WebOS Internals working with HP on getting Isis browser and QtWebKit on current devices | webOS Nation

WebOS Internals working with HP on getting Isis browser and QtWebKit on current devices 36

by Derek Kessler Wed, 15 Feb 2012 7:43 pm EST


It was just yesterday morning that HP outed their new Isis browser for webOS and the QtWebKit rendering engine, and now our favorite webOS homebrew team is buckling down to make it work on current webOS devices. While the Isis webpage says that the browser is compatible with webOS 3.0.5, the currently released set of Enyo code for Isis does little-to-nothing-at-all when installed on a TouchPad. Mostly because all it does is install a new undetectably-different UI skin (if that) on top of the currently existing web browser. We can't exactly recommend you waste your time doing that. The QtWebKit engine is where it's really at, and that'll take some more doing to make it happen.

Just so happens that WebOS Internals Chief Rod Whitby and WebKit guru and former HP webOS WebKit coder Donald Kirker (also of Internals) today had a call with HP to discuss their strategy for taking Isis and the QtWebKit tech preview and installing it on current TouchPads. We chatted with Whitby about what this means and he confirmed that since "all the Isis and QtWebKit items are open source now, there are no legal barriers to releasing a package in Preware" that would install this stuff onto current devices.

Of course, there are some hurdles to overcome, and Whitby expects it to take at least a few weeks to get this done. But considering that they had a call with HP to discuss the strategy on how to make this happen, it stands to reason they'll have HP's support in making it happen. We're glad to see HP already working with outside groups as part of the Open webOS project, and also happy to see Rod already flexing his newly-anointed Community Development leader muscles.

As always, if you like the work done by WebOS Internals, be sure to chip in a few dollars to help out their efforts. They do it all open source and free of charge for this community. And because they're awesome.

Source: WebOS Internals (Twitter)


i don't get why they took the Qt 4.8 stuff, Qt5 is nearly ready and it is not like Open WebOS needs to be production ready tomorrow. Going for Qt5 would have less work IMO ... but this is HP we are talking about.

Qt 4.8 is already in use on webOS 3.0.4+, moving to Qt5 is entirely non-trivial and also is focused on WebKit2, and QtWebKit2 is at this point, far from ready for prime-time.

by "Current devices" I'm sure the mean the Pre 2, TouchPad, Pre 3 & Veer... I wish I could get it on my Pixi Plus : (

The scope of the initial investigation is the TouchPad running webOS 3.0.5
-- Rod

I wish I could get it on my Sprint Pre, and be able to read all PDF documents without a rendering error.

Install picsel smart office no error reading pdf's... Renders all pages at once (at least on pre 3) Smooth scrolling and zooming

I know I should search the forums for this...but...is there a way to make Picsel Smartoffice be the default reader and automatically pull up a PDF rather than the stock PDF reader? Or, at least what are some tips on making that process easier. I have to search and search to find pdfs in (it seems) multiple directories with bizarre names that I didn't give them (if it were up to me, I'd name files 'Pookie', 'Tinman', 'Prenu-ultramicroscopic-vocokenosis', and 'Bob'...things like that).

...OK, I'll go off to the forums now...sigh...

And on the Sprint Pixi waiting to replace my aging Sprint Pre.

We are a 2pre family with 2 new Pixies waiting in the wings.

In Rod We Trust

One webOS Nation under Rod?

Here's to praying it eventually makes it to a Pixi+ in my pocket as well.

Excited to see what this brings.

y u no delete comment button?

Here's a thought. Presumably the Isis browser will eventually make it into webOS on its own -- presumably included in the official Open webOS 1.0 release. So what happens to the Preware version? I say fork it, rename it Osiris, and use it for nightly builds of future versions of Isis browser. Sort of like the Chrome Canary build -- a sometimes unstable but exciting technology showcase for users who like to live on the cutting edge. Getting a regular sneak peek at future webOS technology might help bring back some of the excitement among regular users that was lost when HP abandoned webOS hardware. If nothing else, it would show that development is still continuing on webOS in a way that HP's monthly "we've just released the source for yada, yada, yada" announcements cannot.

Whoo! Hopefully I'll finally have a browser that doesn't suck.

How can we financially support Rod and his team members in this project?

Added a donation link to the article.

Excellent, thanks :)

Sorry double post

Sounds good Darth!

What would we be without the Webos-internals team!

Android users.


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)

sounds promising :-)

what happened to the like and dislike buttons on comments, they made things kind of fun...

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.

Hey, just because Derek rejected your webos nations writing sample doesn't mean you should cross post that drek to the comment section. What are you trying to say anyway??

What I believe, is that you are bitching about a whole raft of crap that you have absolutely no understanding of.

u mad bro?

Is it just me, or does this sound like there won't be any upcoming OTA updates for any of our devices...

Will the Iris browser also become available for the Pre3 with its webOS v. 2.2.4.? Hope so...

Will the Iris browser also become available for the Pre3 with its webOS v. 2.2.4.? Hope so...
Oops, double post... Excuse me for that. I was acting faster than my internet connection allowed me to.. :-)

I'd like to know why it's going to take weeks, presumably the code's been developed on or at least targeted at the Touchpad, so why is it going to take weeks to compile and release it? I'm sure there's a good reason, but it'd be nice to know what it is.

The initial announcement of the Isis browser was a bit premature if you ask me. I was under the impression it had been properly launched and was ready to be installed via Preware, if not from the App Catalog. I did managed to package and install the current code (and learned how to package an app in the process, yay!). After an hour or two of struggling, it... did absolutely nothing. I guess the fact that there's no app behind the app kind of explains why.

Not so premature if webos internals is going to make it happen with a few week's work:

Started a thread to cheer them on:


Just donated to Rob and the WebOS Internals gang! You should do. Don't use Preware? Crazy naive of you! :-)

Derrick, I just think it would be cool if you could do a graphic explaining all this tech open source stuff. Thanks.

Does this include more accurate and/or response select or copy/paste. I see these as bigger opportunities than YAWB (Yet Another Web Browser).