For four years, not that much has been known about the Fuchsia platform by Google. It just appeared with no explanation. The world is about to learn more about it. Google announced it is expanding the open source Fuchsia platform, making it public, and inviting contributions.
Introduction of Google’s Fuchsia
It has long been assumed that Fuchsia is meant to be a far-reaching mobile platform, based on the coding. Whether Google is planning for it to replace either Android or Chrome OS is unknown at this point, and Google’s announcement did nothing to clear that up.
Android and Chrome OS are both built on the Linux kernel, but Fuchsia is built on the Zircon kernel. It shows that the goal is to aim for something completely different.
Google explained that the design of Fuchsia is meant to prioritize security, updatability, and performance. It’s been in development in Google’s git repository since 2016 and is being built from the kernel up “to make it easier to create long-lasting, secure products and experiences.”
Google’s Announcement About Taking Fuchsia Public
In this week’s announcement, Google explained, “Starting today, we are expanding Fuchsia’s open source model to make it easier for the public to engage with the project. We have created new public mailing lists for project discussions, added a governance model to clarify how strategic decisions are made and opened up the issue tracker for public contributors to see what’s being worked on.”
The company added that “as an open source effort, we welcome high-quality, well-tested contributions from all. There is now a process to become a member to submit patches or a committer with full write access.”
Along with welcoming contributions to the open source project, Google is also “publishing a technical roadmap for Fuchsia to provide better insights for project direction and priorities. Some of the highlights of the roadmap are working on a driver framework for updating the kernel independently of the drivers, improving file systems for performance, and expanding the input pipeline for accessibility.”
The company noted that the project is still coming along at a rapid pace, yet the core of Fuchsia has remained consistent throughout.
Google wants to make sure no one mistakes the invitation for others to contribute to Fuchsia to mean it’s ready for general product development or as a development target. Yet, you can “clone, compile, and contribute to it.” There’s support for a “limited set of x64-based hardware,” and it can also be tested with Fuchsia’s emulator. The source code can be downloaded and built as well.
If you’d like to take Google up on its offer and get more information about contributing to the Fuchsia open source project, you can find it on the Google Open Source Blog. And if you’re into the whole open source thing, read on to learn about the 12 best open source software to try in 2020.