Open webOS gets a website all its own, Nyx hardware abstraction layer gets a release | webOS Nation
 
 

Open webOS gets a website all its own, Nyx hardware abstraction layer gets a release 11

by Derek Kessler Tue, 20 Mar 2012 7:05 pm EDT

Open webOS gets a website all its own, Nyx hardware abstraction layer gets a rel

The march towards a fully open source webOS continues, with today seeing the release of the Nyx hardware abstraction layer. As described on the nyx-lib GitHub repository, "Nyx is the webOS portability layer used to isolate the remainder of webOS from dependencies on the hardware and core OS upon which it is running." Essentially what that means is that Nyx picks up where the Linux Standard Kernel drops off.

So while open source kernel integrates a number of Android drivers and the like, Nyx takes it a step further for Open webOS, enabling the OS to run successfully on an even greater variety of hardware. And since Nyx is open source like the rest of Open webOS eventually will be, it's conceivable that it could be adapted in conjunction with the Linux Standard Kernel to enable other operating systems to run on other hardware. Not that we'd want that - we want webOS, of course. How exactly Nyx works, well, that's over our heads here. Dammit Jim, we're bloggers, not programmers! All we know is that we're glad to see it released and excited by its potential. There's a wide world of excellent hardware out there running less than optimal operating systems, and we want them to run webOS. That's our hope, now that we've been reduced to dreaming about a day where webOS hardware is produced again.

Today also saw the launch of a new website for Open webOS: openwebosproject.org. The new site is styled very much after the old Palm.com and the current webOS Developer Center, and right now serves more as an introduction for the uninitiated and a portal to content on other sites. But eventually it could be more. Not that we'd recommend you go somewhere else to get the latest on Open webOS. You're already reading this, so clearly you're smart enough to know where to look.

Nyx, for the record, is yet another Greek goddess (joining Ares, Enyo, and Isis). She's the goddess of the night, and is only seen in the shadows and just a glimpse at that. An appropriate name, we suppose, for a hardware abstraction layer that's supposed to do it's job without being seen or heard.

11 Comments

Dammit, I hate how all the links in this post are SEO spam going internally on webosnation.com, but the url I actually want to visit (openwebosproject.org) isn't a clickable link.

Check the source links. And no, it's not SEO spam. It's "here's more info for you, dear reader."

Why isn't the body text linked?I have to open the article from my rss reader into a browser on my phone, then navigate the non mobile optimized site to find the source link outside the context from which I was reading.

Perhaps I answered my own question.

I don't mean to whine, this is just pet peeve where it seems antithetical to usability.

Thanks for the update, Derek. I understand that HP's work on Open webOS is supposed make it easier to port webOS to other hardware but I'm not at all clear on how much easier it is. Any chance we can get a technical resource from HP (or maybe one of our developers) to do an article (or an interview) that has more detail on what the vision is for webOS and some informed speculations on how it fits together?

For example, when new versions of Android (and Android devices) use the 3.3 and upcoming 3.4 Linux kernels, I expect this would mean the associated Android drivers will also run under those kernels. But some drivers are not open source (they are binary blobs, for example, supposedly the cellular radios will never be open source). From a quick look at the source file names, it looks like Nyx includes mappings for at least battery, charger, display, firmware, haptics, keys, led, sensors, and touchpanel.

What would an OEM or webOS Internals need to do to get webOS running on a new device? Would they need to reimplement all the functions in the Nyx layer to call their Android counterparts? What drivers from Android would be able to be reused (as-is) and which would need all-new webOS specific drivers or webOS tuned drivers? And how is porting easier with the LSK and Nyx work as compared to what was required up to this point?

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Great questions. Would be interested in knowing the feasibility of using a (current) Android phone that can boot into webOS. Or even better, one that can shed the Android crap, and just go with the real deal.
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Very glad and surprised to see this level of achievements. It's a pity I'm not technical enough to ellaborate on this, as this is perhaps the single most important step in the roadmap, at least at this stage. Who can answer Scotland's great questions? Some webos-internals guy, please ellaborate!

All hail the mighty GREEKS :)
Cudos to Palm (and maybe HP)

Back to orange ;)

Nyx Hardware... is that a reference to what HP did?

Is the whole of webos going to be released, or will it just a collection of pieces?

If it's just a collection of random pieces, it won't be of much use to anyone.

We need to hear from HP. What is the plan here?

Isis is an Ancient Egyptian God. What the hell webosnation?