Hacker News new | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login

I think alot of people misunderstand what open source means. It's nothing more than allowing people to see the source code, and use it (including forking).

Open source doesn't require you to cooperate with anyone, it doesn't require you to give away access to APIs, it doesn't require you to do anything beyond whatever is explicitly stated in the license.

Google, Canonical, Oracle, IBM, Red Hat, SUSE, etc... aren't required to be good team players or corporate citizens. They're just required to abide by the terms of the licenses on code they use...




Well, there is a philosophy (or rather, various different philosophies) that go along with the legal structures, and different projects have different levels of adherence to those ideas.

It eventually comes down to perception of value. Part of the original attraction of Android was its openness, if Google is now closing off substantial functionality, to head off competition, then it's not unfair for people to re-evaluate their enthusiasm for the product.


> Part of the original attraction of Android was its openness, if Google is now closing off substantial functionality, to head off competition, then it's not unfair for people to re-evaluate their enthusiasm for the product.

Very well put! Its not a legal perception that theres something wrong about what they are doing(and nobody are saying that they cannot do it in the legal aspect).. its a betrayal of some part that make people defend android for what it is, a open source project.. its the ideal behind the project that is being broken

If its not like that anymore, the same people that support it for its openess should be aware of it.. and see that things are actually, gradually and silently changing..


> its a betrayal of some part that make people defend android for what it is, a open source project..

As an open-source project, Android was only ever really open in the way that, say, Oracle BDB is open; there are periodic code dumps, but it's very much not operated as an open-source project.


Perhaps there should be a phrase to mean "open source in name only." I wonder if all of this is related to Richard Stallman's dismissal of projects that claim to be open source, saying that it isn't enough unless it's "free software."


RMS is satisfied with anything that has a GPL licence. He's always supported creators rights to manage projects however they choose, and sell software as they choose. Google would fall short simply because the BSD licence isn't copyleft, but not for much of what they're being accused of here...


Not true, rms has no problem with the BSD license. It's still Free Software, and rms has even supported licensing a particular piece of software (Ogg/Vorbis) under a permissive license instead of the GPL.

http://lwn.net/2001/0301/a/rms-ov-license.php3


You are perfectly right regarding stallmas posted opinion regarding the GPL license.

I doubt however that RMS would be happy with open/free code being replaced by closed one as exemplified in the article. That has of course nothing to do with permissive and copyleft, and all to do with lock-in, proprietary practices, and project management.


He'd likely just say it was never fully free to begin with, because of the license. Not to mention, all the Google apps in question connect to SaaS backends which are closed anyway.

Personally, I don't see the problem with what Google is doing, I would prefer 100% open software myself, but Google would never open-source their services' code, so the fact the apps are closed-source doesn't really make a difference.


Android is open source in that sense, that Google can leave the AOSP app versions to rot, but they can't force them to be left alone - in fact, both Amazon and Samsung can work on the AOSP apps instead of their own, and keep them up-to-date and better than Google apps if they are able to.




Applications are open for YC Winter 2019

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: