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Open-source browser gains production platform

Apr 21, 2009 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 1 views

Pleyo has released a development platform to support its WebKit-based, open-source browser for consumer-electronics devices. The new “Origyn Production” software provides a tool-chain and automated test environment that supports development around its Linux-compatible Origyn Web Browser (OWB), which was recently rev'd to version 4.0.

Origyn Production provides a software as a service (SaaS) production and test platform for OWB applications, using a virtual machine for cross-platform support, says Pleyo. The platform is offered both as a software-only service operated by Pleyo, called “Safe Production,” as well as a hardware/software “Bring it Home” platform that is hosted by the customer and updated by Pleyo.

Features of both versions of Origyn Production are said to include:

  • Automatic build
  • Optimized porting delivery on-demand
  • Automated testing, including unit tests, standard conformance, and performances
  • Tests use customer environment and devices
  • Supports four releases per year on demand (Safe version) or six per year (Bring it Home)
  • Origyn Web Extensions (see below) upgrade license included
  • Synchronized with public OWB roadmap and WebKit
  • Test customizations (Bring it Home only)

OWB v4

Origyn Web Browser (OWB), meanwhile, was rev'd to version 4 in January, says Pleyo. Aimed at consumer devices such as phones, portable media players (PMPs), and set-top boxes (STBs), OWB now supports Windows (32-bit), in addition to its previous support for Mac OS and Amiga platforms. The original selection of Linux platforms has grown to now include Linux GTK, Linux SDL, Linux N 800, Openmoko, and Access Linux Platform (ALP).

OWB v4 features are said to include:

  • Supplied interface and range of extensions
  • Integrated, enriched abstraction layers, enabling fast porting on a variety of devices
  • Performance optimizations, incorporating latest version of WebKit
  • New, lean control API, using “thin interface” that enables to fast middleware proofs
  • Full Qt implementation

OWB background

Montpellier, France-based Pleyo offers development and consulting services around OWB, together with, which releases the lightweight browser under a BSD license. OWB was the first open-source browser based on WebKit, the open source HTML rendering engine that powers Apple's Safari browser for desktops and devices, as well as Nokia's browser for its Symbian-based S60 platform.

In addition to the WebKit rendering engine, the OWB browser includes an abstraction layer (OwBaL) aimed at simplifying ports to new software environments, and reducing footprint by enabling the use of existing system libraries. Touted features in last summer's v3 release included a merge capability with Apple WebKit, full NPAPI (Netscape Plugin API) support, a fully documented high-level API, and an automated tested abstraction layer.

OWB can be built with glibc or uClibc, for x86, ARM, and SH processors, says Pleyo. The two major Linux versions include a minimalist sample SDL release, and a full GTK implementation (based on WebKit community work). In addition, Pleyo offers commercial, closed-source extensions to OWB. Origyn Web Extensions is a mechanism to expose middleware facilities in Javascript or to introduce new features into the browser, says the company. The Origyn Suite, meanwhile, is a library of services, widgets, and applications. (For more information on OWB, see Pleyo's whitepaper, Introducing OWB, an open-source browser for consumer devices.)

Webkit is an open source HTML rendering engine best known for its use in Apple software, including the iPhone, the Safari browser, Dashboard, Mail, and other Mac OS X applications. Adobe uses it as the basis for its AIR (Adobe Integrated Runtime) web development suite. Nokia's Qt Software division, formerly called Trolltech, integrated it into its Qt cross-platform development framework.


Origyn Production is available now from Pleyo, with pricing undisclosed. OWB v4 is available now, with free downloads at the related open source project, here.

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