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Google's Honeycomb Source Code Release Is On Ice

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the not-quite-yet dept.

Android 136

itwbennett writes "'Ice Cream Sandwich', that is. Apparently it's source code delay week, as Google joins Apple in delaying the release of source code for open source licensed software. Except, unlike Apple, which promptly released the LGPL WebKit code in question Monday afternoon, Google stated yesterday that it will not release the source code for Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) until after the release of the next version of Android (Ice Cream Sandwich). This is not necessarily news, since Google said last month that source code would be held for an indeterminate time and released when it was ready. It's just that now 'indeterminate' has an actual date: post-launch of Ice Cream Sandwich. The question, says blogger Brian Proffitt, is: 'How the heck can they do this, given that Honeycomb is licensed under the Apache Software License v2?'"

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Google and open source (-1, Offtopic)

x*yy*x (2058140) | more than 3 years ago | (#36099578)

I would find it interesting if Google opened up their search engine code. They claim it is beneficial for companies to open source their products and keep customers by offering better services than others. It's an interesting claim from a company whose main product is closed.

Re:Google and open source (1)

Goaway (82658) | more than 3 years ago | (#36101596)

Where do they claim that?

If it's not news (0)

ajzimm3rman (1695434) | more than 3 years ago | (#36099594)

Then why are you posting it?

Re:If it's not news (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36099652)

You must be new around here.

How can they do it? (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36099616)

The question, says blogger Brian Proffitt, is: 'How the heck can they do this, given that Honeycomb is licensed under the Apache Software License v2?"

Because they have lots of monies?

What do I win?

Simple answer (0)

DavidR1991 (1047748) | more than 3 years ago | (#36099626)

'How the heck can they do this, given that Honeycomb is licensed under the Apache Software License v2?

Err, because no one is going to step up and stop them, that's how

Re:Simple answer (5, Insightful)

GweeDo (127172) | more than 3 years ago | (#36099776)

Or because the Apache license is a BSD style license that allows for this.

Re:Simple answer (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36099788)

Or because they own the copyright?

Re:Simple answer (2)

JAlexoi (1085785) | more than 3 years ago | (#36099866)

Er... Actually both points allow them to not release anything they like.

Re:Simple answer (1)

drb226 (1938360) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100954)

I believe they've accepted contributions to the pre-honeycomb code, meaning they do not own the entire copyright and therefore must obey the restrictions of the license if they use those outside contributions.

Re:Simple answer (1)

Luthair (847766) | more than 3 years ago | (#36101246)

Not necessarily, unless Google lawyers are incompetent they'd require non-Google employees to sign CLAs for code contributions.

Re:Simple answer (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 3 years ago | (#36102162)

I've contributed some bug fixes that were accepted but I've never signed any copyright assignment paperwork. It surprised me a little bit at the time (the FSF requires a copyright assignment for anything more than 3 or 4 lines) but I figured it was good since it would prevent google from pulling a dick move like this. Guess not. Oh well. I'm not going to lose sleep over it, but I'm also not going to buy a xoom, either.

Re:Simple answer (1)

AlterEager (1803124) | more than 3 years ago | (#36103802)

but I figured it was good since it would prevent google from pulling a dick move like this.

So now you know the difference between a copyleft style license and a BSD style license.

Re:Simple answer (4, Insightful)

drb226 (1938360) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100990)

This.

The Apache License is a free software license authored by the Apache Software Foundation (ASF). The Apache License requires preservation of the copyright notice and disclaimer, but it is not a copyleft license — it allows use of the source code for the development of proprietary software as well as free and open source software.

Apache License [wikipedia.org] (emphasis mine)

For him, it's a legitimate question... (4, Informative)

msauve (701917) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100132)

Since he apparently can't find or read Apache's FAQ [apache.org] , which plainly states, with regard to their license:

It does not require you to: include the source of the Apache software itself, or of any modifications you may have made to it, in any redistribution you may assemble that includes it...

End of Thread (5, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100404)

Thanks, now we have nothing on-topic left to discuss. I suggest we devote the rest of this thread to discussions of ponies. I like them stewed, how about you?

Re:End of Thread (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36100486)

I like them BBQ'ed...

OMG WTF BBQ'ed Ponies FTW!

Re:End of Thread (1)

MrBandersnatch (544818) | more than 3 years ago | (#36103722)

I like them little! I recently watched the "My Little Pony - Friendship is magic!" series (apart from the last 4 episodes)... its AMAZINGLY good for a girls cartoon series, but then it comes from the same stable as the power puff girls!

And no, I'm not handing in my geek card!

Re:Simple answer (1)

BuckaBooBob (635108) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100794)

Its for the good... They know honeycomb is not acceptable to run on phones and the second they release it to the public people will start to port drivers needed for their phones to it and run it anyways.. After that people will start to download these custom roms and put them on phones and have a poor user experience and possibly get turned off android..

Its probably a good idea overall... The only thing they could have done diffrently is hold off on honeycomb period untill ice cream sandwich was completed and rolled it into a single release... But with the fast pace of tablets they couldn't do that..

Re:Simple answer (1)

Nikker (749551) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100942)

That's a load of garbage. As I understand it you think someone will buy a new device, go through a bunch of steps to find someone else's software before they even turn it on, load that software then realize it doesn't work right so declare google's software sucks?

Let me rephrase this into a bad car analogy for you. I buy a Ford car, get it shipped to my house with out sitting in it or turning the key. Now I drop the motor using instructions from someone I have never met, modify the motor using said instructions then find out nothing works properly. I now proceed to trash Ford for shoddy workmanship?

Re:Simple answer (2)

Omestes (471991) | more than 3 years ago | (#36101208)

After that people will start to download these custom roms and put them on phones and have a poor user experience and possibly get turned off android..

I think your almost on the mark, but not quite. This isn't about individuals, its about manufacturers of cheap knock-offs further diluting the market, and tarnishing Android's image. Motorola, and other first tier distributors won't release Honeycomb on phones because their partners and know better (and might be under contractual obligations). Second tier distributors probably won't release it because they have some brand image to preserve, and might have management with a brain. Third tier manufacturers are the big problem, since they'll release crappy phones with Honeycomb which will be terrible user-wise. A couple story coming out from bad customers, or bad reviews based on third tier phones using a tablet (not phone) OS would hurt Android, and the first tier producers (who are privy to the source).

Re:Simple answer (1)

shmlco (594907) | more than 3 years ago | (#36103428)

"This isn't about individuals, its about manufacturers of cheap knock-offs further diluting the market, and tarnishing Android's image."

And where is "open" source in all of this?

Sounds to me like Google is having its cake, and eating it too.

Android is "open source" which means that any manufacturer who uses it can do whatever they want with it... except, according to Google's license regarding Google mobile apps and the Android Store... they can't. Any user is free to download the source and modify it... when it's released, if it's released, and if the manufacturer hasn't locked the device down. All of the Android source is "open". Except, of course, for the parts that are proprietary, and the aforementioned apps and services.

But it's OPEN!!!!

New low for slashdot (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36099628)

This story has been covered here before... earlier today.

Re:New low for slashdot (3, Informative)

Bill Dimm (463823) | more than 3 years ago | (#36099678)

Wrong on two counts:
1) It was covered yesterday [slashdot.org] , not today.
2) It is not a new low for Slashdot. Slashdot reaches such lows with great regularity.

Re:New low for slashdot (1)

JAlexoi (1085785) | more than 3 years ago | (#36099874)

I'd say that there are little highs on that front...

Re:New low for slashdot (1)

ifiwereasculptor (1870574) | more than 3 years ago | (#36099966)

Apart from the editors, of course.

Re:New low for slashdot (1)

sortius_nod (1080919) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100326)

Then stop reading slashdot. It seems that people just come here to complain about the news articles. No one is forcing you to come to slashdot, and if you do, no one is forcing you to click on the story link.

Re:New low for slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36100408)

Modpoints are still assigned at random, no matter how much you suck up. Stop trying.

Re:New low for slashdot (2)

mug funky (910186) | more than 3 years ago | (#36101666)

No one is going to stop a troll, either.

No one is forcing you to read trollish posts.

Personally i like coming here to see who's stirring the shit.

Virtual Water Cooler (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 3 years ago | (#36102702)

It seems that people just come here to complain about the news articles.

Exactly, it's a virtual water cooler. We don't talk about what was on reality TV last night, but the cool shit that's happening in the tech world instead. But we still bitch about the office.

Re:New low for slashdot (1)

w0mprat (1317953) | more than 3 years ago | (#36103412)

The real lows for slashdot occur in the comments.

isn't it because? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36099638)

'How the heck can they do this, given that Honeycomb is licensed under the Apache Software License v2?"

Can't they do this specifically because they chose the Apache License v2?

Re:isn't it because? (1)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100616)

'How the heck can they do this, given that Honeycomb is licensed under the Apache Software License v2?"

Can't they do this specifically because they chose the Apache License v2?

Yes that's exactly right. Their kernel code must be released - and has been - obviously because it uses the linux kernel which is licensed under the GPL. But the rest of the code is under ASL which - as you say - allows them to determine whether or not they release the code.

Obvious (4, Interesting)

LordPhantom (763327) | more than 3 years ago | (#36099644)

'How the heck can they do this, given that Honeycomb is licensed under the Apache Software License v2?" Well, see, anyone who would fight them uses google mail....

ASL for this reason. (5, Informative)

ustolemyname (1301665) | more than 3 years ago | (#36099650)

'How the heck can they do this, given that Honeycomb is licensed under the Apache Software License v2?

Actually, this is precisely why they use the ASL instead of the GPL.

google cach of old ars article with good explanation. [googleusercontent.com]



And seriously, the name Brian "Proffitt" sounds like someone trying to generate clicks.

Re:ASL for this reason. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36104150)

You're an ignorant. Brian is well known and respected in the Linux world (go ahead, look it up). It's not your random click-whoring blogger.

Binspam (3, Interesting)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 3 years ago | (#36099672)

Didn't we cover this yesterday? [slashdot.org]

New record (3, Insightful)

tool462 (677306) | more than 3 years ago | (#36099708)

Maybe I'm missing something but this looks like a dup in less than 24 hours. That's impressive, even by slashdot standards...

http://linux.slashdot.org/story/11/05/11/0041250/Android-Honeycomb-Will-Not-Be-Open-Sourced [slashdot.org]

Re:New record (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36099998)

That's impressive, even by slashdot standards...

Nope.

Re:New record (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36100172)

No, the record was that one time when the same story was posted twice, and the dupe story came only a few minutes after the original.

Re:New record (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36100580)

Meh. Get back to me once slashdot starts posting the dupe before the original!

Answering your own question (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36099720)

How the heck can they do this, given that Honeycomb is licensed under the Apache Software License v2?

Because it's licensed under the Apache Software License, which does not require that the source code be offered?

Sure they can do it (5, Informative)

dido (9125) | more than 3 years ago | (#36099732)

Two things. Number one: Google is the copyright holder for most of the software in question. Any community contributors presumably have copyright assignments to Google. Even if the code was released under GPLv3 (and it isn't) they would be under no obligation to release the code because they own it and can do whatever they like. The copyright holder cannot by definition, violate a license they grant. For the stuff that they aren't the copyright holder (e.g. the kernel), they have complied with the license and released the source code where required. Number two: the Apache Software License Version 2 is a non-copyleft license. Read it carefully [apache.org] and please tell me where it says that redistribution requires source code release.

Re:Sure they can do it (1)

msauve (701917) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100342)

If it were a derivative of a GPL'd work (it isn't), they would have to release the source code including their additions/changes, at the time the binary was publicly distributed, regardless of their holding copyright to the additions/changes.

Re:Sure they can do it (4, Informative)

ustolemyname (1301665) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100444)

Not if they are the copyright holder, having had all contributions assigned to them. Then the GPL is simply terms they can choose to use in distributing the source to others, but they can distribute their own binaries of their own code however they want to under any license they want. Many things are multiply licensed like this (ie, what ID Software does with their old game engines).

Re:Sure they can do it (1)

msauve (701917) | more than 3 years ago | (#36102324)

They don't own all copyrights for all code within Android. Examples include the http-apache and sqlite stuff, which Google uses under the Apache license. There's also the alsa stuff, under the LGPL. Presumably, they don't have any separate licenses for this stuff, since they include the Apache/LGPL ones in the source tree. There are many more examples. If any of those were GPL, then Google would have to release source code. The whole premise of the summarized post was that Google derived Android from code with GPL-like licenses, and therefore should have to release Android source beyond the kernel.

So your presumption that Google has copyright to all the Android code is incorrect, which invalidates your claim that "Even if the code was released under GPLv3 (and it isn't) they would be under no obligation to release the code because they own it and can do whatever they like," because they don't in fact own it.

It is of course all moot, since only the kernel is GPL, and the foreign code in Android isn't "must provide source."

Re:Sure they can do it (1)

gig (78408) | more than 3 years ago | (#36104404)

Isn't the same WebKit code that Apple just released also used in Android?

Re:Sure they can do it (1)

devent (1627873) | more than 3 years ago | (#36103190)

"Even if the code was released under GPLv3 (and it isn't) they would be under no obligation to release the code because they own it and can do whatever they like"

Now Google owns the code so they are free to choose the license under with they release the binary and/or the code. But if they would have chosen the GPL then they would have to release the code as well. The GPL requires you to do it if you redistribute the binary to include the code and every change you have made to the code.

Re:Sure they can do it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36103332)

If a copyright holder releases something under GPL, then they would still be obligate to provide the source. They could, however, choose to release it under some other license which did not require source distribution, or they could dual-license the software.

Google ice cream (2)

dominious (1077089) | more than 3 years ago | (#36099736)

You know what would be cool? If Google actually produced real sandwich ice cream with the Android shape: http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2011/05/10/icecreamsandwich.jpg [guim.co.uk]

Hey, you've heard it first time from me! Google I just want 10% on this.

Re:Google ice cream (1)

JonySuede (1908576) | more than 3 years ago | (#36099816)

I want one of those

Re:Google ice cream (1)

robmv (855035) | more than 3 years ago | (#36099918)

The Android mascot is open (Creative Commons Attribution license) [android.com] , you can start a business selling those

Re:Google ice cream (1)

dominious (1077089) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100274)

Good idea, but I think if Google does it, the 10% will give me more money :-)

Re:Google ice cream (1)

gig (78408) | more than 3 years ago | (#36104410)

Yeah, but they would get Samsung and HTC to actually make the product, so by the time you got it, it would be stale and melted and unappetizing.

"Legal analysis" from clueless bloggers (4, Insightful)

sydneyfong (410107) | more than 3 years ago | (#36099770)

It is rare to find an article that attempts to analyze legal issues on OSS licenses that is even more horrifying than the worst comments from people pretending to be lawyers on Slashdot.

I don't tend to complain about article quality on slashdot, but this one is pretty extreme. The whole article is basically some random dude making himself look like an idiot by being clueless about OSS licenses and then pretends to be a lawyer. At least on Slashdot, people do know OSI approved licenses do not require source to be provided with the binary.

AND, as others have already noticed, it's a dupe!

Re:"Legal analysis" from clueless bloggers (3, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100272)

is rare to find an article that attempts to analyze legal issues on OSS licenses that is even more horrifying than the worst comments from people pretending to be lawyers on Slashdot.

I don't tend to complain about article quality on slashdot, but this one is pretty extreme. The whole article is basically some random dude making himself look like an idiot by being clueless about OSS licenses and then pretends to be a lawyer. At least on Slashdot, people do know OSI approved licenses do not require source to be provided with the binary.

But you're missing the point of this story, which is that Apple is wonderful because they released the code for something but Google is horrible because they're delaying the release of the code for something.

Here's a line from the summary that gives away the game:

Except, unlike Apple, which promptly released the LGPL WebKit code in question Monday afternoon, Google stated yesterday that it will not release the source code for Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) until after the release of the next version of Android

This story is Apple P.R. Any mention of OSS or source code or Ice Cream Sandwiches is strictly coincidental.

Another way this story could have been written is: "Apple is double-plus good and Google is the sux". At least that simple statement would have avoided the danger of the author demonstrating his ignorance of OSS licenses, which has now served to obscure the desired pro-Apple message. So the story becomes about the cluelessness of an author rather than the transcendental wonderfulness of Apple compared to the awful horribleness of Google.

Whichever "New Media Strategies" outfit Apple hired to put this stuff out is about to fire one of its "social media associates" I think.

Re:"Legal analysis" from clueless bloggers (1)

gig (78408) | more than 3 years ago | (#36104436)

The idea that Apple would have to hire astroturfers is ridiculous. Completely absurd.

dupes, and disappeared submissions? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36099798)

So we just did this story about a day or two ago. Meanwhile I submitted what I meant as an honest "ask slashdot" question:

http://slashdot.org/submission/1576394/Viability-of-cell-phone-without-cell-network

And for some reason it simply disappears from the submission list. Does anyone know why that is? I don't mean that it isn't chosen or modded up - I mean it's there for about 60 seconds after I press submit, and then just disappears even though obvious spam submissions from before and after mine remain. If I have the URL, I can still see it, but it's gone from the "recent" list within a minute.

This has happened to stories involving links to news that I've submitted in the past too. It's like they fall off into the aether. Perhaps someone would be kind enough to explain what that's about? I thought it might be because I submitted it as an AC, but that then, I've seen other things submitted by ACs which it doesn't appear to happen to. Hell, it doesn't even seem to happen to spam and nonsense entries.

Re:dupes, and disappeared submissions? (1)

synaptik (125) | more than 3 years ago | (#36101196)

I can't answer for why your submission disappeared for you. I can at least tell you that your submission seems more appropriate for a comment forum on some mobile-oriented website. Slashdot does of course have regular 'Ask Slashdot' features, but for reasons I can't quite put my finger on, your submission doesn't seem to fit the mold of those. Maybe it is because you ask multiple questions... not really certain.

As to your questions from that submission:
* Not 100% certain about whole-disk encryption on a phone, but if you buy an Android phone and root it, than I cannot imagine why not.
* Depending on the particular phone you buy, the manufacturer may still retain some control over what you can and cannot do. Caveat emptor, do your homework before you buy.
* Both Apple and Google have both been in the news lately about their systems collecting historical location data, and possibly phoning home about it. Google the topic for more details, and what you might be able to do about it. And Google and Apple both have app killswitches, in case they find some apps distributed on their appstores turn out to be trojans. But generally, I think you have more to worry about individual apps phoning home, rather than the system in general.
* I have used my Android phone without a SIM card, and it works fine. You might expect non-GPS location to be degraded without a SIM card, because I believe that relies upon cell-tower triangulation. But I'm not really sure about that.
* There are VOIP apps in the Android market. At least one claims to work with WiFi.
* I have not seen a system-wide text resize feature on my Gingerbread Android phone. Some apps (like Kindle for Android) support this.
* State of the art moves really fast... but the Nexus One and Nexus S are both relatively recent, and amenable to rooting. I consider them to be the least ethically-challenged. (I have a Nexus One.) With CyanogenMod on a Nexus One, you can even get an FM radio. Both of these phones work on T-Mobile (well, for the time being, at least... I'm sure you're aware of AT&T's current attempts to buy them.) I expect, at the least, another year of use from my Nexus One before AT&T manages to yank the spectrum out

Re:dupes, and disappeared submissions? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36102196)

Awesome - I really appreciate your time to answer my questions.

I'll also take your advice and try to find a mobile phone forum to ask on.

Re:dupes, and disappeared submissions? (1)

Daneurysm (732825) | more than 3 years ago | (#36102496)

xda-developers.com forums. Pick a specific device. Only post these questions in the Q&A section for that device. Follow those simple rules and you will be helped with even the most complex of questions. Post that in the Development sections and prepared to be flamed and insulted.

Source code release not required (2)

Todd Knarr (15451) | more than 3 years ago | (#36099858)

itwbennett misrepresents what Proffitt said. Proffitt noted accurately that the Apache Software License doesn't require the release of the source code. Not just not immediately, it doesn't require it to ever be released.

On the other end of things.... (-1, Flamebait)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 3 years ago | (#36099986)

Apple makes good on their open source promise. [apple.com]

I guess this is what they mean when they say Android is open and Apple is closed.

Re:On the other end of things.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36100382)

Awesome, thanks for the URL. Now let me start compiling this iOS thingy from scratch.. can't wait to upload it to my iPhone :-)

Re:On the other end of things.... (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 3 years ago | (#36101316)

yeah but you could fork it and build an entire OS around it(WebOS) or you could fork it and base your supposedly open mobile OS's browser on it.

Linus said recently that open to him wasn't that hardware was open, but you could run out and build your own thing that did what you wanted with the software provided. I couldn't believe it when Linus was basically praising the Apple mindset towards open source.

Contrast Apple open sourcing darwin and webkit over Andy Rubin flipping 180 and saying, "If you want the source for Honeycomb, please ask nicely."

Re:On the other end of things.... (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#36102126)

For the most part, Google actually gives you all code that runs on your (stock) Android device - Honeycomb has been an exception so far and even that is temporary. For my Android 2.x phone, I can pick and choose out of half a dozen ROMs with varying features and stability, or roll out my own. Apple didn't and doesn't offer anything even remotely like that.

I don't much care for copyleft "Freedom", but openness to me, in pragmatical terms, means the ability to mod my phone, whether on my own or in a community with others. In that sense Android has been far more open, and even Honeycomb still remains more open (you can root Honeycomb devices today without relying on security bugs that get fixed by the next OS update)

Google is not shipping binaries (AFAIK) (4, Insightful)

DrJimbo (594231) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100070)

This seems like more of the same anti-Google FUD that we've been bombarded with recently. It is a classic political tactic called "attack your opponent's strength". One of the reasons Android has taken off like gangbusters is because it really truly is open source while iOS and WP-7 are certainly not. So the game being played is to stir up a ruckus about Android not being open. The same tactic was used recently when people's hair caught on fire because Google had the ability to nuke malware apps. The story was not "hey, Android is open and safe", the story was that Google was being evil.

I'm currently working on a GPLv2 (for historical reasons) project intended to be part of a Linux distro. Guess what? I don't release the source code until it is ready for alpha and beta testing. Releasing it before basic functionality is in place simply wastes everybody's time and energy. I see absolutely nothing wrong with Google dealing the release of their software until they think it is the best time to release it. If Google released early instead then many of the people bitching and moaning now would have been bitching and moaning about Google releasing code before it was ready.

These unscrupulous tactics have been around for a long time. I'm not surprised that they are being used in this context but I am a little saddened that people seem to keep falling for the same old malarkey.

Re:Google is not shipping binaries (AFAIK) (1)

the linux geek (799780) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100102)

Android 3 has been released in multiple commercial tablets, including the Motorola Xoom. Binaries have been released, source has not.

Re:Google is not shipping binaries (AFAIK) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36101834)

Android 3 has been released in multiple commercial tablets, including the Motorola Xoom. Binaries have been released, source has not.

And none of those commercial tablets have phone hardware in them.

Which matches up nicely in regards to the part of the Honeycomb source that's stated to be fairly "broken" and not up to release level standards. The phone handling pieces.

Re:Google is not shipping binaries (AFAIK) (-1, Troll)

crhylove (205956) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100178)

Honeycomb is out on tablets all over the planet, and they have not released the source. If the code "isn't ready", then they shouldn't be releasing it at all, much less as part of a tablet that's being sold for $500, by select manufacturers.

It's not FUD. Release the source, or you're not an open source contributor, you're an asshole taking advantage of other people's work and contributing nothing back.

Didn't you read ANY of the comments above? (1)

spun (1352) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100490)

Did you read any of the rest of this thread, or the one from yesterday? No, you did not. If you had read any of it, you would know why this is simply Apple PR FUD. Google owns the copyright. The Apache License doesn't require the release of source code. The freedom of the Apache license is the reason that Google is easting Apple's closed source, can't-look-under-the-hood lunch, so that is the thing Apple is going to attack, with lies and distortion if need be.

Re:Didn't you read ANY of the comments above? (1)

the linux geek (799780) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100658)

Whether or not the Apache license requires source code release, Android 3 is not under the Apache license. It isn't open-source, period.

Re:Didn't you read ANY of the comments above? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36101464)

Did you read any of the post you were replying to? No, you did not. If you had read any of it, you would know why your rant is misdirected. crhylove said they were being an asshole instead of an open-source contributor. Being an asshole doesn't require the violation of any copyright or license.

I'm sure he's not being distracted by the FUD and thinking Apple is releasing iOS source code, so while your point about this being AppleFUD is true, it's also irrelevant. There are multiple conversations to be had about any post, and you should respect that he was having a different one (about Google's behavior itself) than you seem to try to force him into (about the finger-pointing at Google's behavior).

Re:Google is not shipping binaries (AFAIK) (1)

DrJimbo (594231) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100676)

It's not FUD. Release the source, or you're not an open source contributor, you're an asshole taking advantage of other people's work and contributing nothing back.

That is absolutely not true. I gave myself as an example. Just because a project is open source doesn't mean I have to release all my work all the time. As I said before, AFAIK, Google is not releasing binaries. If you're not releasing binaries then there is nothing wrong with not releasing source.

If the code "isn't ready", then they shouldn't be releasing it at all, much less as part of a tablet that's being sold for $500, ...

As I predicted, people bitching about Google not releasing soon enough are also bitching about Google releasing too soon. It seems pretty obvious to me that the problems with Honeycomb being not ready for primetime were discovered when those tablets were released. Google responded by changing their release policy to be less liberal in order to prevent such problems in the future.

The idea that I have to release any I code I write whenever you want me to release it is ridiculous and has nothing whatsoever to do with whether the code is open source or not. If you have a problem it is with the manufacturer you bought your tablet from, not Google. And while you are complaining to them, I suggest you complain to the manufacturers of your other phones and gadgets and for not releasing all their source code whenever you want it.

Complaining about Google because manufacturers downstream from them are actually abiding by the terms of open source licenses on the software they are using is 100% pure unadulterated FUD.

Re:Google is not shipping binaries (AFAIK) (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#36102140)

As I said before, AFAIK, Google is not releasing binaries.

And you've been told that you're wrong. There's a Xoom sitting on my table right now, running Android 3.0.1 build HRI66 (also known as "Honeycomb"). I've had it for two months now. If it's not running binaries, then I suppose it works by means of pixie dust?

Now Google doesn't have any legal obligation to release the source due to their being the authors and Apache license not being copyleft. But that's a different story.

Re:Google is not shipping binaries (AFAIK) (1)

DrJimbo (594231) | more than 3 years ago | (#36102318)

Those binaries are created and released by the manufacturer, not by Google. They are tailored by each manufacturer for their particular device. This is one of the reasons why Android has been sweeping the industry: each manufacturer has total control over the source code they put on their phones.

Your gripe, (whether legitimate or not) is with the manufacturer who sold you the device, not with Google. Since your complaint seems to be that the manufacturer (horror of horrors) is actually abiding by the terms of the licenses of the software they are using, it seems to lack much legitimacy. Insisting on blaming Google for this is complete FUD.

Re:Google is not shipping binaries (AFAIK) (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#36102382)

Xoom is a "Google experience device". It ships stock Google software, not modified by manufacturer.

I don't have any gripe with Google or blaming them, by the way. I'm confident that they'll have the code out once it's good enough for that. I was merely pointing out that your premise is wrong, and Google does ship the binaries (even if it's done with the aid of the third party).

Re:Google is not shipping binaries (AFAIK) (1)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 3 years ago | (#36101570)

It's not FUD. Release the source, or you're not an open source contributor

You mean not an open source contributor to that particular version of that particular product. They've stated that they are going to release that code and given a time for when it will be done, this is entirely fine for ASL licensed code.

you're an asshole taking advantage of other people's work and contributing nothing back.

If that's how you feel then you wouldn't be so fucking stupid as to release code under a permissive Open Source license now would you? People who release code under that type of license are altruistic, they don't care what's done with that code and it's free to be used by anyone however they wish. If you care about how that code is used or how derived works are licensed in the future then use a restrictive license, it's pretty simple.

Re:Google is not shipping binaries (AFAIK) (1)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | more than 3 years ago | (#36103908)

Hmm. I agree the GP is a foam-mouthed radical, but I take issue with the idea that those that choose to use BSD-style licenses are somehow more altruistic than those who use copyleft licenses - in my view, it's less likely that they are being purely altruistic, because they are using a license that they know will curry them favour with their commercial partners. On the flip side, those releasing code under copyleft licenses are doing so in the hope that it will encourage others to give the same gift as a result.

I also take issue with the whole "permissive" / "restrictive" badging - I prefer to think of it as "promiscuous" (goes with anyone, even for money) and "freedom-preserving" ;-)

Google IS shipping binaries (FTFY) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36101236)

Not releasing alpha or beta code, sure. But this is shipping commercial code, from which Google and Motorola are currently deriving income.

If the code isn't ready, it shouldn't be shipping on the Motorola Xoom. If it's shipping on the Motorola Xoom, it should be available.

Google is singled out for things like this because they try to single out MS and Apple for *not* being open. Being open when it suits you for marketing purposes and temporarily closed when it is a competitive advantage makes you a target for stories highlighting the hypocrisy.

Re:Google is not shipping binaries (AFAIK) (1)

Spit (23158) | more than 3 years ago | (#36102574)

Code is certainly the reason I bought my Froyo phone, I think it's nice that google released the code. I won't get mad at them unless they reneg on the ice-cream sandwich release. Then I won't buy any more.

Until then, I don't own any honeycomb device nor will I buy.

Re:Google is not shipping binaries (AFAIK) (1)

shmlco (594907) | more than 3 years ago | (#36103468)

Firefox is open source, and daily builds are available. Linux is open source, and daily builds are available. MySQL is open source, and daily builds are available. Apache is open source, and daily builds are available.

All are large, complex programs and platforms, with reputations to maintain and uphold.

Android is "open source" and... Google will release code when they're good and ready.

Further, 3.0 has shipped. 3.1 has shipped. And yet, Google will not release the source code for the current, shipping version, until the NEXT version is available and ships.

Seems to me that they're getting an awful lot of mileage *marketing* themselves as being cool and open -- when they're not.

Re:Google is not shipping binaries (AFAIK) (1)

DrJimbo (594231) | more than 3 years ago | (#36103608)

IMO the problem is entirely with the manufacturers. I think it is a minor miracle that Google got them to go the open source route at all even though it is in the current limited fashion. You've got to walk before you start flying to other planets.

I was not privy to their discussions but it seems pretty clear the manufacturers were not ready to accept a GPL style license that required them to divulge the changes they had made. The ASL is clearly a compromise. This is a reflection of the age-old debate between "open source" versus "Free software".

You claim that Google is getting a lot of mileage out of appearing to be cool and open. It cuts both ways. Open source software is getting a lot of the same sort of mileage for powering the most popular smartphone OS on the planet. It was certainly within Google's power to have made Android Free and open source, exactly the way you seem to think it should be. The problem is that the manufacturers would baulk at having to comply with a truly Free license. In which case we wouldn't be having this discussion because Android wouldn't be even close to threatening the major players.

Is the Android licensing situation my ideal? No, but IMO we are much better off with Android licensed the way it is then we would have been with a different license such as the GPLv3 because in that case Android would have no significant user base.

I actually think Google deserves the credit for being cool and open that you want to begrudge them. Is Android as free and open as possible? No, but it is a hell of a lot more free and open than every other major phone OS on the market.

IMO, more than anything else, Android is a demonstration that Linux and open source really are ready for prime time and are not just for hobbyists and techies. I'm still totally stoked about Android. As far as the big picture is concerned, it was a giant leap forward for Free and open source software.

I'll feed the dupe. (-1, Flamebait)

crhylove (205956) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100138)

I said it yesterday, and I'll say it again today:

If Google doesn't release the source for an "Open Source" OS, then it's not really FOSS. If they do this on the backs of all the developers globally who have been helping with the code, then they are clearly assholes, and also clearly "Doing some evil", which is against their official company mantra.

Seriously, I'm sick of large corporations pretending to be Open Source and generating excitement and fans, only to later stab them in the back at their earliest convenience.

FUCK GOOGLE. FUCK TIVO. FUCK APPLE. And fuck all the other corporations opportunistically taking advantage of Open Source, and then not doing their part by releasing the code.

I will NEVER give any of these ass-hats my money. EVER. And the rest of you should follow suit.

Re:I'll feed the dupe. (1)

spun (1352) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100504)

Have you ever read the Apache license?

Re:I'll feed the dupe. (1)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100556)

Uh, I don't know if you know it, but Apple did release their code recently. It was late, I guess, but they did release it.

Re:I'll feed the dupe. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36102350)

If Google doesn't release the source for an "Open Source" OS, then it's not really FOSS.

thanks captain obvious, glad you're here. Honeycomb isn't FOSS, that doesn't mean Android isn't FOSS, same as OSX isn't FOSS doesn't mean FreeBSD isn't FOSS.

Better lawyers and friends (-1, Flamebait)

macraig (621737) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100246)

Google can do this and get away with it because it has better lawyers and more influential friends than you do. Every other not-so-non-evil entity that wishes it, too, could simply ignore open source licenses will be watching and quietly cheering Google on from the sidelines.

Re:Better lawyers and friends (1)

Talisein (65839) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100520)

No, Google can do this because THEY OWN THE CODE in question. They developed Android, not random FOSS people.

The thing they are using from the wider community is the linux kernel (and some tools like gcc), AND THEY HAVE RELEASED THAT CODE. The whole rest of the Android stack was developed in house at Google and they can do whatever the fuck they want with it, be it release the source or not on their own time table.

Re:Better lawyers and friends (1)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100992)

Google can do this and get away with it because it has better lawyers and more influential friends than you do. Every other not-so-non-evil entity that wishes it, too, could simply ignore open source licenses will be watching and quietly cheering Google on from the sidelines.

Just like you can read /. and post what you did because you have better lawyers, right?

(Hint: You don't need better lawyers to do something that's perfectly legal. You also don't need a license to software you own -- licenses are what enable others to do stuff with your code -- you can never, ever even possibly be in violation of any software license to your own code, since the license doesn't apply to you at all. A license is permission to others, not to yourself.)

Fork (0)

hackus (159037) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100358)

I don't believe anything good can come from a single entity holding most of the code everyone uses to communicate with on a personal level.

Honestly though, has anything ever good come from a small bunch of people with complete and ultimate control over a population of source code, cars, state pensions, food or banking?

No, it always ends up collapsing because power attracts psyhcopaths...such as Hitler and idiots like Bill Gates.

It is one of the reasons why open source rules dictate lots and lots of distros of Linux so that if Red Hat goes bad (I mean bought or merged), the Linux Kernel can continue.

-Hack

Re:Fork (1)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100546)

No, it always ends up collapsing because power attracts psyhcopaths...such as Hitler and idiots like Bill Gates.

+1 for going Godwin.
-1 for calling Bill Gates an idiot. I'm no fan, and Gates is many things, but an idiot he's not.

Re:Fork (1)

hackus (159037) | more than 3 years ago | (#36102436)

He never completed college. ;-)

Also, idiot might be too kind of a word for Mr. Gates. I think I would call him a megalomaniac who has been recently been displaying an alarming maniacal trend towards eugenics with his billionaire pal club.

He is not even a genius, he is just a common thief in the right place at the right time.

You don't get that sort of money by playing above the table or even remotely fair. You get it through fraud, deception, and stealing and killing people.

-Hack

Licensing notwithstanding... (2)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100512)

...it's funny how much they sound like a Mervyn's holiday sale commercial ("open-open-open-open") when they're comparing themselves to Apple, but it appears that it's not the general philosophy that's different; it's only the specific parameters that appear to be at play here.

Based on my understanding of the ASL, they have every right to do this. But with this and other recent decisions, they need to STFU about being the most open platform around. Who cares how open it is if modifying your installation breaks your contract with your wireless vendor? Who cares how open software is when one vendor controls what's in the "official" distro? And who cares how open something is when, as soon as critical mass is reached, they suddenly decide to withhold some releases?

Personally, I care more about ongoing supportability. I'd like for the "fragmentation" question to be cleared up enough in the developer community that they are more likely to create Android apps simultaneously with their iOS apps. I'd like for hardware vendors to be forced to support at least a few major updates. If they have to stop yelling, "Open!", that's fine with me.

Of course, that being said, "Open" is a welcome addition, but if there's always an asterisk by it, then it's not a reasonable marketing bullet point.

Re:Licensing notwithstanding... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36102676)

First of all, if they are the most open (and they are), then they get to brag about it. Not being as open by your definition as you would like doesn't change anything. Since, legally speaking, Apache Software License is *less* restrictive than GPL, it is more open in at least some sense. (I know I know.. don't start a flame war about ASL vs. GPL here please.)

Apple's source is mostly not released at all, same with Windows phone. Same with QNX since RIM bought them. Google's source code is open, and the version running on the vast, vast majority of devices is available right now.

As for you modifying the software - you should understand that the real reason it's open is so that the HANDSET MAKERS can modify it, right? There's not much point for your average Joe to modify it, since their version will never have that large of a following. Developers want to modify their source code for their apps. The fact that the platform is open source means that in general debugging will be easier, and they might be able to find issues and submit patches. What Google is saying is that the current tablet version is not in a position to be used as a reference for any of that. IF they released the source code which wasn't ready for use, people would complain about that too.

I don't see any asterisk next to the Open claim, or any need for one. iOS is in fact much more open than standard smart phones have been, and Android is more open still.

The hardware vendors locking down the install and/or not providing updates is another issue, but that's now directly Google's doing. Google allows them to do it, because otherwise they wouldn't use Android. The vendors require it because the carriers require it - that's where you should target your frustration. Given that Google sells unlocked handsets, they are hardly the ones being not open.

Slashdot readers pretending to be legal experts (2)

linuxguy (98493) | more than 3 years ago | (#36100750)

Some of the other well known blogs have their utterly stupid people. I know. Usually the stupid people on Slashdot are of a little higher quality. Not on legal matters though. They are just as stupid as utterly dumb Engadget commenters.

I don't know how you'll manage it, but do try to get this through your thick thick skull:

Google does not have to release the Honeycomb source. Not because they have expensive lawyers or some shit like that. It is because they are not required to.

1. They fucking own the source code they are not releasing. AND even if they did not
2. Apache license does not require it.

Gawd, extreme stupidity is infuriating.

Re:Slashdot readers pretending to be legal experts (1)

shmlco (594907) | more than 3 years ago | (#36103496)

They own the code. They chose the license. They can release it, or not. Correct?

I really don't care. Except when every third phrase coming out of Google's PR machine is "open source"...

Which apparently means one thing when Mozilla, Apache, and Linus uses it, and something else when Google uses it.

WHEN it is released (1)

Snaller (147050) | more than 3 years ago | (#36103418)

It will be licensed under a license, when it hasn't been released, it hasn't been released under a license.

No, I'm not channeling Donald Rumsfeld, its just the license isn't relevant when the software hasn't been released.

Fuck Andy Rubin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36103702)

God-dammed hypocrite. This guy's rationale is that if they release Honeycomb now some vendors might try to use on phones. So what? If a hardware manufacturer uses Linux to make a crappy product consumers will simply not buy it. Do you even understand what open means, Andy?

Re:Fuck Andy Rubin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36104364)

...and then idiots like you will complain that Android is crap because some company used not fully cooked source code and started selling broken devices.
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