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HP Releases Open webOS 1.0

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the right-on-schedule dept.

HP 51

An anonymous reader writes "Hewlett-Packard has announced the release Open webOS version 1.0: 'We now have an OpenEmbedded build that allows a full webOS experience running inside an OE emulator. We have added core applications — email & browser — while continuing to support the desktop build environment. The 1.0 release also brings support for Enyo2. You can now take apps built on one of the best cross-platform JavaScript frameworks and easily run these same apps on Open webOS or other platforms. In the past 9 months, we have delivered over 75 Open webOS components. This totals over 450,000 lines of code. ... The source code for Open webOS can be found in Open webOS repositories on GitHub. Combining today's components with those from the previous releases, Open webOS can now be ported to new devices.' HP also reaffirmed plans to continue work on Open webOS, and to bring support for Qt5, WebKit2, open source media components, and more."

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How long did that take? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#41498349)

Time to get WebOS running, ten minutes

Time to get OpenEmbedded build working, ten weeks

Re:How long did that take? (5, Informative)

lkcl (517947) | about 2 years ago | (#41498593)

Time to get WebOS running, ten minutes

Time to get OpenEmbedded build working, ten weeks

amount of time taken asking questions: 0 seconds. ability read and follow instructions: 0%. ability to complain: 100%. ability to file bugreport or contact forum or mailing lists requesting detailed instructions: 0%.

_come_ on, dude, you know the drill. if you can't get something working, *ask the developers*. give them detailed reports, help them diagnose the problem with the build instructions, so that they can be improved. over time, things get fixed, yeah?

what would you have the developers do, huh? if you understand what openembedded's "bitbake" command is really about, and understand how powerful it is, you wouldn't be complaining, you'd be somewhere in awe or possibly shock. openembedded has a bang-per-buck ratio that's wayyy above anything else available from the free software community. gentoo's portage, buildroot, debian's build system - they're all child's toys by comparison.

tell me if you know of any other cross-build system that, in order to correctly configure a package and cross-compile it, fires up a *native* gcc compiler and runs the autoconf configure script in a qemu command-line virtual environment. now that's just so fucking smart - it solves *all* the problems that all the other "autoconf cache" broken workarounds just can't get right.

the people who came up with openembedded are just... unbelievably smart people. they know that they don't have a lot of resources, so they come up with solutions that make up for it, and do the work in an automated fashion. they've been at this for over 10 years, so cut them some slack, ok?

Re:How long did that take? (1)

Svartalf (2997) | about 2 years ago | (#41498799)

Heh... I've worked with part of those smart people... There's some legitimate gripes I've got with it all, but you'd be dead on about all of it all the same.

Re:How long did that take? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41499065)

He can't cut them some slack, don't you understand? He's a consumer and thus is automatically entitled and owed everything that he wants and demands.

Re:How long did that take? (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about 2 years ago | (#41500915)

He's a consumer and thus is automatically entitled and owed everything that he wants and demands.

If this behaviour bothers you, don't evangelize OSS.

Re:How long did that take? (2)

Svartalf (2997) | about 2 years ago | (#41498785)


Drop the meta-webos directory, in toto, into the OE-Core or Yocto main directory, source oe-init-build-env in the main directory, add the meta-webos directory to your config/layers.conf file in build (which you'll be moved to when you source oe-init-build-env...) and then type "bitbake webos-image".

If you're green, a quick trip over to the Yocto project over at the Linux Foundation would be suggested and it doesn't take 10 weeks as implied. It might take a couple of hours if you need to refer to the quickstart over there at the Yocto project- but it should take minutes if you've got the required skillsets to be actually DOING this sort of thing.

Re:How long did that take? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41508453)

> Time to get OpenEmbedded build working, ten weeks

Well, and now we have a binary without hardware? I mean the first thing they did when going open source was taking out the support for the HP TouchPad. If there ever was a stupid move, this is one it. You can have the best mobile OS you like, if it does not run on mobile hardware, it is useless.

Should be renamed DeadOS (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41498381)

They should have taken the opportunity provided by first release to rename it DeadOS. Who the fuck wants to develop for an OS that the owning company can't be arsed developing further? Fuck Fiorina's HP.

Great timing... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41498415)

This is why open sourcing software early on helps spur growth and adoption, not when the product might as well be abandonware. If an emulated webOS phone rings in a crowd full of Android devices, does it make a sound?

Re:Great timing... (1)

binarylarry (1338699) | about 2 years ago | (#41498493)

Hopefully this can get some traction and end up in 3rd place.


There's currently no good third place platform, just a bunch of crappy ones.

Re:Great timing... (2)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 2 years ago | (#41499147)

Having never actually used a Windows phone, I have to ask, is it that bad? Or is it just that everyone hates it simple because it's from Microsoft, or possibly because Windows Mobile 6 was so bad that people think the new Windows phone couldn't possibly be any good. I mean, on phones the interface itself doesn't matter that much since it's mostly about the apps. Once you launch the app it takes over, so it doesn't really matter what the main interface is like too much.

Re:Great timing... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41500817)

Having never actually used a Windows phone, I have to ask, is it that bad? Or is it just that everyone hates it simple because it's from Microsoft, or possibly because Windows Mobile 6 was so bad that people think the new Windows phone couldn't possibly be any good. I mean, on phones the interface itself doesn't matter that much since it's mostly about the apps. Once you launch the app it takes over, so it doesn't really matter what the main interface is like too much.

It really is that crap. The standard demonstration is that you can't even launch that app because Windows phone doesn't support having a proper applications page like iOS Android or WebOS. It only lists them in alphabetical order or as live Tiles (similar to Nokia's old and disasterous "widget" feature from their internet devices) . This means that it's major saving grace is the fact that there are so few good apps that you might have a chance of remembering the name of the app you are looking for. Was it "navigate" "car driver" "drive helper" "htc maps" ohhh shit..... As and when you get enough apps to care you will not be able to find any of them. This does, of course, happen after you have slept in because you switched your phone off for the night and the alarm failed and just before you fail to answer a phone call because you accidentally hit the hardwired "bing" button which takes up one third of the bottom of your screen.

Windows phone is also designed to push forward Microsoft's control of your data. You will also find serious data leakage from service to service; most people seem to end up with ten copies of each contact as they sync data back and forward (see e.g. and this video [] with an older version of the bug). What seems a good idea on other platforms ends up being a disaster when Microsoft is in charge and insist on "doing it like exchange".

Most of these features, like the basic graphic design of their system, seem good and clean in the shop and only after you have used the phone for a while will you realise that they are worse than the alternative used by the competition. E.g. the apps list described above works fine as long as you haven't many apps installed. Basically; take almost everything you ever heard of as a "new and advanced feature" of Windows phone and you will find an underlying design that either Apple or Nokia tried years ago and rejected. They made things different to get some differentiation without ever understanding why the things were done the way they were done before. Microsoft's best hope seems to be people's difficulty admitting to themselves that they made a stupid purchase.

Re:Great timing... (1)

Jaruzel (804522) | about 2 years ago | (#41505479)

I'll get modded off-topic for this, but I'm gonna post anyway...

The above is great comment, it's informative and contains good grammar and useful information.

The above is also a bad /. comment because it's been posted as AC with a value of 0. This means it will be hidden to most /. users and the modders will ignore it as modding it up doesn't help the poster.

I'm seeing more and more good comments posted as AC - why is this? The /. community is shrinking, and everyone hiding behind AC is just making things worse.

If it was down to me, there'd be no AC option at all.

Re:Great timing... (1)

samwichse (1056268) | about 2 years ago | (#41506813)

I'm guessing it's because all the sockpuppet/shill accounts get mod points the same as everyone else and they go through and downmod everything that's anti MS.

Alternately, maybe the writer actually works for MS?

Sad, because that was a great comment, I've never used a Windows phone, and it laid out several practical ways that it fails in a real workflow without resorting to incomprehensible ranting. Whoever wrote it should get a +5 Informative.


Re:Great timing... (1)

IHateEverybody (75727) | about 2 years ago | (#41504919)

The current incarnation of Windows Phone is actually quite good. They've taken some good ideas from existing platforms, including a few from webOS and combined them into a pleasing, attractive package. The main problem with Windows Phone is that it hasn't been able to get any traction. It is certainly not number three.

And I tend to disagree with the notion that phone UI is not important. Android for example is highly dependent on having users go to its home screen to get things done. That's one of the reasons why the inconsistencies between different carrier versions are so jarring and why the iOS UI, simplistic as it is, tends to win out over Android - particularly with non-techies. ICS goes a long way to fixing Android's UI problems. But there are so many Gingerbread, Froyo, and insert silly pastry name here handsets out there that are still in use - many of them relatively new - that will never be upgraded by their carriers. And of course even the ICS and Jelly Bean phones that do make it into people's hands have been tweaked by handset makers and carriers often for the worse.

Meanwhile iOS remains simple and consistent. Often too simple; but sometimes it's better to be simple than sophisticated. And that's why I miss webOS. More than any modern phone OS, webOS managed to be elegant - able to combine simplicity and sophistication. Even now I'm reminded of webOS's power every time I launch an app on my Android phone. There are two reasons for this: 1. Android's home screen and launcher even with ICS and Jelly Bean have always been and continue to be a mess of icons and widgets with the launcher tucked away and completely disorganized. 2. Because I discovered a very nice little launcher called Wave Launcher which mimics the webOS Wave Launcher which allows to do exactly what you say above, get the UI out of the way and just let the app take over. As with webOS, I can just swipe across the screen and launch any or widget without going back to some home screen and hunting for it. This is what kept me sane during the transition to Android and it is what keeps me on the platform today.

Re:Great timing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41499823)

I *really* like webOS ... though Android 4.1 does adopt some of the features I liked most. It's just about the cleanest UI for a tablet I've ever used. I only wish HP had released touchpad drivers for the open-source release, even if binary shims were needed... asshats. -- posting anon since I have mod points.

Re:Great timing... (2)

oodaloop (1229816) | about 2 years ago | (#41498805)

If an emulated webOS phone rings in a crowd full of Android devices, does it make a sound?

Maybe it's on vibrate.

Licence (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about 2 years ago | (#41499253)

Anyone know which licence Open webOS 1.0 uses?

Re:Great timing... (1)

rvw (755107) | about 2 years ago | (#41500621)

If an emulated webOS phone rings in a crowd full of Android devices, does it make a sound?

Do Androids dream of WebOS when they go to sleep?

Re:Great timing... (1)

IHateEverybody (75727) | about 2 years ago | (#41504935)

Yes, webOS is the electric lamb which was sacrificed for our technological sins and which has now risen from the dead to point the way to our ultimate redemption.
                      - Palm 3:16

No Internet Connection (2)

zer0sig (1473325) | about 2 years ago | (#41498483)

Here's to hoping the kinks get worked out for some bugfixes to my TouchPad tablet.

Re:No Internet Connection (2)

WillyWanker (1502057) | about 2 years ago | (#41498545)

They've already stated this will not be made available on the Touchpad.

Re:No Internet Connection (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41500981)

A complete build won't be available, because there's a bunch of closed-source drivers and other things that HP won't/can't release.

You could probably still graft certain pieces of the new stuff onto an existing non-open webOS device, like the new webkit browser.

Remember (5, Insightful)

SuperMooCow (2739821) | about 2 years ago | (#41498511)

Before you list WebOS as "too little, too late", remember that the same can be said about FirefoxOS. Both are pointless in a sea of iOS and Android devices.

Re:Remember (2)

oodaloop (1229816) | about 2 years ago | (#41498811)

Good point. They're both too little, too late.

Re:Remember (1)

Massacrifice (249974) | about 2 years ago | (#41500505)

I've yet to adopt either platform (iPhone / Android), because both force me into a subscription model that sees me like I was a bovine to exploit. What I want is a small, open, mobile computer with enhanced wireless communication that empowers me more than it enslaves me. FirefoxOS and open WebOS would be quite welcome on that front, if they could get through the north american carrier's evil marketing departments.

Re:Remember (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41501061)

Uh Google sells the Galaxy Nexus for $350 off contract.. great device, large screen, thin and light and google provides constant updates to the ASOP source and you can roll you own anytime you want, full drivers ( some as binaries ) available..

So How does Android force you into a subscription model?...

You are tied to gmail for the most part (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41513095)

You are tied to gmail for the most part

And if you don't use their market, you can't get pretty much 95% of all apps available to it.

Thats how!

AC Dundee

Re:Remember (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41503019)

When Linux started it was in a sea of Windows computers. Was it too little, too late as well? Can standards-based software compete against proprietary systems?

FirefoxOS may not be too late (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41513015)

Yes I agree WebOS release is too little too late and at first I thought the same of FirefoxOS.

Now I see firefox OS a glorified web dev framework. Kinda OS agnostic (IOS/Andrioid.. and hopefully desktop OS) mobile app development environment.

You know most Apps on IOS.Andriod are nothing more than customised UI to data/app on a website.

AC Dundee

Re:Remember (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41528323)

and suddenly, something comes out of this that is huge and has huge ramifications. You never know the future. Some part of it can be revolutionizing something, generating whole new industries. Or not. You never know.

Fuck HP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41498601)

Aaaaaaand.............. Nobody cares.

Re:Fuck HP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41498911)

I wouldn't fuck HP with someone else's stolen dick.

(Besides...they manage to fuck themselves (and a lot of others...) on a regular basis anyhow...)

WebOS? (1)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | about 2 years ago | (#41498603)

Didn't they kill that some time ago? I'm surprised it's still twitching.

WebOS is like SCO (2)

Chrisq (894406) | about 2 years ago | (#41498643)

WebOS is like SCO. Whenever you think it has died it pops up in the news again.

Re:WebOS is like SCO (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41499133)

By that logic, SCO is like winning a massive lottery, which sounds pretty stupid when you actually know anything about what SCO did in the last ten years...

WebOS showed extreme promise as an OS and releasing an open version could be the start of something huge...

This would be nice on the n900 (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41498801)

I sense a new project...

Re:This would be nice on the n900 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41502065)

Would it really? Maemo 5 works great on the N900, but the real problem is the hardware is old and underpowered by today's standards. I want it running on something more powerful, so I can replace my N900 before it dies.

Why? (0)

raarts (5057) | about 2 years ago | (#41499097)

Tell me, why would anyone start to use WebOS? There's Android, there's iOS, Windows. Who needs another one? I predict this project will die a silent death.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41499223)

Start? I already do. WebOS is the best overall user experience and multitasking experience for touch devices that I have tried.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41502425)

Except it is slow as shit and the virtual keyboard sucks badly.

Sent from my HP touchpad.... running ICS aka android 4

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41506763)

WebOS is not "slow as shit."

The original hardware may have been underpowered for WebOS but this is easily fixable with a number of overclock solutions that came out of preware. Should users have to do this? No. In my opinion, HP should have released a kernel with frequency scaling enabled and a default profile at about 1.7ghz. This is what I run on using the modified kernels, and my HP runs smoother and more fluid than much more modern devices regardless of OS.

With regards to the keyboard. I may be wrong, as I've not looked into it on other platforms, but it's the only keyboard I know where you can adjust the size easily, it's also one of the few with numbers on the main keyboard. It's also the only one I know where I am able to press and hold a button for various "forms" of that letter/character/multi-char input. For example, if you're typing in a URL and you press and hold the ".com" button you'll get .net, .org, .edu, etc.

Re:Why? (2)

erp_consultant (2614861) | about 2 years ago | (#41503959)

WebOS - great OS, lousy apps. I picked up one (actually two) of the Touchpads at the fire sale. Here are my observations of it:

- The OS is beautifully designed. Logical and fluid and reasonably quick
- It seems that about half the apps I tried were warmed over Palm Pre apps that were scaled up to fit the Touchpad screen. They looked absolutely horrible. The core apps (email, etc.) seemed fine though.
- The volume doesn't seem to go very loud. When I try to watch a movie on a plane it's not loud enough. If I reboot it into ICS (which I installed shortly after buying it) the volume is plenty loud.
- Nice screen. Not retina quality but pretty good.

My advice to anyone that has a Touchpad would be to install ICS on it. WebOS just doesn't have a lot of good apps. Nice OS but the overall experience is just putting lipstick on a pig.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41523705)

I also had some problem with the volume - then I installed an app to tweak the sound and boom - got LOTS of volume out, plenty.

Don't have it in front of me, might have been on preware.

Re:Why? (1)

odoketa (1040340) | about 2 years ago | (#41499225)

You may be right. On the other hand, a system that works on modest hardware, that has a solid interface (I have always thought WebOS was the best of the phone user interfaces, conceptually) and that is, like Android, open source, has the potential to fill a very useful niche.

Re:Why? (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about 2 years ago | (#41499267)

On an ARM, WebOS makes more sense than Windows RT. Windows phones or tablets only make sense on Clover Trail or Hondo chips, where x86 compatibility is not lost.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41499581)

While I agree Windows RT makes little sense, it at least has MS effectively bribing enough app developers to have more of the prominent applications than WebOS managed to accumulate. MS can't afford to bribe their way to an ecosystem as rich as iOS and Android and has to hope momentum will generally take off.

I still think WebOS has the best interface and appreciate how much commonality is between WebOS and components commonly used in the Linux desktop meaning better likelihood of Linux desktops getting applications as a side effect of WebOS success (compared to Android). However, I have given up hope of WebOS getting traction. Every slight opportunity it saw was squandered. Palm made an earnest effort but didn't have enough resources to have broader device portfolio and better carrier partnerships. HP *might* have been able to alleviate it, but with Hurd getting the boot in favor of Apotheker any opportunity was doomed to be squandered. He indulged the effort long enough to have a product on market for not even a week, then shot it down and talked about how crappy it was to be in the consumer space at all (PCs included). I recall some marketing material commissioned by Hurd prior to his exit that completed on Apotheker's watch. It looked like a pretty promising consumer oriented image that could've competently countered Apple's, but it seemed DoA. I really think Hurd had an interesting plan to watch play out.

On the other hand, I'm not sure what HP's game is now. After booting Apotheker, Whitman only went back on PC aspect, would not reverse course on the Palm product situation. However, they continue to fund WebOS with no clear plan to monetize on the effort. It's some weird in between state, neither alive nor dead. In general, HP's flip-flopping leadership seems to be potentially even worse than Carly's era. At least then there was consistency year to year and money wasn't pissed away on strategies that would be immediately abandoned by the next person.

Re:Why? (1)

erp_consultant (2614861) | about 2 years ago | (#41503999)

HP has got to be the worst run company in Silicon Valley. The founders must be turning in their graves. It seems to be a magnet for terrible CEO's - starting with Carly and the disastrous Compaq acquisition . Since her, Hurd seems to be the only one that was any good. Well, apart from his skirt chasing and poor judgement. Apotheker nearly ran SAP into the ground before he left there and brought the same "vision" to HP. What a disaster. Now they have Meg Whitman. Under her watch at eBay they "bought" Skype for $2.1 Billion only to find out that they didn't really own the source code. Smooth move, Meg. Now at the helm at HP, her brilliant plan to save them is to continue selling commodity PC's at razor thin margins. If not for ink cartridges they would already be bankrupt.

Re:Why? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41499801)

being an ipad, touchpad, and droid razr owner, using webos is such a joy for multi tasking. It deserves to live and hopefully someday get mainstream again.

Re:Why? (1)

Shaiku (1045292) | about 2 years ago | (#41502215)

The WebOS gestures and card interface are actually easy to learn and enjoyable. WebOS itself is much more open than Android or iOS. The development tools and SDKs are pretty clever, cross-platform, easy to use. I find it to be a much more geek-friendly OS with a better user-interface than Android.

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