When is a door not a door?

17 years ago, mid-November | 2 Comments

Or more appropriately, when is open source not open source? The answer, I’m sad to say, is when Google get involved. With the release of Android many people got excited about this new open source development environment for mobile devices. Unfortunately, the current license is not an open source one. Android, at this point in time, is not released under the Apache license. What they do say is:

Once the SDK reaches a more finished form, Google intends to release most of the components under the Apache v2.0 open source license

which could mean tomorrow, next year or never. Also note the use of ‘most’ – either it’s open source or it’s not – pick one Google. It also means that even if most components get released under the Apache license, Google could still keep, and use any licensing they like on key components. That is to say Google would be able to pull a “Tivo”.

Don’t get me wrong, I fully understand that Google paid for Android and it’s their product. What I do object to is the claims that it is opensource. At this juncture is is most definitely not. So far all that Google have released is what is required by the GPL and LGPL.

Truly, I’m disappointed.


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November 13, 2007 13:18


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2 Comments so far

  1. C.M on November 13, 2007 14:10


    The word “open” is abused everywhere these days.

  2. Here I am, right here : ..the cat came back.. on November 21, 2007 14:49

    […] When is a door not a door? […]

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