HP: WebOS, Enyo app framework goes open source

HP: WebOS, Enyo app framework goes open source

Summary: There are two reads on the WebOS news: HP couldn't find a reasonable buyer or the company is betting it can take off on its own.

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Hewlett-Packard said it is open sourcing WebOS and the Enyo application framework. Company officials told ZDNet that open sourcing WebOS was the best move after the company reviewed the various possibilities for the mobile operating system. There are two reads on the WebOS news: HP couldn't find a reasonable buyer or the company is betting it can take off on its own. HP's WebOS was a casualty when the company exited the tablet and smartphone business. HP acquired WebOS via the Palm acquisition, a deal that looked interesting at the time, but amounted to a $1.2 billion sinkhole. New HP CEO Meg Whitman, who took over in September, now has the largest looming issues for the company resolved. She completed the Autonomy deal, decided to keep the PC unit and now has open sourced WebOS. More: HP open sources WebOS: The fallout | HP: WebOS, Enyo app framework goes open source | CNET: Sorry, WebOS is doomed to fail | webOS’ potential: A headache for iOS, Android? | HP to make webOS open source; is it just prolonging the end? | HP open-sources WebOS, but will anyone develop for it? | Why open-source WebOS has legs: because people fear Google In some respects, the WebOS move is savvy. HP, which probably could have sold the OS for something, decided that WebOS could attract developers as an open source project. And given that Apple's iOS and Android dominate the smartphone landscape, the WebOS bet makes sense. Smartphone carriers will need some kind of hedge. By open sourcing WebOS, HP could find a following for the mobile platform. What's next? HP releases the WebOS source code and evaluates what relevance it has among developers. Officially, HP will evaluate WebOS as it would any other platform when choosing whether to use it. In reality, the WebOS outcome could be binary: Either developers keep it going or it dies in an open source graveyard. Often, code is open sourced as a last ditch effort to stay relevant. Related: HP: If you want folks to hack the TouchPad, then Open Source it. Here's the full statement:
PALO ALTO, CA--(Marketwire - Dec 9, 2011) - HP (NYSE: HPQ) today announced it will contribute the webOS software to the open source community. HP plans to continue to be active in the development and support of webOS. By combining the innovative webOS platform with the development power of the open source community, there is the opportunity to significantly improve applications and web services for the next generation of devices. webOS offers a number of benefits to the entire ecosystem of web applications. For developers, applications can be easily built using standard web technologies. In addition, its single integrated stack offers multiplatform portability. For device manufacturers, it provides a single web-centric platform to run across multiple devices. As a result, the end user benefits from a fast, immersive user experience. "webOS is the only platform designed from the ground up to be mobile, cloud-connected and scalable," said Meg Whitman, HP president and chief executive officer. "By contributing this innovation, HP unleashes the creativity of the open source community to advance a new generation of applications and devices." HP will make the underlying code of webOS available under an open source license. Developers, partners, HP engineers and other hardware manufacturers can deliver ongoing enhancements and new versions into the marketplace. HP will engage the open source community to help define the charter of the open source project under a set of operating principles: The goal of the project is to accelerate the open development of the webOS platform HP will be an active participant and investor in the project Good, transparent and inclusive governance to avoid fragmentation Software will be provided as a pure open source project HP also will contribute ENYO, the application framework for webOS, to the community in the near future along with a plan for the remaining components of the user space. Beginning today, developers and customers are invited to provide input and suggestions at http://developer.palm.com/blog/.
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Topics: Hewlett-Packard, Mobile OS, Open Source, Operating Systems

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  • RE: HP: WebOS, Enyo app framework goes open source

    Outstanding!
    theKid_z
    • RE: HP: WebOS, Enyo app framework goes open source

      @theKid_z the best tablet in my think of view is that one cause it is budget friendly and giving good performance here: http://www.technologyfazer.com/toshiba-thrive-tablet.html
      nomikhokher
    • RE: HP: WebOS, Enyo app framework goes open source

      @theKid_z 1++;
      This is the new hobbyist platform of choice. Hackers start your engines!
      BillDem
  • RE: HP: WebOS, Enyo app framework goes open source

    Great News..
    Love the Touchpad.. Downloading the Enyo app Framework now!!!
    rplatero
    • RE: HP: WebOS, Enyo app framework goes open source

      @rplatero
      Where are you downloading it from?
      pefdude
      • RE: HP: WebOS, Enyo app framework goes open source

        @pefdude www.Heaven.ORG/SaintTheSDK.lord?SDK=WebOS.Enyo.SDK.OverKill
        thandermax
  • RE: HP: WebOS, Enyo app framework goes open source

    From the article:
    "HP will make the underlying code of webOS available under an open source license

    Which open-source license? GPL v2? v3? Apache 2.0? Other? WebOS is already based on the Linux kernel which is GPL v2.

    From HP's statement:
    "HP plans to continue to be active in the development and support of webOS.

    HP's active involvement is a plus for an open-source WebOS as both Nokia and Intel dropped their support for MeeGo.
    Rabid Howler Monkey
  • RE: HP: WebOS, Enyo app framework goes open source

    From the sound of it, HP thinks it has a <b><i>"true"</i>[/b] platform independent OS, which is diametrically opposed to iOS and more evolved than both WP7 and Android's ICS. If so, they're poised for a dramatic increase in interested stakeholders.</b>
    JBdavisJB
  • How open?

    The devil is in the details. "HP will make the underlying code of webOS available under an open source license." Yeah? Which one?

    Would it allow, say, Samsung to take the code, massage it however, add to it, and keep the results? Or will the license be something more like the GPL where anything you add has to be tossed back into the pot for everyone to use?

    The choice of license will have a huge impact on whether anyone but starry-eyed FOSSers shows an interest in the code.
    Robert Hahn
    • Right. How does HP benefit from this

      @Robert Hahn The author call this a "savvy", I see it more as: "We tried nothing and we are all out of ideas, but we have to do somethings."

      One can see how Google can profit from Android, but how does HP plan on recouping all of the money they spent acquiring WebOS?
      otaddy
    • RE: HP: WebOS, Enyo app framework goes open source

      @Robert Hahn I don't think the GPL would be the disincentive you think. The added value is in the hardware-specific software. The hardware is likely to be protected by patents so there's no real advantage to keeping the software proprietary. A GPL-like license will tend, somewhat, to reduce fragmentation. That's a good thing.
      Badge3832
  • RE: HP: WebOS, Enyo app framework goes open source

    Sounds like they're going with the Android model! this is great!!
    Hasam1991
  • RE: HP: WebOS, Enyo app framework goes open source

    Is this going to make me regret selling my Pad for $200?
    criedel@...
  • This may work until MS and Apple review it and accuse it of stolen IP

    At the very least I am sure that the tinkers and the people that were caught holding the bag when HP orphaned them will be interested.
    balsover
  • RE: HP: WebOS, Enyo app framework goes open source

    I think this is a good idea. I hope WebOS lives on forever. I have used it since the Palm Pre came out and enjoy it alot. I wanted to get the HP Pre 3 but....well we know what happened with that. lol. I had to switch to an iPhone instead :) It looks like under this new CEO HP might actually do somethings right. Open source community please keep this great OS relevant.
    ibjermel
    • How is this right for HP?

      @ibjermel How does HP make money from this and why should developers work on this for free, only to have HP profit from their work?

      The jury is still out on whether the new CEO is doing things right. Of course, it would be hard for her to do worse than the previous occupants of that job, although I think the real problem is the board itself and the rest of the leadership team.
      otaddy
    • RE: HP: WebOS, Enyo app framework goes open source

      @ibjermel Agree , I would have liked to have Pre3, but went Android instead
      sirlknig@...
  • RE: HP: WebOS, Enyo app framework goes open source

    W00t! Best Palm news in a long time.
    Now I'm looking to buy a Nook Color/Tablet and put WebOS on it.
    Olderdan
  • RE: HP: WebOS, Enyo app framework goes open source

    Does this mean that all the software patents on WebOS are not applicable anymore?
    jeanshack
  • RE: HP: WebOS, Enyo app framework goes open source

    Excellent news !, more than two months ago I was thinking that the only way for WebOS to survive was that HP would give it to the open source community and they have done just that. This is great ! I hope it will survive for ever. I've just changed my Palm Pre for an android phone (which is also great) and would love to go back some time in the future.
    vercan