Friday 6 November 2009

Android... is it Linux ?

This i just something that I saw on LWN (from Harald Welte) and felt needed a little more visibility here at maemo.
The presentation shows how Google has simply thrown 5-10 years of Linux userspace evolution into the trashcan and re-implemented it partially for no reason. Things like hard-coded device lists/permissions in object code rather than config files, the lack of support for hot-plugging devices (udev), the lack of kernel headers. A libc that throws away System V IPC that every unix/Linux software developer takes for granted. The lack of complete POSIX threads. I could continue this list, but hey, you should read those slides. now!
 The slides

As usual the commentary at LWN raises some interesting counters.


  1. While what Welte says might be true at the low-level level, as an app-developer, I do not really care...

    It is open-source, not made by microsoft nor apple, the sdk is fine, and you are actually allowed to pass your .apk to your friends and let them install it without that they need to root their device...

    If you ask me, Android is the best choice for mobile devs so far...

  2. Yves, why do any of those things make it better than Maemo? :)

  3. I honestly like very much Maemo: full linux distro in my pocket.
    BUT, Maemo is for (us) geeks. Far from commercial for now.

    And commercial is NOT evil: commercial means that the product can be sold to non-geek-techy people and be sure that is going to work.

    1 particular aspect of Maemo is negative: the absence of PlatSec.
    Indeed Nokia is building a new Maemo 6 around this now.
    I was at the summit and, unless u are blind and only care about cool technology, PlatSec was the big thing.

    Companies like Google built themself around Open Source.
    Companies like Nokia are learning fast how to deal with Open Source.
    Is now time for Open Source to learn what makes enough money to pay the salary of a brilliant developer.

    Android is rock solid, while I'm being able to brick my N900 just with a "apt-get dist-upgrade". Too easy.

    Again: I really like Maemo, and I appreciate N900 (even though I hate that clunky keyboard) but it's time to make thise OS for mass-market.

  4. The presentation is not convincing at all. It does show
    they made choice but it's not because they made a choice that it's bad.

    For me this fals in the FUD category. There is so much we can learn from Android and making choice is one of them.