HP delivers source code for webOS mobile browser

Hewlett Packard continues its efforts to transition its webOS mobile operating system to an open-source model, releasing the source code behind its Isis web browser alongside extensions to its underlying QtWebKit-based HTML rendering engine. Both are available via GitHub under the Apache license v2.0.

Writing on the HP webOS Developer Blog, HP CTO and head of technical strategy Sam Greenblatt states Isis includes a fast render pipeline and JavaScript execution profile as well as support for HTML5 and CSS3. "Standards-compliance is important to developers because they can use technologies like Enyo to develop cross-platform web applications that already work well on webOS," Greenblatt notes. "We are also providing enhanced support for legacy products like Adobe Flash and other Netscape Plug-in API plugins to allow them to run in non-X11 environments. In combination with the rest of webOS, we will be providing a complete browsing experience that can be deployed on mobile devices and other form factors."

QtWebKit--first open-sourced by Nokia (NYSE:NOK)--offers "unrivaled speed and standards compliance while providing a powerful and fast platform for Enyo and apps," Greenblatt adds. "WebKit is also the point of integration between the underlying System Manager, which will be open sourced later this year, and the web rendering layer of webOS... 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."

HP acquired webOS in 2010 when it purchased Palm for $1.2 billion and promises to make the platform fully open-source by September 2012. HP's proposed open-source transition timeline covers release phases, governance, tools and documentation, with plans calling for the company to make additional individual elements of the source code (e.g., its Linux standard kernel and core applications like Mail and Calendar) available each month.

For more:
- read this HP webOS Developer Blog entry

Related articles:
HP commits to open-source webOS by fall 2012
Former Palm exec: WebKit to blame for failure of webOS 
HP transitions webOS platform to open source community  
Microsoft woos webOS devs with free Windows Phone devices, training  
HP kills off webOS--will mobile developers even mourn its loss?  

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