Three great items out of Collabora, bridging the Linux/Android rifts, and one surprise bomb from Ximian that makes the new Android just like the old one, except, you know, different. It's like a new flavor, but they taste the same.

PulseAudio on Android: II by +Arun Raghavan details replacing Android's stock custom built sound compositor/manager AudioFlinger with the Linux stock one PulseAudio. Arun also has a bit of a reveal, connecting the dots on what Collabora is up to across their numerous projects: Some of you might’ve noticed that there has been a bunch of work happening here at Collabora on making cool open source technologies such as GStreamer, Telepathy, Wayland and of course, PulseAudio available on Android.

First light from Weston on Android by Pekka Paalanen details the beginnings of... well... it's hard to guess what. The work entails porting the Wayland display manager to run on what I'd guess would be Android's Skia graphics stack, via a new backend for Wayland's video compositor/manager Weston: host Wayland on Android. At present this entails killing SurfaceFlinger, Android's own video compositor/manager, but that limitation might pass.

Androgenizer - porting libtoolized software to android, the easy way by Derek Foreman details the third Collabora effort, Androgenizer - A tool for automatically generating files. Android has it's own make system, and this allows the commonly used Linux autotools to emit makefiles that will allow the NDK to build, as per how autotools has defined it ought.

Android on C# is a Ximian initiative to use Sharpen and elbow grease to port Android from Java to Mono. Frankly I'm just a tiny bit surprised IKVM didn't show it's head in this debate, but given that this is definitely riffing at least a little off of Oracle v. Google and the warring over the Dalvik virtual machine, it's sensible that Mono would port the code and not monkeypatch-bridge runtimes. At present they're calling it an experiment, not a product, but they do tease that they'll be working to improve the graphics stack interop performance (with the native library Skia native to Android). Oh, they show a bench too, but it's for structs and generics, which I'd claim as zero JVM's super strong points. So goes. I'm sure it actually runs quite performantly on other workloads too. :)

It's hard to know what to make of Android: it uses the Linux kernel but it ignored the Linux Desktop heritage, the stack, the toolchains that were common at it's inception. Freedom from having to be a single player in a multiplayer environment was certainly good, freedom to evolve & do new things a good adventure, but as this weeks news shows there's a lot of people very interested in trying to realign these bifurcated stacks into something more consistent and cross-targetable.
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