Not logged in
Log in now
Create an account
Subscribe to LWN
LWN.net Weekly Edition for May 23, 2013
An "enum" for Python 3
An unexpected perf feature
LWN.net Weekly Edition for May 16, 2013
A look at the PyPy 2.0 release
MeeGo to return next month with Jolla phone launch (The H)
Posted Oct 10, 2012 22:37 UTC (Wed) by mjg59 (subscriber, #23239)
Posted Oct 10, 2012 22:42 UTC (Wed) by shmerl (guest, #65921)
Posted Oct 10, 2012 22:42 UTC (Wed) by swetland (subscriber, #63414)
I can see that being annoying, but it's certainly not insurmountable.
Posted Oct 10, 2012 22:48 UTC (Wed) by Cyberax (✭ supporter ✭, #52523)
Great, that's what we were talking all about.
Posted Oct 10, 2012 22:50 UTC (Wed) by shmerl (guest, #65921)
Much better, since distros are interchangeable, sharing the lower stack (even closed parts). They aren't interchangeable with Android in the mobile case.
Posted Oct 10, 2012 23:40 UTC (Wed) by Cyberax (✭ supporter ✭, #52523)
Posted Oct 10, 2012 23:43 UTC (Wed) by shmerl (guest, #65921)
Did you follow the discussion really? We were talking about sharing the effort vs being selfish. Replaceability is part of the former. Incompatibility is part of the later.
Posted Oct 10, 2012 23:50 UTC (Wed) by Cyberax (✭ supporter ✭, #52523)
We're now back at your purely subjective opinion of Android somehow "not sharing" and being "selfish".
Have you thought that the same could be said about KDE and Plasma Active? They could have helped GNOME developers instead of working on a competing system!
Posted Oct 10, 2012 23:59 UTC (Wed) by shmerl (guest, #65921)
Posted Oct 11, 2012 0:00 UTC (Thu) by shmerl (guest, #65921)
Posted Oct 11, 2012 0:03 UTC (Thu) by Cyberax (✭ supporter ✭, #52523)
Also: Fedora should have switched to DEB, Debian should have switched to RPM and dogs should have become cats.
Posted Oct 11, 2012 0:07 UTC (Thu) by shmerl (guest, #65921)
I don't think Android designers thought about excuses much. They designed a commercial system, without much community interests in mind. No point to deny it, since it was originally proprietary and closed. It got opened only later.
Posted Oct 11, 2012 0:11 UTC (Thu) by Cyberax (✭ supporter ✭, #52523)
But that was 5 years ago. Since then Android developers work with kernel community to integrate Android features and fix ARM shortcomings (by using device trees, for example).
Posted Oct 11, 2012 2:53 UTC (Thu) by shmerl (guest, #65921)
Very arguable. Open systems can rely on open development and community involvement. The model you described is a strong characteristic of proprietary systems. Not because it's better - because they are proprietary. And Android was designed in such way not because it was a good thing to do, but because it has no relation to any open development - it wasn't an open system. And I don't consider it a good thing, as it created a much bigger rift than it could, if the system would be developed with community interests in mind (and community input).
Posted Oct 11, 2012 3:25 UTC (Thu) by swetland (subscriber, #63414)
In the 5-6 years since Android has been public knowledge, I've heard a lot about how we should throw out what we've done in favor of working with "the community", all throughout the stack. I am unconvinced that this would have been a good idea at any point.
Android's goal has been to provide a competitive open source platform for mobile, as an alternative to closed platforms (Symbian and WinCE in the early days, iOS later on, etc) where there is a level playing field for application development, and OEMs have sufficient control over their destiny, and users have more choice, etc. I think it's been pretty successful at this by most measures.
It's not perfect, and not everyone is happy with everything about it, but I'm unconvinced that a more-like-desktop-linux approach would have been massively better at anything other than being more like desktop Linux. And don't get me wrong, I like desktop Linux -- use it at work and home and write a lot of code on it -- but I'm not convinced that it's the right thing for my phone.
What I hear is "you should have done it the way we want it done because that way is superior to the way that you did it", which forces me to wonder why the superior way isn't out there being superior and winning mindshare. Unless it's not actually *done* in which case I'm not sure why I, as someone building a mobile platform, should go work on your platform under your direction, instead of building my own... what do *I* gain out of this, other than a bunch of people telling me how to do my job?
Meanwhile, the code that's been written for Android, is out there, and under an incredibly permissive license, and you're welcome to take it and build anything you'd like with it -- which a number of folks have done.
Posted Oct 11, 2012 4:27 UTC (Thu) by mjg59 (subscriber, #23239)
There's no real way to argue that Android is bad. It's the most successful smartphone platform, and the dominant user-visible Linux. Perhaps adopting some of the existing technologies would have made it *better*, but at this stage it's pretty clear that the people arguing that (such as me) should actually do the work and stop expecting that purely theoretical arguments will win out against a shipping product.
Posted Oct 11, 2012 6:46 UTC (Thu) by shmerl (guest, #65921)
Posted Oct 11, 2012 11:48 UTC (Thu) by pboddie (subscriber, #50784)
Posted Oct 11, 2012 15:26 UTC (Thu) by shmerl (guest, #65921)
Plus, there are fully open options like Nemo and Plasma Active, based on the same Mer core, which one will be able to use on the same devices. So Jolla is doing a very good thing, their closed UI part regardless.
Posted Oct 12, 2012 14:35 UTC (Fri) by pboddie (subscriber, #50784)
Linux can be made to run acceptably on lots of devices, and there's plenty of unfunded community activity already going on that can deliver quite a bit of the stack - you just have to see how QtMoko (the community-maintained variant of Qtopia) still manages to roll along, regardless of whether anyone thinks it is blazing new trails - but cultivating a community around applications is something that the likes of Nokia only did in order to get access to the bits they needed. As a result of all this, people pin a lot of hope on Plasma Mobile (or whatever it's called this week) because it at least gives them the possibility to define their own platform.
I wouldn't be at all surprised if there's a similar level of enthusiasm for Jolla's "open core" as there was for Nokia's efforts, where contributors merely get the satisfaction that their code is being used from the outside of a tamper-proof glass case. The difference between then and now is hopefully that more people are wise to the game being played.
Posted Oct 12, 2012 16:58 UTC (Fri) by boudewijn (subscriber, #14185)
Plasma Active, and no, it has never been called anything else, so why the sneer?
Posted Oct 11, 2012 3:39 UTC (Thu) by Cyberax (✭ supporter ✭, #52523)
Attempting to start a large project usually results in lots of bike-shedding and very little of actual work. There are exceptions, of course, but they are rare.
Posted Oct 10, 2012 23:44 UTC (Wed) by shmerl (guest, #65921)
You said it. Why are you surprised that it's not considered friendly then? Something that doesn't respect the community (if you put it as above) won't be respected in return.
Copyright © 2013, Eklektix, Inc.
Comments and public postings are copyrighted by their creators.
Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds