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HP Handhelds Open Source Operating Systems Software

HP Launches Beta of Open webOS 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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HP Launches Beta of Open webOS

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  • 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? (Score:5, Informative)

      by pavon ( 30274 ) on Friday August 31, 2012 @05:37PM (#41194843)

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

      • by pavon ( 30274 )

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

    • by sootman ( 158191 )

      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.)

      • by Anonymous Coward

        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...)

    • by Anonymous Coward

      See WebOS-Ports [] for build instructions for Touchpad.

  • What does it run on? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 31, 2012 @05:07PM (#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? :)

  • by fm6 ( 162816 ) on Friday August 31, 2012 @05:22PM (#41194739) Homepage Journal

    ...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.

    • ...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.

    • 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.

      • by fm6 ( 162816 )

        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 []. Hey, if they're having fun, why not? But serious publishers use computers to prepare PDFs that they send to print shops.

    • 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 ge
      • by fm6 ( 162816 )

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

        • 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
          • by fm6 ( 162816 )

            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.

            • 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.
              • by fm6 ( 162816 )

                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.

                • 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 a
    • 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.
      • by fm6 ( 162816 )

        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 long

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 31, 2012 @05:22PM (#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.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    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?

    • by longbot ( 789962 )
      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.
  • 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.
  • by Webs 101 ( 798265 )
    ...opening a can of webOS?

"The number of Unix installations has grown to 10, with more expected." -- The Unix Programmer's Manual, 2nd Edition, June, 1972