Open webOS governance model modeled after the Apache Way | webOS Nation

Open webOS governance model modeled after the Apache Way

by Derek Kessler Tue, 14 Feb 2012 9:16 am EST


Today saw the release of HP's February code commitment from the Open webOS roadmap. Also on the roadmap for this month was the governance structure HP intended to implement for the open source project, and as we had anticipated and hoped, HP has adopted a model based on "the Apache Way."

In essence, the Apache model the same basis of the ethos behind WebOS Internals. HP's take on the model will be such that anybody is allowed to submit code to the project (which itself will be segmented into multiple sub-projects), with each sub-project overseen by a Project Management Committee "comprised of committers elected from within the project's community." This PMC will also be responsible for their project's release strategy and distributions.

There will also be a board and corporate officers to guide the PMCs, though they are still "expected to act individually." The PMCs will also be expected to guide their projects to meet the core criteria from HP and follow the "legal, branding, and infrastructure related requirements" of the Open webOS project. So it won't be a complete free-for-all.

To start ,the committers that comprise the PMCs will be appointed from HP - you've got to start somewhere. From there the PMCs will "use a system of meritocracy as a guide for adding contributors" to the project. The level and quality of your involvement will dictate the views of your contributions, which could see you move from a layperson contributor to the mighty level of committer. Doer to decider.

The Open webOS board will be announced in April, but in the meantime HP has set forth the leaders of each PMC. webOS CTO Sam Greenblatt will be the Overall Project Owner (no surprise there), Manish Patil will lead Open webOS, Matt McNulty will be in charge of Enyo (no surprise there either), Leonid Zolotarev is the lead for webOS WekKit, the Kerenl and System Manager lead has yet to be announced, and we're proud to say that WebOS Internals chief Rod Whitby will be leading the Community Development side of Open webOS (which he probably would have done anyway).

Press release after the break.

Source: HP webOS Developer Blog

Open webOS Governance Model

Last week, I promised you an outline of the webOS governance model. Today, we're publishing that model and announcing the leaders of the Project Management Committees. As you will see below, we've based the model on the Apache Way.

Key Principles

  • Open webOS will made available under the Apache license, Version 2.0.
  • Open webOS will use the contributor committal model in use on most open source projects.
  • Open webOS will be segmented into multiple projects to give developers ample opportunity to join and remain active in the development effort.
  • The Open webOS project website will host a wiki, a source code repository, a mailing list, and a bug tracking system.
  • We will use Github or an equivalent tool to as the code repository.
  • We will use JIRA or an equivalent tool to track issues.
  • Our plan is to allow multiple committers to branch and merge code in the open to allow multiple development branches to occur at once.


As noted above, Open webOS includes several projects: Enyo (a JavaScript framework), WebKit/Isis, the Linux Standard Kernel, and the webOS System Manager. Each project has a Project Management Committee (PMC), comprised of committers elected within the project's community to provide oversight for the project. The PMC also decides on the project's release strategy and is responsible for releasing distributions into the community.

PMC members are expected to act individually, making decisions in the best interests of the project, when acting on PMC or development lists. Each PMC is responsible for ensuring their project follows certain core requirements set by the board or other corporate officers of Open webOS. Examples include following legal, branding, and infrastructure related requirements, and ensuring their community operates in a manner similar to that outlined by the Apache Way.

PMC members nominate new contributors to the project as committers, and PMC members cast votes on electing new committers to the project. PMC members also have binding votes on any project matters.


In the beginning, all committers (distinct from public users and contributors) will come from HP. The PMCs will use a system of meritocracy as a guide for adding contributors as the project progresses. The path of progressing from public user to contributor to committer is based largely upon user involvement in the community (see below). At any given moment we would expect relatively few committers.

(As an example, Linux has thousands of users, of whom only 2.5% are developers or contributors and fewer than 100 are committers. So, the project may have many, many users, but it's the PMC and the committers who determine the project's baseline.)

All committers report to the PMC of the component they represent. The PMC uses a consensus-based decision making process to determine whether or not to take a contribution from the community and commit it to the code tree.

Meritocracy criteria include:

  • Community involvement
  • Consensus decision-making
  • Open and transparent communications
  • Responsible oversight with deference to the community

Project Leaders

Today we are announcing the leaders of each PMC. The Open webOS board will be announced in April.



Overall Project Owner

Sam Greenblatt

Open webOS

Manish Patil


Matt McNulty

webOS WebKit

Leonid Zolotarev

Kernel and System Manager


Community Development

Rod Whitby