All posts by preemptive

August 2011: I ordered. HP canceled any new webOS hardware. My phone arrived. webOS has many innovative features and has a community capable of developing this open system to even greater heights. I hope to see it continue as an option for the discerning mobile device user.

A future JavaScript framework for LuneOS – Demos wanted!

This article is unusual for pivotCE. Most of our articles are aimed at the general reader, but this one is specifically aimed at those with knowledge of javascript frameworks – specifically frameworks designed for app development. We hope this article will reach such people in our community and beyond in the hope that the LuneOS project can benefit from a range of experience and insight and even perhaps recruit some new contributors.

Long time webOS fans will be aware that one of it’s features was the ease with which apps could be created using methods more associated with web design. Most (non-game) apps were in fact mixtures of HTML & javascript. This and the ‘synergy’ of connecting data from various remote services into common user interfaces is what gave the system the name of webOS.

In the early days, webOS was at the cutting edge of using web technologies, but performance was not as responsive compared to more traditionally coded apps. Since the days of legacy webOS, many improvements have been made in app development frameworks and their implementation to bring speed up towards that of ‘native’ apps or at least fast enough for the user to see little difference. Increasing speed, power and multi-core processors have also helped, though performance is beginning to plateau as the physical limits of current hardware is reached.

The first (proprietary) development framework for webOS was called ‘Mojo’. After the purchase by HP, the (Open-source) ‘Enyo’ framework was introduced to target more varied screen sizes. Version 1 ran on the webOS 3.0 HP TouchPad and was back-ported to phones. Version 2 became a cross-platform framework also.

Of course, we all know about the end of hardware at HP and the eventual sell off of all parts of webOS. Officially, the Open-webOS project is still maintained by LG & HP and LG’s Silicon Valley lab have continued to develop the Enyo JS framework. The part used to make the UI for mobile apps is called ‘Onyx’. To make apps suitable for Television screens, LG developed a new UI library called, ‘Moonstone’. Enyo itself has developed through version 2.5 to now stand at version 2.7 and LGSVL now looks to the next generation of Enyo (Forum comments). But this brings with it potential problems for LuneOS.

Continue reading A future JavaScript framework for LuneOS – Demos wanted!

TCL, Blackberry & Palm

Shortly after the end of CES, I searched idly for any news from TCL. You may have read that they recently acquired the rights to make & sell Blackberry hardware. Longtime readers will recall TCL’s announcement at 2015’s CES that they had acquired from HP, the last remaining piece of Palm Inc: The brand name. To create an image for that story, I added Palm’s logo to the image on TCL’s website:

Palm joins TCL
Palm joins TCL

Since that announcement, where TCL encouraged the ‘Palm community’ to participate in developing a device worthy of the name, there has been silence. Now, some have speculated that we could see some kind of combined Palm/Blackberry wonder device, but so far only a Blackberry has been revealed. If you click the link, you can see the familiar keyboard style & this points up the difference between the two purchases: One is a license to manufacture a branded product including hardware & the software that runs on it. The other is just a brand name. Of course, nothing prevents TCL from making anything it wants & calling it a Palm device, but despite it’s recent travails, the Blackberry brand is a going concern with up to date & current technology. Palm is not.

In my search for TCL/Palm news, I of course visited the website & the image at the top of this story is from that site. My only change this time was to enlarge it. Note how the Blackberry logo has been added, then realise that the Palm logo doesn’t appear on their website & to my knowledge, never has.

Two years on from the 2015 announcement, this likely tells us all we need to know about the future of the Palm brand, but there is one optimistic spin that can be put on this: TCL own the Palm brand. There’s a lot more direct benefit from the Blackberry arrangement, but it’s a licensing deal & one that has resulted from Blackberry’s problems in selling it’s own product. TCL’s Alcatel brand has long been an affordable, no doubt profitable, but unspectacular also-ran in the mass market. The team-up gives TCL access to a technology leader, a respected brand & enables Blackberry to concentrate on software, letting TCL worry about selling product to the masses. If TCL succeed, some of the profit will return to Blackberry. If they fail or the deal turns sour for some other reason, they have another brand ready to be painted on a high-quality handset; A brand unencumbered by licensing fees or any other external requirements: Palm. But really, don’t hold your breath!

LG at CES 2017

LG has had a few announcements at CES over the years and some of them have included webOS since the company unveiled it’s webOS smart TVs in 2014.

The televisions are now on to version 3 of the OS. Late last year we saw stories that webOS would appear on a video projector and in the last few days a refrigerator.

What did the CES presentation in Las Vegas have to offer? As ever, it was less than hoped (at least for webOS on mobile fans), but within the bounds of it’s presentation, what was shown was very impressive.

Continue reading LG at CES 2017

Christmas News Crumbs, 2016

We send our best wishes to our readers at this time of year. To those that celebrate Christmas, other seasonal festivals or none at all, be of good cheer for webOS still seems to be here for another year!

News crumbs is where we briefly note stories that may have some interest to webOS users. In light of the season, this one will be a little ‘fatter’. Let’s talk turkey.

  • The start of this month saw the arrival of a new app for webOS. The occasional app still appears along with the various fixes and patches that keep the system running despite the time that has passed since any official, corporate support from it’s creators. These gifts are usually unexpected, so pleasant surprises. DianBao, a client for the Telegram messaging service, may have brought an additional gift. Singaporean developer and forum member, ‘mrrekcuf’ originally created the app as a prize-winning entry for a competition to make a Blackberry 10 app. To port it to Legacy webOS has also meant porting the Qt5 cross-platform application framework. It is this up to date version that has allowed many of the new features of LuneOS, including a modern browser. It remains to be seen if this development will lead anywhere, but if one thing could bring yet another lease of life to Legacy webOS, a new browser would be it. Comment thread.
  • At webOS Ports, the build servers will be down for the last few days of 2016. Don’t panic! It is only for maintenance and upgrades. LuneOS developers take note.
  • For those developing apps for LG webOS televisions, note that LG’s developer website will also be shut down just after Christmas. Again, it is merely to allow for a new, improved site! Here’s the announcement. From the 27th the new web address will be: webostv.developer.lge.com
  • Over the years, webOS enthusiasts have experienced highs and lows from the Consumer Electronics Show. At this time of year we look to the start of January to see what items of interest may be exhibited in Las Vegas. One such item is the LG Probeam laser projector. While only a slight step to a new product category, this at least shows LG’s continuing commitment to webOS in their audio / visual products. Comment thread.
  • News that may be of interest to Palm fans is that TCL / Alcatel has signed a license deal with Blackberry to produce phones (the last couple of BB phones were rebranded TCL models). New products may well be exhibited at CES next month. Notable for us was TCL’s purchase of the ‘Palm’ brand almost two years ago. Since that announcement, there has only been silence… Comment thread.
  • Another gift! This time it is for PalmOS users. Games company, Astraware have published the registration codes of games for PalmOS and other old systems. You will need to dig out the apps from your archive (or get them by other means), but you can now activate them on new or reset devices. Comment thread.
  • Remember Classic? It was the PalmOS emulator you could use to run old Palm apps on webOS. Those who follow us on Twitter, may have noticed a few retweets when former editor of webOS Nation, Dieter Bohn announced a redesign of his current site, The Verge. He rashly promised a sticker for the first screen shot of the site on a Palm Pre. Alan Morford is not one to do things by halves.

That’s it for now. See you in the new year with an announcement about pivotCE.

News Crumbs – 18th November 2016

Uh, the toaster needs another clean. Let’s shake it before those crumbs are too stale or burnt!

  • webOS developer, Choorp either loves twitter or is frightened of it (actually, both is probably normal). He made this based on the logo of premier webOS twitter app, Project Macaw. We salute developer, Penduin for developing an app that only gets used once a year.
  • Slashgear reports that TV’s running LGwebOS 3.0 now have online payment support for shopping & in-app payments. Set those parental controls!
  • TechnoBuffalo is the latest Tech blog looking wistfully back. Are we the only one looking to the future of mobile webOS?
  • You want webOS merchandise? Improvise!
  • Former Palm employee, Lisa Brewster demonstrates what to do if you find yourself in the wild without a toaster.

I don’t know about you, but for me, it’s time for teacakes. See you next time!