Back in January, The Verge published a story called The Lost Secrets of webOS, which lifted the veil on some forward-thinking webOS hardware and software products that unfortunately never saw the light of day. Featured prominently in that article was Mochi, a striking new design language that the webOS UX team had been working on for the next generation of webOS phones and tablets before everything abruptly and famously screeched to a halt.
In the transitional period before we were acquired by LG, our designers continued to work on Mochi. We worked closely with them, implementing many of the Mochi widgets in the form of a new UI library for Enyo 2 — but we had to put this work in progress on the shelf in early 2013 when we shifted our focus to TV and started pouring most of our energy into Moonstone and Spotlight.
When the Verge story hit, however, it understandably sparked some interest in Mochi. While we don’t have any immediate plans to resume our Mochi work, we would be thrilled to see the community pick up where we left off. With that in mind, we showed Mochi off in an online hangout session in January, and since then — in our copious spare time — we’ve been working toward a public release. This work has included lining up community members to act as maintainers, fixing font licensing issues, and gathering up the internal design documents that would let our community developers understand the ideas behind the UI and see what’s yet to be implemented from the original vision.
Today, we’re pleased to announce that Mochi is now open source and available under the Apache 2.0 license, just like the rest of the Enyo source. The Mochi GitHub repo is now public, and we’ve started putting up some documentation in the Mochi wiki. Of particular note is our list of design documents which includes the PDFs and PNGs that were developed internally to guide Mochi’s development. Not only can this guide future work, but it shows just how much thought went into how these widgets work together. It also points to features that are yet to be implemented.
As maintainers for Mochi, we have two members of the webOS Ports community: Herman van Hazendonk (Herrie82) and Tom King (ka6sox). They will be handling reviewing pull requests and maintaining the code, with the Enyo team at LG providing guidance. Thanks, Herman and Tom, for stepping up!
It’s fun to have Mochi out in the open after all this time. Give it a spin, let us know what you think, and — if you’re so inclined — work with Herman and Tom to move it forward.