Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 7th Aug 2013 19:14 UTC
Google Jean-Baptiste Queru, or JBQ for short, maintainer of the Android Open Source Project at Google, has announced that he's quitting his job.

Well, I see that people have figured out why I'm quitting AOSP.

There's no point being the maintainer of an Operating System that can't boot to the home screen on its flagship device for lack of GPU support, especially when I'm getting the blame for something that I don't have authority to fix myself and that I had anticipated and escalated more than 6 months ahead.

By the way, in this context, 'to escalate' means handing something over to your superiors so they can handle it. I believe this definition of the word is uncommon outside of the US.

The issue here is exactly what it sounds like: there are currently no factory images/binaries available for the latest Nexus device, the new Nexus 7. The problem is that the GPU in the new Nexus 7 is made by Qualcomm, a company which is incredibly hostile towards the open source community. This isn't the first time Qualcomm has sabotaged an AOSP launch - all Nexus devices with Qualcomm chips, the Nexus 1, 4, and the new 7, faced these problems.

Because he is apparently very good at pattern recognition, JBQ states that he already anticipated this issue six months ago, but that it hasn't been solved. A recent tweet from him is quite telling:

That feeling when lawyers sabotage the launch you spent 6 months working on? I haz it. Sad sad sad sad sad sad.

This is bad news for Google, and bad news for Android. JBQ has done an amazing job on AOSP, and I'm very sad to see him leaving his post. As of this moment, it's not yet known whether he will leave Google entirely or not.

Order by: Score:
Google's problem
by jared_wilkes on Wed 7th Aug 2013 19:20 UTC
jared_wilkes
Member since:
2011-04-25

I don't see how this is Qualcomm's problem. They have no allegiance to open source, haven't made any promises about being open, etc.

Google didn't have to choose to use Qualcomm when they have pledged allegiance and have made promises... that they knew they couldn't keep if they went with Qualcomm.

Reply Score: 11

RE: Google's problem
by gilboa on Thu 8th Aug 2013 04:38 UTC in reply to "Google's problem"
gilboa Member since:
2005-07-06

AFAIK, the issue is not open source, but the lack of *binary* distribution rights.

I do agree that Google should have booted Qualcomm from the next Nexus device in return.

- Gilboa

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: Google's problem
by jared_wilkes on Thu 8th Aug 2013 11:40 UTC in reply to "RE: Google's problem"
jared_wilkes Member since:
2011-04-25

Sure, but it doesn't change the problem. I was just stating it as simply as possible -- but in some audiences that just leads to problems.

Qualcomm has never pledged the the same things that Google has and it has no obligation to.

It's Google's obligation to use vendors who do support the same goals or who can be contractually persuaded or coerced into complying with their goals or risk looking like stupid hypocrites. (Of course, people like Thom will Cover Google's Ass for them, for free, and blame it on someone else).

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Google's problem
by gilboa on Thu 8th Aug 2013 12:02 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Google's problem"
gilboa Member since:
2005-07-06

Sure, but it doesn't change the problem. I was just stating it as simply as possible -- but in some audiences that just leads to problems.

Qualcomm has never pledged the the same things that Google has and it has no obligation to.

It's Google's obligation to use vendors who do support the same goals or who can be contractually persuaded or coerced into complying with their goals or risk looking like stupid hypocrites. (Of course, people like Thom will Cover Google's Ass for them, for free, and blame it on someone else).


I wouldn't be quick to judge who's to blame without knowing all the details.

- Gilboa

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Google's problem
by jared_wilkes on Thu 8th Aug 2013 12:24 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Google's problem"
jared_wilkes Member since:
2011-04-25

I haven't blamed anyone. I've said it's Google's problem, and only Google's problem. Not Qualcomm.

However, Thom has BLAMED Qualcomm.

I don't blame Google for selecting the superior tech that everyone else is also choosing. I would make the same choice because I think the ideological values have little value. But I think we should get through the bullshit of Google's hypocrisy, trying to blame everyone else but Google (or worse, claiming there is no way to know if Google, one of the most powerful companies on the planet, can be considered responsible for their own claims and actions or if it's someone else...) for not getting what they would want and/or needing to compromise their ideological goals that get them geek love, and try to state it like it is: Google is unable to deliver on the goals of AOSP in a timely fashion because practical matters will frequently take precedent over ideological values.

Edited 2013-08-08 12:28 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Google's problem
by JAlexoid on Thu 8th Aug 2013 15:46 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Google's problem"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Being at fault/blamed and being the "problem owner" are not necessarily get assigned to the same entity.

If I cock your leg, the pain is your problem but I would be at fault/to blame.

Reply Score: 4

RE[6]: Google's problem
by Soulbender on Thu 8th Aug 2013 16:43 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Google's problem"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Yes but if you have cocked my leg every other time we've met it's for me to make sure it doesn't happen this time. It would be rather foolish of me to think "well, I'm sure he wont do it THIS time".

Edited 2013-08-08 16:44 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[6]: Google's problem
by jared_wilkes on Thu 8th Aug 2013 16:59 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Google's problem"
jared_wilkes Member since:
2011-04-25

Which is why I said I'm not blaming Google. But I am saying that it is definitely not Qualcomm's fault.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Google's problem
by gilboa on Sat 10th Aug 2013 21:13 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Google's problem"
gilboa Member since:
2005-07-06

I didn't see Google blame Qualacomm for anything. Care to share the source of your information?

- Gilboa

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Google's problem
by gilboa on Sun 11th Aug 2013 15:29 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Google's problem"
gilboa Member since:
2005-07-06

I didn't see Google blame Qualacomm for anything. Care to share the source of your information?

- Gilboa


FWIW, Google apparently solved the legal (?) issues and released the N7 image(s). [1]

- Gilboa
[1] http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2013/08/drama-over-google-posts-imag...

Edited 2013-08-11 15:29 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Google's problem
by Soulbender on Thu 8th Aug 2013 05:22 UTC in reply to "Google's problem"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Indeed, I must agree (for once?). If a company always causes problems and is being difficult to the point of causing problems for your products then you DON'T do any business with them again, UNLESS you have a very well designed contract that details everyone's responsibilities and commitments. Why Google didn't learn this the first couple of times around is anyone's guess.
Qualcomm may very well be assholes but if you knowingly do business with assholes it's no-ones fault but your own when you get screwed.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Google's problem
by lucas_maximus on Thu 8th Aug 2013 07:26 UTC in reply to "RE: Google's problem"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

In a lot of orgs tend to never learn their lesson and normally the choice as we both know is rarely made by those that write the software as to whether to go with a particular company/tech.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Google's problem
by jared_wilkes on Thu 8th Aug 2013 11:32 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Google's problem"
jared_wilkes Member since:
2011-04-25

Yes, and we also know a lot of people who write the software (or blog posts) will take it personally and blame the wrong party for completely selfish reasons as JBQ and Thom are attempting to do in this case, even though that's completely absurd.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Google's problem
by lucas_maximus on Thu 8th Aug 2013 18:09 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Google's problem"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

What happens a lot and a lot of bloggers won't admit it (including Thom), Is that when it comes to development software most of them have very little or no experience actually being in the development process.

This talk basically says a lot about what a lot of software engineers already know.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6lONh2bHHjI

The scary thing is that this is the tip of the iceburg.

Edited 2013-08-08 18:10 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Google's problem
by lucas_maximus on Thu 8th Aug 2013 18:34 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Google's problem"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

BTW something I want to make clear, it is okay for people not to understand the software development process .. most people that don't get it, work in it.

Edited 2013-08-08 18:38 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Google's problem
by Soulbender on Thu 8th Aug 2013 16:01 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Google's problem"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

True but that still means it's Google's mistake and its not primarily Qualcomm's fault things didn't work out.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Google's problem
by lucas_maximus on Thu 8th Aug 2013 18:02 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Google's problem"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

Yes of course. I was expanding on what you said.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Google's problem
by dsmogor on Thu 8th Aug 2013 09:30 UTC in reply to "Google's problem"
dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

A guess they didn't have much of a choice as QM is dominating integrated LTE soc market with the other alternative being ... Samsung, which they don't really want to support. Tegra 3 could be used but it probably has too much power demands for the form factor and would cost too much as well. And Nvidia hasn't very good OSS record either.
The fact is that S4 has the best power / performance rati on the market.
I guess Arm needs to develop something between A7 and A15 fast.

Edited 2013-08-08 09:37 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Google's problem
by jared_wilkes on Thu 8th Aug 2013 11:35 UTC in reply to "RE: Google's problem"
jared_wilkes Member since:
2011-04-25

The trade-off is technology, design, channel, cost, etc... versus values. Google is the one choosing the former over the latter. That is only Google's problem (that they actually have an audience of users who think ideological values can, do, or should outweigh the former values).

Instead, JBQ should be quitting Google entirely and stamping his feet at them for comprising their values, not Qualcomm for producing the best technology option.

Edited 2013-08-08 11:41 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Google's problem
by tidux on Thu 8th Aug 2013 13:54 UTC in reply to "RE: Google's problem"
tidux Member since:
2011-08-13

The previous N7 had a Tegra 3.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Google's problem
by dsmogor on Thu 8th Aug 2013 13:57 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Google's problem"
dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

My bad I mean Tegra 4 then.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Google's problem
by jared_wilkes on Thu 8th Aug 2013 15:03 UTC in reply to "RE: Google's problem"
jared_wilkes Member since:
2011-04-25

"I guess Arm needs to develop something between A7 and A15 fast."

Seriously? How 'bout Google needs to realize that they can't accomplish ideological goals based on their suppliers which have completely independent goals of their own, suck it up, take some accountability, and make it clear that they will compromise ideological values based on technical needs... or they need to start producing the types of chips they want with the values they want... rather than proclaiming the rest of the industry which is going about pursuing its own goals as best it sees fit regardless of what Google would want or hope for?

The idea that ARM needs to produce a new ARM design so that some other SOC developer can build a chip which may or may not have the values as Google or that some other SOC manufacturer is going to spring up with Google's values in mind and also deliver the best chip for the purpose in high volumes, with a rapid upgrade cycle such that it becomes the OEMs go to choice for smartphone development is hysterically laughable.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Google's problem
by dsmogor on Thu 8th Aug 2013 15:14 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Google's problem"
dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

Thats not what I meant.
Arm has simply no price / performance / power equivalent to S4 (which itself is similar to A10 by these criteria) to licencse and this is hurting the Arm ecosystem as whole, granting Quallcomm huge bargaining power (besides its LTE letting it preserve near monopolly in US market).
A15 looks to be to complex to integrate in smartphones for smaller licensees, leaving just Samsung and NVidia on the table.
I'm not complaining bc Q has developed great ARM design. I'm just calling for better competition.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Google's problem
by jared_wilkes on Thu 8th Aug 2013 15:32 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Google's problem"
jared_wilkes Member since:
2011-04-25

Nonsense. ARM designs chip core designs to be built, modified, and manufactured by others. (I don't even understand what you mean when you say ARM has nothing to compete with an S4 when the S4 uses the ARMv7 instructions and is highly similar to a Cortex-A15. Is ARM supposed to compete with Qualcomm when it comes to integrated multibaseband radios, where QC really distinguishes itself, too?) They are doing fine. ARM does NOT need to compete with its licensees. What you and Google want is the leading SOC to be manufactured by someone with Google's values... ARM doesn't need or care about that. In fact, they make the same profit either way.

Edited 2013-08-08 15:49 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Google's problem
by dsmogor on Thu 8th Aug 2013 15:49 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Google's problem"
dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

That's what I mean. Their A15 design looks not to be practical for independent SOC companies leaving them with cortex A9 to compete with supperior S4.
ARM needs to step up with "A12" design to mend that. They shape versality of ARM ecosystem, not to mention the fact they only earn a penny on ISA licensing.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Google's problem
by jared_wilkes on Thu 8th Aug 2013 17:04 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Google's problem"
jared_wilkes Member since:
2011-04-25

Currently, Apple, Samsung, and Qualcomm are kicking ass using ARM designs to make their own SOCes.

We've now moved from blaming Qualcomm for not having Google's values to blaming ARM for not providing a new ARM design that some other SOC manufacturer would then use to make something (presumably) superior to Apple, Samsung, and Qualcomm's designs whether or not that company would do exactly what would be highly convenient for Google and/or Apple, Samsung, and Qualcomm taking the same design and still making something superior SOCes that leads the industry that OEMs would still prefer over something that wouldn't be a problem for Google(because Nvidia hasn't been particularly good at it, TI left the industry, etc).

Do you not understand how nonsensical this sounds?

Edited 2013-08-08 17:13 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Nelson
by Nelson on Wed 7th Aug 2013 19:23 UTC
Nelson
Member since:
2005-11-29

A great man fighting a noble fight. He will surely have no problems finding work elsewhere.

I'm not sure if things will ultimately change (imo the chances are slim) but good on him for having the courage to stand by his convictions.

Reply Score: 9

RE: Comment by Nelson
by Morgan on Thu 8th Aug 2013 00:41 UTC in reply to "Comment by Nelson"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

You and I disagree a lot, but this is not one of those times. So very well said.

Reply Score: 6

RE: Comment by Nelson
by jared_wilkes on Thu 8th Aug 2013 15:04 UTC in reply to "Comment by Nelson"
jared_wilkes Member since:
2011-04-25

Except he didn't have the balls to actually quit Google... just to bail on his responsibilities to AOSP.

Reply Score: 2

Why is Qualcomm so popular in the US?
by reduz on Wed 7th Aug 2013 19:39 UTC
reduz
Member since:
2006-02-25

Almost every phone made for the US market, from the Blackberry Z10 to the Samsung Galaxy or Lumias uses Snapdragon+Adreno chipsets.

The same phone versions for other countries use chipsets from other manufacturers.

Why does this happen?

Reply Score: 5

clhodapp Member since:
2009-12-04

There are two reasons:

1) CDMA
2) LTE

In short, Qualcomm seem to have a monopoly on SOC's that these
radios built-in.

Reply Score: 3

reduz Member since:
2006-02-25

So, basically, the reason everyone is using Snapdragon is because it is cheaper to license (comes with all that functionality) instead of having to add a separate radio chip like Apple does?

Isn't that illegal?

Reply Score: 2

tkeith Member since:
2010-09-01

Cheaper to license, maybe but separate chips takes up more room and battery. Look at the early LTE phones, battery life went up when everyone went to Qualcom.

Must be bad if Google went to them, TI got out, and Samsung and Nvidia seem to have their drive problems as well. Maybe that's why the Nexus 4 had it's LTE disabled? Makes you wonder if Google will still go with them for the next Nexus phone.

Either way this is bad for AOSP. It's disappointing that Having such a popular open source operating system(skip the "definition of open" replies please) hasn't improved the driver situation much.

Reply Score: 5

robojerk Member since:
2006-01-10

Why did TI get out of the game??

Reply Score: 2

_txf_ Member since:
2008-03-17

Why did TI get out of the game??

They couldn't compete with qualcomm , their OMAP5 took too long to develop, and had no integrated modem and as a result couldn't score any design wins.

Edited 2013-08-08 03:52 UTC

Reply Score: 5

WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Why did TI get out of the game??


Looking at the quality of their drivers and other software on the Pandaboard -- constant crashes, disappearing features, overall buggy stuff -- I'd say it's a good thing they're gone.

Reply Score: 1

mikemikemike Member since:
2008-11-14

Why did TI get out of the game??


Because Raytheon destroys anything it touches.

Reply Score: 2

I knew it!
by oblio on Wed 7th Aug 2013 20:28 UTC
oblio
Member since:
2007-11-12

Eugenia never left, she's been posting as Thom all along!

Reply Score: 16

Comment by Luminair
by Luminair on Wed 7th Aug 2013 20:49 UTC
Luminair
Member since:
2007-03-30

maybe now he will stop using google+. what the hell is that site

Reply Score: 4

Comment by Parry Hotter
by Parry Hotter on Wed 7th Aug 2013 21:12 UTC
Parry Hotter
Member since:
2007-07-20

The kind of man Canonical needs but doesn't want nor deserve.

Reply Score: 6

RE: Comment by Parry Hotter
by ThomasFuhringer on Thu 8th Aug 2013 06:55 UTC in reply to "Comment by Parry Hotter"
ThomasFuhringer Member since:
2007-01-25

I guess Microsoft needs him even more. But do they deserve?

Reply Score: 2

v This may sound unfair but
by orfanum on Wed 7th Aug 2013 21:32 UTC
escalate
by Soulbender on Thu 8th Aug 2013 05:01 UTC
Soulbender
Member since:
2005-08-18

By the way, in this context, 'to escalate' means handing something over to your superiors so they can handle it. I believe this definition of the word is uncommon outside of the US.


No, that's the common usage everywhere, especially in the IT/Tech industry.

Reply Score: 4

RE: escalate
by dsmogor on Thu 8th Aug 2013 09:34 UTC in reply to "escalate"
dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

I guess yes, in US modeled corps. But for common people, typical use of the word is in political rather than organizational context.

Reply Score: 4

Re:
by kurkosdr on Thu 8th Aug 2013 09:48 UTC
kurkosdr
Member since:
2011-04-11

AFAIK, the issue is not open source, but the lack of *binary* distribution rights. 

Exactly. Androids may use open standards mostly (like OpenGL ES) but the implementations are not necessarily open source. Qualcomm just doesn't want to open source their OpenGL ES implementation, because they have paid lots of money in R&D to build those drivers and don't want to spill the beans to competitors. The closest thing that could happen is to keep the implementation hidden and just expose the "glue" connecting the driver with the OS, like Broadcomm did with the Raspberry Pi chip. But most companies don't care.

The real problem is you can't download the binaries for the drivers and that there is no End-Of-Life plan for OS support.

Edited 2013-08-08 10:05 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE: Re:
by Kochise on Sat 10th Aug 2013 06:53 UTC in reply to "Re:"
Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

They'd used an open source Open GL ES stack as starting point they wouldn't have had to invest so much money into R&D. And BTW, Open GL is pretty old and known technology that shouldn't cost that much to develop a stack.

Yet, a FOSS OGLES stack, beside Vincent (full software rendering) I don't know any. Where are the happy FOSS developers ? Uuuups, actually busy suing companies that doesn't open up their works to the community.

Kochise

Reply Score: 2

There are options
by fithisux on Thu 8th Aug 2013 14:39 UTC
fithisux
Member since:
2006-01-22

Use an X86 chipset
Use a TI multi-core DSP (keystone II) + ARM and implement soft rendering.

Reply Score: 2

Irony
by fretinator on Thu 8th Aug 2013 16:24 UTC
fretinator
Member since:
2005-07-06

It was great to see the Nexus 7 advertisement directly below the article on the main page.

Reply Score: 4

hackus
Member since:
2006-06-28

Is it just a coincidence or all of the gear on Smartphones which governments want to control to track you via, Video, Sound and GPS are the same ones you are not suppose to know how they work?

Hence, no source and now, not even BLOB releases.

These Qualcomm idiots also bought a few years back Atheros, which is a company that has done wonders for wireless on LINUX.

In fact, Atheros has put all of the source code out for their SoC and Wireless N products which are quite excellent.

In fact I get better wireless out of my Linux box on my AR9283's or AR71xx systems than my Windows clients.

Why? Source code.

Well, I am not buying a Nexus 7 or any product with a Qualcomm Snapdragon or chip in it. I am sticking with SAMSUNG which at least is a huge capital (money) supporter of LINUX.

-Hack

Reply Score: 3

Escalate
by abraxas on Fri 9th Aug 2013 20:46 UTC
abraxas
Member since:
2005-07-07

"Escalate" is a common term in the US as well. Anyone who has had to deal with tech support in any way shape or form has probably heard that term...or shouted it. ;)

Reply Score: 5