HP adopts WebOS Internals' homebrew compcache configuration in webOS 2.1 | webOS Nation

HP adopts WebOS Internals' homebrew compcache configuration in webOS 2.1

by Derek Kessler Tue, 22 Feb 2011 7:47 pm EST

Homebrew group WebOS Internals has long mandated that any kernels and patches distributed through their system be fully open source such that if HP (previously Palm) wanted to adopt the work into webOS they would be more than able to do so with zero legal ramifications. While there have been many calls for patch X or kernel Y to be integrated into webOS, we haven’t seen the bait taken. Until now.

In analyzing the webOS 2.1 update released for European Pre Plus owners, WebOS Internals chief Rod Whitby noticed something that looked very familiar: a slightly modified version of their compcache configuration in the webOS kernel. Whitby assures us that this is most definitely the webOS-specific method of using compcache for combating memory issues as configured by the homebrew developer community, and that it looks like HP may have even made some changes to make it even better.

Okay, now you’re probably wondering what compcache is all about and why it even matters. Here’s the deal: compcache is not a new invention: it’s an amalgamation of the words “compressed cache.” Compcache virtually increases the available space in your RAM by allotting a slice for compressing cache items, in essence making things in your RAM take up less space, and thus enabling more things to be stored in your RAM. For devices like the original Palm Pre, webOS Internals implemented compcache in their custom kernels to virtually increase the 256MB of RAM and allow more apps to run simultaneously and cut back drastically on the dreaded “Too many cards” errors.

HP has taken this implementation of compcache from WebOS Internals and integrated it in their webOS 2.1 kernel. It sets aside 10MB of RAM as compcache space, allowing the more resource-intensive 2.1 to run on older devices like the original Pre and Pre Plus. Perhaps HP was saying "thanks for the code" when they gave WebOS Internals that spiffy new server.