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Chris Dibona On Free Software and Google 107

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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  • 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*

Don't tell me how hard you work. Tell me how much you get done. -- James J. Ling