Android openness, was Re: Android codebase - Patch set #1

Jason openmoko at
Thu Oct 23 20:09:52 CEST 2008

Sean McNeil wrote:
> flamma at wrote:
>> Excuse me if I'm going a little out of topic, but, will some polemic
>> features like [1] and [2] be removed, so the platform is a bit "more
>> free"?
>> [1]
> This is related to phones from companies that need or want to control
> access to their hardware. Google has nothing to do with this except to
> provide for security through certificates. This is a good idea and I
> think OM will have one, but it doesn't mean there will be anything
> closed source on the OM phones. It will remain open.

We have different definitions of open, then.  ;-)  By yours, Tivo is
open because it uses linux.  By my definition, open means you can change
the device to your liking.  My main concern is this article:

Which led me to discover this:

In particular:

"NanoBoot™: Provides all the tools and firmware source code needed to
perform pre-boot verification. NanoBoot uses strong cryptography to
validate the BIOS, firmware, and boot loader images and can run in
memory-constrained environments (depending on cryptographic
configuration), requiring less than 8 KB uncompressed firmware space and
less than 2 KB of RAM."

Please understand, I'm not opposed to Android at all.  The more open
(viewable) code, the better.  I'm just getting frustrated with getting
my hopes up, then seeing the crap I referred to above.

Note: the EETimes article was put out only one day before the G1 hit the

>> [2]
> I'm not sure exactly what is being discussed here. Since Android is open
> source, if there is a kill switch it can be removed. I think they are
> talking about removing things from their version of the application market.

I don't mind a kill switch for apps downloaded through Google.  There
needs to be a "safe download zone" for users who have no desire to hack
their phone.  But if I compile it and load it myself, they should leave
it alone.

If the kill switch is NanoBoot, you're going to have a hard time
deleting that.


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