Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 19th Aug 2013 17:27 UTC
Linux Steve Cheney:

There's more to the platform wars than mobile - Android is starting to take off in non-mobile markets in a massive way - Internet of Things, Television (Chromecast), etc. To date Linux has been the dominant OS but Android is now taking some embedded designs which would have run Linux. The effective decoupling of Android from carriers for non-mobile markets + the richness of tools and the existing developer ecosystem will likely cement Android as the definitive open source OS of the next decade. This will have pluses for Google but also unintended consequences.

A common misconception among people who don't really understand what Linux is - one that I'm seeing pop up more and more now that people are trying to paint Android in a negative light - i.e., as competition to not just iOS, but also the noble and open source Linux.

Repeat after me: Android is just as much 'Linux' as Ubuntu, Debian, Red Hat, or anything else that uses the Linux kernel. Technically, a better term would be 'Linux distribution', since Linux in and of itself is just a kernel. Wikipedia defines 'Linux distribution' quite well:

A Linux distribution (often called distro for short) is a member of the family of Unix-like operating systems built on top of the Linux kernel. Such distributions are operating systems including a large collection of software applications such as word processors, spreadsheets, media players, and database applications. These operating systems consist of the Linux kernel and, usually, a set of libraries and utilities from the GNU Project, with graphics support from the X Window System. Distributions optimized for size may not contain X and tend to use more compact alternatives to the GNU utilities, such as BusyBox, uClibc, or dietlibc.

Android is a Linux distribution, and is an addition to the Linux ecosystem - not a challenger. Painting it as such is just a sign of ignorance.

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RE: More than just Linux
by adkilla on Mon 19th Aug 2013 20:48 UTC in reply to "More than just Linux"
adkilla
Member since:
2005-07-07

In that case wouldn't it be the same with running KDE or GNOME?

God forbid we all should regress to the good old days of Xawt and FVWM. :-P

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: More than just Linux
by DrJohnnyFever on Tue 20th Aug 2013 08:28 in reply to "RE: More than just Linux"
DrJohnnyFever Member since:
2012-03-07

There more too it than that. Imagine a Linux desktop running KDE or Gnome or whatever and running Chromium on that, and all your "apps" are actually java applets running in that browser. The OS only runs one program and that browser runs the apps. All of the deep down operating system stuff is abstracted away from the programs that are running.

That's certainly not an exact description, but in this way Chrome OS and Android are quite similar. Different in technical implementation but they both use Linux to run a software VM of sorts and run all your apps inside of that. When you are running KDE or Gnome, all that is is a user interface and a bunch of libraries software is written to use. Your programs still run ON linux. In Android, your programs are written to run on Android and Android runs on Linux. There are extra layers involved that make them not equivalent.

One would not say that MS-DOS and Windows 95 are "the same thing" just because they overlap a bit.

That is my point.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: More than just Linux
by moondevil on Tue 20th Aug 2013 08:51 in reply to "RE[2]: More than just Linux"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

Your programs still run ON linux. In Android, your programs are written to run on Android and Android runs on Linux. There are extra layers involved that make them not equivalent.


This is only true when using Java, you can use native languages like in other Linux distributions.

Reply Parent Score: 4