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From "Noel J. Bergman" <n...@devtech.com>
Subject Proposal to create an Android-platform community nexus
Date Tue, 23 Feb 2010 23:21:48 GMT
Noel J. Bergman asked:

> > Would there be interest in a project to develop Android-based apps?

> > I know that it sounds like an umbrella, and perhaps it would be until we
> > developed some critical mass, but it would provide us with a place to
> > collaborate.

And here's my follow up on the discussion:

Luciano Resende replied:

> Sounds interesting...  do you have any more details ?

> Would this be just a place like a "Android App Labs" where people
> can come and suggest/start working on new apps ? or would this be
> something more specific with a smaller scope ?

I have in mind something like android-dev@incubator.apache.org, and acting
as a sort of umbrella/incubator for Android-based projects.  Very
intentionally an umbrella because we need to build critical mass on
developers familiar with the platform, itself, as well as on some projects.
Right now there is no good place anywhere on the Internet to build an
Android developer COMMUNITY.  Google Code is not community.  So this would
be like the early Jakarata, but as an incubator, not a permanent umbrella.
As projects grow sufficient to survive, or even have their own list(s), they
leave, and perhaps at some point, there won't be the need for android-dev@
at all.

Shane Isbell wrote:

> I've got Masa (Maven Plugins for Android) here:
>    http://code.google.com/p/masa/
> which has a pretty solid code-base, if anyone is interested.

Interested, yes, but that sounds like the kind of thing where we'd help you
make contact with Maven.

Karl Pauls wrote:

> Sounds interesting. We did quite some stuff with OSGi on Android
> (felix does support running on android).

Cool.  Would could link from our site to Felix, and provide examples, as
well as perhaps projects developed that way.  Right now I'd want to learn
more, as I'm sure would others, about your approach.

> What would be the focus (if any)?

My goal is to create an incubator for Android-based technology at the ASF,
not to be a permanent umbrella.  Right now we have a far number of scattered
individuals, and that's largely representative of the Android development
community as a whole.  This would be a chance to make the ASF a major focal
point of Android development.

Lee Fisher replied

> Two areas of emphasis that I'd think useful:

> 1) NDK-based: or APR, httpd, and other appropriate *-c projects, for
> unblocked devices and other Android-based platforms [so that] each
> developer doesn't have to do it with their own version of [a] C-based
> library.

Although I'm more focused on portable projects, myself, that seems
reasonable.

> putting httpd on current Android embeddded projects (BeagleBoard ones,
> Android-x86, etc) might seed future projects

Interesting thought, especially on non-phone platforms that are more
commonly rooted.

> 2) SDK-based: ports of *-java projects and ports of the Commons Java
> libs that're appropriate.

> There's already many snapshots of Apache java projects on GoogleCode
. that've started to address this, at least for many Java libs. It would
> be nice to have an Apache-based central source for these kinds of changes.

I totally agree, although I'd prefer to see our other projects owning the
release, and we're just a focal point for the platform.  I suppose it would
evolve as Android competence becomes more widespread, but for now I'd like
to see us BUILD that Android platform competency.  :-)

Rich Hall added:

> I think it'd be cool. I have been wanting to find the time (yeah, right)
> to do some Android programming...I'd love to replace their contact
> manager with a better one.

:-) I've my own list of pet projects, too.  I'd like to see most things be
pluggable/extendable.  And, for crying out loud, support BACKUP without a
fee-based third party program!

Christopher Brind said:

> I would probably be interested in most anything you can come up with :)
> but I suspect the project would need to be something more specific as a
> starter for the incubator?

I'm more focused at the moment with seeding community, and getting a bunch
of people together who want to work on the platform.

But this isn't a Labs project, IMO.  For one thing, I don't want it limited
to existing ASF Committers, and the volume of traffic I'd hope to see
discussing programming on the platform would be disruptive to ASF Labs.

Nick Kew added to Chris Brind's comment:

> +1 to that.

> What sets android apart from its peers to make it more deserving of
> apache's attention?  It's not even the most open of mobile platforms!

Android may not be perfect, but it feels very much like it will be the
"MS-Windows of Mobile Platforms", displacing Apple's SDK just as MS-Windows
displaced the Mac.

> Something I could be interested in is a lab for cross-platform
> mobile development.  But I don't have a proposal that would
> work as an apache project.

Like HTML5 and/or the widget framework that a number of vendors announced
that they want to develop/support?  Which leads us to:

Scott Wilson added:

> I think would be useful would be a W3C Widgets[1] & W3C DAP[2]
> implementation for Android to enable cross-platform standards-
> based mobile app development

> Apache Wookie(Incubating) already implements the Widgets spec
> so there is code there to build on.

Sounds fine.  Sylvain Wallez also likes this the widget approach:

> Big +1 [on W3C Widgets], particularly since Android has this concept
> of widgets that users can put on their home screen, but using an
> Android-specific API.  Implementing W3C widgets on top of this API
> would bring a wide range of new widgets to Android, and also give
> more exposure to W3C widgets.

I'd encourage discussion of hosting Wookie on Android.  Has there been any
work done on that so far?

So what do folks think?  I would like us to create this nexus point for
Android platform based development here at the ASF, helping to address the
problem of "a developer here, a developer there, but no critical mass for
growth."

We'd need a mailing list and SVN, and participation.  And we'll make sure
that it doesn't turn into Jakarta.  LOL

	--- Noel



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