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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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  • 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.

  • Re:Is that legal? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Lanteran (1883836) on Tuesday May 10, 2011 @11:46PM (#36090210) Homepage Journal
    Hm, oh I don't know.. the linux kernel?
  • Re:Is that legal? (Score:5, Informative)

    by phantomfive (622387) on Tuesday May 10, 2011 @11:56PM (#36090254) Journal
    They did modify parts that are under the GPL, and they release those parts. The individual manufacturers release the parts the modify, as well (see for example, this page [motorola.com]).

    Unfortunately, the parts under the GPL are a small set of the code; mainly the kernel and some surrounding pieces.
  • Re:Is that legal? (Score:4, Informative)

    by kvvbassboy (2010962) on Tuesday May 10, 2011 @11:56PM (#36090258)
    Ughh.. My last sentence was badly framed. What I meant to say is, they can withhold the source code, as long as the haven't released Android for distribution.
  • TFA is wrong (Score:5, Informative)

    by Talisein (65839) on Wednesday May 11, 2011 @12:10AM (#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.

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

    by hxnwix (652290) on Wednesday May 11, 2011 @02:56AM (#36090944) Journal

    Name a company that failed because they pissed off the FOSS community.

    SCO

    Digital Convergence Corporation

    DivX, Inc

    The XFree86 Project, Inc

    Of course, you could argue that these were silly companies whose time had come. I'd respond that the FOSS community brought that time upon them. You'd respond with some stupid car analogy, conceding defeat in a manner obvious to everyone but yourself. Argument complete.

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

    by IamTheRealMike (537420) <mike@plan99.net> on Wednesday May 11, 2011 @04:52AM (#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.

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