Open Source: One for all, all for one

Discussion in 'Android News' started by This Green Machine, Sep 30, 2010.

  1. This Green Machine
    Offline

    This Green Machine DF News Team Premium Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2010
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Chicago
    [​IMG]

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

    I’ve been quite torn lately. Last week I took issue with Eric Schmidt’s response to a question posed[1] by Danny Sulivan of SearchEngineLand.com. In short, Sulivan asked Schmidt why Google doesn’t 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. Schmidt’s 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 Android’s inherent openness in my other articles, then have the gall to be angry when the same openness didn’t work in my favor?

    As I defended my position, the feelings of anger slowly turned into embarrassment. “Damn, that was a good point,” 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 isn’t one I personally enjoy doesn’t give me the right to tell others they can’t 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 cook’s 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 don’t agree with their decisions (Bing search on Android devices?! Oh please kill me quickly.). No one’s forcing me to buy one, right?

    References: [1] Search Engine Land
  2. Darkseider
    Offline

    Darkseider New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2010
    Messages:
    1,866
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    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?
  3. This Green Machine
    Offline

    This Green Machine DF News Team Premium Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2010
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Chicago
    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.
  4. jntdroid
    Offline

    jntdroid DF Super Moderator Premium Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2009
    Messages:
    6,435
    Likes Received:
    292
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    TX
    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.
  5. Michael Heller
    Offline

    Michael Heller New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2010
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Boston
    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.
  6. everstar80
    Offline

    everstar80 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2010
    Messages:
    356
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    the light of the moon
    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.
  7. albel333
    Offline

    albel333 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2010
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    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
  8. This Green Machine
    Offline

    This Green Machine DF News Team Premium Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2010
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Chicago
    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.
  9. 1linuxfreak
    Offline

    1linuxfreak New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2009
    Messages:
    437
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    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 .
  10. everstar80
    Offline

    everstar80 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2010
    Messages:
    356
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    the light of the moon
    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?
  11. This Green Machine
    Offline

    This Green Machine DF News Team Premium Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2010
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Chicago
    Honestly the only way to make them change is to not buy the product. If everyone bought a Nexus One and stopped buying any non stock phone, carriers would switch in a heart beat. The unhappy truth is as enthusiasts, we care more about this than the average joe consumer, and we're grossly outnumbered.
  12. everstar80
    Offline

    everstar80 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2010
    Messages:
    356
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    the light of the moon
    I can not argue with that logic. But I still wanna try. So many people have the potential but don't believe they can change it. I hate sitting by the waistside when I know that if you tr, even when it doesn't turn out the way you want it to, you never fail. Always been my philosophy.
  13. TwerpPoet
    Offline

    TwerpPoet New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2010
    Messages:
    434
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Openness and freedom are good, but they have a price. That price is that you have to pay for your own mistakes. I don't agree with everything Verizon does, but not locking phones and not voiding warranties isn't really an option for them.

    Let's turn it around. How many of you are willing to offer a warranty on a phone that the user can 'do anything they want on their device'. There are at least a dozen 'I bricked my Droid' posts here every day. Imagine what it would be like if there was no barrier at all. Nothing to make people hesitate, to spend at least 30 seconds thinking and preparing to install that beta ROM.

    As it is, you mess with it and break it doing something stupid, you pay. If you use it as recommended and it breaks, they pay. That's fair. The locking doesn't really do anything except make sure that the owner can't pretend it was an accident.

    I can be argued that Verizon has gone too far in locking down the phones, but I don't think it's reasonable to blame them for wanting them locked. Not unless you are willing to buy your next phone warranty free. That would be another kind of free, wouldn't it?
  14. This Green Machine
    Offline

    This Green Machine DF News Team Premium Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2010
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Chicago
    @TwerpPoet

    Pretty much hit the nail on the head. At the end of the day openness, much like other ideals (freedom, privacy), need boundaries. Making hard statements of choosing either open or close is like telling someone to pick between communism and anarchy. Usually we pick somewhere in between and are willing to give up something for the overall greater good. Letting a killer roam free for the sake of "freedom" doesn't solve any problems.
  15. Martin030908
    Offline

    Martin030908 DF Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2009
    Messages:
    8,805
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I still think there should be the option for 'vanilla' Android on all devices.

    Bloatware is out of hand.

    I do not want an Android device with any UI overlay. Hence why I have not left my D1.
  16. pc747
    Offline

    pc747 DF Administrator Staff Member Rescue Squad

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2009
    Messages:
    17,388
    Likes Received:
    997
    Trophy Points:
    113

    I think thats all people are asking for. We realize that the bells and whistles are to get the average user buying. But those who may now want the bloat give us the option. Now its a money thing, I am not surprised if blockbuster and other companies are shelling out money to get there apps on phones. So do a trial period of 30 days. After 30 days allow users to remove the bloat apps and choose what they want. Some people like blur. Heck I like most of the blur widgets but dont like the apps i dont use. Options are always better for every one.
  17. This Green Machine
    Offline

    This Green Machine DF News Team Premium Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2010
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Chicago
    Sadly enough I'll probably be one of the people that just "deal" with the bloatware so I can get the latest and greatest hardware. The G2 is nice, but a tegra 2 with gingerbread sounds nicer... Manufacturers probably don't want to give stock options because they want the average joe to get used to their ecosystem. Imagine a person who's only Android experience has been TouchWiz. They may never want to change to Sense UI because its so unfamiliar. They might not even recognize it as Android. Not a terrible strategy, but that doesn't help us any.
  18. jntdroid
    Offline

    jntdroid DF Super Moderator Premium Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2009
    Messages:
    6,435
    Likes Received:
    292
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    TX
    My mom has two friends where she works that just got the Fascinate, and they're in love with it. They have no clue about TouchWiz, Android, any of it, and that's really the point of all this. The "power" users aren't the majority, and the carriers/manufacturers know this. The iPhone has been successful for a reason, whether it's "right" or not.

    Edit: sorry, got behind on reading the thread... to pc's point, I agree with you completely, man. But, as you said, it's the money. Blockbuster, Microsoft, whomever, shells out money to get their stuff on these phones. They don't want it to be optional. Maybe that'll change down the road, as we really are still in the "infancy" stage of this smartphone world, big picture. But as of right now, the way the dynamic is setup, that's what we have to deal with...
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2010
  19. New2u
    Offline

    New2u DF Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2009
    Messages:
    3,630
    Likes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Tallahassee, Fl
    What i would love to see is a device that almost what i would call a dual boot sytem, and the user is allowed to define which one they want to run. 1 running complete vanilla android, and one running the other one (whichever that is). If given an option I wouldn't mind at all, but the choice being chosen for me is a tiny bit different.

    I completely understand where they are coming from with voiding warranties of devices that people have bricked, it's not their fault. Locking the bootloader is just a way for them to try to combat people bricking their phones.