HP releases Open webOS' new browser Isis, JavaScript core, and Enyo UI widgets | webOS Nation

HP releases Open webOS' new browser Isis, JavaScript core, and Enyo UI widgets 34

by Derek Kessler Tue, 14 Feb 2012 9:01 am EST


Today HP is delivering on the roadmap they laid out last month and releasing all at once their February commitment. On the docket are the UI widgets needed for Enyo 2.0 app development, how webOS will integrate JavaScript core, and the new QtWebKit-derived Isis web browser.

JavaScript core isn't exactly something we can illustrate (though we were previously told to expect a significant performance boost as a result of trading it in place of the current V8 JavaScript implementation). The UI widgets for Enyo 2.0 are also up for a release, following last month's release of the Enyo 2.0 source code. update: Turns out HP jumped the gun in saying the Enyo 2.0 UI widgets were getting released today. They'll be coming later this month.

What's interesting is the new implementation of WebKit taken by the webOS team. Under the lead of former Nokia Meego VP Ari Jaaksi, HP has adopted QtWebKit (developed and open sourced by Nokia) as the new engine behind webOS. Seeing as webOS is based around web technologies, this change will affect the entire OS. It is said to "offer unrivaled speed and standards compliance" for both the browser and Enyo apps, which is a change from the partial standards implementation we've had to deal with for the past few years of webOS.

QtWebKit will back up the new webOS browser, which just so happens to be named Isis. Yes, another Greek gods reference, this time to "the ideal mother" and matron on nature and magic. HP's internal benchmarks have found Isis to be "extremely responsive" in comparison to other popular browsers, with extensive support for HTML5 and CSS3. Said HP: "Standards-compliance is important to developers because they can use technologies like Enyo to develop cross-platform web applications that already work well on webOS." We couldn't agree more.

In a surprising move, given the industry move away from such things, Isis will also provide "enhanced support" for "legacy products" such as Adobe Flash and other plug-ins, even though this won't be an X11 environment. We're glad in a way to see Flash support provided, but still uncertain about the future of mobile Flash given Adobe's abandonment of the project. And also hoping the industry can just decide to move on to newer and better things.

HP's delivering on their commitments for the Open webOS roadmap, and just so happens to do so on Valentine's Day. Are we in love? Not sure yet, but you might be able to describe us as slightly smitten today.

Press release after the break.

February Releases for Open webOS

Today I am proud to announce delivery of our February Open webOS commitments: extensions to QtWebKit, the release of Isis (our web browser), our integration with JavaScript core, UI Enyo widgets, and our governance model.

The web increasingly provides the best option for cross-platform development. It continues to be rapidly adopted and improved upon by a wide variety of platforms. Developers look to standards-based web development as a way of deploying across the mobile landscape, maximizing the potential market. We're seeing proof of that with the adoption of Enyo, which has been downloaded 40,000 times in only three weeks. With today's release, webOS remains at the forefront of this emerging standard.

With the power of the components released today, a developer can create an immersive user environment that can be built on any web platform. This is another step in fulfilling the promise of Open webOS.

Isis (webOS Browser) and QtWebKit

To stay at the forefront, webOS required a fast, standards-compliant web browser engine to provide the core of both the standalone browser and the rendering technology for the platform and its apps. For this reason, we chose QtWebKit to power the next generation experience for webOS. QtWebKit offers unrivaled speed and standards compliance while providing a powerful and fast platform for Enyo and apps. WebKit is also the point of integration between the underlying System Manager, which will be open sourced later this year, and the web rendering layer of webOS.

QtWebKit (a.k.a. "Cute" WebKit) was originally open sourced by Nokia. We have been in the process of moving webOS to this port of WebKit for some time, with a goal of increasing web site compatibility and overall performance. Today we are ready to release the first part of this effort to the open source community—the Isis web browser.

We've benchmarked the new Isis webOS browser and have found it to be extremely responsive compared to other browsers made for general consumption. It has a fast render pipeline and JavaScript execution profile, which is critical to Enyo and other web technologies. It is extensively supportive of HTML5 and CSS3. Standards-compliance is important to developers because they can use technologies like Enyo to develop cross-platform web applications that already work well on webOS.

We are also providing enhanced support for legacy products like Adobe Flash and other Netscape Plug-in API (NPAPI) plugins to allow them to run in non-X11 environments. In combination with the rest of webOS, we will be providing a complete browsing experience that can be deployed on mobile devices and other form factors.

Stay tuned for future webcasts, videos, and technical documentation on these developments. We have a number of exciting things planned as we continue the march to Open webOS.

Project information and the technical documentation for this release will be made available on GitHub and the project site, www.isis-project.org, by Leonid Zolotarev.

You can find this month’s updates to Enyo here and the JavaScript core here.


QtWebKit-derived Isis we browser =be=> QtWebKit-derived Isis web browser.

I feel like a little girl right now. OMG! It's happening! It's happening!

I feel ya. I want webOS to survive and be once again alive and well so bad.

Feels so good!


So how exactly is the new browser being deployed? Will it pop up as a software update/system update, be available in Preware, and/or be a manual ipk download?

It's available right now right here: https://github.com/isis-project/isis-browser

Of course you have to package it yourself. I wouldn't expect it to come as an update from HP, though I do expect webOS Internals to package it up all nice and pretty for those who want to live on the cutting edge.

Awesome, can't wait to this out!

P.S. I'm using Advanced Browser on the TouchPad and it looks like my comment reposted each time I refreshed the page.

Welcome to webOS.

Congratulations to HP's "Open Source" initiative for webOS. This is great news for our community, and obviously kudos to Rod Whitby. I also hope new webOS hardware arrives in the near future. Peace.

Great news, let's hope they keep up with it. If so, then maybe by the time I can't bear to use my FrankenPre 2 anymore because it doesn't keep up, I can make a PseudoPre out of some other phone! **fingers crossed**

One minor gripe, moreso with the webOS team than Derek, technically, Isis was an Egyptian goddess, the Greco-Roman world followed using her same name, so yes, she was a Greek Goddess, but only slightly more than Ares was Roman. The name just didn't change.

Again, more happy about the news, and the fact that it all came out at the exact same time. That's pretty damned awesome.

So are these going to be available to install on my touchpad or pre? Both the BRowser and the JavaScript core? Im assuming that this will be something that will soon be available in preware?

Well the Isis browser's project site says it is compaitible with touchpad running OS v3.0.5. ComeOn! HP, for how long will you be ignoring the Pre's.

Now, WebOS Internals community, please get this browser to the Pre's too.....we have the source code now, maybe it should work.

Just hit up the forums to see if somebody already done the ipk and installed it.
It's just he Enyo UI(front end) so nothing seems to be that different from what is it in 3.0.5.
I guess we'll have to wait for the back end to be updated somehow too.
Nevertheless this is exiting.
Tried the QtBrowser in hombrew and it's really fast - have some issues with zooming but it's really good.

+1 :)
Hoping for all of this WebOS 3.x goodness to be backported to 2, or better, to see my pre³ running WebOS 3 one day !

Meanwhile, the latest in webOS gaming is Chinese Checkers.

Perhaps an ignorant question, but if and when this new browser is packaged for easy installation for non-techie touchpad users like me, what will be the material difference between it and the stock browser?

EDIT: ALso, any idea why would they not release this browser thru the app cataloge rather than force people to jump thru hoops?

(Perhaps an ignorant question, but if and when this new browser is packaged for easy installation for non-techie touchpad users like me, what will be the material difference between it and the stock browser?)

-Mostly better speed and compatibility for starters.

(ALso, any idea why would they not release this browser thru the app cataloge rather than force people to jump thru hoops?)

-If for no other reason than because it's still a bit of a prototype.

Awesome! Finally webOS is sticking to a schedule. This is progress!

I want that Enyo wallpaper as a boot logo. Is it hosted anywhere?

Yeah the enyo logo looks so much better then the hp logo.

So can I get this browser from somewhere?

yay :D looks like hp is finally sitcking to it's commitment... I am glad they have because I want to see webOS up & running again! I can't wait to see the first phone that runs open webOS...

OOOOhh wouldn't that be nice?

pretty sure Isis was Egyptian. But either way, hope webOS RISES LIKE A phoenix!

Oh god, someone PLEASE add text reflow to the browser now. Pretty please with a cherry on top?

Is such a task even possible? If so, easy or difficult?

Do I need to ask Ari Jaaksi for permission to use his name as a Star Wars Character in my new game?

So I am guessing my Spring Pre wont' be getting this new web browser! :-/

I'm so happy! I'm so in love with webOS! <3

I'm so happy! I'm so in love with webOS! <3

I wish hp could somehow manage to push the new browser to the older webOS phones running 1.4.5 (Pre, Pixi, Pre Plus, Pixi Plus) in order to make up for treating us poorly (not giving us webOS 2.0)

This is quite an announcement. I am VERY intrigued. Especially with them using words like "significant performance boost" and "unrivaled speed." I am very much looking 4ward 2 these new enhancements. I wonder if they will be good enough 2 make me switch from CyanogenMods Android 4.0 ICS back 2 WebOS full time. Doubtful, but a guy can dream. I am, however, extremely optimistic about this.

How much is this going to effect WebOS on the Pre devices? Too much talk(throughout the websites) about the touchpad as if their interchangeable with the phone devices. Again more off shoot slight from the writers on the this website. What can we expect on the phone devices? Is it going to allow for further application development and how? Explain how their going to be effected. Will there be better technology, design, etc.? It still angers me its written its easy for developers to transport their application from other OS's. It is likely untrue just as many of the advertisements and promoting has been for WebOS. I still can't believe they advertised at-least 3 applications including Facebook chat that was never released on the operating system. How exactly does someone do that? Did Palm really go on Photoshop and mock image their advertisements, lol There was basically no company from the start, which I also believe is obvious.

Palm / HP needs to start personally calling developers from other phones and simply ask them to develop. If its as easy as they say it is to transfer applications from OS to OS, why didn't developer tap the market 2 years ago, with 500k+ users its worth developing. Its unbelievable at the fact that if they gain 10-20 strong and innovative applications(that already exist on other devices) for the phones they'd likely raise users sales by 2-3 times their peak. I still can't believe they essentially left their phones behind and added 3.0 and act as if users can switch phone use to a tablet. HP and Palm have/had to real business model. They could look at any successful company on the market and avoid 100's of mistakes. Unfortunately their both companies (especially HP) that are "people" owned, like evangelical Christians that believe everyone should flaw the system to get more people involved and solve problems that only can occur by the obvious faults each other. Typical low-end American bullshit. The only way they know how to hire and expand is through their lack of abilities.(really pathetic at times). Its strange how the company takes light risk on innovation and can't back their development.

STOP PRESS: HP open sources a half finished browser that nobody who owns a Pre or Touchpad can install. The world yawns.

Still, I suppose it can't be as bad as the browser I'm currently forced to use on the Touchpad?!