PIC+OM+GPL = A Bad Day for webOS Fans

nohappyNot happy.  It’s been a bad day in webOS-land but it started out quite the opposite.  At 12:52 AM (EST) I received an email while I slept from Phoenix International Communications informing me that ACL for webOS v1.0 was just a click away…license code and all.

To say I was overjoyed, relieved, and excited when I found the email waiting for me this morning would be an understatement.

From April 28, 2013 to this very morning, the community has waited for it.  The community brought it to life with a $45,000 kickstarter project.  The community invested in it emotionally as well since some saw it as the last chance for webOS (it’s not, by the way).

Imagine my surprise when 15 hours and three minutes later at 3:55 PM (EST) I received a second email from PIC:  

“At 3:40 we were contacted by OpenMobile to cease all sales until they fix specific issues related to the ACL software.  At 4:15PM EST the download link will be removed from our site until further notice.
“Please stay tuned while OpenMobile fixes these outstanding issues. 
“We apologize for the inconvience (sic).”

When webOS Nation forum user and top “ACL for webOS” kickstarter supporter, cuspie, posted his message this morning it seemed that today’s release would not “go off with a bang” as everyone hoped.  It was his declaration that sparked OpenMobile’s decision to pull the plug, albeit temporarily (we hope).

So what’s the big deal you ask?  Basically any code licensed under GPL can be used for free but you have to give credit.  That may be a bit of an over simplification but it gets the point across.  The main issue cuspie points out is he provided code under GPL and it got inserted into ACL for webOS by someone.  But it was inserted without credit, it’s being charged for, and the way it was inserted was done as though they were trying to hide the fact they used it.

It’s clear from PIC’s message that OpenMobile is fixing the problem.  Something tells me that if it were PIC’s problem then PIC would be fixing it.  In fact, PIC posted that the issue with GPL wouldn’t have been a problem had they been the ones to release ACL but the release came from OpenMobile and “OpenMobile should have implemented their own code for their own installer” (quote from the forum post).

So here we are…ACL for webOS-less again.  Oh sure the download was there and several people have it installed but the official release day came and was cancelled.  Looks like #3 on my webOS Christmas Wish List still stands and just as I was about to cross that one out too.  Darn.