Linked by David Adams on Tue 12th Jul 2011 17:56 UTC, submitted by suka
Linux In an interview with the Austrian tech site derStandard.at/web Google's Chris DiBona talks about the important role Open Source plays inside of Google. He also goes on to explain why "Android is the Linux desktop dream come true".
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Comment by shmerl
by shmerl on Tue 12th Jul 2011 18:25 UTC
shmerl
Member since:
2010-06-08

> Android is the dream come true. It's your Linux
> desktop, it's the ultimate success story of Linux
> that I've been working on personally since 1995.
> And it's so gratifying to see Linux hitting
> literally hundreds of thousands of people every
> day.

I don't agree. Android distanced from the rest of the Linux world with using incompatible graphical backend and UI system. This simply means - no luck for other Linux'es on Android devices, because there are no accelerated drivers for corresponding GPUs. Manufacturers are writing drivers for Android, but have no time / will to do that for X11 or Wayland.

Therefore in practice, Google just caused a huge distraction for hw manufacturers, pushing them away from regular Linux (look for example at Nvidia stopping updating X11 drivers for Tegra, with explanation that they are busy working on Android drivers). Wayland for example claims to reuse X11 drivers, thus unifying the effort, not splitting it.

So I'd say Android does not benefit Linux at large to a big degree because of that, if not for the contrary. For example Meego - does.

So the claim that Android brings desktop Linux dream closer - is not fair.

Edited 2011-07-12 18:33 UTC

Reply Score: 8

RE: Comment by shmerl
by Oliver Weichhold on Tue 12th Jul 2011 18:34 UTC in reply to "Comment by shmerl"
Oliver Weichhold Member since:
2009-06-06


Therefore in practice, Google just caused a huge distraction for hw manufacturers, pushing them away from regular Linux


Actually its the other way around. There is no "regular" Linux. Just a bazillion of distros with huge variety of software stacks on the desktop front. By implementing desktop not relying on the aging X stuff, backed by one of the most important software vendors in the world, Google gave Linux exactly what is needed: some coherent desktop experience.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by shmerl
by shmerl on Tue 12th Jul 2011 19:24 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by shmerl"
shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

No, it's not true. There is a plenty of regular Linux with common graphical stack. As I said above, Wayland is a much better solution, because it allows to share the effort. Google just pushed manufacturers for their own needs. And those are not needs of Linux desktop.

Edited 2011-07-12 19:26 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Comment by shmerl
by somebody on Tue 12th Jul 2011 21:24 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by shmerl"
somebody Member since:
2005-07-07

Google gave Linux exactly what is needed: some coherent desktop experience.


and as Linux user, i say "they can keep it, i'll be just as happy without it".
- my software runs on any other linux, it doesn't on android
- i can't use android apps on my desktop
where the fsck do you see any coherence here? all i can see is one company pushing its own stack and not even caring about others

btw, am i the only one that got a feeling like interviewer didn't ask any serious question? whole thing reads like questions were asked by google to promote google.

Reply Score: 8

RE: Comment by shmerl
by viton on Tue 12th Jul 2011 19:31 UTC in reply to "Comment by shmerl"
viton Member since:
2005-08-09

Android distanced from the rest of the Linux world with using incompatible graphical backend and UI system
The solution is simple. Abandon X11 and ancient stuff =)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by shmerl
by shmerl on Tue 12th Jul 2011 19:38 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by shmerl"
shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

Wayland tries to address that. While Google's approach serves Google.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by shmerl
by bouhko on Tue 12th Jul 2011 20:18 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by shmerl"
bouhko Member since:
2010-06-24

Wayland was first released in a very early alpha stage in 2008. The first stable Android release was released in 2008 as well, but it had been in development for quite some time.

So, at the time the Android dev started, Wayland was non-existing.

But again, Android is (except some drivers and GSM blobs) open source, so nobody stops you if you want to fork their graphical stack.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by shmerl
by shmerl on Tue 12th Jul 2011 21:06 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by shmerl"
shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

Yes, it's open, but it distracts and multiplies effort. I'm not saying that Wayland was earlier, but Android's graphical stack was not designed with universal Linux use in mind, it was designed for Android specifically. And it creates drivers duplication / competition which is critical as we see (it causes lack of drivers). Wayland has different approach, trying to avoid these issues. I.e. Wayland's design cares about success of Linux at large, Android's design doesn't.That was the whole point of my original comment.

Edited 2011-07-12 21:09 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Comment by shmerl
by butters on Thu 14th Jul 2011 07:25 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by shmerl"
butters Member since:
2005-07-08

Isn't Android's SurfaceFlinger fairly similar to a Wayland compositor? The clients are expected to render to OpenGL, and the compositor takes care of multiplexing the framebuffer and routing input events.

I could be wrong, but it seems like the only reason that the DRI drivers are different for SurfaceFlinger is that Wayland has a goal of backward compatibility with existing X11 DRI drivers, whereas Google is willing to ditch the X11 hooks completely for pure OpenGL. In this sense, SurfaceFlinger is like the logical conclusion of Wayland without the baggage.

It seems to me like the important part is that OpenGL is the common rendering target for clients. Android applications are typically linked with the Skia library for rendering to OpenGL, but most Desktop Linux layout frameworks including GTK+ and Qt are also flying in that direction for Wayland.

I don't see why it should be difficult to bridge this compatibility dilemma, especially in terms of getting Android applications to run on Desktop Linux platforms if not also the other way around. It should be possible to treat Android apps as Wayland clients.

As a development project, Android does predate Wayland somewhat, so one can't exactly blame Google for developing their own solution. Because of the nature of mobile devices, it is highly desirable to have one application framework, so whatever they chose would alienate applications written to other libraries. Even MeeGo has a strongly preferred application framework.

Android isn't a GNU/Linux system. It's Android/Linux. If X11/GNU/Linux systems like MeeGo want to play in the mobile space, then they better get their act together and compete, because Android, despite its from-scratch application ecosystem, is beating them to a pulp.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by shmerl
by shmerl on Thu 14th Jul 2011 08:15 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by shmerl"
shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

Simple fact, Android causes duplication of effort. One can't blame them for being first, but it's their fault they didn't care about global Linux community. Android is a Android dream, not Linux desktop dream. That's the point.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by shmerl
by plague on Thu 14th Jul 2011 16:26 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by shmerl"
plague Member since:
2006-05-08

I don't see why it should be difficult to bridge this compatibility dilemma, especially in terms of getting Android applications to run on Desktop Linux platforms if not also the other way around. It should be possible to treat Android apps as Wayland clients.


I've long wondered about this aswell.
Wouldn't it be possible to create some kind of compatibility-layer for Android drivers to work in Wayland/X11?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by shmerl
by WorknMan on Tue 12th Jul 2011 19:33 UTC in reply to "Comment by shmerl"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Therefore in practice, Google just caused a huge distraction for hw manufacturers, pushing them away from regular Linux


You say that like it's a bad thing ;) The difference between Android and 'classic' Linux desktop is that for the most part, Android is not a pain in the ass to use. The stock version of Android is a beautiful OS and a joy to behold. Of course, many HW vendors are trying to f**k it up by adding layers and layers of crap on top of the vanilla experience, but that is a rant for another day.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by shmerl
by shmerl on Tue 12th Jul 2011 19:41 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by shmerl"
shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

It is a bad thing, for developers, platform adopters, and etc.

It's not difficult to see. Simple example - porting Meego to some Tegra devices is limited by the lack of GPU drivers. Would Google use X11 or Wayland which is aimed for future Linux adoption - that wouldn't be a problem.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Comment by shmerl
by shmerl on Tue 12th Jul 2011 19:53 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by shmerl"
shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

From Wayland FAQ:
----------
Wayland is not really duplicating much work. Where possible Wayland reuses existing drivers and infrastructure. One of the reasons this project is feasible at all, is that I'm reusing the DRI drivers, the kernel side GEM scheduler and kernel mode setting. Wayland doesn't have to compete with other projects for drivers and driver writers, it lives within the X.org, mesa and drm community and benefits from all the hardware enablement and driver development happening there.
----------

Google is nowhere near this idea with Android.

Edited 2011-07-12 19:53 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by shmerl
by pgeorgi on Tue 12th Jul 2011 20:49 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by shmerl"
pgeorgi Member since:
2010-02-18

As KGI, GGI, Fresco, PicoGUI, Y-Windows and various other projects showed, improving GUI on Linux is more a matter of being part of the right club than of technical merit.

I can fully understand the Android team not worrying much about upstreaming any of their GUI related work.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Comment by shmerl
by shmerl on Tue 12th Jul 2011 21:04 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by shmerl"
shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

I worry less about GUI, sorry for misleading comment above, but more about core graphical stack.

Reply Score: 2

blow the trumpet
by SunOS on Tue 12th Jul 2011 19:02 UTC
SunOS
Member since:
2011-07-12

Judge me not by my words but by my actions..
http://www.techdirt.com/blog/wireless/articles/20110711/17464515050...

Reply Score: 1

RE: blow the trumpet
by Neolander on Tue 12th Jul 2011 19:30 UTC in reply to "blow the trumpet"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Wow, carriers CAN push updates to devices sometimes ? AMAZING !!! ;)

/completely_missing_the_point off

Reply Score: 1

RE: blow the trumpet
by bouhko on Tue 12th Jul 2011 19:33 UTC in reply to "blow the trumpet"
bouhko Member since:
2010-06-24

Buy a non-simlocked rootable Nexus One ?

Reply Score: 1

blah
by TechGeek on Tue 12th Jul 2011 19:31 UTC
TechGeek
Member since:
2006-01-14

Android is not Linux. Linux is copyleft by design. Android has large parts under the Apache license which allows Google to not release the code if it doesn't want to. There is also the issue about app design and X11. Sorry, but Android isn't the end all, be all answer to desktop problems. Especially since most desktops won't be running Scale procs.

Reply Score: 7

RE: blah
by JAlexoid on Tue 12th Jul 2011 22:38 UTC in reply to "blah"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

So... All Apache is not Linux. All Mozilla stuff is not Linux. OpenSSH is not Linux. Thanks for clarifying. And Holy mackerel Batman! X.org is also NOT Linux!(X11 License is not copyleft)

Reply Score: 1

RE: blah
by Laurence on Wed 13th Jul 2011 08:26 UTC in reply to "blah"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

Android is not Linux. Linux is copyleft by design. Android has large parts under the Apache license which allows Google to not release the code if it doesn't want to. There is also the issue about app design and X11. Sorry, but Android isn't the end all, be all answer to desktop problems. Especially since most desktops won't be running Scale procs.


You're missing the point. Android is technically Linux (or rather a Linux distribution).

Linux is not a copyright license nor philosophy; it's just a kernel, and Android uses a (customised) Linux kernel thus Android is "Android/Linux" (just as Debian -for example- is "GNU/Linux").


While I sympathise with using the term "Linux" to describe the entire OS (from kernel to user-space stack) for simplicity reasons, when having discussions about what "is" and "is not" a Linux OS, it's important to first understand what exactly Linux is.
So while Android might use a custom Linux kernel, it is still technically Linux - it's just not GNU/Linux.

Edited 2011-07-13 08:30 UTC

Reply Score: 4

ChromeOS
by WorknMan on Tue 12th Jul 2011 19:35 UTC
WorknMan
Member since:
2005-11-13

I wonder if this guy gives ChromeOS way too much credit out of the box, by assuming it's always going to be secure.

As we have seen with iOS, they actually have a website (forget the URL) where you can jailbreak the device just by visiting it. I assume that if a similar exploit exists for ChromeOS, crackers could set up a website to obtain elevated privileges on the OS, and install a software keylogger that runs in the background, or whatever else ...

Reply Score: 2

Desktop?
by Luke McCarthy on Wed 13th Jul 2011 02:32 UTC
Luke McCarthy
Member since:
2005-07-06

Is that a desktop in your pocket or are you just pleased to see me?

Reply Score: 2

v Linux is inferior coded crap
by CodexAthena on Wed 13th Jul 2011 02:37 UTC
RE: Linux is inferior coded crap
by CodexAthena on Wed 13th Jul 2011 02:59 UTC in reply to "Linux is inferior coded crap"
CodexAthena Member since:
2011-07-13

"...Google's success isn't based on Linux. I mean Yahoo uses FreeBSD. Google as successful today or even more so if they chose NetBSD as Android and ChromeOS's base and if they chose FreeBSD for their servers and OpenBSD for their firewalls and routers etc.. The vast majority of people who use the google search engine probably don't even know or care that the servers run Linux. "

This above should have been this instead :

..Google's success isn't based on Linux. I mean Yahoo uses FreeBSD. Google could be just as successful today or even more so if they chose NetBSD as Android and ChromeOS's base and if they chose FreeBSD for their servers and OpenBSD for their firewalls and routers etc.. The vast majority of people who use the google search engine probably don't even know or care that the servers run Linux.

Sorry for the mistake. Anyway I'm done posting on the internet today. Goodbye !

Reply Score: 0

RE: Linux is inferior coded crap
by shmerl on Wed 13th Jul 2011 04:48 UTC in reply to "Linux is inferior coded crap"
shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

All this blah blah about all communists being Jews is just rubbish. You have also mistaken communism with anarchism (Stallman is rather technological anarchist, than communist), but it's an off-topic to a big degree in this thread. Go and learn the subject and stop trolling.

Edited 2011-07-13 04:52 UTC

Reply Score: 4

Christian Paratschek Member since:
2005-07-06

I've actually read the whole comment because from time to time, I just want to know how the brains of these dipshits really work.

The funniest thing about it: as an Austrian, I hear the exact same story about jews from our right-wing extremists too. But they connect the Jews with CAPITALISM instead of communism! They talk about Jews dominating the World Economy trying to destroy hard-working Germans.

As you can see, you can spin the story however you want.

Man, it seems to be so easy to live in a bubble where you just blame someone else for failing in your own life. You're a loser, man. You can't compete with other people on merit. And deep inside you KNOW that. But you just can't admit it and try to work harder and be a better person. So all you've left is pointer fingers at others.

You're a loser. You take the blue pill every day and stay in your little fantasy. You wouldn't dare touching the red pill - because you could not persevere the consequences.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Linux is inferior coded crap
by Neolander on Wed 13th Jul 2011 07:36 UTC in reply to "Linux is inferior coded crap"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

For a long time, I hesitated : troll, off-topic, or inaccurate, which one should I choose in that case ?

The intervention of jews, communism, and fake laws of nature (money has been proven by several psychology studies not to work as a reward for intellectual jobs) helped me decide, though.

Edited 2011-07-13 07:36 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: Linux is inferior coded crap
by PhilPotter on Wed 13th Jul 2011 08:18 UTC in reply to "Linux is inferior coded crap"
PhilPotter Member since:
2011-06-10

I'm sorry, but this is absolute nonsense. You make yourself look ridiculous with your Jewish conspiracy theories, and frankly they disgust me (I might add I'm not Jewish before you claim I am, as per typical right-wing tactics).

Various companies choosing Linux or *BSD or whatever else has many reasons behind it, but the religions/ethnic backgrounds and political ideals of developers...really?? I mean come on - read what you've written - it's just laughable. You really think Larry Page and Sergey Brin sat there and thought "Nowww, what OS shall we use to start our global search empire? It's gotta be by someone Jewish or it's no good!"?

Do me a favour and go get a clue.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Linux is inferior coded crap
by olefiver on Wed 13th Jul 2011 14:02 UTC in reply to "Linux is inferior coded crap"
olefiver Member since:
2008-04-04

Thank you for the most fun read I've had all day.

I especially liked how you equated communism and liberalism as two sides of the same evil Jewish coin.
And keep on blaming the Jews; seeing how long and by how many the Jews have been prosecuted throughout history, they must have done something bad, right?

I hope that you'll write a follow up post though, as I don't see any real evidence or sensible argument in favor of your claim that "the GPL is flawed and Linux is an inferior coded mess".

Until then, I'll continue to be a dumb bitch and use Linux.

Reply Score: 2

No it isn't.
by crhylove on Wed 13th Jul 2011 07:21 UTC
crhylove
Member since:
2010-04-10

However, Linux Mint version 10 AND 11 IS in fact the year of Linux on the desktop. Android is just increased corporate branding and patent warfare gouging of the customers. Barely better than Apple. Well, a lot better than apple, but still pretty evil. Where's the source code for gingerbread? Don't delude yourselves. Android is a walled garden wearing sheep's clothes.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by Darkmage
by Darkmage on Wed 13th Jul 2011 11:56 UTC
Darkmage
Member since:
2006-10-20

personally I would like to fork the linux graphics stack anyway. X should be treated like it is on OSX, as an application implemented on top of OpenGL. It's old, crufty and frankly doesn't do enough anymore. GNUStep + Opal should develop a complete gui solution like OSX has, and eventually transition from running on top of X to being standalone on OpenGL.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by Darkmage
by vivainio on Wed 13th Jul 2011 12:19 UTC in reply to "Comment by Darkmage"
vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26

personally I would like to fork the linux graphics stack anyway. X should be treated like it is on OSX, as an application implemented on top of OpenGL.


Get with the program and read up on Wayland.

Reply Score: 4