LG Electronics has just released an open-sourced version of the webOS. Basically WebOS is a web-centric and usability-focused Linux based operating system developed by Palm in 2009. The company was acquired by HP in 2010 and was used on their TouchPad tablets. Later it licensed to the South Korean electronics giant LG in 2013. Currently webOS is being used in LG’s smart devices such as smart refrigerators and smart TVs.
webOS Open Source Edition (OSE) can be downloaded, along with other components from webosose.org , the source code is available on GitHub under an Apache licence to facilitate code change and distribution using this software platform. Also WebOS has been ported to the Raspberry Pi hardware. Developers can install webOS OSE 1.0 on a Raspberry Pi 3 having 8GB (or higher capacity) microSD.
The company said, “Web developers can easily build apps and services for webOS OSE. With the initial release, you can port webOS OSE to Raspberry Pi 3 for use in your own projects. It will be extended in the coming future to be used for other kinds of devices with various form factors.”
I.P. Park, chief technology officer at LG Electronics said, “WebOS has come a long way since then and is now a mature and stable platform ready to move beyond TVs to join the very exclusive group of operating systems that have been successfully commercialization at such a mass level. As we move from an app-based environment to a web-based one, we believe the true potential of webOS has yet to be seen.”
It comes with a new toolchain and frameworks, as a part of the company’s effort to expand webOS’ global footprint and moving towards its commercialization. Reportedly LG has signed an MOU the National IT Industry Promotion Agency (NIPA) to find more connectivity-rich platform for more device categories. And also LG will provide logistical and technical support to developers for as footstep towards its commercialization.
This webOS OSE uses an open Web app framework network called Enact, which is built upon React UI library and optimized for webOS. Enact also provides reliable performance regardless of the size and complexity of the apps. But Developers need to be using Ubuntu on a Linux box as Windows and Mac are not yet supported. Other features of WebOS include ability to develop and test apps without a specific IDE with the CLI, the LSP2 API for sending and receiving data in a single device, and a developer SDK. The company hopes the true potential of webOS has yet to be seen yet. Also It will be extended in the coming future to be used for other kinds of devices with various form factors.