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Old 1st February 2015
Mike-Sanders Mike-Sanders is offline
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Default Microsoft invests in Linux distro (Cyanogen)...



'Microsoft is investing in a hot startup that’s trying to weaken Google’s hold over Android. People familiar with the matter say Microsoft is putting money into Cyanogen, which is building a version of the Android mobile-operating system outside of Google’s auspices...' <more>

Yup, hell has frozen over...
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Old 1st February 2015
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I would perceive this as "Microsoft invests in a minor competitor to Google" rather than "Microsoft invests in a Linux distribution."

As an Android user -- including having had about 5 years of that as a Cyanogenmod user and occasional ad hoc Cyanogenmod (and other Android) platform integrator -- I don't consider any of the various Android implementations to be "Linux distributions" as that term is understood.

Yes, they have Linux kernels, and they can use Linux kernel modules such as device drivers. From that point outward, however, they are operationally divergent. Android's process and resource management schema -- which applications must integrate with -- and the end user interfaces and resulting experience are completely different.
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Old 1st February 2015
Mike-Sanders Mike-Sanders is offline
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Well, we'll simply have to agree to disagree =)

At it core its Linux, resting on a Unix foundation. Have a look at the OS itself, under the hood of that shiny GUI its c/java/init.d/cron/awk/etc, all down the line. All open source efforts (that Microsoft has historically demonized you'll note). It ought to be interesting watching MS weave WinAPI into the project, maybe their own especial build. Maybe Microsoft can pull it off, dunno... More competition ought to result in new ideas at the least.

Bit of a tangent here since I'm in rant mode: Its a mistake to coerce OS's into categories, much too limiting in my thinking. For instance: severs as big-box affairs 'only', or PC's being fit for desktops 'only'. & of course a phone/tablet OS couldn't possibly be useful in multi-user scenarios. As an example, my 'droid tablet launches a custom telnetd daemon/shell that serves up textural data on the fly at work. Its fast, reliable, & supports multiple, asynchronous logins, all via linux/busybox. Not the classic form-factor we think of for Unix hardware, yet not too shabby either. Point being I guess to always remain pragmatic - its a big enough world allowing for all sorts of possibility. Unix can exist in all sorts of flavors right?

At any rate. We live in interesting times any way you slice it.
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Last edited by Mike-Sanders; 1st February 2015 at 05:15 PM. Reason: typo...
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Old 1st February 2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike-Sanders View Post
At it core its Linux, resting on a Unix foundation. Have a look at the OS itself, under the hood of that shiny GUI its c/java/init.d/cron/awk/etc, all down the line.
Since you use Android maybe you can tell me if the end user has default exclusive usability of "c/java/init.d/cron/awk/etc" outside of being the foundation for the GUI and its applications. Is root available by default? Can you set the root and user passwords? Can you disable "under the hood" Android services that are enable by default. Can you compile your own software, outside of an SDK managing the way it is accomplished?

The last time I played around with a mobile device preformed Linux was Nokia's Debian fork. I really had to hack the crap out of that thing to use it with with the same liberties I could a stock Debian installation. There were apps for some of the things I wanted to do, but many where built under the limitations of the SDK. The biggest problem was when the device firmware (O.S. installation) reached library updates that only served the intended purposes of the manufacturer. There were more modern libraries available, but they were not included in the device updates.

Regardless, the device could do lots of interesting things that it was never intended to do. So, if you are going to end up with a device anyway, and it happens to have Android on it, its nice that it has some usability outside of it intended potentials. However, if one is just using top layer applications, couldn't you have the same potential on a Windows Mobile OS? I don't really know myself, I haven't looked at the application building environments that Microsoft provides.
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Old 1st February 2015
Mike-Sanders Mike-Sanders is offline
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In its stock form (except Cyanogen or custom built roms), its still locked up tight... I can't blame Google & others for the security, mainly SELinux, in wanting to protect non-technical users, but darn, I gotta have root Ego...

Yes, you can disable/recompile anything if you're willing to unpack the boot rom, create/insert your changes, repack the rom, & then reflash it. I did, & it works fine. One problem with disabling a given service is understanding what other processes it could adversely impact I'm sure you'd agree... But you're sure enough correct, for the over-the-counter versions of 'droid, you'll be hacking till you're blue in the face =)

For root by default, you'll need a custom rom, unless you're willing to root the device yourself.

For building your own projects check out (my fav) c4droid/gcc...

With which I built this pure c abomination with REPL:



& here's c4droid IDE:



& the super easy to use (but pricey, my wife threatened to beat me when I bought it!) with BASIC like syntax & RAD IDE Basic4android

Here's a dialog example:



& here's an example of its syntax for the above:

Code:
#Region  Project Attributes 
  #ApplicationLabel: Mike's 1st droid app
  #VersionCode: 1
  #VersionName: 
  ' SupportedOrientations possible values: unspecified, landscape or portrait.
  #SupportedOrientations: unspecified
  #CanInstallToExternalStorage: False
#End Region

#Region  Activity Attributes 
  #FullScreen: False
  #IncludeTitle: True
#End Region

Sub Process_Globals
  ' These global variables will be declared once when the application starts.
  ' These variables can be accessed from all modules.
End Sub

Sub Globals
  ' These global variables will be redeclared each time the activity is created.
  ' These variables can only be accessed from this module.
End Sub

Sub Activity_Create(FirstTime As Boolean)
  ' Do not forget to load the layout file created with the visual designer. For example:
  ' Activity.LoadLayout("Layout1")
  Msgbox("Neato-Buritto!", "1st steps in Android...")
End Sub

Sub Activity_Resume
  ' to do...
End Sub

Sub Activity_Pause (UserClosed As Boolean)
  ' to do...
End Sub
Good luck & keep on hacking brother, let me know if you cobble anything together, I learn something new (& enjoy it) everyday of the week =)
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Old 1st February 2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike-Sanders View Post
...launches a custom telnetd...
Plaintext?

I did something similar, but with sshd. Using dropbear on Froyo, and then with OpenSSH in later versions. I don't have a need any longer, though.
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Old 1st February 2015
Mike-Sanders Mike-Sanders is offline
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Chuckle I know... (good catch - my bad!) its not as insecure as it sounds however as all the data is public. The tablet just allows staff to carry it around where its handy.

Ya' know j, I can't get dropbear to build (yet) its fighting me. Somewhere out there is a 'droid project based on it, I really ought to seek it out & try it...
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Old 1st February 2015
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@Mike_Sanders

Thanks for the info. I haven't really looked into any of this yet. It does sound familiar.

Any chance of doing something through a chroot? That really helped out on Nokia's stuff. But, being a Debian fork, there was already tons of arch/lib compatibility.
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Old 2nd February 2015
Mike-Sanders Mike-Sanders is offline
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Yeah, at the app store there's some chroot stuff, haven't tried it myself. Look interesting though. jggimi said it best, this isnt nix/nux as we know it, its evolving...
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Old 11th February 2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jggimi View Post
As an Android user -- including having had about 5 years of that as a Cyanogenmod user and occasional ad hoc Cyanogenmod (and other Android) platform integrator -- I don't consider any of the various Android implementations to be "Linux distributions" as that term is understood.
This is where Stalman's "GNU/Linux" term is actually useful. Most Linux distro's as we know as GNU + Linux (+ a whole lot of other stuff, too), but Android is no such thing. It's Linux + Dalvik + some other Google stuff.

And someone might (for example) also make a "BSD/Linux" system, where you have the Linux kernel with maybe FreeBSD base libraries + utilities.
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Old 11th February 2015
Mike-Sanders Mike-Sanders is offline
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Dalvik (interpreted) is now depreciated with the coming of ART (binary). Time will tell if the change is for the better or worst...

More info: Wikipedia article here & Youtube article here.
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Old 7th October 2015
Peter_APIIT Peter_APIIT is offline
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ART has better speed improvement over the old Dalvik interpreted code.
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