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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There there...
by geertjan on Fri 25th Mar 2011 15:25 UTC
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Wow, that Ars Technica article seems kind of biased and overdramatic. This is not the beginning of the end, it's just a one time delay in a source code release. As long as Google adheres to all the relevant open source licenses, I don't see the big deal. The source code of Android 3 will come, only after support for phones is finished.

Reply Score: 3

RE: There there...
by dsmogor on Fri 25th Mar 2011 16:15 in reply to "There there..."
dsmogor Member since:

As far as I remember google reimplemented number of core system components under a license that allows them much more than GPL would.

Kernel is one thing but that remained actually the sole component that may remain under community supersivion in the longer term.

Edited 2011-03-25 16:33 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: There there...
by whartung on Fri 25th Mar 2011 17:19 in reply to "There there..."
whartung Member since:

Actually, it is pretty bad.

This is the money quote:

Rubin told BusinessWeek that Google has made the decision to keep the Honeycomb source code under wraps because it doesn't want hardware vendors to adapt it to run on other form factors where it might not function properly. Rubin says that Google cut corners during Honeycomb's development in an effort to rush it to market. He believes that widespread adoption at this stage in usage scenarios that Google didn't anticipate would lead to a very negative user experience.

This basically boils down to being unhappy with the vendor community around Android. They lack the controls and simply don't trust the vendors to "read the readme" and not use 3.0 where it's supposed to be used. To not test their hardware, and to ship crappy product with Androids name on it.

This a bigger rift than simply not releasing source code. It goes deeper than that to basic control over the platform.

As they say, "Freedom is letting others do things you don't like", but in this case it hurts the brand and becomes a tragedy of the commons as some shoddy vendors spoil the name for others that "use the same platform".

As someone else mentioned, there needs to be an "Android Inside" or some other certification process in place to maintain the brand consistency, or less than stellar performers can make it a mess for the entire platform. But that will slow down adoption and increase costs.

At this point, the phone audience is still pretty unsophisticated. Android needs to build brand recognition above and beyond the handsets (something the cell vendors probably aren't really keen on anyway). Depending on the marketing, a consumer that has a bad experience with an Android phone could well "blame Android" rather than the handset manufacturer.

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[2]: There there...
by Alex Forster on Sat 26th Mar 2011 00:19 in reply to "RE: There there..."
Alex Forster Member since:

Couldn't they withhold use of the Android trademark? Wouldn't that solve exactly this problem?

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: There there...
by cmost on Sun 27th Mar 2011 22:33 in reply to "There there..."
cmost Member since:

I agree. Google is merely delaying the release until it has polished the code sufficiently enough to let it work on myriad devices. And the big deal is?... People are impatient and quick to jump to (incorrect) conclusions. Just wait. It'll come!

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: There there...
by tetek on Mon 28th Mar 2011 09:46 in reply to "There there..."
tetek Member since:

It is a big deal if you thought that Android is "open" as it being advertised. And as you can see it's open as long as google want it to be.

I do not understand how i.e. Oracle publishing Solaris code after every major update is evil,anti-open source and this makes Solaris code-closed, but Big G doing the same thing with Android makes it open source software.

But I think it's what happens when big corpos starts messing with open source community and projects trying to make them profitable for themselves using PR and advertising them as being open source cause it's "feel right", "feel open".

Reply Parent Score: 1