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: Oh, come on!
by quique on Wed 6th Apr 2011 07:54 UTC in reply to "Oh, come on!"
Member since:

Really, someone who has Xoom should request the sources from Motorola!? Are you seriously thinking they would get anything? When Google made it clear that they won't give away the sources at least for a while?

Yes (explantion below).

You seem to be confusing the copyright holder (Google) for a licensee (Motorola). Google as copyright holder can release the source/binaries under whatever license they want.

Right: and that's what they do with Android. Up to 2.3.3, Android was released as FLOSS under Apache2. Android 3.0 is not Free/Libre/Open Source.

However, Google is not the copyright holder of the Linux kernel. That part of Honeycomb is GPL'ed.

Therefore, if you get Android 3.0 from Motorola, you're entitled to get its kernel's source code if you request it (but only for the kernel -or any other GPL'ed component-, not for the whole system).

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Oh, come on!
by acid_head on Wed 6th Apr 2011 08:45 in reply to "RE: Oh, come on!"
acid_head Member since:

So you agree with me that Android 3.0 is not FOSS yet. That was the point of the article, not if Google is in compliance with the GPL components they use (which I'm sure they are). But all the GPL or other FOSS licensed components that make up Android do not make an Android by themselves. So, my conclusion (and yours) stands, and it's pretty obvious.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: Oh, come on!
by quique on Wed 6th Apr 2011 15:29 in reply to "RE[2]: Oh, come on!"
quique Member since:

So you agree with me that Android 3.0 is not FOSS yet. That was the point of the article

Of course we agree on that: it's a simple matter of fact.
Honeycomb is not FLOSS under any definition.

Free Software Definition?
No, we lack freedom 1: The freedom to study how the program works, and change it to make it do what you wish. Access to the source code is a precondition for this.

Open Source definition? Nope, it fails criteria 2: The program must include source code, and must allow distribution in source code as well as compiled form.

Android creator Andy Rubin's definition of Open? Neither.

Up to 2.3.3 Android was FLOSS, and hopefully future version will be too, once the phone and tablet versions merge.
Right now, Android 3.0 is proprietary software.

Reply Parent Score: 2