Perth, Western Australia - 6th to 10th January 2014

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Android: getting at the positronic brain

Android seems to be everywhere nowadays. Phones, tablets, game consoles, set top boxes… the list goes on. At the heart of the system lies Linux, but the userland is rather different to what the seasoned Linux user is used to.

Yet there are times when you need to drill down below Dalvik. It's Linux. There's a libc. An init process. The usual syscalls are there. Maybe your plan for world domination requires shipping devices that can run Android apps while doing something else useful underneath: folding proteins, mining Bitcoins, running a Tor exit node, or fixing the Australian batting order*.

In this talk, I will run through the wonderful world of developing daemons to run on Android: the benefits, the pitfalls, the limitations, and the best ways to debug, test and deploy. I'll mostly be talking about good, old-fashioned C, but will touch on some other languages that are viable options too.

* At the time of writing this abstract, this appears to be NP-complete.

Adam Harvey

Adam is a software developer who has spent most of his professional life rejecting fitting too neatly into a more specialised category in a mostly successful attempt to stave off boredom. This has taken him from developing Web sites for millions of people to developing Web sites for one person, to writing software that sits deep in embedded devices, to arguing late at night about why ++$a + $a++ is actually undefined behaviour in PHP. Nevertheless, please don't mention PL/pgSQL around him. His eye only just stopped twitching from the last time he had to work on stored procedures.

Adam is looking forward to being back in his native Western Australia mostly so that he can stave off losing his accent for another year, since it seems to make people friendlier in his adopted Vancouver.