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Thread: Google Software Engineer speaks AOSP, Boot loaders, GPL's and overclocking.

  1. Administrator
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    #1

    Google Software Engineer speaks AOSP, Boot loaders, GPL's and overclocking.






    The hottest and most emotionally charged topics in the Android community is bootloaders and AOSP. The idea behind Android and open source is what feeds the dedicated developers from around the globe. They are a passionate bunch who love to share with the community. The community benefits from the countless hours these men and women pour into coding, tweaking, testing and compiling for the many different Android handsets out there. CyanogenMod alone supports at least 50 different targets (handsets.) That is quite impressive and quite a task.

    Not to mention all the fantastic developers on Droid Forums and XDA who constantly update and post their release threads for the masses. It's a wildly passionate community centered around one star...Android.

    DroidForums came across this entry from Jean- Baptiste Quero (Google Software Engineer.) Jean wrote an amazing piece on Google + called "Another year of AOSP" Reading through the comments one knows it's just a matter of time before someone chimes in about the way corporations handle their business in regards to allowing access to their proprietary files, bootloaders and everything in between. When the community gets on edge they like to take action and spam social networks, executives inbox's and demand answers. His response is something that is part warning and part enlightening. It should be shared among the community and this is why we are sharing it with you.

    Surprisingly, one of the most important things is to be reasonable and patient. If the community sends an image of being demanding, picky, noisy, companies will simply not want to deal with anyone at all. The worst you can do is to appear uncompromising, to show that you'll only ever be satisfied with the purest of the pure Open-Source Free Software Copyleft: if you send a message that you won't see any value in any of the intermediate steps that a company might make, they won't even bother making the first step. Also, using those companies' property without having a license or working around the restrictions set by those companies isn't seen with a good eye: if you show that you're not willing to play by the rules, they won't want to play at all.


    Every time a company hears demands that all their code should be released under the GPL, or reads bad press about alleged GPL violations, or sees people bypassing locked bootloaders, distributing unlicensed proprietary files, RMA-ing overclocked phones that overheated, it gets that much harder to convince that company to do the right thing, as it already takes a lot of effort just to get back to a point where such a company doesn't see Open-Source as the enemy. In any such discussion, both sides need to understand one another. The companies need to understand what's important for the Open-Source community, but the Open-Source community also needs to understand what's important for companies. No company wants to be associated with people who create bad press, and no company wants to be associated with people who don't respect IP rights.



    Source: Google +
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  3. Administrator
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    #2
    Great writeup CK and interesting article for sure. It is amazing how far Android has come in so short a time frame.
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    #3
    This makes no sense. My iPhone friends tell me Android is not open source. How is this possible.

    Nice write up.

    Google+ is blocked at work.
    Please ignore the above post.
    I am just trying to increase my post count.
  5. Droid Ninja
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    I cringe every time I see a thread that basically says, "Now that I've rooted my phone, and screwed it up 10 different ways -- how can I unroot it, return it to stock, and get it replaced under warranty?"

    This issue is the equivalent of leaving a $500 bill on the ground: put in an extraordinary situation, people will not hesitate to act in their own self-interest. (I also think people will do extraordinary altruistic acts, but that's another topic.)

    I really, really, really think that once companies start to design their firmware to allow for modification, and do it in a measured way, all parties will get what they want. The way to get there is with some kind of joint agreement (like what HTC and others are exploring): for example, Company A allows User X to download an app that unlocks the bootloader. Before doing so, User X must register their device on the Company's website, and agree that the warranty is surrendered, and the phone becomes the sole property of the User. It cannot be returned, it cannot be repaired. You download and install the unlock app, and you accept the consequences.

    Of course no joint agreement will be perfect, and no joint agreement will prevent abuse. But the current situation is set up to basically encourage owners to modify their devices at will, and then to send them in when problems happen. Too much temptation, not enough accountability. Clearly, there's a better alternative out there.

    -Matt
    Last edited by gadgetrants; 12-30-2011 at 01:49 PM.
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  6. Senior Droid
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    #5
    I agree with you in how people abuse warranties and modding. An agreement between manufacturer and user would help, however the part that makes the user solely responsible for issues with the phone would cause controversy. Let's say I overclock my phone and the speaker quits working. I wouldn't want to be responsible for that when my modification didn't cause the problems. Great start in the right direction though.

    Sent from my DROID BIONIC using DroidForums

  7. Droid Ninja
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpeJ3435 View Post
    Let's say I overclock my phone and the speaker quits working. I wouldn't want to be responsible for that when my modification didn't cause the problems.
    Sent from my DROID BIONIC using DroidForums
    Absolutely. This is what I had in mind when I said "no agreement would be perfect." How to distinguish between legitimate and user-caused damage? I think a nuanced way of dealing with it follows the "unlocked" radio model: you can buy a locked phone, and it has all the standard protections (I mean, warranty) but can't be modded. Or you buy an "unlocked" phone that can be modded. I would actually sell the modifiable phone for less than the stock phone, with the proviso that it has no warranty. I imagine this as kind of like a "demo" or "development" unit. You purchase "as is."

    Then, you can offer the owner of the modified phone an insurance contract for those hardware/manufacturing issues. Keep it reasonable, but the idea is for that extra cost, your modified phone can be turned in and repaired FOR ANY REASON, whether user-caused or otherwise. I'd be willing to bet comparably few of those extra-cost contracts would be purchased, and relatively few "cashed in" (those who understand modding take decent care of their phones).

    -Matt
    Last edited by gadgetrants; 12-30-2011 at 03:09 PM.
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  8. Master Droid
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    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by SpeJ3435 View Post
    I agree with you in how people abuse warranties and modding. An agreement between manufacturer and user would help, however the part that makes the user solely responsible for issues with the phone would cause controversy. Let's say I overclock my phone and the speaker quits working. I wouldn't want to be responsible for that when my modification didn't cause the problems. Great start in the right direction though.

    Sent from my DROID BIONIC using DroidForums
    That my friend is the issue. Installing custom rom on my phone in now way affects the hardware quality of the phone.

    The ultimate agreement is one that takes into account components and circumstances (ie overclocking) that can be messed up by tinkering, but still allow for other components like the headphone jack, radio, screen, etc... to still be covered under warranty.
  9. Droid Ninja
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    #8
    Bet I could make my screen explode if I modify the OS "correctly". Sorry...that's not contributing to the discussion -- just wanted to note it may be a fuzzy border between what a ROM can and cannot influence. If it's well-designed, it should be harmless. Heck, some are so well-designed they way outperform the stock ROM!

    -Matt
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  10. Droid Sensei
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    #9
    Quote Originally Posted by gadgetrants View Post
    Absolutely. This is what I had in mind when I said "no agreement would be perfect." How to distinguish between legitimate and user-caused damage? I think a nuanced way of dealing with it follows the "unlocked" radio model: you can buy a locked phone, and it has all the standard protections (I mean, warranty) but can't be modded. Or you buy an "unlocked" phone that can be modded. I would actually sell the modifiable phone for less than the stock phone, with the proviso that it has no warranty. I imagine this as kind of like a "demo" or "development" unit. You purchase "as is."

    Then, you can offer the owner of the modified phone an insurance contract for those hardware/manufacturing issues. Keep it reasonable, but the idea is for that extra cost, your modified phone can be turned in and repaired FOR ANY REASON, whether user-caused or otherwise. I'd be willing to bet comparably few of those extra-cost contracts would be purchased, and relatively few "cashed in" (those who understand modding take decent care of their phones).

    -Matt
    What about having insurance on the phone? Then going through them if the phone gets damaged?
  11. Droid Ninja
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    Quote Originally Posted by tjk629 View Post
    What about having insurance on the phone? Then going through them if the phone gets damaged?
    This is all hypothetical of course, but I imagine your typical phone insurance policy wouldn't endorse modding the phone. But hey, Asus and others offer an "accidental damage waiver" which pretty much covers "anything"...

    -Matt
    Meaning of gadgetrants:
    (1) Goes on rants about gadgets
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