While it’s not news that HP have begun their open sourcing efforts for webOS, the fact that they have published their official roadmap for the project, however, is.
Back in 2011, HP decided to open source webOS. They flogged their TouchPads and made a bunch of money. They couldn’t find any buyers to sell the platform they built from the ground up. They decided their best choice was to throw open the doors and give it away for free. It’s taken just under 2 months for them to release anything, and today they have.
According to their press release, HP hopes to have completed open sourcing of webOS by the end of August 2012, when they release “Open WebOS 1.0”. Scratch the first entry, it’s done.
January: Enyo 2.0 and Enyo source code Apache License, Version 2.0
- March: Linux standard kernel, Graphics extensions EGL, LevelDB, USB extensions
- April: Ares 2.0, Enyo 2.1, Node services
- July: System manager (“Luna”), System manager bus, Core applications, Enyo 2.2
- August: Build release model, Open webOS Beta, Open webOS 1.0
Hopefully by August, HP will have completely weeded out any and all binary blobs from webOS, open sourced all the bits under the hood, and packaged it with the proper license (Enyo is licensed under Apache 2.0) that truly gives developers, enthusiasts, hobbyists, and hackers the ability to push webOS forward.
Although HP has indicated they have a good interest in using webOS in the near future, putting it all out there with a hands-off approach would likely better the chances of a bright future for webOS. Nokia did it with Maemo and there is a very strong and smart community who are still using and developing for devices that were EOL’d a long time ago. The webOS community is full of resilient, bright, and talented people who will take webOS under their wing.
All webOS needs is some new hardware. If the above image is what you have in mind and you work at HP, please walk yourself off a cliff before you ruin all the hard work Palm did.