sábado, 24 de marzo de 2012

Linux and Android Kernel Finally Merged

Until recently, Android and Linux have been two open source projects which have been known for their distinct identities despite being closely linked with each other. The version 3.3 of the Linux kernel was announced by the leader of the Linux kernel project, Linus Torvalds which will help create an operating system core that will now bridge the gap which has been isolating the two projects so far.

Essentially, almost every Android phone can be considered as a Linux phone though most developers for Android use an interface resembling Java which is a customized version of Linux developed by Google aimed at handling details such as keeping the required data in the memory ready to be used, multitasking among the different chores and keyboard input.

A consequence of integrating Torvalds’ version of the Linux kernel with Google’s Android version will result in easier programming for developers. This will also mean that Google will have to face fewer hassles in trying to make sure that the mainline kernel and their own code are in sync. Even users of mobile devices powered by Linux can now benefit from these changes as they as the two platforms will have much greater interoperability.

Often, Google uses code which has been already developed in other open source projects while giving its own improvements or changes to the code and releasing its own open source work. Google however isolates itself from the primary developers and their project during the course of developing its own project and this can at times lead to tensions between the involved parties as open source relies on code sharing and collaborative ethos. The Android mainlining project was initially announced in December by a Sony programmer, Tim Bird. The merger of the two had been underway for months now as a result and despite Torvalds not having made any specific mention of the Android merge during the release of Linux 3.3, the merger is now official.

A longtime kernel developer and new Linux Foundation fellow, Greg Kraoh-Hartman said that the Android components on the Google+ and Linux 3.3 are expected to be the same. He said that the 3.3 version might not have very good power management but expects it to be corrected in the next release, kernel 3.4.

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