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BBQdave
December 9th, 2011, 09:03 PM
HP is releasing webOS into Open Source Community.

Three interesting points from the press release:

HP will be an active participant and investor in the project

Good, transparent and inclusive governance to avoid fragmentation

Software will be provided as a pure open source project

HP invites feedback and participation at:

http://developer.palm.com/blog/

JDShu
December 9th, 2011, 09:06 PM
Yeah I just read about it. I think this is HP's way of abandoning WebOS without abandoning the developers. Similar to how Oracle handed Open Office to Apache, It's a good way to wash your hands of a product with a limited amount of backlash.

PRC09
December 9th, 2011, 09:06 PM
Looks interesting for tablet manufactures.....


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-16121361

BBQdave
December 9th, 2011, 09:14 PM
Yeah I just read about it. I think this is HP's way of abandoning WebOS without abandoning the developers. Similar to how Oracle handed Open Office to Apache, It's a good way to wash your hands of a product with a limited amount of backlash.

Yeah, thinking this is a possibility... but then why make 3 statements about governance, funding, and structuring to avoid fragmentation, if you are not thinking long term.

Could HP really be trying to give webOS and the Open Source Community a chance to develop :confused:

JDShu
December 9th, 2011, 09:22 PM
There are benefits to growing a community of open source contributors if you do it right. I'm not saying HP is completely abandoning Web OS - they spent too much on Palm to do that. More likely, they'll reduce their WebOS team and sit back to see if a vibrant community develops. This would allow them to have a hand in the mobile world without needing a large investment.

MisterGaribaldi
December 9th, 2011, 11:00 PM
About the only way I see this as having physical, practical value is if Google screws up and everyone decides to jump ship and leave Android.

I really don't think you're going to see all that much here because the focus at the end of the day is really on two other major existing and quite financially successful projects: Android and iOS.

But, you know what, if the F/OSS community can sustain webOS then by all means go for it.

It would be interesting to see a product competing against Apple started by a company founded originally by ex-Apple employees.

kurt18947
December 10th, 2011, 12:20 AM
Is this a way to get developers and apps for WebOS? I thought lack of apps was one of WebOS' shortcomings.

cariboo907
December 10th, 2011, 01:12 AM
Merged two threads on the same subject

SeijiSensei
December 10th, 2011, 04:16 PM
Wake me when they make an announcement about the type of license they intend to release this under. Until then it sounds like a PR campaign to make a dying product seem relevant again by putting the "open-source" tag on it.

How much experience does HP have with managing a major open-source project? In the Linux world they've written some printer drivers and utilities and released them under the GPL. Any other examples of HP's support for open-source projects? Any examples where HP actually ran such a project?

As much as I don't trust Oracle, they have continued three important GPL-licensed projects -- OpenOffice, MySQL and Virtualbox -- as well as selling their own branded Linux distro. HP could learn something from Oracle.

forrestcupp
December 10th, 2011, 09:02 PM
From what I've seen of WebOS, I think it could really have promise. If a lot of OSS contributors jumped on board and worked out a lot of bugs, this could lead to a lot more people creating apps. I think there is the possibility of WebOS becoming better than Android. Of course you wouldn't have Google Apps.

I doubt if it will happen, but I almost wish it would. WebOS has some real ingenuity. They just need a big boost and a lot of bugs worked out.

forrestcupp
December 11th, 2011, 10:10 PM
HP announced that they will produce webOS tablets in 2013 (http://hothardware.com/News/HP-To-Produce-webOS-Tablets-in-2013/). Just a couple of months ago, they laid off about 500 webOS developers. Now they're releasing webOS as open source. And now they say by 2013, they'll start releasing webOS tablets again.

Sounds to me like they just want a free operating system developed for them without having to pay for R&D. What do you guys think? Do you think this is a good or bad thing? All I can think about are the 500 people who lost their jobs so HP can get free help.

KiwiNZ
December 11th, 2011, 11:05 PM
I think HP are using flip the dollar coin or tea leaf reading methods to make decisions.

markbl
December 11th, 2011, 11:35 PM
From what I've seen of WebOS, I think it could really have promise.
You may have seen it but have you used it? I bought one of the $150 firesale touchpads and think the hardware and WebOS are rubbish. WebOS is very slow, massively immature, buggy, and lacking in apps and functionality.

Favux
December 11th, 2011, 11:56 PM
@ forrestcupp,

Those were the hardware folks, not the webOS developers. I don't know how many were Palm hardware people. Probably most since HP isn't going to try phones anymore. Remember part of the knock against the Touchpad is that it was originally designed before HP acquired webOS and the fit of webOS with the tablet hardware in the pipeline maybe wasn't the best. So some of them may have been HP people involved in the hardware lock in.

Most of the software developers are still around. It remains to be seen how many HP will keep as part of the OSS project support.


@ markbl,

What tablet are you using? I have the same one and I don't agree with you. I don't think most of the reviews do either. A lot of that was first release teething troubles. Easily fixed by using the tips readily found on the web. Mainly the over enthusiastic logging. The third webOS update is due out in the next couple weeks. Bugs have been steadily addressed and some features added. My tablet runs just fine.

The main knock is applications. Surprisingly new applications have appeared in the store despite the hardware being discontinued. I guess because by installed base it's now the number #2 tablet.


So the real questions are these. Do other OEM's pick up webOS with tablets or what not? What arrangement will HP make to accommodate them with the app store? What license is webOS going to be under?

c.cobb
December 12th, 2011, 02:09 AM
Worked for HP for many years, and can count the successful software projects on one hand, going way back (remember their VPlus GUI forms package? Image data base? and no, not Image/SQL) Most of it, like HP-UX, was built primarily to sell hardware.

Too bad about the Palm deal. I got a Pre2 on eBay just before they pulled the plug. I really like it, for the most part. Haven't got around to putting the 'preware' package on that opens the door to adding a lot of cool, hackish apps. It works great as a mini eBook reader :-)

Dr. C
December 12th, 2011, 05:38 AM
Wake me when they make an announcement about the type of license they intend to release this under. Until then it sounds like a PR campaign to make a dying product seem relevant again by putting the "open-source" tag on it.

How much experience does HP have with managing a major open-source project? In the Linux world they've written some printer drivers and utilities and released them under the GPL. Any other examples of HP's support for open-source projects? Any examples where HP actually ran such a project?

As much as I don't trust Oracle, they have continued three important GPL-licensed projects -- OpenOffice, MySQL and Virtualbox -- as well as selling their own branded Linux distro. HP could learn something from Oracle.

WebOS contains third party code with many different FLOSS licenses including GPL v3. http://opensource.palm.com/3.0.4/index.html Check the COPYING file for mtools it is GPL v3. This means that WebOS cannot be locked down or tivoized ala Apple / Microsoft. Android does not contain GPL v3 code so it can be locked down or tivoized. This is very significant in the mobile tablet space.

KiwiNZ
December 12th, 2011, 08:23 AM
After using WebOS it needs to be assigned to history.