Welcome to webOS Open Source

25 BY Fred Patton

Editor’s note: Today’s blog post comes from Sam Greenblatt, the chief technology officer and head of technical strategy for the open webOS project. He guides the project’s strategy around open collaboration and is responsible for technical engineering. His focus is on the practice of developing webOS with the community, and his approach is founded on the belief that the open source development model produces great software and web technology. Sam has many years of open source experience, including being on the board of OSDL (Linux Foundation). His long career in software development includes being a CTO at HP, Chief Innovation Officer at CA Technology, and CTO at Candle Corporation (IBM).

In December, HP announced that webOS would be made available under an open source license, with continued support from HP. We’re proud of webOS and its potential to harness web standards to improve the next generation of applications, web services, and devices.

Today, we’re taking the next step on this journey by releasing Enyo, our JavaScript app framework, under open source licensing, allowing developers to distribute their Enyo-based webOS apps across other platforms. In this post, we’ll also provide a first look at our open source release roadmap.

In any large project, it’s imperative to communicate the plan for achieving the project’s goals. This plan is usually presented in the form of a roadmap, which outlines the steps necessary to achieve project goals and shows the path forward. For an open source project to be a success, that roadmap must be public so all contributors have a sense of where the project is headed.

In subsequent posts, and on the new Enyo website, we will share more details about our roadmap for webOS, including our plans for release phases, governance, tools, documentation, and more. So with that in mind, let’s step into an overview of some of the pieces of the release plan.

Our first contribution is Enyo, our lightweight, cross-platform framework aimed at mobile devices and web browsers.

This initial open source release includes Enyo 1.0, which allows current developers of Enyo apps for webOS devices to distribute their apps to other platforms. While this release is not intended to be expanded any further, there is considerable utility for our current developer base in releasing it.

Today’s release also includes the core of Enyo 2.0, which will be the foundation for Enyo going forward. It expands Enyo’s “write once, run anywhere” capability to even more platforms, from mobile devices to desktop web browsers. It works on many of the most popular web browsers, including Chrome, IE 9, Firefox, and Safari.

While 2.0 does not yet include any UI widgets, the core will support a wide variety of libraries and add-ons. A UI widget set for 2.0 will be released in the near future.

Upcoming releases include our distribution of WebKit, which will support not only HTML5, but also Silverlight and Flash through the use of plug-ins. It will enable the rendering of webpages to HTML Canvas and 3-D textures, and will support a wide range of application interfaces, including multi-touch.

We will also release a new kernel based on the Linux Foundation’s standard kernel. As we continue through the roadmap, you will see enhanced integration with JavaScript through register callbacks and custom multi-process architecture for security, load balancing, and recovery availability.

Look for us to introduce LevelDB to replace our prior database.

Along the way, we will also share our tool sets, and we expect that many of you will want to share yours as well.

In closing, I want to thank the great engineers who have worked with me on creating the open webOS roadmap and let you all know that we look forward to collaborating with the community. As my friend Eric Raymond stated as I embarked on the open source adventure, “It takes a village to create a complete solution.”

Comments (25)

  1. Andrew Wooldridge (@triptych) says:

    So much about WebOS was about wrong place, wrong time, but this release is really at the Right Place (Open Source) and Right Time (when js is really taking off). Any plans to have EnyoJS work with Node.js?

  2. John P. Mitchell says:

    My sincerest thanks to HP and the management who stepped up and decided to support the community of HP TouchPad users. I will be able to continue to use my device even though the hardware has been discontinued. HP will be a top contender for my purchasing dollars because of this.

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  9. Zach says:

    “We will also release a new kernel based on the Linux Foundation’s standard kernel”
    I feel like an 8-year old who has just gotten $5.00 worth of tokens at Chuck E Cheese’s.

  10. Pingback: HP: Open webOS 1.0 arriving in September, Enyo 2.0 framework free to developers today | iPhoneFools

  11. Rahul says:

    It is very exciting to see the path that HP has chosen with WebOS. Switching to a more standard kernel, making Enyo work across browsers, and choosing Apache license where possible and a clear roadmap are all welcome.

    It would be great if you could provide a clearer picture about the future of PDK as well. I feel that the PDK deserves some attention and maturation as well. For example, Qt can be made a part of PDK and I would love to help out with this.

  12. Thomas says:

    Is HP going to make tablets or any products with this OS? I have many HP products and is very satisfied of it. I was going to buy the HP Touchpad but when I was going to buy it, HP didn’t sell it anymore. Please reply to me because I want one badly!!!

  13. Pingback: TechnologyNews » Blog Archive » HP Releases First Piece Of WebOS Under Open-Source License

  14. Stanley Krute says:

    First class thinking, all the way. Salutes to everyone at Palm and HP and the dev community for keeping this precious flame burning.

    Enyo Everywhere !!

  15. Pingback: HP’s open source webOS embraces Android, iOS | androidless.net

  16. John ? says:

    Smart move by taking a dying platform and making it open source as there is lots of activity. Might bring the platform back.