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HP Releases Source Code for webOS Web Browser

By - Source: HP | B 17 comments

As scheduled, HP has released the next segment of its webOS source code roll out, this time releasing the platform's web browser.

The official HP Palm blog reports that source code to the webOS web browser, Isis, has been released. The company also released the code of the browser's underlying QtWebKit-based HTML rendering engine. Potential developers can grab both from GitHub thanks to the open-source Apache license v2.0.

"QtWebKit will power the next generation of the platform, while Isis is the new webOS browser that is both fast and standards-compliant," reports HP's Jon Zilber. "And we're also announcing more details of the governance model for webOS, which we've designed to be community friendly."

The Open webOS governance model can be found here, and features an outline of seven key principles: webOS will be made available via the Apache license, it will use the contributor committal model, and it will be segmented into multiple projects. The Open webOS project website will host a wiki, a source code repository, a mailing list, and a bug tracking system. As seen with the latest release, GetHub or an equivalent tool will be used as the code repository while JIRA or an equivalent tool will be used to track issues.

"Our plan is to allow multiple committees to branch and merge code in the open to allow multiple development branches to occur at once," said project owner Sam Greenblatt.

These different branches include Enyo (a JavaScript framework), WebKit/Isis, the Linux Standard Kernel, and the webOS System Manager. "Each project has a Project Management Committee (PMC), comprised of committers elected within the project’s community to provide oversight for the project," he added. "The PMC also decides on the project’s release strategy and is responsible for releasing distributions into the community."

Over on the HP webOS Developer Blog, Greenblatt explains that QtWebKit was chosen to power "the next generation experience" because webOS requires a fast, standards-compliant web browser engine to provide the core of both the standalone browser and the rendering technology for the platform and its apps.

"We have been in the process of moving webOS to this port of WebKit for some time, with a goal of increasing web site compatibility and overall performance," he said. "Today we are ready to release the first part of this effort to the open source community—the Isis web browser."

The release of the source code for Isis is part of HP's overall big plan to roll out webOS to the community by September. The company began last month by releasing the Enyo JavaScript framework which was used to build the browser's user interface.

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  • 1 Hide
    seezur , February 15, 2012 3:49 AM
    This needed to be open source at release. It's the only way to quickly get apps for the device but instead they basically hurt any device that runs WebOS by delaying it. Too little too late.
  • -5 Hide
    fuzzion , February 15, 2012 3:49 AM
    You would actually have to pay me to use webOS.
  • 3 Hide
    malicemizer , February 15, 2012 4:05 AM
    uhm, does this mean they basically just gave away 2 billion dollars for free? Or something to that level?
  • Display all 17 comments.
  • 2 Hide
    alyoshka , February 15, 2012 4:22 AM
    A shot at revival......
  • -2 Hide
    dericko23 , February 15, 2012 4:48 AM
    Breaking News:

    No Viruses Written To Exploit WebOS Because Of Lack Of Interest
  • 4 Hide
    compton , February 15, 2012 5:20 AM
    I have a HP Touchpad, and WebOS is actually kinda awesome. It really has/had a lot of potential from a multitasking standpoint.
  • 4 Hide
    razor512 , February 15, 2012 5:45 AM
    same here, webos is actually really good, I barely use android now
  • 1 Hide
    doive1231 , February 15, 2012 7:40 AM
    The webOS browser is the one area that does need improving as some websites don't display as they should.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , February 15, 2012 9:26 AM
    As someone who owns/uses/develops on iOS, Android AND WebOS - WebOS has a really slick UI, the default apps are great (it has the nicest version of Facebook for tablets that I've seen), the browser is pretty passable and it's far more stable than Android. However it massively falls behind on app support - those that are there are mostly bad ports of Android apps, I've not actually managed to purchase anything because HP's purchasing mechanism is clunky and won't accept my credit card, and overall community support is terrible.

    Open sourcing could save it, but it remains to be seen if it's too late.
  • 0 Hide
    the_crippler , February 15, 2012 12:18 PM
    For the love of all that is holy, does this mean that someone will finally make a browser that can download files from secure sites without 14 patches, two work-arounds, a voodoo priestess and a sacrificed chicken? PLEASE?


    'Cause other than that, I love WebOS.
  • 2 Hide
    Thunderfox , February 15, 2012 12:43 PM
    WebOS beats the hell out of Android and IOS. I hope it takes off. Apps will be less of a problem if they attract lots of open source developers to the platform.
  • 0 Hide
    gsacks , February 15, 2012 2:04 PM
    malicemizeruhm, does this mean they basically just gave away 2 billion dollars for free? Or something to that level?

    Not at all. They still own all the technology patents that they bought with Palm, and that was what they really paid for. Not saying that HP made a good deal. Very far from it. They screwed the pooch royally. But at this point taking WebOS open source is definitely the correct move.
  • 0 Hide
    gsacks , February 15, 2012 2:06 PM
    doive1231The webOS browser is the one area that does need improving as some websites don't display as they should.

    Like Gmail. That's the killer for me. I can use the built in email app to access gmail, but the web interface is far, far better, and it won't render properly. Hopefully this is step towards fixing that.
  • 0 Hide
    the_crippler , February 15, 2012 3:08 PM
    gsacksLike Gmail. That's the killer for me. I can use the built in email app to access gmail, but the web interface is far, far better, and it won't render properly. Hopefully this is step towards fixing that.


    Yeah, that's actually on Google. They don't recognize WebOS as a mobile operating system, so the new interface is expecting scroll bars on the side. What I did was to bookmark the HTML version, which plays just fine with the TP. This way, I can go to gmail via the link on my TP, but don't have to change my main Gmail settings to default to it.
  • 0 Hide
    coldmast , February 15, 2012 6:05 PM
    Make it open source: when you're absolutely sure you can't make any money from it.
    Too little, too late.
  • 0 Hide
    __-_-_-__ , February 15, 2012 9:57 PM
    malicemizeruhm, does this mean they basically just gave away 2 billion dollars for free? Or something to that level?

    no. it means they gave away 0 dollars for free.
  • 0 Hide
    del35 , February 16, 2012 11:52 PM
    Quote:
    The (WebOS) browser is pretty passable and it's far more stable than Android.


    You got it all wrong! it is far more stable than iOS, but not as stable as Android.