Developers to get open source webOS by September

HP fleshes out details of open source roll-out, including new development tools

Stewart Mitchell
26 Jan 2012

HP will hand over webOS to the open source community by September this year, according to plans unveiled today.

The company said it would farm webOS out to open sourcers last month, but has fleshed out details and released elements of version 2.0 of Enyo, the webOS developer tool.

The company is expected to fully open source Open webOS 1.0 by September this year, and the release of Enyo under the Apache 2.0 licence moved the platform in that direction.

The webOS operating system, used in the company's discontinued TouchPad, was left up in the air amid sweeping changes to the company last year.

“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,” said Sam Greenblatt, the chief technology officer for the open webOS project.

It expands Enyo’s “write once, run anywhere” capability to even more platforms, from mobile devices to desktop web browsers

HP said the roadmap would provide stability for developers and a better sense of the project's direction, and showed the company's commitment to the platform.

“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 platform,” Greenblatt said. “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.”

WebKit on the way

HP said further webOS releases would include a distribution of WebKit, which will support HTML5, Silverlight and Flash through the use of plugins. The company said the tool would “enable the rendering of webpages to HTML Canvas and 3D textures, and will support a wide range of application interfaces, including multitouch”.

According to the company, the partial release of Enyo 2.0 - which largely cleans up the earlier version rather than adding new features - reflects an urgency to get code in developers' hands.

"We wanted to open source Enyo as soon as possible, but in a way that reflected our vision for Enyo as a truly cross-platform framework," the company said.

"With this goal in mind, we decided to cleanly separate the core bits of Enyo into a cross-platform package and release that first, then follow up quickly with an updated UI toolkit and additional features over the next few months."

Read more about: