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Palm webOS: The Other Linux Phone Platform

Jul 28, 2009, 14:03 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Frank Ableson)

"While Android has enjoyed the lime-light of being the "open source, linux based" mobile platform — and it is all of that and more, the Palm webOS is heavily invested in Linux technology and deserves some attention not only on its merits as a viable mobile platform, but also as a demonstration of a for-profit company making use of open source technologies. I am no wizard when it comes to deciphering the differences between the various open source licensing options so I'll refrain from commenting on which license they are using, why they are using it, or how well they're doing as an open source net-izen. I simply haven't taken the time to research those things and candidly my focus is elsewhere. What I can see is that webOS is built upon Linux, webkit and many other open source technologies that are of interest to many. The features that make webOS a solid platform are enabled by a strong foundation and innovative, open source technology.

"The development environment for webOS centers around Virtual Box from Sun, an open source Virtual Machine technology which hosts the webOS. When the emulator is running you can ssh into it and navigate the file system. You can even edit files with vi! I did it just because I could. Here is a quick view into the belly of the emulator. Note that I believe the same thing can be done with a real Palm Pre which has been put into development mode:

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