GOOGLE HAS very quietly launched the first site for developers for its mysterious ‘experimental’ operating system, known as Fuchsia.
Described as everything from ‘the successor to Android’ to ‘a proper merging of Android and Chrome OS’ and a whole bunch of other mad ideas, nobody really knows what Fuchsia is for, but the site does seem to give us a bit more detail than we’ve had before.
What it certainly does do is gives us a way of opening a development environment for Fuchsia within Linux. Fuchsia isn’t Linux in and of itself, but of course, that does mean that (at least in theory) you’ll also be able to develop using the Windows subsystem for Linux.
In fact, Fuchsia runs off a brand new microkernel called Zircon, based on nothing that has gone before and starting an operating system from a standing start like that can take a long time. As such, Google’s reticence to even acknowledge Fuchsia’s existence until recently supports the theory that it isn’t the long-awaited ‘one OS to rule them all’ but rather a ruddy huge alpha test of something entirely new.
Of course, it could yet run containerised Android/Chrome apps (it also runs Apple’s Swift code) but the (rather logical) theory that this is a replacement for Google’s current operating systems has been pretty much scotched, for now.
Nevertheless, this is a milestone for Fuchsia. By going public (or at least establishing an official presence), Google is clearly ready to let the wider tech world take a peek at a product that’s a lot nearer to complete at a basic level.
All this gives rise to the question of what, exactly, we’re supposed to be developing for Fuchsia, given that we don’t know what it’s for. It’s currently available to test on a number of select Google devices including the Pixel 3 and Pixelbook, but that makes it as clear as mud. As per.
The usual blah-blah applies – don’t install it on your main device, it could and probably will bork spectacularly when you fiddle with it.