HP's open source webOS embraces Android, iOS

Hewlett-Packard announced on Wednesday that it has begun the great open-sourcing of mobile operating system webOS with the release of the Enyo 2.0 core application framework.

Just a little over one month ago, HP announced it would be turning over webOS software development to the community, and open sourcing its components while participating in the project as an investor and controlling interest.

At the time, HP said the Enyo application framework would be the first part to be released to the community under open source licensing.

Enyo is an object-oriented JavaScript framework that works "on any platform with a modern web runtime." The first version of the framework used for all of the apps on the HP TouchPad, targeted webOS development specifically.

However, Enyo v. 2.0, part of the release package today, is designed for cross-platform application development, and webOS apps developed with it can be repackaged for iOS, Android, or really any other operating system with a "modern" browser such as Chrome, Firefox, IE9 or Safari.

"While 2.0 does not yet include any UI widgets, the core will support a wide variety of libraries and add-ons. A UI widget set for 2.0 will be released in the near future," Sam Greenblatt, CTO and head of technical strategy for the open webOS project said. "Upcoming releases include our distribution of WebKit, which will support not only HTML5, but also Silverlight and Flash through the use of plug-ins. It will enable the rendering of webpages to HTML Canvas and 3-D textures, and will support a wide range of application interfaces, including multi-touch."

In addition to launching Enyo, Greenblatt discussed a bit of the webOS roadmap, which includes a new kernel based on the Linux Foundation standard, a new database using LevelDB, and enhanced JavaScript integration through register callbacks and custom multi-process architecture for security, load balancing, and recovery availability.

The completed open source webOS will be called Open webOS 1.0, and is expected to be complete in September.

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