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Graphics Card Question

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Re: Graphics Card Question

Postby fuzzygeek » Tue Apr 12, 2011 10:55 pm

knaughty wrote:THE FUCKING SOURCE CODE HASN'T BEEN RELEASED. IT ISN'T FUCKING OPEN SOURCE.


It will be interesting to quote this in a few months along with a link to the source repository, assuming Google actually releases it (or just jumps to Ice Cream, which I think is more likely and would be a more efficient allocation of resources, imo).

ESR (who has more open source cred than any of us by many, many orders of magnitude) wrote a post about this that I linked a while ago:
esr wrote:We didn’t see pitchforks and torches at the castle gates of the companies developing mySQL and Ghostscript, because the Open Source Definition doesn’t forbid behavior like this. Nor does the web of customs surrounding the GNU general Public License. Neither these nor any other community norms actually require any development group to release code it thinks is half-baked. They don’t even forbid selective close-to-the-kimono releases – in fact, even the hardest-core zealots at the Free Software Foundation have never fussed about that and they’re conspicuously not doing so now.

What the OSD and other community norms are designed to guarantee is that when there is a public release, you have a right to redistribute it, modify it, and reuse portions in your own code. Google has not attempted to infringe on this right and there is no sign that it intends to try.


I read through a handful of the links Knaughty posted and most are either editorials or (such as the MeeGo article) were spinning Google's delay to promote their own OS creds. Of course, none of them have a leg to stand on the moment Google releases their source, which they've stated they will do when it is ready. To do otherwise would detonate the Android coalition and their business strategy.

Most of this argument seems to boil down to a difference of definitions. Knaughty's stance is no source = it's not open source (see giant flaming words etched into the hillside above). I don't think this is actually the case at all, but it's certainly a shorthand many people are using to bludgeon the shit out of Google now.
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Re: Graphics Card Question

Postby theckhd » Wed Apr 13, 2011 5:33 am

knaughty wrote:The general rule of thumb is:
• You are not required to "show your working", while you're building & debugging stuff you can keep it secret if you want. You just can't expect any help from the community while you're working in private.
• Once you release a product, you have to release the code.


OK, but if that's the case, isn't it fair to say that Android 3.0 is in the building & debugging stage, and that they have no obligation to show the source code right now? By your own definition, as long as they release the source code at the same time that the finished product gets released, it's still open source.

I think that's what Frid's arguing as well.
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Re: Graphics Card Question

Postby Talaii » Wed Apr 13, 2011 5:48 am

theckhd wrote:
OK, but if that's the case, isn't it fair to say that Android 3.0 is in the building & debugging stage, and that they have no obligation to show the source code right now? By your own definition, as long as they release the source code at the same time that the finished product gets released, it's still open source.

I think that's what Frid's arguing as well.


Is that a reasonable claim to make given that you can buy devices today that come with 3.0 installed? The end product exists in the market, they just haven't given out the source code, so it's limited to one (well, a couple now, I think) device.
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Re: Graphics Card Question

Postby theckhd » Wed Apr 13, 2011 5:59 am

Talaii wrote:
theckhd wrote:
OK, but if that's the case, isn't it fair to say that Android 3.0 is in the building & debugging stage, and that they have no obligation to show the source code right now? By your own definition, as long as they release the source code at the same time that the finished product gets released, it's still open source.

I think that's what Frid's arguing as well.


Is that a reasonable claim to make given that you can buy devices today that come with 3.0 installed? The end product exists in the market, they just haven't given out the source code, so it's limited to one (well, a couple now, I think) device.


I have no idea. Again, I'm the ignorant outsider here. Maybe my terminology is wrong and it's not Android 3.0 we're talking about. I'm not really sure what the difference is between Android/Honeycomb/whatever. But the impression I got from the thread is that Google is working on some piece of software that hasn't been released yet (or maybe it's a port of software from one device to another?), and the argument is over whether it's open source or not.
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Re: Graphics Card Question

Postby Fridmarr » Wed Apr 13, 2011 7:06 am

I can understand the confusion (for a little bit). I mean they did burn another letter on the dessert hurricane alphabet, they did increment the version number, and they call it by the same name, but Honeycomb really is a derivative product despite all the branding.

Android was designed for phones. I don't think, until relatively recently that pads/tablets were in the works, I mean Google has another product for that. Given all the pain Google has had to deal with over fragmentation, the last thing they wanted to do was create a code branch for some hardware specific devices.

But the pressure was on, not just for a tablet, but an Android tablet compatible with all the apps already out for Android. Vendors were already putting Android 2.2 on tablets despite Google telling them not too, that it won't work well, and that the Android Market wouldn't support it properly. I'm sure Google would have rather matured 2.2 into a product similar to IOS with better support for both device types. Eventually, they will.

So with all these Google/Android branded pads being created with 2.2 Google basically did what it had to, and created a version of Android that was designed for tablets. They decided to create a branch and a rather major fragment because there was no way they were going to be able to merge this into the phone line within any reasonable time constraint. That would have been a ton work (only some of which they are doing now).

So the tablet version of Android is not open source. Google has no intention of releasing the code. I'm willing to bet there's some very specific code in Honeycomb anyhow, instead of the more generic stuff you need with a public API like Android. Regardless, it qualifies as a derivative work, and releasing or not releasing that source code doesn't affect the Open Source status of the code line it was branched from. They certainly can't put on the base Android code line, because that would cause major problems and it wouldn't work on nearly every other device.

Some of the features like Fragments (yeah bad name) and Hardware Acceleration settings have been ported into the SDK already, and as we've already seen they have compatibility issues with older API versions. So they are in static libraries called an "Android Compatibility Package". At some point, I have no doubt, that tablets and phones will be running the same Android OS, at which point Honeycomb is a dead stick and won't be updated. I could be wrong, maybe they'll keep updating a separate tablet version of their OS and won't ever release the code for it. Even if they did that though, that still keeps them perfectly within the Apache 2.0 license constraints and the main code line, Android, would still be open source, provided they keep releasing the source for it when they distribute it. Something that it sounds like they are going to continue to do.

Are we going to do this all over again with various stages of GoogleTV?
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Re: Graphics Card Question

Postby Sabindeus » Wed Apr 13, 2011 9:19 am

But we can all agree that the Honeycomb branch of Android that Google is working on is NOT open source, by definition, as the source is in fact not open. Right?

Also wow epic thread derail here
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Re: Graphics Card Question

Postby Sabindeus » Wed Apr 13, 2011 9:22 am

And assuming we agree with my previous post this provides for an interesting analogy ...

-Android is Open Source
-Honeycomb is a closed branch of Android designed to work on tablets, with some code perhaps getting committed upstream to the Android trunk

-Darwin is Open Source
-Mac OS X is a closed branch of Darwin designed to work on Apple Macintosh Computers, with some code perhaps getting committed upstream to the Darwin trunk
-iOS is a closed branch of Mac OS X (yes iOS runs on darwin/xnu) designed to work on Apple Portal Devices, with some code perhaps getting committed upstream to the Mac OS X branch
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Re: Graphics Card Question

Postby Flex » Wed Apr 13, 2011 10:16 am

Google and Apple share one major thing in common. None of the stuff that makes them money they have open sourced. Apple doesn't release whole products as Open Source but they release lots of interesting technology as open source, WebKit, OpenCL, and Grand Central Dispatch being 3 big ones and of course they contribute greatly to projects that benefit them with one of the biggest examples being LLVM. Google sees the phone OS as secondary to the phone app system and selling their ads, but at the same time they're trying to deal with fragmentation issues and creating a brand where the feeling of use is the same across the product line <snide remark about how this is typical Google halfassing their way through a product release without a lot of planning>.
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Re: Graphics Card Question

Postby laterna » Wed Apr 13, 2011 10:17 am

Sabindeus wrote:But we can all agree that the Honeycomb branch of Android that Google is working on is NOT open source, by definition, as the source is in fact not open. Right?

Also wow epic thread derail here

Well the thread went from a laptop GPU reckomendation, to a mac vs apple , to an open code discussion

Double combo thread derail?
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Re: Graphics Card Question

Postby cerwillis » Wed Apr 13, 2011 1:46 pm

Man, I had an awesome Pork BBQ sammich at a new lunch place around here. MMMMMmmmm Good! oh! and I had it with
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Re: Graphics Card Question

Postby knaughty » Wed Apr 13, 2011 2:35 pm

My problems with saying that Honeycomb is a "closed derivative work of Android" is:

(1) It's the current version
(2) It's by Google
(3) Android 3.0 is the trunk. You just can't read it any more.

"Derivative work" is misleading when you're talking about the primary developer and project sponsor and the current/latest production version.

Android 2.2 is Open. Android 3.0 is currently closed. This is legal under Apache 2, but it isn't Open Source.

As I pointed out a few posts back, even Google admit that they close Android and ChomeOS at whim to suit their business goals.

Largely agree with Sab & Flex's points, especially this bit from Flex:
Flex wrote: Google and Apple share one major thing in common. None of the stuff that makes them money they have open sourced.

Neither Google nor Apple are "Open Source" companies. Apple have a better track record of contributing to Open Source projects & the community.

Can anyone name a Google Open Source project that isn't completely under Google's thumb? WebKit, OpenCL and LLVM (plus other improvements to GCC) are good examples of Apple tech that have been well accepted by the Open Source community. Not sure about Grand Central Despatch - only FreeBSD have picked it up so far.
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Re: Graphics Card Question

Postby Sabindeus » Wed Apr 13, 2011 2:57 pm

knaughty wrote:Can anyone name a Google Open Source project that isn't completely under Google's thumb? WebKit, OpenCL and LLVM (plus other improvements to GCC) are good examples of Apple tech that have been well accepted by the Open Source community.


Can't help but be a stickler here. WebKit is not an original Apple project. They adopted KHTML from KDE, forked it, hired a lot of KHTML devs, and turned it into WebKit, which then went on to be a big hit.
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Re: Graphics Card Question

Postby Sabindeus » Wed Apr 13, 2011 2:59 pm

knaughty wrote:My problems with saying that Honeycomb is a "closed derivative work of Android" is:

(1) It's the current version
(2) It's by Google
(3) Android 3.0 is the trunk. You just can't read it any more.

"Derivative work" is misleading when you're talking about the primary developer and project sponsor and the current/latest production version.


The thing is, people are saying that all of those things you said (except the it's by Google part, which seems to not be an issue to me) are false. So I think we'd need some outside evidence from either side.
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Re: Graphics Card Question

Postby Flex » Wed Apr 13, 2011 5:56 pm

Sabindeus wrote:
knaughty wrote:Can anyone name a Google Open Source project that isn't completely under Google's thumb? WebKit, OpenCL and LLVM (plus other improvements to GCC) are good examples of Apple tech that have been well accepted by the Open Source community.


Can't help but be a stickler here. WebKit is not an original Apple project. They adopted KHTML from KDE, forked it, hired a lot of KHTML devs, and turned it into WebKit, which then went on to be a big hit.


Also LLVM isn't an Apple project. It was a compiler they embraced to avoid any potential issues with GCC and to get better Objective-C support at the compiler level.
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Re: Graphics Card Question

Postby Fridmarr » Wed Apr 13, 2011 8:45 pm

Sabindeus wrote:
knaughty wrote:My problems with saying that Honeycomb is a "closed derivative work of Android" is:

(1) It's the current version
(2) It's by Google
(3) Android 3.0 is the trunk. You just can't read it any more.

"Derivative work" is misleading when you're talking about the primary developer and project sponsor and the current/latest production version.


The thing is, people are saying that all of those things you said (except the it's by Google part, which seems to not be an issue to me) are false. So I think we'd need some outside evidence from either side.
I don't really think any of those matter all that much, but it's obviously not merely a new version of the existing code line. If that's all it was there would be nothing to port, and why the heck would they not release it for phones?

As I said earlier, the Android code base grew out of the Open HANDSET Alliance. Honeycomb was built specifically for tablets, and the features that expand on handset functionality are being ported back to it. If you have a phone, the latest version Android you can get is 2.3 and the code for 2.3 was made available when it was distributed. Given the backlash Google took when they announced the branch (until then folks thought it would compatible with phones) I'm sure getting things ported and (hopefully) getting the code lines united is a priority.
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