There's a lot of folks (myself included) that would have been happy to jump in and assist, but couldn't due to the closed-source nature of the platform.
I'm really looking forward to this. Can't wait to dive into the code. :)
I will check out Enyo, thanks (and megaduck too) for the tip!
The WebOS Internals team is happy to accept any patches which are then made available to users with Preware.
So you don't have to wait to get started and we would love more hackers joining the effort. We are also usually available on #wosi-dev on IRC.
- Because WebOS has more real devices out there, and for cheap.
- Development for the platform is ~solved~ and nice (including nice emulator images)
- I prefer the card view / just type experience to what I know from MeeGo 
: I was a huge Maemo fanboy in the past, got a couple of their shirts and went to their summits. Still own a N810, but it's mostly a clunky music player now. For me Maemo & MeeGo died by now, WebOS is in a state between worlds and might survive (after this announcement) with some support.
I'm not sure whether Web OS can survive without both current devices and active development by HP. I'm fairly certain that Open Source developers alone won't be able to advance the platform to the next level, although I'm sure that there is a lot that they can contribute.
With that said, I'm sure there is a lot of interesting technology that can be mined out of Web OS and integrated into other devices.
WebOS > Android
Maybe RIM could adopt it instead? They could really use a better UI, plus a platform that actually scales well to tablets. Plus they have a large enough install base that once they get rid of their disastrous programming environment developers might actually start writing good apps for their phones.
But yes, it's great that two things came out of Nokia+Microsoft: Microsoft finally has a really solid mobile hardware partner, and Nokia finally has a well-designed operating system.*
*That they care about. Shed a tear for MeeGo Harmattan.
It's still hard to say whether the decision to basically can Meego and bet everything on WP7 was the right one. But at least there was some kind of a case to be made on WP7 having a larger potential ecosystem, and Microsoft being willing to give Nokia huge bags of money. For WebOS it would have been a case of downgrading in every important sense. No real eco-system, no in-house experience, no other company backing it, no real technical advantages over Meego.
The one thing I'm really excited about though is that the developer tools are second to none. Microsoft has made it very simple to build very nice looking applications very quickly. As a developer that just moved to this platform I see the limited apps as great opportunity to help improve this platform even further and I plan on doing just that!
I can see WebOS being concurrence/counterbalance to Android and W7P (mostly Android) for other phonemakers than Samsung (who already has bada)
HTML5 apps are apparently wrapped in AIR internally, and maybe that's what made my app more laggy than in iPad Safari. But HTML5 app dev is nothing new for RIM.
We're talking about RIM here, how would web technologies (a game they are still late at) "capitalize on their streights"? Let alone "patch over their weaknesses"?
As an aside, I always thought it was weird that QNX was owned by Harman for a while...
Having a application development platform that has actual developers and a growing community would path over the weakness of Adobe AIR, which has neither.
Disclaimer: I am part of the WebKit team at RIM.
Nobody wants to have to open a browser and load a bookmark to get to an application that has browser widgets taking up space at the top, bottom, and side of the screen. They want a home screen icon they can tap once and get an application with native look and feel. If developers can write that app in HTML5/JS then it's a win/win for both developers and users. Developers get a highly portable framework that allows them to rapidly develop software and users get a native app experience.
I don't think that's true. Adobe AIR is supported for apps but the actual UI is native.
I guess HP could enforce the patents to keep those innovations locked to webOS but it's kind of hard to do that AND promote webOS as an open solution for people to use.
Without a group leading development the project may languish so ideally a competent group, with a vision, decides to run with webOS.
Not necessarily. The WebOS name is trademarked and they can just prohibit its use unless the software adheres to a certain quality goal.
None of the definitions above include "not for profit" clause as valid. If you have not for profit clause or non commercial or alike, it's NOT free software or "open source". (It's "freeware" or "shareware" or whatever.)
If you make your own license with such a clause, no one will consider it free or "open source." You can call it that way, but you'll just look foolish believe me.
You're right, HP still control the trademarks. But for a license to meet the Open Source Definition, there can be no 'non-commercial' restrictions.
So selling 'Foo' (derived from WebOS) is fine.But using the WebOS trademark isn't.
Just like Oracle distribute and sell support for 'Oracle Enterprise Linux' - 'Red Hat Enterprise Linux' is a trademark that belongs to Red Hat.
While I can't find a use in the wild, an example of a license I would consider to be:
* open source
* prohibit for profit use
You are welcome to say that creative commons is not open source (many people whose opinions I value highly feel that way), but it is commonly described in those terms (or at least it was when it first came out while I was in college).
Also, here is a plug for the world's greatest license (I'm tragically not affiliated with the author): http://davispj.com/2010/02/19/agpl-not-awesome-gpl.html
CC licenses are not supposed to be used as software licenses anyway.
especially with multiple app stores
"competent" is up for debate, but they're planning on still running the show.
Totally interesting. Can't wait to see what happens.
I am pretty glad that the new CEO, along with all those involved, decided to do this. People love the platform, devs like, other companies couldn't wait to get their hands on it and a lot of users have said the platform has very nice UI.
So, I'm not ready to say it's just something to "save face". It's their chance to open source something, build a healthy ecosystem and provide a 100% open source alternative for Android.
The only hope is that if Nokia becomes successful (wildly) with the Win 7 platform and Motorola does the same with Android, then as a product differentiating factor, manufacturers like HTC may pick up WebOS. Now, that's a really long shot.
What is the upside?
Samsung, HTC have been desperate for an alternative to android since the Motorola purchase by Google. If HP does this right, I have little doubt we will see future webOS devices.
Or, if they want open, why not just fork Android like Amazon and Barnes and Noble? Are you seriously suggesting Barnes and Noble has more technical resources than HTC and Samsung?
Because they could not? The only way they could was to buy it from HP, and that costs money.
> Or why aren't they pushing Windows Mobile?
HTC has WP handsets out.
> Or, if they want open, why not just fork Android like Amazon and Barnes and Noble? Are you seriously suggesting Barnes and Noble has more technical resources than HTC and Samsung?
B&N customizes Android by cutting down on features to pare it down to a tablet, the requirements are... lower.
The money saved on software licensing isn't enough to make the difference if these companies were "desperate" for an alternative. As you pointed out HTC is making Windows Mobile handsets right now and it costs money.
(Though again my point on HTC was they'd be pushing WP if they were desperate to get away from Android and they aren't)
> B&N customizes Android by cutting down on features to pare it down to a tablet, the requirements are... lower.
What features has B&N paired down in the Nook? They've restricted the use of some features but they haven't removed anything that I know of. Meaning what they have done is add a shell on top of Android just as any other manufacturer could do.
Even if you buy the argument that it would be harder for Samsung and HTC to adopt webOS feature into a shell you can't argue that it would be harder than switching to an entirely new OS and putting the marketing budget into it to attract development.
If that were easy HP would have done it.
Google had the sole power to define what an "open" platform was and the rules in using it. Developers, telcos and HW companies now have a second option.
HP may not make a dime from this move, but if the move is cheap and it can cost the competition more to respond, then it is a move is well played.
Lastly, HP is a hardware/software/services company so this move will give it some leverage when dealing with large players in those areas.
As fantastic as it would be for it to happen, imagining a multibillion dollar company managed like Oracle giving away that much value for free isn't just wishful thinking, it's delusional.
[copied from my previous comment on the 'precentral' news]
Oh... Isn't distributing proprietary drivers linked to the Linux kernel a violation of the GPL?
Check the tear downs of the HTC Sensation and the HP TouchPad .. virtually the same device inside. ;)
If only I could be a fly on the wall for those discussions of what to do with webOS...
> Meg's announcement was news to us in the webOS team as well. The HP executive team has been weighing a lot of options of late, but thanks for assuming all us in the trenches are that deeply "in the know", makes me feel warm and/or fuzzy. :)
I will now spend the rest of the day dreaming about dual booting my Tablet into WebOS and Android and all the funky apps that can come with that prospect :)
Now, I'm not saying this will happen, but at least it's possible now. webOS wasn't going to do anything for anyone sitting in a corner. Personally, I think a lot of its success depends on if/how they manage to set up a competitive webOS app store, facilitate at least one device that can run it, and letting webOS run as openly as possible on that device. Open source advocates would flock to buy and develop for a device running on a truly open OS with an open development model.
I'm also curious about a compatibility layer for Android. Dalvik has already been ported to maemo/meego, although it's closed-source. I'm relatively sure someone will now port Dalvik to webOS. I think a webOS with a vibrant, open-source community, able to run Android apps, could pose a significant challenge to portions of the Android market (to iOS to a lesser extent).
The Palm patent portfolio is worth a lot, but I doubt HP is interested in selling it.
All I could find was http://opensource.palm.com/packages.html and it's just the GPLed code they were legally required to release anyway.
Anybody know if there's a project page or anything?
All the features that should have made WebOS the best-selling platform ever have now been incorporated into the competing products. The fact that Windows Phone is basically WebOS with the homebrew taken out but is still lagging far behind in sales goes a long way towards showing that features matter much less than advertising and hype.
Not surprising, seeing as how Google hired the guy who designed the webOS UI, Matias Duarte, to lead Android UI development starting with ICS...
Disclaimer: I'm right now an intern at HP, but I'm first a Free Software hacktivist and user.
That's a healthy install base, and makes working on an open source OS for the device a worthwhile proposition.
From there, it will hopefully be a virtuous cycle, as people buy devices that can run WebOS because of a healthy developer community.
Now if you're in the market to do something new...
(I just know my karma is going to get trashed for cross posting)
Here's one such example reported on today: http://www.theverge.com/2011/12/9/2624350/webos-hacked-toget...
As you likely don't have the fab facilities, any phone you'd build from off the shelf parts would resemble the lunchbox-sized cell phones of the 80s.
I built one several years back with a Gumstix board and a GSM module from (I believe) Sparkfun.com. Though it only did SMS and Data, no voice (wasn't interested).
I don't think many will.
Samsung also maintains both an Android stack and their in-house bada. Nokia has WP7 and Symbian (which is itself split into three branches/lines: ^1, ^2 and ^3)
If people in the community created cyanogenmod and hundreds of other custom ROMs for all kinds of devices, they will also be able to do this with WebOS. If enthusiasts can port WebOS easily to a device, a company should encounter no issues when doing such a port.
WebOS is about the cloud, not the devices. It's about sharing data as a user between many cheap devices.
If Microsoft and others come after licensing deals like they did for Android that could put nails back in WebOS's coffin.
Android is not free. Maybe some makers are not paying for licenses yet (like the big players are), but they are on target: http://news.softpedia.com/news/Huawei-in-Line-for-Microsoft-... (just hope they don't come after WebOS...)
Then they copy you.
Then they announce they have an X (your product's name) killer.
Then nobody cares.
Then they open source their product.