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HTC Finally Releases Hero Source Code 123

Posted by timothy
from the shouldn't-heroes-be-more-forthcoming? dept.
An anonymous reader writes "After months of prodding by developers, HTC has finally released the long-requested Android source code for the HTC Hero. This follows up on a recent report on Slashdot concerning device manufacturer HTC's perceived stonewalling over releasing source code for the device after repeated attempts to initially obtain source were met with vague responses."
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HTC Finally Releases Hero Source Code

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  • Not so bad... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sarten-X (1102295) on Thursday October 22, 2009 @07:32PM (#29841525) Homepage

    I'm assuming good faith, but personally, I'm not concerned that it took so long to release the source code. Most likely, the developers were under a deadline to have the phone in working order, and had to postpone lower-priority tasks to meet that deadline. These lower-priority tasks were probably such trivial things as comments, changed names, formatting, and all those other bits that get neglected under heavy pressure.

  • Re:Not so bad... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mevets (322601) on Thursday October 22, 2009 @07:44PM (#29841597)

    I've been in situations that appear like this in companies before. Usually it is stage fright, the developers know they took outrageous short cuts to meet schedules, and don't want to publish it until SP1, when they have had time to remove the hacks and crap. These are the good guys. One company I worked for thought that the source was harder to understand than the (disassembled) binary; they had a point.

    Sometimes I wonder how much of a role of embarrassment plays in the decision to keep the source code private. Happy Launch Day Windows 7!

  • Re:Not so bad... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by iYk6 (1425255) on Thursday October 22, 2009 @07:54PM (#29841681)

    I'm assuming good faith, but personally, I'm not concerned that it took so long to release the source code. Most likely, the developers ... had to postpone lower-priority tasks to meet that deadline.

    You think that meeting legal requirements is a low priority task? And that pirating free software goes with good faith?

  • Re:Not so bad... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 22, 2009 @08:39PM (#29841873)

    Sometimes to coders, legal requirements is a lower task than creating a quality product.

  • Re:Not so bad... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 22, 2009 @09:27PM (#29842063)

    Actually, it's most likely because they are Chinese (Taiwanese, same thing) and don't give a shit about open source anything. Having worked with Chinese and Taiwanese OEMs, I can tell you firsthand that getting them to abide by any open source licensing is like pulling teeth. If it's free to download, it's free to use however they like, period.

    Posting anon because naive politically-correct types with zero Asian development experience will mod me down.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 22, 2009 @09:44PM (#29842139)

    Sounds like bad design to me.

    What if a router could be brought down just by a single misbehaving client? I think the company that made that router wouldn't sell many routers.

    Just sayin'.

  • by jeffstar (134407) on Thursday October 22, 2009 @10:31PM (#29842355) Journal

    if it is a wireless router, a single misbehaving client can render it useless.

    not surprising that it is possible to jam cell a cell tower with a cell phone if the phone was somehow set to constantly transmit random data at full power. If the tower can't hear the other phones because yours is shouting at it constantly there is nothing you can do to stop that.

  • by jeffstar (134407) on Thursday October 22, 2009 @10:35PM (#29842379) Journal

    it is wireless, a shared medium. only one client on any given frequency at any given time. it will always be possible to jam radio signals. no amount of engineering can change this

  • by Dr_Marvin_Monroe (550052) on Thursday October 22, 2009 @11:17PM (#29842563)
    That's an awesome point. To drive that home a little further for the folks at www.phonenews.com, here's the snip from the above link to wikipedia

    Licensing

    Since 21 October 2008, Android has been available as open source. Google opened the entire source code (including network and telephony stacks[23]) under an Apache License.[24]

    With the Apache License, vendors are free to add proprietary extensions without submitting those back to the open source community.

    After the negative attitude I read on the link at "phonenews" from the article, I'm really wishing HTC hadn't released it... Just to put those folks at "phonenews" in their place. They don't know what they're talking about, spewing a bunch of hate towards people from India and they're just trashing on HTC.

    I've been a author / user / supporter of open source software for over 10 years now and I'm still really shocked at the attitude and misconceptions that some folks have about what should be released and how fast it needs to be done. Even under strict GPL, HTC is ONLY required to release the source to people who have actually bought the phone. When exactly did the Hero go on sale?

    I've also personally worked with HTC on several mobile phones and I've found them to be very forthcoming. They're busy as hell, working insane hours continuously, and if they can't satisfy the Trolls at phonenews, that's too bad.

  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Thursday October 22, 2009 @11:20PM (#29842577)

    You think that meeting legal requirements is a low priority task?

    That depends on who might sue you. Certainly to technical people it would generally be a low priority, and even to business managers anxious to get something out in the market and revenue going. The company lawyers don't win every battle you know.

    And that pirating free software goes with good faith?

    It's not pirating if the intent is to comply. Just like it's not really pirating if you truly download media with intent to review.

    In other words, cut people some slack - generally they mean well, and in this case specifically they obviously meant well since they complied fully.

  • by RAMMS+EIN (578166) on Friday October 23, 2009 @01:07AM (#29842973) Homepage Journal

    All your points are valid, but they don't negate the fact that if you use code under a license that requires you to make your code or modifications available to those you distribute the binaries to, you have to abide by the terms of the license and do so.

  • by MemoryDragon (544441) on Friday October 23, 2009 @03:51AM (#29843497)

    Yeah why should they release the other part, touchflo is their bread and butter, without that they simply would be just another phone vendor and even one with mediocre low end specced hardware. Touchflo is the part which stands out compared to the rest of the phones.
    I would only release the source either if I was in their position.

  • Re:Code cleanup (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Webcommando (755831) on Friday October 23, 2009 @08:49AM (#29844873) Homepage Journal

    They were probably stalling for time while they read over the source code to remove all the swear words and personal attacks against coworkers...

    =Smidge=

    Don't forget they had to remove the 1000's of TODO's that were still in the code comments with several "We really should fix this before release" and a couple of "This works but I'm not sure why."

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