Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 16th May 2012 21:17 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless An interesting study has been making the rounds across the web these past 24 hours. The creators of OpenSignalMaps have been logging which new devices download their product, and they've collected data on 681900 devices. The results are... Diverse.
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"Fragmentation"
by orsg on Wed 16th May 2012 21:57 UTC
orsg
Member since:
2011-02-09

Did anyone notice, how this word is used almost exclusively to describe Androids natural diversity in a negative way?

Anyone ever read of angry Windows-developers, complaining about the "Fragmentation" of Windows, that they have to support versions from XP to 7 running on Netbooks to 40" TVs.
Or the "Fragmentation" of the web, that they have to support different formfactors and not only different versions of standards, but several implementations of those (even without IE it's not easy).

In each of these scenarios, diversity is considered demanding but natural. Somehow mobile OSes seem to be different...

EDIT: This was not meant to be a request to be disproven. Of course there are articles of complaining web and windows devs, but those are not nearly as prominent as the Android fragmentation story nowadays

Edited 2012-05-16 22:08 UTC

Reply Score: 11

RE: "Fragmentation"
by dvhh on Thu 17th May 2012 06:21 in reply to ""Fragmentation""
dvhh Member since:
2006-03-20

Of course there are articles of complaining web and windows devs, but those are not nearly as prominent as the Android fragmentation story nowadays


Probably, explaining the skill level of most of these devs.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: "Fragmentation"
by moondevil on Thu 17th May 2012 07:35 in reply to ""Fragmentation""
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

Fragmentation has always been with us since the early days of computing.

On those days, where Assembly was the main language, application had to be recoded from zero for each single processor and OS.

Then with higher level languages each manufacturer had its own main language and OS, again the same issue.

Eventually the home market started, each micro computer also had its own way of doing things.

Then we have the variation across operating systems on the desktop world, and the embedded world where it is bigger than the desktop.

I haven't seen so much whining about fragmentation as nowadays, and I have to wonder how skilful these whiners are.

Edited 2012-05-17 07:35 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE: "Fragmentation"
by spiderman on Thu 17th May 2012 08:07 in reply to ""Fragmentation""
spiderman Member since:
2008-10-23

"Fragmentation" of Android is the little picture. It happens when a developers is working on an Android application and is frustrated that his application, tested on his device has a bug on another device. It costs him a little time to fix the bug he had not foreseen and this is a frustration moment. it's even worse if you have to fix the bug on Monday morning. You swear at the platform and through the word "Fragmentation" at it.
In the big picture, it actually costs nothing and you can support many more devices or you can restrict your application to some specs. The real "Fragmentation" is that there is a whole team dedicated to porting the application to Symbian, iOS, WP, Android and other incompatible devices with incompatible APIs. You have to use several ways of distributing it to support each platform. This actually costs a lot of money. The developer just see his little platform and thinks it is fragmented but in the big picture the fragmentation comes from there being different platforms.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: "Fragmentation"
by moondevil on Thu 17th May 2012 08:34 in reply to "RE: "Fragmentation""
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

The platform dedicated teams are actually a business model.

In the games industry, that is how the big studios usually work. They have a target platform, and all the remaining ones are done by contractors which specialize in a given platform.

In same way in big enterprise projects, the world where I work. The cost of contractors is peanuts, when compared with the total project cost.

I only see fragmentation being an issue for the bedroom coder.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: "Fragmentation"
by Laurence on Thu 17th May 2012 09:52 in reply to ""Fragmentation""
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26


Anyone ever read of angry Windows-developers, complaining about the "Fragmentation" of Windows, that they have to support versions from XP to 7 running on Netbooks to 40" TVs.
Or the "Fragmentation" of the web, that they have to support different formfactors and not only different versions of standards, but several implementations of those (even without IE it's not easy).

Yes, actually. all the time.

The diversity of platforms is offen held as an excuse for Windows' stability problems of the past when compared with OS X.

And the diversity of browsers (and incompatibilities between them) has been a HUGE topic of debate. You'd have to be living in a cave to miss all those arguments!


EDIT: This was not meant to be a request to be disproven. Of course there are articles of complaining web and windows devs, but those are not nearly as prominent as the Android fragmentation story nowadays

Nice get out clause ;)

You don't hear about complaints in regards to PC platforms because things have been relatively stable for the last few years. However once Win8 arrives on desktops, things will be shaken up again and you'll get a whole new set of topics relating to this issue (just as there was during the transition from XP -> Vista and 9x -> NT).

As for web standards, I think they still are argued more than mobile platforms (remember the countless posts on here about just the <video> tag alone?)

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: "Fragmentation"
by orsg on Thu 17th May 2012 10:44 in reply to "RE: "Fragmentation""
orsg Member since:
2011-02-09

Yes, actually. all the time. [...] You'd have to be living in a cave to miss all those arguments!

I didn't say, that there are no arguments, but
- they don't use this exact phrase "fragmentation". the different naming suggests, that this is something special for android, but in fact it's the same issue you have on other platforms, that consist of more than 5 devices as well
- nobody draws the conclusion, that his web/windows thing is inherently doomed because if its diversity.

Edited 2012-05-17 10:45 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: "Fragmentation"
by henderson101 on Thu 17th May 2012 13:22 in reply to ""Fragmentation""
henderson101 Member since:
2006-05-30

This link sums up my dislike of the situation*... I'm gald I got out of the mobile development field before Android became popular, because Windows Mobile was pure hell and there were a lot less devices overall:

http://techcrunch.com/2012/05/11/this-is-what-developing-for-androi...

* which should not be read as a "dislike" of Android. I'm seriously thinking of either an Android or Windows phone next. And I can't quite like the design of Windows phone enough, even though it is probably the simplest platform for me to develop my own apps for (as I sit in Visual Studio all day...) Having said that, if I find a sweet deal on an N9, I'd be tempted to get one off contract.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: "Fragmentation"
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Thu 17th May 2012 18:07 in reply to ""Fragmentation""
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

EDIT: This was not meant to be a request to be disproven. Of course there are articles of complaining web and windows devs, but those are not nearly as prominent as the Android fragmentation story nowadays


Its not as prominent because desktop developers solved the problem years ago.

Reply Parent Score: 3