HP commits to open-source webOS by fall 2012

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Hewlett Packard will make its webOS mobile operating system fully open-source by September 2012, kicking off the transition by releasing version 2.0 of its JavaScript-based Enyo framework under Apache license.

HP's proposed open-source transition timeline covers release phases, governance, tools and documentation, with plans calling for the company to make additional individual elements of the source code (e.g., its Linux standard kernel and core applications like Mail and Calendar) available each month. HP (which acquired webOS in 2010 when it purchased Palm for $1.2 billion) will issue its open webOS beta in August, followed a month later by version 1.0.

"In any large project, it's imperative to communicate the plan for achieving the project's goals," writes HP CTO and head of technical strategy Sam Greenblatt on the HP webOS Developer Blog. "This plan is usually presented in the form of a roadmap, which outlines the steps necessary to achieve project goals and shows the path forward. For an open source project to be a success, that roadmap must be public so all contributors have a sense of where the project is headed."

The Enyo 2.0 cross-platform framework--available for download here--enables developers to expand their webOS applications to rival mobile operating systems as well as web browsers including Chrome, Internet Explorer 9, Firefox and Safari. Although Enyo 2.0 does not yet include any UI widgets, HP states the core will support a wide variety of libraries and add-ons, and promises to release a UI widget set in the near future.

"Upcoming releases include our distribution of WebKit, which will support not only HTML5, but also Silverlight and Flash through the use of plug-ins," Greenblatt writes. "It will enable the rendering of webpages to HTML Canvas and 3-D textures, and will support a wide range of application interfaces, including multi-touch. Upcoming releases include our distribution of WebKit, which will support not only HTML5, but also Silverlight and Flash through the use of plug-ins. It will enable the rendering of webpages to HTML Canvas and 3-D textures, and will support a wide range of application interfaces, including multi-touch."

For more:
- read this HP webOS Developer Blog entry

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