Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 2nd Jan 2009 22:06 UTC
Google Netbooks run either Windows or Linux, and both are readily available in shops all over the world. The Linux variants chosen by several netbook manufacturers are usually derived from desktop distributions, and obviously, Windows is a desktop operating system as well. However, netbooks have small displays, and both Windows and GNOME/KDE and some of their applications aren't always suited well for such an environment. Enter Android, Google's Linux-based phone operating system. It is suggested that Android-based netbooks will appear on the market in 2010, maybe even sooner.
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Android is not Linux, and not an OS
by braddock on Fri 2nd Jan 2009 23:07 UTC
braddock
Member since:
2005-07-08

I'm enjoying hacking on my G1, but...

Android is not Linux, because so far Google has refused to allow developers or users to directly use any of the Linux underpinnings.

You are locked into a non-standard Java jail.

Google seems intent on re-inventing all the Java API's Sun spent the past 15 years on, and re-developing, or at least wrapping, all the GNU/Linux libraries and app frameworks of the past 20 years.

Best example: The utter lack of usable video playback on the G1, even though I can apt-get almost every codec known to mankind in my G1 Debian install.

Android on a Netbook is not exciting - it is not an actual platform, just a Java app with some plugins. It COULD be a contender if Google comes to their senses. I hope they do.

Reply Score: 14

tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

I'm enjoying hacking on my G1, but...

Android is not Linux, because so far Google has refused to allow developers or users to directly use any of the Linux underpinnings.

You are locked into a non-standard Java jail.

Google seems intent on re-inventing all the Java API's Sun spent the past 15 years on, and re-developing, or at least wrapping, all the GNU/Linux libraries and app frameworks of the past 20 years.

Best example: The utter lack of usable video playback on the G1, even though I can apt-get almost every codec known to mankind in my G1 Debian install.

Android on a Netbook is not exciting - it is not an actual platform, just a Java app with some plugins. It COULD be a contender if Google comes to their senses. I hope they do.


It's not clear why Android would be any more interesting on a Netbook than Linux or Windows. Seriously, why?!? What can't I run on Linux or Windows that I can run on Android?

Reply Parent Score: 3

danieldk Member since:
2005-11-18

It's not clear why Android would be any more interesting on a Netbook than Linux or Windows. Seriously, why?!? What can't I run on Linux or Windows that I can run on Android?


Because, frankly, Linux on netbooks currently sucks. Every cheap Asian brand uses it's own semi-proprietary Linux distribution that is a fork of Linpus, Xandros, or something else. There is no compatibility, no consistency, whatsoever.

That's fine for our tiny contingent of the population who can install/roll our own stuff and put Ubuntu or what the heck we want on it, but that's not going to work for the majority of users out there. So, if they can choose between Windows XP (which they know) or a private distribution that requires typing commands in a terminal, even for installing basic functionality, they will use Windows.

Another thing to keep in mind is, is a netbook a small computer or phone-ish gizmo? Linux on a netbook as a small computer is not really interesting for most consumers: Microsoft dropped the prices on XP for netbooks, hardware specs are going up, and people can install pirated/non-pirated Office on their netbook. Why would they not use the same system as their home computer? Whereas, if we see a netbook as an mobile gizmo (forgive me for using that word), it does not need to be functionally equivalent to a home PC. But it requires a consistent interface, an easy manner to get or purchase applications, and a single consistent API for game and application vendors to write applications for the platform. Think iPhone, but differently. Android is a good contender for providing a software layer for such products.

Consistency is also one of the reasons why I, even though I am a daily C++ user, prefer to see Android restricted to Dalvik-based languages (Java, Scala, etc.). Having multiple runtimes, widget toolkits, and package managers is not going to help anyone in that space.

Edited 2009-01-03 09:06 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

centos_user Member since:
2008-11-16

Google has become the Microsoft Monopoly and taking PRIVATE DATA from willing sheep to install their software.


Has anyone ever thought what Google is doing with YOUR personal data that you are being willing sheep and installing it.

What about Communist China, Google turned over server logs to the Communist Gov to track down people wanting to learn the truth about stuff however Google stepped in like 1984 and helped out Communist China...


NO thanks,

I will use MY Linux Distro of choice and NOT use Big Brother 2.0 on my stuff.

Reply Parent Score: 2

vames Member since:
2009-01-04

Are you even reading what you are saying before you force out unto the world? If you do not like the fact that Google are taking information to make your search queries in Google Search better, turn it off and shut up. If you do not like that Google takes info when using Google Desktop then that is no ones fault but yours, there is an option to accept or not accept this when first installing Google Desktop, if you made a mistake then go into the settings and turn it off.

Everyone criticize Google on how they handle privacy and are mostly unaware that the option is there to turn it off, instead they like yourself blabber on the internet like blind duck. For the record, your privacy only stays on the Google servers for a maximum of 3 or 6 months before they are completely deleted.

People like yourself should probably go ahead and start a damn religion on privacy or something.

Reply Parent Score: 0

darrelljon Member since:
2008-05-29

Google has become the Microsoft Monopoly and taking PRIVATE DATA from willing sheep to install their software.


Has anyone ever thought what Google is doing with YOUR personal data that you are being willing sheep and installing it.

What about Communist China, Google turned over server logs to the Communist Gov to track down people wanting to learn the truth about stuff however Google stepped in like 1984 and helped out Communist China...


NO thanks,

I will use MY Linux Distro of choice and NOT use Big Brother 2.0 on my stuff.

China is not communist - it is state-capitalist. Obama is a capitalist too. Communism is not about authoritarianism - to say it is amounts to a deductive fallacy. Communism is about sharing - such as sharing source code in FOSS projects.

Reply Parent Score: 1

BallmerKnowsBest Member since:
2008-06-02

What about Communist China, Google turned over server logs to the Communist Gov to track down people wanting to learn the truth about stuff however Google stepped in like 1984 and helped out Communist China...


That begs the question: what exactly do you think Google should have done instead? Cease operating in China altogether? Or maybe stage a coup to overthrow the Chinese government?

Reply Parent Score: 1

raboof Member since:
2005-07-24

so far Google has refused to allow developers or users to directly use any of the Linux underpinnings.

You are locked into a non-standard Java jail.


To be fair, isn't the development phone ( http://code.google.com/android/dev-devices.html ) fully unlocked (both simlock and bootloader), and the relevant platform code now available open-source (though I seem to have misplaced the link)?

Android on a Netbook is not exciting - it is not an actual platform, just a Java app with some plugins.


Not sure if it's an `actual platform', but Android sure is a hack of a lot more than just a Java app: they wrote a somewhat-complete `J'VM for use in resource-constrained environments (Dalvik), quite a feat!

That said, I feel Android's advantage is that it runs well in little resources. Netbooks will be much less resource-constrained, so I'm not so sure if Android would be so valuable there. It would be nice if applications would be portable between Android and whatever will run on those netbooks, though.

Reply Parent Score: 1