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Android Source Code Gone For Good? 362

Posted by samzenpus
from the not-for-your-eyes dept.
First time accepted submitter vyrus128 writes "Many people were upset at the revelation, reported here in May, that the Honeycomb version of Android would not be open sourced. But Google promised that the next version, Ice Cream Sandwich, would have full source available. Now that ICS is out, though, the source is nowhere in sight. In the thread, Android's Jean-Baptiste Queru offers the following, as to the question of whether source will ever be made available: 'At the moment I don't have anything to say on that subject.'"
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Android Source Code Gone For Good?

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    • by LWATCDR (28044) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @11:33AM (#37775600) Homepage Journal

      Let's start with the lie in the summary.
      "Now that ICS is out, though, the source is nowhere in sight. "
      ICS isn't out. It has been shown but it is not out.
      And we have this statement " - To reiterate, these servers contain only the ‘gingerbread’ and ‘master’
            branches from the old AOSP servers. We plan to release the source for the
            recently-announced Ice Cream Sandwich soon, once it’s available on devices. "
      Source: http://groups.google.com/group/android-building/msg/c73c14f9b0dcd15a?pli=1 [google.com]
      In other words this is all click bait and the summary should be appended.
      The source will be released when the phones are released aka when the program is distributed the source code will be released.

      Wow now Slashdot is now Trolling.

  • Sue! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Culture20 (968837) on Wednesday October 19, 2011 @10:43PM (#37770216)
    It's your God-given right as an American. Sue for the source! Where's RMS?
    • by Kotoku (1531373)
      All elements that under the GPL require source code distribution are already available for download.
    • by poetmatt (793785)

      Say what? They said they'd make the entire source available, GPL source is already available.

      It's also your right to feebly troll the article, and you could have done so much better.

  • Bad title. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Mark19960 (539856)

    Only Ice Cream Sandwich is up in the air, not all Android source code.
    The title implies that it was all taken down, which is simply not true.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jrumney (197329)
      More precisely, everything after 2.3 is up in the air. When 3.0 was released, we were promised source code for 3.1. Then 3.1 was released, and it was - "no, we've changed our numbering scheme so 3.1 is actually a minor update to 3.0, and what we previously called 3.1 will actually be 4.0". Now 4.0 is out, and Google are being very evasive about the question of source code. My guess is that the partners have become more powerful, and convinced Google that they should have a competitive advantage over the c
      • Re:Bad title. (Score:4, Informative)

        by compro01 (777531) on Wednesday October 19, 2011 @11:43PM (#37770600)

        Now 4.0 is out.

        4.0 is out? Where? The first phone running 4.0 (the Galaxy Nexus) doesn't come out til next month.

        • Re:Bad title. (Score:5, Informative)

          by shellbeach (610559) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @12:04AM (#37770716)

          4.0 is out? Where? The first phone running 4.0 (the Galaxy Nexus) doesn't come out til next month.

          You can run ICS quite happily in the android emulator from the SDK right now. So, yeah, it's out.

          The source isn't out yet, but Google's been very specific that it will be released in the next few weeks ("We plan to release the source for the recently-announced Ice Cream Sandwich soon, once it’s available on devices" [google.com]) just as Gingerbread was.

          This post is a joke -- it focuses on the comments on an engineer who has nothing to do with the ICS code release, and says as much. However, some people seem so convinced that Google's gone full-evil that they're jumping on every "no comment".

          Don't /. editors check stories for troll submissions these days?

          • Don't /. editors check stories for troll submissions these days?

            You must be new here!

          • by Xest (935314)

            Actually no, it's just the usual Apple fanboy trolls trying to stir FUD up about Android as always.

            Like all the FUD about fragmentation, which they've suddenly gone silent about since iOS itself has become fragmented whilst not being designed from the outset to cope with it as well as Android was.

            On that note, where's the iOS and Windows Phone source code? Oh wait, nevermind.

            The genius of Apple marketing is that their fanboys are so addicted to their brand that they don't even have to do much, the fanboy tr

      • My guess is that the partners have become more powerful, and convinced Google that they should have a competitive advantage over the clone manufacturers in China.

        Or Google's trustworthiness and responsibility to the community is declining.

  • Impatient, much? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mariasama16 (1895136) on Wednesday October 19, 2011 @10:46PM (#37770242)
    Wait, so the fact that the OS was announced 24 hours ago, its not been released on any phone/device/etc yet and people are STILL whining that the source is not released?! I want their time machine!
    • How about 3.0, which was released almost a year ago?
      • by Flipao (903929)
        4.0 is 3.0 with support for small devices, the source for Honeycomb was withheld to stop developers from attempting to shoehorn it into phones and make fragmentation worse than it already is. The first Honeycomb devices started to come out during February/March, which is hardly "almost a year".
    • Mod parent up.

    • We've been waiting nearly a year for this. The big question people, including me, are worried about is not when, but iF.
      • by Zebedeu (739988)

        I don't know where the Slashdot summary pulled the (strangely unlinked) quote from JBQ, but in his most recent post in Google+. he confirmed the source is coming: https://plus.google.com/112218872649456413744/posts/HB5qQHeNKBQ [google.com]

        JBQ is the guy who almost resigned in protest over the Cyanogenmod debacle (when Google demanded that they don't bundle the Google apps with their rom), and he's the guy in charge of releasing the code to the Android open source project.
        So when he says the source is coming, I'm incline

  • by Kotoku (1531373) on Wednesday October 19, 2011 @10:48PM (#37770248) Journal
    This is a dumb news story. History has shown that the source release hits the AOSP shortly after the update is pushed to phones (presumably to protect against any major flaws before it is rolled out to devs).

    SDK has been released, SDK Roms should be out soon and by December ICS source should be under heavy development for CM 8 and other roms if history is any indicator.

    Google reported on the live stream last night plans to put the ICS source up, something they said they had no plans to do with Honeycomb.
    • by Thantik (1207112)

      CyanogenMod 9. They're skipping 8 because 8 was supposed to be for Honeycomb.

      • by ScrewMaster (602015) on Wednesday October 19, 2011 @11:52PM (#37770660)

        CyanogenMod 9. They're skipping 8 because 8 was supposed to be for Honeycomb.

        Well, I hope the Cyanogenmod project continues. Steve Kondik is now working for Samsung: what that will do to his priorities (and to what is actually allowed to do on CMx) is hard to say. I hope it goes on: that one project has advanced the state-of-the-Android-art considerably. For the past couple of years, I won't even consider a device that I can't root and put my CM on.

        • Well, I hope the Cyanogenmod project continues.

          They've quite publicly stated that they are ... and the CM7 code review has been as busy as ever.

          Steve Kondik is now working for Samsung: what that will do to his priorities (and to what is actually allowed to do on CMx) is hard to say.

          He's still approving CM7 code, so I'd say he's managing OK ...

          I hope it goes on: that one project has advanced the state-of-the-Android-art considerably. For the past couple of years, I won't even consider a device that I can't root and put my CM on.

          Funnily enough, it's even possible that Google might agree with you [slashgear.com] -- that story claims that they choose a set of CM developers to work on the Galaxy Nexus and ICS.

          I also suspect that -- given Samsung famously gave the CM7 devs a Galaxy SII each in exchange for getting CM7 running on the SII -- that Samsung has no wish to see CM7 die either. Or at l

          • by AndrewNeo (979708)

            It's pretty much a fact Google sees the value in it, because their (perfectly valid and legal) initial decision to tell Cyanogenmod to stop bundling Google's apps (Maps, Market, etc.) soon turned into a "you know what, just download the bundle from us and it'll be fine"

        • by Sun (104778)

          I know a few people who work for Samsung doing open source projects (EFL and such). They are devoting, pretty much, all of their paid time to that open source project.

          If Steve Kondik was hired by Samsung in order to work on CM, expect more output from him, not less.

          Shachar

  • There is probably a battle between lawyers and engineers going on within the walls about whether to release the sources or not. Give the engineers some time before you start bashing them, and instead give them more reasons to use as ammunition against the lawyers.

  • Chill out, guys, it's been exactly a day since this all released. They said it will be released, give them time. If we don't have it within a month, THEN worry. ...How long does it usually take them to release the source code?
  • Incorrect (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rainwater (530678) on Wednesday October 19, 2011 @10:50PM (#37770284)
    > "Now that ICS is out" Wow. What has happened to Slashdot? ICS is not out. The first device, the Galaxy Nexus, doesn't get released until next month. And Google did announce ASOP would be released once it is released to the first ICS devices. Basically, everything posted was incorrect. Nice try though
  • Dan Morrill
      Oct 20, 4:29 am
    Hi!
    As you know, like many other projects the Android Open-Source Project was
    affected by the recent kernel.org downtime. So, we’re pleased to let you
    know that the Gingerbread source code is now available again, and AOSP git
    servers are back online.
    Even before the kernel.org downtime, it was clear that AOSP was sometimes
    taxing kernel.org’s git infrastructure. When we did the Gingerbread source
    release, for example, load due to AOSP made part of kernel.org unusable for
    several days. This isn’t fair to kernel.org’s staff or the community, so for
    some time we’ve been preparing our own git hosting on Google servers.
    We were finishing up just as kernel.org experienced their downtime, so the
    Gingerbread source is now available on Google’s servers. Accordingly, the
    git URLs have changed.
    Here are the instructions to access the new git servers:
          - You need to get the latest version of the repo tool:
          curl https://dl-ssl.google.com/dl/googlesource/git-repo/repo [google.com] > ~/bin/repo
          - You need to initialize a new repository:
          repo init -u https://android.googlesource.com/platform/manifest [googlesource.com] -b
          android-2.3.7_r1
          - The full instructions are at
          http://source.android.com/source/downloading.html [android.com]
    There are a few limitations to be aware of:
          - Our priority has been getting the main source code mirrors back online,
          so for the moment gitweb source browsing and Gerrit Code Review are still
          unavailable.
          - We are now working on bringing AOSP’s Gerrit Code Review site back up,
          and hope to be able to say something here soon.
          - It might be a little while longer before gitweb comes back,
          unfortunately, since Gerrit Code Review is the next priority.
          - To reiterate, these servers contain only the ‘gingerbread’ and ‘master’
          branches from the old AOSP servers. We plan to release the source for the
          recently-announced Ice Cream Sandwich soon, once it’s available on devices.
          - As these new servers are, well, new, there may be hiccups if we
          encounter unexpected issues. However we’re keeping a close eye on them and
          will respond to any issues as quickly as possible.
    Finally, we’d like to send a huge “thank-you” to the kernel.org community
    and Oregon State University Open-Source Lab staff. They’ve done an
    incredible job hosting the AOSP source code mirror and Gerrit Code Review
    for nearly 3 years. Without them, it’s safe to say that AOSP would not be
    where we are today.
    Thanks, and happy coding!
    - Dan

  • FUD Alert. FUD Alert (Score:5, Informative)

    by CritterNYC (190163) on Wednesday October 19, 2011 @11:05PM (#37770394) Homepage
    This is FUD based on nothing. Google has said for quite some time that Gingerbread was available, that Honeycomb would be closed and only suited for tablets and that Ice Cream Sandwich would have the source available once it was released. Google was true to their word and everything for 2.x is available and 3.x is closed. The post linked to in the main article is the sources they are required to release (GPL) now that the Ice Cream Sandwich SDK is available. It should be noted that Ice Cream Sandwich itself as an OS has not been released and is not available on any shipping product. They've already said "We plan to release the source for the recently-announced Ice Cream Sandwich soon, once it’s available on devices." It's not available on devices yet.
    • No, this is precisely the same sort of criticism that gets leveled against any company which has a history of adopting open-source code without obeying open-source licenses, which justifies a default position of "I'll see it when I believe it" for Google making promises to release code. Or do you happen to know someone who has a device running Honeycomb and was able to follow up on the legal requirement that the source be made available to them?
      • Or do you happen to know someone who has a device running Honeycomb and was able to follow up on the legal requirement that the source be made available to them?

        I haven't followed Google's behavior with the Android source code that closely, but what legal requirement are you talking about? I thought Android was Apache licensed?

        • by onefriedrice (1171917) on Wednesday October 19, 2011 @11:59PM (#37770690)

          Or do you happen to know someone who has a device running Honeycomb and was able to follow up on the legal requirement that the source be made available to them?

          I haven't followed Google's behavior with the Android source code that closely, but what legal requirement are you talking about? I thought Android was Apache licensed?

          Regardless of Android's license, there is no legal requirement for Google to release any code except portions to which they do not hold the copyright and are licensed (to Google) under viral conditions (i.e. GPL). Google's own code (as long as it is not classified as a derivative of someone else's work under the GPL), even if it was released under the GPL (or any open source license) in the past, does not have to be provided freely because Google is the copyright holder and therefore is not subject to the license as if they were a licensee.

          As far as I'm aware, Google is adhering to any licensing terms that they are subject to. They also open source some of their own code, as well. Non-story.

    • This is FUD based on nothing. Google has said for quite some time that Gingerbread was available, that Honeycomb would be closed and only suited for tablets and that Ice Cream Sandwich would have the source available once it was released. Google was true to their word and everything for 2.x is available and 3.x is closed. The post linked to in the main article is the sources they are required to release (GPL) now that the Ice Cream Sandwich SDK is available. It should be noted that Ice Cream Sandwich itself as an OS has not been released and is not available on any shipping product. They've already said "We plan to release the source for the recently-announced Ice Cream Sandwich soon, once it’s available on devices." It's not available on devices yet.

      So why are we all still here?

    • I was about to suggest that you were incorrect and that /. reported on Google saying that 3.1 would merge the two [slashdot.org], but in re-reading the linked article from back then [pcpro.co.uk], it appears that you're correct. They always said that ICS would merge the two together. Oh well, guess I shot down myself on that point. Yay for facts prevailing, regardless of my memory.

      As for the source code commentary, I think it's ethically dissonant (read: hypocritical) for a company claiming that their OS is "open" to close the source f

    • Excuse me, but Google also said that Android was truly open,and even made fun of Apple about that in public.

      Then 3 month later they released HoneyComb and we've never seen the source, and we'll never see it in fact.

      The fact is that Google will or will not release Android source (the non-GPL parts) whenever they feel like it, if they feel like it, and will stop releasing whenever they feel like it, if they feel like it. And that their "word" is not worth very much either.

      They will most likely release ICS sou

      • ...they released HoneyComb and we've never seen the source, and we'll never see it in fact.

        I almost hate to defend them on this point, frustrated as I am about the fact that they haven't released Honeycomb (I understand why, but it sets a really bad precedent). Saying that we'll never see it is just wrong, though. They give full access to their version control, so when they open up ICS (and I have no reason yet to believe that they won't) you'll get to see every change made from Gingerbread to now.

        • The Honeycomb code was open to tablet manufacturers and ASUS actually released.

          • If you have more information about that, I'd like to see it. Everything I can find says they released the kernel, which is no more than they (all) were obligated to under the GPL.

    • Google has said for quite some time that Gingerbread was available, that Honeycomb would be closed and only suited for tablets and that Ice Cream Sandwich would have the source available once it was released. Google was true to their word and everything for 2.x is available and 3.x is closed. The post linked to in the main article is the sources they are required to release (GPL) now that the Ice Cream Sandwich SDK is available. It should be noted that Ice Cream Sandwich itself as an OS has not been released and is not available on any shipping product. They've already said "We plan to release the source for the recently-announced Ice Cream Sandwich soon, once itâ(TM)s available on devices." It's not available on devices yet.

      Not disputing the FUD.

      But... Android is "open source" on the same terms Solaris is "open source" now? You have to laugh at this, the most lauded example of Linux and Open Source making it mainstream.

  • No shit (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rebelgecko (893016) on Wednesday October 19, 2011 @11:25PM (#37770504)

    Why should they release the source for an OS that isn't even out in the wild yet? They've already said that the source will be released once the Galaxy Nexus is in stores (probably so that the Nexus is actually the first phone running 4.0. I'm there will be plenty of custom ROMs for other phones/tablets within days of the ICS source being released)

  • by Flipao (903929) on Wednesday October 19, 2011 @11:40PM (#37770580)
    Fear mongering headlines followed by outright lies in the summaries, and people eat it up...
    • Works for Politicians as well.

      Oh, and the Republicans want to eat your babies.

      And Democrats want to rape your sons and daughters.

    • Fear mongering headlines followed by outright lies in the summaries, and people eat it up...

      Google has brought this on themselves by being less than forthcoming.

  • by EboMike (236714) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @12:16AM (#37770766)

    Quoting JBQ's post from today: "yes, that means ICS will be coming to AOSP".

    https://plus.google.com/112218872649456413744/posts/HB5qQHeNKBQ [google.com]

  • Here is the latest article http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20111019223707715 [groklaw.net]

    "The trial date in Oracle v. Google, previously set for October 31, has been vacated. No new date has been set. "

    So, my guess is that Google awaits the outcome for this trial.

    • by erroneus (253617)

      Yes, now I don't have to say it. Google would be ill-advised to add more fuel to the fire of the Oracle v. Google case. And it does not matter whether there is or isn't infringing code -- copyright or patent. The additional time wasted in litigation is additional money and potential risk.

      Anyone complaining about Google not releasing source code when the whole of the Android platform is being threatened either isn't seeing the larger picture or isn't interested in Android's future.

  • My karma's still excellent, where'd that checkbox go? Because crap articles like this make me want to check it. I mean, maybe they will, maybe they won't. But there seems to be little basis to say they won't from the oh-so-thin facts in TFS.

  • by MDMurphy (208495) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @02:05AM (#37771180)

    I thought it odd I saw this thread on Slashdot after I'd read this article:

    http://www.zdnetasia.com/android-4-0-to-be-open-source-in-coming-weeks-62302580.htm [zdnetasia.com]

    "Rubin said Ice Cream Sandwich will be open source "in a couple of weeks" when Samsung's Galaxy Nexus ships and manufacturers will be free to push the update to their current range of devices. Going open source means manufacturers will be able to put Android 4.0 into their own devices and cut their own ROMs for existing products."

  • I knew it will happen :) Soon hard-core linux fans will ban android phones and declare them unclean and all android users as infidels, LOL.

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