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LWN.net Weekly Edition for May 16, 2013
A look at the PyPy 2.0 release
PostgreSQL 9.3 beta: Federated databases and more
LWN.net Weekly Edition for May 9, 2013
(Nearly) full tickless operation in 3.10
Google plans to ease the Android update problem (The H)
Posted Jun 30, 2012 0:12 UTC (Sat) by Cyberax (✭ supporter ✭, #52523)
Posted Jun 30, 2012 6:06 UTC (Sat) by liam (subscriber, #84133)
Posted Jun 30, 2012 8:26 UTC (Sat) by Cyberax (✭ supporter ✭, #52523)
Quite a few newspapers say things like 'Apple invented multitouch', for example.
Marketing and development
Posted Jun 30, 2012 21:44 UTC (Sat) by man_ls (subscriber, #15091)
Posted Jun 30, 2012 21:59 UTC (Sat) by Cyberax (✭ supporter ✭, #52523)
Apple makes a big presentation during the WWDC showing their all-new FFC (Far Field Communication) functionality (gleaned from Android commits), capable of broadcasting your credit card numbers at range of 10 kilometers. Press is wowed by this invention and everyone talks how cool it is.
Then 2 months later Google shows their own implementation of FFC that they've added back in December last year and that was sitting in the development branch. I kinda doubt that people would care about that.
Posted Jun 30, 2012 22:08 UTC (Sat) by man_ls (subscriber, #15091)
I think the question hinges on how much Google values open development (very little) versus helping the competition (complete disaster). Remember the Honeycomb fiasco, which would have not been possible with an open development model.
Posted Jun 30, 2012 22:56 UTC (Sat) by Cyberax (✭ supporter ✭, #52523)
Honeycomb was indeed a complete disaster (and Google admitted that). But I'm not entirely sure if secret development is pointless. After all, Apple is also very secretive.
Posted Jun 30, 2012 23:10 UTC (Sat) by man_ls (subscriber, #15091)
People are not that stupid to be confused just by name.
I don't know what advantages secret development brings to Android; probably a lot. But we are here on LWN, we value free software, we value open source, and we like development made in the open. Google wants to benefit from that momentum by making periodic code drops; I greatly appreciate their openness (especially compared with the likes of Apple), but we can ask for a little bit more.
I personally think that the virtues of open development greatly compensate for not having those little secrets. Just as Apache has trounced IIS, GNU/Linux has butchered all the proprietary Unices, Firefox has slaughtered IE -- there is value in doing things in the open. If announcements are all that is at stake then Google may develop a few selected secret features while the main tree remains public.
Posted Jun 30, 2012 22:38 UTC (Sat) by liam (subscriber, #84133)
Posted Jun 30, 2012 1:30 UTC (Sat) by cesarb (subscriber, #6266)
My guess is that it is to avoid the Osborne effect.
Posted Jun 30, 2012 6:22 UTC (Sat) by emichan (guest, #78123)
Posted Jul 1, 2012 15:45 UTC (Sun) by forthy (guest, #1525)
Once Google added a cool feature to the development branch, which is not really ready to use now, but people want it, only those phones will continue to sell where the update is possible. Goal reached.
Anyways, Linux distributions go to "rolling releases" or have been doing that for very long (Debian "testing"), and Google could have the same model with Android. Whoever wants the newest feature now, switches to "Android beta(tm)", and there they go. Any handset maker who wants to have the Android brand must either commit to take the vanilla Google source (and if some Chinese company does so, they should get the release-keys for free), or timely contribute their stuff to "Beta".
If they fail so, no Android brand. Google and the handset makers need to understand that a phone is now a PC, and the operating system is a separate product.
Posted Jul 2, 2012 21:18 UTC (Mon) by daniel (subscriber, #3181)
Posted Jul 17, 2012 15:59 UTC (Tue) by TRauMa (guest, #16483)
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