First things first: I’m not a programmer. I design and build websites for a living. Coding with CSS, PHP, and HTML for most of the day doesn’t really put me into software or hardware development territory, so I’m a bit outside my depth with Git Repositories, commits and so forth.
We here at Chrome Unboxed have spent considerable time looking these repositories in order to find tidbits and facts about upcoming devices. We wanted to share what we’ve learned here so you, our readers, can be ‘in the know’ as we continue posting these types of articles.
To start, Chrome OS is continually developed in an open-source manner as Chromium OS. Chrome OS is tailored to each system it runs on and Chromium OS is the open-source code and OS that is the basis for Chrome OS. While Chrome OS is not open-source, Chromium OS is and the development of it happens right out in the open.
What does this means for us? That all the testing and work that has to be done to get Chromium OS onto a device as Chrome OS is available for us to view if we can only decipher it.
Development of Chromium OS happens mainly via Git. According to Git, it is:
Git is a free and open source distributed version control system designed to handle everything from small to very large projects with speed and efficiency.
In Git, there are repositories where specific code is kept, reviewed, and changed on an ongoing basis. These record changes to the codebase are known as ‘commits.’ You can read all about Git Repositories here.
Chromium.org contains a running, chat-style view of these repositories and commits at the Chromium Code Review that you can see here. While not everyone can write to these repositories, it is open-source, so technically anyone is allowed after going through some steps to show they have the stuff to be a committer.
Commits occur, in large part, as committers add, change or cherry-pick code they need for Chromium OS to run well on specific hardware. So as testing phases move forward and differing internal hardware is tested, they make adjustments to get everything running smoothly on a particular device.
What this means is there are thousands of threads running all the time. Each device has within it a unique motherboard, speakers, keyboard, trackpad, screen, etc. All of these pieces have to be tested and adjusted for each Chrome OS device that makes it to market.
It’s a lot of code and a lot of work. Nevermind all the commits that are done for the core parts of Chromium OS, regardless of device. At mostly 6-week intervals we see updates to all the channels of Chromium OS and Chrome OS. All that developement is happening via the channels mentioned above.
Again, it’s a lot of code.
Honestly, we (meaning Gabriel, mostly) spend a lot of time reading through code and language we don’t fully understand just to get enough info to make some logical conclusions about unreleased devices. It is time-draining work and can be maddening from time to time. But we love doing it.
We love doing it because we love getting to share tidbits of info with our readers. We love knowing what is coming. We love seeing cool stuff coming down the road for Chrome OS.
Stick around. There’s a lot of it.