HP's open source webOS roadmap | webOS Nation

HP's open source webOS roadmap 31

by Derek Kessler Wed, 25 Jan 2012 3:29 pm EST

Just a month-and-a-half after announcing their intention to open source webOS, HP has now released a roadmap detailing exactly how that's going to happen. It's pretty ambitious, and coupled with the release of Enyo 2.0 will serve to make webOS a contender for the mobile open source crown.

A few notable changes will take place to make webOS both more accessible and more easily spread. The most fundamental is switching to the standard Linux kernel instead of rolling their own custom kernel. By using the standard kernel users will be able to (1) install webOS on so many things, and (2) have readily-available drivers to go with that kernel.

HP's also switching from using the Oracle Berkeley DB (an open source database library) to leveldb, another open source database library but this time from the folks at Google. The switch to leveldb was made for the sake of better support for CouchDB. Getting technical here (and admittedly over this blogger's head), but the switch is a good thing.

The roadmap plots out an path that should see webOS fully open sourced by the end of September 2012. HP says that they've worked closely with WebOS Internals chief Rod Whitby to refine the plan and incorporated much of his input on the open source initiative. Here's the roadmap as it stands today:

  • January: Enyo 2.0 and Enyo source code Apache License, Version 2.0
  • February: Intended project governance model, QT WebKit extensions, JavaScript core, UI Enyo widgets
  • March: Linux standard kernel, Graphics extensions EGL, LevelDB, USB extensions
  • April: Ares 2.0, Enyo 2.1, Node services
  • July: System manager (“Luna”), System manager bus, Core applications, Enyo 2.2
  • August: Build release model, Open webOS Beta
  • September: Open webOS 1.0

You'll notice that the roadmap says webOS 1.0 - that's not the old webOS getting released, that's the version counter getting reset for the new future of open source.

Full press release is after the break.

HP to Commit webOS to Open Source by Fall 2012

New version of acclaimed Enyo developer tool and source code available now

PALO ALTO, Calif., Jan. 25, 2012 – HP today began executing its plan to deliver an open webOS by committing to a schedule for making the platform’s source code available under an open source license.

The company aims to complete this milestone in its entirety by September.

HP also announced it is releasing version 2.0 of webOS’s innovative developer tool, Enyo. Enyo 2.0 enables developers to write a single application that works across mobile devices and desktop web browsers, from the webOS, iOS and Android platforms to the Internet Explorer and Firefox browsers – and more. The source code for Enyo is available today, giving the open source community immediate access to the acclaimed application framework for webOS.

By contributing webOS to the open source community, HP unleashes the creativity of hardware and software developers to build a new generation of applications and devices.

“HP is bringing the innovation of the webOS platform to the open source community,” said Bill Veghte, executive vice president and chief strategy officer, HP. “This is a decisive step toward meeting our goal of accelerating the platform’s development and ensuring that its benefits will be delivered to the entire ecosystem of web applications.”

The webOS code will be made available under the Apache License, Version 2.0, beginning with the source code for Enyo.

webOS roadmap

Over the first half of the year, HP will make individual elements of webOS source code available – from core applications like Mail and Calendar to its Linux kernel – until the full code base is contributed to the open source community by September.

January: Enyo 2.0 and Enyo source code Apache License, Version 2.0

February: Intended project governance model, QT WebKit extensions, JavaScript core, UI Enyo widgets

March: Linux standard kernel, Graphics extensions EGL, LevelDB, USB extensions

April: Ares 2.0, Enyo 2.1, Node services

July: System manager (“Luna”), System manager bus, Core applications, Enyo 2.2

August: Build release model, Open webOS Beta

September: Open webOS 1.0

Enyo 2.0 and Enyo source code

Enyo 1.0 made it simple to write apps that worked on a variety of webOS form factors. Version 2.0 extends this “write once, run anywhere” capability to a range of other platforms, including mobile and desktop web browsers.

More information about Enyo and the source code is available at http://developer.palm.com/blog.

Apache License, Version 2.0

The Apache License, Version 2.0 is commonly used to govern contributions to open source software projects. It provides a legal framework that balances open innovation and a dependable user experience, which is consistent with HP’s vision for webOS.

About HP

HP creates new possibilities for technology to have a meaningful impact on people, businesses, governments and society. The world’s largest technology company, HP brings together a portfolio that spans printing, personal computing, software, services and IT infrastructure to solve customer problems. More information about HP (NYSE: HPQ) is available at http://www.hp.com.

Source: HP


Whoa. Ambitious, but...
Really looking forward to every milestone! Hope this means webOS is back!

It seems the plan has been seriously thought of. It looks professional for once (HP still manages to surprise us...).

Pleasantly surprised. This should wash away some of my building anger for webOS news.

Yeah I don't think we've ever seen a public roadmap before. Very nice transparency!!

Go Rod!!! I'm so excited!!!!!!

HP webOS - to be open source in the coming months.

Just kidding. This is an awesome development and a huge undertaking. This feels like the first thing HP's done right for webOS for a *LONG* time.

This is awesome news regarding the future of webOS. Especially since these plans have Rod's blessing. Great stuff! Kudos to all those involved.


I would never believe it if I didn't know Rod was all over this. Hp finally sounds like they know what they are doing because they are listening to Rod (and also probably because the webOS team at Hp are finally allowed to do what they've been wanting to do for a long while).

Way to go everyone!

Great news!
Ares 2.0 in April means a whole slew of developer support from newbies. I think 2012 will be a great year for webOS.

This is also great news for other platforms. Finally, Android apps can look and perform well!

Yes, too bad the world will end in December but at least they are trying to reconcile.

Looks good! Now, we just need everyone here to go sign the petition to get OpenMobile on webos and maybe we have a chance!



HP is so committed to webOS that the employee issued phones are now all Android. Classic...

All webOS devices are no longer supported internally.

I can accept that seeing as HP webOS isn't exactly top of the line by ANY stretch of the imagination, and employees need to stay on top. Besides, nothing's saying that someone won't hack webOS for Android later and employees will be able to install it on their company phones...

my guess is this would not be supported on the HP network.

How would they issue hardware to employees that they are no longer making?

that's my point. no hardware. what a joke.

Thats old news right ? no hardware hence the webOS opensource.

The question we should ask HP is about any hardware manufacturers jumping on webOS ?

HP does not issue internal phones.

That's really good news!!! yay WebOS!

Can one of you technically knowledgeable people answer this:

Questions were raised about the initial decision to use i guess webkit to run stuff in that article. You know, something about webos destined to fail or something. My question is does the bit about going Linux, is that addressing issues raised in that article or does anything here signify any fundamental change in the way webos, i guess, is made or runs?

I'm not that knowledgeable about such details so i'm curious as to if this is a material change or are they building on the same foundation?

Thanks. Hope that makes some sense.

Nope, that's just the kernel they're changing here. The kernel is what bridges the processor and the OS. The user interface layer, programming, and all the rest are still WebKit-based.

Thanks for your response. I Think i understand now. Ok that makes a bit more sense. I think i have a bit more of a clue as to how this works now.

All that doomed from the start sounds like sour grapes. It's not technically accurate since the Node.js code makes operating Javascript outside of the web browser perfectly doable. The slow PDK for native C++ code was more probably as the reason given by some HPers. Journalists are just jumping on an easier target.

As a former Pre- and current Touchpad owner, this excites me. I would love to be able to purchase a phone with webOS on it again. I own the EVO 3D and it has good hardware but I miss webOS greatly.

I especially like the fact there is NO "in the coming months". That is so refreshing.

No more Apotheker ;)

HP needs to hire Rod and key webOS internals as consultants. Their time and commitment to webOS should rewarded with some financial reward (besides the donations that users send their way). HP is certainly benefitting from their expertise.

in fact if it were not for them webos would have withered and died looong time ago with no chance of coming back ever.

Be careful what you wish for. I agree that Rod and others should be rewarded for their dedication and accomplishments, but I suspect they have much more opportunity to be creative and speak their mind as non-HP employees.

This is fantastic, they actually communicated a plan. The fact they released enyo today indicates:
a) they want us to know the plan is serious
b) they have actually been doing something the past month

Exciting stuff ahead!

So... by the end of 2012 (if Maya people let us -- just joking), we will have a lot of HTC phones running WebOS...

Why? Because HTC is unlocking their phones bootloaders, and it will enable to boot anything you are able to do.

So... WebOS for the masses!!

This is awesome. An actual timeline! A plan! If they complete this timeline and webOS works on some new hardware in the next year I might just have to switch back.