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Thread: Google's Fuschia OS

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    Google's Fuschia OS

    I am, uh, very much behind the times in tech news. I'm sure this is old info to most everyone else, but I'm curious what others think.


    (View video on YouTube)

    https://9to5google.com/2018/01/23/wh...le-fuchsia-os/
    https://www.techradar.com/news/google-fuchsia

    Like the MacOS, Android is built on a LINUX kernel. Interestingly, Android was originally meant to run on cameras and was adapted to smartphones later (presumably to compete against Microsoft believe it or not).

    Fuchsia has a custom kernel and is designed from the ground up to be run on smartphones, tablets, and smart devices of all kinds (e.g. speakers, TVs, etc). Presumably, this will lead to better integration between your smart oven and your smart lights or something. Now your smart toilet will have an even easier time telling Google how many times you poop in a day, so they can figure out which targeted ads to flash in your face while you try to read the news on a web page. Yay for technology!

    This could possibly replace Android and ChromeOS.

    Anyway, what do you guys think? Will this make smart devices better? Will this complete Google's dominance over the last shreds of our privacy? A bad idea doomed to fail because ChromeOS already proves that Android apps run in an emulator can suck big sweaty donkey balls?

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    Administrator lpetrich's Avatar
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    Let's look at the major players in the OS scene and see what their family relationships are.

    Microsoft is in a class by itself with Windows. It started off with DOS, a CP/M imitation and a very rudimentary sort of OS. This lasted until the mid to late 1990's. Then in the early 1990's, M$ hired some of the people who worked on Digital's VMS, and came out with Windows NT. WNT = VMS++ . It became the high end of M$ OSes, and after 2000 with Windows XP, it completed its takeover.


    Apple and Google, however, support Unix flavors, the closest thing to mainstream in operating-system design. Unix, it must be noted, is not a single OS but a family of OSes that share a *lot* of conventions.


    Apple? It started off with some CP/M-ish and DOS-ish OSes in its I, II, and III models, then developed a new OS for the Lisa and another one for the original Macintosh. The Lisa failed, with some Lisas becoming Macintosh XL's. But the Macintosh succeeded and successors of the original MacOS were supported until the early 2000's. Its successor was an update of NeXT's OS, NeXTstep, released under the name MacOS X.

    What was NeXTStep like? It had a kernel called Mach, a "BSD layer" based on BSD Unix that does files and networking and the like, and a GUI shell. OSX is essentially identical. Even its developer tools work in the same way. Apple's recent small-device OS, iOS, is essentially OSX with a somewhat different GUI shell.

    So Apple doesn't use Linux -- it has its own Unix flavor. Mach + BSD it calls XNU, and XNU + some additional stuff it calls Darwin.


    Linux itself dates back to 1991, when Linus Torvalds released its first version out of his frustration with Andrew Tanenbaum not developing Minix beyond a teaching OS, and also BSD back then still having some copyright entanglements. That first version was so limited that it needed to be booted from Minix. So Linus would start Minix on his computer, then run a Minix app that starts Linux. Later versions of Linux, however, did not need that expedient.

    Linux got a *lot* of interest, because here was an easily-accessible Unix flavor -- and an easily-modifiable one. Unlike AT, LT accepted improvements, and Linux eventually become a major player, now running on everything from smartphones to supercomputers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lpetrich View Post
    Let's look at the major players in the OS scene and see what their family relationships are.

    Microsoft is in a class by itself with Windows. It started off with DOS, a CP/M imitation and a very rudimentary sort of OS. This lasted until the mid to late 1990's. Then in the early 1990's, M$ hired some of the people who worked on Digital's VMS, and came out with Windows NT. WNT = VMS++ . It became the high end of M$ OSes, and after 2000 with Windows XP, it completed its takeover.


    Apple and Google, however, support Unix flavors, the closest thing to mainstream in operating-system design. Unix, it must be noted, is not a single OS but a family of OSes that share a *lot* of conventions.


    Apple? It started off with some CP/M-ish and DOS-ish OSes in its I, II, and III models, then developed a new OS for the Lisa and another one for the original Macintosh. The Lisa failed, with some Lisas becoming Macintosh XL's. But the Macintosh succeeded and successors of the original MacOS were supported until the early 2000's. Its successor was an update of NeXT's OS, NeXTstep, released under the name MacOS X.

    What was NeXTStep like? It had a kernel called Mach, a "BSD layer" based on BSD Unix that does files and networking and the like, and a GUI shell. OSX is essentially identical. Even its developer tools work in the same way. Apple's recent small-device OS, iOS, is essentially OSX with a somewhat different GUI shell.

    So Apple doesn't use Linux -- it has its own Unix flavor. Mach + BSD it calls XNU, and XNU + some additional stuff it calls Darwin.


    Linux itself dates back to 1991, when Linus Torvalds released its first version out of his frustration with Andrew Tanenbaum not developing Minix beyond a teaching OS, and also BSD back then still having some copyright entanglements. That first version was so limited that it needed to be booted from Minix. So Linus would start Minix on his computer, then run a Minix app that starts Linux. Later versions of Linux, however, did not need that expedient.

    Linux got a *lot* of interest, because here was an easily-accessible Unix flavor -- and an easily-modifiable one. Unlike AT, LT accepted improvements, and Linux eventually become a major player, now running on everything from smartphones to supercomputers.
    From what I understand, Linus Torvalds wrote the *os kernel* Linux, which was then used by the GNU project because their own kernel development never got far enough.

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    Administrator lpetrich's Avatar
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    Android does indeed use the Linux kernel, and Android thus qualifies as a Linux distribution: the Linux kernel with a lot of extra stuff.

    Chrome OS also uses the Linux kernel, and its main user interface is the Google Chrome web browser. Both of them have open-source counterparts, the Chromium OS and the Chromium web browser.

    Turning to Google Fuchsia, it has a new kernel, Zircon, originally called Magenta. Fuchsia is a genus of flowering plants named after early-modern botanist Leonhart Fuchs, and it became the name of a magenta-ish color. The word is pronounced "fyoosha", or in IPA symbols, /ˈfjuːʃə/ fuchsia - Wiktionary.

    It uses Capability-based security:
    A capability (known in some systems as a key) is a communicable, unforgeable token of authority. It refers to a value that references an object along with an associated set of access rights. A user program on a capability-based operating system must use a capability to access an object. Capability-based security refers to the principle of designing user programs such that they directly share capabilities with each other according to the principle of least privilege, and to the operating system infrastructure necessary to make such transactions efficient and secure. Capability-based security is to be contrasted with an approach that uses hierarchical protection domains.
    The latter approach is the more usual access-privilege model (Protection ring).

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    Administrator lpetrich's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J842P View Post
    From what I understand, Linus Torvalds wrote the *os kernel* Linux, which was then used by the GNU project because their own kernel development never got far enough.
    GNU's kernel is the Hurd, and it was designed with some rather fancy features. But it was beaten by the Linux one. Nevertheless, many Linux distributions use a lot of GNU software, like the GNU C Compiler or GNU Compiler Collection, gcc. That is why some people like to call Linux GNU/Linux.

    Titled links from the OP:
    Google Fuchsia release date, news and rumors | TechRadar
    Fuchsia - 9to5Google

    Google is working on two user-interface shells for Fuchsia. One for mobile devices called Armadillo and one for desktop computers called Capybara. So it can have successors for both Android and ChromeOS. Google is also working on a cross-platform mobile-development environment called Flutter. It currently supports Android and iOS, and it may eventually support Armadillo.

    As to how much Armadillo and Capybara resemble each other, I couldn't find anything. The two could be as close as the user-interface shells of MacOS and iOS -- Cocoa and Cocoa Touch -- or the two could be more different.

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    Administrator lpetrich's Avatar
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    Google is continuing to develop Android. Last August, it released its most recent version of that OS, with this codename:

    Pie

    Android OS Version Names listed those up to Oreo and presented my speculations. Some of them were for kinds of pie: pecan pie, pumpkin pie.


    I've noticed what open-source licenses Fuchsia is under: BSD 3-clause, MIT, Apache 2.0. Android is under Apache License 2.0 except for the kernel. So I consulted Comparison of free and open-source software licenses and A Comparison Of The Most Popular Open Source Licenses - Kiuwan

    BSD, MIT, and Apache are all permissive, allowing software under those licenses to be incorporated into proprietary software, and also the creation of proprietary versions and modifications.

    GPL, however, has "copyleft", a sort of inverse copyright, where all derivative works are mandated to have available source code.

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