Open webOS Iris browser released: 40k Enyo downloads to-date

HP's open-sourcing of webOS continues today, with the release of the underlying Isis web browser along with a governance model and more of the Enyo components developers will need to create their own webOS devices and apps. Enyo has already been downloaded 40,000 times in the three weeks since its release, the team says, and now there's the Isis Project, "a fast, standards-compliant web browser engine," to go along with it.

"Isis Browser is a core application of HP's webOS platform written using the Enyo framework. As of today, it is a work in progress aiming to incorporate the latest open source technologies, such as QtWebKit and JavaScriptCore, into the webOS platform. The source code of the Isis Browser stack, QtWebKit, and Qt 4.8 is available on GitHub where we will continue our development" Isis Project

Isis is based on the QtWebKit engine, itself released into open-source by Nokia, and the webOS teams have apparently been working some time to bring the platform over to it. The promise is boosted performance and broader compatibility with sites in general; however, there'll also be "enhanced support" for legacy products, including Flash.

"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" Fred Patton, webOS team

As for the Open webOS Governance Model, that's been based on the Apache way and laid out as follows:

  • Open webOS will made available under the Apache license, Version 2.0.
  • Open webOS will use the contributor committal model in use on most open source projects.
  • Open webOS will be segmented into multiple projects to give developers ample opportunity to join and remain active in the development effort.
  • The Open webOS project website will host a wiki, a source code repository, a mailing list, and a bug tracking system.
  • We will use Github or an equivalent tool to as the code repository.
  • We will use JIRA or an equivalent tool to track issues.
  • Our plan is to allow multiple committers to branch and merge code in the open to allow multiple development branches to occur at once.

These latest releases keep pace with HP's schedule of open-sourcing webOS, which has been broken down into a series of monthly milestones. Together with Enyo, released last month, today's tools supposedly allow for "an immersive user environment that can be built on any web platform", something we think Mozilla might be pleased about. Iris is compatible with HP TouchPad devices running webOS 3.0.5, meanwhile.