Palm and HP at OSCON2010: 'Open source is inevitable' | webOS Nation

Palm and HP at OSCON2010: 'Open source is inevitable'

by Robert Werlinger Wed, 21 Jul 2010 3:17 pm EDT

We’re here at OSCON2010 where HP’s Phil Robb and Palm’s Josh Marinacci just gave a talk on HP’s commitment to open source and how they play a major part in that space. Phil Robb discussed at length how they contribute by citing numbers: 90% of HP’s Printers, 50% of enterprise hardware and some 20% of personal systems employ open source technology. Robb went on to discuss some of the tools that HP has developed that can scan deep within the source code of software at the enterprise level to ascertain what kind of licensing it may have, the company’s commitment to testing software on their personal devices hardware that they wouldn’t ordinarily ship and posting the results on, and how they give first-party support to a few distributions of open source operating systems.  These tools are necessary because as Robb said: “Open source is inevitable”.

Palm was naturally a part of this presentation as many components of webOS are open source, from the Linux Kernel all the way up to the WebKit web browser and V8 JavaScript engine. Unfortunately, Robb didn’t really delve into how Palm fits into HP’s overall open source strategy as I anticipated he would – he mentioned the company maybe once or twice – and Josh Marinacci from developer relations gave a brief 15 minute demonstration of Ares and gave a few phones away at the end of the presentation.  
Lack of meaningful announcements aside, it was still good to hear that HP is a huge player in open source (which bodes well for the homebrew community) and great see Palm’s Developer Relations team in action evangelizing the product.  Hopefully, we’ll see something in the way of a product announcement sometime soon.