One of the most prevalent criticisms of the iOS development ecosystem is that it is inherently closed. Although competing operating systems boast increasingly comparable measures, iOS has weathered this continuous and woefully misguided storm since its inception. Despite the best efforts of some of the iOS community’s most thoughtful advocates, few ignorant opponents have been swayed.

In a bold indictment of the flawed logic beneath such nearsighted perspectives, Matt Gemmell has today released his latest piece of open source iOS code. MGTileMenu provides for a “pop-up tile-based contextual menu” that has been steeped in the tenets of accessibility, utility, and functionality. Despite being comprised of over 1,000 lines of code, MGTileMenu is freely available for all to use.

Reading through the reasoning upon which MGTileMenu has been built, I’m reminded of the true brilliance of the creators within this community. Matt has clearly dedicated large quantities of time to this project purely for the sake of offering something measurably good for the community at large.

Level whatever criticisms you might like against the iOS ecosystem, but Matt’s actions here are irrefutably deserving of praise.

As of writing, Matt has received no donations for this project. I would highly recommend you aid in the repair of such a situation (PayPal link at the bottom of the page).

HP Announces Open WebOS 1.0

HP has today followed through with its December announcement regarding the open sourcing of its mobile operating system, webOS. Chris Ziegler reports for The Verge:

Following up on its December announcement that it would open source the platform — a last-ditch effort to make it viable — HP has gone into detail today on exactly when and how developers will be getting access to webOS code. The company expects the entire open sourcing process to be complete by September, while Enyo, the application framework that debuted on the TouchPad and underpins webOS 3.0, is available as of today along with related developer tools. When open sourcing is complete, the finished product will be known as Open webOS 1.0.

Somewhat surprisingly, HP claims that Open webOS 1.0 will be available for consumers to use on their current webOS devices later this year. Assuming people hold onto their Touchpads, it will be interesting to see what impact this has on the platform (if any).

Of further interest is HP's announcement that Open webOS will be switching to a Linux kernel, much like the one found in Android. Such a decision was presumably made in the hope that it will allow (and encourage) OEMs to implement Open webOS with relative ease across their hardware platforms. 

As I wrote back in December, webOS, as we know it, is dead. I stand by this sentiment.

While it's certainly admirable that HP has chosen to allocate resources to the continuity of the once-promising platform, I cannot help but feel pessimistic about its long-term prospects. Perhaps some developers will make use of elements and portions of webOS's underlying framework, but it is highly unlikely that the webOS we once knew will continue to exist in the consumer sphere.

Making a comeback even less likely is Brian X. Chen's recent New York Times report illustrating the lack of cohesion within HP, the severe issues with the OS's development, and the moniker, "the toxic asset."

HP Open Sourcing webOS

HP has announced that it is open sourcing webOS.

Having already announced significant losses on its investment in Palm, and having trimmed over 500 employees from the webOS team, AllThingsD reports that more layoffs are coming.

While the company isn’t necessarily going to announce any layoffs today, the effort will no doubt result in a smaller webOS team going forward, sources said. And whatever cuts happen, whether they get announced today or at a date in the near future, they would come on top of the 500 people already cut from the webOS division earlier this year.

webOS is widely considered to be a promising, yet incomplete platform. Although the platform will now exist in a different form, the hope remains that the platform will now be able to grow, and potentially mount an offensive in the mobile OS arena.

The decision has evidently not been taken lightly. Since the appointment of Meg Whitman (and the dismissal of Leo Apotheker), many have waited for news regarding webOS' fate.

Sunday's Touchpad sale may have just become a little more attractive.