Fuchsia Friday: The thriller of Dragonglass in Android, Chromium, and Fuchsia

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Fuchsia Friday: The thriller of Dragonglass in Android, Chromium, and Fuchsia

Earlier this week, we reported that virtually the whole lot we’ve seen about Fuchsia is now gone, because the “Armadillo” UI has been deleted. As a substitute, we solely have references to what appear, in context, to be three different “shells” or person interfaces that are all stored closed-source by Google. Nonetheless, certainly one of these, “Dragonglass,” might supply extra solutions than we initially thought.

This week, after we shared the three codenames that we consider are related to closed-source person shells for Fuchsia — Dugonglass, Dragonglass, and Flamingo — a tipster reached out to remind us that this isn’t the primary time we’ve come throughout the “Dragonglass” codename.

Dragonglass within the Google app

Again in June, our Abner and Dylan labored up an APK Perception for Google app model 8.6. Inside this model, they discovered a handful of alternate strings labeled “dragonglass” and “non_dragonglass”. Right here’s an instance snippet in each “non_dragonglass” and “dragonglass” kinds.

”Voice Match has been arrange.

Now you possibly can activate private outcomes to make use of your voice to entry your calendar, contacts, reminders and extra on this gadget.

You’ll be able to flip off private ends in Assistant settings.”

”Voice Match has been arrange.

Now you possibly can activate private outcomes to make use of your voice to entry your calendar, contacts, reminders and extra on this gadget.

Private outcomes, plus customized YouTube suggestions, can even seem – with out you having to ask for them – on the Residence display screen and as notifications. Be aware that curious bystanders can even faucet and act on these outcomes.

You’ll be able to flip off private ends in Assistant settings.”

With the addition of YouTube suggestions and the potential of “curious bystanders,” it appears apparent that this was in preparation for the primary Assistant good show to reach a couple of month later. To initially examine this assumption, we arrange Voice Match on the Google Residence Hub and verified that we acquired the proper textual content.

Dragonglass Android Assistant Voice Match

To know for positive precisely what issues the Google app does and doesn’t take into account Dragonglass, we decompiled the app and tracked down when the Dragonglass strings are used. The operate beneath is used as the only decider to what’s a Dragonglass gadget. We’ve renamed some issues to make it simpler to learn.

Dragonglass Android Voice Match

To simplify: if a tool calls itself a sensible show, or if an Assistant gadget can have a number of customers and has a show, then it’s Dragonglass. This could imply that every one of immediately’s Assistant good shows are Dragonglass gadgets, in keeping with the Google App.

Dragonglass in Fuchsia and Chromium

With this new context that the codename “Dragonglass” is tied on to good shows, let’s go to what we learn about Dragonglass because it pertains to Fuchsia. Dragonglass has been referred to in feedback on public Fuchsia code modifications solely 4 instances, which doesn’t give us an excessive amount of to work with.

On one code change involving switching the phrases “person shell” to “session shell”, we see a Fuchsia staff member ask if Dragonglass has been examined with the numerous modifications.

In one other change (that ended up being deserted), a Googler casually contains Dragonglass in a listing of three gadgets, certainly one of which, “Ermine”, we all know to be a “session shell”, and Armadillo’s momentary substitute. This suggests that Dragonglass can also be a “session shell” for Fuchsia.

Most just lately, Dragonglass has been known as one thing that may be compiled as a separate piece of software program, and might be run on Estelle (certainly one of two codenames for the Google Residence Hub).

[…] now that I’ve a totally compiled dragonglass binary from google3, we will deploy it on an actual gadget, Estelle, and take a look at if it comes up. I anticipate that to occur after we get again from the vacations.

My present concept is that Dragonglass is the identify of Google’s good show UI on all platforms. That is supported by a remark in Chromium, the place a developer makes use of the phrase “Dragonglass UI” in reference to a Chromecast change.

One UI, Three Platforms

What isn’t clear but is how Dragonglass is constructed. Proper now, we all know that almost all of immediately’s good shows run on Android Issues, whereas the Residence Hub as an alternative runs on the Google Forged platform. Throw Fuchsia into the combo and now we have three very completely different platforms that appear to be operating the identical utility / person interface.

In some way Google has constructed this one Dragonglass utility to run appropriately on all three platforms. That is no easy activity, as Fuchsia, not being constructed on Linux, is very completely different from the opposite two platforms. Additionally, because it ought to look the identical, it’s very doable that Google may probably swap one model of Dragonglass (say the Google Forged model on the Residence Hub) with the Fuchsia model with little-to-no noticeable distinction on the floor.

That is, in fact, unprecedented and isn’t Google’s almost definitely transfer, however it’s enjoyable meals for thought.

Because of JEB Decompiler, used above, which some APK Perception teardowns additionally profit from.

Dylan contributed to this text.

Fuchsia Friday is an irregular collection the place we dive into the Fuchsia supply code and interpret what the present state of the OS would possibly imply for the completed product. All data on this article is theory based mostly on out there data and is topic to vary.

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