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Google About Openness

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the good-to-be-on-top dept.

Google 283

sopssa writes "Several sites, including TechCrunch and The Register, are reporting about an email Google's VP Jonathan Rosenberg sent to employees on Monday about the meaning of open. 'At Google we believe that open systems win. They lead to more innovation, value, and freedom of choice for consumers, and a vibrant, profitable, and competitive ecosystem for businesses. ... Our goal is to keep the Internet open, which promotes choice and competition and keeps users and developers from getting locked in.' But are we likely to see Google open their search engine, advertising or the famous back-end system? In their words, that would mean Google and other companies would need to work harder and innovate more to keep their users, for everyone's benefit."

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If it could make it money google would spreak OPEN (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30535706)

If it could make it money google would spreak OPEN its legs.

Re:If it could make it money google would spreak O (0, Redundant)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 4 years ago | (#30535726)

What are these Google Legs you spreak of?

Re:If it could make it money google would spreak O (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30535818)

The legs of
Sergey M. Brin
Lawrence E. Page

get it?

Typical proprietary bullshit (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30535724)

We want systems to be open, so that we can freely use them, but we will keep our own system proprietary. Where Google makes Open Source, it does so to disrupt other people's business, so that Google can continue to use open infrastructure. Sure, it's good business sense, but spare us the "we are the good guys" bullshit.

Re:Typical proprietary bullshit (-1, Redundant)

Assmasher (456699) | more than 4 years ago | (#30535900)

Mod parent up please

Re:Typical proprietary bullshit (-1, Offtopic)

RichardJenkins (1362463) | more than 4 years ago | (#30536026)

I was about to, but now I've had to comment on your very insightful comment and I can't. Oh the humanity!

Re:Typical proprietary bullshit (5, Informative)

Aldenissin (976329) | more than 4 years ago | (#30535920)

We want systems to be open, so that we can freely use them, but we will keep our own system proprietary. Where Google makes Open Source, it does so to disrupt other people's business, so that Google can continue to use open infrastructure. Sure, it's good business sense, but spare us the "we are the good guys" bullshit.

How about you RTFA, oh yea this is Slashdot. Perhaps I have fallen hook line and sinker, but I think their actions speak louder than their words, and their words are merely clarification, which is spoken on as well. Since you are not likely to read it, allow me to quote:

  "While we are committed to opening the code for our developer tools, not all Google products are open source. Our goal is to keep the Internet open, which promotes choice and competition and keeps users and developers from getting locked in. In many cases, most notably our search and ads products, opening up the code would not contribute to these goals and would actually hurt users. The search and advertising markets are already highly competitive with very low switching costs, so users and advertisers already have plenty of choice and are not locked in. Not to mention the fact that opening up these systems would allow people to "game" our algorithms to manipulate search and ads quality rankings, reducing our quality for everyone.

  So as you are building your product or adding new features, stop and ask yourself: Would open sourcing this code promote the open Internet? Would it spur greater user, advertiser, and partner choice? Would it lead to greater competition and innovation? If so, then you should make it open source. And when you do, do it right; don't just push it over the wall into the public realm and forget about it. Make sure you have the resources to pay attention to the code and foster developer engagement. Google Web Toolkit, where we have developed in the open and used a public bug tracker and source control system, is a good example of this."

Re:Typical proprietary bullshit (0, Troll)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 4 years ago | (#30536198)

"...opening up the code would not contribute to these goals and would actually hurt users. The search and advertising markets are already highly competitive with very low switching costs, so users and advertisers already have plenty of choice and are not locked in. Not to mention the fact that opening up these systems would allow people to "game" our algorithms to manipulate search and ads quality rankings, reducing our quality for everyone."

Or it may help you improve your code to fight against people trying to game the system and create better searching for all.

This just reeks of the standard, "We have to be closed for security reasons." crap argument put out by proprietary whores all the time.

Re:Typical proprietary bullshit (4, Interesting)

nschubach (922175) | more than 4 years ago | (#30536370)

There's a difference between using open protocols and using open source.

Personally, I have no problem with companies using open protocols. The only thing I think Google is missing is a way to export all your Google information into a data file you can upload into someone else (or a way to give someone a "key" to your information to side load it), otherwise, they don't use proprietary email standards (*cough* Exchange *cough*) or use proprietary web page extensions (*cough* ActiveX *cough*) that cause people to have to buy Google servers, software and equipment to be able to use said protocols.

I'm all for open protocols, even if you don't open source the code generating it as long as you don't need the code generating it to use it (or have to pay a patent or other license to use it.)

Re:Typical proprietary bullshit (5, Informative)

Aldenissin (976329) | more than 4 years ago | (#30536514)

The only thing I think Google is missing is a way to export all your Google information into a data file you can upload into someone else (or a way to give someone a "key" to your information to side load it)

If you read the article, they would agree with you. How do you like that? They are working on it and accomplished much already, but working toward more. See the Data Liberation Front [slashdot.org] (dataliberation.org)

Re:Typical proprietary bullshit (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 4 years ago | (#30536612)

Yes, and that's how I agree with the direction they are going. That's why I think the only thing missing right now is a way to do what I said... Otherwise, Google is more open with me than most other companies and I agree with their push to open (and keep open) the Internet protocols and communication. This is why they promote sharing tools and code that keeps this going.

Re:Typical proprietary bullshit (2)

Aldenissin (976329) | more than 4 years ago | (#30536454)

This just reeks of the standard, "We have to be closed for security reasons." crap argument put out by proprietary whores all the time.

If you feel that way, why don't you explain to us how they could be more open about it, and make it work? I do not believe in security through obscurity myself, but I am not going to list the key-code next to my alarm either!

Re:Typical proprietary bullshit (2, Insightful)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 4 years ago | (#30536544)

I would, but I can't see the code to audit it and make an informed suggestion on it.

Re:Typical proprietary bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30536236)

(Warning: Snarky comment follows)

Sorry, this is THE INTERNET. If you don't hate everything, you're obviously a shill and nobody's going to read your blog. You're not allowed to have positive opinions. This applies doubly so to Google, because they said their business plan is "don't be evil", so if you're not looking for the most blunt of irony in that, you're obviously a Google marketoid and aren't supporting "our" "cause".

We here on THE INTERNET appreciate all opinions, unless they're different from ours, in which case they don't count.

(Even more snark follows)

On a side note, after looking at the GP you replied to, your sig... amuses me.

Re:Typical proprietary bullshit (4, Funny)

gregarican (694358) | more than 4 years ago | (#30536304)

I won't respond to Anonymous Cowards. Show the courage to log in so I'll know you get responses. I'll not waste my time.

Looks like you just did there fella...

Re:Typical proprietary bullshit (1)

Aldenissin (976329) | more than 4 years ago | (#30536586)

I won't respond to Anonymous Cowards. Show the courage to log in so I'll know you get responses. I'll not waste my time.

Looks like you just did there fella...

Point taken, perhaps I will change the sig to "reply", not respond to.The difference? If an AC's comment is highly rated and wrong, I will gladly set the record straight. If they want to reply to me and feel they must be a coward, then I am arguing with someone obviously inferior, at least in courage. If you don't have the courage, then it is most likely a troll. It could be a troll either way, but trolling while avoiding negative karma is not something I will enable.

I call bullshit... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30536376)

Why not release old code from a few years back then under some restrictive license preventing use in competition without releasing code back?

No, I think while Google certainly does open source a lot of stuff, the above assessment is almost accurate. It's not so much to disrupt other business though (although sometimes that might be a part of it). It's more like their bread & butter is truly search, advertising, and massive scaling of infrastructure. That's where they make money and need their competitive advantage, so they believe, rightly or wrongly, that that needs to remain their secret sauce.

Re:Typical proprietary bullshit (1, Insightful)

bonch (38532) | more than 4 years ago | (#30536580)

How about you RTFA, oh yea this is Slashdot. Perhaps I have fallen hook line and sinker, but I think their actions speak louder than their words, and their words are merely clarification, which is spoken on as well. Since you are not likely to read it, allow me to quote:

If they were truly an open company, their actions would include open sourcing their core business--the search and ad engines. Of course their goal is to "keep the Internet open." The Internet is their advertising platform, so they want as many people on it as possible. Why do you think they have a browser, mobile phone, and more?

You come off as the usual Google fanboy on Slashdot. Google's words are enough for you, and the fact they have free email or a free browser makes them an "open company." In reality, those are just tools to get you onto their advertising platform so they can index your content. This is a company whose CEO said privacy concerns are for wrongdoers.

Data liberation (2, Insightful)

thijsh (910751) | more than 4 years ago | (#30535982)

This is not about FOSS, it's about not getting locked in and being stuck with legacy proprietary data. I'd say Google is on the right track with this site: http://www.dataliberation.org/ [dataliberation.org]

Re:Data liberation (1)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30536072)

They are talking about both things actually:

He does acknowledge that Google stops short of open sourcing everything. But then, as Google so often does, he rationalizes the fact that the company has no intention of open sourcing the two things - its search and ad platforms - that have turned Google into something very close to an internet gatekeeper.

Re:Data liberation (3, Informative)

nschubach (922175) | more than 4 years ago | (#30536410)

They, in this case, being the author of the article and not Google...

Re:Data liberation (1, Flamebait)

CodeBuster (516420) | more than 4 years ago | (#30536144)

I don't trust them. I cannot trust them because in the United States a public corporation is required by law, first and foremost, to do what is in the best interests of shareholders which generally means anything which legally maximizes profits. As long as Brin and Page continue to deliver the profits, the shareholders will go along with whatever they want to do, but if it comes down to profits or data liberation, I am betting on profits winning the argument; whether or not that is good for "openness".

Re:Typical proprietary bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30536038)

i agree with you about "disrupt other people's bussiness"
in addition, i must say that their intention to open source or make everything free has "evil" side to it.
free stuffs = tracking and profiling you
their android phone is surely to make to track users' activities online and voice chats.

Re:Typical proprietary bullshit (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#30536210)

They haven't opened everything, but they do open things that give them a competitive advantage. The most recent would be the SPDY protocol.

http://googleresearch.blogspot.com/2009/11/2x-faster-web.html [blogspot.com]

Didn't they open their hardware design for power supplies? Apparently they save a fortune by running pure DC data centers.

Google also releases patches for projects like MySQL, pays for Google Summer of Code, employs people to solely work on OSS projects (such as kernel developers), fights to protect open standards, is helping push for HTML 5, and pushed for Ogg in HTML 5, etc. etc. etc.

Didn't Google just release Android out in the open, and Chrome browser, and Chrome OS?

Re:Typical proprietary bullshit (1)

cbreaker (561297) | more than 4 years ago | (#30536372)

Google's definition of Open Source plays to muddy the waters with "Free Open Source Software." Chrome is Open Source, and free to use, but it's not free software. The license creates unfortunate restrictions on what you can do with the software, they use use ambiguous terms such as "Intellectual Property" in it.

For example, if you have modified Chrome browser and have a "distribution" of it, and Google wants you to include some new patch, you HAVE to apply that patch or you're no longer within the terms of the license.

Open Source != Free Software.

Re:Typical proprietary bullshit (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#30536640)

Really?

http://code.google.com/chromium/terms.html [google.com]

I sure thought they said all their code in Chromium is BSD licensed, and libraries they used retain their existing licenses.

Re:Typical proprietary bullshit (1)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | more than 4 years ago | (#30536646)

Whatever RMS.

Re:Typical proprietary bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30536234)

Every publicly traded company is basically alike, they are about the near-term bottom line first and the personal needs of the senior executives and board members second. Everything else is lower priority, but of course you wouldn't know it from the company's ads, PR, and public statements.

For those apparent exceptions, just wait a few years, especially after a bad run of quarterly earnings. It's like pro athletes (think Tiger Woods) - don't have heroes because they will let you down.

Re:Typical proprietary bullshit (1)

Tekfactory (937086) | more than 4 years ago | (#30536474)

Funny, assuming you're right about the disrupted businesses*. Microsoft gives away free proprietary software to disrupt other people's businesses and ACTUALLY so does Google, they have lots of proprietary free stuff, but very little OSS that would compete with anything but other small OSS projects.

Google's free proprietary apps
*YouTube, Viacom claims they lose revenue due to YouTube, but YouTube isn't open source.
*Google Maps to put Mapquest? out of business, oh wait that isn't open source either.
*Gmail that's the evil project to get rid of free email, you can't get free email anymore thanks to Google, right? oh and not open source.
*Picassa that's probably put Adobe out of the Photo Editing business by now right? oh and not open source.

So now I'm looking over at Google Code, all 30 pages of open source market ravaging projects they have;
*Chromium free browser to take sales revenue away from all the proprietary paid browsers?
*Android free phone OS to put Palm, Apple, RIM and Microsoft out of the Phone business?

If you actually look at Google's OSS offerings except for the two above they are all tiny apps, widgets, templates and APIs for their other products.

Re:Typical proprietary bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30536476)

FOSS was always about disrupting other people's business right from the very start.

What Was He VP of... Mind Control Devices? (4, Funny)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 4 years ago | (#30535740)

These guys crack me up. Any day now there will be video of Schmidt dancing around, chanting "Developers! Developers! Developers!"

eheee he heee he he. ..... he ... (4, Interesting)

unity100 (970058) | more than 4 years ago | (#30535974)

i am a developer. leave aside the many measures google have taken to empower INDIVIDUALS, like enabling individual websites with adsense system and giving them the power to generate revenue whereas all of the big boys were treating small publishers as shit, google by itself provided many useful tools to aid us developers in the act of development. its so much that some of their accessories are invaluable additions to the dev environments and software we use now.

i think you confused them with another company, which treated everyone but the big buck like shit, for over 20 years.

Re:eheee he heee he he. ..... he ... (1)

jim_v2000 (818799) | more than 4 years ago | (#30536282)

Google doesn't give two shits about "empowering" anyone. They just realized that small websites were an untapped revenue source.

Re:eheee he heee he he. ..... he ... (1)

vegiVamp (518171) | more than 4 years ago | (#30536466)

Untapped ? I had DoubleClick banners on my sites years ago, when it stil payed *something*. I'm not sure why the bottom dropped out of that, or how google has managed to make it interesting again, but it's not a new market by any means.

Re:eheee he heee he he. ..... he ... (1)

bonch (38532) | more than 4 years ago | (#30536614)

"Empower individuals"...hahaha. AdSense is about making Google money, not you. Why are people on Slashdot so distrustful of every other company but Google? It's like you automatically accept them simply because they use touchy-feely OSS buzzwords to reel you in. Their search and ad engines are closed source--they're just using open source as a tool to get you onto their closed source platforms!

Slashdot obsesses over privacy every other time, but when it comes to a Google article, everyone is suddenly eager to let a closed source company index all their emails, conversations, and more. Fanboyism is a bizarre thing.

Re:What Was He VP of... Mind Control Devices? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30536020)

Exactly.

Imagine, you're surfing online logged in your google account, googling with your iGoogle, your waves, your youtube video's and account, linked with CC numbers, you locationdata (google latitude), linked with your cellphone, your facebook and what have you. It's all splending, your friend can follow you. And your government can make generated judgement on your potential dangerous activities [wikileaks.org] .

Google has all this data, linked, even without the need of the crawlers. It's a wet dream of many to have access to such massive abundance of exact data.

Re:What Was He VP of... Mind Control Devices? (2, Funny)

KnownIssues (1612961) | more than 4 years ago | (#30536212)

Don't be silly. This is Google. Schmidt will be dancing around, chanting "Advertisers! Advertisers! Advertisers!"

Re:What Was He VP of... Mind Control Devices? (1)

rwyoder (759998) | more than 4 years ago | (#30536254)

These guys crack me up. Any day now there will be video of Schmidt dancing around, chanting "Developers! Developers! Developers!"

No, I think Schmidt would dance more like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sPasYRPEZ8c [youtube.com]

Say they do... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30535762)

Say Google opened up their search and advertising code. The result? Very little would change about the internet.

The massive hardware deployment that is at the heart of Google isn't going to be open, so only a few companies would have any real chance of utilizing their search code in a way that would compete with them. Same for Advertising (except you also have to have the monetary infrastructure for dealing with all of the customers and payments that take place). So maybe Microsoft, Yahoo!, and a few more companies would see some benefit from being able to pick the brain of the prime Google properties. The rest of the web would probably see some improvements in site searches, but probably no better than you get searching a specific site using Google today.

The biggest benefit would easily be non-web websites such as internal sites. These can probably already benefit for a reasonable cost through Google's search appliances, though.

Re:Say they do... (5, Insightful)

quantumplacet (1195335) | more than 4 years ago | (#30535864)

actually, i think a lot would change if they opened up their search algorithm, since the first page on every search would be nothing but links to viagra and malware.

Re:Say they do... (1)

lwsimon (724555) | more than 4 years ago | (#30536086)

I agree. It sounds like a great idea, but it would effectively destroy the SEO ecosystem and allow blackhats to absolutely dominate.

Re:Say they do... (0, Troll)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 4 years ago | (#30536202)

the first page of ANY search (bing, yahoo, google, you name it) has SALES this and BUY that all over it.

I look for chip data (pinouts and things like that). I find mostly sales and not even legit sales, most of the time. try to find DATA and you're way beyond first page in any search.

don't give me this 'google has magic results' crap. they sold out just like all the rest. I have yet to find a useful search engine that isn't already gamed, somehow. we now need post-processors of this so called aggregators just to weed out THEIR insane junk that didn't need to be part of a search result.

maybe 5 or more years ago, google had the edge on search. but now, their results are no better than any other.

the thing is, back when they WERE good, they programmed us all to get used to 'googling' for info. now that they suck, we don't notice quite as much since we still continue to 'google' for info. like I said, none of the engines give useful user-oriented results anymore but that does include our 'dear' google, as well.

Re:Say they do... (4, Interesting)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 4 years ago | (#30536318)

Just curious, what search terms are you using? I've found that adding "+datasheet" or "type:pdf" helps a lot in searching for pinouts, at least for things that are common enough to make it into digikey...

edit (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 4 years ago | (#30536348)

"ext:pdf" or "filetype:pdf", I mean.

Re:Say they do... (2, Interesting)

cbreaker (561297) | more than 4 years ago | (#30536450)

Well, perhaps. But Google's search is still better than anything Microsoft puts out. I consistently get shit results from Bing. When I want to search Microsoft's site for something, I use Google.

And Google still has an uncluttered start page.

You know what's funny is that 90% of the time when I do search Google for something, I end up clicking the Wikipedia link anyway. Wikipedia should start their own Search service that will include "not only Wikipedia, but other sites too" and it would be a massive success.

And why should they? (5, Insightful)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 4 years ago | (#30535780)

Why should they open up everything? They're open in areas that aren't their primary business. That doesn't mean that in order to claim openness, they suddenly must give away the technology behind their core business. Open takes many forms: it can be a matter of publishing source code (as they do for many products) or interoperability specs (as they also do). The fact that they remain closed about other areas does not affect how and where they *are* open.

Re:And why should they? (0, Troll)

dintech (998802) | more than 4 years ago | (#30535914)

Why should they open up everything? They're open in areas that aren't their primary business.

Exactly. They're open in places that are other people's primary business. They only want to prevent competitors having a monopolies, not themselves.

Re:And why should they? (1)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#30535988)

And? Disrupting other people's monopolies still benefits us.

Re:And why should they? (1)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30536124)

They obviously can do that, and keep some of their main services that benefit them closed. They should just cut the bullshit about "lets make an open and free world with innovation and competition", while their actual goals as a gigantic corporate are totally different. But every company is there to make money, and it's better if you have a good public image. They just have been destroying it [slashdot.org] themself lately.

Re:And why should they? (1)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#30536176)

But they ARE making an open and free world with innovation and competition. Sure, it's one of their side projects and they have a pragmatic reason to do it, but they're still doing it.

Re:And why should they? (3, Insightful)

Aldenissin (976329) | more than 4 years ago | (#30536136)

Read the article, then bash them. It is obvious you haven't. Opening their search algorithm would do more harm than good. Do you not think there is competition for search already? Bing, Yahoo, or countless others fail to come to mind?

Re:And why should they? (1)

Tekfactory (937086) | more than 4 years ago | (#30536536)

Take a look at what is actually available at Google Code the place where their OSS projects live.

There is very little there except Chromium and Android that might compete with anyone's businesses.

Re:And why should they? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30535926)

This is pretty much where Microsoft and Apple are going too. There are core parts that are distinct to their operations that are closed (or in the case of Microsoft, open but only to partners, in other words, documented and auditable), and then the rest, which is slowly getting more and more to be open source in the "published" sense. The BSD parts of OSX are published, the UI isn't.

This was true with Redhat years ago as well (probably still is).

Re:And why should they? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30536008)

No reason they should have to, and it probably doesn't make business sense... but if they don't, their argument that *everybody else* needs to be open is at best unconvincing, at worst hypocritical and cynical.

Note that the core tech examples mentioned (e.g.: ranking algorithms) are not open by either of your definitions - which is why there is a whole industry about reverse engineering it (SEO).

Re:And why should they? (1)

Aldenissin (976329) | more than 4 years ago | (#30536156)

No reason they should have to, and it probably doesn't make business sense... but if they don't, their argument that *everybody else* needs to be open is at best unconvincing, at worst hypocritical and cynical.

That is not their argument, read the article, and please do not spread FUD!

From the article:

So as you are building your product or adding new features, stop and ask yourself: Would open sourcing this code promote the open Internet? Would it spur greater user, advertiser, and partner choice? Would it lead to greater competition and innovation? If so, then you should make it open source

reminds me (0, Redundant)

confused one (671304) | more than 4 years ago | (#30535790)

That We know what's best somehow reminded me of "We are the Borg. Lower your shields. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile."

Re:reminds me (1)

Aldenissin (976329) | more than 4 years ago | (#30536182)

Except the Borg will not allow you to leave, and Google will. — the Data Liberation Front [slashdot.org]

Re:reminds me (2, Funny)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30536346)

Exactly. It's even easy to opt-out [theonion.com] from all of Google's things.

"Openness" defines shift from 20th to 21st century (4, Interesting)

nysus (162232) | more than 4 years ago | (#30535800)

We are seeing a shift from private to public, closed to open, secretive to transparent and it's all because of a far more efficient and cheap ways to communicate. The act of communication is so fundamental to how we relate to the world, that when you change the way you communicate, you change the shape of everything in the world.

Corporate structures will change drastically. How, exactly, no one know. Can corporations like Google still exist 50 years from now? Will there be any need for massive bureaucracies any more or will the opposite happen, and just a handful of bureaucracies be able to control everything?

Re:"Openness" defines shift from 20th to 21st cent (2, Interesting)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 4 years ago | (#30535862)

To the extent that that is true, it's great.
But openness is also getting abused to mean its exact opposite.

Doublespeak! Beware openwashing [wordpress.com]

Re:"Openness" defines shift from 20th to 21st cent (1)

Aldenissin (976329) | more than 4 years ago | (#30536028)

I think Google Jonathan Rosenberg is talking about that when he says that it is becoming Rashoman-like.

open as long as its google (1, Informative)

agentultra (1090039) | more than 4 years ago | (#30535854)

After using Wave preview for the past couple months, I don't think I like where Google is heading.

There is a lot of good and a lot of bad.

GWT so far is bad. Development of the compiler is slow and forces developers to target specific supported browsers. So far none of which except Google's own Chrome are well supported. Wave preview in any other browser than Chrome is horrendously slow and crashes regularly. Besides, who wants to go back to the mid-90s and have to put warnings on their site, "This site optimized for Chrome at 1900x1080"?

Yet they do contribute to a lot of open source projects and have made a number of their projects open source themselves.

This sounds more like idealism than anything. Their company is too big for any one stake-holder to steer the ship towards a single goal or at least navigate by certain guiding principles.

So to sum up, "meh."

Re:open as long as its google (1)

eigenstates (1364441) | more than 4 years ago | (#30536540)

GWT is bad? Please elaborate. I have had 0 problems with it. No forced targeting and things seem to work from FF to Opera to Chrome- if you do it right.

Wave never once crashed on me in FF or Safari.

Meh (1)

Mekkah (1651935) | more than 4 years ago | (#30535884)

Why do we hold Google to a higher standard? Would any other company 1/2 their size share 1/3 as much as they do? No.

I heart you G00gl3. xoxo.

Re:Meh (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30536032)

Or they are held to about the same standard but get more attention because of their pervasiveness.

Re:Meh (1)

Aldenissin (976329) | more than 4 years ago | (#30536250)

Perhaps we should hold everyone to the same standard. That seems to be what they are implying, and I agree. First, confidence must be built that it can be done, and Google is leading by example. That is why "I heart Google." They get it.

The reason we hold them to that standard in the first place is because they showed and claimed themselves to be at that standard. It is what we have come to expect. Claiming to be at that standard is bold, and smart. They are forcing themselves to live up to it, and in turn obliterate the competition. Ingenious.

"We engrave upon everyone our image with all action taken and words spoken, and press them into molds that shape others, just as they have done to us." - Villein

Slashdot's anti-Google schtick is out of control (5, Insightful)

beakerMeep (716990) | more than 4 years ago | (#30535896)

CmdrTaco, kdawson(troll), all of you, need to chill it with the rhetoric. If I wanted sensationalist news I could easily hit up Fox or MSNBC. Of course while it's important to hold Google accountable once in awhile. But they are one of the biggest supporters of open source, and all you guys do is beat them over the head with a stick as if they are Microsoft. Sometimes I wonder if the editors here ever really grew up. Open source is great. It's one of the great achievements in human cooperation. But to belittle anyone who doesn't take the plunge 110% is really small of you guys. It's a good thing there are parts of the OSS community that welcome partial contributions with more open arms than do Slashdot editors.

I'm not sure this will go over well, but I have karma to burn and sometimes we need to turn the mirror back on ourselves.

Re:Slashdot's anti-Google schtick is out of contro (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30536048)

It's submitted by sopssa (troll) :p

Re:Slashdot's anti-Google schtick is out of contro (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30536190)

If you think the anti-Google Schtick is out of control here then whatever you do don't read The Register your head will explode.

Re:Slashdot's anti-Google schtick is out of contro (1)

unixfan (571579) | more than 4 years ago | (#30536230)

Mod parent up. The 'have a stick, will hit anything that moves, before properly investigating' shtick is getting very old.

Re:Slashdot's anti-Google schtick is out of contro (1)

Aldenissin (976329) | more than 4 years ago | (#30536266)

to belittle anyone who doesn't take the plunge 110% is really small ...

Well said, MEEP MEEP! (Here, here!)

Re:Slashdot's anti-Google schtick is out of contro (1)

jim_v2000 (818799) | more than 4 years ago | (#30536312)

> all you guys do is beat them over the head with a stick as if they are Microsoft

They're the Microsoft of search and online advertising. Their open source efforts are just a gimmick like Microsoft's.

Who is open? (3, Insightful)

stagg (1606187) | more than 4 years ago | (#30535898)

Google definitely wants us to be open with our information!

Ok, Im sold. (5, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | more than 4 years ago | (#30535946)

this kind of memo by a vp, talking about 'open' like this. i think this is a serious indicator. totally in contrast to the behavior we see from other companies. i appreciate this.

the comment of the poster is hilarious btw - google values openness will google open its search engine. if google did that, it would lose all the power it can use to enforce the openness, and 'closed' would prevail, through the efforts of stranglehold corporations opposing them. no, opposing 'us', for i am on the same side with google apparently, from what i understand from that vp's memo.

regardless of how much one wants to be open, one should always employ wisdom.

Re:Ok, Im sold. (2, Insightful)

stagg (1606187) | more than 4 years ago | (#30536080)

Allowing any single entity to safeguard your "openness" is never a good idea, especially when that entity is governed by profits. Even if those currently making decisions at Google are sincerely committed to openness who's to say the next ones will be?

Re:Ok, Im sold. (1)

Aldenissin (976329) | more than 4 years ago | (#30536324)

Even if those currently making decisions at Google are sincerely committed to openness who's to say the next ones will be?

That is the beauty of it. Making these proclamations means they are now "Tiger Woods". The moment they get caught cheating over and over, then it will come crumbling down. Will they mistakes? Sure, they are human. I just hope the public (yea, I know) is wise enough to forgive them, where it is due. As long as they stay righteous, they shouldn't have any problems.

Re:Ok, Im sold. (1)

stagg (1606187) | more than 4 years ago | (#30536378)

That's just it. They're not human! Google is a corporate entity and therefore motivated primarily by profit.

New from Google... (2, Funny)

ghostis (165022) | more than 4 years ago | (#30535996)

Open Privacy! A new standard for making access to your private information easier across all platforms...

Re:New from Google... (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 4 years ago | (#30536412)

At some point a flood of everyone's private info will drown it into privacy again. Right now if your private info is leaked it's like a small town and everyone knows it. Once it is all out there then it becomes as anonymous as someone living in a large city.

Aren't profit and openness generally at odds? (1)

commodore73 (967172) | more than 4 years ago | (#30536004)

Aren't they responsible to their shareholders? Isn't there potentially more profit here than in the history of man (except maybe oil)?

Re:Aren't profit and openness generally at odds? (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 4 years ago | (#30536142)

Think in Firefox's extensions ecosystem. Being open means more people develop things around it, things for every imaginable use, so more people use it, and whatever is attached in the first end on the chain gets a good revenue opportunity. So openness could mean profit, at least, if manage to generate a sizeable enough ecosystem around.

Saying so, for something like Google things work in another scale. The ecosystem is internet itself, more than any of their products in particular. If internet gets even more used (with open protocols, so they, and noone else, don't get excluded by some propietary/non-standard big use) then they will win even more. Is a big market, they have a big presence there, and making that market even bigger make them get more profit. Is a bubble, but still have a lot of potential to grow

Answer is in TFA (3, Insightful)

pgn674 (995941) | more than 4 years ago | (#30536042)

From the OP:

.' But are we likely to see Google open their search engine, advertising or the famous back-end system?

No, actually, we aren't. The email says [blogspot.com] so, in the fourth paragraph under Open Technology > Open Source:

While we are committed to opening the code for our developer tools, not all Google products are open source. Our goal is to keep the Internet open, which promotes choice and competition and keeps users and developers from getting locked in. In many cases, most notably our search and ads products, opening up the code would not contribute to these goals and would actually hurt users. The search and advertising markets are already highly competitive with very low switching costs, so users and advertisers already have plenty of choice and are not locked in. Not to mention the fact that opening up these systems would allow people to "game" our algorithms to manipulate search and ads quality rankings, reducing our quality for everyone.

Re:Answer is in TFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30536256)

Google FUD.. Why don't they open their google mail source, google maps? Oh, google calendar and documents? Google Reader source would be nice too. I'm sure they have some cool code for youtube... Those certainly have nothing to do with their search algorithms nor their most important asset, the data they store.

Oh wait, they are opensourcing wave.. that's cool... Oh wait, no, they don't opensource the wave reader... Hmm, I wonder if their internal wave server running the exact same source they open sourced?

It would be good to get a percentage of people hours they spend on open source vs their proprietary offerings. Yes they contribute to open source... Mostly stuff which already existed as open source... So does Microsoft. Nether open sources anything they care about or implemented from scratch. I do like google... But they don't seem like an open source company to me...

Re:Answer is in TFA (2, Insightful)

nschubach (922175) | more than 4 years ago | (#30536542)

Because none of those are needed to promote an open Internet experience... the data they provide is in an open format (for the most part... video is kind of tricky) so anyone getting an email from GMail will be able to display it properly. GMail server code doesn't have to be open for that to happen. You don't have to have an open Wave reader to let the user download the finished document in an open format that can be uploaded somewhere else (I haven't used Wave, but I suppose you should be able to download your document and open it in OpenOffice/Word... right?)

Re:Answer is in TFA (1)

KnownIssues (1612961) | more than 4 years ago | (#30536292)

The search and advertising markets are already highly competitive with very low switching costs, so users and advertisers already have plenty of choice and are not locked in.

I'm pleased to hear Google has promised that once they establish their clear monopoly they will happily step down and turn over their system to the open source/standards community.

Not to mention the fact that opening up these systems would allow people to "game" our algorithms to manipulate search and ads quality rankings, reducing our quality for everyone.

We should all be thankful Google is protecting the consumer by keeping search and advertising a closed system on the Internet. I assume they would have been behind Microsoft's position with Internet Explorer that in a highly competitive market, it's important to maintain a closed proprietary system.

Re:Answer is in TFA (2, Informative)

Aldenissin (976329) | more than 4 years ago | (#30536366)

From the OP:

.' But are we likely to see Google open their search engine, advertising or the famous back-end system?

No, actually, we aren't. The email says [blogspot.com] so, in the fourth paragraph under Open Technology > Open Source:

Don't you love it when the submitter doesn't even read the article in question? Get mad all you want, yes I am looking at you CmdrTaco. You may not have submitted it, but you green-lit it.

Re:Answer is in TFA (1)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30536556)

Yes I did. But Google isn't really opening any other services either that benefit them, like the earlier poster said [slashdot.org] (gmail, youtube and so on).

Google only opens things that benefit them to offer their services and advertising, it's not about making everything open.

And it seems "openness" is the new buzzword, after years of FOSS people saying to everyone its a great thing.

Hadoop? (1)

ghostis (165022) | more than 4 years ago | (#30536082)

Isn't Hadoop an open version of part of their back end?

Re:Hadoop? (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 4 years ago | (#30536488)

it is to an extent hdfs hadoop and mapreduce are implemented as part of a paper put out by google based on their googlefs and mapreduce ideas.

*groan* (1)

TheSHAD0W (258774) | more than 4 years ago | (#30536092)

I think Google means having hardware YOU OWN be open. Their servers are their own property.

Re:*groan* (1)

Aldenissin (976329) | more than 4 years ago | (#30536394)

I think Google means having hardware YOU OWN be open. Their servers are their own property.

*Groan*, is right. I think too many people assume what other's mean and won't even bother to listen to the words they are trying to interpret.

Re:*groan* (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 4 years ago | (#30536582)

Uh, no. They mean having the data you send to them and the data they send to you be an open and understood format. They mean being able to open an email client and have someone send you an email/Contact from GMail and still be able to read it without requiring Outlook. You can close your client if you like, but they'll give you the ability to read data provided by them or anyone for that matter without needing to install a special client.

Google is dedicated, we're committed. (4, Insightful)

stagg (1606187) | more than 4 years ago | (#30536110)

A pig and a chicken are walking down a road. The chicken looks at the pig and says, "Hey, why don't we open a restaurant?" The pig looks back at the chicken and says, "Good idea, what do you want to call it?" The chicken thinks about it and says, "Why don't we call it 'Ham and Eggs'?" "I don't think so," says the pig, "I'd be committed, but you'd only be involved."

Re:Google is dedicated, we're committed. (2, Insightful)

eigenstates (1364441) | more than 4 years ago | (#30536496)

Well- let's continue with the cooking metaphor. Leave the pig out it for a second.

Let's say the chicken has a great hand me down recipe from his great grand chicken. They implement that recipe and the restaurant's success is overwhelming based on that recipe. The chicken then decides to divulge everything about the technique used to create the dish- but not the actual recipe.

Why in, any environment, should the chicken be forced to reveal that recipe?

It is easy to say this.... (3, Insightful)

HerculesMO (693085) | more than 4 years ago | (#30536184)

When most of your "profits" don't come from "open systems" but rather advertising, where you data mine every piece of information and sell it off in order to sustain the rest of the business which is "open". Sure it's open, because if they charged fees for closed programs, nobody would develop for them.

Only Apple can do that lately :(

I see another tentacle from The Google... (1)

carlhaagen (1021273) | more than 4 years ago | (#30536194)

...and it's aiming for another of my crevices. Surely it means no evil?

AGPL (1)

12357bd (686909) | more than 4 years ago | (#30536486)

The sooner we start using AGPL for every piece of FOSS code, the better. IMO it's the only way to avoid FOSS being marginalized by big companies like MS or Google.

USA has a monopoly on IT (MS has the PC section, Google the Internet search market), and those companies are both killing FOSS. MS fights openly (the viral factor anyone?), while Google is fagoziting FOSS, (Android vs Linux kernel), (Chrome vs Safari).

Re:AGPL (1)

12357bd (686909) | more than 4 years ago | (#30536552)

Oops.. s/Safari/Firefox

google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30536638)

google likes open source in that they exploit it and use it for their own ends
google does not like making their own content open source however
google is now just another evil company, and they're not fooling anyone.

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