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How HP and Open Source Can Save WebOS

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the save-the-day dept.

HP 86

snydeq writes "If HP wants a future for struggling WebOS, it must invest in the platform, not abandon it, writes Fatal Exception's Neil McAllister. 'It seems HP may only be truly committed to the platform if it can offload the cost of developing and maintaining it. Yet if that's what HP hopes to achieve by opening the WebOS source, it's bound to be disappointed.' Instead, HP should dedicate its own developer resources and 'release as much code as possible under an Apache, BSD, or similarly permissive license. Dual licensing under the GPL might leave HP with more opportunities to monetize the platform, but it won't garner as much interest from hardware makers, who are what WebOS needs most.'"

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Time versus money (5, Insightful)

InsightIn140Bytes (2522112) | more than 2 years ago | (#38396312)

The problem is that most people hear open source and can think you can instantly get other people to do the work for you. Largely that's a problem made by FOSS zealots who have, and still do, trumpet that as a feature of open source. However, that's not how it works. There largely isn't any big and known open source project that isn't backed by a large company. Apache is backed by all the large IT companies, even Microsoft, and Firefox has their own developers and funding via deals with Google and other search engines. Android and Chromium is backed and developed by Google. Linux development is largely driven by the largest distros, or paid by them.

So stop telling companies that open source is some magical answer to outsource the development process. It's not. People have lots of things to do, and apart from some basement dwellers, don't have time. In this world time is often even more important than money, especially if you're good at something. So open source tries to make free what people have (money) but they away their most precious thing, time. That's backwards thinking.

Re:Time versus money (4, Insightful)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 2 years ago | (#38396396)

You may need corporate backing to advance the project particularly far, and get some high quality polishing done, however OSS can still add a lot of developer effort. It's not a cure-all, but it can be a nice assist depending on the project.

Re:Time versus money (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#38397044)

Interestingly, despite its allegedly anti-commercial nature, GPL and similar licenses seem to have a dual effect, at least for the high profile projects:

On the one hand, they mean that small contributors can, and sometimes do, advance the project; but they also serve as essentially an 'informal, but legally toothed, consortium' for the larger contributors. Linux, say, does have a fair number of small contributors to various parts of it(probably wasn't IBM that hacked N64 controller support into the kernel...); but it also functions as a de-facto "baseline unixlike OS consortium" where the assorted hardware vendors who wish to sell servers or server parts to customers who will spend as much on hardware and as little on software as possible, and the vendors of software that needs an OS to run on can share development costs with one another. It's my suspicion that this is part of why Linux(which would seem less attractive, at first glance) has done comparatively well among the suits, while BSD(which would seem to be more attractive, given that you can take it proprietary at any time) has surprisingly limited penetration(and in somewhat different places: some companies with a long history of appliance manufacture, like NetApp, have a hugely custom in-house BSD and don't touch linux as often; but vendors of more generic appliance gear, with all the special sauce in userspace, or of commodity server stuff, seem to be very, very, heavily linux based.)

I can't say that I'm exactly optimistic about WebOS' future, given that it is in HP's hands, is up against android and a bunch of other linux-with-a-curious-skin projects, and probably under some pressure to make the purchase price of Palm seem sensible at some point before the sun swallows the earth; but it isn't insane per-se to expect that a bunch of different vendors would be interested in having a (frankly quite nice) linux UI developed along similar lines as the kernel.

Aside from the issue of "Will HP fuck it up?" the main question seems, to me, to be whether 3rd parties would rather have Apache-licensed access to Android at some delay, after Google's official Special Bestest Launch Buddy has been shipping it for some time, or whether they would rather have open-development access to a more restrictively licensed WebOS more or less immediately:

If you don't really care that you are implementing last year's no-longer-new-and-shiny, Android is basically free for the taking and doing whatever you want that doesn't violate the Linux kernel licenses. However, if you want the good stuff, when it is still fresh, you have to go have a chat with Mountain View. If HP is deluded enough to think that people will accept WebOS on those terms, they are heading for irrelevance; but it might well be the case that some vendors(especially those who don't really have a shot at a period of Android exclusivity) would happily accept timely access in exchange for the relative inability to keep changes(aside from their own userspace applications, of course) in-house...

Re:Time versus money (2)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 2 years ago | (#38400486)

the main question seems, to me, to be whether 3rd parties would rather have Apache-licensed access to Android at some delay, after Google's official Special Bestest Launch Buddy has been shipping it for some time, or whether they would rather have open-development access to a more restrictively licensed WebOS more or less immediately:

The manufacturers don't care - the vast majority of phones out there are running obsolete software, rarely get updates, and support for updating is usually dropped while the phone is still under contract, so that they can now up-sell you a newer phone.

WebOS as open source is just the latest "redshirt guy [] " - the only significant difference is that it has already assumed room temperature before making it's stage debut. I give this latest announcement two palms down.

Re:Time versus money (1)

justforgetme (1814588) | more than 2 years ago | (#38407874)

what I hate even more about this is that with so many choices an OSS geek has nowadays none of the existing mobile device OSs will never get enough momentum to progress and get the attention of manufacturers.

The mobile FOSS OS landscape is filled with almost complete products that have no following (at least not big enough to make a statement). It is idiotic to try and pursue either MeeGo, MaeMo, Moblin, Titzen, webOS or whatever the next failed competitor to iOS is untill serious development effort completes it and makes one or two HW manufacturers release devices that can accommodate it.
There will never be a thing such as a free and open source mobile OS untill the FOSS OS developer community:
1) puts it's egos aside,
2) takes a step back,
3) decides which project has the most merit to follow (without half the devs leaving because their favorite project was the chosen one)
4) actually finish the project (without producing 2^64 forks every hour like it happened when the gnome community thought about maintaining 2.6)
5) stop every one idiot who decides he can build a full fledged OS on his own (so that no devs leave for less mature and less moving projects). This btw includes Corporate idiots, I don't just mean shed kids.

FOSS is supposed to give devs the ability to respin stuff and that is all good and well but the cold hard truth is that finnishing a good OS for mobile devices requires much much more than one person or small group can achieve. If the freedom to deviate brought by the GNU licenses leads to fragmentation this severe that no one actually produces something then it is no freedom at all.

Also, never forget that unlike PCs atm it is "illegal" to install a different OS on a mobile device.

Re:Time versus money (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 2 years ago | (#38409130)

If the freedom to deviate brought by the GNU licenses leads to fragmentation this severe that no one actually produces something then it is no freedom at all.

Try to explain that to everyone who continues to drink the purple flavor-aid. Fortunately, the message IS sinking in - almost nobody has moved to the AGPL or GPLv3 - it's pretty much dead. By the same token, there's more good stuff coming out that REALLY meets the definitions of free - under a bsd/mit/whatever license, so there is hope. The gpl, long-term, is a dead end. I give it another decade, 2 at most.

Re:Time versus money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38397248)

You may need corporate backing to advance the project particularly far, and get some high quality polishing done

All the polishing on Slashdot is done by Weggener Edstrom on behalf of Microsoft.

Monitoring conversations, including those that take place with social media, is part of our daily routine; our products can be used as early warning systems, helping clients with rapid response and crisis management.

Re:Time versus money (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 2 years ago | (#38398850)

You may need corporate backing to advance the project particularly far, and get some high quality polishing done, however OSS can still add a lot of developer effort. It's not a cure-all, but it can be a nice assist depending on the project.

See, I don't even think that you can count on the "nice assist". You might get it, but there's a decent chance that any goals you have for the project will still need to be accomplished by *you*. What open source really does is increase support and, to some extent, increase some technical comfort in knowing that you won't have the rug pulled out from you later on. For a lot of the end-user benefits of open source, it's as much PR as anything else.

The real value of something like this might come from the collaborative effect from other corporate entities. So HP opens WebOS, and then lets say Motorola implements it in one of their phones, finds a bug, and wants to fix it. It may be that it's simply easier to push the fix back upstream rather than re-implement it with every new release. Yes, it would mean that their competitors will also benefit from the fix, but it may well be worth it.

Re:Time versus money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38399728)

This oddly strikes me as similar to what we are hearing from the various occupy crowds:

Open Source Community to Company X: You really should open source software package SHINY, proprietary software is evil and we would like to have it
Company X to Community:Ok, here you go. We're opening sourcing project SHINY under this license.
Community to Company: This is great! Hey, when will you be pushing out updates and patches?
Company to Community: We're not, we've moved on to project SPARKLE. But you can submit enhancements if you like
Community: This is outrageous, we demand you support this free stuff!

Am I the only one that sees it this way?

Re:Time versus money (1)

HiThere (15173) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403092)

No. It's a common mistake. It's caused by believing that the "Open Source Community" is a cohesive whole, and can be considered as a unitary entity. It's also caused by negotiations taking time, and while they are in progress the environment changing before anyone has made any real commitments. But you need to remember that the FOSS community has very little tensile strength. They pull apart easily, with some going one way and some another.

Additionally, the changes being proposed are specifically designed to enhance the appeal to other corporate entities, and NOT to appeal to the majority of FOSS developers.

Still, every FOSS project that's both large and successful needs some source of financial support. And any piece of software that is "opened" to FOSS needs a good project leader. And good project leaders for FOSS projects are a really scarce resource. And *one* characteristic that leader need to have is that he already understands the code. Whoops! If the project has just been open, guess who the possible candidates are.

There's all sorts of people who treat FOSS as some sort of "magic pixie dust", and many to most of them are community members. This doesn't mean that they aren't ignorant, or even willfully ignorant. Most FOSS projects fail. Repeat: Most FOSS projects fail. Tell it to yourself 20 more times. The successes are because there's lots of FOSS projects. Some are run by people who are both skilled and lucky.

Re:Time versus money (1)

QRDeNameland (873957) | more than 2 years ago | (#38405404)

We're not, we've moved on to project SPARKLE.

I hear that project is a magnet for foodstuffs...and will banish dirt to the land of wind and ghosts.

Re:Time versus money (3, Interesting)

ripdajacker (1167101) | more than 2 years ago | (#38396474)

Any good open source project has corporate backing. Look at Firefox, Linux, whatever.

Without funding you don't get the dirty work done, because nobody wants to investigate that tedious race condition when they can be implementing some new fancy feature.

Re:Time versus money (2)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | more than 2 years ago | (#38398070)

Any good open source project has corporate backing.

Yes; for example:

  • Mediawiki
  • Python
  • oooooops..

But leaving that aside, if your project is good you will get commercial backing eventually and projects which have solid commercial cooperation definitely end up better than they would otherwise. The question is does that commercial backing undermine you (e.g. like OS/X undermined FreeBSD) or does it build you up (e.g. like Red Hat has done to Linux).

I think the key determiner of that is having a solid copyleft license so that when you get involved with the corporates you don't get ripped off. We can already see Android fragmenting between Google's main version; the Kindle version; various chinese versions etc.

Re:Time versus money (3, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38398898)

The question is does that commercial backing undermine you (e.g. like OS/X undermined FreeBSD)

How do you think OS X undermined FreeBSD? Apple hired quite a few FreeBSD developers to work on Darwin, but they still contribute stuff back. And things like libdispatch and libc++ that are initially developed on Darwin typically get FreeBSD ports before they run on any other non-Darwin platforms because of the similarities in the libc and kernel interfaces (e.g. libdispatch on FreeBSD just required some #ifdefs around the Mach-port stuff, on Linux it requires you to use libkqueue to emulate some *BSD kernel APIs).

Re:Time versus money (1)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | more than 2 years ago | (#38415662)

There is a vast difference between having a platform as your main target and throwing some code over the wall to it. FreeBSD was, at one point, beginning to displace Linux as a desktop platform. It never went very far, but it certainly had that potential. Since developers moved to OS/X FreeBSD is almost entirely following Linux desktop trends. The difference, however, is that since FreeBSD is not the main target, all sorts of things like package manger software developed for the big projects aren't designed for FreeBSD. This is simply because so few developers use FreeBSD as their primary desktop even if they are developing for FreeBSD servers.

Frankly, if you look at the BSD systems; this is a more or less continuous trend. Linux comes from a much less solid design base; ends up with people with lower experience in OS design and so on and yet ends up delivering better and more interesting results. This is because as people get good at FreeBSD they can't sustain a job working directly on it; nobody's willing to pay for development that they know their competitors will then take and hide. Instead they end up forced to work on various proprietary ports which, whilst they may contribute back random support frameworks for their own work, fail to ever give back they most valuable things.

Think; JunOS ; IPSO; various CISCO systems; BSD 386 ; lots of small proprietary routers etc. etc.

Re:Time versus money (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38396536)

If enough people are interested in what you've got, you CAN get people to do the work for you. If it's going nowhere now then any progress would be an improvement. A lot of people seem interested in WebOS, so I suspect this is one case where for nothing more than some hardware, power and bandwidth they could wash their hands of actually having to do anything but pay some developers to handle whatever they personally need to complete contracts.

Re:Time versus money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38396708)

Interesting that you mentioned Firefox as an example. Firefox was originally released by Netscape, who by now is providing virtually zero funding. In a sense, they succesfully managed to outsource development of Firefox to Google.

Re:Time versus money (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | more than 2 years ago | (#38397028)

While it is true that those large open source projects you mention have corporate backing that is only after the fact. Large open source projects follow the same pattern as any other startup. If they have a product that looks promising, then others either invest in them or buy them out.

While there are examples of large companies starting open source projects, the majority of them have occurred as small projects that gained popularity and grew. There are also large open source companies that continue to sponsor other open source companies, but they do so, for the same reason as closed source companies -- it makes good business sense.

I do agree that just because something is open source does not mean that people will flock to it and develop it for free. However, an open source project that is useful and well received is much more likely to have that happen. Open sourcing Web OS, even without strong corporate support, is much more likely to see it having continued development than if it weren't open sourced. That does not mean it will be a success, just that those interested can continue to develop it.

Like any open source project, if there isn't enough interest, it will die out. If there is a lot, then it will get corporate backing. That's the beauty of the open source model.

Re:Time versus money (1)

Junta (36770) | more than 2 years ago | (#38397148)

There are projects without clear corporate backers that are moderately successful in their own right, but mostly not 'server' type projects. xbmc, xine, vlc, mplayer, and mythtv that comes to mind. may have had Sun but I think the community had largely taken over and now you have Libreoffice.

Also, 'a large company' does not back Apache, many users of Apache back it. Since the users happen to be composed of businesses, yes your development community is comprised of companies. This applies to a lot of 'server'/'enterprise' projects.

On the flip side, I can't think of a single big project (including all the ones that you mentioned) that does *not* enjoy 'free' development and testing contributions from the community. My measure would be if the project reasonably continues in the face of any single corporate backer dropping out. The only instance mentioned that I think might fail that test is Android, because I think the business logistics are the main driver of Android's success moreso than the technical merits of the platform (which is serviceable and all, but I just don't see the ecosystem continuing without Google). There are plenty of niche projects that companies open sourced in search of free resources to no success that continue to effectively be solely driven by the company. Any project in *this* state (WebOS is closer to this in the spectrum than the 'big' projects) absolutely needs pretty much full-time commitment from the company if they ever hope to make it to 'big'.

Re:Time versus money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38408400) may have had Sun but I think the community had largely taken over and now you have Libreoffice.

The vast majority of the code contributions came directly from Sun or Novell. The "community" outside of those two corporations probably contributed significantly less than 1% of the actual code.

Re:Time versus money (1)

IRWolfie- (1148617) | more than 2 years ago | (#38397222)

What makes Linux development work so well is the involvement of many companies and not just one. Making the code open source is a first step in getting more companies involved.

Re:Time versus money (1)

Kagetsuki (1620613) | more than 2 years ago | (#38398252)

I see your point but you need to realize some OSS projects can be used to provide services which you can make money off of. I participate in one such project and I use it in a service I provide to clients. That could include embeded operating systems as well, just look at iTRON, TOPPERS, Arduino, etc.

But... in the case of WebOS I'd say you are absolutely correct. At this point the best HP could really hope for is the code based be used as a reference to implement attractive features in some other system. May as well call the new OSS version OrphanOS.

Re:Time versus money (1)

jbolden (176878) | more than 2 years ago | (#38407412)

I don't think that was ever promised. What was said was that open source projects would get large number of people to work on the project which is different then work for you. There are many open source projects that involve multiple parties, Apache being a good example. Microsoft had to develop IIS alone, Apache was collaborative.

Open sourcing is not an outsourcing solution and was never promised as one. It is a collaborative development solution.

Yup (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38396360)

100% agree! When I was ready for a new phone a year or 2 ago, I went into my sprint store and looked around. First I got the Pixi, but I loved WebOS so much that I went in and exchanged soon enough so I could get the Pre. A truly amazing experience. True multitasking and there was a small community of people hacking the hell out of their Pre's. That's the awesome thing with WebOS, it's SOOO easily customizable! Within that day I was making boot splash screens and new app icons, along with slightly overclocking the processor. But then I soon realized that the hardware was seriously lacking and even worse, so was the community. I ended up taking it back to get an Android, because I really only saw room for iOS and Android. I was a little disappointed that customizing the android (hero) wasn't as simple as WebOS, but I soon learned the ins and outs. Fast forward a couple of years later, and I have TONS of Android phone choices with AMAZING specs. Currently I have an Samsung Epic 4g. The processor is overclocked to 4.3ghz and I have many custom rom choices. I'd love to see WebOS come onto better hardware, and see WAAAY more apps dev'd for it, but I'm not sure that will happen.

Re:Yup (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38396426)

Edit: A Samsung Epic4g

Re:Yup (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 2 years ago | (#38396538)

do you mean 1.3Ghz? That phone comes with a 1Ghz processor from all I've read. I'm not sure I've every heard of a 430% overclock without liquid nitrogen or something similar. I would expect at 4.3Ghz you'd have a few minutes of batter life, and your face would combust when you make a call, if you don't use a bluetooth headset.

Re:Yup (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38398520)

And that my friends, was how I knew that the grandparent poster had to be my nemesis, Mr. Freeze. No one else could withstand the heat generated by the overclocked phone. No one else would be so cold to give up on WebOS to move to Ice Cream Sandwich.

Re:Yup (1)

wesgray (1827286) | more than 2 years ago | (#38398642)

"Currently I have an Samsung Epic 4g. The processor is overclocked to 4.3ghz ..." How could this post be rated insightful when it is a transparent lie. News for nerds my ass. []

Re:Yup (2)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38398934)

A transparent lie? Of course, that was my first thought too! No one could possibly accidentally type 4.3 when they meant 1.3 - it must be a deliberate attempt at misinformation!

just move on (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38396376)

I loved the WebOS UI and I'm sad to see it the platform go, but really at this point, people should get a clue and move on. WebOS is dead. You can play with the existing builds as much as you want but HP has proven time and again that they don't give a damn about the platform. If they did they wouldn't have scuttled the thing and gotten rid of it.

Sweet dreams are nice but they're only that: dreams. WebOS isn't coming back, folks. Get on with the program.

Re:just move on (1)

catbutt (469582) | more than 2 years ago | (#38403046)

I don't see how you can say that. There are lots of things that could happen. The nice thing about WebOS is that its API is pretty standard Javascript/HTML5 stuff, so people don't have to invest so much in developing for it, as much of their work can apply elsewhere. Also, if it can be easily loaded on hardware sold with Android, it's pretty nice to have a platform that is more open than Android, and arguably, built in a more modern and future-compatible way.

People might even modify it to work on windows-oriented hardware, such as tablets or even laptops. Who knows. We need something like this.

Nothing can change that tablets are mostly useless (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38396384)

It doesn't matter what HP, or anyone else, does. Nothing can change that tablets just aren't very useful devices for the general public. Sure, there are very small niches where they can be marginally useful, but otherwise they're a temporary fad.

Tablets are in that sweet spot of uselessness between smart phones and netbooks. You get all of the drawbacks of smart phones and netbooks, without the benefits of either.

Sure, Apple has sold millions of tablets. But it should be telling that they're the only ones who have been able to achieve such sales levels. This didn't happen because tablets are useful. Rather, it happened because Apple is more like a religion, where its followers will consume absolutely anything it spews out. HP, RIM, and other companies just don't have consumers with such a religious devotion, thus they can't as easily sell them useless and unnecessary devices, and thus post far, far lower sales numbers.

What goes on with WebOS is irrelevant, given that tablets themselves often get very little use after the novelty wears off. It doesn't matter if your tablet runs open source software if that tablet sits on a bookshelf collecting dust and otherwise remaining completely unused.

Re:Nothing can change that tablets are mostly usel (4, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 2 years ago | (#38396514)

If other people's actions are irrational, then you're spared the difficulty of revising your worldview to accomodate them. It's a safe course, but an intellectually puny one.

Re:Nothing can change that tablets are mostly usel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38398822)

I don't chart my course based on the irrationality of other people. I don't change my views to accommodate others.

The hell? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38396558)

[with tablets] you get all of the drawbacks of smart phones and netbooks, without the benefits of either.

No you don't, WTH are you talking about? Netbooks generally don't have touch, weigh much more than a tablet, have a decidedly bad form-factor for the things you use a tablet for; consuming media.

The netbook as it was originally known (Eee901 etc) was a transitionary animal.

Re:Nothing can change that tablets are mostly usel (2)

arielCo (995647) | more than 2 years ago | (#38396594)

As I write this from my web-browsing, movie-watching, music-listening, casual-game-playing, bittorrent-downloading, GPS-equipped, ssh-plus-RDP-over-VPN-connecting 1.8-lb device, I respectfully disagree.

Re:Nothing can change that tablets are mostly usel (2)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 2 years ago | (#38396644)

There is definitively a need for tablets. I don't know what it is, but I see people carrying those things around everywhere. I have no idea what they are used for (except if they are reading books - that'd be kinda a bad use for LCD tablets), but people wouldn't take them out of home if they were useless.

Re:Nothing can change that tablets are mostly usel (2)

Xest (935314) | more than 2 years ago | (#38399164)

I've got an iPad 2 and I'm not even sure what use it is to be honest.

It's basically just used as a really expensive portable web browser, and not much else, because whilst the apps look great on the Apple advert, when you actually download some of those that are showcased like the NASA app and the spreadsheet app, you find that the few screens you see on TV are actually basically the entire app because the apps have about the depth of a small spoon. You can't actually do anything useful with the apps because they really are that shallow and completely devoid of 99.99% their desktop equivalents would have.

It makes a nice catalog for my girlfriend who can at pictures of the latest fashion items too I suppose, but as a device it's not terribly useful.

Most people I see with them on the trains tend to be using them as very bad eReaders - larger, heavier, less battery life, harder to read.

They get use without a doubt, but I agree that I think they're most likely a fad amongst the general public. We have use for them in some areas, at work we use them as a basis for some eLearning projects, so certainly there are niche areas they're suited, but without a doubt I can't see the idea that they're going to replace general computing has any merit, at least without a major transformation as to how we interact with them because the current touch UIs don't do it. Typing an e-mail on the iPad is a million times more of a pain than just walking upstairs to my study and typing it out on my computer, or, if I've bothered to bring it downstairs or charge it, to use my laptop, or netbook. Swype on my phone makes things much better, and it'd be less hassle with that, but Apple wont let us have nice things like that so it's not like that's even an option to make the tablet slightly more worthwhile.

Re:Nothing can change that tablets are mostly usel (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#38396650)

>tablets aren't useful
>tablets are niche
>irrational apple hate

It's like I'm really on /g/


Re:Nothing can change that tablets are mostly usel (1)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 2 years ago | (#38399922)

>Using quoting syntax to provide commentary on what someone said instead of what they actually said

I guess that helps complete the illusion that you're on 4chan. :)

Re:Nothing can change that tablets are mostly usel (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#38405864)

Protip: using the Greater Than Sign predates 4chan by a couple of decades.

On Usenet and BBSes.


Re:Nothing can change that tablets are mostly usel (1)

King_TJ (85913) | more than 2 years ago | (#38399332)

I have to disagree. Even as someone who doesn't do a whole lot with my Apple iPad compared to time spent on a full-blown desktop computer, it's incorrect to say tablets aren't very useful for the general public!

The very reasons I find one less useful are the reasons I'm not really part of the "general public" demographic of users in the first place.

Most people I know (including my boss and his wife, who both bought iPads and absolutely LOVE them, despite having no prior interest in Apple or their products) simply wanted a device that makes checking email, playing "casual games" (crossword puzzles, Scrabble type games, etc.) and general web surfing easy, while providing long battery life and a small enough form-factor so it doesn't require some sort of carrying case or bag with handles just to lug it around from place to place.

Unlike a laptop or even netbook, it's also ideal for use when lying down in bed, making it a suitable e-reader. (Lots of people like to read books in bed.)

The reason the "other guys" aren't posting great sales figures likely has a lot to do with the market already being saturated with Apple iPads! They had the only option for one on the market for a good year or so before anything appeared resembling decent competition. And even now, the fact they're pretty much the original tablet success story means their App Store has a better selection of software in it than the others -- ensuring more momentum.

It's disingenuous to write them off as only selling well because "Apple is a religion to people". Just as many people I've met are die-hard Android/open source fans, yet tablets running their OS aren't making much of a dent in market-share.

Re:Nothing can change that tablets are mostly usel (2)

BrianH (13460) | more than 2 years ago | (#38400368)

As a longtime software developer and all around computer power user, I find my tablet to be fairly useless. It has a lousy onscreen keyboard, runs limited applications, and can't really be used to do MANY of the really cool things that I've spent the past 20 years doing on computers.

My wife, on the other hand, is a technophobe schoolteacher, and is rarely seperated from it nowadays. It gives her a simple way to do her pointless social and entertainment things...Facebook, email, Youtube, etc...without having to deal with all of that "computery" stuff. If you ask her, she'll tell you that it's the greatest bit of technology ever invented.

But the real eye opener came from my kids, including my about-to-go-to-college daughter who is incredibly computer literate and who I taught the fundamentals of BASIC coding when she was only four years old. To her, and my 14 year old son, it's just another computing device. There are some things that are better on computers, and some things that are better on tablets (who wants to watch a streaming movie on a laptop with a keyboard in the way?) To them, the entire discussion is silly, as both devices have their own purposes. The kids simply move back and forth between them without a second thought.

We are contrained by the limits of our own prejudices and experiences.

WebOS matters why? (2)

Enfixed (2423494) | more than 2 years ago | (#38396388)

Last time I checked there wasn't a need for another "open" mobile OS..... Now if they were to open source their TouchPad drivers, that might be something worth doing.

Re:WebOS matters why? (5, Insightful)

CockMonster (886033) | more than 2 years ago | (#38396456)

It doesn't matter. When it comes to platform choice the end-user's opinioin rarely matters, especially those of nerds. Nokia's N900 was one of the most customisable and Linux-based etc, etc, mobile phones ever developed. They only sold 100,000 of them worldwide, the geek market is unprofitable. Operators are uninterested in WebOS, they're too busy right now trying to make Windows Phone compete with iOS and Android.

Re:WebOS matters why? (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 2 years ago | (#38397814)

Indeed, we have no choice in this market. We are supposed to sit down and accept what is forced down our throats.

Re:WebOS matters why? (1)

Enfixed (2423494) | more than 2 years ago | (#38398186)

Sadly this is true, but at least having Ice Cream Sandwich forced down our proverbial throats sounds palatable. ;)

Re:WebOS matters why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38399678)

Sadly this is true, but at least having Ice Cream Sandwich forced down our proverbial throats sounds palatable. ;)

Pbbt, lucky bastards. I'm still trying to get Gingerbread forced down my throat.

Re:WebOS matters why? (1)

adisakp (705706) | more than 2 years ago | (#38399040)

Operators are uninterested in WebOS, they're too busy right now trying to make Windows Phone compete with iOS and Android.

Wait people are scrambling to make Windows Phones ?!? I thought they were just making more Android phones to compete with iOS and Android.

Re:WebOS matters why? (1)

Damnshock (1293558) | more than 2 years ago | (#38400824)

I disagree.

The N900 failed not because it's a geek phone but because it had no advertisements and, more importantly, no APPS (from the average Joe point of view).

Ohh before I forget: because it's THICK and nowadays people don't want that.


Re:WebOS matters why? (1)

UpnAtom (551727) | more than 2 years ago | (#38415246)

Maemo still has a great community updating the OS, building new apps etc. I just bought an N900 for £100 (same cost as a 2nd hand iPod) and I love it.

I'm inclined to believe if Apple had made these, they'd have sold a hundred million.

Anyway, there are 2 separate FOSS projects now: Maemo/Mer and Tizen. Tizen especially is trying to build an HTML5 front-end much like WebOS. Both WebOS and Maemo are based on real Linux (unlike Android). If Tizen can merge the two projects, allow the result to run Maemo and Debian apps with cross-compiling for Android apps, they might just have a competitor.

Windows Phone is in another world - they'll get almost no cross-development from these Linux based competitors. They're relying entirely on tying in with their XBoxen.

Re:WebOS matters why? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38396534)

It matters because WebOS is better than Android.

It looked better, it ran more efficiently, it was capable of multitasking, and the kernel was less forked than the android one.

Re:WebOS matters why? (2)

Junta (36770) | more than 2 years ago | (#38397226)

I agree with most counts except more efficiently. I've missed the WebOS UI, the use of C/SDL to develop apps, and the fairly straightforward nature of the innards of the whole platform given a linux background since they seemed to have avoided reinventing the wheel as much as Google elected to do. But efficiency, at least measured in battery life, was something they never seemed to quite get right. My Android phone lasts a lot longer despite being much faster and having a bigger screen without a significantly higher capacity battery. I also didn't like the fact I could never have barcode scanning or similar (hardware design choice to not have autofocus camera, wtf?), no compass, and no third-party app access to things like the microphone (that last might have changed in WebOS 2.x, sadly no devices ever came to sprint for me to bother learning about).

Re:WebOS matters why? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38399220)

But efficiency, at least measured in battery life, was something they never seemed to quite get right

Really? It was one of the things that impressed me about my TouchPad. Watching a 45-minute (flash) video on iPlayer took the battery life down to 91% from a full charge. A day of using it as a dev / test machine via ssh used about 50% of the battery life, and it lasts on standby for... actually, I've no idea how long, I've never managed to leave it unplugged long enough to drain more than about 20% of the battery life in standby.

Re:WebOS matters why? (1)

Junta (36770) | more than 2 years ago | (#38402832)

My only hands on was a Pre-. If I was actively using it, it fared about the same as my Android device. But standby, well, my Android will last me at least a couple of days, but my Pre- wouldn't make it through the night unless it was plugged in. I did install an app that automatically went into airplane mode overnight and it tended to make it then, but I don't have to take that measure with my Android device and I can get middle-of-the-night calls.

Maybe In Pre2 or Touchpad world they worked it better. Since Pre- didn't get WebOS 2.0 and Sprint never got a Pre2, and I'm not particularly motivated to buy any tablet at all, my experience was limited.

Re:WebOS matters why? (2)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 2 years ago | (#38396690)

And nobody needs more than 640kB either. People will start needing another open mobile OS if anybody starts offering something that is better than Android. If not, they won't.

But I agree with the asking for drivers. By the way, can they distribute a GPLed kernel without releasing the drivers? (All that ends in a rant about political system and the injustices of the judicial system...)

Re:WebOS matters why? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38396788)

The problem is that OSes are adopted largely based on the apps that run on them rather than the OS itself. iOS and Android now have a commanding lead both in applications and application developers over everything else in the market; that's a hard head-start to beat.

Re:WebOS matters why? (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 2 years ago | (#38397846)

By the way, can they distribute a GPLed kernel without releasing the drivers?

Depends, are the drivers delivered as proprietary kernel modules? Are they userspace binaries like most mobile GPU drivers? Then they can distribute the Linux kernel and omit the sources for the drivers.

Unreasonable expectations. (4, Insightful)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#38396548)

HP gave WebOS cement galoshes. It is basically abandonware now.

Don't expect any help from HP for any plans for the survival of WebOS. Any plans that depend on that are doomed to fail.


Re:Unreasonable expectations. (1)

Locutus (9039) | more than 2 years ago | (#38400164)

I would not be so sure about HP abandoning WebOS. They have a platform which begs to have a nice little OS and UI and that is their printer business. Years ago HP clean roomed a Java OS and called it Chai. They built a handheld patform on their Jornada hardware but with their marketing deal with Microsoft they would lose the profits guaranteed by those deals if they shipped a Chai based platform. Chai found it's way into many of HP's printers though and has lived there for many years. If you look back, WebOS has always been mentioned as targeting in their printers and even recently they've stated the printer usage for WebOS.

But for it to survive outside on embedding in their printers and some form of app market, they must do the work getting the driver and kernel supporting other devices. It will be interesting to see how they handle it.

OT is BeOS question again; will they be releasing the source for that? Probably way too late for it to be much usable but I've seen it mentioned a few times even recently.


Count me against it. (2, Insightful)

sgt scrub (869860) | more than 2 years ago | (#38396582)

I doubt HP is going to dump it on a git server and forget about it. They are going to continue to do with it what they want to do with it; that being the mysterious purpose they are wanting a buyer to give them a low cost license to use it. Opening it up to the OSS community will give people who find it interesting to port it to different hardware. There is no shortage of people out there rooting devices to put something that interests them on the device. Having a proprietary version hasn't helped Nokia sell interest in QT. If anything it has had a negative effect. There are those that worry about Nokia getting sold to Microsoft. After seeing what happened with Sun getting purchased by Oracle, I think the OSS community would be more hesitant if it were duel licensed.

Better undead than forgotten (1)

UBfusion (1303959) | more than 2 years ago | (#38398178)

They are going to continue to do with it what they want to do with it

Agree very much on this - as long as WebOS exists as a name, it will be discussed (rather favorably) on various sites thus increasing HP's brand recognition and leaving open the possibility that they are interested in producing something interesting in the future (say a new tablet, a new smartphone or a new gadget).

If on the other hand HP declares WebOS as abandonware, then it will simply disappear from people's memory. In addition, developers might accuse them for not opening the source to such a nice OS, as they rightfully do with any accidentally or purposely obsoleted technology.

Thus I perceive their strategy as "Better undead than forgotten" - everybody wins (especially the undead ones).

Nokia had the right model and abandoned it (1)

Khopesh (112447) | more than 2 years ago | (#38398882)

Having a proprietary version hasn't helped Nokia sell interest in QT. If anything it has had a negative effect.

Qt has been GPL for most of its history. Nokia bought it and soon made it LGPL just to get it on par with GTK+ (and because they did not care about monetizing it, instead wanting more adoption). Their only misstep was when they turned around and ran like hell rather than putting their weight behind it with real phones and marketing. HP doesn't have to make the same mistake, but they certainly seem to be heading that way.

I submit that the LGPL model is the best for WebOS, with optional proprietary licenses available cheaply when desired.

Getting back to the heart of the article, which parrots something I said here [] just a few days ago, it needs dedicated full time devs and lots of corporate-sponsored advocacy if it's to go anywhere interesting. It also needs real devices, even if they're not from HP.

It doesn't matter if it is commercially backed (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38396658)

There are plenty of powerful open source projects that are not backed by corporations. Eigenbase existed before LucidEra and DynamoBI. Ingres started out as a community driven project, went commercial, and Postgres took over as the community-led version. Not only is it still around, but it is probably a few orders of magnitude more popular than Ingres now. Debian, Arch, KDE, and anything from the GNU project.

It doesn't matter one bit whether HP continues to develop WebOS. Android, while being developed quite well, is not thriving because it is open source. It is thriving because it is free. The idea that they can drop it and let a community take over is bullshit because community projects are led by people who use the software. You might think that there are tons of people that use Android, but really, the phone manufacturers are the true user-base of Android. They are the ones that put the finishing (copywrited) design on the OS, lock it down, install the uninstallable shit programs, and refuse to give updates. Why would a community every get involved in that?

Android will continue to thrive, but only because google is developing it and monetizing it. WebOS does not have a way for HP to monetize, and the phone manufacturers have already sunk their development into Android. It doesn't stand a chance.

why wait till Android is almost ready on TouchPad? (3, Insightful)

Jerry Atrick (2461566) | more than 2 years ago | (#38396692)

Many of the OSS people they hope to attract are already busy porting Android to the TouchPad. By waiting till Android is nearing a usable release to open source WebOS they've lost those devs.

The hardware is appealing but the software EOL, the replacement already arriving and no-one seems very interested in any WebOS device that's not in a fire sale. Too little, too late.

Re:why wait till Android is almost ready on TouchP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38407066)

The current alpha CM7 build of Android is highly functional. It is dual boot but I find myself almost never switching back to WebOS despite that actually much prefer the WebOS UI. It just doesn't have the apps.

Webos is beyond repair (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38396816)

The whole project lost its focus: Palm used to be a neat piece of software for a PDA. It was not bloated with a file system, with Flash, and with all this other junk that has become the primary focus of Apple. And all the plagiarizers like Windows Phone, Andriod, etc.

And what are these "experts" at Palm doing?: dumping everything to the trash! Building an Ipad clone based on Linux? Too little, too late. This spot is already occupied by Apple. Sorry guys.

I would rather enjoy seeing source of Palmos 5 or even better Palmos 4 on a public repository. HP can really keep Webos for themselves.

Re:Webos is beyond repair (1)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 2 years ago | (#38400082)

The whole project lost its focus: Palm used to be a neat piece of software for a PDA. It was not bloated with a file system, with Flash, and with all this other junk that has become the primary focus of Apple.

I think it's worth bearing in mind that their OS design was a great fit for the kind of devices they could produce in the late 90s. These days, the capabilities of a handheld machine are a lot better, so what would have been "bloat" thirteen years ago is now pretty reasonable in terms of the functionality provided vs. the resources consumed.

Hardware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38397070)

What use is the OS if they're no hardware to run it on? Until they get another device to support WebOS, it's just going to continue to be ignored. HP owns the OS, they need to be the ones to build hardware to run it. Once they have a successful device, then maybe Open Source can work some magic on it.

FOS Hardware (FOSH) (1)

unixisc (2429386) | more than 2 years ago | (#38401812)

One thing people (not HP) can do is create a hardware reference platform based on OpenRISC and CoreBoot, ensuring an open source hardware at the core, and then put WebOS on top of it (since Linux 3.1 has been ported to OpenRISC and so WebOS needs to move to Linux 3.1). Then one will have a completely Free Open Source Hardware (in this case, GPLed.) Once that is published, any OEM can take the design and run with it. Despite it being all open, putting together all the manufacturing plans - which fabs to use for the CPU, which suppliers for each chipset, and so on. In short, anybody who wants to make it will have to have a core team of engineers for various things - getting the CPU taped & fabbed out, designing the platform based around this chip, procuring the memory and other chipsets for the platform, having firmware designers write the CoreBoot, having software designers/OS writers port WebOS to the platform and ensure that it runs properly.

In short, having open source software (and hardware) helps in giving a company a headstart by cutting on developement time (except maybe the first iteration of the product), but there would still be a lot of work to be done in coming out w/ a final product. However, that won't mean that development time or resources of a company that chooses to make it will be zero: instead, it will be reduced due to the openness of the project, but a company can recoup its cost in the pricing of the product. Of course, all things, like the NPV analysis of a product would have to be done when it's being planned, so that the developement costs are all factored into the price of the product, which has to be the market price for tablets.

It's all about the apps, or lack thereof (5, Insightful)

Chilaean SeaBass (1352263) | more than 2 years ago | (#38397484)

I love WebOS. Between the excellent multitasking implementation, unobtrusive notifications, ease of rooting, excellent homebrew support, it's great. To me it just feels like a refined, excellent operating system for phones and tablets. That being said, as soon as I unboxed the pair of TouchPads I purchased for my wife and I, the first thing I did was install CyanogenMod on the pair, despite it being an alpha build.



Nook app? Android has it, WebOS doesn't.
Netflix? Android has it, WebOS doesn't.
Amazon MP3 (for cloud player access)? Android has it, WebOS doesn't.
Musicnotes (digital copies of sheet music we've purchased online)? Android has it, WebOS doesn't.

And so on. Nobody is going to spend a lot of time developing or porting apps to WebOS since at this point, it's pretty much dead to the average consumer. Even companies that do want to develop on it like Astraware are waiting to see if enough people buy the apps they've put out for WebOS before they bother to port more - it has to make financial sense. So I end up spending most of my time on my TouchPad in Android, and I doubt my wife will ever bother to boot WebOS again.

Now, if someone were to set WebOS up so that it could run Android apps and the Android Marketplace, I'd happily wipe the Android partition off my TouchPad and never leave WebOS land again. Here's to hoping someone can do that.

Re:It's all about the apps, or lack thereof (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38397754)

Ain't gonna happen. The Google applications - including the Android Market app - come under a non-OSS license, in binary form, and are generally not allowed to be distributed - unless of course you are in contract with Google. There might be ways to make webOS run Android apps - but it won't ever be able to directly access the Android Market. It's just simply not in Google's interest to allow that, and they control the access to it.

Re:It's all about the apps, or lack thereof (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 2 years ago | (#38398194)

Ah yes, the old chicken and egg problem. I guess we should just stop developing new things and forever use what already exists.

Re:It's all about the apps, or lack thereof (1)

JazzLad (935151) | more than 2 years ago | (#38398880)

From your mouth to that guy's ears. The AC says it can't happen because of licensing - this is why I can't have market + google apps on my kindle fire.

Except that I do. Doesn't have to be officially offered, make it technically possible & we'll do it.

Who's going to use it though? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38398424)

With the major players entrenching like hell in their walled gardens, you have to wonder who will end up using it (

I can see white box vendors trying it to differentiate from Android in emerging markets, or perhaps a new player who wants a different boxed-and-ready OS. But beyond them, its hard to see any takers and without hardware to play it on, this is going to plot next to the BeOS, AmigaOS and others graveyard fast.

Year o' the Linux Tablet (1)

plurgid (943247) | more than 2 years ago | (#38398956)

I'm kind of surprised nobody's mentioned this aspect, because it seems sort of obvious to me.

HP can make a *lot* of money selling for lack of a better term "open" tablets.
What I mean is: no walled garden & a completely, utterly open OS.

You cannot build your own tablet, the way you can build your own PC, and frankly given the form factor, I'm not sure how that could ever become the case.

So do it, HP. Sell open platform tablets that the entire freakin' world can hack on until they're blue in the face.
Once you've got a real good, stable OS that's easy to develop on, some basic office applications, and hardware cheaper than Apple, you stand to have businesses buying the hell out of your hardware.

Re:Year o' the Linux Tablet (1)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 2 years ago | (#38400244)

I'm kind of surprised nobody's mentioned this aspect, because it seems sort of obvious to me.

HP can make a *lot* of money selling for lack of a better term "open" tablets.

I am a bit skeptical about that... I mean, tinkerers can be very enthusiastic about a product that's fun to hack on - but there aren't necessarily enough of them to make it worth manufacturing a tablet for them...

Re:Year o' the Linux Tablet (1)

JohnnyMindcrime (2487092) | more than 2 years ago | (#38400904)

It's a nice idea but it can't work in practice.

About the only company that can make good margins on consumer-level computing devices these days is Apple, and that''s because their customers are prepared to pay a premium for buying into a brand name.

Anyone else who sells hardware has to make additional profits through value added services like support contracts and selling applications for the hardware. That in turn means having a heap of developers ready to start churning out the applications as soon as the customers start buying.

I'm with you, I'll never buy Apple as long as it's a walled garden ecosystem, how good their products actually are is irrelevant to me beyond that point. But I just don't see it happening unless it's cheaply-made Chinese crap that distributors can put enough of a margin on - and then you'll end up hacking something that something that starts off as a piece of crappy hardware, whereas the Touchpad (now the HP-employed missus has managed to get one) is actually a nicely made and nicely specc-ed bit of hardware.

Re:Year o' the Linux Tablet (1)

jbolden (176878) | more than 2 years ago | (#38407430)

Tinkers can already convert the existing tablets over. They don't need a manufacturer support OS for tinkering.

I'm not convinced HP care about WebOS... (1)

JohnnyMindcrime (2487092) | more than 2 years ago | (#38400602)

Case in point...

The missus works for HP and up to the point she came home with a cheap Touchpad, neither of us owned a tablet.

As the household Linux/UNIX geek, I set the thing up for her and both of us thought it was okay but nothing special.

However, I then had a read through the stuff regarding Preware, optimising the speed of the tablet by turning off unnecessary logging and throwing on the UberKernel so you could push the CPU clock speed up by a few hundred megahertz - and did all that stuff on it.

The difference was quite amazing, it turned from something that was quite sluggish to use into a very nippy and quick little device - plus the access to the Preware stuff opened up thousands of new apps that there was previously no access to.

Which begs the question, why didn't HP just do the above on all Touchpads in the first place? At least have presented the device in as best a way as possible.

I still think tablets are a gimmick and there's no way I'd ever buy into a walled garden ecosystem, no matter how good the iPad may or may not actually be. But having played about and hacked about with the Touchpad, I can start to see the appeal. Had it been my Touchpad, Android would also be on it now but although the missus wants it on there, I've told her to wait until it's a bit more mature.

Re:I'm not convinced HP care about WebOS... (1)

Chilaean SeaBass (1352263) | more than 2 years ago | (#38401642)

I know that technically the CyanogenMod 7 Android for Touchpad is Alpha 3.5, but it's been rock solid for me the last few days. And worst case, the instructions you can find to set it all up include a very easy to use uninstaller that will wipe Android off of the device entirely. It also uses a bootloader so you can choose to use WebOS or Android, and Android won't mess with the WebOS partition at all. Since you've already loaded Preware on the thing, you're already set to do all of this stuff anyway, and the single longest part of the process is waiting for the slow download of CyanogenMod.

Give it a try. I was incredibly suprised at how well it worked.

all it takes is a really long tail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38404372)

Sure, investment may help, but then again it may not. If WebOS can stay open source and pick and choose from developments in Android and iOS, even at a hobbyist level, it could wind up being hugely popular for aging hardware (think Android tablets in 3 years from now) or kiosk uses that need low cost licensing arrangements. It's more about staying power than a big up-front money push.

WebOS has many strengths (1)

beckett (27524) | more than 2 years ago | (#38406072)

The multitasking, the notifications, and the fact it mounts as a USB storage device are all superior on webOS and the HP Touchpad vs. the ipad. If only someone at HP could sift the gold from the dross; they already have a capable mobile OS that could put them on a competitive advantage over Nokia, RIM, and Motorola. GUI is everything for these tablets, and android still is not as polished on the touchpad like webOS is. Hopefully open sourcing it will allow a fork that is helmed by someone that actually respects what webOS has done right.

It's all about Enyo, stupid! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38407306)

78 comments and not a single one mentions 'Enyo', the WebOS application framework that's really just a cross-platform environment built in HTML/JavaScript/CSS. WebOS was merely a substandard Linux running an ancient WebKit fork, with a couple nifty technologies bolted on (the multitasking UI and Synergy). But there's literally no reason to shackle such nice technologies to HP/Palm's hardware OR software.

If any technology in WebOS is going to provide value to HP and the developer community, it's Enyo. However, I would recommend someone de-uglify it as the first order of business.

webOS has Some Great Apps (1)

bedouin (248624) | more than 2 years ago | (#38408716)

The RSS reader I use, I think it's called TouchFeed is pretty good. The Reddit client, Excavate Reddit isnt as good as Alien Blue for the iPad, but it's not bad. There are some games out there that really show what webOS is capable of like Asphalt 6 and Aftermath. You can put Debian or a couple other Linux distros in a chroot, and run what ever apps you like.

Accessing the developer mode and dropping into the shell you're in ordinary Linux; with Preware you can install a compiler and do whatever you want with it. It's incredibly flexible. I probably still favor my iPad, but I definitely feel comfortable with webOS too.

Just today HP released an updated version of their app store program. The home brew community is dedicated; Gameloft released an Assassin's Crees game a couple days ago (I don't follow the series, so not sure which one). The webOS is dead let's bury it attitude around here is very uninformed.

There's a million TouchPad's out there, and I'm sure most of them aren't running Android. This is different than Nokia's handful of Linux phones that were purchased.

homage to Chevy Chase? (1)

BigLonn (786463) | more than 2 years ago | (#38408786)

News Flash! Generalisimo Francisco Franco is still Dead! After 32 years dead the general and dictator of Spain is still dead!, Oh, by the way so is WEBOS, this pawn off of the operating system to open source is, I'm betting, a tax write off, as a way to recoup a pointless buy of a dead operating system that they cant sell to some one else because, its dead Jim!?!! stick a fork in it!
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