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  1.    #1  
    The Way Forward

    I posted in 2018 that I was going to start new app development for webOS. Its been almost 4 years, more than 14 apps, a website, and a refurbished App Museum, since then. Some of the stalwarts of the community have disappeared or gone silent, but the webOS Archive still averages around 100 visitors a month. I'll have stats on app downloads later, but suffice it to say, there's still a little bit of interest out there.

    In the meantime, things have only gotten more challenging for our favorite undead OS. Most of the internet upgrading to SSL encryption beyond what our devices could handle initially appeared to be a lethal hit. But solutions were found, and we carried on. Here in the US, the next body blow is the end of 3G (Europe seems much more enlightened) which will rob our phones of the ability to make calls or receive texts by the end of the year. There'll still be uses for these devices around the home -- as podcast players, alarm clocks, or smart home controllers -- assuming there's anyone who still wants to use them.

    Photo Cred: Grabber5.0

    The next challenges will come from hardware failures. Pre3s in good condition with reasonable battery life, are increasingly rare. Neglected Touchpads get harder to resuscitate, or burst with ballooned batteries. I think, after the past 4 years of developing, documenting, archiving, chatting and restoring I've earned the right to proclaim that the end is nigh. I'll keep my services running as long as I can, but there's only so much one very-part-time dev can do.

    Still, there's something to be said for a platform with a delightful catalog of apps, none of which are even capable of tracking you, much less contributing to some big vendor's ecosystem lock-in. The spirit of what made webOS great -- its very open and hackable nature -- lives on, even after batteries die and networks kick us out. Most of the apps that I use, or built or patched-up for the modern era got my time and attention because they matter to me. They remain important to me because I use them -- daily, in most cases. I want to find a way for some of what this community built to live on...

    When the Palm/HP webOS team saw the writing on the wall, they started investing heavily in cross-platform support. If you dig into Enyo, you can see it emerging. With Open webOS and EnyoJS (Enyo 2) it became self-evident: their hopes lay in bringing their ideas to other platforms. Those technologies had their destiny changed by the LG acquisition, but much of what they built lives on in some form. For the past couple months, I've been benefiting from their tough transition years in my own experiments...


    Let's talk first about the OS. Opinions vary, and aren't always positive, on LuneOS. Herrie still checks in here periodically, but the casual visitor to this site will not be aware of the incredible amount of heroic work that goes into that platform. Lately, I've been following on IRC and testing my apps, and others from the Museum, on LuneOS, and its fair to say there's still a lot of work to be done. Still its very existence is an incredible accomplishment -- although not without challenges: Drops from LG's renewed open source offering provide many benefits -- and a few false leads. The Touchpad (tenderloin) platform really shows its age. And the fact that there's really only two people working on the platform means that they carry a lot of weight on their shoulders. It has not emerged as a full replacement to webOS, but it very much keeps the dream alive.

    Android is not Linux

    webOS was really Linux. Android is not. I know there are some that will never use Android for that reason. For those who are less religious about the kernel, but would still like to avoid being tracked by Google, there are some alternatives. GrapheneOS is an elegant de-Googled Android for Pixel Phones. Sailfish OS is functional on a nice set of Sony hardware -- and has a mostly-useful Google-free Android compatibility layer. And there are lots of other interesting distros out there worth playing with. The Pinephone Pro remains out of my price range, but boots an entire array of them, and truly embodies the goal of open platforms on open hardware.

    Going Cross Platform

    The bottom line for me, as possibly the last webOS app developer, is that like webOS itself, the future is cross platform. My experiments this year have shown that EnyoJS+Cordova may be old, but its 100% viable on modern platforms. Check Mate HD is a re-write of my To Do List app that's available in the App Museum for Touchpad, but its also available on Google Play as an Android app, and contains a Manifest file allowing it to be run as a Progressive Web App on any platform with a decent web browser. In fact, I use it Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Ubuntu, Ubuntu Touch, SailfishOS, and LuneOS -- the exact same code runs everywhere. It seems the webOS team, even as they faced defeat, accomplished something Microsoft has not been able to pull off in two decades of attempts...

    Testing on Android, webOS and Windows

    Don't say Good Bye

    I guess what I'm saying is that the webOS Mobile patient has been on life support for a long time. Many of us have worked to keep it breathing. Many have moved on. But while the patient may be just about dead, it leaves behind all kinds of progeny. It lives on in Linux-based mobile operating systems, at least a few of which have a decent chance of becoming a viable alternative to the Google/Apple duopoly. It will live on as a Museum and Archive, hosted by me for at least a couple more years, and after that on GitHub and Onedrive and on the back-up drives of remaining fans. And for me as a developer, it will live on as apps that I can move to cross-platform Enyo, and make available to whatever alternative you choose.

    FeedSpider is my favorite webOS app (that I didn't write) -- since it was written in Enyo2 it was easy to port it elsewhere

    Personally, I have an iPhone I use for work travel, a "Palm" PVG100 (Pepito) stripped to minimal-Google and skinned to look like webOS, and three other Linux phones I'll use as my test suite -- with the hopes that one of them can be promoted to primary phone some day. I'll be publishing my cross-platform apps as codepoet on the Museum, and as "webOS Archive" on other marketplaces where possible. I hope to port most of my daily use webOS apps to be truly cross-platform. You can follow my releases on Twitter here:

    About the Forums

    Some of you follow Crackberry, and know about the changes there. I don't know what future the webOS Nation forums have -- I did make inquiries, but didn't hear back. Given the continuous decline of participation here, I suspect those still holding on have mostly joined me over on Discord/Simple Chat. If you're still interested in webOS, and in finding spiritual successors, come say hi on that platform.

    This site remains a valuable resource for old and new users alike, but as an alternative source of documentation, I've built out the Docs section of the Archive. That itself is an open source project, and I'd invite everyone to help make it better.
    If you can't code and want to give back, why not share some of your knowledge through documentation?
    If you can code, and are interested in building cross-platform webOS compatible apps, I've added EnyoJS document links to the SDK to help you get started -- you can build things that work on webOS AND on modern platforms!
    If you're an OS level developer, the LuneOS crew would probably be happy to meet you over on IRC (they're #webos-ports on
    And if you can't do any of the above, but want to help me keep the Archive up and running, hit the "buy me a coffee" link in my signature below. Although coffee doesn't directly fuel the web server, it does help justify its budget :-)

    To all those who built webOS, who made Homebrew apps and created/hosted Preware, who built and maintained this site, who ran user group meetings or scraped the Internet for apps and archives, and to those who have moved on from here to great things but still think fondly of our favorite mobile OS, thank you!

    I will be back to do my last semi-annual State of the Museum report this summer, with stats and archive links. Otherwise, find me -- and my apps -- at the sources mentioned above.

    Would the last person to leave the Forums please turn out the lights?
    Last edited by codepoet80; 03/26/2022 at 09:52 AM.
    Check out the webOS Archive for preservation and development projects: | Follow the Archive on Twitter | Like my apps? Why not buy me a coffee?
  2. #2  
    Your contributions to #webOS while Sisyphean and Herculean at the same time - have been remarkable and personally useful with my fleet of Palm/HP devices.

    Thank you. And when you need additional $$ to keep the museum "open" and availble, pls ping me.

    - Thomas

    Sent from my ONEPLUS A6013 using Tapatalk
    This space for rent or lease. Inquire within.
    codepoet80 likes this.
  3. #3  
    Sysyphean and Herculean pretty well sum it up. So, yes ... thanks. Although that hardly seems enough. Saw you downloaded the folder I shared (or else I was hacked...) And I hope I saved something useful. As a complete non-developer I can only admire and appreciate what you and others have accomplished. What I can tell you, as a connoisseur of orphaned technology, webOS will always be my favorite among favorites. And I own a lot of orphan technology. It's fun to occasionally pull it out and try to get it to do something productive in the more modern (homogenized) world. I can now use my Touchpad daily after you fixed Accuweather. I plan to dig out the Veer and install the new and improved drPodder. And I even got SqueezePlay working on the TP after I brought the Logitec Media Server back to life (who knew? LMS does webOS AND chromecast!) In short, your efforts (and step by step tutorials) have been of great help to me and I'm sure more than a few others. As I say to the wife and kids when they laugh at the hours I can spend trying to get something to work that really shouldn''s my version of crosswords or sudoku - only a bit more expensive. Now, can I revive the LifeDrive and get an LMS client crammed in there.....??

  4. #4  
    I pop back in every few years to check on things. I'm always happy to see that there is still SOMETHING happening. And this time around I was really happy to read this post and learn about One Night Stand! Thanks for all you do!
  5. #5  
    let’s keep fighting. My veer is going on.
    codepoet80 and incidentist like this.

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