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webOS 3.0.5 'Community Edition' released to open source 43

by Derek Kessler Tue, 26 Jun 2012 6:22 pm EDT

webOS 3.0.5 'Community Edition' released to open source

As promised back in March, HP today released to open source some large chunks of webOS 3.0.5 as the new "Community Edition". The Community Edition of webOS is meant for, well, the homebrew community and will enable homebrew developers even deeper (and more legal) access to the webOS source code to make alterations and improvements.

As a sign of how serious HP is about the community aspect of the webOS Community Edition, they actually worked hand-in-hand with the WebOS Internals homebrew group to make this happen. WebOS Internals has put together a team named WebOS Ports dedicated to working with the Community Edition, led by Tom King - though you might know him from his work as ka6sox.

So just what can we expect out of the Community Edition? HP's code releases come from webOS 3.0.5 and as such are geared towards the TouchPad. Among the things the WebOS Ports team (and anybody else, it is open source after all) will be able to tinker with are notifications, the app launcher (hello custom pages), Just Type, and even card view - among other things.

We're excited about the potential for the webOS Community Edition. There's a lot of low-hanging fruit in webOS could be fixed, updated, or added thanks to the newly open-sourced code and the WebOS Ports team. Yeah, we're psyched. Just imagine... a TouchPad with a zoomed-out card view, or Just Type with multi-choice actions, or built-in Twitter and Facebook sharing across all apps, or... the possibilities may not be endless, but they are many.

It's worth noting that the webOS Community Edition release and Open webOS are two separate projects. Open webOS is going for the 1.0 version and is an active and ongoing project for HP, while the Community Edition is more of a code dump for the benefit of the community. Not that we're complaining; we'll take as many code dumps as we can get our paws on.

43 Comments

That's very good news. Now maybe someone will fix the sound bugs that cause distorted audio. I would be extremely happy to receive that fix!

Dig into the audio driver, it's probably in there, and not in the system manager :)

Yeah, sound and a few other things. I've been loyal since Treo days, but with my other device being an Atrix I'm about ready to jump ship. I'm willing to learn, but I need a starting place. I wanted to get "Vlingo" app or similar on my Pre2, but ran into "download SysToolMgr, then another download". I just don't know the how part. I got tired of going nowhere (thanks to Firefox I finally was able to change my passwd... no thanks to IE8!) I would suppose from the Pre2 itself and not the desktop? But as you know...the keyboard is so small and cumbersome, I am thinking that a download to the desktop then install to the Pre2 somehow. Ok, I could be way off. But can someone give me a starting place to begin to know this device so that I can get there? I really want just two things... that app that lights the LED and a Siri look alike. If someone can get me started off on the right foot...I'd more than happy to start contributions. Thanks... A guy in Georgia (Walt)

With this community edition release, will the webOS Ports team be able to port webOS 3.0.5 to other webOS devices, or even to other non-webOS devices?

@rsanchez1 i think that's what the "other" webOS, Open webOS is planned for, if I read it correctly. the community edition is for the ongoing support of the touchpad. i'm looking forward to improvements and updates to the TP for sure.

The way I interpret this is that Community Edition is meant like a hold over for Touchpad people who want to get their hands dirty with the existing stuff. What Open webOS will be is for handhelds and tablets with new stuff and new avenues to bring things to the forefront.

From the horse's mouth:

"The Community Edition is focused on supporting the TouchPad. By contrast, the Open webOS 1.0 release planned for September includes modernized technologies to better enable the community to port webOS to the hardware of their choice, and to integrate open source technologies in areas such as BlueZ bluetooth and GStreamer. No matter which aspect of the platform you care about, webOS will provide options for you. The source code can be found here."

Community Edition is just the TouchPad, and not an entire OS. open webOS will be any device and 100% complete, so you can edit it and wedge it into anything you like (open webOS on Raspberry Pi? Maybe not, the hardware constraints are huge on the Pi, but who knows?)

BlueZ is good news... didn't expect to hear that's attached to open webOS. Gstreamer is no surprise, that's been around since Palm Pre 1.0.

the github for the community edition support: https://github.com/woce

Thank you!!!!!

No mention of the fate of Ares II...

This is great to enhance the webOS experience on existing Touchpad and to more intriguing the more to come with open-webOS.
As for this specific approaches:
I think that when one have several notifications of a single app, one should be able to discard them one by one without being force to enter the app to see them all (I think core apps are the only one that let you do this, Facebook, E-mail, Messaging) so the app developers could adjust their apps for this.
Also, letting one tag friends when updating status or twiting should be available when "just typing". Oh, and while I have Launcher with a clear theme, the Just Type keeps its grey effect. Would be great if it'd be see through like the Launcher.
Launcher... I don't know how it could be bettered. Probably aligning the infamus "DONE" button, plus the obvious add/rename/delete Launcher pages. And a cool way to rearrange them (like in smartphones webOS).
Card view is excellent but surely the Homebrew crew will come up with something awesome.
For all those ones that have stood tall and support webOS and for all the none believers aussi:
LONG WILL LIVE webOS!!!

Hmm, wonder if that means we'll be able to get updates with nothing but preware, or if we'll have to do an initial "doctoring" of the device to get community edition features.

Doubt many developers are going to make programs that require a reimaging of the device out of the difficulty involved in doing so. Even the handful of changes that do require it (expecting Linux kernels, headers, and package management) have been bridged with webOS Quick Install/Preware, and with open source, why reinvent the wheel when the one that's present works plenty well for whatever you need to do?

I LOVE my webOS, webOS 4EVER!!!!

looking forward to things to come. We have a great internals team and I'm sure they will do some cool things with this.

This seems like it should yield benefits more quickly than Open WebOS will - even if they were released at the same time.

Thanks HP!

Can we now have a full bluetooth suite for the touchpad and the Pre3? Like able to send files?

Oh, God I hope so.

(Or at least we have a more firm answer, such as "It has bluetooth, but they only have two profiles on it.")

will the Pre3 get v3.05 now?

No.

Will the Pre 3 be getting Open webOS?

Considering the Pre3 is the most up to date webOS handheld, I would imagine it be one of the first devices to get open webOS

And I bet that Veer will not get anything as always.

This is awesome news! Hopefully this'll allow for more patches cuz there're less and less options every iteration of webOS. Hope my Pre 2 lasts until Open webOS gets ported to it.

I'm sure there's reasons why they had to wait until now, but if all it was is a code dump, this should have happened in March when that huge gap of time was present where we were all wondering "is HP making headway or not?" Much like the rest of webOS, can't help but imagine all the cool things webos-internals could have done with this with 3-4 months extra time with it before open webOS hit, but hindsight as always is 20/20.

Good that they are keeping on schedule so far.

Would it be posible to add more keyboard layouts with non-english characters? I am interested in Czech layout, we have some characters that are not accessible from standard TP keyboard now.

If you're talking about the virtual keyboard, there's already a way to edit the existing layouts:
http://forums.webosnation.com/hp-touchpad-homebrew/297295-virtual-keyboa...

Super. It would be nice if WebOS Internal can provide language pack for Chinese and make the Keyboard support Chinese Input.

Being the majority of webos-internals is based in the US, Canada, UK and Australia, I'd say join them and see if you can help with that effort. Unlikely to happen on it's own.

+ 1 for this great news ;)

This is fantastic news! Is the aim for it to eventually be pushed out to our TouchPads via OTA updates?

Stu :-)

Nope. This is for webos-internals and developers to play with.

If you're an end-user (like me) this won't affect your current TouchPad webOS at all. Still need to wait for open webOS 1.0 in August/September.

TouchPad Wishlist:
1. Ad-hoc Connectivity
2. Full Bluetooth
3. USB on the GO
4. TV Out
5. Keyboard Arrows

1. This.
2. This.
3. It's partly there, why you still need an y-adapter for some juice i don't know.
4. How?
5. Is already patchable:
http://forums.webosnation.com/hp-touchpad-homebrew/306799-us-qwerty-vkb-...
http://forums.webosnation.com/hp-touchpad-homebrew/297295-virtual-keyboa...

I would add:
- the full GStreamer media framework (regarding containers and codecs), not the castrated one HP build
- easier import of certificates for email, messaging etc. -> esp. for self-signed certificates -> a message "certificate is not trusted" is not helpful if you don't enable the user to trust it in the first place

...and finally a browser that is not "useable" only on paper. (Fennec should be enough for the time being)

But what to do if you have only JS developers... other platforms fiddle with DSP codecs, re-targeting of system libs for Thumb2 ISA etc., improving camera drivers, building Siri clones etc. But this takes knowledege+experience of native code, which most webOS devs are sorely lacking. And this is what even open-sourced webOS, will it arrive, can't fix.

The line should be "Long will stagnate webOS!" :P

1. Doable, even if vague about what you mean, mostly right now. See WiFi TP Browser. Also, if you tool around with Optware enough, you can build an NGINX Server on your Touchpad with SQLite and PHP, which means you can have webapps served off of your Touchpad (not much application with this, but it's a blast to show off at parties.) It's a pain to configure, so I wouldn't do it unless you're used to hacking around in BASH a lot.
2. I hope so too.
3. Depends how much of the OTG specification is hardware based.
4. Won't happen. TV Out is a hardware change, and mostly not possible with a micro USB plug driving it (particularly HDMI: using serial technology to push out a signal on fewer wires, when that same serial signal is intended for more pinouts will result in a lot of processing needed to make it work for terrible results, not to mention a battery drain for the TouchPad giving the signal). High-output serial technologies are available on fewer pins, because powerful chips on the other side of the plug drive such changes. With the Touchpad, the die is pretty much cast: if it doesn't work, there's little to be done about improving it. TV Out over wireless, maybe, but loss of quality is very much guaranteed.
5. If you mean the HP Bluetooth Keyboard arrows doing ANYTHING, I'm with you on that one. :D

The lack of keyboard arrows are the biggest single flaw the Touchpad had IMHO. Please fix. I wish I was a coder and I would help.

You can already "patch" the keyboard arrows. I've done this to my touchpad and it's a huge improvement :-)

Have a look here:

http://www.webosnation.com/patch-adds-arrow-keys-touchpad-keyboard-final...

Great news! Any chance we could get gestures - Back, Change Card, etc. - on the Touchpad?

TTS for other apps?

Yaaaayyy! Now my dream that will never come true is to be able to port webOS 3.x to my Pixi Plus !

It still won't come true. Community Edition isn't for handsets.

open webOS 1.0? Perhaps.

Just a few days since webOS Community Edition made its way (ok! Ok! HP released it to the wild...) and amazing things are happening. I got to give it to you Homebrew Team... You are the BEST!!! Why doesn't HP just give PALM to you guys?! You sure would get a lot out of its patents and more!
LONG WILL LIVE webOS!!!

This is a very exciting development, but can someone share how this impacts for instance apps we've already installed or bought? And whether there is plan to package WOCE in a Preware package?