Recent News

There have been some interesting bits of news, in the Android space, over the last couple days.

First of all, the long-rumored Amazon Android Appstore stumbled into existence as it appeared, disappeared and then, finally, re-appeared.  The fact that Amazon is calling it an “Appstore” and not an “App Store” is, apparently, insufficient distinction to placate Apple.  They are suing.

Microsoft is also suing.  They’re suing Barnes and Noble over its Android-based Nook.  Probably more interesting than a forum of patent trolls from Redmond, Linus Torvalds is not interested in suing.  Towards the end of this article he expresses his dis-interest in concerns that Android’s Bionic library may violate the GPL.

Saving the best for last, there’s a really smart article from Andreas Constantinou on how to harness the Android explosion.

“Master” building on Ubuntu and Mac

Yesterday I got the “master” branch of Android to build on both an Ubuntu 10.10 and on Snow Leopard.  I don’t know if I can build Froyo and earlier, on either.  Apparently it depends on Java 5.  It’s a low priority experiment, anyway.

The Ubuntu build was completely straight-forward, once I installed the 64-bit OS.  To my surprise, I was able to install all of the apps I normally use, including Skype!  Linux gets better and better, every time I look at it.  I frequently find myself repeating the ancient incantations that used to be necessary to get things working (/etc/init.d/smb restart), only to find that they’ve been replaced by perfectly civilized and functional UIs.

I still haven’t figured out how to drag windows between workspaces.

The Snow Leopard build was only slightly more complicated: it failed on a device out of space error.  The Google Doc says that 8G is sufficient.  Maybe back when the docs were written.  The full build occupies 10G of the 13G case-sensitive disk image I built for it.

Today is for studying AIDL

Building Android

The big task for this week is building Android from scratch.  The Google docs imply that it is now possible to build it on a Mac, although I’ve not had any luck so far.  Make fails with:

target Java: core (out/target/common/obj/JAVA_LIBRARIES/core_intermediates/classes)
libcore/luni/src/main/java/org/apache/harmony/luni/internal/net/www/protocol/http/ cannot find symbol
symbol  : class Msglocation: package org.apache.harmony.luni.util
import org.apache.harmony.luni.util.Msg;

The machine on which I used to do builds — an Ubuntu 10.10 install — no longer works, either.  Apparently Android will no longer compile on a 32-bit install.  Also, apparently, there’s no simple upgrade path from a 32-bit install to a 64-bit install.