The latest kernel update for Linux has been released, and features supporting Android are back for the first time since 2010, along with improved processor and networking support. "For a long time, code from the Android project has not been merged back to the Linux repositories due to disagreement between developers from both …
Also from the release notes:
1.10. EFI boot support
This release introduces an EFI boot stub that allows an x86 bzImage to be loaded and executed directly by EFI firmware. The bzImage appears to the firmware as an EFI application. Both BIOS and EFI boot loaders can still load and run the same bzImage, thereby allowing a single kernel image to work in any boot environment.
The one bit of Android which is GPLv2 is the kernel. Therefore they will be compelled to release the source code for that in a timely fashion. It might not mean they release the source code for the rest of the system to go with it but the kernel should be safe.
They always knew that maintaining this fork would be time consuming and expensive, as useful and relevant work done in one fork would have to be ported to the other. There were quality issues preventing Android code getting into the mainstream, and probably adaptability issues preventing the mainstream being able to integrate Android both of which had to be fixed to the satisfaction of all.
In practice it's through temporary forking like this one that major advances otherwise disruptive of production code become possible. That's how the kernel development model generally works, its just that the Android fork probably had to be more disruptive than most other developments. I'm very much looking forward to the improvements in the Android development environment which this will undoubtedly make possible.
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