What are the chances of a phone based developer image
paul.sokolovsky at linaro.org
Tue Aug 9 20:38:01 UTC 2011
We've recently had a Linaro Connect conference, and many developers
are still on the way from it, so more knowledgeable folks may add more
info later, and I'd like to highlight some points in the meantime.
On Thu, 04 Aug 2011 12:03:00 -0700
Taras Glek <tglek at mozilla.com> wrote:
> Recently we have been looking at how to squeeze more performance out
> of our toolchain for building Firefox on Android. Mike Hommey
> integrated GCC 4.6 into the android NDK and has been testing
> performance (with mixed results
> http://gcc.gnu.org/ml/gcc/2011-08/msg00096.html). I like how Linaro
> is doing regular arm benchmarking, ie
> https://wiki.linaro.org/Platform/Android/AndroidToolchainBenchmarking/2011-07 .
> Would you be interested in adding a Firefox-based benchmark? As a
> large application it is a good testbed for LTO, FDO and other
> aggressive optimizations.
That sounds like a great idea. Our validation team currently exactly
compiles list of tests which are useful to run as our validation and
benchmarking effort. We're still bootstrapping our continuous
integration system and working on "low-hanging fruit" (simple tests),
but for sure looking forward to add more elaborated testsuites,
especially for Android (which doesn't have much of variety). So, please
consider us among your users.
> We are also looking at setting a developer-friendly android ROM with
> oprofile, perf, systemtap, gdb, debug symbols, etc. It might even be
> beneficial for us to use newer kernels as we exlore options like
> kernel-assisted ld.so relocations, etc. That seems to similar to what
> Linaro provides in the evaluation ROMS.
We recently added busybox to our builds, as the default Android
environment indeed pretty limited. And I agree that it would be nice to
have more tools available. However, our aim at Linaro is to stay
sufficiently close to the upstream, and neither we currently have
resources to maintain "normal" and "developer" images.
One solution I personally see for this is breaking away from the "ROM"
outlook, and taking Android more as a normal Linux distribution. So,
anyone interested could easily rebuild Android with more packages
installed, or even better, have native package manager to install more
binary packages (something like opkg). That's forward-looking thinking
though, we unlikely get to it soon, but would be interested to see if
wider Android community has interest in that and help if we can.
> Is there any chance of Linaro
> providing developer-friendly "evaluation" ROMs for retail phones like
> the Nexus S?
Did you consider using a development board for development and
testing? That for sure is more comfortable and affordable solution for
sustainable development than a specific retail product (1). We at
Linaro exactly work on making high-quality base software (including
Android) available on low-cost devel boards, so different parties can
develop ARM software more easily and with higher quality. That's also
consistent with Linaro's aim of promoting ARM SoCs, not specific
products. So, at this time we don't have plans to support retail
devices, though that might change in the future.
That's also one area where community may kick in. On our side, we're
considering what support we can provide for such different efforts,
which may include providing code hosting, using our build system,
validation farm, etc.
(1) Though I for sure agree that it would be nice to have Linaro
supported and optimized build for some retail device. Except that I
happen not to have Nexus S, so would vote for supporting my tablet
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