Android and Linux

So I went to the BLU – Boston Linux User Group – meeting tonight. I hadn’t been in a long time, but the talk was by a guy (Greg Milette) writing actual Android apps that have sold in the app. Market, so I thought it might be fun. It certainly was interesting to hear about practical app. development, not just listening to the same folks bitching again about how Google might or might not have modified the kernel and other bits to provide their desired user experience. Greg demonstrated writing an app, building, and testing, it, and I certainly got the feeling that my intention to have a small app that updates my GPS location on a server periodically (in order to allow me to have my Asterisk and IRC servers automatically route calls/set me away, etc.) would not be too tricky to pull off in a reasonable amount of time. I upgraded my Nexus One to CyanogenMod 6.0 recently and think I’ll find some time to play sometime.

Linux User Groups used to be very hard core affairs, where you’d have some pretty meaty stuff. These days, I generally avoid them because they’re catering to a different audience – not a wrong audience, but just not my cup of coffee. These days it’s often about pretty GUI stuff I don’t care about, and very “high level” discussion. And everyone has a laptop or netbook open and is reading email rather than paying attention. Tonight wasn’t too bad, although there was a guy in front who had discovered a “cow” application that could be run on the command line and would display a picture of a cow with a speech bubble full of whatever text he passed to it. That guy sat there for about 20 minutes (at least) playing with this, typing in various text, laughing to himself, and reminding me why I stopped going to LUGs at least 5 years ago (or maybe that was when he was on YouTube and found a video of dancing cows to complete the theme for his evening). Of course, all of this was on a laptop running Ubuntu. As was everyone else. Nobody there was running anything other than Ubuntu. Not a Fedora in sight. I have opinions on pragmatism that I believe explain precisely why nobody was running Fedora, but nobody is interested in hearing those anyway.


4 Responses to “Android and Linux”

  1. foo says:

    I am interested in those thoughts about Fedora/Ubuntu. Please post a blog entry.

  2. DDevine says:

    I do worry that one day my LUG (technically a Unix group actually) could turn into what you describe… a cloud of Ubuntu desktops surfing the web. A development/innovation-free zone.

    Was there *really* nobody there on the same level as you? I haven’t been to a different LUG besides my local one but yours according to your description just seems *really* unnatural. The website seems to indicate that they are a reasonably diverse and active bunch.

    My LUG attempts to be somewhat formal and structured however what it really comes down to is an excuse to meet socially every fortnight. Only half the normal crowd is near my technical level (and some well above!) but there are a few people below our level who despite running boring Ubuntu desktops still attempt to do some interesting things using Open Source.

    Some people there also recognise the value of Linux and Open Source and use it — but their main hobbies and priorities lay elsewhere… Good on them, right? Its better to have them involved in the LUG than not.

    Sometimes a few of the local Red Hat employees come to the LUG (though they are generally on IRC and mailing lists) but for the most part I am the sole Fedora user. The Debian crowd are usually pretty easy to get along with and the occasional Gentoo/Slackware/Arch/FreeBSD guy is interesting.

  3. Andrew Duggan says:

    I have opinions on pragmatism that I believe explain precisely why nobody was running Fedora, but nobody is interested in hearing those anyway.

    True enough I am a nobody, but then I guess that’s why I actually would be interested in those reasons. Been a user of RHL since RHL 6, and so 7,8,9 skipped FC1, but have had every other release since then (through F13). I know why I use Fedora, but lately it is easier to tell others to run Ubuntu. Personally I think there is a lot that RH/Fedora could learn from some of its own flame wars on everything from ABRT to the stable updates policy, to EMEA to …

    BTW, do love your LKML Podcasts.

  4. Its not a real Linux User Group unless you’re at Pizza Hut and then end up attaching helium balloons to slices of cucumber from the salad bar and watch them float over the town square.

Leave a Reply