[Luneos-dev] Enyo EOL

Doug Reeder reeder.29 at gmail.com
Sun Apr 3 05:43:55 UTC 2016

The Enyo team has down great work developing an excellent framework for general-purpose apps, despite lack of understanding and interest from two corporate parents.  Now that Enyo as we know it reaches End Of Life, the LuneOS team has decisions to make. Enyo 2.7 will still be usable for a couple years, but beyond that  our apps will need to be rewritten using a supported and maintained framework. 

The Next Generation product of LGSVL will certainly be of interest, but I call your attention to LG’s recent reduction of the webOS team and two quotes from the announcement:

> A large chunk of our work is focused on device categories where there isn’t (yet?) much of an ecosystem for third-party apps, and our priorities and schedule are driven first and foremost by LG product needs.

> we think we’ll be able to adopt and adapt many pieces from the greater web development ecosystem

I.e. the Next Generation product will not be a complete framework. It will be something on the order of Moonstone widgets for some other framework. Touchscreen support will not be a priority.  Enyo 1 -> Enyo 2 required app rewrites, not porting, and next-gen isn’t even being described as “Enyo 3”.  Our current apps could not be ported, they would need to be rewritten.

Another concern is that LG has delivered a product using its own technology, then abandoned it for outside technology (the LG Watch Urbane LTE).  

A second option is maintaining Enyo 2.7 ourselves.  This would call for a different set of skills than either the Linux system integration or web app development we currently do.  This would be an additional drain on our very limited resources.

Sticking with Enyo ties us to its current performance. Unfortunately, Moore’s Law no longer functions, so we cannot depend on hardware to improve the performance of Enyo apps.  Enyo will not be updated to take advantage of browser changes such as Web Workers.  Enyo does not readily support 60 fps animation, which will soon be table stakes for any mobile OS. Enyo still lacks a reorderable list widget backed by a data store, which is key to a number of productivity apps, including To-Do.

A third option is one (or a stack) of the modern, high-performance JavaScript frameworks.  There are many good frameworks, and any choice would be contentious.  We should nail down our requirements before talking specific frameworks.  Our key requirements would appear to include:
* Supports development of large, sophisticated apps
* Apps run quickly on mobile hardware
* Responsive, touch-friendly widgets
* Supports 60 fps animation on mobile hardware
* Will continue to be maintained if one major corporate backer changes direction

These options are not completely mutually exclusive - we can complete apps written in Enyo 2, but rewrite half-written ones in either next-gen or another framework.

These decisions will take time, so I recommend suspending development, until we have a new direction, on Enyo 2 apps which are not yet mostly functional.  The two apps that appear to fall in this category are Calendar and Photos & Videos.

Doug Reeder
reeder.29 at gmail.com


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