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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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  • by Cutting_Crew (708624) on Tuesday May 10, 2011 @11:12PM (#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.
  • Re:User perception (Score:5, Interesting)

    by markkezner (1209776) on Tuesday May 10, 2011 @11:25PM (#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.

  • by slacker775 (611528) on Tuesday May 10, 2011 @11:28PM (#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 @11:29PM (#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.
  • by phantomfive (622387) on Wednesday May 11, 2011 @12:04AM (#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).
  • Re:Is that legal? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by gl4ss (559668) on Wednesday May 11, 2011 @02:42AM (#36090888) Homepage Journal

    it's not as much about rms being right as it's about rubin being a liar.

    and I suppose this is bad news if you were waiting for 3.0 android-x86. the built in emulator of the sdk is horrible. just horrible.

    all mobile open source seems to end up with the same shit.

    they're trying to come up with a magical 'fix fundamental issues' sprint before 3.1.

  • by dzfoo (772245) on Wednesday May 11, 2011 @05:12AM (#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.

There is hardly a thing in the world that some man can not make a little worse and sell a little cheaper.

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