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HP Launches Beta of Open webOS

Unknown Lamer posted about 2 years ago | from the code-freedom-day dept.

HP 56

puddingebola writes "HP done gone and released the open source version of webOS. From the article: 'Gone are the days of HP's TouchPad and Palm ambitions, but HP is moving ahead with its plans to make webOS, its beleaguered mobile operating system, live on as open-source supported platform. Today it's launching the beta release... The release will have 54 components available as open source, the blog says, some 450,000 lines of code under the Apache 2.0 license.'" There are two flavors: an OpenEmbedded based version for targeting mobile device (kudos there!), and a desktop build which runs Luna as an application on the desktop (how long until someone writes a rootless version?). More info at the Open webOS project overview page, with source code over at GitHub

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frosty piss (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41194531)

hp = fp

Meh. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41194539)

It might be nice for the hobbiest but anyone who tries to take it any further will wish that it died on the vine years ago. Mark my words.

Re:Meh. (1, Troll)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 2 years ago | (#41194853)

Display thine bosoms unguardedly, or discharge thineself from these premises forthwith!

Hardware support? (1)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#41194601)

Since this won't run on Touchpads, are there any tablets out there that will support it? I didn't see a hardware list on OpenEmbedded.

Re:Hardware support? (5, Informative)

pavon (30274) | about 2 years ago | (#41194843)

Here is the list of hardware [openembedded.org] supported by OpenEmbedded. It looks like N800 is the closest thing to a tablet on that list.

Re:Hardware support? (2)

pavon (30274) | about 2 years ago | (#41194867)

Oh, and it probably goes without saying, but the N800 doesn't have high enough hardware specs to run WebOS.

Re:Hardware support? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41201959)

Please please please let the next question be n900 and the answer be yes.

Re:Hardware support? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41194943)

It would be very cool if it could run on a PALM LIFE DRIVE with 416 mhz cpu and 64 MB of RAM... Full circle, in a sense. sigh, if it would only happen

Re:Hardware support? (2)

sootman (158191) | more than 2 years ago | (#41196347)

Huh? From TFA: "Great collaboration continues on the Community Edition with the release of LunaCE. The webOS-Ports team have combined the community efforts into one package and made it simple to install on to TouchPad devices through their Preware software."

So, what is LunaCE? ("Lunacy" -- cute.)

Re:Hardware support? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41198049)

It's the Community Edition of Luna -- the display/window management layer of WebOS.

It's also alpha -- most users should wait for a beta release. (Or the eventual production release, but nobody on /. actually will...)

Re:Hardware support? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41196469)

See WebOS-Ports [webos-ports.org] for build instructions for Touchpad.

What does it run on? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41194649)

If it can't run on the Touchpads 1.2Ghz 1GB RAM specs, with a bootloader that is already hacked to support dual boot and other OSes what the hell WILL run it?

VM only? :)

Wrong target (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#41197943)

Maybe the PC is the target platform.

I don't see the version for washing machines? (0)

dicobalt (1536225) | about 2 years ago | (#41194657)

I was expressly promised that WebOS would run on washing machines. >:(

Open Source Platforms Can Succeed... (5, Insightful)

fm6 (162816) | about 2 years ago | (#41194739)

...but only when they have the backing of serious companies whose business models depend on them. (See Linux, Apache.) When a platform is dying because of lack of customer interest (See Solaris, BeOS, Irix), going open source won't save it.

Re:Open Source Platforms Can Succeed... (0)

blahbooboo (839709) | about 2 years ago | (#41195053)

...but only when they have the backing of serious companies whose business models depend on them. (See Linux, Apache.) When a platform is dying because of lack of customer interest (See Solaris, BeOS, Irix), going open source won't save it.

Also died because the hardware was terrible....

I really wanted to get a Palm back in the day, went to see it in the store, and that keyboard was so puny I couldn't possible use it.

Re:Open Source Platforms Can Succeed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41195313)

back in the day, palms didn't have keyboards.

Re:Open Source Platforms Can Succeed... (1)

Black LED (1957016) | about 2 years ago | (#41195423)

BeOS never went open source, only Tracker did.

Re:Open Source Platforms Can Succeed... (1)

blahbooboo (839709) | more than 2 years ago | (#41197063)

To clarify. I mean a palm pre.

Re:Open Source Platforms Can Succeed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41195055)

Open plateforms succeed when they are useful to someone and the platforms they can run on are open enough for the code to be put on them. If the phones you buy were open enough you could for instance remove android and put on maemo, meego, webos. The issue is not who is supporting you but who is actively getting in your way.

So your statement becomes: ...but only if they don't have serious companies whose business models depend that on them being locked out."

Who then impose technological restrictions and buy laws that enforce them.

Re:Open Source Platforms Can Succeed... (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 2 years ago | (#41195213)

When a platform is dying because of lack of customer interest (See Solaris, BeOS, Irix), going open source won't save it.

The platform may die but any good ideas will live on in other platforms, as code is ported (if the licenses are compatible).

Even something like BeOS is still kicking because a few hobbyists think its ideas haven't yet been integrated effectively elsewhere.

Re:Open Source Platforms Can Succeed... (1)

fm6 (162816) | about 2 years ago | (#41195445)

Yep, good ideas live forever, if they're not deliberately hidden away.

I define "success" for a platform as having an active community of users and developers. Being kept going because a few hobbyists enjoy playing with the platform is not success.

There are people who own and use linotype machines [woodsidepress.com] . Hey, if they're having fun, why not? But serious publishers use computers to prepare PDFs that they send to print shops.

Re:Open Source Platforms Can Succeed... (1)

spottedkangaroo (451692) | more than 2 years ago | (#41196419)

I'm not sure lack of consumer interest was the main problem. webos had a decent following, but there were no new devices after a long time and the only company really selling them was sprint (for a long time) and then only sorta half heartedly. I think the real problem was a lack of *vendor* interest. Had Palm not run out of money and stuck in there long term, I think there'd be a third OS afoot still and I wouldn't be suffering under this shitpile they call Android. I guess Android is alright, don't get me wrong, but next to webos, it's a pile -- particularly if you're a dev. Whatever. It's fully dead now. It'd be a stupid thing to work on unless HP starts making new widgets, but even if they do, they'll fuck it up (see what they did with their tablet? 1billion invested, politics happened, project abandoned). Maybe not quite a billion... but you see what I mean.

Re:Open Source Platforms Can Succeed... (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 2 years ago | (#41197077)

And why were there no devices? Usually the answer to that kind of question is "no market for them".

Re:Open Source Platforms Can Succeed... (1)

spottedkangaroo (451692) | more than 2 years ago | (#41204991)

Usually. But in this case, Palm just ran out of money. If they had been able to persist, they'd have gained market. Look how long it took Android to come up. It's up now, so there's more devices. It was *not* like that initially. Personally, I didn't think they'd ever succeed, especially at first. But look at them now. Palm would have done the same thing. Hell, even HP would have done the same thing, if that CEO hadn't gotten fired. The new management at HP abandoned the platform after they fired the guy that bought Palm (Hurd)

Re:Open Source Platforms Can Succeed... (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 2 years ago | (#41206517)

Palm just ran out of money.

At which time they were taken over by HP, which tried to keep WebOS devices alive, but couldn't get people to buy them.

Re:Open Source Platforms Can Succeed... (1)

spottedkangaroo (451692) | more than 2 years ago | (#41208003)

You didn't quote the whole thing. I also said it takes time to develop a market share and that they gave up long before they tried because of a CEO change.

Re:Open Source Platforms Can Succeed... (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 2 years ago | (#41208261)

For whatever reasons, they failed to develop customers. If you think that's the fault of bad management, I'm not going to argue. The fact remains that the platform ain't commercially viable, and making it open source isn't going to change that.

Re:Open Source Platforms Can Succeed... (1)

spottedkangaroo (451692) | more than 2 years ago | (#41210121)

Oh, definitely. I just wanted to blame management and bad fortune, not webos. The platform is dead, I agree on all counts of that. I quit developing for it and tell customers on a monthly basis that I have no interest in updating the apps -- though I offer to help, help fork, or help publish if they wish to take on the code. But I don't think the half-hearted year-or-so they gave it (with no decent hardware releases) was enough to say that they couldn't develop a customer base. They got about as much as you can expect for a slow beginning in a market where iPhone/Android are the only two thoughts a customer thinks. It coulda worked if Palm had a billion dollars to throw at it like the other two giants. I doubt HP was capable of doing it even if Hurd had been able to stick around. But Palm maybe could have done it. Maybe.

Re:Open Source Platforms Can Succeed... (1)

anomaly256 (1243020) | more than 2 years ago | (#41196633)

FYI BeOS didn't 'die' due to lack of customer interest, it died because it's competitor (Microsoft) bought it out and decided to discontinue it. Irix is still used in some places.. yes, scary I know but it's true. And we only wish Solaris was dying.

Re:Open Source Platforms Can Succeed... (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 2 years ago | (#41197055)

Your history is way off. MS never bought BeOS. (You're probably thinking of the lawsuit Be filed against MS, claiming anticompetitive practices.) That was Palm, and they bought BeOS long after Be had basically gone out of business. The intention was to make it into a replacement for PalmOS. When I interviewed for a job at Palm (2005, I think) and I asked what they were doing with BeOS, people tended to groan and talk about how stupid that acquisition was.

Irix only runs on SGI MIPS systems, which are no longer made. If you've seen anybody using it, they've got an old SGI box they haven't gotten round to replacing with something modern. I suspect that most of these are old SGI supercomputers, which will probably continue to be used for a long time.

I'll say it again: a platform isn't successful just because a few diehards and hobbyists can't or won't stop using it. It needs to be the basis for a serious ecosystem of users and developers.

Netscape/Mozilla (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41196853)

...but only when they have the backing of serious companies whose business models depend on them. (See Linux, Apache.) When a platform is dying because of lack of customer interest (See Solaris, BeOS, Irix), going open source won't save it.

For the record, there was this company driven out of business by Microsoft called Netscape. At it's lowest point they made their biggest piece of software, a browser open-source. They called the open source version Mozilla.

So there is at least one big counterexample to the argument.

Runs on whatever you make it run on! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41194743)

It's an open source project based on a Linux kernel, so it will run on whatever the community (we/you/them?) decides to make it run on.
Even though I didn't use it for that long, I actually found the card-based UI absolutely brilliant, and I long for it when using anything else. It just makes so much sense versus lame hacks like the "recent apps" in ICS. For that one feature alone I would keep webOS alive myself if I could.

Re:Runs on whatever you make it run on! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41195165)

It just makes so much sense versus lame hacks like the "recent apps" in ICS

How the fuck is that lame? It works perfectly and is faster than the cards on webOS. Maybe you are lame.

Re:Runs on whatever you make it run on! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41195203)

If you want real multitasking, cards work better. If not "recent apps" is good enough I guess.

Re:Runs on whatever you make it run on! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41195261)

If you want real multitasking

You dumb cunt, the Android task switcher is faster and you don't putz around with multiple windows for apps that have this new invention called tabs. WebOS claim to fame: Multiple browser windows... Dude, fucking tabs. Duh.

Re:Runs on whatever you make it run on! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41195395)

No, it is you who is the dumb cunt. When looking at the cards in WebOS, you get a live view of everything happening on screen, and when you switch to that app, it is in the same state you left it and then saw it in on the card. The card shows a webpage in realtime, as it's loading in the background, for example. In Android (which I agree is way better in almost every other UI aspect IMHO), you get a little static screenshot of the last state the app was in. You don't see your webpage loading. In fact, for some fucking reason, when you have already loaded a webpage in the stock browser, go to another app, open the app switcher, see your loaded webpage, and click on it, the browser opens back up, only to then show a blank page as it reloads the site you already had up. Not that the browser and the app switcher's issues are caused by one another. But to say that the multitasking's behaviour is superior in WebOS. Maybe not as fast as Android, but definitely better.

Re:Runs on whatever you make it run on! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41195533)

So, dumb cunt, let me get this straight. Your gripe with Android is the task switcher doesn't have "live preview"? What is the point of something like that? To suck resources? Is that why webOS is so fucking slow? As far as your loading issue, maybe you just have a low RAM Android device because I just tested your theory on a Xoom and a Galaxy Nexus and your gripe is bunk, e.g., you're full of shit as it doesn't work that way. Android multi-tasking is better. Period.

Re:Runs on whatever you make it run on! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41197889)

So, dumb cunt, let me get this straight. Your gripe with Android is the task switcher doesn't have "live preview"? What is the point of something like that? To suck resources?

You sound like a happy Win8 customer.
Me, I'll take a windowing OS -- because this isn't the fucking '80s anymore! If I've

It was well past time when Maemo finally got it (Maemo 5 / N900, running well on 400MHz) -- no reason at all a >GHz tablet can't manage. WebOS is slow for some things, but the window management is not why.

Re:Runs on whatever you make it run on! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41196011)

Then get the app called "Advanced Browser" if you want tabs. The card stack analogy is still much more intuitive than what Android has.

Re:Runs on whatever you make it run on! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41198339)

Tabbed browsing will be pointless once lunace gets a stable release.
Because the new card-stack view rocks! [youtube.com]

Re:Runs on whatever you make it run on! (4, Interesting)

spottedkangaroo (451692) | more than 2 years ago | (#41196449)

The cards worked better because I knew what I wanted running and what I wanted closed. Android seems to close the things I'm using and leave all this shit open I don't care about. I use google maps like once a month, and facebook next to never. Why would I want them running, but want ICS closing shit I'm trying to cut and paste between? Happens constantly and I have no control over it because in android users are considered too stupid or lazy to manage what apps they want open. In webos, when I'm done I close it and when I want it open, it stays open. That's brilliant. the only way the android way would really work very well is if it had a human intelligence managing what apps should close and what should stay open. I would gladly volunteer for this, if I could, but I can't because android got it wrong.

Re:Runs on whatever you make it run on! (1)

udippel (562132) | more than 2 years ago | (#41198545)

Sure cards are better from any educated point of view. In principle.
But that's not the question. The question is about the availability, the licence and most of all the devices to run this thing on. I have ICS on my tablet, but that doesn't make me a fan-boy. Show me a download location from where I can get firmware for my device and I will gladly download and try.
See, this is why WebOS is just vaporware, sorry. Okay, I compromise: I have root on my ICS. Where can I download a version to run from the root command prompt?
What next is it that you want me to do? HP is in some trouble, has never played really nice with the FOSS community, went out of the tablet business by selling under-priced tablets. Plus, HP was always in the business of selling their hardware together with software, and vice versa. What are they up to now?

Re:Runs on whatever you make it run on! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41198981)

people can't manage apps. they will eventually have every app possible open on their phone and then will be complaining when nothing new will launch. i think what android did was pretty smart. in ics, you can pull open your recent apps and close them quickly. if an app is closed in the background, it typically caches so that when you open it back up again it just reloads where you left off. i prefer letting android manage my apps. what do you think happens in windows and linux when the system runs out of memory....oh wait....it also just starts killing apps........just not nearly as gracefully. ios basically has the same behavior as android. hell it didn't even really multitask until version 5. i think the cards would just confuse people really. my mom figured out her android phone and has never complained about apps closing. if i had to teach her that she has to manage her applications I think it would just confuse her more. didn't realize i was logged out, so ended up posting as ac. I wouldn't expect a response if you reply. no offense or anything.

Dumbest Company of the Century (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41194775)

Ok, so the firesale price wasn't sustainable, AT THE TIME. But what about 1 year from now. Do you believe they couldn't produce tablets for less than $50 and have everyone be a customer?

Re:Dumbest Company of the Century (1)

longbot (789962) | more than 2 years ago | (#41199715)

Whatever happened to the video game console industry model of selling hardware at a loss initially, but making a profit at some point into the lifecycle? People like to complain about the "anemic" hardware in the TouchPad, but it's embedded hardware, they all have some drawbacks. I love the hell out of mine, I only wish I'd been able to buy more than one at that price.

Spanish slang problems (1)

fyi101 (2715891) | about 2 years ago | (#41195123)

The webOS GUI is interesting. Too bad the project's name sounds like spanish slang for "testicles" (huevos). I suggest a name change to "kohOneS". At least it'll sound intimidating to iOS and Android fanboys.

Re:Spanish slang problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41195231)

The webOS GUI is interesting. Too bad the project's name sounds like spanish slang for "testicles" (huevos). I suggest a name change to "kohOneS". At least it'll sound intimidating to iOS and Android fanboys.

They could just call it Whore. Oh, that's right, Nokia already took that name [theinquirer.net] . And WhoreOS had such a nice ring to it...

Re:Spanish slang problems (1, Informative)

Spaseboy (185521) | more than 2 years ago | (#41196723)

Seriously, did you fail high school Spanish or just jack up your Google translate? "Huevos" means "eggs". It is as much slang for "testicles" as "nuts". The word is "idiom" which is not the same as slang at all.......

Re:Spanish slang problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41204439)

except that "huevos" is rarely used as "eggs", and more often as "testicles" as for "guts"

Kiwanis? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41195353)

So Interesting.

Re:Spanish slang problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41197775)

Too bad the project's name sounds like spanish slang for "testicles" (huevos). I suggest a name change to "kohOneS".

Skip the huevos and join the Eunuchs crowd.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eunuchs [wikipedia.org]

"Done gone??" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41195133)

Doubtful.

So, HP is... (1, Funny)

Webs 101 (798265) | about 2 years ago | (#41195199)

...opening a can of webOS?

Cowards (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41195899)

If they really wanted to open this up they would have put it under GPLv3.

But of course had they done that it would have meant less fodder for lawyers done the line...

Re:Cowards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41196773)

+1 Flamebait

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