DeveloperGuide » History » Revision 24

Revision 23 (Paul Kocialkowski, 01/20/2014 06:05 PM) → Revision 24/104 (Paul Kocialkowski, 02/18/2014 07:58 AM)

h1. Developer Guide 


 These are guidelines that should be followed when doing Replicant development. 

 h2. Prerequisites 

 Developing on Replicant isn't much harder than developing on any other free software project as it doesn't require specific knowledge. In fact, you'll probably learn a lot along the way regarding how hardware works, how the Android system is composed, how the kernel works, etc, but you don't need to know all of this to start. However a basic set of skills is required, among which: 
 * C language programming skills and the ability to understand other languages such as C++ and Java 
 * Makefile skills (no need to know every detail about it, a general idea of how Makefiles work is enough) 
 * git skills (basically, how to commit changes, send them to our repos, dealing with branches without making a mess, etc) 
   You can find some documentation about git at: 

 If you think you can cope with the requirements, then developing on Replicant should cause you no particular issue. 

 h3. Writing free software replacements 

 Writing free software replacements for non-free components may require more skills depending on what you're trying to achieve, though there may be people with the adequate knowledge to help you and from whom you will likely learn a lot. 

 h2. Repositories 

 When working with Replicant repos, make sure to avoid breaking things. For instance, if you push a commit introducing a compilation error, it will break the whole build process. 
 It is better to create separate branches (that are not used by the official manifest branches) when your work is still in progress. 
 Creating branches that add debug infos on a particular topic is usually a good idea since it will save you time next time you want to debug the same component. 

 h3. When creating a repository 

 In order to keep repo naming consistent, please name repositories by their name on the tree, replacing the @/@ by @_@. 
 For instance, when forking the CyanogenMod repo: @android_device_samsung_crespo@, rename it to @device_samsung_crespo@ on the Replicant repos. 
 This creates a more consistent way of naming repositories and makes it easier when pushing: just look at the location in the source tree and replace @/@ by @_@. 

 h3. When creating a branch 

 Official replicant branches are named the following way: 
 * The @replicant-@ prefix 
 * The Replicant version 

 Such as: @replicant-2.3@ This should be used on the projects repositories as well as the manifest repository. 
 Any other branch should be considered as Work In Progress (WIP) and thus not be part of any official branch of the manifest. 

 There is although one exception, with the @master@ branch, that can be used by any project and be in any manifest given that the code held in the @master@ branch will work on any Replicant version. 

 h2. Upstreaming work 

 It is generally a good idea to send some changes back to upstream, assuming that they will benefit from it as well. 

 When it is about the replacement of a non-free component present in the upstream systems, make sure that your replacement is reliable and complete. 
 Contact the interested developers on the upstream projects before attempting to send your replacement. 

 h3. CyanogenMod 

 The CyanogenMod team uses Gerrit to manage patch submissions. The process to get your patch included in CyanogenMod repos is explained on their wiki: "Gerrit": 

 You can push directly using git using the following scheme: 
 git push ssh://<sshusername> HEAD:refs/for/<branchname> 

 h2. Writing free software replacements 

 Here are some tips that may help you achieving a free software replacement for a specific component (some may be more or less relevant regarding the nature of what the component does): 
 * Look for interested people from other projects: CyanogenMod people are constantly fighting with non-free blobs and are sometimes happy to help replacing one. 
 * Use tools such as @strings@, @objdump@ and @radare2@ against the non-free binary to have a better idea of how things work. (*Make sure this is legal where you live!*) 
 * Try to make the non-free binary as verbose as possible by enabling all the possible debug options on the config file or such. 
 * Run the program in @strace@ and analyze the trace to understand what the program does. 
 * Add verbose debug prints in the concerned kernel driver (with @printk@ and show them via the @dmesg@ tool). 
 * Read the corresponding kernel driver: you can sometimes learn a lot by reading comments or headers. 
 * Collect data out of the kernel driver (via debug prints) and out of the non-free binary (via debug prints on the upper-layer). 
 * If there is a mathematical algorithm involved, force the values returned by the kernel to the non-free binary and analyze how it reacts, for instance with spreadsheet software. 
 * If you're directly dealing with a hardware component, try to find a datasheet for the chip, it may hold precious details. In the best case, you may also be able to find a reference software implementation! 

 h2. Wiki guidelines 

 In order the keep the wiki simple and consistent, a few guidelines must be followed when editing: 

 * Every page in the wiki should be written in correct English, we do not aim to provide informations in any other language 
 * Only Replicant-specific topics should be covered: there is no point in writing usage guides for generic Android aspects, such as the user interface 
 * The content on each page must be relevant *only* to the latest Replicant version: make sure to update the content with newer Replicant versions 
 * Follow the devices naming convention (the @Galaxy S 3 (I9300)@ is not to be called @Samsung S3 GT-I9300@ or @Galaxy S III@) 
 * Name the pages in a consistent manner ([[NexusSI902xFirmwares]] is not to be called [[FirmwaresOnTheI902xNexusS]]) 

 h2. Commonly-used terminology 

 In order to keep everything clear and consistent, we use the following terms with a precise meaning in mind: 
 * *Driver*: Software that is part of the *kernel* (builtin or as a module) and deals with communicating with the hardware 
 * *Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL)*: Software that runs in *user-space* and deals with communicating with the hardware (usually through a kernel driver) 
 * *module*: Android HALs are also often called modules, so we may referrer to e.g. the @audio HAL@ as the @audio module@ 
 * *blob*: Proprietary HAL 
 * *firmware*: Software that does not run on the main processor (the CPU) but rather in a separate chip (e.g. the Wi-Fi firmwares runs on the Wi-Fi chip) 

 h2. New images release guide 

 1. Modify vendor/replicant/CHANGELOG.mkdn, commit and push 
 2. Update prebuilts (FDroid, Terminal Emulator, etc) 
 3. Start the build 
 4. Run the release script and ensure everything is OK 
 5. Compress the release files 
 <pre>tar -cjf 0005.tar.bz2 0005</pre> 
 6. Upload the release to 
 <pre>scp -v 0005.tar.bz2</pre> 
 7. Unpack the release, fix permissions 
 8. Modify [[ReplicantImages]], last image on every devices page 
 9. Update [[ReplicantStatus]] with the latest status 
 10. Announce the release on the blog, mailing list 
 11. Update the IRC topic 


 h2. New device documentation guide 

 1. Create the device main page, following the naming guidelines applied to other devices (e.g. the Samsung Galaxy S II GT-I9100 is called *Galaxy S 2 (I9100)* and its page is [[GalaxyS2I9100]]) 
 2. Create all the related sub-pages (build guide, install guide and firmwares list at least), following the naming guidelines applied to other devices (e.g. [[GalaxyS2I9100Build]], [[GalaxyS2I9100Installation]] and [[GalaxyS2I9100Firmwares]]) 
 3. Link the sub-pages to the main page in the index 
 4. Update the [[ReplicantStatus]] page of the wiki with the current status of the device 
 5. Modify the [[WikiStart]] page of the wiki and add the new device in the following sections: 
 * [[WikiStart#Replicant-status-on-phones|Replicant status on phones]] 
 * [[WikiStart#Installing-Replicant|Installing Replicant]] 
 * [[WikiStart#Building-Replicant|Building Replicant]] 
 * [[WikiStart#Technical-infos-on-the-devices|Technical infos on the devices]] 

 6. Add new issues categories to the redmine Replicant project redmine