HP has unveiled its roadmap to bring webOS to the open source community, with the whole process expected to be complete by September 2012. What's in store for webOS as it makes this transition? Here's the rundown ...

First up is the release of Enyo 2.0, the cross-plaform development toolkit the open source community can use, expand on and build into to develop software for webOS, iOS, Android and the web in general. That's available today, including the source code. Open-sourcing this SDK brings with it tons of potential for Enyo to become quite extensible.

But the crown jewel, so to speak, is the source code for webOS. HP is rolling this out in an unusual fashion by releasing individual elements of the OS at a time. According to the release:
Over the first half of the year, HP will make individual elements of webOS source code available – from core applications like Mail and Calendar to its Linux kernel – until the full code base is contributed to the open source community by September.
In September, the whole thing is slated to go live, with Open webOS version 1.0 hitting the open source community for all. A developer build will be released in August 2012. But why the staggered release? Apparently it has to do with "... making the platform’s source code available under an open source license." Stretching the release out over a half-year's time will give those in the development community some time to look at what they're working with and plan accordingly for a final implementation of webOS on hardware. It also will give HP time to ensure the transition from proprietary to open source technology goes as smoothly as possible.

Could this be the smartest move HP has made with webOS? Maybe, if developers flock to it and hardware manufacturers find it appealing to adopt. But realistically, we might not see non-HP webOS products until 2013, in which case, this slow rollout might actually hurt HP. Alas, like so many things in the IT industry, we'll just have to wait.