While it’s never been officially called a replacement for Android or Chrome OS, Fuchsia is an operating system Google has been working on for the last five years, and this week, Google announced that now it’s opening up Fuchsia to public contributions.
In a post on the Google Open Source Blog, Fuchsia developer advocate Wayne Piekarski outlined Google’s plan to support and expand Fuchsia’s open-source model to help make it easier for members of the public to follow and contribute to Fuchsia’s development.
Google has started by creating new mailing lists to help keep people informed about upcoming changes, while also opening up the issue tracker for public submissions. Additionally, for any experienced developers, Google has also created a system for applying to become a member, allowing people to submit patches, add commits, or even gain full write access privileges. And as an asset to help provide insight on where Fuchsia is headed, Google has also released a technical roadmap for the project.
Finally, while Google says Fuchsia is still not ready for use in general product development, the OS is able to be compiled and tested and will even work on some x64-based hardware (with a limited feature set) or virtually using the Fuchsia emulator.
The big deal for Fuchsia is that is has been developed from the ground up to run on a huge variety of devices, including everything from small IoT gadgets to smartphones and laptops. Previously, Fuchsia was only listed as an “experiment” which meant some developers may have approached the OS with some trepidation. However earlier this year, Google updated Fuchsia’s website saying that the OS is slated for eventual release on retail devices.
So even though we’re still relatively far away from Fuchsia being the new flagship OS for Google devices (and possible third-party gadgets as well), it’s nice to at least see Fuchsia make progress towards becoming a full-fledged new platform.