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Google's Fuchsia gets a rudimentary graphical user interface
By Thom Holwerda on 2017-05-08 17:05:08

Ars Technica has an article with screenshots about a new development in Fuchsia, Google's research (maybe?) operating system. The project has a very basic and barebones graphical user interface now.

The home screen is a giant vertically scrolling list. In the center you'll see a (placeholder) profile picture, the date, a city name, and a battery icon. Above the are "Story" cards - basically Recent Apps - and below it is a scrolling list of suggestions, sort of like a Google Now placeholder. Leave the main screen and you'll see a Fuchsia "home" button pop up on the bottom of the screen, which is just a single white circle.

The GUI is called Armadillo, and Hotfixit.net has instructions on how to build it, and a video of it in action.

Google still hasn't said anything about Fuchsia's purpose or intended goal, but Travis Geiselbrecht did state in IRC that it isn't a toy, and it isn't a 20% project. At this point, the safest bet is to just call it a research operating system, but of course, it's exciting to imagine this brand new open source operating system having a bigger role to play.

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Read Comments: 1-10 -- 11-20 -- 21-30
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So it *is* aiming at being an Android replacement
By Moochman on 2017-05-08 17:55:43
Just this morning I read this article:

http://www.androidpolice.com/201...

Now it seems that the speculation is true after all! Even if it does take until 2020 for a Fuchsia phone to come to market, the Flutter SDK alone looks like a really interesting new option for building apps. I am a bit of a UI-toolkit aficionado, having developed various apps over the years with Swing, JavaFX Script, Adobe Flex, WPF, Apple UIKit, Android UI toolkit, Polymer and Angular. I'm curious to see what Flutter (
https://flutter.io
) brings to the table in terms of ease of development, customizability, UI performance and of course fun with Dart. :)

Edited 2017-05-08 17:57 UTC
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RE: So it *is* aiming at being an Android replacement
By oiaohm on 2017-05-09 04:52:50
Does not matter the reality is google will still need to get hardware vendors on board for drivers. Like 90 percent of the audio driver abi for it is not even designed yet.

Its really simple to get a hobby OS to the point it can show pretty pictures. Its a lot harder to get it where it usable on real hardware.
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RE[2]: So it *is* aiming at being an Android replacement
By moondevil on 2017-05-09 05:36:43
Except they aren't a lone developer coding on their basement and already have ChromeOS, Android and Android Things to take code from.
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RE[2]: So it *is* aiming at being an Android replacement
By Alfman on 2017-05-09 06:03:46
oiaohm,

> Does not matter the reality is google will still need to get hardware vendors on board for drivers. Like 90 percent of the audio driver abi for it is not even designed yet.

Its really simple to get a hobby OS to the point it can show pretty pictures. Its a lot harder to get it where it usable on real hardware.


I agree with you in principal, but google couldn't be further from a hobby os developer. They carry enough weight in the industry that many manufacturers can't afford to be left out and so are likely to go out of their way to make sure google's latest and greatest products work on their hardware.

It's totally unfair, but google gets a lot of advantages for being google whereas independent hobby OS developers can't even get the time of day from manufacturers.
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RE[3]: So it *is* aiming at being an Android replacement
By oiaohm on 2017-05-09 06:34:52
> I agree with you in principal, but google couldn't be further from a hobby os developer. They carry enough weight in the industry that many manufacturers can't afford to be left out and so are likely to go out of their way to make sure google's latest and greatest products work on their hardware.

Really it does not make very much difference google market presence. Google still has to win over the hardware vendors. The Linux kernel contains a lot of support for different IP blocks that vendors use in their SOC chips that will have to be rewritten for Fuchsia.

Fuchsia could be the same as Microsoft singularity. Prototypes made work and then got no hardware vendors because most of their hardware vendors were interested in the existing OS.

Until we see hardware vendors doing drivers for Fuchsia is pie in sky stuff. Besides it important to remember the libhybris as well.

For lot of hardware libhybris was required to use Linux so you could use android userspace graphics drivers. More and more android is going dri3 driver design that is in ring0 kernel driver to reduce overhead.

Fuchsia is a Micro-kernel. Hardware vendors care about benchmarks if Fuchsia end up benching slower than Android with a Linux kernel its going to be dead in the water.

Remember Microsoft, IBM, Google... All basically have the same problem hardware makers set a lot of rules.

Yes the performance overhead problems of userspace graphics drivers with stable ABI is shown by androids userspace graphics drivers.
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GPL
By nicubunu on 2017-05-09 06:41:17
In the article, the author says a couple of times how one of the benefits of moving from Android to Fuchsia would be for Google that it get to "dump the GPL". Is there a public statement from Google about they being unhappy with GPL or is the author projecting?
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RE[3]: So it *is* aiming at being an Android replacement
By oiaohm on 2017-05-09 06:47:18
> Except they aren't a lone developer coding on their basement and already have ChromeOS, Android and Android Things to take code from.
But what the need for hardware support they mostly cannot take from the Linux kernel without ending up with major problems. Linux kernel drivers are design that they have ring 0 in lots of cases and this new kernel need the drivers to run in userspace.

A lone coder in their basement is not much different. 11 developers who are working on other projects along with Fuchsia. That is about equal to one developer focused on a single project.

You need Fuchsia developer count to cross 50 be sure it going somewhere.

I see Fuchsia being another Tizen looks good until someone looked under the hood and does a security audit.

sel4 exists and provides a very good model on how to write a OS from scratch and be secure from the ground up. Fuchsia does not follow this model.

Linux kernel is doing a lot of work to attempt to go in the sel4 direction.
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RE: GPL
By moondevil on 2017-05-09 07:42:58
GCC was dropped from Android NDK and replaced by clang, just like Apple did.

https://android.googlesource.com/...
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RE[2]: GPL
By Lobotomik on 2017-05-09 08:06:44
But that particular choice may be due (may) to CLANG seemingly being a much more lively project than GCC, and (also seemingly) a much easier platform onto which you can build a high-quality compiler for a new language.
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RE[2]: GPL
By nicubunu on 2017-05-09 08:40:22
It looks like that compiler change happened for technical reasons: https://github.com/android-ndk/nd...
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