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HP Open Source News

How HP and Open Source Can Save WebOS 86

Posted by samzenpus
from the save-the-day dept.
snydeq writes "If HP wants a future for struggling WebOS, it must invest in the platform, not abandon it, writes Fatal Exception's Neil McAllister. 'It seems HP may only be truly committed to the platform if it can offload the cost of developing and maintaining it. Yet if that's what HP hopes to achieve by opening the WebOS source, it's bound to be disappointed.' Instead, HP should dedicate its own developer resources and 'release as much code as possible under an Apache, BSD, or similarly permissive license. Dual licensing under the GPL might leave HP with more opportunities to monetize the platform, but it won't garner as much interest from hardware makers, who are what WebOS needs most.'"
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How HP and Open Source Can Save WebOS

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  • Time versus money (Score:5, Insightful)

    by InsightIn140Bytes (2522112) on Friday December 16, 2011 @09:07AM (#38396312)
    The problem is that most people hear open source and can think you can instantly get other people to do the work for you. Largely that's a problem made by FOSS zealots who have, and still do, trumpet that as a feature of open source. However, that's not how it works. There largely isn't any big and known open source project that isn't backed by a large company. Apache is backed by all the large IT companies, even Microsoft, and Firefox has their own developers and funding via deals with Google and other search engines. Android and Chromium is backed and developed by Google. Linux development is largely driven by the largest distros, or paid by them.

    So stop telling companies that open source is some magical answer to outsource the development process. It's not. People have lots of things to do, and apart from some basement dwellers, don't have time. In this world time is often even more important than money, especially if you're good at something. So open source tries to make free what people have (money) but they away their most precious thing, time. That's backwards thinking.
    • by ByOhTek (1181381) on Friday December 16, 2011 @09:18AM (#38396396) Journal

      You may need corporate backing to advance the project particularly far, and get some high quality polishing done, however OSS can still add a lot of developer effort. It's not a cure-all, but it can be a nice assist depending on the project.

      • Interestingly, despite its allegedly anti-commercial nature, GPL and similar licenses seem to have a dual effect, at least for the high profile projects:

        On the one hand, they mean that small contributors can, and sometimes do, advance the project; but they also serve as essentially an 'informal, but legally toothed, consortium' for the larger contributors. Linux, say, does have a fair number of small contributors to various parts of it(probably wasn't IBM that hacked N64 controller support into the kerne
        • by tomhudson (43916)

          the main question seems, to me, to be whether 3rd parties would rather have Apache-licensed access to Android at some delay, after Google's official Special Bestest Launch Buddy has been shipping it for some time, or whether they would rather have open-development access to a more restrictively licensed WebOS more or less immediately:

          The manufacturers don't care - the vast majority of phones out there are running obsolete software, rarely get updates, and support for updating is usually dropped while the

          • what I hate even more about this is that with so many choices an OSS geek has nowadays none of the existing mobile device OSs will never get enough momentum to progress and get the attention of manufacturers.

            The mobile FOSS OS landscape is filled with almost complete products that have no following (at least not big enough to make a statement). It is idiotic to try and pursue either MeeGo, MaeMo, Moblin, Titzen, webOS or whatever the next failed competitor to iOS is untill serious development effort complet

            • by tomhudson (43916)

              If the freedom to deviate brought by the GNU licenses leads to fragmentation this severe that no one actually produces something then it is no freedom at all.

              Try to explain that to everyone who continues to drink the purple flavor-aid. Fortunately, the message IS sinking in - almost nobody has moved to the AGPL or GPLv3 - it's pretty much dead. By the same token, there's more good stuff coming out that REALLY meets the definitions of free - under a bsd/mit/whatever license, so there is hope. The gpl, l

      • You may need corporate backing to advance the project particularly far, and get some high quality polishing done, however OSS can still add a lot of developer effort. It's not a cure-all, but it can be a nice assist depending on the project.

        See, I don't even think that you can count on the "nice assist". You might get it, but there's a decent chance that any goals you have for the project will still need to be accomplished by *you*. What open source really does is increase support and, to some extent, increase some technical comfort in knowing that you won't have the rug pulled out from you later on. For a lot of the end-user benefits of open source, it's as much PR as anything else.

        The real value of something like this might come from the

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ripdajacker (1167101)

      Any good open source project has corporate backing. Look at Firefox, Linux, whatever.

      Without funding you don't get the dirty work done, because nobody wants to investigate that tedious race condition when they can be implementing some new fancy feature.

      • Any good open source project has corporate backing.

        Yes; for example:

        • Mediawiki
        • Python
        • oooooops..

        But leaving that aside, if your project is good you will get commercial backing eventually and projects which have solid commercial cooperation definitely end up better than they would otherwise. The question is does that commercial backing undermine you (e.g. like OS/X undermined FreeBSD) or does it build you up (e.g. like Red Hat has done to Linux).

        I think the key determiner of that is having a solid copyleft license so that when you get involved with the

        • Re:Time versus money (Score:4, Informative)

          by TheRaven64 (641858) on Friday December 16, 2011 @12:34PM (#38398898) Journal

          The question is does that commercial backing undermine you (e.g. like OS/X undermined FreeBSD)

          How do you think OS X undermined FreeBSD? Apple hired quite a few FreeBSD developers to work on Darwin, but they still contribute stuff back. And things like libdispatch and libc++ that are initially developed on Darwin typically get FreeBSD ports before they run on any other non-Darwin platforms because of the similarities in the libc and kernel interfaces (e.g. libdispatch on FreeBSD just required some #ifdefs around the Mach-port stuff, on Linux it requires you to use libkqueue to emulate some *BSD kernel APIs).

          • There is a vast difference between having a platform as your main target and throwing some code over the wall to it. FreeBSD was, at one point, beginning to displace Linux as a desktop platform. It never went very far, but it certainly had that potential. Since developers moved to OS/X FreeBSD is almost entirely following Linux desktop trends. The difference, however, is that since FreeBSD is not the main target, all sorts of things like package manger software developed for the big projects aren't desi

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      If enough people are interested in what you've got, you CAN get people to do the work for you. If it's going nowhere now then any progress would be an improvement. A lot of people seem interested in WebOS, so I suspect this is one case where for nothing more than some hardware, power and bandwidth they could wash their hands of actually having to do anything but pay some developers to handle whatever they personally need to complete contracts.

    • by Dcnjoe60 (682885)

      While it is true that those large open source projects you mention have corporate backing that is only after the fact. Large open source projects follow the same pattern as any other startup. If they have a product that looks promising, then others either invest in them or buy them out.

      While there are examples of large companies starting open source projects, the majority of them have occurred as small projects that gained popularity and grew. There are also large open source companies that continue to sp

    • by Junta (36770)

      There are projects without clear corporate backers that are moderately successful in their own right, but mostly not 'server' type projects. xbmc, xine, vlc, mplayer, and mythtv that comes to mind. Openoffice.org may have had Sun but I think the community had largely taken over and now you have Libreoffice.

      Also, 'a large company' does not back Apache, many users of Apache back it. Since the users happen to be composed of businesses, yes your development community is comprised of companies. This applies

    • What makes Linux development work so well is the involvement of many companies and not just one. Making the code open source is a first step in getting more companies involved.
    • I see your point but you need to realize some OSS projects can be used to provide services which you can make money off of. I participate in one such project and I use it in a service I provide to clients. That could include embeded operating systems as well, just look at iTRON, TOPPERS, Arduino, etc.

      But... in the case of WebOS I'd say you are absolutely correct. At this point the best HP could really hope for is the code based be used as a reference to implement attractive features in some other system. Ma

    • by jbolden (176878)

      I don't think that was ever promised. What was said was that open source projects would get large number of people to work on the project which is different then work for you. There are many open source projects that involve multiple parties, Apache being a good example. Microsoft had to develop IIS alone, Apache was collaborative.

      Open sourcing is not an outsourcing solution and was never promised as one. It is a collaborative development solution.

  • Yup (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 16, 2011 @09:14AM (#38396360)

    100% agree! When I was ready for a new phone a year or 2 ago, I went into my sprint store and looked around. First I got the Pixi, but I loved WebOS so much that I went in and exchanged soon enough so I could get the Pre. A truly amazing experience. True multitasking and there was a small community of people hacking the hell out of their Pre's. That's the awesome thing with WebOS, it's SOOO easily customizable! Within that day I was making boot splash screens and new app icons, along with slightly overclocking the processor. But then I soon realized that the hardware was seriously lacking and even worse, so was the community. I ended up taking it back to get an Android, because I really only saw room for iOS and Android. I was a little disappointed that customizing the android (hero) wasn't as simple as WebOS, but I soon learned the ins and outs. Fast forward a couple of years later, and I have TONS of Android phone choices with AMAZING specs. Currently I have an Samsung Epic 4g. The processor is overclocked to 4.3ghz and I have many custom rom choices. I'd love to see WebOS come onto better hardware, and see WAAAY more apps dev'd for it, but I'm not sure that will happen.

    • by ByOhTek (1181381)

      do you mean 1.3Ghz? That phone comes with a 1Ghz processor from all I've read. I'm not sure I've every heard of a 430% overclock without liquid nitrogen or something similar. I would expect at 4.3Ghz you'd have a few minutes of batter life, and your face would combust when you make a call, if you don't use a bluetooth headset.

    • by wesgray (1827286)
      "Currently I have an Samsung Epic 4g. The processor is overclocked to 4.3ghz ..." How could this post be rated insightful when it is a transparent lie. News for nerds my ass. http://forum.xda-developers.com/archive/index.php/t-1194840.html [xda-developers.com]
      • A transparent lie? Of course, that was my first thought too! No one could possibly accidentally type 4.3 when they meant 1.3 - it must be a deliberate attempt at misinformation!
  • just move on (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 16, 2011 @09:16AM (#38396376)

    I loved the WebOS UI and I'm sad to see it the platform go, but really at this point, people should get a clue and move on. WebOS is dead. You can play with the existing builds as much as you want but HP has proven time and again that they don't give a damn about the platform. If they did they wouldn't have scuttled the thing and gotten rid of it.

    Sweet dreams are nice but they're only that: dreams. WebOS isn't coming back, folks. Get on with the program.

    • by catbutt (469582)
      I don't see how you can say that. There are lots of things that could happen. The nice thing about WebOS is that its API is pretty standard Javascript/HTML5 stuff, so people don't have to invest so much in developing for it, as much of their work can apply elsewhere. Also, if it can be easily loaded on hardware sold with Android, it's pretty nice to have a platform that is more open than Android, and arguably, built in a more modern and future-compatible way.

      People might even modify it to work on wind
  • by Anonymous Coward

    It doesn't matter what HP, or anyone else, does. Nothing can change that tablets just aren't very useful devices for the general public. Sure, there are very small niches where they can be marginally useful, but otherwise they're a temporary fad.

    Tablets are in that sweet spot of uselessness between smart phones and netbooks. You get all of the drawbacks of smart phones and netbooks, without the benefits of either.

    Sure, Apple has sold millions of tablets. But it should be telling that they're the only ones w

    • by Sockatume (732728) on Friday December 16, 2011 @09:38AM (#38396514)

      If other people's actions are irrational, then you're spared the difficulty of revising your worldview to accomodate them. It's a safe course, but an intellectually puny one.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      [with tablets] you get all of the drawbacks of smart phones and netbooks, without the benefits of either.

      No you don't, WTH are you talking about? Netbooks generally don't have touch, weigh much more than a tablet, have a decidedly bad form-factor for the things you use a tablet for; consuming media.

      The netbook as it was originally known (Eee901 etc) was a transitionary animal.

    • by arielCo (995647)
      As I write this from my web-browsing, movie-watching, music-listening, casual-game-playing, bittorrent-downloading, GPS-equipped, ssh-plus-RDP-over-VPN-connecting 1.8-lb device, I respectfully disagree.
    • There is definitively a need for tablets. I don't know what it is, but I see people carrying those things around everywhere. I have no idea what they are used for (except if they are reading books - that'd be kinda a bad use for LCD tablets), but people wouldn't take them out of home if they were useless.

      • by Xest (935314)

        I've got an iPad 2 and I'm not even sure what use it is to be honest.

        It's basically just used as a really expensive portable web browser, and not much else, because whilst the apps look great on the Apple advert, when you actually download some of those that are showcased like the NASA app and the spreadsheet app, you find that the few screens you see on TV are actually basically the entire app because the apps have about the depth of a small spoon. You can't actually do anything useful with the apps becaus

    • by bmo (77928)

      >tablets aren't useful
      >tablets are niche
      >irrational apple hate

      It's like I'm really on /g/

      --
      BMO

      • by Tetsujin (103070)

        >Using quoting syntax to provide commentary on what someone said instead of what they actually said

        I guess that helps complete the illusion that you're on 4chan. :)

        • by bmo (77928)

          Protip: using the Greater Than Sign predates 4chan by a couple of decades.

          On Usenet and BBSes.

          --
          BMO

    • by King_TJ (85913)

      I have to disagree. Even as someone who doesn't do a whole lot with my Apple iPad compared to time spent on a full-blown desktop computer, it's incorrect to say tablets aren't very useful for the general public!

      The very reasons I find one less useful are the reasons I'm not really part of the "general public" demographic of users in the first place.

      Most people I know (including my boss and his wife, who both bought iPads and absolutely LOVE them, despite having no prior interest in Apple or their products)

    • by BrianH (13460)

      As a longtime software developer and all around computer power user, I find my tablet to be fairly useless. It has a lousy onscreen keyboard, runs limited applications, and can't really be used to do MANY of the really cool things that I've spent the past 20 years doing on computers.

      My wife, on the other hand, is a technophobe schoolteacher, and is rarely seperated from it nowadays. It gives her a simple way to do her pointless social and entertainment things...Facebook, email, Youtube, etc...without having

  • Last time I checked there wasn't a need for another "open" mobile OS..... Now if they were to open source their TouchPad drivers, that might be something worth doing.
    • by CockMonster (886033) on Friday December 16, 2011 @09:30AM (#38396456)
      It doesn't matter. When it comes to platform choice the end-user's opinioin rarely matters, especially those of nerds. Nokia's N900 was one of the most customisable and Linux-based etc, etc, mobile phones ever developed. They only sold 100,000 of them worldwide, the geek market is unprofitable. Operators are uninterested in WebOS, they're too busy right now trying to make Windows Phone compete with iOS and Android.
      • by Microlith (54737)

        Indeed, we have no choice in this market. We are supposed to sit down and accept what is forced down our throats.

        • by Enfixed (2423494)
          Sadly this is true, but at least having Ice Cream Sandwich forced down our proverbial throats sounds palatable. ;)
      • by adisakp (705706)

        Operators are uninterested in WebOS, they're too busy right now trying to make Windows Phone compete with iOS and Android.

        Wait people are scrambling to make Windows Phones ?!? I thought they were just making more Android phones to compete with iOS and Android.

      • I disagree.

        The N900 failed not because it's a geek phone but because it had no advertisements and, more importantly, no APPS (from the average Joe point of view).

        Ohh before I forget: because it's THICK and nowadays people don't want that.

        Regards

      • by UpnAtom (551727)

        Maemo still has a great community updating the OS, building new apps etc. I just bought an N900 for £100 (same cost as a 2nd hand iPod) and I love it.

        I'm inclined to believe if Apple had made these, they'd have sold a hundred million.

        Anyway, there are 2 separate FOSS projects now: Maemo/Mer and Tizen. Tizen especially is trying to build an HTML5 front-end much like WebOS. Both WebOS and Maemo are based on real Linux (unlike Android). If Tizen can merge the two projects, allow the result to run Ma

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It matters because WebOS is better than Android.

      It looked better, it ran more efficiently, it was capable of multitasking, and the kernel was less forked than the android one.

      • by Junta (36770)

        I agree with most counts except more efficiently. I've missed the WebOS UI, the use of C/SDL to develop apps, and the fairly straightforward nature of the innards of the whole platform given a linux background since they seemed to have avoided reinventing the wheel as much as Google elected to do. But efficiency, at least measured in battery life, was something they never seemed to quite get right. My Android phone lasts a lot longer despite being much faster and having a bigger screen without a signific

        • But efficiency, at least measured in battery life, was something they never seemed to quite get right

          Really? It was one of the things that impressed me about my TouchPad. Watching a 45-minute (flash) video on iPlayer took the battery life down to 91% from a full charge. A day of using it as a dev / test machine via ssh used about 50% of the battery life, and it lasts on standby for... actually, I've no idea how long, I've never managed to leave it unplugged long enough to drain more than about 20% of the battery life in standby.

          • by Junta (36770)

            My only hands on was a Pre-. If I was actively using it, it fared about the same as my Android device. But standby, well, my Android will last me at least a couple of days, but my Pre- wouldn't make it through the night unless it was plugged in. I did install an app that automatically went into airplane mode overnight and it tended to make it then, but I don't have to take that measure with my Android device and I can get middle-of-the-night calls.

            Maybe In Pre2 or Touchpad world they worked it better. S

    • And nobody needs more than 640kB either. People will start needing another open mobile OS if anybody starts offering something that is better than Android. If not, they won't.

      But I agree with the asking for drivers. By the way, can they distribute a GPLed kernel without releasing the drivers? (All that ends in a rant about political system and the injustices of the judicial system...)

      • by Anonymous Coward

        The problem is that OSes are adopted largely based on the apps that run on them rather than the OS itself. iOS and Android now have a commanding lead both in applications and application developers over everything else in the market; that's a hard head-start to beat.

      • by Microlith (54737)

        By the way, can they distribute a GPLed kernel without releasing the drivers?

        Depends, are the drivers delivered as proprietary kernel modules? Are they userspace binaries like most mobile GPU drivers? Then they can distribute the Linux kernel and omit the sources for the drivers.

  • by bmo (77928) on Friday December 16, 2011 @09:44AM (#38396548)

    HP gave WebOS cement galoshes. It is basically abandonware now.

    Don't expect any help from HP for any plans for the survival of WebOS. Any plans that depend on that are doomed to fail.

    --
    BMO

    • by Locutus (9039)
      I would not be so sure about HP abandoning WebOS. They have a platform which begs to have a nice little OS and UI and that is their printer business. Years ago HP clean roomed a Java OS and called it Chai. They built a handheld patform on their Jornada hardware but with their marketing deal with Microsoft they would lose the profits guaranteed by those deals if they shipped a Chai based platform. Chai found it's way into many of HP's printers though and has lived there for many years. If you look back, WebO
  • by sgt scrub (869860) <saintium@@@yahoo...com> on Friday December 16, 2011 @09:49AM (#38396582)

    I doubt HP is going to dump it on a git server and forget about it. They are going to continue to do with it what they want to do with it; that being the mysterious purpose they are wanting a buyer to give them a low cost license to use it. Opening it up to the OSS community will give people who find it interesting to port it to different hardware. There is no shortage of people out there rooting devices to put something that interests them on the device. Having a proprietary version hasn't helped Nokia sell interest in QT. If anything it has had a negative effect. There are those that worry about Nokia getting sold to Microsoft. After seeing what happened with Sun getting purchased by Oracle, I think the OSS community would be more hesitant if it were duel licensed.

    • They are going to continue to do with it what they want to do with it

      Agree very much on this - as long as WebOS exists as a name, it will be discussed (rather favorably) on various sites thus increasing HP's brand recognition and leaving open the possibility that they are interested in producing something interesting in the future (say a new tablet, a new smartphone or a new gadget).

      If on the other hand HP declares WebOS as abandonware, then it will simply disappear from people's memory. In addition, developers might accuse them for not opening the source to such a nice OS,

    • Having a proprietary version hasn't helped Nokia sell interest in QT. If anything it has had a negative effect.

      Qt has been GPL for most of its history. Nokia bought it and soon made it LGPL just to get it on par with GTK+ (and because they did not care about monetizing it, instead wanting more adoption). Their only misstep was when they turned around and ran like hell rather than putting their weight behind it with real phones and marketing. HP doesn't have to make the same mistake, but they certainly seem to be heading that way.

      I submit that the LGPL model is the best for WebOS, with optional proprietary licen

  • by Anonymous Coward

    There are plenty of powerful open source projects that are not backed by corporations. Eigenbase existed before LucidEra and DynamoBI. Ingres started out as a community driven project, went commercial, and Postgres took over as the community-led version. Not only is it still around, but it is probably a few orders of magnitude more popular than Ingres now. Debian, Arch, KDE, and anything from the GNU project.

    It doesn't matter one bit whether HP continues to develop WebOS. Android, while being developed quit

  • by Jerry Atrick (2461566) on Friday December 16, 2011 @10:00AM (#38396692)

    Many of the OSS people they hope to attract are already busy porting Android to the TouchPad. By waiting till Android is nearing a usable release to open source WebOS they've lost those devs.

    The hardware is appealing but the software EOL, the replacement already arriving and no-one seems very interested in any WebOS device that's not in a fire sale. Too little, too late.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The whole project lost its focus: Palm used to be a neat piece of software for a PDA. It was not bloated with a file system, with Flash, and with all this other junk that has become the primary focus of Apple. And all the plagiarizers like Windows Phone, Andriod, etc.

    And what are these "experts" at Palm doing?: dumping everything to the trash! Building an Ipad clone based on Linux? Too little, too late. This spot is already occupied by Apple. Sorry guys.

    I would rather enjoy seeing source of Palmos 5 or even

    • by Tetsujin (103070)

      The whole project lost its focus: Palm used to be a neat piece of software for a PDA. It was not bloated with a file system, with Flash, and with all this other junk that has become the primary focus of Apple.

      I think it's worth bearing in mind that their OS design was a great fit for the kind of devices they could produce in the late 90s. These days, the capabilities of a handheld machine are a lot better, so what would have been "bloat" thirteen years ago is now pretty reasonable in terms of the functionality provided vs. the resources consumed.

  • by Chilaean SeaBass (1352263) on Friday December 16, 2011 @11:02AM (#38397484)

    I love WebOS. Between the excellent multitasking implementation, unobtrusive notifications, ease of rooting, excellent homebrew support, it's great. To me it just feels like a refined, excellent operating system for phones and tablets. That being said, as soon as I unboxed the pair of TouchPads I purchased for my wife and I, the first thing I did was install CyanogenMod on the pair, despite it being an alpha build.

    Why?

    Apps.

    Nook app? Android has it, WebOS doesn't.
    Netflix? Android has it, WebOS doesn't.
    Amazon MP3 (for cloud player access)? Android has it, WebOS doesn't.
    Musicnotes (digital copies of sheet music we've purchased online)? Android has it, WebOS doesn't.

    And so on. Nobody is going to spend a lot of time developing or porting apps to WebOS since at this point, it's pretty much dead to the average consumer. Even companies that do want to develop on it like Astraware are waiting to see if enough people buy the apps they've put out for WebOS before they bother to port more - it has to make financial sense. So I end up spending most of my time on my TouchPad in Android, and I doubt my wife will ever bother to boot WebOS again.

    Now, if someone were to set WebOS up so that it could run Android apps and the Android Marketplace, I'd happily wipe the Android partition off my TouchPad and never leave WebOS land again. Here's to hoping someone can do that.

    • by Microlith (54737)

      Ah yes, the old chicken and egg problem. I guess we should just stop developing new things and forever use what already exists.

    • by JazzLad (935151)
      From your mouth to that guy's ears. The AC says it can't happen because of licensing - this is why I can't have market + google apps on my kindle fire.

      Except that I do. Doesn't have to be officially offered, make it technically possible & we'll do it.
  • I'm kind of surprised nobody's mentioned this aspect, because it seems sort of obvious to me.

    HP can make a *lot* of money selling for lack of a better term "open" tablets.
    What I mean is: no walled garden & a completely, utterly open OS.

    You cannot build your own tablet, the way you can build your own PC, and frankly given the form factor, I'm not sure how that could ever become the case.

    So do it, HP. Sell open platform tablets that the entire freakin' world can hack on until they're blue in the face.
    Once

    • by Tetsujin (103070)

      I'm kind of surprised nobody's mentioned this aspect, because it seems sort of obvious to me.

      HP can make a *lot* of money selling for lack of a better term "open" tablets.

      I am a bit skeptical about that... I mean, tinkerers can be very enthusiastic about a product that's fun to hack on - but there aren't necessarily enough of them to make it worth manufacturing a tablet for them...

    • It's a nice idea but it can't work in practice.

      About the only company that can make good margins on consumer-level computing devices these days is Apple, and that''s because their customers are prepared to pay a premium for buying into a brand name.

      Anyone else who sells hardware has to make additional profits through value added services like support contracts and selling applications for the hardware. That in turn means having a heap of developers ready to start churning out the applications as soon as the

    • by jbolden (176878)

      Tinkers can already convert the existing tablets over. They don't need a manufacturer support OS for tinkering.

  • Case in point...

    The missus works for HP and up to the point she came home with a cheap Touchpad, neither of us owned a tablet.

    As the household Linux/UNIX geek, I set the thing up for her and both of us thought it was okay but nothing special.

    However, I then had a read through the stuff regarding Preware, optimising the speed of the tablet by turning off unnecessary logging and throwing on the UberKernel so you could push the CPU clock speed up by a few hundred megahertz - and did all that stuff on it.

    The di

    • I know that technically the CyanogenMod 7 Android for Touchpad is Alpha 3.5, but it's been rock solid for me the last few days. And worst case, the instructions you can find to set it all up include a very easy to use uninstaller that will wipe Android off of the device entirely. It also uses a bootloader so you can choose to use WebOS or Android, and Android won't mess with the WebOS partition at all. Since you've already loaded Preware on the thing, you're already set to do all of this stuff anyway, an

  • The multitasking, the notifications, and the fact it mounts as a USB storage device are all superior on webOS and the HP Touchpad vs. the ipad. If only someone at HP could sift the gold from the dross; they already have a capable mobile OS that could put them on a competitive advantage over Nokia, RIM, and Motorola. GUI is everything for these tablets, and android still is not as polished on the touchpad like webOS is. Hopefully open sourcing it will allow a fork that is helmed by someone that actually r
  • The RSS reader I use, I think it's called TouchFeed is pretty good. The Reddit client, Excavate Reddit isnt as good as Alien Blue for the iPad, but it's not bad. There are some games out there that really show what webOS is capable of like Asphalt 6 and Aftermath. You can put Debian or a couple other Linux distros in a chroot, and run what ever apps you like.

    Accessing the developer mode and dropping into the shell you're in ordinary Linux; with Preware you can install a compiler and do whatever you want

  • News Flash! Generalisimo Francisco Franco is still Dead! After 32 years dead the general and dictator of Spain is still dead!, Oh, by the way so is WEBOS, this pawn off of the operating system to open source is, I'm betting, a tax write off, as a way to recoup a pointless buy of a dead operating system that they cant sell to some one else because, its dead Jim!?!! stick a fork in it!

It is the quality rather than the quantity that matters. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca (4 B.C. - A.D. 65)

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