Google’s in-development operating system, named ‘Fuchsia,’ first appeared over a year ago. It’s quite different from Android and Chrome OS, as it runs on top of the real-time ‘Magenta’ kernel instead of Linux. According to recent code commits, Google is working on Fuchsia OS support for the Swift programming language.
There’s a tiny error in this summary form AndroidPolice – Fuchsia’s kernel has been renamed to Zircon.
All this has been playing out late last week and over the weekend – Google is now working on Swift, and some took this to mean Google forked Apple’s programming language, while in reality, it just created a staging ground for Google to work on Swift, pushing changes upstream to the official Swift project when necessary – as confirmed by Chris Lattner, creator of Swift, who used to work at Apple, but now works at Google.
Zac Bowling, a Google engineer working on Fuchsia, then highlighted a pull request that Google pushed to the main Swift repository: Swift support for Fuchsia. He also mentioned a few upcoming pull requests:
FYI, in the pipeline after this we will have some PRs related to:
- adding ARM64 support for the Fuchsia SDK
- fixing cross-compiling issues for targeting BSD, Linux and Fuchsia targets from a Darwin toolchain
- adding support for using lld for linking specific SDK stdlibs (part of getting a Darwin toolchain capable of cross compiling to other targets)
- supporting unit tests on Fuchsia
Regarding Fuchsia’s purpose, this is yet another little puff of smoke. Sadly, we still haven’t found the fire.
Google appear to have hired a another developer relations kind of guy for the platform – this one away from MS.
To be honest I think it’s quite clear what the strategy is – build a great cross platform developer experience for mobile native apps – android, IOS, fuchsia.
Support polyglot programming via a language neutral idl and message passing.
Thus making the transition from android to fushsia as good experience, and as risk free, as possible for developers.
Doesn’t matter how technically good fushsia turns out to be – it needs developer support to succeed.
If you want to take a leap forward in platform you have to break some existing stuff and get the developers to want to jump with you. The largest single hurdle for developers is learning a new language – a polyglot approach here is a big win.
It’s a twin track strategy – continue to evolve Android, and at the same time try and built something that tries to be the next big leap, unencumbered by the past.
It’s clearly not specifically for Google Home or Chromecast – the focus is developers, developers, developers – that has to be a mass market phone/tablet.