4 comments on “Time to accept that Android is no longer open source?

  1. This is misinformation. anyone familiar with the technical reasons for Google not open-sourcing 3.x would understand that it has nothing to do with Google changing their mind about code-licensing agreements. Before you start getting all excited about this crap, you should know that:

    (a) It’s a bunch of FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt), based upon biased opinions and grounded in superficial research

    (b) Even if Google’s trademark builds of Android continue to remain closed-source, the open-source community can build upon what has already been open-sourced, and even go so far as to compete with Android if necessary.

    (c) Considering that Google is giving away Android for free and (in light of their business model) has more incentive than any other major Web company to support open-source, Google would be out of their mind not to open-source Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0).

    (d) As for 3.x, it was an unsalvagable POS from the very beginning; Google knows this, which is precisely why they decided not to open-source it. wasted effort on fixing Android 3.x would only hinder further innovation of Android, so to prevent enthusiastic coders from wasting their precious energy on a lost cause, Google locked 3.x away in a time capsule as soon as they could, and focused their efforts on releasing the worthy successor, Ice Cream Sandwich, ASAP.

    (e) Ice Cream Sandwich will be open-sourced very soon, as confirmed straight from the ‘horse’s mouth’ (Google).

    Here’s a good news article that explains it all: http://thenextweb.com/google/2011/10/20/google-confirms-ice-cream-sandwich-will-be-open-source-released-publicly/

    • (a) I never claim to this being anything than my personal thoughts, and the article’s title was a question not a statement.

      (b) I never claimed that it hadn’t been open source in the past. In fact I specifically mentioned it with links.

      (c) You may well be right. In fact I think you are right, but we should judge them on what they actually do, not on what they should do.

      (d) Indeed, which is why I have not worried too much through 3.x, but now 4.x has been announced and we still have do not had anything open sourced since 2.3. As you say there may be very good reasons for this, but this is not how open source projects work – in open source you release early and release often and the community works with you to improve the software.

      (e) Yes and I had already included that information in my post, albeit with a different link, but one that provided similar information.

      You claim my post was nothing more than poorly researched FUD, but I don’t believe anything that you have posted has actually altered my post. What it has done is provide readers with the alternative bias and for that I thank you.

      The fact is that I do believe that they will, at some point in the future, release the source code. And when they do I will be absolutely delighted. But again I say – this is not how an open source project should be run, this is a closed source project where they occasionally throw the source code over the wall as and when it suits them. Maybe we should all be grateful to them that they have given us anything at all, but remember this is based on the Linux kernel, which they obtained freely through it being open source.

      • @”You claim my post was nothing more than poorly researched FUD”

        I apologize if my tone came off as a bit aggressive, but I was not specifically targeting your post (although the word “crap” inadvertently implied that); rather, I was targeting the opinion that android is no longer open source, which (as you know) is supported by several FUD-driven news articles and opinion columns which are poorly researched and heavily-biased.

        I read through the rest of your post (although admittedly, because the initial comment was first posted through Facebook, I was responding more to the title and abstract than to the post in its entirety), and understand that you are well-versed in these issues, but I also feel that your presentation of this material is misleading and represents an incomplete picture of the Android source code and the issues that surround it, which would perhaps cause the readers to misinterpret your entry as being supportive of the aforementioned FUD.

        I am glad that you have clarified these things, albeit in response to my own criticisms, and hope that a balanced and unbiased awareness of Android and its code ecosystem becomes more widespread.

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