HP Open WebOS More Open than Android

February 17, 2012, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

HP has published its Open WebOS governance model and it turns out it is apparently more open than Google’s Android Open Source project.

The Open webOS project and the Android Open Source project both distribute their code under the Apache Software License, a permissive open source software license that allows the code to be incorporated into proprietary derivatives. So one thing is same for both. But let’s see what is different.

Basically, the Open WebOS will be more open compared to AOSP, the development of which is kind of limited to Google and Google’s partners.

Google makes the Android source code available in large code drops that typically come after each major release.

Now, independent developers and companies don’t have access to the latest Android code while it is being developed and can’t actively participate in the process.

They do not have much idea about the platform roadmap or the API changes, until late in the development process. Also, key community members do not get commit access or the ability to engage in the decision-making process.

Coming to the Open WebOS, the components that make up the platform are being split into individual subprojects, each of which will act as its own upstream environment.

The code is being developed on GitHub in public code repositories that are available to everyone. Contributors will be able to branch from the latest code and submit pull requests when they implement improvements.

Each individual subproject will have its own Project Management Committee that will be responsible for coordinating the decision-making process, electing new committee members from the community, and determining which contributors will be given commit status.

Most of the developers who have commit access will initially come from HP, but additional community contributors will be added as outside engagement in the project increases.

Enyo and Isis, the two key components of webOS have already been opened, and will have broader applicability along with the ability to be used in other kinds of environment.

So that’s another advantage for the developers, they do not have to rely solely on HP’s environment.

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