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Feb 4, 2008 1:49am
Img_missing_medium whaleforest 7 posts

i know BUGbase use Linux,and Android is Linux too?

so,can i run Android on the BUGbase?so Bugbase is a Android PDA. :shock:

Feb 4, 2008 11:05am
Medium Bug Labs team kschultz 107 posts


A lot of people have been asking that question (including myself). The hardware for both is based on the ARM architecture, and both are based on the Linux kernel, so putting Android on the BUG will be a lot easier than hacking a propriety phone. One thing I know about the free software community, is that if enough people want something badly it gets done. A lot of people are going to want to run Android on the BUG, so I bet as soon as the BUG gets out there, people are going to do it, hopefully they will come back to the forums and post how-tos. I am sure it will be done, but I don’t see any advantage that would drive me to do it right away.

There are a few snags:
1) The BUG will not have a cell phone antenna at launch, so at first calls and texts would not work out, but PDA style apps would
2) We are using Java PhoneME Advanced, Android is Java SE so they have different .jars, so an Android app wouldn’t drop right into the BUG without either some recoding to use the PhoneME libraries, or dragging the missing .jars in which would make it heavy.
3) I think Google reinvented the wheel on GUIs for Android, I’m not sure, but they don’t seem to use AWT, SWT, Swing, GTK+, or Qt. I’m not really sure on that since I have only made really simple apps with Android, but that will be an issue.
3) The OSGi stuff. One of the coolest thing about the BUG is that it takes care of all the module interfaces for you. Your program needs a GPS, so it needs the IPositionProvider interface. That service can be provided by the GPS module, by a GPS emulator, maybe someday a software GPS based on cell phone towers will be made using a cell module, or someday the GPS will get put on a module with something else to save space, but to your program it doesn’t matter, the OSGi takes care of all of this behind the scenes. To you the application writer, all you need to do is ask for a IPositionProvider. That is a fundamental part of how we approach designing stuff. At first one module will be providing each service so it is simple, but down the line as there are many modules and more versions of the BUGbase, how do you handle all the different providers of services? How about the different versions of the base? All of this is handled by the BUG stack in a way that Android would never have to because it is the same phone from day 1 until the day you throw it out. If you leave the BUG stack, you lose all of this infrastructure the guys here created to simplify all the way down to "getService(IPositionProvider)" when you are writing a GPS app.

So you could get the BUG, and put the Android stack on it rather than the Bug Labs stack of software, it shouldn’t be too difficult, you would miss some functionality at first, but that will get fixed over time.

However , you won’t get the cool OSGi stuff to handle modules getting put in and taken out like our stack handles because Android isn’t designed for a changing device. I guess if the Android community has a lot of apps you wanted to bring in, that would make it worth it. But I think our community is going to be making a lot of interesting apps because they have access to hardware like the motion detector and that an Android phone never will. Run of the mill PDA apps are needed on both, but if its a choice between that sweet contact list on Android or the ho-hum contact list that someone made for BUG, I would rather just refactor the Android one than throw out the BUG stack and lose all the server tracker stuff, open source licenses in action!

In the end who knows what will happen, as soon as the hardware gets out there and the community can start hacking with them, it will evolve in ways we can’t predict. Android will probably change over time, as far as I can tell they are much further away from launching hardware for it than we are. So people are going to be hacking it to go on on locked phones, that is a lot more difficult than getting it onto an open source device like the BUG. I hope that ultimately the two will get closer together so its not a BUG stack OR Android stack, but that the two are interchangeable. There will be BUG apps that can’t run on Android phones, but if all the core PDA and cell phone apps of Android could run on BUG, that would be cool. It kind of reminds me the freedesktop.org stuff where they are trying to unify KDE and GNOME and all the others to be compatible, that is how many years after they started? Android and OpenMoko and BUG are the harbringers of the opening up of consumer electronics, who knows what will happen as things evolve, and that is the really cool part of open source.

So in the end I guess my answer is, I have no idea, but technically it is possible so Android will likely run on the BUG base in the future but no one has tried it out yet.

Feb 7, 2008 1:48pm
Medium Bug Labs team kgilmer 215 posts

Couldn’t have said it better myself Kevin…good post. In summary the BUGbase as a hardware platform should in theory support the Andriod OS. The notion of modular hardware and services, to my (limited) knowledge does not play into the Andriod platform, and as such that type of functionality would not be available via an Andriod’ed BUG.

Feb 9, 2008 9:21am
Img_missing_medium whaleforest 7 posts

Thank you,Kevin! :lol:
and thank you too,Ken. :wink:

I will waiting for my own BUG anyway,then i will try it out…

Feb 12, 2008 8:30pm
Img_missing_medium bayswim 2 posts

Thanks for the explanation. What about a way of virtualizing the Andriod "machine" within the Bug?

Feb 13, 2008 9:54am
Medium Bug Labs team kgilmer 215 posts

Hi Bayswim,

That may be possible. Resources may be an issue and I’m not aware of any ARM-based virtualization software. Another suitable approach may be to just run the Dalvik (?) VM and class libraries alongside of PhoneME.

Feb 20, 2008 1:29pm
Medium Bug Labs team kschultz 107 posts

Here is an interesting article about OSGi vs Android:


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That may be possible. Resources may be an issue and I’m not aware of any ARM-based
virtualization software. Another suitable approach may be to just run
the Dalvik (?) VM and class libraries alongside of PhoneME.









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