Verizon Opts For _Real_ Open Source...

by Stone Mirror » Sun, 18 May 2008 17:36:30 GMT

Sponsored Links
 There've been a number of stories over the past several days regarding
Verizon's decision to become a member of the LiMo Foundation, most of them
depicting it as a sign of trouble, ongoing, for Android. I found it quite
interesting that the reasons Verizon gave echoed many of the criticisms that
I've levelled against Android over the past several months (to Dan's
apparent dismay.)

According to this
story<> ;in
*The Register*, Verizon spokesperson Jeffrey Nelson said,

We chose LiMo because it's a collaborative effort. It's not just one company
runs the place. We like that. We like a collegial and collaborative effort,
where there is no barrier to entry on the part of developers and, at the end
of the day, there is no one entity that can say 'OK, here's how we were
playing now. The rules are changed.'

LiMo will be our preferred OS because of this openness.

Nelson went on to say, "Google said 'Here's the plan. Sign on the dotted
line if you support.' It may end up being collaborative. It may end up being
collegial. But it need not be."

Nope, that's not how open source development works. Not at all. Seems like
I'm not the only one with this view. Do you want to "correct" me on this,



Verizon Opts For _Real_ Open Source...

by Vamien McKalin » Sun, 18 May 2008 18:42:56 GMT

 You have been very silent for quite a while, you seem to be only interested
in the negative press releases. While I think we don't mind a bit of
negative press, it's the only thing I ever see you talk about here.

It rises the question once more, who the hell are you? From what I can tell,
you seem to have no real interest in Android, thus I do not see why you need
information regarding things like this. Why do you love to spread propaganda
on here is one question that need answering!!!!!!!!!!!

2008/5/18 Stone Mirror <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>:

The world is my only if I knew what that means! Probably
crap. Visit AndroidGuys 


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Verizon Opts For _Real_ Open Source...

by Mark Murphy » Sun, 18 May 2008 19:05:54 GMT

 Disclaimer: I don't work for OHA, the LiMo Foundation, any of their 
members, or any wireless carrier or handset manufacturer.

Sure it is.

There is no one-size-fits-all development model for open source, and not 
all projects use the same development model for their lifetimes.

Having a "big bang" public open source release, with development up 
until then being private, is nothing new. and 
RealNetworks' Helix are two I have personal experience with, back when I 
was a consultant with CollabNet. Even Mozilla started that way, with the 
old Netscape Communicator code. Now, in all three cases, the 
big-drop-then-public approach caused problems ( is difficult to 
work with internally, Helix is still somewhat of an afterthought, and 
Mozilla had to pretty much rebuild from scratch). But, it's not unheard 
of by any stretch of the imagination.

Another example, perhaps more similar to the Android situation, is 
Eclipse. Eclipse started with a big drop of code from IBM, extracted 
from WebSphere, then released as open source and moved to public 
collaborative development. To quote from the Eclipse Web site 
( ):

"The Eclipse Project was originally created by IBM in November 2001 and 
supported by a consortium of software vendors. The Eclipse Foundation 
was created in January 2004 as an independent not-for-profit corporation 
to act as the steward of the Eclipse community."

Eclipse wasn't built from the ground up in the public eye; once the 
initial drop was made, ongoing development then was done publicly. And, 
despite the fact that there were other open source IDEs around (e.g., 
NetBeans), Eclipse still grew and thrived. Also, note the gap in time 
between the initial release (November 2001) and the creation of the 
Foundation (January 2004) -- per one of your points in an earlier 
thread, the mere fact that OHA is not a foundation today is also not 
unheard of.

Hence, the mere fact that Android is not open source today, and OHA is 
not presently an independent entity, does not mean that Google is evil, 
or the sun won't rise tomorrow, or anything of the sort. It just means 
they're doing things differently than LiMo is.

Now, could a big-drop-then-public approach cause problems for Android? 
Possibly. That model certainly has a track record filled with potholes. 
However, only time will tell, history will be the judge, and probably 
several other cliches I'm not thinking of right now...

Mark Murphy (a Commons Guy) 
The Busy Coder's Guide to Android Development -- coming in June 2008!


Verizon Opts For _Real_ Open Source...

by Stone Mirror » Sun, 18 May 2008 19:52:24 GMT

 008/5/18 Vamien McKalin <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>:

Is that the royal "we"...?

I view Android, frankly, as an unnecessary distraction to the real work of
getting open source code onto mobile devices. There's plenty of mobile work
(apparently not, for whatever reasons, good enough for Google) going on out
in the mainstream open source community, e.g. GNOME Mobile, Ubuntu Mobile,
Moblin, etc. I'm still unclear why Google has completely ignored that work
in favor of a completely idiosyncratic approach. The work in the open source
community _is_, as Verizon says, "collaborative and collegial". Android,
unfortunately, is not.

Google has made some peculiar claims as to the reasons for these decisions.
One is that existing technologies are "too desktop oriented", which shows
serious confusion about the technologies involved. They've also claimed that
"open source projects don't release in a predictable way", in spite of the
fact that both GNOME and Ubuntu, just to cite two examples, release every
six months like clockwork.

Google has already said that they don't really expect the existing open
source platform community to support the Android platform, they plan to do
it themselves. With these kinds of directions, and with the kinds of
statements cited above, Google's effectively set themselves up in opposition
to the existing, mainstream, mobile open source community. I don't see that
as being either helpful or reasonable.

(To the best of my knowledge, Google never participated, even a single time,
in, for example, any GNOME Mobile activities, either before or after
Android. It's not that they couldn't--they certainly had representatives at
the appropriate conferences. They chose not to.)

It rises the question once more, who the hell are you? From what I can tell,

Use fewer exclamation points, that's my advice.

This is a _discussion_ group, says so right in the name. You have a
difficulty with people raising issues for discussion...? I For what it's
worth, I'm an active member of the open source community, and have been for
several years, working closely with the GNOME Mobile Initiative. I don't see
what bearing that has, however.

And in fact, I have a significant interest in Android, I've been working
with the SDK since its initial release, on and off. (And mc5 seems even
buggier than mc3, not a good sign.)

Compared to mainstream open source--which offers support for not only Java
(_community_ Java, not some mutant semi-proprietary version), but also C,
C++, Python, Perl, PHP, you name it--Android has significant limitations.
Android offers no avenue at all for adapting existing code, just for starts.
Android requires learning a completely new method of development, with a
high learning curve (as illustrated by the contrast between the 750,000
downloads of the SDK which Google cited, and the fewer than 1,800
applications ultimately produced, a ratio of 0.2%, i.e. two applications
ultimately produced per 1000 downloads...)

Maybe you can explain to me how quoting a published news story constitutes
"propaganda". It may not coincide with your specific prejudices, but it
seems perfectly fit material for _discussion_. Maybe we're only allowed to
be uncritical about Android here. That'd seem more like "propaganda" to me,

If you don't like what I write, feel entirely free not to read it.


Verizon Opts For _Real_ Open Source...

by Vamien McKalin » Sun, 18 May 2008 20:25:32 GMT


And then

It's unnecessary yet you claim to have a significant interest, wha?? I don't
get it. Make your mind up before you explode. Man there is definitely
something wrong with you, fix it

2008/5/18 Stone Mirror <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>:

The world is my only if I knew what that means! Probably
crap. Visit AndroidGuys


Verizon Opts For _Real_ Open Source...

by Mark Murphy » Sun, 18 May 2008 20:37:08 GMT

 tone Mirror wrote:

I interpreted Mr. Morril's statements to mean that Google does not
expect other existing open source projects, such as GNOME Mobile, to
drop what they're doing and switch to Android en masse. Android, once
released as open source, may well develop its own community of
interested folk, just like any other open source project of
significance. GNOME itself, for example, probably didn't expect the KDE
folk to abandon their efforts and run to GNOME, yet GNOME has done quite
well for itself.

> Google's effectively set themselves up in

New initiatives in existing markets are par for the course in open
source. For example, in your two messages on this thread, you have cited
several open source mobile projects and didn't even get them all (e.g.,
Maemo). By your argument, most of those shouldn't exist, since they're
duplicating efforts of other such projects.

Similarly, new open source programming languages should not exist
because they are "in opposition to the existing, mainstream (language)
open source community", which might irritate the Groovy and Scala folk,
to name two.

Heck, on the front page of right now, three of the top
six "most active" projects are ERP implementations, presumably with some
amount of overlap.

Some newcomers to a space succeed nicely (e.g., GNOME busting into KDE's
space). Some newcomers to a space don't fare quite so well (e.g., Helix
busting into mplayer's space). But it does happen, and with some
frequency. Android, in all likelihood, won't be the last entrant into
the mobile open source space; they're just the next.

That depends on the code. Utility JARs (e.g., JavaMail) that use
Android's subset of Java SE work just fine.

Existing Swing or SWT code will not. But, by the same token, when SWT
was released, existing Swing code wouldn't work on it, and when JavaME
code was released, existing Swing code wouldn't work on it, and when ZK
was released, existing Swing code wouldn't work on it, and so on. Life,
amazingly enough, went on, and those technologies each received some
measure of adoption (though, in some cases, not as much as they might
have liked).

First, "fewer than 1,800 applications" apparently only counts ADC
entries. Not all applications built for Android were submitted to the
ADC. In fact, for a platform with zero devices in the wild, ~1,800
applications is pretty damn impressive. AT&T would have sacrificed many
a goat to have had ~1,800 HDML-capable Web sites when their first mobile
Web phones came out in the mid-1990's.

Second, you assume that the reason the number of SDK downloads dwarfs
the number of applications submitted to the ADC is because of the
learning curve. There are undoubtedly many other contributors to that
disparity, including:

-- The fact that there are no devices and therefore no market
(commercial or open source) for applications at this time

-- People deciding that Android isn't their cup of tea for reasons other
than learning curve (e.g., didn't realize it was just Java, don't like
the toolset)

-- People downloading the SDK just because it's from Google, before
realizing they really didn't have anything much they wanted to do with
it, anyway

There is a learning curve to Android, to be certain, but it's not
significantly worse than many other Java frameworks I've dealt with.

Well, y

Verizon Opts For _Real_ Open Source...

by Stone Mirror » Sun, 18 May 2008 22:01:00 GMT

 008/5/18 Vamien McKalin <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>:

I didn't say it was a *positive *interest.

If you can't conduct a civil conversation, maybe you shouldn't bother
responding at all.



Verizon Opts For _Real_ Open Source...

by Stone Mirror » Sun, 18 May 2008 22:11:32 GMT

 On Sun, May 18, 2008 at 1:37 PM, Mark Murphy <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>

That's not a valid comparison: GNOME was an effort driven out of an open
community, from its start.

First, I wasn't attempting to provide an exhaustive list. Second, these are,
again, community projects. Maemo's a bit of an exception, indeed, and
they've taken some significant lumps and criticism from the larger community
for that (as well as for their unfortunate habit of providing massive code
dumps, although those were nothing in comparison with the code dump that
Android represents....)

I don't object quite so much to Android's simple existence, as to the
spurious reasons that Google, so far, has provided for it (which have
amounted to unfounded slams against existing work, i.e. "too
desktop-oriented", etc.)

No, that's a silly comparison, a language, which you can take or leave as
you like, isn't the same thing as an entire platform. (On the other hand,
given that there's an actual Java Community Process, coming out with a Java
that's entirely outside of, and divorced from, that process is a lot more

I pointed to an article which contained direct quotes from a Verizon
spokesperson. Are you saying that the Register's *quotations *are somehow
biased...? How's that work? Are you saying they made up those quotes, or
that the substance of them is somehow invalidated by their being reported
there...? I can point you at plenty of other sources which contain exactly
the same quotes, if you prefer...



Verizon Opts For _Real_ Open Source...

by Mark Murphy » Mon, 19 May 2008 00:19:15 GMT

 tone Mirror wrote:

I fail to see how that invalidates it as a point of comparison of one
open source project entering another open source project's market, which
so happens to be the point of comparison I was drawing.

But, hey, I'm not trying to convince you. I'm merely providing evidence
and arguments for the folk who read this thread later. They can weigh
your arguments and my responses and come to their own conclusions over
the merits of your position.

My point is that open source projects enter into existing markets, even
markets with existing open source projects, all the time. You're trying
to draw the distinction between "platforms" and "every other market with
multiple open source options", and that just makes your argument weak.

After all, if it weren't for open source competition, we'd all be stuck
writing in vi.

> (On the other

Clearly, those Beanshell guys ( should be drawn and
quartered. As should the SuperWaba ( fiends. And,
y'know, that Groovy syntax looks Java-ish enough that they too should be
subject to your wrath. And while the Apache Harmony team is trying to
follow JDK-official procedures, I'm sure that's just a front for their
Java-ish language unsavory behavior, so you better go after them too.
And there are probably other projects that reimplemented the Java
language that I'm forgetting off the top of my head, but you better go
bust some of their heads, too.

Let me know how all that goes.

By making up the quotes, for one.

I've had words attributed to me in print that I know damn well I didn't
say, but they were something the article's author wanted to attribute to
me. From others I've talked to, this stuff is pretty commonplace --
"editorial privilege" extends to quotes, nowadays, apparently.

> Are you saying they made up those

Possibly. I wasn't at the event in order to have conclusive evidence one
way or another. The quotes sound credible, in that I can imagine Verizon
Wireless saying them. And, frankly, with Android still in the run-up to
a full open source release, and given the traditional "IP" legal crap
involved with not-yet-open-source projects, I wouldn't be the least bit
surprised if VZW did say them and really meant it. Heck, if it weren't
for the last paragraph of your original message in this thread, I
wouldn't have even responded.

But, more to my point, had you picked just about *any* other source for
the quote, I wouldn't have quibbled. The Register, for me, is a source
of entertainment and rumor; I need verification from another independent
reputable source before believing much of what they say.

Feel free.

Again, my comment wasn't so much aimed at the quote, but the place where
you chose to grab the quote from. The only spot I've seen the quote is
in El Reg or places that link back to El Reg, though, to be honest, I
haven't spent significant time trying to find other sources of the quote.

Mark Murphy (a Commons Guy)
The Busy Coder's Guide to Android Development -- coming in June 2008!


Verizon Opts For _Real_ Open Source...

by Stone Mirror » Mon, 19 May 2008 00:55:50 GMT

 On Sun, May 18, 2008 at 5:19 PM, Mark Murphy <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>

You're lapsing into extreme silliness. I haven't suggested, anywhere, or to
any degree, that anyone's "head needs to be busted". Maybe you're mistaking
me for Vamien, there.

Sigh. The quote's been repeated in Information Week, on AndroidGuys and
elsewhere. A trip to Google (remember them?) might assist you... In any
case, it's pretty easy to discover Jeffrey Nelson's email address from the
Verizon web site; feel free to write him and ask.

You prefer the Chicago
Tribune< ,0,7860189.column>?
They report the following (emphasis mine):

But in comments e-mailed to this reporter from Verizon spokeswomen Carolyn
Schamberger, the carrier said it is joining the open-source group because
"of LiMo's approach to providing *a truly open Operating System that isn't
simply an extension of a for-profit company's business model."* (Generally,
open-source software is freely distributed and can be adapted by anyone who
wants to use it.)

Seems right in line with the other quote. Maybe this one's made up, too.

Let me note, that as someone with (apparently) a book on Android coming out,
you've got a clear bias in favor of discounting any criticism of the
platform. I didn't think that was especially germane to the discussion, but
if you insist on dealing with it like that, fine, have it your way.



Verizon Opts For _Real_ Open Source...

by Mark Murphy » Mon, 19 May 2008 01:46:59 GMT


You kvetch about Android developing their own implementation of the Java 
language, when many others have gone that route before. If you're going 
to smack Android for doing it, the least you can do is be equal 
opportunity about it, or not mention it at all.

But, you are right, my tone was nastier than it needed to be in that 
paragraph, and for that I apologize.

You were the one who offered links, as I recall.

Probably not, but The Register is not trustworthy, that's all. Had you 
used the InformationWeek source originally, I wouldn't have commented in 
the first place. My recommendation is, when given a choice of sources to 
cite, choose the most authoritative and least controversial one.

I'm not discounting all your criticism of the platform. On the contrary, 
the quote you cited is definitely an area of concern, and some of your 
past posts have had valuable elements in them. I never once complained 
about the quote itself, other than the specific place you cited it from 
in the post.

In fact, as I've mentioned already, my only criticism of your original 
post on this thread that I had planned on addressing was where you said:

"Nope, that's not how open source development works. Not at all."

And I pointed out that there are many styles of open source project, and 
the style that Android appears to be pursuing is not unique or 
necessarily bad, though it certainly has its issues.

I would've been content to debate that point, but your rhetoric 
meandered into other tangential areas.

You want to keep things "germane to the discussion"? Then stick to the 
counter-argument I raised: "have other projects done a 
big-code-drop-then-public development model and succeeded? Yes!" Don't 
wander off into other Android complaints (e.g., reimplementing Java). 
Don't complain about biases when you have your fair share of them (GNOME 
Mobile membership, LiMo Foundation meetings, ACCESS events, to name 
three). This discussion will be as narrowly-focused or as wide-ranging 
as you make it; I'm just responding to your points, to put forth 
counter-arguments for the record.

I'm wrapping up a book on Android instead of LiMo in large part because 
Android has an public SDK available, and LiMo doesn't, as far as I can 
tell, so there's nothing I could write about at this point, anyway. Once 
LiMo ships something I can work with and has signs of having hardware 
soonish, if I think a book on it would be useful, I'll write one. If I'm 
mistaken, and LiMo has already released something a semi-random schmuck 
like me can get their hands on, I apologize, and please post a link.

Mark Murphy (a Commons Guy) 
The Busy Coder's Guide to Android Development -- coming in June 2008!


Verizon Opts For _Real_ Open Source...

by Vamien McKalin » Mon, 19 May 2008 05:15:20 GMT

 an just shut up. Something you claim to be unnecessary should in no
way garner your interest so much that you are "on and off" the thing
according to your words. Now, i could careless what you want to say
about me but the fact is, your brain is on pause or you're just always
stoned when you come here (hence your name) thats why you cannot find
nothing positive about Android to say. For your sake i really hope
you're getting paid for all this hard work, seriously.

On 5/18/08, Stone Mirror <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:

Sent from Gmail for mobile |

The world is my only if I knew what that means!
Probably crap. Visit AndroidGuys


Verizon Opts For _Real_ Open Source...

by Vamien McKalin » Mon, 19 May 2008 05:24:40 GMT

 I can tell you like my name, yeah lots of people do ha ha. I think you
are letting your anger get the better of you so just calm down like
the silly rabbit you are and don't let this get out of hand. If you
are unable to, I recommend anger management and a psycho-iatrist.

Sent from Gmail for mobile |

The world is my only if I knew what that means!
Probably crap. Visit AndroidGuys 


Verizon Opts For _Real_ Open Source...

by Stone Mirror » Mon, 19 May 2008 05:50:13 GMT

 2008/5/18 Vamien McKalin <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>:


As I've said, if you can't manage to keep a civil tongue in your head,
perhaps you should consider sitting on your hands as an alternative. You're
not really contributing anything here except some not-terribly-interesting

I'm not angry, nor am I the one telling people to "shut up"; *you'd *seem to
be the one who's getting himself into a complete lather here.

Physician, heal thyself.



Verizon Opts For _Real_ Open Source...

by Vamien McKalin » Mon, 19 May 2008 12:47:10 GMT

 you started it with your constant negativity so if you don't like my
special conversation skills, leave now and never come back :)

Sent from Gmail for mobile |

The world is my only if I knew what that means!
Probably crap. Visit AndroidGuys 


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