MERA Expert Revealed Why Google Really Needs Project Treble

November 23-25 — Novosibirsk, Russia — Fedor Tcymbal, Technical manager at MERA, attended a GDG DevFest Siberia where he presented on Project Treble. The event gathered 900+ attendees, including 40+ speakers from Europe, Asia, and the Americas. The conference program covered the hottest trends of the IT industry: Mobile, Frontend and Backend development, Machine Learning and Data Science, Blockchain for developers.

Fedor Tcymbal has a four-year experience in building software for new Android devices. Working as a software architect at MERA, Fedor acquired first-hand experience with Project Treble — Android OS re-achitecture that came in Android 8.0 Oreo. Having delved into the subject, Fedor shared his theory on why Google needed Project Treble in the first place.

Obviously, the technology was created to reduce the fragmentation of the ecosystem to different versions. This architectural bug had existed since the launch of the OS and significantly complicated the update process. According to Fedor, Google had to fundamentally change the Android architecture to fix the bug. Hence, Project Treble was designed as an extensive and expensive solution to the issue. This is a perfect illustration of how troublesome the technical debt could be.

In his talk, Fedor described the key components of Project Treble and speculated on their intended use. His presentation covered the following aspects:

  • What's the difference between Binderazed and Passthrough HALs;
  • Why Hardware Interface Definition Language had to be invented;
  • How the partitions on a USB flash drive for Android devices should look like;
  • How Device and Framework use Vendor Interface Object to check their compatibility.

Fedor had previously revealed the pros and cons of Project Treble from a device vendor perspective in his presentation at Open Source Summit in Vancouver. See the slides here.

For reference

GDG DevFests are developer events hosted by local Google Developer Group communities around the world. The total of 500 GDG events was held from August 1 till November 30 in 2018. In October, a GDG DevFest took place in Nizhny Novgorod where MERA’s major R&D center is located. In November 23-25, a GDG DevFest was held in Novosibirsk, the third-largest city in Russia and the first in Siberia.




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