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Google Delays General Release of Honeycomb Source 262

Posted by timothy
from the hey-that-doesn't-feel-right dept.
iluvcapra writes "BusinessWeek reports that Google will not be releasing the source code for Android Honeycomb 'for the foreseeable future.' Android lead Andy Rubin is quoted, stating that if Google were to release the source for Honeycomb, Google would be unable to prevent it from being installed on mobile phones and 'creating a really bad user experience.'"
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Google Delays General Release of Honeycomb Source

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  • Page 2? (Score:4, Informative)

    by pgn674 (995941) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @06:48PM (#35605890) Homepage
    Linking to page 1 [businessweek.com] of the article would probably be nice. Better yet, the print version [businessweek.com].
  • by StikyPad (445176) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @06:53PM (#35605942) Homepage

    Wrong, wrong, wrong.

    "To make our schedule to ship the tablet, we made some design tradeoffs," says Andy Rubin, vice-president for engineering at Google and head of its Android group. "We didn't want to think about what it would take for the same software to run on phones. It would have required a lot of additional resources and extended our schedule beyond what we thought was reasonable. So we took a shortcut."

    "Android is an open-source project," he adds. "We have not changed our strategy."

    The "foreseeable future" quote is unfortunate, since it implies that they cannot foresee a time when they will release the code, which simply isn't the case.

  • But, but... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Jugalator (259273) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @06:55PM (#35605966) Journal

    http://twitter.com/Arubin/status/27808662429 [twitter.com]

    What is the definition of "open" today, Google...?

  • Re:GPL violation? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Rastor (8752) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @07:00PM (#35606030)
    Because Android isn't GPL licensed, only the kernel is.

    For the record, the kernel is available at android.git.kernel.org [kernel.org]
  • by presidenteloco (659168) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @07:02PM (#35606068)

    Their probably afraid that the hobbyist will let a mainstream media journalist try their cool Google phone and, because the journalist doesn't understand the finer points of google recommending it not be used on phones, they write a scathing review of Google's new phone OS.

    If there's one thing I've learned in my tech career, is that customers don't understand or care who exactly in the chain of production was responsible for their problem or lousy experience. It's always you. And if you're the big name part of the equation, its DEFINITELY you.

    Saw a great sign on the side of a truck: "Joe's Natural Gardening: Where the Customer is Occasionally Right"

  • Re:From TFA (Score:5, Informative)

    by tlhIngan (30335) <slashdotNO@SPAMworf.net> on Thursday March 24, 2011 @07:56PM (#35606680)

    Yeah, the OSS platform will always be one version behind the version they give to their top-tier partners, thus Motorola and Samsung get a head start selling the best devices, and then vendors who Google doesn't license Ice Cream to are stuck selling last year's commodity, in a market that is by then saturated.

    Pretty cool, huh? Almost as if Google has created a perpetual motion machine that allows them to release their platform as open software, while simultaneously maintaining the power to decide which handset vendors will thrive.

    There are two projects called Android. One is Android, which is distributed to all OHA partners. And since you have to be an OHA partner anyhow to get the "with Google" stuff (e.g,, Market, YouTube, Gmail, etc.), all the OHA members can get access to Honeycomb right now.

    The other Android project is AOSP, which is the open-source version fo Android and distributed to the world. If you're not a member of the OHA (requirements include being sponsored by an OHA member, and some annual fee), you can only use AOSP. This is the rise of the cheap handsets and tablets that don't ship with the Google stuff (lots of handsets in China are built using AOSP and officially don't have "with Google", plus a lot of the cheap tablets you can find).

    I think this policy came about because the OHA members were complaining they had to compete with the cheap tablets out there.

    The other downside of this, that will bite the OHA's members in the ass is that silicon venders like Broadcom, TI, Marvell, Freescale, etc., rely on AOSP to provide Android packages so they can test their chips with Android. If they can't access the latest and greatest, then the chips that OHA members use may not have the Android support they need. Note that I excluded Samsung, and Qualcomm because they are OHA members.

  • by Daniel Phillips (238627) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @11:13PM (#35607828)

    I'm pretty sure the maintainers told them to fuck off with their patches. Whether that was deserved, I'm not sure.

    Kernel maintainers did no such thing. Various seasoned contributors felt that the idea was valid, but the implementation was poor. This was not just maintainers, far from it. For Google to use that as an excuse to stomp off in a funk, or to claim that their patches are not wanted is... various bad things, ranging from puerile to disingenuous. On the face of it, Google would seem to be of the opinion that forking the kernel is no big deal. Perhaps Google also feels that repeatedly tweaking the collective noses of the community is no big deal.

  • by Eric Smith (4379) <eric@brouhahaPASCAL.com minus language> on Friday March 25, 2011 @01:58AM (#35608426) Homepage Journal

    well, you only have to "make it available"

    You have to do more than "make it available". Since it is being commercially distributed, and isn't accompanied with the complete corresponding machine-readable source code, they need to satisfy section 3b of the GPLv2:

    b) Accompany it with a written offer, valid for at least three years, to give any third party, for a charge no more than your cost of physically performing source distribution, a complete machine-readable copy of the corresponding source code, to be distributed under the terms of Sections 1 and 2 above on a medium customarily used for software interchange;

    Can anyone who has a Xoom confirm whether it came with such a written offer?

    As others have pointed out, this only applies to any GPL'd components of the software, which includes the Linux kernel but little else.

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