One of the first things I do when developing with a new framework is automate as much as I can. When it comes to automating builds, GNU Make is still king of the hill. Sure, it has a notoriously finicky syntax. But when you know what you’re doing no other tool can express dependency information as concisely as Make.

I thought I’d post the Makefile I’ve been creating as I work on my first WebOS app. It’s definitely a work in progress, but it’s capable of building packages, launching the emulator, launching novacomd as a background job, and reloading the app. I’ve tried to get the dependencies right so that altering any part of the app forces a package rebuild before installing.

Note, this makefile is for Webos SDK 1.2 on an Ubuntu system. It will probably require some small modifications to work on an OS X system.

The Makefile, along with a small helper script for launching novacomd, can be found at Please let me know if you find it useful!

EDIT: I realised there’s one part of the Makefile which might not be immediately clear. In order to keep things DRY, I have the Makefile be the sole source of the app version (in the VERSION variable). Then I generate the appinfo.json file from a template (appinfo.json.m4) using the GNU M4 macro processor and passing in the app version.

Published by Avdi Grimm


  1. Did all of my yacking about WebOS dev get you revved up to do some more? 😉

    • Heh. Truth is, I wrote all that weeks ago, and as I was looking over my project today I realised it might be of use to someone else. It's certainly nice to know someone else doing Webos dev, though.

  2. Could you also post your M4 template? I've never worked with M4 before…

  3. Could you also post your M4 template? I've never worked with M4 before…


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