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HP outlines schedule for full WebOS open source release

Full development system out by September

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HP has announced the schedule for the open sourcing of WebOS tools and source code, and said it will be continuing to push development hard to build a truly open platform.

“We wanted to do it right, we’re upleveling WebOS to the most current versions,” said Sam Greenblatt, CTO of WebOS, told The Register. “Basically we inverted the triangle, coming at it with developer stuff first so they can develop for many platforms. This fulfills the dream we had two to three years ago of what WebOS was supposed to be.”

The schedule kicks off today with the release of the original ENYO application framework under an Apache license. HP is also including ENYO 2.0, which extends the platforms open to WebOS developers to include iOS and Android, Internet Explorer and Firefox, up to the desktop browser level.

In February, UI widgets will be added to ENYO (there are some minor technical gremlins to beat out first) and a JavaScript core, followed by the Linux standard kernel in March. Early in April, version 2.0 of the Ares integrated development environment will be given to the community and ENYO also gets a small upgrade, with a second due in July.

“My team is one of the true believers of the WebOS environment," Matthew McNulty, head of developer tools at WebOS told The Register. “We built ENYO to work in any container – it has been in the back of our minds from the beginning.”

This drip-feed of tools will allow developers to get up to speed on the latest state of the code base, Greenblatt explained, ahead of the full release of Open WebOS 1.0 in September. It is hoped that developers will ready to use the code from day one, with HP’s aim to build and support a viable software ecosystem for the platform.

Greenblatt said that HP was still totally committed to WebOS and was keeping its full development team working on the project. The punishing schedule for release seems to indicate the veracity of this, but when asked if HP would be eating its own dogfood and releasing products using WebOS, he was uncharacteristically coy.

“That will be announced in the future,” he said. “Obviously if it’s the best platform out there, then HP will look at it very closely.”

In the opinion of this El Reg hack, the news is both exciting and a little depressing. On the one hand, this shows that HP does seem to be willing to make a go of what is, in itself, a very interesting platform. What’s depressing is the thought of what Palm could have been if it had had the resources (or the nouse) to develop these tools earlier.®

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