There are already open source apps in the Pre’s App Catalog which do
publish source elsewhere (with permission), and there’s an alternative
distribution channel with an active homebrew community (developers and
users), acknowledged and even spoken warmly of by Palm; some apps have
“graduated” from Homebrew to the App Catalog. I agree the situation
is a bit ambiguous, but they’ve increased staff to deal with app submissions
and developer relations, and details are still being worked out.

I think the Slashdot/ITWire story swallows JWZ’s account rather
uncritically. Palm is working through a backlog of app submissions,
and I guess somehow his tip calculator (sans decimal points) and Dali
clock just weren’t prioritized as much as he would have liked, perhaps
in part given his objection to their Paypal contact verification
requirement. When a new hire at Palm tried to contact him to discuss
his concerns, JWZ’s response [on Twitter] was
– Hide quoted text –
“@bgalbs no, I have no interest in wasting my time talking on the
phone over this. just post my apps already. what more is there to
say?”

Even so, the Palm employee’s blog post about the incident says
“We obviously goofed in how we communicated with Jamie, and Dion and I
take some of the blame here as our staff had been waiting for us to
come on-board to get to some of these items.”

For those interested, PreCentral (the indie host of the homebrew
community) goes into the nuances:
http://www.precentral.net/submitting-palms-app-catalog-how-difficult-it
…whoops, and I’m already out of date! Check out exciting new announcements from Palm:
http://bit.ly/qXj5J — Palm will provide review-free URL for developers to distribute through (if they don’t want to use the App Catalog). Waiving developer fee if it’s open source. Opening up all its analytical data to any developer who wants to access it! Whoo hoo!