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Linux Foundation to unite Linux and Android devs at new summit

Feb 17, 2011 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

The Linux Foundation announced an event intended to increase “systems level” collaboration among Android and Linux developers — and perhaps patch up an ongoing rift with Google over kernel contributions. The Android Builders Summit, scheduled for April 13-14 in San Francisco, is now open for presentation submissions, the organization says.

The Android Builders Summit is co-located with the 2011 Embedded Linux Conference (ELC) which precedes the Android event on April 11-13 at the same Hotel Kabuki site in San Francisco. (The annual, invitation-only Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit will be held in the same venue on April 6-8.)

The Android Builders Summit is a technical summit for OEMs, device manufacturers, integrators, custom builders, and the Android and Linux kernel developer communities, says the Linux Foundation (LF). The Summit will "provide an intimate forum for collaboration at the systems level and discussion of core issues and opportunities when designing Android devices," says the non-profit Linux advocacy organization.

According to the LF, the event was created at the request of its members to facilitate collaboration at the systems level. Summit topics will include custom builds, alternative middleware, network functionality extensions, peer-to-peer frameworks, USB device support, and security, says the LF. In addition, presentations will cover unification of power management and tools, as well as hybrid Android devices.

Keynote presentations will be given by representatives from the Qualcomm Innovation Center, Motorola, and Acer, says the LF. Directly following the Summit, the LF will be hosting on-site Android training classes.

Let the healing begin?

The LF's decision to launch an Android summit appears to show its recognition that — despite its own hosted efforts such as MeeGo — Android is not only the driving force in the mobile Linux world, but arguably the most dynamic force in Linux overall. (A close runner up might be Red Hat and other enterprise Linux vendors, who continue to quietly carve out server turf for Linux at the expense of Microsoft Windows and Unix.)

Yet, the event may also be intended to patch up the sometimes-emotional rift regarding Google's lack of Android contributions to the Linux kernel. This has led to a widening fork between Android and mainstream Linux.

According to a December blog post by Gregory Kroah-Hartman (pictured), the Linux kernel maintainer who a year ago tried (and failed) to get Google's attention by announcing that he had deleted Google's Android driver code from the Linux kernel, not much has changed since then.

As Kroah-Hartman put it in December, "Google shows no sign of working to get their code upstream anymore." As a result, "Because Google doesn't have their code merged into the mainline, these companies creating drivers and platform code are locked out from ever contributing it back to the kernel community."

Stated Jim Zemlin, executive director at The Linux Foundation, "Linux is providing the foundation on which next-generation devices are being built, and Android is one of the most shining examples of how successful this model can be. We're pleased to facilitate collaboration among the Android's ecosystem participants and drive innovation at the systems level of the platform."


The Android Builders Summit will begin mid-day Wednesday, April 13 and continue for a full day on April 14 at the Hotel Kabuki in San Francisco, Calif. More information, registration, and submission forms for presentation ideas, may be found at the Android Builders Summit page.

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