Google’s Fuchsia OS is now open to public contributions, gets a “roadmap”

Fuchsia OS logoWe were first made aware of Fuchsia OS, an open-source operating system developed by Google, in 2016. At the time, nobody clearly knew what was the goal of the project, although some speculated it could be a Linux replacement.

We first wrote about it in 2018, as Fuchsia OS added support for several Amlogic processors hinting that it may be used in TV boxes and media streamers. Google also launched a developer website in 2019 to provide more information and resources to people outside the company interested in trying it out.

But while the OS development was always made in the open with the source code publicly available, Google did not accept contributions from the community so far. This has now changed, as the company just announced the expansion of Fuchsia’s open-source model to make it easier for the developer community to contribute to the project.

Specifically, Google has set up public mailing lists, added a governance model, as well as opened up the issue tracker to the public, and now accepts patchsets committed from the developers’ community at large. To become a member capable of summiting patchsets, you’ll need to agree to sign a Contributor License Agreement and accept the code of conduct of the project. People who submitted more than 10 patches can also apply to become a committer with full write access. Details are explained here.

Google has also announced a “roadmap” for Fuchsia OS. I put the term between quotes because I’d expect a roadmap to include dates, but the said roadmap is more like a to-do list that covers changes planned for the Fuchsia Interface Definition Language (FIDL), migration to fuchsia.io2 libraries and Components v2, and various other changes.

The company also explains Fuchsia is not quite ready for prime time and describes it as “a long-term project to create a general-purpose, open-source operating system” that “is not ready for general product development or as a development target”. Fuchsia OS can be tested either in QEMU emulator or various supported x64 or Arm targets.

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19 Comments
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Hedda
Hedda
10 months ago

So what is its goal?

dgp
dgp
10 months ago

Something to do with attempting to get as much information about you as possible while still managing to serve you ads about products that make no biological sense while serving your kids ads for alcohol and life insurance.

jqpabc123
jqpabc123
10 months ago

Privacy invasion and advertising — the same as every other product Google has ever produced. Please feel free to prove me wrong but history and common sense demands this as the default assumption.

itchy n scratchy
itchy n scratchy
10 months ago

No serious answers today?

dgp
dgp
10 months ago

>No serious answers today?

When you have google money you don’t need to have reasons. My guess is that someone at google thinks there might be a time or a project where they want their own kernel that isn’t GPL license and you can’t write one of those overnight so they are the work preemptively. They have so much money it doesn’t matter or not if it ends up getting junked in the end.

N gart
N gart
10 months ago

Google hates to fire engineers. It was probably to keep some busy.

Theguyuk
Theguyuk
10 months ago

I am I right in understanding that all you contribute becomes Google owned ?

Jon Smirl
10 months ago

Copyright grant and patent license are pretty much standard now in open source licenses. The copyright grant is needed so that the license can be changed if needed due to unforeseen circumstances (like the GPL not anticipating cloud computing with no need to distribute code). Patent grants are needed to stop submarining like RAMBUS did (contribute code, and then after it is in wide use, disclose that it is patented and you want royalties).

itchy n scratchy
itchy n scratchy
10 months ago

So basically a no go for a copyleft follower, as well as for a private person.

1st, what is GPL good for if google can stripe it off at will, then why not MIT or similar?

2nd, how can I as a private contributor guarantee the patent situation?

Jon Smirl
10 months ago

You don’t have to guarantee that there are no patents covering your code, you only have to guarantee that YOU (or entities that you work for) aren’t holding any patents that cover your code. The license can only be changed if the entity you are assigning to decides to change it. You just need to trust that entity not to do something bad with the copyright assignments. For example with Apache projects the copyrights are assigned to the Apache Foundation and the board would have to vote on a licensing change. Assigning copyright is not the same as MIT which… Read more »

opk
opk
10 months ago

The GPL has always had a clause saying the terms of a later version of the GPL can apply so many GPL projects got moved to GPL3 even without having to ask for consent. Parts of the Linux kernel made an exception for this and stipulate GPL2 only.

Jon Smirl
10 months ago

That clause says you can choose GPL2 or later on receipt of the source. It does not say the distributor can force GPL3 onto you. So if Amazon takes the code it simply picks GPL2. The only was to force GPL3 is for all of the copyright holders to agree to relicense as GPL3.

Play Less
Play Less
10 months ago

Copyright grants and patent licenses are NOT standard in the OSS world, nor are they necessary Most OSS is now on MIT or BSD licenses. “Unforeseen circumstances” is a code word for “switch” in the “bait and switch” game played by the likes of Re Hat, CentOS, GPL3, etc. Copyright grants and patent licenses are only necessary for control freaks who want to appropriate your work. Normal people word the license in way that avoids “unforeseen circumstances” and only ask for a patent not-litigation clause.

dgp
dgp
10 months ago

>GPL3

How is the GPLv3 switch and bait? The GPLv2 still exists and projects are free to keep using it. The only issue I can see is projects that are GPLv2 but didn’t add the “only” part like Linux. Those projects might see their code base getting forked and becoming GPLv3 which means they would have problems pulling any changes back into their GPLv2 version. To be honest I think if that actually happened in the real world the new project would probably be ok with the backporting.

Play Less
Play Less
10 months ago

After reading the actual license, I’m starting to think it’s not that bad – it heavily favors Google but it seems possible for BSD-minded folks to use for their advantage too. The Linux kernel is the big problem in Linux, a replacement is badly needed. Mirror the project so it’s fork-able outside of Google and it might turn out to be what we need.

bob
bob
10 months ago

Android7 – very easy to setup and limit 3G data
Android8 – more click to setup and limit 3G data
Android9 – no way to setup quota and limit 3G data
What they want from us is …

conclusion
10 months ago

Android11 (vanilla/gapps free/rooted) – as always full control about everything

What does Bob want from us…

bob
bob
10 months ago

On redminote9 (android 10), it’s impossible to set a limit, only change Data plan for the entire month.
maybe android11 is better, i hope

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