Sam’s Blog: Open webOS Governance Model

14 BY Sam Greenblatt

Last week, I promised you an outline of the webOS governance model. Today, we’re publishing that model and announcing the leaders of the Project Management Committees. As you will see below, we’ve based the model on the Apache Way.

Key Principles

  • Open webOS will made available under the Apache license, Version 2.0.
  • Open webOS will use the contributor committal model in use on most open source projects.
  • Open webOS will be segmented into multiple projects to give developers ample opportunity to join and remain active in the development effort.
  • The Open webOS project website will host a wiki, a source code repository, a mailing list, and a bug tracking system.
  • We will use Github or an equivalent tool to as the code repository.
  • We will use JIRA or an equivalent tool to track issues.
  • Our plan is to allow multiple committers to branch and merge code in the open to allow multiple development branches to occur at once.



As noted above, Open webOS includes several projects: Enyo (a JavaScript framework), WebKit/Isis, the Linux Standard Kernel, and the webOS System Manager. Each project has a Project Management Committee (PMC), comprised of committers elected within the project’s community to provide oversight for the project. The PMC also decides on the project’s release strategy and is responsible for releasing distributions into the community.

PMC members are expected to act individually, making decisions in the best interests of the project, when acting on PMC or development lists. Each PMC is responsible for ensuring their project follows certain core requirements set by the board or other corporate officers of Open webOS. Examples include following legal, branding, and infrastructure related requirements, and ensuring their community operates in a manner similar to that outlined by the Apache Way.

PMC members nominate new contributors to the project as committers, and PMC members cast votes on electing new committers to the project. PMC members also have binding votes on any project matters.


In the beginning, all committers (distinct from public users and contributors) will come from HP. The PMCs will use a system of meritocracy as a guide for adding contributors as the project progresses. The path of progressing from public user to contributor to committer is based largely upon user involvement in the community (see below). At any given moment we would expect relatively few committers.

(As an example, Linux has thousands of users, of whom only 2.5% are developers or contributors and fewer than 100 are committers. So, the project may have many, many users, but it’s the PMC and the committers who determine the project’s baseline.)

All committers report to the PMC of the component they represent. The PMC uses a consensus-based decision making process to determine whether or not to take a contribution from the community and commit it to the code tree.

Meritocracy criteria include:

  • Community involvement
  • Consensus decision-making
  • Open and transparent communications
  • Responsible oversight with deference to the community


Project Leaders

Today we are announcing the leaders of each PMC. The Open webOS board will be announced in April.

Project Leader
Overall Project Owner Sam Greenblatt
Open webOS Manish Patil
Enyo Matt McNulty
webOS WebKit Leonid Zolotarev
Kernel and System Manager TBD
Community Development Rod Whitby



Editor’s note: You can find Sam’s blog post discussing our release of the Isis web browser and QtWebKit here.

Comments (14)

  1. Pingback: HP webOS Developer Blog

  2. David Jarvis MD says:

    Looks like a Phoenix may be stirring in the ashes….. Hope it takes off and flies. Please just remember that tablets are nice to websurf, read, and play on; but phones are with professionals basically 24/7. Without the iPhone, iPads would be nothing more than another interesting leisure toy.

    I don’t keep coming back to my Pre# phones to play games; I come back from trying Android phones because of JustType and Synergy and multiple cards.

    So please keep it a useful phone platform that works on everything from TouchPad to toasters too, and attracts professionals, too. Then I for one will be developing more medical apps, and hopefully not have to continue carrying an additional Android phone in my pocket, too, just to run the big professional medical apps on.

  3. CHall says:

    The success of a phone or tablet OS is based on the popularity of its apps and not the functionality of the OS. Provide a open, stable and secure environment to develop apps and WebOS will be a success; if not, it will go the way of Quickster.

  4. Pingback: HP’s Whitman Slags Android to Pump WebOS | Android Developers

  5. Pingback: Why Android will never be closed source |

  6. Pingback: HP’s Whitman Slags Android to Pump WebOS |

  7. David Rivers says:

    Leveraging GitHub’s community is a smart move. Please provide good documentation about webOs internals to mitigate the barrier to entry!

  8. Quentin Feduchin says:

    I’ve just taken delivery of a Google Samsung Galaxy Nexus GT-i9250, with the brand new Android 4.0 icecreamsandwich operating system.
    I know I’ve only had it for a day, but I’ve spent about twelve hours on it up to now (01:15, am that is..)
    I’ve gotta tell you, I know Android is the latest and greatest, especially v4.0, but it simply doesn’t touch webOS. I am absolutely astounded to say this, I can’t believe it.
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
    webOS has the gestures, it almost comes down to that alone; also a common sense way of handling things, though I’m ready to admit that I would probably get used to the Google way of doing things, give time. But let’s take the gestures first.
    I currently use a Veer, which I have got used to but really is a bit small.. Compound that with the fact that I live in Sydney, Australia and HP COMPLETELY ignore us: I cannot get ANY updates via the HP website [only USA, Canada and Europe can - damned if I know what WE'VE done to deserve that!], but – - the gestures – - here’s an incomplete list:
    Close a program = Swipe it up.
    Background or foreground a program = Lightly touch the gesture centre.
    Bring up a list, emails for example, want to bin one = swipe it to the right.
    Get rid of old message = swipe it away.
    Select word or paragraph = hold down ‘abc’ key, select with finger.
    Copy that selection = touch gesture centre, hit C
    Paste it = touch gesture centre, hit V
    AND THE LIST GOES ON – Hold down ’123′ button and move cursor where you want it…
    NONE of this is on the Android! NONE.
    And one last thing, I need your reply here: Has HP given up on the Pre smart phones?
    Regretfully, with nothing out for a year and a tablet that seems to be no longer produced, I think they have.

  9. Andrew Penhorwood says:

    Looking forward to the completion of webOS to the open source community. My new android phone feels like a step back on the OS side. The hardware is great but I already miss webOS (palm pre+). The quicker you open source webOS the better for everyone.