably less effort, as they can use code they’ve already written. It’s still not a matter of pressing a button and flipping a switch, but it’s less mind-blowingly-difficult now.

Be sure to check out Palm’s FAQ on the topic here. It seems like Palm actually fielded questions from developers , like this gem:

Q: Does the webOS PDK amount to an admission that your original SDK was not robust enough to produce compelling applications?

Not at all! Palm remains fully committed to the web as a mobile development platform, and the App Catalog today features thousands of compelling applications built using the current webOS SDK. The webOS PDK complements the webOS SDK by allowing developers to use C and C++ code in their webOS apps when it makes sense for business reasons (like leveraging existing code) or technical reasons (like implementing functionality not currently achievable using web technology alone). 3D games are one category where the PDK is a great fit for both business and technical reasons.