HP rolls out more open webOS components, new Isis browser and some organization

While we thought a tasteful retrospective was the way to go, it looks like HP's not finished picking over those webOS bones. The company has now released the UI widgets for Enyo 2.0 (following its source code release last month), details on how webOS deals with the Javascript core and a new Isis web browser. The browser will apparently add "enhanced support" for plug-ins and Flash -- even if its days are numbered. HP also plans to corral dev efforts, organizing projects and assigning management committees -- based on a "meritocracy" -- to different parts of the code. We're promised yet more OS components to reveal themselves in the next few months, with the full open webOS release expected to roll out in September.

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February Releases for Open webOS

Today I am proud to announce delivery of our February Open webOS commitments: extensions to QtWebKit, the release of Isis (our web browser), our integration with JavaScript core, UI Enyo widgets, and our governance model.

The web increasingly provides the best option for cross-platform development. It continues to be rapidly adopted and improved upon by a wide variety of platforms. Developers look to standards-based web development as a way of deploying across the mobile landscape, maximizing the potential market. We're seeing proof of that with the adoption of Enyo, which has been downloaded 40,000 times in only three weeks. With today's release, webOS remains at the forefront of this emerging standard.

With the power of the components released today, a developer can create an immersive user environment that can be built on any web platform. This is another step in fulfilling the promise of Open webOS.

Isis (webOS Browser) and QtWebKit

To stay at the forefront, webOS required 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. For this reason, we chose QtWebKit to power the next generation experience for webOS. QtWebKit offers unrivaled speed and standards compliance while providing a powerful and fast platform for Enyo and apps. 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.

QtWebKit (a.k.a. "Cute" WebKit) was originally open sourced by Nokia. 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. Today we are ready to release the first part of this effort to the open source community-the Isis web browser.

We've benchmarked the new Isis webOS browser and have found it to be extremely responsive compared to other browsers made for general consumption. It has a fast render pipeline and JavaScript execution profile, which is critical to Enyo and other web technologies. It is extensively supportive of 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.

We are also providing enhanced support for legacy products like Adobe Flash and other Netscape Plug-in API (NPAPI) 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.

Stay tuned for future webcasts, videos, and technical documentation on these developments. We have a number of exciting things planned as we continue the march to Open webOS.