Hewlett-Packard has released an open source version of webOS that can be used on legacy TouchPad tablets, the Open webOS project team announced on Tuesday. The "Community Edition" enables users to learn how the TouchPad works and how to modify the device.
The code can be used to modify TouchPads in order to let developers learn how the OS works and prepare them to apply that knowledge to Open webOS 1.0 in the future, the team said on their website. Developers can use the Community Edition release to modify the card view, launcher and notifications among other things, they said.
The source code was made available online for download and can be used under the Apache License, Version 2.0, which is one of the more permissive licenses, allowing developers to mix open-source code with their own inventions and sell products using the combined code.
The Open webOS team worked closely with the WebOS Internals team to release the Community Edition.
The release of webOS Community Edition comes in the run-up to the release of Open webOS 1.0, planned for September. The 1.0 release will include modernized technologies to enable developers to port webOS to their own hardware, according to the team. Besides that the September release will allow developers to integrate open source technologies such as the BlueZ Linux Bluetooth protocol stack and the GStreamer open source multimedia framework, the team added.
Besides the Community Edition of webOS, the Open webOS team already made some components of webOS available online. Among them are the Isis Browser project, the platform portability layer (PPL) that is used to isolate the upper layers of webOS from dependencies on the hardware and the core OS upon which it is running, and DB8, a database service provider for all webOS components.
HP announced last December that it planned to release the code behind webOS, following its decision to stop making phones and tablets that used the software, and announced in January that the code release was planned for September. The WebOS operating system was developed by Palm, which HP acquired in 2010 for $1.2 billion.