That's because the sources you used for your info didn't get the story right. If you read The Verge, ZDnet, PreCentral, TechCruch or Engadget, you will find that they all covered this story quite well and clearly indicated that HP wasn't going to put webOS out in the open the very moment they announced it.
If some lazy reporter got it it wrong at some other site, blame them. From the sources I read, there was never a doubt that webOS was not yet available.
Last question, what makes you think that it's an HP employee that opened the account on GitHub and not an impatient fan?
Again blaming the company for not having opened up a proprietary mobile OS with tons of third party IP within a week after it was announced is ridiculous.
To recap how Palm's team learned of the open source project here's a short recap.
Meg Whitman and Andreesen announced the day before to the Palm division that they would visit their campus in Sunnyvale and deliver the news about the decision that had been in suspension since last August. The Palm employees themselves had no clue about what the outcome of the meeting would be. It was a news taken at the leadership /board level. The guys that will eventually go through the code to scrub it of proprietary IP had no clue about what would happen.
The next day, at the meeting with the HP CEO and Andreesen, that's where the Palm team learned of their fate and that of webOS. About 30 minutes later, although the news had leaked from the "townhall meeting" the media got the official press release.
Did you expect the Palm team to scrub their mature OS in about 30 minutes of all the proprietary IP and release it on the same day? HP has even indicated clearly that they don't even know which open source license they would use. They didn't even say the project would live at Github. Some people just assumed it would. Maybe the project will be hosted internally on their servers. The thing is no one knows. This is stuff that will be worked out in 2012.
One thing I will say for sure, the HTML5 and JS code in webOS is precious. I've been meaning to use some of it on non app projects for a while. I know some people who did, but it was "illegal" before. This is something I have personally discussed with Palm the last time I met them in Sunnyvale.
The Enyo framework is way more usable than Phonegap for cross platform Web app and native mobile apps development or comparable tools from Google and Apple. It's so much easier to build stuff with Enyo. It's a mature development framework that will benefit users a lot. You can build whole apps and debug them within an Webkit browser like Chrome or Safari. You can even run your apps within these browsers. Unlike Phonegap which has bugs with stuff like Google's mobile API, Enyo, which was used on real devices - you know, like phones and tablets actually shipped and used by real customers and thus heavily tested by end users on millions of devices, is much more mature and friendly.
Enyo is the V3 of the app development platform built by Palm since 2009. The community will benefit from a framework developed by mature companies - Palm and HP, including a lot of work around and tricks to speed up development of Web apps for free.
For example, the whole email app used in webOS will be free to use. Imagine all the code you can take from there and apply in other projects based on HTML5 standards. It's the equivalent of having the source code of Gmail and using it in your projects for free.
People complaining about the delay in the open source port or dismissing webOS should rethink their strategy. Very soon a lot of Web developers will be using code from webOS in all kinds of projects. That's the most elegant mobile OS and the most user friendly and a very mature product given away for free.
If this doesn't make one salivate, nothing will.