Open Source Era for HP's WebOS Begins Today with Beta Release

Paul Lilly

Everyone who purchased one of Hewlett-Packard's TouchPad tablets last year during the company's infamous fire sale can finally feel vindicated in doing so. That's because the first beta release of Open webOS ships today, HP announced in a blog post. It's been a long eight months since HP first announced it would contribute the webOS software to the open source community, essentially handing the reins over to third-party developers.

The beta release contains 54 webOS components, all available as open source code. It represents more than 450,000 lines of code released under the Apache 2.0 license, "which is one of the most liberal and accepted in the open source community," HP stated in a blog post .

There are two environments developers can tap into with today's release. One is a desktop build, and the second is an OpenEmbedded build, which HP says "provides the ideal environment for porting webOS to new and exciting devices." The latter includes an ARM emulator, and HP said it's actively converging on an OE Core image, which boots to System Manager and the full webOS experience.

HP said more updates are forthcoming, along with a final release in September.

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