Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 27th Apr 2010 22:19 UTC
Google Andy Rubin is a vice president for engineering at Google, and he is responsible for the Android mobile operating system project. He recently had an hour long chat with The New York Times' Brad Stone, sharing his insights into things like openness, the lack of secret APIs in Android, and several other things. Of course, the jabs at Apple were prevalent.
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"Open usually wins"
by stew on Wed 28th Apr 2010 00:26 UTC
Member since:

That's why the Linux desktop is such a great success. Or not.

Most consumers don't care about open, closed, private, secure or any of those things we computer geeks care about - they care about convenient.

Reply Score: 5

v RE: "Open usually wins"
by nbensa on Wed 28th Apr 2010 00:45 in reply to ""Open usually wins""
RE[2]: "Open usually wins"
by gehersh on Wed 28th Apr 2010 02:49 in reply to "RE: "Open usually wins""
gehersh Member since:

also sprach another Linux fanboy. If you dare to criticize Linux, you are brainwashed by Microsoft. Or on a payroll of Microsoft. And of course you never ever ran Linux, right?

I still remember the problems I had with RedHat in my university computing center. Actually the problem was with Gnome, but it effectively prevented me to do anything useful. When our IT support tried to switch to KDE, things got a bit better, then went haywire again. But that's not the story. The story starts when I posted my experiences on linuxtoday discussion board. What a hostile reaction I got from Linux fanboys! I was accused of (i) being Microsoft shill, (ii) never runing Linux in my life, (iii) being completely clueless, (iv) whatever else is applicable.

So here we go again, eh? Oh, you want convenience? Then you probably sold your soul to Microsoft (or Apple). Yes. I want convenience. I don't care about the OS I run. I want to run applications I need to run, not to make the statement about the meaning of freedom. I want the software be compatible with hardware and I'm ready to pay to have it be so (rather than getting it for free, having compatibility problem and then hearing from another Linux fanboy: well, fix it, dude, don't you know C? Oh well, yeah, I held nothing against Android and openness in general, but stating "openness always wins" does not quite agree with existing track records.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: "Open usually wins"
by tweakedenigma on Wed 28th Apr 2010 03:03 in reply to "RE: "Open usually wins""
tweakedenigma Member since:

You might wanna take a closer look at the history of things. No one was brain washed by Microsoft. Microsoft carved out a market that was not being served at the time. People wanted to be able to buy computers from anyone and have them inter-operate. Apple, Amiga, and others tied the OS to their hardware, the Unix vendors of the world fought against themselves, and Linux was just something Linus was working on with a small group online.

For the record I am not Brainwashed by MS, I don't even have a computer that runs Windows in my house (All Linux and Mac). I do think Linux is a suitable competitor however there are a number of variables that effect it from coming into its own, but I wont get into it here.

Lastly comments like that just drive people away from Linux and Open source, makes us sound like a bunch of zealots.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE: "Open usually wins"
by MORB on Wed 28th Apr 2010 08:14 in reply to ""Open usually wins""
MORB Member since:

Actually, if you look at windows, it's openness that made it successful. It's not quite as open as linux but much more than the iphone: anyone can develop any application they want on windows and distribute it however they want.

Windows wouldn't have been successful otherwise.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: "Open usually wins"
by darknexus on Wed 28th Apr 2010 08:25 in reply to "RE: "Open usually wins""
darknexus Member since:

You can take that further, and say that openness won out in the PC architecture. It was PC's open architecture, as opposed to the Macintosh's tightly closed component ecosystem, that in the end contributed to the PC's triumph. The Macintosh, at the time, was much more convenient and easy to use but it was so closed that the much more complicated (at the time) PC almost completely eclipsed it.
Whether the same holds true today, we'll just have to see. It's a different crowd and a different mentality concerning technology now than it was 25 years ago. Will openness win over convenience today? Generation iPod seems to say no, but that generation (of which I am a part in age at least) won't last forever. I think, personally, that in the end open standards and open platforms will win out, though how long that will take is anyone's guess. NOte that I do not necessarily mean open source when I say open.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE: "Open usually wins"
by sorpigal on Wed 28th Apr 2010 11:25 in reply to ""Open usually wins""
sorpigal Member since:

Linux as a desktop is being marginally successful despite being hamstrung by API churn, uncertainty and lack of unification or (in some cases) quality. It is, in fact, remarkably successful for how good it is(n't).

Not trolling, guys, I am a Linux partisan through and through, just look at the facts. BeOS? NeXTstep? OS/2? All superior systems in their day, or even now, and yet none are as widely used on desktops as Linux is today. Spare me your "Mac OS X is NeXTstep" line; I know it and I don't consider that important. The fact is that NeXT couldn't hack it on its own and only the Apple brand eventually pushed it in to prominence.

The graveyard of computing history is filled with well designed and highly functional systems which were in most cases superior in many or all technical senses to the Linux desktop. Why does Linux, and the open source desktop, continue to exist, and perhaps even succeed, where countless others have died in infancy? What is it that gives KDE the staying power to still be around ten years after it was written off as irrelevant now that we have GNOME? What is it that makes the open source desktop continue to advance--albeit slowly--each year? It's not because it has better technology. It's not because there's a company making it that just wont let it die (not exactly, more on that in a moment).

The reason the open source desktop keeps advancing and keeps existing is precisely because it is open. In the face of all sanity it presses on because no one company controls it and no one individual can kill it.

Yes, there are a dozen companies, or more, which at any given time are dumping resources in to advancing the open source desktop, either by adding and improving applications, or building infrastructure, or throwing out and rewriting subsystems that nobody likes any more. These companies, individually, could never sustain the whole system. These companies also routinely come and go. Yet, in the end, there are always some, just as there are always some non-corporate developers, and no matter how stupid the design decision, no matter how insane the odds, no matter how superior the competition they keep building, rebuilding and ultimately moving forward.

This only works because it's open.

It makes no economic sense to continue to support the open source desktop as a piece of technology. It only makes sense to supported because of its openness.

Linux will eventually be everywhere on phones because it doesn't make any sense to build your own half-assed mobile OS when you can take a ready-made one, add your flashy UI, and be done. As a result of this, this openness, each phone manufacturer and reseller will buy in to the platform that they choose. Maybe it's Meego, maybe it's Android; it doesn't matter. With a dozen companies, all looking out for the bottom line, pushing products on a particular platform that platform starts to look good to developers. It starts to get mind-share and market share. Eventually it becomes the de-facto standard because it's found everywhere. In such a world there is plenty of room for a platform like the iPhone, or maybe two, but most phone companies wont ever again try to build a platform from scratch like that. There's really no point, no incentive, for doing that any more.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: "Open usually wins"
by bert64 on Thu 29th Apr 2010 09:35 in reply to "RE: "Open usually wins""
bert64 Member since:

An open system will see gradual improvement from earlier versions, witness the modular ibm compatible architecture and how over time each individual component can be replaced and upgraded. Contrast that with a closed system where you are waiting for the system vendor to come out with an entire new model.

The same is true of open source software, a gradual improvement as people extend the existing codebase. Commercial software works differently, you will still get improvement in a given product but it will be in bursts as "new versions" come out, and different competing products cannot share code so each one has to implement everything from scratch. This also creates a very high barrier of entry to any new commercial vendor who wants to enter an established market, as opposed to an open source project which could be forked from an existing codebase.

Users often don't use the best product, microsoft knows this very well which is why they never tried to compete against novell, apple or proprietary unix on quality, they emphasised that they were a lot cheaper. Today linux is now cheaper than microsoft, although it doesn't have the same marketing budget.

Open source will continue to improve and gradually eat away at the marketshare of proprietary software... proprietary unix is all but dead, osx may be alive and well but the unix side of osx is open source too. windows is only holding out longer because its less standard and more difficult to clone than unix was but sooner or later, barring any interference (legislation etc) it too will fall. It's just a matter of how long, and how much harm microsoft do as they fall down.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: "Open usually wins"
by Stephen! on Wed 28th Apr 2010 12:40 in reply to ""Open usually wins""
Stephen! Member since:

That's why the Linux desktop is such a great success. Or not.

Although technically, there is no "Linux desktop" since Linux is a kernel.

Reply Parent Score: 1