Reply to post: Re: A new OS from Google

Google's Fuchsia OS Flutters into view: We're just trying out some new concepts, claims exec

doublelayer Silver badge

Re: A new OS from Google

Of course there is. I have to write a C compiler that's capable of handling every aspect of modern C because somewhere in its massive codebase, Google has definitely used all the things you never think about, oh and also I'll need a C++ compiler too while I'm at it. I also have to write a compiler for dart, go, and rust. However, I'm not worried that they're really compromising the toolchain. I don't actually need the compiled to differ from the source to be worried (though I think it will happen).

First, there will be a bunch of blobs that need to be added to the kernel to get it to do anything. Any or all of these might harbor any malicious functionality, just like now. There is not a good way to avoid that. I'm sure critical functionality will not be available in the open components, and Google will have nicely built all of that in a closed-source component. After a few years, someone will build an open source replacement for it that kind of works a little bit on some apps but you'll have to compile it yourself, root the device, and do some assorted hacking to actually replace it and also it will break a lot. In addition, without the requirement from GPL to release any changes as open source, manufacturers and mobile providers are free to do the same thing to the kernel that they have been doing to the layers above it. Can I say no thanks?

I don't think Fuchsia will be much worse than Android in the sense that consumer devices will contain a similar amount of spyware and irritating or potentially unwanted bits, it will be difficult to impossible to remove or even disable them depending on device model, and very few people would even try. However, given the choice, I would see Android as much better because we already have years of experience getting around some of this. We have Lineage OS, which, for all its flaws and limited device support, is a trustworthy OS that can actually run on a relatively large assortment of devices. At best, Fuchsia means a return to square one to do all this again. But it could be far, far worse.

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