Remember Fuchsia OS? It seems like every time we stumble upon an exciting new development regarding the mysterious open-source OS we have to dust it off from obscurity. That's just the nature of early development stage software, plus things are actually looking up on the exposure and availability side of things.
After sharing a few tasty details about its side-project at the last I/O event, Google has now quietly launched a developer portal for Fuchsia OS. And to re-iterate the answer to everybody's pressing question before the comment section gets flooded again - NO, it is not coming to push Android or Chrome to the side any day now. Google has been pretty clear about its intentions for Fuchsia in the near future:
We’re looking at what a new take on an operating system could be like. And so I know out there people are getting pretty excited saying, ‘Oh this is the new Android,’ or, ‘This is the new Chrome OS … Fuchsia is really not about that. Fuchsia is about just pushing the state of the art in terms of operating systems and things that we learn from Fuchsia we can incorporate into other products.
With that out of the way, there is still a lot to be excited about. It's definitely not every day that a fresh new OS springs into existence. Especially not one supported by Google development effort. And the key bit here is that Fuchsia really is an entirely new OS. Unlike Android and many other similar systems it isn’t based on a Linux kernel, but rather a microkernel called "Zircon". The OS is really scalable, suitable for use on embedded systems, smartphones, tablets, as well as PCs. It’s UI is written using Flutter, with apps based on Dart, offering high performance and impressive graphical fluidity. Flutter can successfully attain smooth UI performance at 120 fps and also includes a Vulkan-based rendering engine called Etcher.
If that's enough to get you excited, it has never been easier to dip your toes into Fuchsia. All the sources and pre-build binaries, as well as step by step set-up guides are now available over at fuchsia.dev. The site appears to borrow heavily from other Google developer hubs, like the Android portal, making the documentation very well organised and easy to search. There's even an ASCII-art cow to play around with in the terminal right off the bat.