Novacom USB communication toolset released to open source | webOS Nation
 
 

Novacom USB communication toolset released to open source 12

by Derek Kessler Thu, 29 Mar 2012 5:13 pm EDT

Novacom USB communication toolset released to open source

Today saw yet another release along the Open webOS roadmap, with Novacom and Novacomd finding their way onto GitHub. The two pieces comprise a generic communication toolset used to communicate between a host (your computer) and embedded device (your webOS device) over USB. It's what allows the webOS SDK and programs like WebOS Quick Install to access the device over a USB connection without having to put the device into USB Mode. Plus there's the fact that USB mode doesn't allow access to the file system.

Novacom has been distributed as part of the webOS SDK and webOS Doctors since what seems like the beginning of time, and was released as a separate downloadable executable a while back as well. The separate release, while not open source, enabled WebOS Quick Install to get by without downloading the entire webOS Doctor just to be able to extract Novacom to install a single app or patch.

There are two parts to the release, Novacom and Novacomd. The latter is the service that runs on both the host and the target device, while Novacom is the command line user interface that provides a human-accessible way to access that service. With both now out in open source, the webOS developer community (and the developer community at large) is free to enhance, fix, and repurpose the two as they see fit.

The release of Novacom nearly closes out the Open webOS release commitments for March, with just LevelDB and MojoDB/DB8 left for the month. Major releases for March have included the Nyx hardware abstraction layer and the Linux Standard Kernel 3.3, both of which will go a long way towards opening up Open webOS to installation on a wide range of devices. There's still a lot to go on the roadmap, but despite what feels like near constant drama, Open webOS is still making progress.

Update: HP has also released to open source the DB8 database abstraction layer. It's aparently "a work in progress and not currently buildable," though that is expected to soon change. DB8 first step in incorporating LevelDB databases into Open webOS.

Category:

12 Comments

Did the widgets ever get released?

You mean the UI widgets? Yes, those were released. They're widgets in that they're bits to help build apps, not widgets in the Android sense.

http://www.webosnation.com/enyo-20-ui-widgets-land-evolved-cross-platfor...

I'm worried about people not realizing how important this is, such as the kernel release some days ago.

It seems that, if it has no visuals, it doesn't exist!

I've just taken a peek at "http://www.openwebosproject.org/documentation.html", and the amount ob job it shows is impressive! That IS important!

The problem is that, for 99.9% of everybody, OpenWebOS is NOT important if there is no device to put it on.

How will this help the TP owners and remaining pre-users? Maybe a tweak or so here or there, maybe make it easier for someone to come up with a nice app, but for the most part, openWebOS is meaningless if there are no new devices to run it.

The excitement will come when there is something to run the OS on...

@jmarcos, sorry the but the WebOS excitement is a very personal thing now. HP is making it possible for you to "build" what you want.

In 2012, the "market excitement" is a full o/s, fully integrated into highly capable hardware, complete with a catalog of the latest apps, services and content. And that is the dilemma, for there to be apps, one must have customers and developers. If there are no apps, there are no customers. If there are no customers, there are no developers. For WebOS, there is no chicken, there is no egg.

WebOS is not a brand, not a technological resource, not a system. It is a hobby. You can toil and tinker and make the worlds best feature phone that is internet linked and has a few highly productive native apps(for now). And you have the building blocks to build something more if you like and share it with other WebOS folk, but its not a commercial center reaching critical mass. It will not exhibit compound growth and even remotely keep pace with the market.

Don't feel bad, RIM is in a death spiral too. And even MS is starting to see developers back away now that 91% of o/s sales have fallen into one of two camps in the last 90 days. Consolidation is not pretty, HP systematically eliminated customers, carriers and developers with extreme malice. It was their Darwinian moment, Leo and his pals, were the weakest link.

> the WebOS excitement is a very personal thing now.

I always take my computers as something personal.

> HP is making it possible for you to "build" what you want.

And my greatest fear is this: After huge efforts, the few folks remaining at Palm achieve the incredible and make the full toolset available. And then nothing happens.

> For WebOS, there is no chicken, there is no egg.

Nice summary, great truth.

> WebOS is not a brand, not a technological resource,
> not a system. It is a hobby.

Sure. I've been into other hobby projects, spun off a once profitable segment of the industry. It's where great people are, but not many have the endurance to keep fighting for years for something the world doesn't even know about.

> Don't feel bad, RIM is in a death spiral too.

I hope you don't mean I should feel "good" at that! :-) It's a pity, when RIM finally has a product at least connected to 21st century reality, the company realizes it's been dragging too much legacy to keep going.

> And even MS is starting to see developers back away now
> that 91% of o/s sales have fallen into one of two camps

Microsoft never understands markets, the XBox 360 being the only proof againsta that. And if Apple flicked the swith, and began to work the way Google does with Android (read: there's the source, make anything), I'm sure there would be only one mobile device in the world.

All of this sounds pretty far away from practical implementation. By that I mean some kind of commercially viable product that demonstrates latest smartphone capabilities.

does this open the way to printing/
projecting, or is the usb port
destined to remain slave ?

I've seen in the forums that people are able to access a pendrive through the TouchPad's USB port. The only quirk is that you have to provide external power. So that would mean that webOS USB port can be as functional as in regular operating systems.

Many times, commercial decisions constrain these things. For example, if I were a music company willing to do busines with you, I'd be very worried at our device being able to obtain music for free through that USB port.

Isn't there the possibility to get the power from the internal battery, by flipping a register/ port bit somewhere? This was done for other devices too which lacked official implementation of USB OTG but the hardware delivered.

When will secure user data return to Palm/webOS-enabled devices? I'm curious if this newly open sourced USB connectivity will return the possibility of syncing contacts/calendar data (or even the backup/editing of memos) with a computer? I have increasing privacy concerns about the prescibed method of syncing to Google/Yahoo/Facebook.  Heck, the webOS inability to interface with Palm Desktop/Outlook/[insert favorite software here] always begged for an open source solution. 

Movin' in the right direction. Love it!