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CanZE for R-Link #144

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yoh-there opened this Issue Oct 26, 2015 · 4 comments

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yoh-there commented Oct 26, 2015

it is often suggested CanZE should be implemented on R-Link. Here is an early (and if I may say rather blunt) example from the German forum:

In the light of the recent "stagefright" vulnerability of Android (and also R-Link), wouldn't it
be easier to hack the OS itself, so one can directly use the CAN processor on the mainboard
and the internal display? Up to now, I haven't found any sign of hacking attempts of the
R-Link system itself. There must be lots of other open doors, given that it is based on the
ancient Android 2.3.

On the face of it, the argument is not unreasonable:

  • The display and processing power are there;
  • It is at least connected to the MM CANbus;
  • No additional devices needed, no mounting brackets for an additional tablet or phone.

Then, there are also strong arguments and uncertainties against:

  • R-Link is, as said, based on a totally outdated Android version (2.3);
  • We would probably be forced to use R-Link UI design elements and rules (not entirely illogical BTW), requiring new learning and cutting flexibility options;
  • We don't know if R-Link is not connected to the main CANbus, which is needed;
  • There is no publicly available tool chain to develop apps for R-Link;
  • If there is a closed tool chain and if we could get our hands on it, it is probably a step back in productivity (Eclipse instead of IntelliJ based);
  • We would most probably have to deal with the whims of both Renault and TomTom;
  • We would have to be much more careful not to break the host platform;
  • Testing would most probably totally car-bound.

My opinion is that I am not (yet) willing to either risk breaking R-Link or buying / learning / maintaining a specific tool chain and emulator / hardware for solely this project.

I can't see this happening really, unless there is explicit demand from Renault. I doubt they are interested and given the effort needed we'd have to even talk some sort of compensation. Given the free-beer nature of this project, I see us opening up a nasty can of worms between the team members.

This this will not happen. IMHO.

@yoh-there yoh-there closed this Oct 26, 2015

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fesch commented Oct 28, 2015

Just some added information:
R-Link uses different parts licensed under the GPL license and thus it's source should be available in request. The last page of the "Copyright Screen" on the R-Link indicates this too.
So, who ever wants it, can grad it here, it was easy to find:
http://www.tomtom.com/en_gb/gpl/renault_r_link/?WT.Click_Link=home_quick_link

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yoh-there commented Oct 29, 2015

Interesting stuff! I had a quick peek but it seems to me there is nothing there that could help us any further. It seemed mostly the Android core system. It is a huge leap to get from there to a development chain. I stand by my statement above.

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yoh-there commented Nov 1, 2015

I had a discussion with Renault about R-Link development. Won't go in more details but the essence of it is that it is not doable and totally depending on Renault France. Furthermore, R-Link does not have direct link to the main CANbus.

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egonalter commented Jan 6, 2016

Ok, if it's not connected to the main bus, it is probably really moot. I also found by disassable that the new firmware release 2094591 fixes at least some of the stagefright bugs.

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