Open webOS 1.0 lands | webOS Nation

Open webOS 1.0 lands

by Derek Kessler Fri, 28 Sep 2012 1:05 pm EDT

Open webOS 1.0 lands

Following the roadmap laid out back in January, HP has delivered Open webOS 1.0 to the masses as planned. Last month saw the release of two betas, one for desktop Linux and the other for assorted devices thanks to OpenEmbedded integration, and today we're seeing the finalized versions of each. Improving on the last go around, the OpenEmbedded version (Open webOS OE) now has a user interface to match the the Linux-style Open webOS Desktop, which itself has the same user interface as webOS 3.0 on the HP TouchPad.

Visually, not much has changed with Open webOS 1.0. It still works the same way and runs the same core apps, which don't appear to have changed much, if at all, from their already open-sourced Enyo 1.0 versions. That said, Open webOS 1.0 does now have full support for HP's Enyo 2.0 application framework, and HP is pitching the Open webOS Desktop Build as a superior development platform, enabling developers to code up and test their Enyo 2 apps all on their computer.

The important thing about the 1.0 release for Open webOS is that it's now a complete operating system and something that can be ported to other devices. While HP intends to leave that work to third party device manufacturers and the community, they did put together a video to demonstrate how Open webOS works on a desktop, using a wide-screen HP TouchSmart PC (a touch-enabled all-in-one desktop series that HP's been selling for a few years) to run a full-screen version of the operating system. According to Open webOS Chief Architect Steve Winston, porting Open webOS to the TouchSmart took their engineers a few days worth of work, and what results is what looks like a generally functional full-touch experience. It does seem to be a little on the jittery side, though we imagine it's nowhere near fully optimized. Video of the TouchSmart demonstration is after the break.

Embracing the fully open source Apache 2 license under which Open webOS is being distributed, the 1.0 release includes a number of contributions made by "expert community members" after last month's beta release. Those contributions range from bug fixes and dependency resolutions to offering "substantive commentary" that influenced "decisions on code structure and other issues."

Calling in the big guns, HP called on Jim Zemlin, Executive Director of The Linux Foundation, who is quoted: “By using the build framework for embedded Linux, the Yocto Project with OpenEmbedded-Core, Open webOS is poised to deliver an open source build environment that developers will thrive from. Open webOS continues to hit its milestones, and we expect the community around the project to continue to grow. All the right tools are in place.”

We certainly hope so. Open webOS is still a bit on the rough side and lacking in some areas, but it's what HP promised us: a functional open source version of webOS by the end of September. On that count they delivered.

Now just because Open webOS is out and available doesn't mean you're going to be able to install it on whatever you want out the gate. It's been released as a raw operating system, it'll need tweaking and additions before it can be made to run on anything, let alone run well. So don't go asking "can I install this on my TouchPad?", because as of this moment, no, you cannot. In the future? Sure, maybe you'll be able to do just that - that's what we've got WebOS Ports for anyway.

So congratulations to HP for reaching this milestone. We're looking forward to what comes next, from HP, the community, and hopefully some manufacturers that decide to pick up Open webOS and run with it. As HP has been keen to point out (even if not entirely correct), webOS is the only operating system designed and built to work on smartphones, tablets, and desktops - something that we at webOS Nation clearly desire.