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  1. #1


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    Google closes Android 3.0 Honeycomb source to prevent use on smartphones
    Google closes Android 3.0 Honeycomb source to prevent use on smartphones
    AppleInsider | Google closes Android 3.0 Honeycomb source to prevent use on smartphones
    Google has closed availability of the source code to Android 3.0 Honeycomb, explaining that the tablet-oriented software was not ready for use on smartphones and that the company didn't want outside developers or enthusiasts experimenting with it in unauthorized ways.

  2. #2

    Lifeisabeach's Avatar
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    B…b… but… but Android is supposed to be all open and stuff! They can't doooo this!!!!

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  3. #3

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    Honeycombs are my favorite cereal.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by the8thark View Post
    Google closes Android 3.0 Honeycomb source to prevent use on smartphones
    AppleInsider | Google closes Android 3.0 Honeycomb source to prevent use on smartphones
    BBWWWAAAAHAHAHAAHAHAAHAAHAH!

    So much for "open source" huh? Maybe what they really didn't want is folks finding the security holes and releasing Apps that exploit them. Makes them look bad and all.


  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by baggss View Post
    Maybe what they really didn't want is folks finding the security holes and releasing Apps that exploit them.
    Actually sounds like a fairly reasonable explanation to me...
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    Well people were using beta honeycomb for their new Hardware. And Google didn't want beta software on tablets. Yes whether they call it beta or not it's not a finished OS in my eyes yet. It shows much promise so far though.

  7. #7

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    A lot of the Android community is coming out in defense of Google saying it’s natural that Google doesn’t want people using software that will make for a poor user experience. The funny thing is that this seems to be Apple’s position for many of its software decisions, but Android users have always said “it should be my choice to have a better or worse experience if I want to”.

    This is just inevitable. As Android becomes more popular and profitable, Google will slowly do more and more to control the software and applications. And its fanbase will continue to blindly defend it while ripping on Apple for the same thing

    Another interesting fact: even though Google agreed that Android 2.X was no good for tablet, they were ok with manufacturers using it that way. Now this is the same basic situation, only they have changed their tune. So, either they have some other reason for protecting the software, or they have realized what others like Apple knew all along: that you have to sacrifice complete openness of you product to protect the quality and appearance of your product to the public.
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  8. #8


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    Quote Originally Posted by fleurya View Post
    A lot of the Android community is coming out in defense of Google saying it’s natural that Google doesn’t want people using software that will make for a poor user experience. The funny thing is that this seems to be Apple’s position for many of its software decisions, but Android users have always said “it should be my choice to have a better or worse experience if I want to”.
    And people say Android is open and iOS is not. But in this respect they are both exactly the same. THis proves all the open vs closed neysayers wrong from both sides.

    Quote Originally Posted by fleurya View Post
    Another interesting fact: even though Google agreed that Android 2.X was no good for tablet, they were ok with manufacturers using it that way. Now this is the same basic situation, only they have changed their tune. So, either they have some other reason for protecting the software, or they have realized what others like Apple knew all along: that you have to sacrifice complete openness of you product to protect the quality and appearance of your product to the public.
    Google have finally realised 1 thing. That total openness means you can do absolutely anything. Sure that's nice if everyone is nice and knows how to use the OS. But a lot of people don't know what to do and need something simple. The whole "you can do anything you want" just confuses them. And secondly if you can do anything means you can also make viruses for the OS. And this has happened for Android. Hence Google new stance on bulling what it thinks are infected apps.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by fleurya View Post
    Another interesting fact: even though Google agreed that Android 2.X was no good for tablet, they were ok with manufacturers using it that way. Now this is the same basic situation, only they have changed their tune. So, either they have some other reason for protecting the software, or they have realized what others like Apple knew all along: that you have to sacrifice complete openness of you product to protect the quality and appearance of your product to the public.
    Actually, that's not true. Google did not want manufacturers using 2.x on tablets, as evidenced by the fact they did not license manufacturers to use the Google apps (Gmail, Maps, etc.) nor allowed them to include the Marketplace. Hence why manufacturers included their own versions of those apps or tried to get around the limitation by including cellular radios in their tablets, thereby qualifying them as phones.

    This is the exact reason Google is restricting the release of the Honeycomb source code. They don't want manufacturers doing the same thing they did with 2.x but this time for non-tablet devices. Google has finally realized that tightly controlling the user experience is imperative to maintaining Android's image. If manufacturers were allowed to do whatever they wanted, Android's name would quickly become tarnished and consumers would flock to a competitor that provides a more polished experience, such as Apple or Microsoft.

    I say let the hardcore Android users complain all they want. This is a great move on Google's part that will benefit the majority of consumers.

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  10. #10

    vansmith's Avatar
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    Wow, the lack of understanding in this thread is astounding.
    Quote Originally Posted by baggss View Post
    So much for "open source" huh? Maybe what they really didn't want is folks finding the security holes and releasing Apps that exploit them. Makes them look bad and all.
    Having code out in the open helps with finding bugs and holes in the software. As noted by Linus' Law, "given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow." The more people you have looking at the code, the better chance a hole is found and fixed. Are you implying that a closed source model is inherently better for developing secure software? I suppose that's why the opens source LAMP stack (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP) powers most of the web and its applications.

    Let's also not forget that a significant part of OS X is open source. OS X is powered by Darwin (APSL) and comes with Java, Perl, Python, Ruby and PHP all of which are open source. Evidently then open source is good enough for Apple. As an aside, guess what the A in the open source APSL stands for. It rhymes with chapel.

    Quote Originally Posted by the8thark View Post
    And people say Android is open and iOS is not. But in this respect they are both exactly the same. THis proves all the open vs closed neysayers wrong from both sides.
    No they aren't. iOS is under a closed source license. Android is released under the Apache license. In fact, it took one search in Google for "Android source code" and three clicks to get this - instructions from the Android project on how to check out the code. That's open. The fact that they have decided not to release the honeycomb code yet is irrelevant. In no way are open source coders obligated to release code as soon as it's done. No license requires this of authors anywhere.

    Quote Originally Posted by the8thark View Post
    Google have finally realised 1 thing. That total openness means you can do absolutely anything. Sure that's nice if everyone is nice and knows how to use the OS. But a lot of people don't know what to do and need something simple. The whole "you can do anything you want" just confuses them. And secondly if you can do anything means you can also make viruses for the OS. And this has happened for Android. Hence Google new stance on bulling what it thinks are infected apps.
    It's not as if Google expects every smartphone owner to download the code, build it and install it themselves (you can if you wish though). Smartphone makers do this - the end user never sees any of this process. If you're going to critique the simplicity of the OS, don't critique the build process, something done by manufacturers as if this was the responsibility of the end user.

    Secondly, the argument that being open source means that more viruses are written for is just plain daft. I suppose that's why Windows is constantly targeted for viruses and Linux continues to dominate on high power critical servers. Just because you know the innards of something doesn't mean you can circumvent it's security. If that were the case, ssh would be utterly useless given that the major implementation (OpenSSH) is, you guessed it, open source. I also suppose this is why GPG is quite possibly the most popular implementation of the PGP cryptographic method.

    The dislike of open source around here is astonishing sometimes despite the fact that you depend on it constantly if you own a Mac or an iOS device. In fact, you are all using open source software right now in some capacity - Safari, Chrome, Firefox and Opera all have open source components integrated.

    If you don't like it, so be it. If you're going to critique it though, try not to be sensational. Honestly, if you dislike open source software this much, you may as well purchase a copy of Windows and run that full time. Move away from an OS powered by open source software and move to an OS written by a company that shares the same distrust in open source software (this is not sensational - search for quotes by MS about open source software and you'll see what I mean).
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  11. #11


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    I'm not against open source. A lot of the apps I use are open source. The thing I have against this is really the carrier interference. If Android made it from Google to end user without being loaded with carrier crap ware I'd be happy. But sadly this is not the case.

    Maybe Google just want like Apple. No carrier interference.

  12. #12

    Lifeisabeach's Avatar
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    One of the key problems with Android is that it's not as "open" as many people like to think. Ars Technica has an article about the withholding of Honeycomb's source code that's a pretty good read. Choice quotes:
    Android openness withering as Google withholds Honeycomb code

    When Android was first announced, Google's evangelists touted it as an open ecosystem that would enable innovation—a hardware and software reaffirmation of the Carterfone decision. They spoke of a future where users would be free from restrictions and be able to install whatever software they want.

    Sadly, those promises were never fulfilled and the dream of an open mobile ecosystem around Android never materialized. In reality, Android has become an insular platform developed almost entirely behind closed doors in an environment that is hostile to external contributors and is mired in a culture of secrecy that serves a small handful of prominent commercial hardware vendors and mobile carriers.
    His explanation implies that source code might become available again when Google finishes integrating its hastily-assembled tablet software into its existing phone software. Unfortunately, the utter lack of transparency surrounding Android development and the absence of a public roadmap make it impossible to even guess if or when that will occur.

    The lack of Honeycomb code availability is especially bad for enthusiasts who were hoping to be able to install custom firmware on their Android tablets. Without the code, it will be difficult for the modding community to produce custom builds that fix the software problems that plague the Xoom and other upcoming Android tablets. Users who were looking forward to better Honeycomb builds for the Nook Color and other budget devices are also going to have to wait.
    It doesn't appear to me that having more eyes on the code is particularly helpful when Google has the final say on what gets rolled into the source code. Make no mistake about this: Google isn't going to roll anything out that gets in the way of their primary purpose of making money via ads and however else they go about making their money with Android. They ARE in this for the money, not out of some benevolent, philanthropical desire to provide a free OS to handset makers and cellular providers. Letting carriers mod and hobble it to suit their own needs in the name of "openness" just furthers Google's ultimate goals because it drives carrier adoption and ultimately user adoption as they buy into the whole "open" bit.

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  13. #13

    baggss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vansmith View Post

    The dislike of open source around here is astonishing sometimes despite the fact that you depend on it constantly if you own a Mac or an iOS device. In fact, you are all using open source software right now in some capacity - Safari, Chrome, Firefox and Opera all have open source components integrated.

    If you don't like it, so be it. If you're going to critique it though, try not to be sensational. Honestly, if you dislike open source software this much, you may as well purchase a copy of Windows and run that full time. Move away from an OS powered by open source software and move to an OS written by a company that shares the same distrust in open source software (this is not sensational - search for quotes by MS about open source software and you'll see what I mean).
    I think perhaps you need to take a deep breath and relax for a bit. No one here is really bashing open source as whole, it's really Google specific.

    I think you are misinterpreting the feeling. I doubt anyone here is against open source in any way, shape or form. I think the general feeling is that so many people have touted Google as the be all and end all for the open source community, a giant company that finally gets it and lets the user do as they please, the antithesis of Apple's closed iOS. Withholding the source code goes against nearly every and any open source program I've seen or been a part of. Complete transparency seems to be the their motto. Then here come Google, who has also been touting their openness, saying in effect "oh, we don't want you misusing our code and making us look bad, so you can't have it, yet". Now, that's all well and fine and Google, like any other company, is going to keep an eye out for itself which it is doing. Doing so simply flies in the face of all of the "open source" claims they lay out there.

    Further, the fact that once they modify the code they do not feed it back into the open source community (it becomes their code, just the same as Apple does) shows that they are not truly embracing open source but simply using the name to garner publicity (as did Apple with OSX). Yes, OSX itself is based on Open Source Code (FreeBSD IIRC) but it's not an Open Source program and calling it one would be rather silly. Google, like it or not, has put itself at least partly in that category and many an open source champion is going to look hard at Google and wonder what they are becoming. Maybe it's temporary, maybe it's not, only time will tell but once they go down this road it'll be hard to go back again.


  14. #14

    vansmith's Avatar
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    Perhaps I was a little brash the initially and I apologize if it came across that way. Many of the comments though do seem to extend beyond a critique of just Google's policies.

    I do still think though that "withholding" is perhaps the wrong choice of words here. Withholding implies that Google has an obligation to make this code available to anyone and everyone as soon as the product is finished. Given that Honeycomb (I always seem to think of cereal when I hear this) is done, it would make sense that Google was withholding it if they had that obligation which they don't. The licenses of open source software dictate how the code is to be used when it's released and does not determine the conditions regarding the actual timing of releases. Therefore, it would be fallacious to assume that by delaying the release of the code, Google isn't following the ethos of the open source community. It's their code and they are free to do with it as they please within the constraints of the license (I don't think the Apache license covers all of it).

    Again, I feel the need to apologize if I came across as arrogant or excessively frustrated in my earlier post. I stand by what I said but I am willing to concede that it could have been worded in a much more appropriate and congenial manner.
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  15. #15

    baggss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vansmith View Post
    Perhaps I was a little brash the initially and I apologize if it came across that way. Many of the comments though do seem to extend beyond a critique of just Google's policies.

    I do still think though that "withholding" is perhaps the wrong choice of words here. Withholding implies that Google has an obligation to make this code available to anyone and everyone as soon as the product is finished. Given that Honeycomb (I always seem to think of cereal when I hear this) is done, it would make sense that Google was withholding it if they had that obligation which they don't. The licenses of open source software dictate how the code is to be used when it's released and does not determine the conditions regarding the actual timing of releases. Therefore, it would be fallacious to assume that by delaying the release of the code, Google isn't following the ethos of the open source community. It's their code and they are free to do with it as they please within the constraints of the license (I don't think the Apache license covers all of it).

    Again, I feel the need to apologize if I came across as arrogant or excessively frustrated in my earlier post. I stand by what I said but I am willing to concede that it could have been worded in a much more appropriate and congenial manner.
    No worries. I agree about the licensing issue as well.

    As I said, the issue isn't that Google is withholding it, the issue is they, and their Android fan-boy gallery, have been touting the "open-ness" of Android since day one and then they pull this. It's perfectly within their right to do so, but it just plain looks bad after all the rhetoric they have been dishing out. In the end, Google IS just another big (and I mean B-I-G) company that's going to protect it's interests when it needs to. That being said though, claiming to be open source and actually being open source are completely different things.


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