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24 May 2013, 11:44

Tizen with GNOME 3 shell shown by Intel

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Tizen, the mobile operating system that has yet to see a device launched with it, is already widening its reach to laptops. Tizen, a Linux Foundation project with Intel and Samsung collaborating on development, is due to appear on smartphones in the latter part of the year with Tizen 2.1, which uses a Linux base layer with a user interface built using Enlightenment libraries to run HTML5-based apps. At the Tizen Developers Conference held this week though, Intel showed an early version of what will become part of Tizen 3.0 later in the year. Tizen Experts recorded a video of the Intel Tizen variant running on an i7 Ultrabook.

The desktop "Tizen Shell" used by Intel's laptop variant is based on the GNOME 3 shell and desktop environment. The demonstration shows the platform running applications such as Shotwell, Rhythmbox and Steam, as well as being able to run Tizen Web Apps. Desktop widgets have been created for the Tizen Shell, though they are built in JavaScript as GNOME extensions, rather than Tizen web applications. At this stage of development, it therefore appears to be a more traditional GNOME 3 desktop with the ability to run Tizen Web Apps and the Tizen IDE. The code involved will be donated to the Tizen project and should be available later in the year.

The vision for compatibility between the Tizen variants appears to be centred on being able to run Tizen Web Apps on the phone and desktop. Tizen itself has recently been updated with the publication of Tizen 2.1. Tizen 2.1 is billed as a minor update; the web runtime has now has Content Security Policy 1.0 support and various specification updates, along with Web DynamicBox which allows content to be embedded in viewer applications. Both the Native IDE and Web IDE are able to make use of an updated emulator which can generate movement and orientation events. The Web IDE also has an improved UI builder, better code assist, and a more detailed configuration editor, while the Native IDE now supports experimental LLVM-Bitcode architectures for x86 and ARM, attach debugging, and new build configurations. Full details are available in the release notes.

Also launched around the conference, the first alpha release of Qt for Tizen now offers developers a Qt 5.1 beta based version of the framework, which has been integrated and customised to have Qt Quick Controls with the Tizen look and feel. Qt for Tizen is a community project to allow Qt developers to create code on the Tizen platform which, at a native level on smartphones, is built around the Enlightenment Foundation Libraries.

With Tizen devices promised to appear later this year and details of a Tizen Store slowly appearing, one thing that will be needed is HTML5-based applications to run on the phone. To that end, the Tizen Project has announced the Tizen App Challenge, a competition to help populate the store with new applications. Beginning on 3 June, $4 million of prizes will be available, with grand prizes of $200,000 in three game categories and $120,000 in six non-game categories (with two runner up prizes and three honourable mentions per categories too). The HTML5 apps will need to be submitted and appear on the Tizen Store to be eligible for the competition.



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