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Android Honeycomb Will Not Be Open Sourced 295

Posted by timothy
from the hard-to-see-the-harm-really dept.
At the ongoing Google I/O conference in San Francisco, Google today officially announced the next version of Android, named Ice Cream Sandwich, as well as Android 3.1, an "incremental platform release" of Honeycomb. An anonymous reader writes "In an effort to understand the landscape for developers, Andy Rubin was asked if, since Ice Cream Sandwich would be open, Android 3.0 and/or 3.1 will be granted the same courtesy. Rubin answered definitively in the negative. Honeycomb on its own would not be open, because its phone functionality is very broken. Ice Cream Sandwich will take all of the Honeycomb functionality and open source it alongside code that is much more universally friendly."
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Android Honeycomb Will Not Be Open Sourced

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  • Honeycomb is big, ya ya ya
    It's not small, no no no
    Honeycomb has a big big bite
    Big big taste in a big big bite.

  • User perception (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 10, 2011 @10:11PM (#36090050)

    I remember a while ago when Google announced Honeycomb would not be open sourced for the time being. A lot of people on Slashdot were unsurprisingly up in arms and, equally unsurprisingly, for all the wrong reasons. From a FOSS standpoint it's a terrible move on their part, but what many didn't understand was the reasoning:

    Android has an extremely vast community of amateurs that create custom builds of AOSP. These are people with little to no coding experience, distributing specialized "ROMs" to an even greater amount of curious users who are barely a shade above the average user. So what would happen if Honeycomb were opened? There'd be a very quick uptake by those users and, given the Tablet oriented state of Honeycomb, a really really bad user experience. As pretty as Honeycomb is, that would have reflected badly on Google -- worse than what many jumping the gun on /. thought when Google initially delayed the source release.

    With that in mind, I'm glad that they are deferring the code until Ice Cream Sandwich where it seems they will "do it right."

    • Re:User perception (Score:5, Interesting)

      by markkezner (1209776) on Tuesday May 10, 2011 @10:25PM (#36090126)

      I don't think the guys who make custom ROMs are significant enough to really be of concern for Android's image, ill conceived as some of those ROMs may be. I think the bigger concern would be careless manufacturers [slashdot.org] selling bad devices to Joe User. Anyway the people who flash custom ROMs onto their devices generally know they might break some things.

      • Re:User perception (Score:5, Insightful)

        by hairyfeet (841228) <.bassbeast1968. .at. .gmail.com.> on Tuesday May 10, 2011 @11:24PM (#36090366) Journal

        Uh huh, I'd say the REAL goal is a slow but sure march towards TiVoization [linfo.org] which I said would happen for...oh about a year now. Once Google said they wouldn't allow any GPL V3 (which RMS wrote to specifically keeping companies from TiVoing GPL software) I figured it was only a matter of time.

        You watch these early moves are 'feelers" to see how big of a stink it causes in places other than Linux forums. When Google sees the fanbois are all onboard and making with the excuses and Joe Consumer frankly doesn't care they trot out a nice "its for security!" statement (probably timed right after some Android malware hits the news) and it'll be code signing or eFuses all the way.

        As much as I don't agree with RMS on ...well hell pretty much everything, he was right on this. Once TiVo showed the corps how to run right around GPL V2 it became for all intents and purposes useless. Anybody using GPL V2 now might as well be using BSD or PD for all the "freedom" it protects now. After all what good is the code if you aren't allowed to modify it or run it on the device for which its intended?

        I just hope moves like this teach the community two important lessons: 1.-There is no such thing as a "friendly" corp. They can come up with little slogans like do no evil, they can make shiny devices, it frankly doesn't matter what they do, because if it comes down to making more money and/or gaining more power or not fucking you? Well bend over pal, because here it comes. 2.- GPL V2 needs to be dumped ASAP and replaced with GPL V3, because as it is using GPL V2 is simply giving corps your labor for free while they don't have to give you ANYTHING in return. eFuses and code signing cost almost nothing and gives the corp all the control of proprietary while at the same time gaining all the effort that has been put into embedded Linux by the community.

        • Re:User perception (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Nursie (632944) on Tuesday May 10, 2011 @11:32PM (#36090386)

          Whilst tivoisation is a problem and is already happening I see another motive here - only approved partners get to release a properly functional tablet, for an entire year.

          By not releasing this to the general public, Google has tight control over releases and android tablet, and that way can exercise a form of quality control they otherwise couldn't. This could be a (misguided, IMHO) attempt to compete with the iPad on consistency of user experience.

          • by drb226 (1938360)

            By not releasing this to the general public, Google has tight control over releases and android tablet, and that way can exercise a form of money grubbing they otherwise couldn't.

            FTFY. I'm typically a Google fanboy, but this move seems to be specifically so that "only approved partners" (that fork over the dough) can have honeycomb. Google certainly deserves to make money off of Honeycomb, but closing off the source is not the best plan.

            • by Riceballsan (816702) on Wednesday May 11, 2011 @06:46AM (#36092068)
              IMO This dosn't sound like a moneygrubbing move, it sounds to me like googles gameplan actually makes sense. With android for phones the issue was half the phone developers made great implementations, the other half released horrible mockeries of the original concepts (burried the good under their vendor specific changes, AT&T flat out blocking non-app store programs etc...). What google is doing is pretty much saying the first batch of google endorsed tablets need to be good, once the consumer knows what an android tablet should be then they can give developers the freedom to improve or fsck it up, once the users have had a baseline to know what normal is for comparison, instead of getting a half backed knockoff and thinking "this tablet sucks, all android tablets must suck".
            • Google certainly deserves to make money off of Honeycomb

              Google certainly has created the opportunity for itself to make money off of Honeycomb, but it certainly does not deserve to make money off of Honeycomb. No corporation deserves anything, no matter how much time and money it has put into developing a product.

              It's this kind of thinking that is part of the greed-based problems that are destroying society and retarding the development of civilization today.

          • Re:User perception (Score:4, Insightful)

            by arkhan_jg (618674) on Wednesday May 11, 2011 @01:47AM (#36090918)

            Except that it just means the 'unapproved' tablet makers will continue using 2.2 and 2.3 as the basis for their tablets, which is a worse tablet experience than honeycomb - I tried out an archos 101, and despite loving my rooted gingerbread galaxy S to death, froyo really doesn't scale well to a 10" touchscreen.

            If they want android to get a reputation as a shitty ipad knock-off in the tablet arena, they're doing a fairly good job of it by stopping honeycomb seeing wider release. I personally think gingerbread is significantly better than iOS on a smartphone, but I have to admit that iOS is whupping our arse in usability when it comes to the iPad.

            • by AlXtreme (223728)

              I have to admit that iOS is whupping our arse in usability when it comes to the iPad.

              Exactly, and Google has no one to blame but themselves when it comes to poor Android tablet sales.

              2011 would have been the year of the Android Tablet. Then manufacturers delayed until easter, OK. Now it's fall 2011 for most models except for those blessed by Google.

              For now we can only choose between the overpriced Galaxy Tab and Xoom (on par with the iPad in price) or the Android 2.x el-cheapo tablets, where there probably

              • By the way, I now own a wifi-only Xoom. It is a fine device, with a few really idiotic warts like no USB on the media dock. And no way to connect a mouse to it. This is really frustrating, because all it needs is a mouse and it is a full blown computer.

                On the other hand, the sound that comes out of the media dock speakers is amazing, it has to be heard. The screen out of the box is not the brightest but can be adjusted up to be above reproach. The screen resolution is stunning. The user interface only gets

                • I absolutely hate the design decision that says the user should not be allowed [blogspot.com] to shut down an application. I understand Rubin's argument, but it is only an argument. Real users like to tidy things up. Having no way to make an application disappear from the active applications list is just very irritating.

                  My phone came with an app called TasKiller which does that. But why does it matter that a particular app is using memory if loading another app can cause the memory to be released? Think of apps in memory as a cache. You don't normally go through caches manually cleaning them out. Perhaps the problem here is the feature which shows you the apps in memory. If you didn't have that information you might be happier overall.

                  • by rayd75 (258138)

                    ... Think of apps in memory as a cache. You don't normally go through caches manually cleaning them out.

                    I, and many truly high-end users do not. "Power Users", however, absolutely live to clean caches and temp files, scan their registries, and defragment their geometry-obscured hard drives. You can bet they're aching to save the 25 milliseconds it takes the OS to choose which cached app to dump before loading the newly-opened one, even if they waste 10 seconds manually killing a task each time.

                • by Compaqt (1758360)

                  Does anybody know why Google decided to make all their Android web pages, like the link above, not able to be scrolled unless you're using Javascript?

                  There are plenty of websites that require Javascript to function properly, but none (other than Android's) that require it just to scroll.

                  http://android-developers.blogspot.com/2010/04/multitasking-android-way.html [blogspot.com]

          • Whilst tivoisation is a problem and is already happening I see another motive here - only approved partners get to release a properly functional tablet, for an entire year.

            So... the plan is to achieve exactly the opposite of the Android phone effect, where Apple's product was overtaken by a veritable horde of competing products? Now nice of Google to take those steps carefully designed to ensure that Apple only has to worry about a handful of competitors in this space. How nice of Google to allow Apple to shift the debate from "which Android tablet should I get?" to "should I get an Android tablet?".

        • by Talisein (65839)

          ... Once TiVo showed the corps how to run right around GPL V2 it became for all intents and purposes useless.

          Unless your intent and purpose is that you just want to be able to see and use what people do to your source code and not dictate how people build their hardware.

          Ultimately these companies rise and fall by the geeks that work for them; if Google does shed its skin and shows some evil nature of closed development or something.... then things will be inconvenient for a few years, they'll bleed the developers who understand the importance of openness (which seems to be a pretty large proportion of Android's d

        • I'd say the REAL goal is a slow but sure march towards TiVoization

          It is also possible that Google learned a lesson from the backlash over the initial closed source announcement and will be more careful about walking the open source walk in future, but pride keeps Rubin from backing down specifically on Honeycomb. Pride, it's a nasty thing.

        • Re:User perception (Score:5, Informative)

          by IamTheRealMike (537420) <mike@plan99.net> on Wednesday May 11, 2011 @03:52AM (#36091360) Homepage

          Right, TiVo-ization. That's why Googles own devices are reflashable out of the box, and that's why Android is open source (it doesn't have to be, right?).

          Your bizarre rant might make a shred of sense if Android was heavily based on GPLd code written by other people. Other than the kernel and one or two components, the vast bulk is non-GPLd code written by Google.

    • Linux has an extremely vast community of amateurs that create custom distros of Linux. These are people with little to no coding experience, distributing specialized "distros" to an even greater amount of curious users who are barely a shade above the average user. So what would happen if Linux were opened? There'd be a very quick uptake by those users and, given the desktop oriented state of Linux, a really really bad user experience. As pretty as Linux is, that would have reflected badly on FOSS -- worse
  • by Cutting_Crew (708624) on Tuesday May 10, 2011 @10:12PM (#36090058)
    Highlight of the day for me was the ability for an android app to connect to my home appliances termed Android@Home [pcmag.com] Anything from a light bulb to the sprinkler system outside. Of course the manufacturers of specific household items will have to work closely with android to deliver on the hardware side but as was demonstrated on live stream today, it can and has been done already. Kudos to those companies that are getting on board.

    Also to note, a lot of the tools like the movie rentals from the marketplace will be backward compatible in the coming months as well as the developer tools like fragments all the way back to Android 1.6. And unless i missed anything, everything will be open source.
  • Can they not remove the telephony stuff ?
    They are worried that people will put together 2.3 source with honeycomb and make a phone out of it ...

    Geeez guys, just let it out ... trust in the crowd
    • 3.0 was made for tablets like the XOOM only. The phone stack is nonexistant because of this very fact. It also give them an excuse to keep me from loading the GOOD non-beta version of 3.0 on my Nook Color. 2.3.3 is still pretty nice though :-)
      • by DrXym (126579)
        I think it's more the case that the stack is likely to be broken / untested rather than non-existent. 3G tablets still need to do things like SMS, handover, signal strength and so forth so some measure of functionality is required and shared with phone handsets. It is easy to see how the phone specific functionality such as voice and all the gui, phone books etc. may have been completely broken though because for tablets it is dead code and therefore not the focus of development or bug fixing.

        I think your

  • Gump (Score:5, Funny)

    by jvillain (546827) on Tuesday May 10, 2011 @10:13PM (#36090070)
    Google open source is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you are going to get.
    • by drb226 (1938360)
      This honeycomb-flavored one is rock-solid! I can only lick the outside...can't get to the gooey honey goodness inside...
      • You are absolutely begging for an onslaught of suggestive replies. Please allow me to be the first: keep licking the rock-solid outside and the honey goodness will come out eventually.
  • by William Ager (1157031) on Tuesday May 10, 2011 @10:17PM (#36090096)

    These comments seem very much to indicate that the source code issue, as I think most people expected, is less of a "we don't want people using this code for their purposes" and more of a "we think this code is horrible and don't want anyone laughing at it." That really suggests that, rather than be upset about the lack of open sources, people should be concerned as to why Google felt it reasonable to release software they're reluctant to release sources to because they're embarrassed.

    Open source also opens organizations to criticism when they try to push out code that isn’t ready, and I think this is very much a problem for Google with Honeycomb.

    • by slacker775 (611528) on Tuesday May 10, 2011 @10:28PM (#36090132) Homepage
      That's exactly how I'm reading it too. So it's ok to run this pile of garbage code, but not good enough to look at and quite possibly improve. Does that make it official that Google just doesn't 'get it' when it comes to open source?
    • by metalmaster (1005171) on Tuesday May 10, 2011 @10:29PM (#36090136)
      Google fell prey to a manufacturer. If I read and understood correctly, the current state of honeycomb was put together to get the XOOM tablet out by its launch date.
    • They say as much:

      During the Android Fireside Chat this afternoon, Google’s Dan Morill explained a bit more about the situation. As the bits and pieces that make up Android 3.1 get added into the next version, and the brand new bits that will come together and make this unifying UI get implemented, it will be appropriate to release Android Source. So, quite definitively, Android for tablets will not be open sourced until it’s been fixed to Google’s standards. There’s little information as to whether or not these, in combination with the new fragmentation initiative, will ensure that current Android 3.0 devices will be brought into the open source times or not. More and more it’s beginning to feel like the Android 3.0 concept was little more than a knee-jerk reaction to have something, even if it’s not a great something, to stay within reach of the competition, with Ice Cream Sandwich being the resolving fix to the mistake.

      • They say as much:

        ...More and more it's beginning to feel like the Android 3.0 concept was little more than a knee-jerk reaction to have something, even if it;s not a great something, to stay within reach of the competition, with Ice Cream Sandwich being the resolving fix to the mistake.

        Right. Given the buzz that Honeycomb was a rush job I was not expecting much. I was pleasantly surprised at how good it is, stable too.

        • Have you tried posting anything on Slashdot from Honeycomb's stock web browser?

          For me, even the scrolling is noticeably slow, but as soon as I tap the edit field, the lag is really horrible - it's processing input at one char per second or so. Ditto on XDA forums, only there simple scrolling is even slower.

          I have to use Opera Mobile on Xoom for now for anything Slashdot related.

    • by mug funky (910186)

      there's also the possibility of it still not making its way out of the testing gauntlet - they'll have tested it on tablets, and it'll no doubt run on phones, but if a user has a nightmare of a time getting it to work for their phone, Google suffers and more importantly the users suffer.

    • That really suggests that, rather than be upset about the lack of open sources, people should be concerned as to why Google felt it reasonable to release software they're reluctant to release sources to because they're embarrassed.

      Like many others in the tablet arena Google rushed something to market in order to stake out some early market share. Seems like we keep hearing similar stories. At least Honeycomb won't make it onto this [slashdot.org].

      • by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Tuesday May 10, 2011 @10:47PM (#36090222)

        At least Honeycomb won't make it onto this [slashdot.org].

        Shut up before Viewsonic interprets your post as a challenge!

      • by Sulphur (1548251)

        That really suggests that, rather than be upset about the lack of open sources, people should be concerned as to why Google felt it reasonable to release software they're reluctant to release sources to because they're embarrassed.

        Would embarrassing source lead to embarrassing object code: either hard to maintain, buggy, or with security holes?

        • by dzfoo (772245) on Wednesday May 11, 2011 @04:12AM (#36091424)

          That's the real problem that I see, but apparently the apologists do not. How can embarrassingly bad code--bad enough to compel them to fight against a potential PR nightmare rather than release it--actually inspire confidence in the robustness of the end product?

          If Google say that Honeycomb source is crap, they are saying any product using it is crap. That should serve as a warning to all those early adopters opting for a Xoom or Galaxy Tab 10.1

          Spinning this as some sort of personal obsession for perfection ignores the direct correlation between source code and object code, and the fact that this alleged obsession did not prevent them from knowingly releasing an unpolished or unfinished software as a commercial product hoping that nobody notices.

                  -dZ.

    • by Palmsie (1550787)

      Well, remember, Google is bleeding top developers to places like Facebook and other startups since it has grown substantially and most likely doesn't have the startup mentality anymore. Releasing poor code provides as much of a job preview as a resume does for an employer. It doesn't make them look good, especially when Microsoft and Google are going through their largest hiring push ever this year.

      • And what, Facebook isn't a pile of steaming shit under the hood? Come on, everything is in perpetual beta these days. Hell, Google practically pioneered the never-quite-completed software model. Everyone is writing crap code in the consumer and even in the corporate markets, and in actuality they always have, being able to hide the pure horror of what their code monkeys have produced behind the edifice of IP rights, well, that at and optimized compilers and assemblers, so that all the shit is squashed to

        • by dzfoo (772245)

          That may be true (and I agree), but Facebook started after Google. It is Google's Microsoft Moment now. Facebook will get its chance soon enough.

                    -dZ.

    • Open source also opens organizations to criticism when they try to push out code that isnâ(TM)t ready, and I think this is very much a problem for Google with Honeycomb.

      I suspect the code is functional but poorly architected. As they say, "first you write the code, then you understand it, then you re-write it." If there's a major rewrite underway, it's at least good to tell developers to expect that any of their changes would rapidly bitrot, and not to spend too much time trying to augment this versi

    • by phantomfive (622387) on Tuesday May 10, 2011 @11:04PM (#36090294) Journal
      I thought it was a huge, lame excuse when I first heard it, but since then I've been disassembling portions of Honeycomb to see what I can find. Of course you can't tell everything from disassembled binaries, but you can tell the basic organization and function names etc. I give it as my (not so) humble opinion that the Honeycomb codebase may very well be quite scattered and an inexcusable mess.

      So now I still think it's a huge lame excuse, but perhaps one with some truth. Android devs in general don't know how to organize their code (though they are good at keeping it bug free).
      • by dzfoo (772245)

        Is Android object-code or byte-code? If the former, how does disassembling the machine code gives you insight into the "basic organization and function names"?

                  -dZ.

    • by fermion (181285) on Tuesday May 10, 2011 @11:34PM (#36090396) Homepage Journal
      This may very well be true, but the fact that it is crappy code made for a specific merely indicates why the google model is not open. One can argue a key ingredient in the OS model, what makes is superior to closed source, is there is potentially objective eyeballs on the proces. Opening the software when it is done is little better than closed source code. It is one reason why people freaked when Oracle got a hold of OO.org and created libreoffice.

      Then of course this proves that Google is not creating software that is meant to be used by the community. It is creating software for a specific prorpietary hardware manufacture, and then, if other manufacturers behave, will release the code to them. Like Apple, only the kernal/stack is OSS while all the stuff that makes the phone cool to use requires Google blessing. One can't use competing product like would be possible with true OSS software. One can't rework the product to meet end users needs. The phone exists to serve the interests of Google and the mobile provider, just like any average proprietary phone. Sure the Android can be broken in to just like any other phone, but why should this be necessary for an allegedly open phone. And sure Apps can be downloaded from any site, but if google were fully open to open source why would they not want to hast any software that wasn't malicious?

      At the end of the day if Android were in fact open source and in fact freely available, none of the Google equivocating would be necessary..

    • by gmhowell (26755)

      These comments seem very much to indicate that the source code issue, as I think most people expected, is less of a "we don't want people using this code for their purposes" and more of a "we think this code is horrible and don't want anyone laughing at it."

      So it's the Malda excuse?

    • by drolli (522659)

      I understand them and appreciate it. If you put some code out which has something fundamental unsettled (e.g. a phone functionality for something which may be used for mobile phones), then you are not only encouraging fragmentation but enforcing it. Because the manufacturers will enter a race to have "the first android 3.0 phones" (while i personally find 2.2/2.3 quite ok for phones), and then the developers will probably even have different APIs for different manufacturers.

      Open source does not mean that yo

    • These comments seem very much to indicate that the source code issue, as I think most people expected, is less of a "we don't want people using this code for their purposes" and more of a "we think this code is horrible and don't want anyone laughing at it.

      But that describes nearly all computer code.

    • by biglig2 (89374)

      Well, iPad sales are terrifying everyone else because they don't have anything comparable. Strategies they've tried so far:

      1) "In six months we'll have a product that's as good as anything Apple is selling...er...now" (Everyone)
      2) "Hey, an iPad's just a big iPhone, right? So if we make a big Android phone..." (Samsung)
      3) "I don't care that it's not finished, put the bloody thing in the stores right now" (Moto, RIM, and now Google it seems)
      4) "We'll put it out when we're damn well ready to! " (HP)

      None of the

  • Is that legal? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gman003 (1693318) on Tuesday May 10, 2011 @10:34PM (#36090154)
    I'm not well-versed in Android, nor a lawyer, but I do know that if you release anything that uses modified GPL code, you have to release the code under the GPL as well. And I find it hard to believe that Android didn't modify any of the GNU/Linux/whatever code they used. Anyone more knowledgeable in the subject care to comment?
  • by AHuxley (892839)
    Like Apple and MS building a user base, open with was young generations bait.
    Now that an average developer is using their systems, this could be a test, just how closed can Google go?
    As for quality, this is the efforts of a for profit effort with strong branding and open code connections.
    Why the functionality gap? Its their code, they are funded... Did the ipad2 cpu/gpu jump their roadmap? Has Windows suddenly got better in some area?
    • by dzfoo (772245)

      What? Apple just released the source to their latest modifications to WebKit, as they do with the other open source project in which they participate.

      I don't remember an instance when Apple or Microsoft used open as bait.

                -dZ.

  • In related news... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by QuantumRiff (120817) on Tuesday May 10, 2011 @11:08PM (#36090308)

    $CompanyOtherThanGoogle has announced they will not release their source, based heavily on GPL code, until they, and only they decide its "ready".

    Replace the Google with Redhat, and Android with "Enterprise Linux 6.1" and see how many people start getting upset, threaten to boycott, etc..
    why is it okay when Google does it?

    • Nope. They have released the GPL bits as required, just the vast majority of Android is not GPL and Google can legally do whatever they want with it.

  • TFA is wrong (Score:5, Informative)

    by Talisein (65839) on Tuesday May 10, 2011 @11:10PM (#36090314) Homepage

    Before he said any of that, he said you have to understand the nature of git: When they release Ice Cream Sandwich, the Honeycomb source will be in the patch history. What they may not bother to do is to tag the specific commit of Honeycomb.

    But once Ice Cream Sandwich is released, I have no idea who the fuck would care about Honeycomb; the only reason would be for a device that had proprietary drivers that never updates to Ice Cream Sandwich, but that could be solved pretty easily by just pinning the kernel release to Honeycomb and taking the rest of ice cream.

    All this hand-wringing over Honeycomb is fucking annoying at this point. Get over it.

    • by marnues (906739)
      Sometimes I wish Slash-comments could be more like Yahoo Answers. Let's all vote for the parent and move on to other discussions. Too much nonsense comes out of bad articles like this one.
    • by AHuxley (892839)
      Today its "patch history", then "proprietary hardware secrets" "proprietary software secrets" "proprietary ad secrets" "proprietary telco setting" and wait for the Canadian "national security" line too.
      Soon you might get enough to write your software. At that point Apple and MS start looking helpful.
    • by wrook (134116)

      All this hand-wringing over Honeycomb is fucking annoying at this point. Get over it.

      Gladly. As you note, when the source comes out, everything will be (mostly) hunky dory. But I don't
      have the source code yet. Without source code I can't study or modify the system.

      I have to wonder, in your opinion, what is the point of having source code in the first place?
      Why on earth would I be happy that it will come at some point in the future, but not
      care in the least that it isn't here now? If I need the source code to do my work, then
      I am waiting. I can't get my work done because I am waiting.

      • by Talisein (65839)

        Having the source code to modify it IS great and IS the reason to have it.

        But if the Honeycomb source is as fucked up as they say it is, and as fucked up as the comments in this post have said it is, then your modifications would certainly break almost beyond repair in their massive refactoring for the next version.

        If your work depends on the source to Honeycomb and you don't have it because you're a small fry, well, that sucks, sure. OTOH if they hadn't done it this way then there wouldn't be a Honeycomb,

        • But if the Honeycomb source is as fucked up as they say it is, and as fucked up as the comments in this post have said it is, then your modifications would certainly break almost beyond repair in their massive refactoring for the next version.

          I don't think you understand the open source development model. If the source code is as bad as you think it is then you'd think Google would be eager to get more "eyes" on the code to fix the situation. I think this is just Google closing their source.

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      you have to take that with a grain of salt. there's no guarantees of how they will release it and if it's with patch history or not.

      I mean, this is a guy who tweeted definition of open and then couple of short months later decided it was ok to protect few manufacturers by sitting on the source(and to hide that they released shit).

    • Re:TFA is wrong (Score:5, Insightful)

      by complete loony (663508) <Jeremy.Lakeman@gma i l . c om> on Wednesday May 11, 2011 @03:17AM (#36091232)

      When they release Ice Cream Sandwich, the Honeycomb source will be in the patch history

      No, that's not necessarily true. While you can configure a server to only allow new patches to be added to the end of the commit log, that isn't mandatory. Even with bog standard out of the box git commands, they could squash the commit history into one big commit and throw away their current history. Or review every change again, and only cherry pick the ones they wish to keep. git's history is not set in stone and can easily be changed. The only limitation is that all contributors must voluntarily accept your revised history as their new baseline.

  • by Karlt1 (231423) on Tuesday May 10, 2011 @11:44PM (#36090444)

    http://twitter.com/#!/arubin/status/27808662429 [twitter.com]

    the definition of open: "mkdir android ; cd android ; repo init -u git://android.git.kernel.org/platform/manifest.git ; repo sync ; make"

    So has his definition changed or have we always been at war with Eastasia?

  • Somebody needs to fork the droid that is replace the proprietary parts of android with Free Software creating the GnuPhone and the GnuPad! What would you rather have a droid that can only run those apps in a app store that Google thinks is good for you(or it), or something that can run anything in Debian's repository! It may be hard at first but the fork will succeed for the same reasons GNU Linux has. Google's developers may be smart, but they can not compete with the whole world!

    Down with app stores. Up

    • can only run those apps in a app store that Google thinks is good for you(or it)

      The word sideloading comes to mind. Also, you'd have to rewrite every app in the Debian rep: different abstractions, system calls, screen size and resolution problems, and a metric fuckton of dependencies come to mind why it wouldn't simply be "rewrite system, add Debian repositories, yay"

      Apart from that, what would you achieve with a completely open-source phone, apart from stroking your ego and self-righteousness? Open-source phones already exist, but you don't see people touting them, do you? Do you know

    • The key technical innovation of the GNUPhone [newstechnica.com] is that it is completely operated from the command line. “What could be more intuitive than a bash prompt?” said seventeen-year-old Debian developer Hiram Nerdboy. “The ultimate one-dimensional desktop! Just type dial voice +1-555-1212 --ntwk verizon --prot cdma2000 --ssh-version 2 -a -l -q -9 -b -k -K 14 -x and away you go! Simple and obvious!”

      The phone will also serve as a versatile personal media player. “I can play any .au file o

    • bing 'IcedRobot'.
      It's a golden opportunity for that other Linux phone vendor, HP. Offer Mario and friends full time employment to integrate openjdk on webos - hey presto you've got a Larry friendly android runner.
      Not that it matters, webos never made it to Oceania.

  • Yeah, right. That's the reason.
  • by bl8n8r (649187) on Wednesday May 11, 2011 @04:58AM (#36091630)
    WTF?  Why is this summary so far off-base?  The short version, FTFA:

    "..merge Android 3.1 and Android 2.3 into..."
    "..which will be called Ice Cream Sandwich.."
    "...open source it alongside code that is much more universally friendly."

    3.1 *is* Honeycomb.  3.0 *is* Honeycomb.  Google *is* open sourcing it.  No, 3.0 will not be released for public consumption.

    The Xoom (running 3.0) is slated for an update to 3.1in May sometime.  AFAIK, this is the only device running 3.0 out there so 3.0 will basically be deprecated.

  • I remember not having xnu kernel source code was one of the limitations of early 32-bit only releases of Intel Mac OS X 10.4.

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