Linked by David Adams on Fri 25th Mar 2011 14:48 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless The company revealed Thursday that it will delay publication of the Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) source code for the foreseeable future - possibly for months. It's not clear when (or if) the source code will be made available. The decision puts Android on a path towards a "draconian future" of its own, in which it is controlled by a single vendor - Google. The Ars link linked above is a pretty inflammatory editorial, so see also: Businessweek, GigaOM, The Register.
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Comment by vivainio
by vivainio on Fri 25th Mar 2011 15:47 UTC
vivainio
Member since:
2008-12-26

honecomb aside, here's the real problem w/ Android openness (that not every Linux "newcomer" realizes):



What makes it all the more troubling is the extent to which Android deviates from the conventional upstream Linux stack. The insular nature of the Android userspace makes interoperability between Android and conventional mobile and desktop Linux platforms difficult and impractical. Android's Linux kernel is even diverging from the official upstream Linux kernel due to seemingly irreconcilable differences regarding approaches to power management. This creates situations where drivers created for Android aren't guaranteed to work with regular old Linux.

Because Android operates its own Google-controlled fiefdom outside of the upstream stack, its growing popularity doesn't materially benefit upstream Linux. As more hardware vendors flock to Android, the growing ubiquity of Google's platform necessarily marginalizes the healthier and more inclusive environment that exists upstream.

The vendor-neutral mobile Linux space is gradually being displaced by a walled garden in which Google is the ultimate arbiter and has complete control. In that sense, Android is unambiguously detrimental to the goal of encouraging software freedom on mobile devices.

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