Linked by snydeq on Fri 12th Aug 2011 19:05 UTC
GNU, GPL, Open Source Google has finally acknowledged that its characterization of Android as open source is false and, in the end, this can only make the mobile platform stronger, InfoWorld's Galen Gruman argues. 'It's hard for believers to accept that open source brings with it difficulties, but look at the consistent failure of the other open source mobile platforms -- Moblin, Maemo, and MeeGo -- that all devolved into grad-student-like thought experiments and personal pet projects. Users don't want that, and ultimately products are sold to users.' Instead, Google has been quietly taking parts of Android back in house to develop them purposefully and deeply, and as Google has asserted more control over Android, it's improved.
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being one of those disagreeing
by vege on Sat 13th Aug 2011 04:19 UTC
vege
Member since:
2006-04-07

I, as a tech enthusiast, see this not just as a loss for the FOSS ecosystem, but also as a false statement.

For one, Android as a platform has become great as an almost open source product. Claiming now, that being open source would hold back growth and development - it is pretty funny, since we are talking about the arguably most popular mobile platform.

Closing the source is not about development, it is about competition issues, like staying ahead of competition or avoid a fraction of patent and copyright issues.

It is also sad (for me) to see what Android is turning to be. Although once being the "most successful open source platform" it is now going the way of OSX: relying heavily on FOSS (Linux here, BSD there), they take control of everything on the surface and become the owners of all policies, replacing the user (device owner) in that role.

I can just hope this is not going to be a trend that ends in having iOS/iTunes like restrictions and outrageous extra-profits for Google at the expense of developers and customers.

I admit, I belong to the minority, but contrary to what the article suggests, MeeGo is much more appealing for me in this sense.

Reply Score: 12

ssokolow Member since:
2010-01-21

I have to agree. I don't own a cellphone (though, being both a poor student and Canadian, that's very easy to justify on cost alone) and, when I do, It'll be when the entire stack is open source.

It's bad enough that I need the closed-source nVidia drivers to get suitable functionality out of my PC.

To me, Google's gradual closing of Android is more about blaming the process because they don't want to put in the effort to make it work.

Edited 2011-08-13 04:35 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

ebasconp Member since:
2006-05-09

I have to agree. I don't own a cellphone (though, being both a poor student and Canadian, that's very easy to justify on cost alone) and, when I do, It'll be when the entire stack is open source.


So, try to save all the money you can and buy an N900 as soon as possible; because seems to be one of the latest almost full open source based phones living out there.

Reply Parent Score: 2

cdude Member since:
2008-09-21

The article spreads FUD. Android is FLOSS and there is no way to argue about that. That is what the GPL is all about.

Reply Parent Score: 1

draethus Member since:
2006-08-02

The article spreads FUD. Android is FLOSS and there is no way to argue about that. That is what the GPL is all about.


Many parts of Android are not under the GPL. For example the libc is from NetBSD, under the BSD licence.

Reply Parent Score: 2