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Intel Builds On Top of Android, But Hedges On Open-Sourcing Improvements 156

Posted by timothy
from the mixed-motivations dept.
Barence writes with this news as carried by PC Pro: "Intel claims it is making significant improvements to the multicore performance of Android — but isn't sure if it's willing to share them with the open-source community. Speaking to journalists in London, Intel's mobile chief Mike Bell said that Intel's engineers were making significant improvements to Android's scheduler to improve its multicore performance. 'Android doesn't make as effective use of multicore as it could,' he said. However, when pressed by PC Pro on whether those improvements would be shared with the open-source community and Intel's competitors, Bell remained non-committal. 'Where we are required to give back to open source, we do,' said Bell. 'In cases where it's not required to be open source, I'm going to think about it. I don't like doing R&D for competitors if they're not going to contribute themselves,' said Bell, before adding that 'in general, our philosophy is to give things back.'"
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Intel Builds On Top of Android, But Hedges On Open-Sourcing Improvements

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  • by Dexter Herbivore (1322345) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @01:40PM (#40246869) Journal

    'Where we are required to give back to open source, we do... In cases where it's not required to be open source, I'm going to think about it. I don't like doing R&D for competitors if they're not going to contribute themselves,"

    I'm glad to see that altruism is still alive and well, when it's required and only based off other people's work.

  • by dkleinsc (563838) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @01:43PM (#40246913) Homepage

    Also, anybody still wondering why the "viral" clauses of the GPL that require changes to be GPLed are important?

  • by Baloroth (2370816) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @01:50PM (#40247037)

    The whole article reeks of PR and marketspeak. "Of course we can do better than everyone else", "no way is ARM going to beat us, our single core is better than their dual-core!"

    My response to Intel is to put up or shut up. Or be ignored, since I know they won't do the latter (they didn't get to be a 100+ billion dollar company by not marketing the hell out of their product).

  • by Galestar (1473827) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @01:52PM (#40247067)

    I'm glad to see that altruism is still alive and well, when it's required and only based off other people's work.

    If they decide not to actually use their research why should they help their competitors? The GPL does not require them to publish until they distribute and I have no qualms with this.

  • by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdot AT hackish DOT org> on Thursday June 07, 2012 @01:54PM (#40247089)

    Hence why I think that the subset of BSD proponents who argue that the GPL is unnecessary, because many companies will give back just to be "good citizens" without legal requirements, are a bit too optimistic, in most cases.

  • by BasilBrush (643681) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @01:56PM (#40247131)

    Yes. MIT, BSD and Apache and many more licenses do perfectly well without them.

  • by Kjella (173770) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @01:59PM (#40247187) Homepage

    They're abiding by the terms of the GPL and considering giving more than is required. It's a company, not a charity.

    Yet companies seem happy to take other people's charity in the form of BSD code. The GPL is more of a barter with "I'll scratch your back if you'll scratch mine" but I'll take that over giving gifts and getting little or none in return any day.

  • by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Thursday June 07, 2012 @02:06PM (#40247273) Homepage

    I don't think anyone questioned why they were there. The issue is, there are people who will refuse to build off of or contribute to GPL projects because they're somehow afraid of being compelled to contribute something they might not want to. So the question then becomes, are the contributions that are compelled by the license going to be greater than the contributions lost due to fear of being compelled?

    I'm not taking a side here. I don't have any idea what the answer is, but I suspect it's different for different projects and different communities.

  • by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @02:08PM (#40247309)

    Also, anybody still wondering why the "viral" clauses of the GPL that require changes to be GPLed are important?

    No. The GPL is irrelevant in this situation. If they don't distribute the binary they are under no obligation to distribute the source. If Android was BSD instead it would make no difference here.

    Why is everyone bashing Intel? They are releasing everything they are required to. They have also released TONS of code that they were NOT required to release. I use OpenCV [wikipedia.org] everyday, and it is a wonderful library, open sourced by Intel. This is just one example of many.

  • by Microlith (54737) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @03:30PM (#40248329)

    If I want to use a GPL library that (for example) has nice string parsing I have to publish the code to my entire multi-million dollar software project because of that one small component that I could write in a few days.

    Then write it. I fail to see what you're bitching about, other than to bitch that you can't jack someone else's code.

  • by cheesybagel (670288) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @03:41PM (#40248439)
    It's what happened with Wine. They switched to GPL as a response.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 07, 2012 @04:42PM (#40249299)

    Worst analogy ever. Here's another, equally bad.

    Suppose a new virus was killing people all over the world like the plague
    in the old days. Mankind is seriously in danger of extinction. Ten teams
    of experts gather to try to design a vaccine. They work together for two
    years and finally one team comes up with the solution. The successful
    team's new boss comes up with the idea that the team should keep the
    recipe secret and produce the vaccine themselves.

    Should the team:
    1) Be bound to give the other teams access to the recipe
    2) Feel free to keep the recipe secret and profit of the dying world

    1 = GPL
    2 = MIT, BSD, Apache

  • by keeboo (724305) on Thursday June 07, 2012 @06:34PM (#40250725)

    That's what we (professional company paid develops) do.

    Bitch incessantly and post as Anonymous Cowards on Slashdot?

    I think that by "paid developers" he actually meant "paid developers of proprietary code".

    There are people getting paid (directly or indirectly) to develop open source code.
    Those are the people who not only earn their living from software development, but also have cojones to have their code exposed to be whole world.
    Think about that: any mediocrity of your is made public and preserved for... pretty much forever. One has to respect such professional attitude.

    Many of the paid developers are simply listed as "independent individuals" (instead of from company XYZ) while not really being that, for reasons such as:

    a) That was an auxiliary project/task for the company/government and it does not care/want to be credited,
    b) Auxiliary project/task (as above) for the government, done by a public servant, for a project the government does not want to keep the burden of maintaining its own fork.
    Depending on your country (and its government and the way people deal with such situations - the latter being a cultural thing) it may be far simpler for licensing/copyright reasons to just pretend the code was done by the public servant in his own time, instead of dealing with a nightmarish bureaucracy.
    c) The developer is independent and the code is generic and may/will serve more than one paying client,
    d) The developer is a researcher and the paying part is interested on credits when it comes to papers, books and patents. -- Though, yeah, in this case
    e) ... etc

    'a' and 'b' happened to me oh-so-many times (though I really wish we had less complicated laws here, so for 'b' to be unnecessary).
    I know people in the 'd' case, though not to me: I never generated decent code from research and got funding, both at the same time.
    I know people fitting the 'c' case (most have their own small company). Not my case either.

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