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19 February 2013, 14:21

Tizen 2.0 SDK comes in "Magnolia"

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Tizen logo The Tizen project has now released Tizen 2.0, source code and SDK, in what it describes as a "major milestone". The Tizen 2.0 update includes an enhanced web framework with many of the latest W3C/HTML5 APIs supported, a Web UI framework with fullscreen and multi-window support, and extra APIs for Bluetooth and NFC devices and access to calendars, call history and messaging.

Tizen came into existence after Nokia abandoned MeeGo development. Intel and the Linux Foundation, seeking a new partner to develop a mobile Linux platform, joined with Samsung and created Tizen, based on the Samsung Linux Platform, a Limo-based distribution. The Limo Foundation then became the Tizen Association and went on to release Tizen 1.0 in May 2012.

There has, though, been a distinct lack of Tizen devices, save for a non-phone developer device given away with Tizen 1.0. With Mobile World Congress later this month, the Tizen 2.0 release could presage the appearance of official Tizen-based devices. Earlier this year, Samsung responded to reports of its plans to release Tizen devices saying that it "plan[s] to release new, competitive Tizen devices within this year".

Behind the scenes of Tizen 2.0, a new Web Runtime framework adds a number of configuration elements so that features and privileges can be controlled. Although Tizen is known for its focus on HTML5-based applications, the platform now has a Native framework with support for background applications, IP push and Text-To-Speech. For developers, the SDK's Web IDE now uses a Chrome-based JavaScript inspector and log viewer as part of its WYSIWYG development environment. The native IDE also offers a WYSIWYG environment, with added project wizard, unit test tool and analyser.

Full details can be found in the SDK release notes. The SDK can be downloaded to run on 32- or 64-bit Ubuntu, Windows 7 or Mac OS X on Intel. The next release, Tizen 2.1, is scheduled as a minor release at some point in the second quarter of this year; it will include account management, an application installing service, performance optimisation, livebox support, and "a security enhancement". The Tizen Developer Conference will be held in San Francisco from 22 to 24 May.

Licensing for Tizen is somewhat complicated: for example, the SDK contains many open source componentsPDF but the entire SDK is under a non-open-source licence. Also, while numerous open source components make up the operating system itself, components such as the boot animation, task manager, calendar and music player are under the Flora Licence, Tizen's own licence which, although similar to an Apache licence, only grants patents to Tizen Certified Platforms that pass the Tizen Association's compatibility test. As a licence, it would be unlikely to get Open Source Initiative approval.

(djwm)



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