Well done, Google.
This release doesn't change Google's strategy nor the fact that they will continue to release Android's source code in the future with a significant delay compared to early-access partners. There's no reason to congratulate them now nor complain louder some months from now, they'll continue to do what makes sense for them from a business standpoint. The only news are the yet-to-be-discovered jewels in the just-released source code.
> This release doesn't change Google's strategy nor the
> fact that they will continue to release Android's source
> code in the future with a significant delay compared to
> early-access partners.
Google has done a lot to confuse this by referring to everything as just "open". They were still calling Android open even when it didn't meet Andy Rubin's own tweeted 'definition of open'.
Even yesterday, when Android 3/4 was not available as open-source, Android 2.2 and 2.3 which are the most deployed versions were definitely available as open-source.
And this is relevant, because that's the power of open-source. If you're unhappy with how Google is managing the project you do have the right to fork it. Amazon did just that. Xorg also came into existence that way, amongst other projects.
And yes, it takes resources and you've got to make it popular somehow and that ain't easy and I also fear that Google may close future versions of Android completely, but is it mature enough for a fork to be possible and to survive? Hell yes. Can the parent (Google) attack forks based on patents? No, because the Apache license protects you from that scenario (it's a little ironic that a pro-commercial license is safer than GPL v.2)
Which is why I consider Android to be a lot more "open" than the other 2 alternatives floating around, iOS and WinMo. That's my own definition anyway, which is why I began by highlighting the meaninglessness of the word.
They release this time.. you and I can only hope that they keep doing it in the future. It wouldn't be all that surprising if it would go closed source (except for key partners) at some point (and except for the GPL content).
Specially when any company could just rip the source, make it nicer looking and release their own version of Android and close the source on that... oh look it has a name, it's called MIUI!
Imagine if many cheap Chinese manufacturers release decent phones with it, that cost 3x cheaper than the rest, and no Google stuff inside, no control, yada yada.
Well, personally I'd get one :-)
It wouldn't be all that surprising if it would
go closed source
Xorg came into existence because of disagreements with the XFree86 license, while XFree86 died ... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X.Org_Server#History
Specially when any company could just rip the source
You see, forks from small players cannot survive because they'll lack the advantages of the main branch (especially the Marketplace). On the other hand, Google must play nice because a fork coming from an alliance between several of these players can kill the main branch.
Imagine if many cheap Chinese manufacturers release
decent phones with it, that cost 3x cheaper than
Also, most people don't want cheap. Most people want reliable and affordable, which is why iPhones and Galaxy S2 are selling quite well, even though there are cheaper alternatives on the market, even from trusted brands. Consumers don't want the cheapest products, instead they want the best value/price ratio (as long as they can afford it). Making an analogy with cars, there's always going to be a big market for Audi, BMW and Mercedes. Some people even prefer to buy second-hand cars from these brands, instead of a cheaper but out-of-the-factory alternative. That says a lot.
No. That is the whole point of free software. The point of open source is just that the source code is made freely available.
No viable successful open source mobile OS gives equal access to public and OEM partners to a private tree
This is a true statement but you've set the bar pretty low there with 4 qualifiers.
If you can download the source, distribute it, modify it, collaborate, and install the modified version easily on your device; then it's a quantum leap forward from any other mass-market mobile device.
In my opinion, that's huge. Right now, google is offering you the ability to actually know what your phone is doing (a huge issue when it comes to government or corporate surveillance), and puts everyone on a level playing field when it comes to writing applications and improvements, and it will likely speed up the convergence of networks so that everything is data (thus eliminating the separate billing for voice and SMS).
Eventually there will be more open, collaborative development. But let's have some patience -- PC's took a long time to be liberated (even now, many people think linux is "not ready for the desktop" and it has a small share). What google is doing is bringing linux to everyone on a new platform and already getting real market share. That's no small achievement.
Actually it just indicates the large number of analysts/trolls who were confidently proclaiming that Google would never release Android source again.
"open-source citizen" is in the eye of the beholder, if you are a die hard FOSS advocate then yes, they have failed. If you are happy with code being released when it is deemed ready (of course readiness in this case might have been influenced by marketing factors) then they have been quite successful.
You hear that, diBona? Keep releasing the code!
It still doesn't justify the "open source" moniker, but it's still good.
And here's a thread discussing building the 3.1 GPL'd code in May. http://groups.google.com/group/android-building/browse_threa...
This is inaccurate, they have been releasing patches and updates for other versions of the platform over the last year.
They did skip Honeycomb, which fits your Amazon theory, mind you, from the reviews I have read the Fire would not benefit greatly from ICS as they Frankensteined the Android experience.
Unless I can't make a 3G equivalent to wireshark I'll have a hard time calling the platform open.
(If you accidentally post something twice, be careful about deleting one. The other one may be automatically killed, but you don't see it when your posts are killed.)
now ready to sync
Stand by :-)
Personal site (includes mention of his job): http://www.dibona.com/
P.S. Chris, you have http://dibona.com in your HN profile, but it just redirects.
He posted the same text in 2 comments (in two different threads). Probably the second of the 2 was a victim of an automatic dup detector/killer.
(Edit: You'll downvote me, but not the troll? WTF?)
I really don't care about any arguments people might want to make about the visual redesign, or how to properly implement #! paths, or the extra effort involved in generating resilient URLs, or Google paying special attention to how the Android browser handles pages, or what evil things my phone company might be doing my my data stream, and how that's not their fault, or whatever. Permalinks should work. Everywhere. Period.
The most famous of these is CyanogenMod, which works across most Android phones out.
Once they port it to your phone you can flash the ROM and run ICS on your phone!
Seems like Chrome OS should be folded into Android and many people would be comfortable using it at home. Same apps could run and sync on all devices.
Merging them would not be impossible, but it's not easy.
Actually, ChromeOS isn't just for netbooks. It's for a world where everything you want to do on your computer is available via a web service. Netbooks happen to be suitable for ChromeOS now because the web services available today generally don't require much heavy lifting client-side. Especially if NaCl/PNaCl takes off (who knows?) that very well may change soon.
That's why ChromeOS as designed is, in my opinion, actually unlikely to become defunct anytime soon: I personally suspect the percentage of consumers for which ChromeOS's capabilities are sufficient will continue to rise over the next few years.
If the reason is that there's no combination of project commits that can create a building Honeycomb, they should just admit to it and explain why.
The current approach seems like a weird attempt to snow something over - I understand that Honeycomb was a rushed, trashy Android release, and that there's some pride involved, but supposedly all of the rushed, trashy code is in the tree now, and hence there's no going back. The first thing everyone on xda-developers is going to do is go hunting for bad Honeycomb code anyway.
There's a new release now that is stable for all kinds of devices, is it worth it to concern ourselves with what exactly is or isn't Honeycomb? I don't think they were trying to snow something over, I think this was their plan. Release Honeycomb after ICS since device manufacturers will use ICS anyway since it's new.
Could the slight delay in release simply be due to legal issues such as scrubbing patent issues and verification that OSS code isn't infringing?
Not that missing that deserves the downvoting you're getting though.
Update: +1 to everyone thinking 'man, I bitch about google sometimes, but this kind of thing is totally legit and awesome'
Google has generally been good about releasing emulator images prior to releases, though usually it's only a few weeks. Luckily, it takes time for Android versions to achieve large market share, so any bugs can be squashed before it's a big problem.
The definitive and fastest answer will always come from reading and understanding the source code, as I don't have to hope that someone had the same problem I'm having and someone else had an answer, or that someone will reply to my question before I give up. Eclair, Froyo and Gingerbread sources were enough for 99% of my needs though, but there was always this shadow of doubt for Honeycomb-specific features...
For the most part, having the latest source readily available will greatly reduce the amount of open browser tabs, and for that I'm thankful :)
Not really. It's occasionally convenient to have the source, but it's not at all required and the documentation doesn't assume that you do.
Lots of hackers would like the source so they can poach the some code, make a few enhancements then make a quick buck though...
For example, source of the MMS conversation list:
Another great place to browse the source, with working links to other classes, multiple versions etc, is grepcode:
The link for this submission says:
"This release includes the full history of the Android source code
tree, which naturally includes all the source code for the Honeycomb
releases. However, since Honeycomb was a little incomplete, we want
everyone to focus on Ice Cream Sandwich. So, we haven't created any
tags that correspond to the Honeycomb releases (even though the
changes are present in the history.)"
> This release includes the full history of the Android source code tree, which naturally includes all the source code for the Honeycomb releases.
I gather that the "complete" Honeycomb source is available as part of the git history, but without tags.
Plenty of heat being put on manufacturers with Android devices but that is hardly Google's fault or related to the