Android openness, was Re: Android codebase - Patch set #1
sean at mcneil.com
Thu Oct 23 22:33:35 CEST 2008
Sorry for the additional post, but I wanted to clarify:
> Sean McNeil wrote:
>> flamma at correo.ugr.es wrote:
>>> Excuse me if I'm going a little out of topic, but, will some polemic
>>> features like  and  be removed, so the platform is a bit "more
>> 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:
I think our definitions are pretty much the same. I am saying Android is
open just like Linux. I'm saying that just because Tivo uses Linux
doesn't mean it has to be completely open. Neither does anyone using
Android have to have their phone open.
Google chose a more business friendly model, however, in that they use
the Apache license which is a lot like BSD. If I make a product, I don't
have to provide you with all the sources or changes I make to have
Android run on that product (unlike what GPL is attempting to do).
Regardless, OM will always make their code freely available and let you
put whatever software you like on their phone. This is the OM way.
> 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
>> 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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