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Thread: Open Source: One for all, all for one

  1. DF News Team
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    #1

    Open Source: One for all, all for one


    (This is a guest post by Dave D. from ThisGreenMachine.com. The original article can be found at this link.)

    Iíve been quite torn lately. Last week I took issue with Eric Schmidtís response to a question posed[1] by Danny Sulivan of SearchEngineLand.com. In short, Sulivan asked Schmidt why Google doesnít require carriers and manufacturers to give consumers the option to install a stock version of Android on any device. This is a point that I brought up in a previous post, suggesting that a simple way to fix fragmentation would be to require stock Android on all new devices with an option to install custom skins after purchase. Schmidtís response left no room for misunderstanding. He stated that putting such restrictions on the use of Android would violate the very principle of open source.

    My immediate reaction was to call Schmidt a coward for hiding behind the banner of open source instead of taking responsibility. At the time, I believed that Google held the ultimate responsibility of ensuring a good user experience for Android devices. As I ranted to anyone who would listen, the discussion often became heated when I was called a hypocrite: how could I praise Androidís inherent openness in my other articles, then have the gall to be angry when the same openness didnít work in my favor?

    As I defended my position, the feelings of anger slowly turned into embarrassment. ďDamn, that was a good point,Ē I thought to myself. They were right, my stance has always been that Android is superior to iOS due to the choices given to consumers. Requiring that all devices ship with stock Android would be taking away that choice. Just because an option isnít one I personally enjoy doesnít give me the right to tell others they canít have it either.

    One analogy that stuck with me compares open source software to a cooking recipe. Recipes are made available to everyone with the idea that anything can be tweaked to the cookís liking. It would be a shame to be denied the recipe for some delicious chocolate chip cookies because I wanted to add peanut butter. At the same time, it would be ludicrous for me to blame the terrible taste of the modified recipe on the original author. Without the ability to customize Android to their liking, carriers and manufacturers would have never adopted the platform at such an amazing pace. As much as it may pain me to admit, carriers should be allowed the same openness that I demand, even if this means I donít agree with their decisions (Bing search on Android devices?! Oh please kill me quickly.). No oneís forcing me to buy one, right?

    References: [1] Search Engine Land
    This Green achine: All Android, all the time.
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  3. Droid Ninja
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    #2
    Hmmm... Now that you have seen the light on this topic I wonder how it will change your opinion of "Android: A House Divided" concerning different app markets whether they be exclusive like Verizons or global like Amazons?
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  4. DF News Team
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    Ah you are mistaken friend. The editorial you are referring to was written by Michael Heller. The one you are reading now was written by Dave D. Both are posted under the "This Green Machine" user name so I can see how it would be confusing. At the beginning of each post we designate the original author. We each have our varying opinions (which I seem to flip flop on daily), so he may not agree with this editorial. Perhaps he will chime in with his opinoins.
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    Again, open source sounds all pretty and nice, but it's still all about the $$$$. Google touts Android as open source and an open environment compared to Apple, but I'm beginning to wonder more and more if they're using it as a marketing ploy more than anything else, even if it is technically true.... because it really benefits the carriers more than the end-user, because the carriers ultimately have final say and control over our devices, whether we like it or not, until something in the U.S. changes with how we "do" mobile service.
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  6. Junior Droid
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    #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Darkseider View Post
    Hmmm... Now that you have seen the light on this topic I wonder how it will change your opinion of "Android: A House Divided" concerning different app markets whether they be exclusive like Verizons or global like Amazons?
    While I agree with my colleague on this point (in fact I was one of those voices defending Schmidt's comments), I still disagree with including app markets in that argument.

    I'll have a followup column on the subject in the next day or so.
  7. Master Droid
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    I don't care about carriers making. Money. I just want the option to have the full android experience without having to root my phone, go through roms and then recycle the process anytime an update is released. I agree that carriers should put whatever the hell they want to on their devices, but I as a consumer should be able to remove them safely without having to do something that may void my warranty if I do something they don't like. I compare it to buying a whopper. I don't want onions on my burger but rest assured they are going to put it on there anyways. But I can take them off and still enjoy my burger and they still keep my money. Hope I got my point across.
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    #7

    no way

    No way man. How can u even say its open source when our carrier and manufacturers are locking bootloaders and voiding warranties becauseof what we are doing with our "open-source" OS? While Google may have made it open source the carriers try to impose their will on us completely negating Google's ideas and morals for us.

    What I say they do is at least make one open model for us to play with and then do whatever they want with the rest. As long as they at least give us some sort of choice ill b happy
  9. DF News Team
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    Quote Originally Posted by everstar80 View Post
    I don't care about carriers making. Money. I just want the option to have the full android experience without having to root my phone, go through roms and then recycle the process anytime an update is released. I agree that carriers should put whatever the hell they want to on their devices, but I as a consumer should be able to remove them safely without having to do something that may void my warranty if I do something they don't like. I compare it to buying a whopper. I don't want onions on my burger but rest assured they are going to put it on there anyways. But I can take them off and still enjoy my burger and they still keep my money. Hope I got my point across.
    Definitely agree with everything you've said, but look at it this way. If a burger store told you that if you took off the pickles, they wouldn't sell you a burger, you'd tell them no thanks and go to another store. But, what if that burger was the best one available, and at the same price as a crappy burger (stale bun, old meat, and smaller). You will probably grumble a little and just eat the pickles.

    You can always buy a Nexus One and get everything you want in terms of the stock experience. But would you be willing to use Sense UI in order to get a 4.3 in screen, 1.2 Ghz dual core processor, front facing camera, and a physical keyboard? All for the same if not cheaper price to boot. My guess is yes. It's a tough position to be in, but when they have what you want, you have very little leverage.
    This Green achine: All Android, all the time.
    Real commentary on news that matters.
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  10. Master Droid
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    The way I look at it , once you are locked out of choosing a ROM of your liking you then become a leasor of the device .
    In other words you never own the device you are just leasing it from the maker.
    They could just do a duel ROM and allow custom ROM to be loaded there and have a choice at boot between stock or custom ROM .
    To Droid or not to Droid is no longer a question , DROID!
  11. Master Droid
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    Question

    Quote Originally Posted by This Green Machine View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by everstar80 View Post
    I don't care about carriers making. Money. I just want the option to have the full android experience without having to root my phone, go through roms and then recycle the process anytime an update is released. I agree that carriers should put whatever the hell they want to on their devices, but I as a consumer should be able to remove them safely without having to do something that may void my warranty if I do something they don't like. I compare it to buying a whopper. I don't want onions on my burger but rest assured they are going to put it on there anyways. But I can take them off and still enjoy my burger and they still keep my money. Hope I got my point across.
    Definitely agree with everything you've said, but look at it this way. If a burger store told you that if you took off the pickles, they wouldn't sell you a burger, you'd tell them no thanks and go to another store. But, what if that burger was the best one available, and at the same price as a crappy burger (stale bun, old meat, and smaller). You will probably grumble a little and just eat the pickles.

    You can always buy a Nexus One and get everything you want in terms of the stock experience. But would you be willing to use Sense UI in order to get a 4.3 in screen, 1.2 Ghz dual core processor, front facing camera, and a physical keyboard? All for the same if not cheaper price to boot. My guess is yes. It's a tough position to be in, but when they have what you want, you have very little leverage.
    You have a valid point. The real question is how do we really get them to hear us as the consumers without everyone arguing and people doing more to revolt and the carriers and manufacturers from stifling us?
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