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Chris Dibona On Free Software and Google 107

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the free-dancing-robot-death-machines dept.
dkd903 wrote in with an interview with Chris Dibona in Der Standard. Within, he declares Android as "... the dream come true. It's your Linux desktop, it's the ultimate success story of Linux that I've been working on personally since 1995." There's lots of other good stuff on Google's internal use of GNU/Linux: "If you'd look at laptops it's maybe 70 percent Mac OS X and most of the rest is Linux, we are a huge customer of Apple. Engineering Desktops are overwhelmingly running on Linux. We have our own Ubuntu derivative called 'Goobuntu' internally for that, integrating with our network — we run all our the home directories from a file server — and with some extra tools already built-in for developers."
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Chris Dibona On Free Software and Google

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Can it run linux?

  • Good summary, but who's this Chris?
  • by geek (5680) on Tuesday July 12, 2011 @01:55PM (#36737220) Homepage

    Why the focus on Ubuntu from Google? Is it purely marketshare driven? Calling Android a linux desktop is also a stretch. It makes for a fine portable device OS but it is nowhere near a desktop OS. It's barely usable on tablets so far.

    • by oakgrove (845019)

      It's barely usable on tablets so far.

      Excuse me, I have a Motorola Xoom sitting right here that I develop on and it seems pretty good to me. Could you tell me how it is "barely usable"?

      • by s73v3r (963317)

        Develop on as, you run your code on it, or as in you actually do your development on it, as opposed to a laptop? If the latter, how do you have things set up?

        • by oakgrove (845019)
          I'm sorry, I should have said develop for it.
          • It would actually be quite interesting to try porting Eclipse to Android (by making an SWT port, and filling in any missing gaps in standard Java libraries that it might be using).

      • I had a Motorola Xoom, and now have an Asus Transformer, and - unfortunately! - I find the lagging UI and repeated force closes of stock apps (especially browser) to be bad enough that my primary tablet is now iPad 2. I'm looking forward to Google fixing up the mess that is Honeycomb at the moment, but it really isn't there yet.

        • by oakgrove (845019)
          I must be the luckiest guy in the world because I keep hearing this but since upgrading to 3.1 on the Xoom, the web browser has crashed only once that I can recall and I use it constantly (like right now). I don't doubt your word but would you happen to be able to get a logcat output when the browser crashes so we could see maybe what actually causes it?
          • Frankly, FCs are far less of a concern than general lagginess (and there seem to be far fewer FCs in 3.1... it's just that I've had zero with iPad). Reproing lag in browser, though, is extremely easy - open any story on Slashdot and try to post a comment, and observe the speed at which text that you enter actually appears in the textbox. Reproing lag elsewhere... well, one example that is very in-your-face is home screen, where flipping screens left/right visibly lags unless the tablet is in its "default" o

            • Not having actually tried commenting on Slashdot from anything but my PC, I would imagine that any lag is due in large part to the fact that Slashdot is a complete and total cluster fuck. It's only recently that commenting worked on a PC, let alone a fancy modern Tablet or Phone.

              Honestly, I'm surprised Slashdot works at all on a mobile device, since it's frequently messed up even on much higher performance hardware. Go team Slashdot, wield that Javascript like a pistol, the kind that has a secret barrel t

              • Slashdot is a clusterfuck for sure, but not to such an extent that it would slow down a well-written browser. Mobile Safari on iPad and iPhone can handle it fine, for example. For that matter, Firefox and Opera Mobile on Honeycomb also do. Heck, the default browser on Android 2.x does fine! It really is something specific to WebKit on Honeycomb... some claim it has to do with newly added hardware acceleration in the browser going haywire.

    • Re:Hmm (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jmorris42 (1458) * <jmorris@[ ]u.org ['bea' in gap]> on Tuesday July 12, 2011 @02:22PM (#36737796)

      > Calling Android a linux desktop is also a stretch.

      Calling it Linux is technically correct in that it does use the Linux kernel down under layers of Google and Java cruft. But it is only used as a place for the OEMs to hang device drivers because they already were familiar with it from their other ARM embedded projects. In the more familiar usage of the word 'Linux' to mean a distribution of familiar UNIXish tools from GNU, X.org, Moz Corp, GNOME/KDE, etc. Android is totally alien and about as closed of a walled garden as OS X or iOS. Yes most of it is technically released under an FSF approved license but there is zero community involvement in what Google tosses over the wall from time to time. And because they keep a couple of key bits closed they can dictate terms to OEMs (almost) exactly like it was a totally closed source environment.

      And yes there is the issue that Android is not and probably never will be ready for the desktop. It is a phone OS growing to the tablet space. Kinda hard to envision it scaling to multiple large displays.

      So yea, DiBona takes Google's shilling so he has to promote their stuff. But we are free to laugh and call him a silly person for expecting us to believe this line of BS.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        alling it Linux is technically correct in that it does use the Linux kernel down under layers of Google and Java cruft.

        Why the weasel words, man? It's Linux. Accept it.

        In the more familiar usage of the word 'Linux' to mean a distribution of familiar UNIXish tools from GNU, X.org, Moz Corp, GNOME/KDE, etc. Android is totally alien and about as closed of a walled garden as OS X or iOS.

        X.org/Gnome/KDE: Yeah, because those products have been so successful at driving Linux to the masses. Not.

        Moz Corp.: Check again, Skippy. There is a copy of Firefox 5 and a copy of Firefox 6 running on my Xoom at this very moment that are the official versions from Mozilla.

        UNIXish tools from GNU: are just a compile awaywith the NDK just like God intended.

        Walled garden blather: your other points fall flat at supporting this fud.

        . Yes most of it is technically released under an FSF approved license but there is zero community involvement in what Google tosses over the wall from time to time.

        The community isn't involv

        • by jmorris42 (1458) *

          > Why the weasel words, man? It's Linux. Accept it.

          Learn to parse English. I clarified my objection my noting the dual use of the word Linux to mean both the OS kernel project headed up by Linus and the more generic Linux/GNU/X/etc UNIXish environment meaning. Try to keep up.

          > lX.org/Gnome/KDE: Yeah, because those products have been so successful at driving Linux to the masses. Not.

          Doesn't matter if you are correct in your slagging of the Free Software world's achievements or not. When you say "Lin

          • by Microlith (54737)

            I'm no Android fan, but the Android port of Firefox uses the NDK.

          • by s73v3r (963317)

            When you say "Linux" to the average person they aren't thinking of the kernel project but the whole stack they have probably at least seen a time or two.

            And they'd be wrong.

            Which I suppose is why there are close to zero OEM products that do not include them, meaning they all are official licensees of Google and thus just as bound to obey the Google mothership as any Microsoft OEM.

            Because they are popular? That still doesn't change the fact that those proprietary bits are only add ons, which the OEM is completely free to leave out.

            For that matter, find an install of Android that isn't an OEM install. Free Software my arse.

            For the most part, this request is retarded. Anybody who's going to run Android is going to do so on a tablet or phone designed to do so. Why? Because 99% of people wouldn't want to fuck with their shit to the extent needed to get Android running on it. That doesn't make it any less Free Software. But since you asked, there are many. Cya

          • g. Web browser in Java bytecode running webpages chock-a-block full of javascript.... being interpreted in java. :) Now they just need a native X server instead of VNC and a full UNIXish environment would be practical. Would be interesting to then benchmark the java bytecode based Android port of Firefox against the native ARM Linux/X version.

            I mean no offense to saying this - your comments are usually pretty informative - but in this case you don't have a clue about what you're posting about. Please, read about Android NDK first, and realize that a good number of Android apps today is 99% C/C++ (in the most recent versions of NDK, you can actually have a pure native app, since there is a stock C library wrapping all the Java input APIs and providing the entry point).

            For that matter, the rest of your post is mostly incorrect, as well. Yes, Andro

      • by exomondo (1725132)

        Calling it Linux is technically correct in that it does use the Linux kernel down under layers of Google and Java cruft. But it is only used as a place for the OEMs to hang device drivers because they already were familiar with it from their other ARM embedded projects. In the more familiar usage of the word 'Linux' to mean a distribution of familiar UNIXish tools from GNU, X.org, Moz Corp, GNOME/KDE, etc.

        By 'familiar' you mean 'incorrect'. We all know that despite the brilliance of Linux, GNU/Linux desktop distributions haven't been very well received by the broader populace, but perpetuating the ignorance of people interpreting Linux as just the desktop GNU/Xorg/GNOME/KDE distro undermines Linux itself. Like it or not, Android is a Linux-based OS just the same as Ubuntu or Gentoo and just like many TVs running a Linux-based OS.

        Android is totally alien and about as closed of a walled garden as OS X or iOS.

        About as closed as OSX? No, definitely not.
        About as closed as iOS? Absolutely n

      • by solferino (100959)

        In the more familiar usage of the word 'Linux' to mean a distribution of familiar UNIXish tools from GNU, X.org, Moz Corp, GNOME/KDE, etc.

        Which is why this usage is incorrect and why RMS was right in talking about GNU/Linux (what you are basically describing above).

        As you say at the start of your comment, it is technically correct to call Android a linux based system because yes, it runs the Linux kernel. When talking about computers, technically correct speech is what matters.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Beorytis (1014777)

      Calling Android a linux desktop is also a stretch.

      He didn't call it a linux desktop; he called it "the linux desktop dream come true". I thought he meant: "Though the hope of an open-source OS widely adopted by non-technical mainstream users didn't happen with Linux for desktop PCs, it did with Android.

      • He didn't call it a linux desktop; he called it "the linux desktop dream come true"

        It's not "Linux" as most people know it. There's a reason Richard Stallman was always bothered by people referring to the OS underlying Debian, Red Hat, Ubuntu and the countless other distributions as "Linux"; it ignores the fact that the vast majority of what makes it tick is the GNU userland.

        Android does not have a GNU userland. In fact, they rewrote nearly all of it precisely to avoid it.

        Android is an Apache/Linux desk

        • by oakgrove (845019)
          But you can very easily compile and install a gnu userland if you know how to use the ndk. That's no different to how gnu tools end up anywhere else. At aome point, somebody has to compile and install them into a distro before that diatro is shipped. What makes Ansroid different other than it's the user's choice to have that stuff. I have bash, vi and some other stuff installed on OG Droid as well as a full Ubuntu chroot.
        • by exomondo (1725132)

          It's not "Linux" as most people know it.

          So? We don't avoid calling it what it is just because most people don't know.

          There's a reason Richard Stallman was always bothered by people referring to the OS underlying Debian, Red Hat, Ubuntu and the countless other distributions as "Linux"; it ignores the fact that the vast majority of what makes it tick is the GNU userland.

          It also ignores the fact that you can have a Linux system without the GNU userland.

          Android is an Apache/Linux desktop. It's only vaguely related to what everyone used to refer to as "Linux" or properly GNU/Linux.

          That's no reason to avoid the fact, if anything it takes away from the hard work the kernel developers do if most people only associate Linux with GNU/Linux when in actuality almost everyone uses Linux in some capacity.

    • Screw Ubuntu, now I want Goobuntu!

      • Or, rather, it wouldn't have much special stuff that would do you any good unless you were on their network. Goobuntu (like the Red Hat-based "grhat" before it) is very close to the regular publicly-available distribution. It looks and feels just like Ubuntu (aside from a Google-ish splash screen and desktop wallpaper). But they've added on tools so that devs can check code in/out, compile apps in the same environment one finds on the linux-based workstations, has some encryption for sensitive stuff, etc
  • by Microlith (54737) on Tuesday July 12, 2011 @01:59PM (#36737324)

    It's a great success story for Google, I suppose. But Linux has already had massive, if quiet, successes. And it's not a huge success story for end users, who are left with devices whose drivers rot outside the kernel mainline, dependent on closed source binary blobs for hardware support that never get rebuilt as systems move on.

    It's also not a huge success for GNU/Linux (or Free Software) in general, due to the almost total break from it that Google has spearheaded. Instead of a platform that exists regardless of one corporation, you have one whose existence is defined by that corporation. Difficult to fork, hard to steer in ways other than what they want and, until further notice, closed source.

    Better can be done.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It is interesting to see the massive success of GNU/Linux. It isn't as apparent where it is being used to most typical GNU/Linux users or consumers although it is being used all over the place. I think part of this is it isn't advertised like Microsoft or Apple products or counted very well. The marketing just doesn't exist to the extent it does for products from those companies.

      I manage a really tiny company in comparison to Google, Microsoft, or Apple that deals in free software. We only put out products

    • You wanted "Open Source" instead of "Free Software" -- Now you have Open Source, and can tell the difference between it and Free Software (the latter prevents that sort of bullshit from happening). Also, you can thank Linus's desire to stay on GPL2 and not go GPL3 -- even though only about 2% of his code remains in the kernel...

      Many people boo and hiss when ethics are cited as important for software -- think of the users; However, many people then complain about the lack of freedom in open source, when

    • by Rich0 (548339)

      The other thing that I'd add is that most of the integration that adds polish to Android isn't FOSS. Without proprietary code, I don't believe that Android syncs your contacts, has access to Gmail/calendar/etc, has the market, or even has the ability to make phone calls.

      If you want to know what is free on Android download the source, build it, and install it on the emulator. I'd say install it on a phone but the FOSS version of Android doesn't support running on real hardware. You do get a few apps, but

  • by wsxyz (543068) on Tuesday July 12, 2011 @02:01PM (#36737372)
    If you define success fairly narrowly then Android is a Linux success. But I think that most people who hoped for a successful Linux desktop in the 1990s were thinking more along the lines of expanded personal freedom in computing as the goal of "success", more than the simple number of processors running some variant of the Linux kernel. While Android is more open than the alternatives, it's doesn't really (and can't really) ever fulfill the goals of an open and free computing environment that Linux as a Free Software PC/Workstation Desktop Operating System can.
    • Re:Success! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by oakgrove (845019) on Tuesday July 12, 2011 @02:25PM (#36737848)

      While Android is more open than the alternatives, it's doesn't really (and can't really) ever fulfill the goals of an open and free computing environment that Linux as a Free Software PC/Workstation Desktop Operating System can.

      First of all, *can't really ever* is a really long time so it isn't really rational to say that as you do not know what the future holds. My next question is, what is stopping Android from developing into a fully fledged desktop operating system? It obviously runs a desktop class kernel, it supports native development, it supports USB host, external input and output. I realize that Android isn't a complete desktop solution as is but, what can you do with a current desktop system that is out of the question for Android given a little bit of work?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    ... or at least, not very hard. The profit they'd lose if roughly 21,000 Google employees got pissed off and switched to Linux is no small amount of money, even for Apple. Not to mention the PR nightmare. It totally makes sense now.

  • Android is not Linux (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Tuesday July 12, 2011 @02:22PM (#36737778) Journal

    I know some people hate the GNU/Linux remarks of Stallman but he is correct. If you are talking about Linux being more then just a kernel then you got to take GNU into account and all that comes with it. Ubuntu is what it is because it comes with a CD or even DVD full of FREE utilities most of them more then adequate to replace expensive and not so expensive windows applications. I have seen many people compare the cost of windows (comes "free" with the OS) with the cost of Linux, free to download. But they forget the countless tools you are expected to pay for on the Windows platform. No, using free opensource application on Windows does not count, if you want to argue opensource vs closed source costs you cannot lower closed source costs by using opensource.

    So, how does this relate to Android? Simple, CHECK the market place vs Ubuntu package manager and see just how much installing applications costs you. Remember that story about the Apple app store netting developers 2.5 billion and Apple itself 1 billion? Where do you think that money came from? That's right, you. Add a billion or so for the credit card companies and that is a lot of money. And for what? Apps that are available on Linux for free and INFINITELY more powerful.

    But it is only a few dollars... yes... it is... only a few dollars per app that you don't own and can't modify.

    And android is much the same.

    So Android is linux because it runs the kernel? Odd that, I can download the source of the kernel from Ubuntu, download the compiler needed from Ubuntu, download the editor from Ubuntu and download the instructions and hints to make it all into a new kernel modified by me. For that matter, I can take Ubuntu and turn it into my own distro (see Mint) or anyone can take all the components and make something else altogether (Gentoo). Do the same with android, I dare you!

    Prove me wrong about the price or openess. Download a mplayer equivelant for Android. A media player that plays virtually any codec out there for free. It doesn't exist and the few players that a tiny bit capable, all cost money despite offering less functionality then a free application.

    I suppose that for some lucky people, spending a few dollars here, a few dollars there is trivial. It must be or else things like Farmville would never survive. But some of us either are opposed to being nickle and dimed to death or just can't afford it.

    Be honest, how many of you got a fully decked out with pay for use software Windows machine? Winzip, payed media player etc etc etc?

    I have long considered replacing my netbook with a tablet but when I see the prices charged for apps vs what is available for free on my linux install... it just doesn't make sense. Currently I am just waiting for a decent hardware tablet that I can install linux on myself. Am I a cheap bastard in not wanting to pay developers for their time and effort? Yes, yes I am. Because while I have not contributed code to the opensource effort myself I do test and do bug reports and followups. It may not be much but I prefer to be part of the open effort then the closed sourced android and especially iOS culture of squeeze them for every penny.

    But I can develop my own free and opensource apps you say? Indeed I can, except I am web developer so even easier is for me to work on web apps that work on any capable browser (sorry MS) and maybe do something interesting there. Which is what I am doing... when it is finished, it will be free. Why? Because I already got a day job. I am doing okay *breaks into sultans of swing and does NOT pay royalties for it*

    • by pr0nbot (313417)

      Isn't Cyanogen mod essentially an Android distro?

    • by CannonballHead (842625) on Tuesday July 12, 2011 @02:43PM (#36738158)

      As far as I know, there is no reason why you can't have open source android applications. Example: the ADW Launcher for Android [google.com], of which I use a modified version called VTL.Launcher.

      Furthermore, the app store is a convenience, not a necessity, on Android. I can download and install an apk from anywhere I like.

      And, lastly, there are closed-source and non-free Linux applications.

      "Linux" != "open source," does it? They generally coincide, but they are not equivalent.

      Also, you can modify various kernels and build "distros" of Android. I'm running a "distro" on my viewsonic g tablet. I have tried two others, as well.

      • by Microlith (54737)

        Indeed, but you cannot run anything but Android at full speed, or with full functionality.

        The use of a proprietary libc means that any userspace blobs (used frequently on these devices) will be incompatible with more common Linux-based systems. So while on my PC or other x86 based platforms I can move between Fedora, Ubuntu, Slackware, etc, I have only Android and derivatives thereof. And that's assuming your drivers are easily ported forward, and the bootloader doesn't refuse to boot unsigned kernels.

        • what's preventing you porting your own - opensource - libc?

        • The use of a proprietary libc means that any userspace blobs (used frequently on these devices) will be incompatible with more common Linux-based systems.

          How so? The interface between a userspace app and libc is the same as with any other shared library - so another shared library providing compatible API and ABI (and the latter should be the same for C, right?) would just work. So what is there in Bionic that isn't in glibc?

    • by kaiser423 (828989) on Tuesday July 12, 2011 @02:45PM (#36738204)
      mplayer for Android has been ported: http://www.xda-developers.com/android/mplayer-ported-for-android/ [xda-developers.com]

      Android source is here: http://source.android.com/ [android.com]

      Go ahead and make your own distribution, dozens of people already do. Cyanogenmod is probably the largest.

      Other utilities you want that aren't there, but available in GNU? Port 'em. Source is there. Nothing is keeping it from happening.
    • So, how does this relate to Android? Simple, CHECK the market place vs Ubuntu package manager and see just how much installing applications costs you. Remember that story about the Apple app store netting developers 2.5 billion and Apple itself 1 billion? Where do you think that money came from? That's right, you. Add a billion or so for the credit card companies and that is a lot of money. And for what? Apps that are available on Linux for free and INFINITELY more powerful.

      I think you are conflating free as in beer with free as in freedom. There's nothing in the GPL that says that you cannot charge money for free software as long as it fulfills the four essential freedoms [gnu.org]. In fact, in the early days, the Free Software Foundation charged money for their software (mostly to cover the cost of the media and the operational expenses of the FSF). The fact that the apps in the App store are not free has nothing to do with the fact that money is being exchanged for them but everythin

    • FFS don't bring this argument up again. You're talking about apps and marketplace. I'll say it slowly... nobody... cares. You can install from totally free 3rd party markets, including GetJar and Amazon and you can download totally open sourced apps.

      The same is true of Ubuntu and the Multiverse. You can CHOOSE to run pay software, the same as Android. I can run a commercial server daemon on pure, fully open Linux. Does that cease to be Linux? No.

      Why doesn't anyone get the point that it's about choice. I

      • by pslam (97660)

        The same is true of Ubuntu and the Multiverse. You can CHOOSE to run pay software, the same as Android. I can run a commercial server daemon on pure, fully open Linux. Does that cease to be Linux? No.

        It's a matter of what's meant by "Linux". Everyone used to mean "GNU/Linux" when they said simply "Linux". Android isn't GNU/Linux. There's no GNU in it - they stripped out what they could and rewrote from scratch what they couldn't. It's Apache/BSD/Linux.

        So no, Android is not "Linux" by the definition of wh

        • Chris Dibona calls OSX Linux (at least that's what I got from him FTA), and I'd agree. Apple has gone much further away.

          I completely agree, it isn't GNU, it's a mixture. The reason FTA has to do with Patents. GNU is not as patent friendly as what they need. On the other hand, their Apache license give free reuse of all patents that touch their Apache licensed software. I mean, damn, there is absolutely nothing more they could do to make it open. This is the very far limit of what any company could eve

          • by pslam (97660)
            This is all very irrelevant. The point is, it is technically not "Linux", it does not match what people would define as "Linux" (pre-Android) and it in no way is "Linux" other than just the kernel and some public-facing Google engineers who call it such. I didn't bring politics into this.
            • Oh, in that case, I'll just call you wrong and be done with it. If nobody called it Linux, they there'd be nobody arguing that it isn't Linux. The topic completely disproves beyond all doubt that nobody calls it Linux.

              By "people" define who these "people" are? I've been a Linux admin since the days of Caldera. So... who are these "people"?

            • by exomondo (1725132)

              This is all very irrelevant. The point is, it is technically not "Linux"

              Bullshit, it *technically* is Linux. It's not the same Linux system you would run on your desktop PC and no-one would argue with that, that doesn't mean it's not Linux.

              it does not match what people would define as "Linux" (pre-Android)

              What people?
              Of course if you are referring to a desktop operating system most people would likely refer to GNU/Linux because that is the prevalent type of distribution. But it's factually incorrect to say Android isn't a Linux system just because some people don't know it's a Linux system.

              and it in no way is "Linux" other than just the kernel

              Newsflash, Linux is just the kernel on ALL Linux syst

    • Regarding the GNU/Linux issue, from the first day I heard it I apply a very simple two part test to see whether I agreed with one stance or the other.

      If I took a standard Linux distribution, what ever is popular at the time, and replaced the user land, would I still call it Linux?

      If I took a separate copy of that Linux distribution and replaced the kernel, would I still call it Linux?

      And that's why I don't call it GNU/Linux.

    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      Remember that story about the Apple app store netting developers 2.5 billion and Apple itself 1 billion? Where do you think that money came from? That's right, you. Add a billion or so for the credit card companies and that is a lot of money.

      Actually, the credit card companies are paid from Apple's $1B income from the App Store. You see, devs get 70%, Apple gets 30%. Out of that 30%, Apple pays for the servers (hosting, storage, bandwidth), as well as the nasty things like credit card billing and so forth.

    • Someone below said Android:

      does not match what people would define as "Linux"

      ...but they refused to define who the people are and what their definition of Linux is.I'm going to put this argument not just to bed, but in its damn grave once and for all.

      Let me quote someone for you all, Linus Torvalds, you know, the guy who created Linux from scratch and named it after himself (emphasis added):

      In a separate incident Linus Torvalds the father of Linux expressed his anger at Google. Linus accused Google of undermining the role of Linux in Android. Due to Google's marketting of Android, apart from the tech-sisterhood, no one knows that Android is Linux. To give Linux its credit Linus is asking Google to call it Linux/Android or Android+Linux.

      "I don't care if you put cart in front of horse or horse in front of cart. If you want to go somewhere you have to keep them together." ...

      When RMS was asked to further explain his point, he said. "I have maintained from the very beginning that when you refer to whole system you must call it GNU+Linux or GNU/Linux but when you are referring only to the kernel its Linux and not GNU/Linux."

      http://www.muktware.com/blogs/01/2011/943/richard-m-stallman-says-its-linux-not-gnulinux-linus-upset-android [muktware.com]

      Is it GNU/Linux? No. Is it Linux? YES. And going further,

    • by Caetel (1057316)
      • There are a ton of free (cost & licence) applications for Windows. For almost every Linux application, there will be an open source equivalent for Windows, often the exact same program.
      • Do you know why most of the applications in the Ubuntu package manager are free? Because almost nobody develops commercial software for Linux.
      • As to the cost of Android apps, Google only takes their cut if you sell through them. Unlike Apple's ecosystem, you have the choice to distribute through other marketplaces or just
  • I am indifferent towards open source and "free" software. I admire the cause, but I tend to pick something that works and works well for my needs. I dream of the day I could have OSX, Windows and Linux all booting from the same computer of my choice (legally) so I can pick the best programs for my needs.

    * Android is running Linux, technically, but it doesn't support Linux software easily. It might as well not be Linux as an end user. With the Google clamp down it, limiting what is in the market, etc. it

    • by Microlith (54737)

      It looks like Linux and open source is heading for a Pyrrhic victory at this rate.

      Neither Linux nor "open source" are singular entities that can be defeated.

  • by Kamiza Ikioi (893310) on Tuesday July 12, 2011 @03:34PM (#36739024) Homepage

    FTA:

    If you want to start a new project this kicks of our timeclock where my office, patents and trademarks all have three days to approve it or to say why they can't. If they don' act the project gets automatically approved and you can do the release. Usually we finish all the paper work and all the bureaucracy before the developers are done with the process of engineering for release.

    For larger projects - like Android and Chrome - we engage with them years ahead of time. We were talking with the Android guys probably three years before the G1 came out, helping them with their license compliance, selection and strategy.

    So you know DAMN good and well Google poured over phone patents, like Microsoft's, and deemed it safe... and had already engaged the lawyers "years ahead of time".

    With this knowledge, shouldn't Google rise up and be power flaming MS over suing Motorola and others who use Android? You know every effort was made to avoid a losing legal situation. Having your ducks in a row years ahead of time should scare even a large corporation like MS who probably reacted at even the smallest chance of winning.

    • by blarkon (1712194)
      Google's efforts to ensure that Android didn't violated patents that required licensing from third parties is a lot like their effort to promote wave.
  • Oh, please. It's not desktop and it's not Linux.

    And you, Google, have become more evil than Microsoft. At least they were after my money, you're after every detail of my personal life.

    If you like Ubuntu so much, then why haven't you put it in your chromebooks, instead of yet another extremely closed userspace with no "upstream" roots?

    • who is actually forcing you to use google products?

      • by peppepz (1311345)
        Neither my comment nor the article have anything to do with somebody forcing me to use Google products, so I don't understand your reply.

        On the other hand, if you're interested in hearing about all the times I found myself using a Google product without knowing, I can tell you.

        • I'd like to know how you have a list of times you used a Google product without knowing. Actually, even more I'd like to know how you manged to make a list of times you did something without knowing you did it.

          • by peppepz (1311345)
            Step 1) Use a Google product without knowing that you're using it.
            Step 2) Realize that you're using a Google product.
            Step 3) Add to the list.
  • How can a device be dream come true for any Linux fan, when it's non-trivial and tedious (all the libs etc) to even compile "Linux software" for it?

    Also, how can a device which always(?) needs to be jailbroken (be it easy or tricky) to get full functionality be any kind of dream of a Linux fan?

    It may be best there is. Above points may be necessary evil to have a cool phone. But dream come true, hardly!

    Now N9, that looks much more like it! But of course hard to say for sure, as the phone isn't actually avail

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