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Drawing the Line Between Android and Linux 258

jfruhlinger writes "The relationship between Linux and Android is on a technical level not hard to grasp — there's a shared kernel, but the application and interface layers are quite different. But, as Brian Proffitt points out, there are differences of philosophy and of community — which hasn't stopped Adobe from touting its Android dev tools as proof of its devotion to Linux."
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Drawing the Line Between Android and Linux

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  • don't know (Score:3, Insightful)

    by justsomebody ( 525308 ) on Tuesday July 05, 2011 @12:50PM (#36662550) Journal

    android didn't do anything good for linux, if anything it just made another incompatible implementation of the same platform. wake me up when i can run android app on my linux desktop without needing to run it in some virtual machine.

    adobe i don't even wanna comment about. i avoid them more carefully than entrance to hell.

  • Re:don't know (Score:5, Insightful)

    by h4rr4r ( 612664 ) on Tuesday July 05, 2011 @12:58PM (#36662678)

    You do realize that android apps run in dalvik right? So there is always a virtual machine. I fail to see how that is any different than running it on the virtual machine running on the phone.

  • Linux is a kernel (Score:5, Insightful)

    by the_humeister ( 922869 ) on Tuesday July 05, 2011 @01:00PM (#36662700)

    All the other programs running on top comprise the OS. Why can't people get this straight? There isn't just a "Linux" community, there's a GNU community, an X community, a Debian community, a GCC community, an Android community, etc. Some parts overlap and some parts don't. But to say that all of these communities is Linux is a little misleading.

  • Re:Linux market (Score:1, Insightful)

    by tepples ( 727027 ) <> on Tuesday July 05, 2011 @01:01PM (#36662712) Homepage Journal

    Yes the market is small comapred to Windows BUT its not that small and its a big niche market which lets you charge more for the software/hardware

    It's also a niche market filled with skinflints who won't pay anything for software and filled with users who demand the right and ability to hire anyone to fix defects in the software.

  • Re:Linux market (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 05, 2011 @01:09PM (#36662824)

    It's also a niche market filled with skinflints who won't pay anything for software

    Yes, that's why Linux users have consistently paid more for the Humble Indie Bundle games than Mac or Windows users. We're all so cheap.
      Hell, I punched in what I thought was a fair price and was downright shocked to see what Windows users were paying. There's a bunch of cheapskate bastards if I ever saw one.

  • by Kamiza Ikioi ( 893310 ) on Tuesday July 05, 2011 @01:13PM (#36662880)

    First, it's called Java and it runs android apps on linux [] (amoung others), just like Linux runs any other app. Android doesn't make kernel bound, machine compiled apps for the very good reason that they need as many apps to run on as many phones without separate compilers. Phones are still running completely different chipsets than PCs, or are you not aware that you can't run amd64.deb on a 32bit PC, etc. etc. If so, you aren't very educated about the issue at all.

    If you want to take some code, make some native applications compile to it, I'm sure you could get some command line tools that work on both platforms, compiling separately on each. Mainstream users don't CARE if they can run it on their computers. Frankly, not many geeks care either. That's a pretty minority of a minority view. At best, people would like to run Linux desktop apps on Android, not the other way around.

    And the problem isn't Android, it's XWindows. When you get XWindows and Gnome/KDE to run efficiently on ARM, you let me know and THEN we'll talk about portability. Until then, NON ISSUE QED.

    And even then, you'd still need a type of virtual machine, regardless of whether the code ran or not. Apps are built for.. wait for it... phones and tablets! It's pointy-multi-touchy, not lefty-righty-clicky.

    The fact is that Android is the first, and only, real main stream Linux OS that rivals every single one of its competitors. What did Android do for Linux? That's like asking what Apache has done for Linux. Without Apache, Linux wouldn't have the server market cornered. Android did for linux on phones what Apache did for linux on servers. And if you don't get that analogy, you just don't get it the topic at all.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 05, 2011 @01:51PM (#36663472)

    And the problem isn't Android, it's XWindows. When you get XWindows and Gnome/KDE to run efficiently on ARM, you let me know and THEN we'll talk about portability. Until then, NON ISSUE QED.

    GNOME/KDE are overrated, but the N900 runs X11 on ARM just dandy. Of course it's not the huge Xorg nee Xfree86 monstrosity, it's a kdrive variant (which, perhaps confusingly, is also an project), but it's still X11R6 and it lets all your X apps run, including letting PC apps display on your phone or phone apps* display on your PC's X server. And Hildon (the desktop environment of Maemo) is pretty much a mobile-centric version of GNOME, so it could be said without much exaggeration that we do have "XWindows and Gnome" running efficiently on ARM.

    *But some phone apps are stupidly written to ignore the DISPLAY environment variable, and hard-coded to :0 -- obviously they won't display remotely without massive futzing around.

    The trouble isn't that a real UNIX-like phone OS can't be done -- it has been done! The trouble's that Maemo, and the similarly UNIX-like WebOS, each belong to a single phone maker, so they'll never make the market impact of a commoditized OS like Android, and never get the same ecosystem of developers. Nokia's involvement with Meego was supposed to rectify that, but we all know where that went *coughELOPcough*, and without a big phone name behind it, it looks like Meego will be primarily a tablet/in-vehicle/etc. OS, with at best niche presence in the phone market.

  • by node 3 ( 115640 ) on Tuesday July 05, 2011 @02:02PM (#36663576)

    The confusion comes from people who keep talking about Linux when they mean all of the extra stuff on top of the kernel.

    No, the confusion is with people who think that Linux can only refer to the kernel. Even Linus doesn't play the "GNU/Linux" game.

    Certainly, it would have save a lot of hassle had Linus decided to give his kernel and the GNU OS using his kernel completely different names, like Darwin and xnu. Instead, he called the kernel "Linux", named the file "vmlinux" or "vmlinuz" (depending on whether it's compressed or not).

    The language may be imprecise, but you can't blame people for using the language as it exists. Just because a bunch of nerds with an aversion to ambiguity have come up with a way to be more precise doesn't make it right. It just makes a set of more specific terminology, that almost nobody uses. Not even most of the people who make a fuss about it.

    After all, are you saying that you aren't also one of the "people who keep talking about Linux when they mean all of the extra stuff on top of the kernel"?

  • Re:Seriously? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jedidiah ( 1196 ) on Tuesday July 05, 2011 @02:20PM (#36663798) Homepage

    Linux users respect the developer and their choices. This is inherent in the whole GPL thing.

    I see a product and I am willing to pay a fair price for it. I won't make excuses meant to make things cheaper for me.

    No. In truth it's Windows users that are the real "freetards". Their numbers just help diffuse this problem somewhat In truth, Windows users are a den of theives that have no problem pirating anything they might want or need. This is the reality that the results of the Humble bundles reflects.

Each honest calling, each walk of life, has its own elite, its own aristocracy based on excellence of performance. -- James Bryant Conant