Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 5th Apr 2011 22:48 UTC
Google Is Android still open now that Google has postponed the source code release of Honeycomb, version 3.0 of the mobile operating system? I've been reading a whole boatload of articles and blog posts on the web claiming Android is no longer open, but it seems like very few people seem to actually understand what 'open' really means when it comes to the GPL and the Apache license. Here's a short primer.
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RE[2]: Comment by t3RRa
by arpan on Wed 6th Apr 2011 14:34 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by t3RRa"
arpan
Member since:
2006-07-30

Although, I must admit, I am not aware of any recent delays in compliance with the GPL or LGPL by Apple. There were some such cases in the early days of Safari. It was derived from the LGPL based KHTML, and they distributed Safari without making the source immediately available.


I think you are incorrect here. They did make the code available, they just waited until they released the final version and then released the entire code at a time. Basically they adhered to the letter of the license, not the spirit.

Now, they have changed that, and all development for webkit happens in the open, which also allows independent developers and developers from other companies to contribute to the development and direction. As far as I am concerned, this is what open source is about, not just having access to the code, but being able to participate in the development.

In addition, this means that a user or a developer can download a nightly and see what changes and improvements have been made and not have to wait for the final release. For example this allows web designers to comment on the behavior of new CSS features and allows even non-developers to influence the behavior if it is not satisfactory. In the end, it is the designers who are going to be using these features, and so it is really good that they get to test it when it is developed and when there is still a chance to change it.

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