The Sony Open Devices Project (“SODP”) is very unique. We strive to create as much open-source components as possible. As opposed to other vendors - who turn a blind eye but could shut down custom ROM projects any time - the work happens with full legal backing from Sony Mobile.
In regognition of my contributions, Sony named me "Hero Open Source Developer" in 2019.Build and Project Work
I contribute to the Google-led Android Open Source Project (AOSP), OmniROM, LineageOS and many more. It's pretty fun to type your email into GitHub search and see how many hundreds of projects all have your changes.
If you have a device running Android 10 or higher, you already have some of my changes inside!AOSP Gerrit:
It can take months and tens of revisions to get a change accepted into AOSP. But it is quite rewarding to have your code running on potentially billions of devices!
I try to document as much of our work as possible so that we have a working form of knowledge management.
There is a Documentation section with more in-depth articles but also some references like an overview of all currently supported devices, and a Developer Diary section where smaller and day-to-day findings are noted down.Sample selection
One big issue is handling confidential information. Before any post goes public, it has to be cleared with the people whose work is mentioned, and anything touching non-public information and closed-source components has to have Sony eyes on it before release.
Project Treble is an initiative to allow vendors to more easily keep their devices updated with the latest Android versions, and thus keep their users secure. The device maker provides low-level interfaces from which the Android "system" can run, sort of like a container ship accepting any spec-conforming container. For more information, see this ArsTechnica article.
Thanks to my contributions, SODP devices can run GSIs flawlessly, and my Treble builds allowed for running Android Q on the Xperia XZ on the day the first public GSI of Android Q was released.Sample commits
Part of the success of a great open source project is reaching new users and contributors. For that purpose, and because the official Sony pages tended not to be very inviting or were out of date, I set up a community page to encourage people to learn more about Open Devices. It acts as a central landing page for all people interested in the project and motivates them to actively participate.
The site is available at Open Devices Community Page and offers visitors the opportunity to discover builds for their devices, helps and encourages them to build AOSP for themselves and join the project, links to sister projects and guides people throughout the whole SODP ecosystem.Key points of interest:
It was a lot of hard work figuring out the byzantine structure of the Sailfish project, but I managed to develop a working port for the Xperia XZ. The build system is not really aimed at hobbyists, but rather at vendors.
Instructions at sx.ix5.org: SailfishOS Installation on Xperia XZ.
Version: 188.8.131.52, using AOSP 8.1 and Kernel 4.4 as a base.
RIL, mobile data, bluetooth, sound, camera, sensors, video acceleration - all working.
Broadly speaking, SELinux policy is a mechanism to describe what programs are to be allowed which sets of actions. It helps make a lot of vulnerabilities less exploitable, but a bit of work is involved to observe and decide which actions are really necessary.
I got the SODP sepolicy ready for Android Pie, and subsequently Android 10. There were some dirty hacks and lots of mistakes in the process, but it is in a good state now.
Available at sx.ix5.org/foresail.
An effort to improve the horrendous documentation available for SailfishOS builders. Tries to cover Sailfish, mer, mer-hybris, halium, Android parts, Sailfish build tools and more.
Using a customized sphinx theme that resembles the "Just the Docs" jekyll theme.
Various commits. I've used marina-bay as an organization to gather repos for a quick Xperia XZ SailfishOS port.
I've dabbled with Halium and Ubuntu Touch, but sadly they're based on ancient Android versions which we do not support any more.
For testing, I built and distributed unofficial LineageOS test builds.
I've used afstamming as an organization to gather repos for an Xperia XZ LineageOS port.
At SODP we try not to maintain forks of upstream repositories, we rather use a script to patch them. This saves resoures (less time wasted with merges) and explicitly helps keep track of what we've patched.
I made the script more accessible to newcomers and contributed a patch to allow developers to work fully offline, re-using downloaded data.
Lots of times, you need to write glue code to bridge layers of abstractions. I wrote a health HAL that reports battery and storage status to the higher layers in a HIDL-standardized way over the binder protocol.
With persistent storage for battery wear, measured in cycles and drop in capacity.
Saves bandwidth and storage by only having to create one build for both single- and dual-SIM devices.
Download and discussion at the Dual-SIM information page.
Big thanks to @oshmoun for the regex crafting!
Commits that fix compatibility with newer revisions of Android.Android 10 bringup
These don't fit in anywhere else:
All pull requests by me: author:ix5.
Credits to the AROMA creator and @korom42 for creating the base Stock Light ROM Patch.
Available for Xperia XZ on .184 and .192 stock firmware.