Google Calls For External Contributors To Fuchsia: A Unique OS In Development!

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Google, for long, has kept mum about the details of developing Fuchsia – an open source operating system. But, today they finally opened it up for external contributors.

The Alphabet-owned tech giant has been developing this new OS for over four years but nobody really knows what it is going to be used for despite it being developed on publicly browsable repositories in the open. Fuchsia is not based on a Linux kernel, instead, it utilises a microkernel known as Zircon.

Today, Google said they have created new public mailing lists for project discussions, added a governance model for the clarification of how strategic decisions are being made and opened up an issue tracker for public contributors to monitor what is being worked on. However, does it answer where Fuchsia might get implemented? Not really, but there exist some other important clues which must be taken note of.

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This particular announcement of Google suggests that the Fuchsia OS is not yet equipped for general product development or as a development target. The most likely scenario is that this announcement will end up surprising another round of analysis only.

Kyle Bradshaw from 9to5Google believes that this unique and mysterious OS is not necessarily meant to replace Android or the Chrome OS and laid out several Fuchsia codenames which line up with the ‘Made by Google’ devices.

Fuchsia’s practical implementation is verified as it has been known to be tested on hardware that eventually is released as Google smart speakers. However, when launched commercially, Google smart speakers do not run on the Fuchsia OS.

In a 2019 interview, Hiroshi Lockheimer from Google defined Fuchsia as a ‘production-grade operating system’ which is optimised for certain other form factors beyond phones or laptops.

According to him, Google is simply exploring what a new take on operating systems might look like. Thus, it is understandable why people are excited to know where it might end up getting used at the end. However, it is not really about the end goal implementation for Fuchsia. Instead about pushing the state of art in operating systems. What Google can learn from Fuchsia they can incorporate in other products.

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Currently, along with the call for external contributors and the new mailing lists, Google is also publishing a new technical roadmap which will focus mainly on low-level OS nitty-gritties such as “a driver framework for updating the kernel independently of the drivers” and the “Fuchsia Interface Definition Language.”

This roadmap implies that many of the initial subsystems of OS Fuchsia are now being upgraded with a new IO library along with a new component architecture as well.

Google has tons of open-source projects which are nominally be developed by anyone, but instead it is developed mostly by Google’s engineers. Therefore, Fuchsia can also be classified one among those open-source projects.

If you are a developer then you can visit fuchsia.dev and find out more about this project. You can also develop the code needed to build the source code and run it in an emulator. We will keep you updated on all future developments. Until then, stay tuned.

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