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Graphics Card Question

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Re: Graphics Card Question

Postby knaughty » Sun Apr 10, 2011 5:26 pm

Fridmarr wrote:It'll be released when it's ready.

http://android-developers.blogspot.com/ ... oment.html

That is NOT the same thing as "Open Source".

"We'll release it when we feel like it" amounts to "We'll release it when it no longer provides us competitive advantage" and is pretty much the same open-source policy that Apple follow.
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Re: Graphics Card Question

Postby Gorlando » Sun Apr 10, 2011 7:10 pm

knaughty wrote:
Fridmarr wrote:It'll be released when it's ready.

http://android-developers.blogspot.com/ ... oment.html

That is NOT the same thing as "Open Source".

"We'll release it when we feel like it" amounts to "We'll release it when it no longer provides us competitive advantage" and is pretty much the same open-source policy that Apple follow.


Andy Rubin wrote:As soon as this work is completed, we’ll publish the code.

versus
knaughty wrote:"We'll release it when we feel like it"

There's a bit of a difference between the two statements.

The quote was taken from the link in Fridmarr's post.
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Re: Graphics Card Question

Postby Fridmarr » Sun Apr 10, 2011 9:16 pm

knaughty wrote:
Fridmarr wrote:It'll be released when it's ready.

http://android-developers.blogspot.com/ ... oment.html

That is NOT the same thing as "Open Source".

"We'll release it when we feel like it" amounts to "We'll release it when it no longer provides us competitive advantage" and is pretty much the same open-source policy that Apple follow.

Well that's not what is being said, nor is that how Android (a platform for which I do quite a bit of development (along with a little IPhone work)) has worked or will work. Android came out of the Open Handset Alliance and has matured as an Open Source Product. Honeycomb, was not written for phones, it was written on top of Android but for tablets. Thus this particular comment is of interest
Andy Rubin wrote:As I write this the Android team is still hard at work to bring all the new Honeycomb features to phones.

Emphasis mine. The point is, Honeycomb or Android 3, does not yet exist on phones. That is why it hasn't been released yet, it's simply not done. There is no phone that runs it yet.

So quite obviously, Android is still open source, and the competitive advantage argument is kind of silly when you work with and understand the APIs. Honeycomb is unlikely to house any major trade secrets at the OS level that are worth hiding. It would be quite difficult for it to remain open from a hardware and software stack level, if there was some dramatic shift. Plus, its feature set has been widely publicized for some time.

Apple is simply not open in any real sense. That's not a bad thing, it's just how they operate and the results drive and push other technologies at times, which is ultimately good. Being Open can be an encumbrance and Apple simply doesn't have to deal with that aspect.

TLDR: Android IS open source, feel free to dive in:
http://android.git.kernel.org/
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Re: Graphics Card Question

Postby Flex » Sun Apr 10, 2011 10:06 pm

knaughty wrote:
Fridmarr wrote:It'll be released when it's ready.

http://android-developers.blogspot.com/ ... oment.html

That is NOT the same thing as "Open Source".

"We'll release it when we feel like it" amounts to "We'll release it when it no longer provides us competitive advantage" and is pretty much the same open-source policy that Apple follow.


Well the competitive advantage parts are the apps that Google provides (Maps and the Market are two) which are not and have never been open source and if reports are to believed getting access to those apps will be getting harder to accomplish.
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Re: Graphics Card Question

Postby knaughty » Mon Apr 11, 2011 12:25 am

Android 3.0, AKA Honeycomb has, as I understand it, been released on various hardware platforms already.

You cannot obtain the source for any of these pieces of hardware.

You also cannot have a copy of Honeycomb from Google in order to build your own tablet (without signing whatever onerous conditions Google decide to apply).

Android was deliberately coded on the Apache licence because it allows you to take your stuff closed-source at whim:
Android FAQ wrote:Why did you pick the Apache v2 open source license?

Apache is a commercial-friendly open source license. The Apache license allows manufacturers and mobile operators to innovate using the platform without the requirement to contribute those innovations back to the open source community. Because these innovations and differentiated features can be kept proprietary, manufacturers and mobile operators are protected from the "viral infection" problem often associated with other licenses.


More interestingly, Google has take a pile of non-Apache code from Oracle nee Sun and released it under the Apache licence without permission.

Their defence includes blaming the handset manufacturers for putting it on handsets - IE: Don't sue Google for the infringements, sue Samsung, it's their phone.

Court case is at GrokLaw. Utterly unclear which way it will go but betting against Oracle on IP law has typically gone poorly for most people. The fact that Oracle own Java and are playing "hardball with spikes" bodes ill for anyone thinking Android is going to remain free (as in beer).

Similar issues abound with WebM. There's basically zero chance Google will win that one - the code will breach multiple critical patents in the MPEG portfolio, it's a given. Feel free to hate software patents (I do) but sticking your fingers in your ears and saying "LaLaLaLa WebM doesn't have any video compression patent breaches in it because we never looked" doesn't actually work in practice.

Don't be Evil? Yeah, pull the other one.
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Re: Graphics Card Question

Postby fuzzygeek » Mon Apr 11, 2011 3:57 am

There is a long discussion about Honeycomb on ESR's blog here: http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=3071 with a fair amount of meat in the comments.
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Re: Graphics Card Question

Postby Fridmarr » Mon Apr 11, 2011 7:51 am

knaughty wrote:Android 3.0, AKA Honeycomb has, as I understand it, been released on various hardware platforms already...snip
And all of that has nothing to do with whether or not Android is Open Source, which it is. Honeycomb has not been ported to phones yet, at least in the wild. Now that's not to say that manufacturers don't have their hands on early release versions to get their work started for their Android 3.0 phones.

Patent stuff is a whole different ballgame. All of these companies are sued constantly and not just by patent trolls either, they sue each other as well. If a judge rules that there is an issue, then Google will ultimately have to comply. Hell even Linux, the hallmark of Open Source, has had major issues with this sort of thing. It's just kind of the nature business with patent laws that are way behind the times.

Flex wrote:Well the competitive advantage parts are the apps that Google provides (Maps and the Market are two) which are not and have never been open source and if reports are to believed getting access to those apps will be getting harder to accomplish.
Correct, which is partially why the whole competitive advantage notion of not releasing Honeycomb is so silly. The other part being that the source code to their previous versions has long been publicly available. I don't think Google has any interest in making those apps open source though. I don't really understand how access will be getting harder, I don't think it was ever going to happen in the first place. Unless they are EOL'd I don't see why Google would, or even should make those Open Source.
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Re: Graphics Card Question

Postby Flex » Mon Apr 11, 2011 8:07 am

Fridmarr wrote:I don't think Google has any interest in making those apps open source though. I don't really understand how access will be getting harder, I don't think it was ever going to happen in the first place. Unless they are EOL'd I don't see why Google would, or even should make those Open Source.


Just going by this piece which hasn't been refuted to any major extent, Andy Rubin for instance didn't address the early access part in his rebutal post. Basically to get early access to the newest Android code, huge competitive advantage within the hardware sector, you'll have to play by Google's rules. There's a process to get the Google apps and to use the Android name on your hardware and if that process requires more steps to be met then it is by definition harder.
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Re: Graphics Card Question

Postby Fridmarr » Mon Apr 11, 2011 8:26 am

Flex wrote:
Fridmarr wrote:I don't think Google has any interest in making those apps open source though. I don't really understand how access will be getting harder, I don't think it was ever going to happen in the first place. Unless they are EOL'd I don't see why Google would, or even should make those Open Source.


Just going by this piece which hasn't been refuted to any major extent, Andy Rubin for instance didn't address the early access part in his rebutal post. Basically to get early access to the newest Android code, huge competitive advantage within the hardware sector, you'll have to play by Google's rules. There's a process to get the Google apps and to use the Android name on your hardware and if that process requires more steps to be met then it is by definition harder.

Yeah, that's just Google controlling their brand, and Samsung probably blew that for everyone when they created the Galaxy Tab after Google told them not too, because the version of Android that existed was not designed for tablets. That does reference the Bloomberg comments though, which have been refuted as flatly incorrect.

I guess my point was why did you ever think Maps et al. was going to be made accessible and now it isn't? I didn't seen anything in that article that was dealing with either of those points.
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Re: Graphics Card Question

Postby Flex » Mon Apr 11, 2011 8:51 am

Fridmarr wrote:I guess my point was why did you ever think Maps et al. was going to be made accessible and now it isn't? I didn't seen anything in that article that was dealing with either of those points.


I am not talking about accessible as in open source, but accessible in actual access to use and install from the hardware manufacturer/carrier side. If Company A wants to use Android in a method Google doesn't approve of they would no longer have access to the Apps or the Android name. It does appear that they're just stepping up on policing actual policies that have always existed but have been inconsistently enforced.
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Re: Graphics Card Question

Postby Fridmarr » Mon Apr 11, 2011 9:07 am

Flex wrote:
Fridmarr wrote:I guess my point was why did you ever think Maps et al. was going to be made accessible and now it isn't? I didn't seen anything in that article that was dealing with either of those points.


I am not talking about accessible as in open source, but accessible in actual access to use and install from the hardware manufacturer/carrier side. If Company A wants to use Android in a method Google doesn't approve of they would no longer have access to the Apps or the Android name. It does appear that they're just stepping up on policing actual policies that have always existed but have been inconsistently enforced.

Oh I see. Yeah, if you want to have Google's products installed in your device, you will have to get their permission, and fork over some cash. At least you are free to architect your own solutions to those, or just license a competitor's (like Garmin) GPS service and Market (like Amazon).

That said, they have actually relaxed on that a bit. Very early on, someone made their own custom ROMs that were bundled with Google's apps. At first Google's legal dept cracked down, but after working with the engineers they decided that since the customization came on a product that already had that software pre mod, they could still use that software. So there is still a lot of modding that goes on in that vein, where you can redistribute those apps because the device was licensed for them. That's where you see great open source benefit.

There is certainly a lot of gray area with open source, and Android is probably always going to be pushing that envelope a bit as they attempt to protect their brand and prevent fragmentation.
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Re: Graphics Card Question

Postby knaughty » Mon Apr 11, 2011 3:15 pm

Fridmarr wrote:Yeah, that's just Google controlling their brand, and Samsung probably blew that for everyone when they created the Galaxy Tab after Google told them not too, because the version of Android that existed was not designed for tablets.

So what? The whole point of Open Source is I'm allowed to do anything I want with it so long as I comply with the licence. If Samsung want to port Android 2.2 to a tablet, then I can do it. Because of the licence Google selected, I don't even have to contribute my port back to the "community" (AKA: Google).

Google didn't like it, so Android 3.0 is currently closed source.
Fridmarr wrote:
knaughty wrote:Android 3.0, AKA Honeycomb has, as I understand it, been released on various hardware platforms already...snip
And all of that has nothing to do with whether or not Android is Open Source, which it is. Honeycomb has not been ported to phones yet, at least in the wild.

You keep saying Android 3.0 is Open Source, please point me at the repository, I'd like to download it.

What has "ported to phones" got to do with anything? Maybe I want to port it myself, because I'm a major phone manufacturer. Maybe I want to put it something else entirely.

Oh wait, I can't, because Google is controlling their brand?

You can't, because Android is no longer Open Source.

Google say they'll open it up again later, when it suits them (AKA "When we've ported it to a phone")... meanwhile, you can sign contracts with Google to get "early access", AKA massive competitive advantage. The fact Motorola has the Android 3.0 source does not make it Open Source, beacuse Moto aren't publishing it under and OSI approved licence.

Why is Google the only company allowed to port Android 3 to a phone? If it was Open Source why couldn't Samsung or some other phone company port it to a phone?
Last edited by knaughty on Mon Apr 11, 2011 3:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Graphics Card Question

Postby knaughty » Mon Apr 11, 2011 3:26 pm

Fridmarr wrote:There is certainly a lot of gray area with open source, and Android is probably always going to be pushing that envelope a bit as they attempt to protect their brand and prevent fragmentation.


You seem to have a basic misunderstanding of what Open Source means.

Here's the OSI Definition. Go read it, I'll be referring to the clauses.

Google's control of Android means that Android fails to meet several clauses. Currently, they fail on (2) - there's no access to the current version's source code.

They've also pretty explicitly stated that they plan to breach (5), (6) and (10).

They discriminate against specific companies - you must enter into restrictive "early access" arrangements. That breaches (5).

You may not use Android 3 on a phone, that breaches (6) and (10). Google's instructions to not use 2.2 on a tablet also breach both those clauses.

The only "grey area" is Google apologists claiming that Android is Open Source because you can download an obsolete version that's missing a pile of stuff.

By that criteria OS X is Open Source as well...
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Re: Graphics Card Question

Postby gibborim » Mon Apr 11, 2011 4:10 pm

knaughty wrote:More interestingly, Google has take a pile of non-Apache code from Oracle nee Sun and released it under the Apache licence without permission.


Referencing cases of Patent Trolling: -1 credibility
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Re: Graphics Card Question

Postby knaughty » Mon Apr 11, 2011 4:27 pm

Fridmarr wrote:after Google told them not too


You don't get to retain control of your product after you open the source. That's kind of the fucking point, and Google seemed to have missed it.

Fridmarr wrote:Apple is simply not open in any real sense


Your basic statement is correct. Neither of Apple or Google are Open in any significant way. But at the moment Apple is probably more open than Google.

WebKit. Have you heard of it?

Apple have one major open source project supported and extended by multiple vendors - Apple, Google, Nokia, RIM, Palm, Samsung, KDE, etc.

Almost every smartphone uses Webkit (Android does). Chrome uses Webkit, and it will be the #2 browser in a couple of years. Webkit-based browsers are the only ones with growing market share, and they'll be in second place overall (overtaking Firefox) by June.

Now...

Please name the major Open Source software initiative that Google has created?

Android? Not Open Source.

Google use Open Source. Google support Open Source via some hosting resources (code.google.com) and cash. They don't contribute much code though...

But Google are not an Open Source company. In fact, their incredible dependance on Open Source while not really contributing back to the community was one of the key drivers behind the creation of the new version of the GPL that is supposed to be even more viral (haven't checked what was actually released, I'll never use the GPL3 personally, GPL2 was viral enough).

Where's the Google version of Linux? Oh yeah, not released. All the other internal stuff that they developed based on and extended from Open Source technologies?

Gee.... not released.

Google are less open than even Apple. And Apple sure as hell aren't an "Open Source" company. But at least Apple use, improve, extend and contribute back to the community in several major Open Source projects. They've released large bits of their OS (everything except the GUI, basically) and tried to contribute a modern OS initialisation routine back to the community (replacement for init.d) and they've had the odd hit like WebKit. They've put a ton of work into GCC and contributed it back - Objective-C support plus a pile of other improvements to the related tools.

Google support Open Source in general via cash and resources, but release very, very little of the code they develop themselves.

Sun were an Open Source company, or at least they tried. Didn't go so well for them and now they're SnOrcle.
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