Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Giving Back to the OSS Community

Before I go into the topic of my post, lemme start with some background.

In the beginning, I was randomly searching the interwebs to try and find a source for a Linux kernel that would boot on my Wing. After a long while, I stumbled across the Linwizard project, whose kernel release booted without modification on my phone. Yay! Being the hacker that I am, I decided to grab the code to their kernel and see what things I could get it to do for me.

Two or three months later, I notice a thread on the XDA Developers forum about porting Google's Android to the Wing. Thus, the Wing Linux project was started.

Fast forward about 6 months from that, and we have Android running on our phones, with all kinds of peripheral goodies working for us -- touchscreen, keyboard, buttons, GSM. All through our own custom modifications of the kernel originally taken from Linwizard.

Being that we're an open-source project, I'd always had the intention of contributing our changes back to the Linwizard project, which brings me to our topic. Today marks the completion of the two or three-day process of merging our changes back into their project. With this merge, both projects benefit -- they benefit by having fixes we made added to their work, allowing the HTC Wizard to more fully function in Linux. They also have a much easier path to running Android on the Wizard. We benefit by having access to the very latest changes their project has introduced -- among them, GSM with sound and soon, full audio support.

In addition to all this, our patches, combined with their work, are being sent upstream to the main Linux kernel for inclusion in future released kernels. This means some day it will be possible to pull a kernel off of and build it for the Wing/Herald, Wizard, etc. instead of having to go scouring the internet trying to find a project working on it.

So all in all, this is a huge win for everyone, and I'd like to thank all that were involved in making this happen. Without you, we wouldn't be where we are today.

1 comment:

  1. All I can say is, YAY!

    As muchas I'm CRAVING to grab a part of the action. Usually I consider myself unworthy of kernel hackery, but for this I'll make an exception! :P

    Srsly, I really wanna help you guys. I just don't know how!

    Kernel Jag