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Android Gathers Steam Among Open Source Developers 176

svonkie writes "Despite launching on the T-Mobile G1 with little mainstream fanfare, Google Inc.'s Android OS appears to have gained strong interest in the open source development community. According to a survey of Black Duck Software's Knowledge Base, Apple Inc.'s iPhone led the industry with 266 open source project releases during 2008, while Android followed in second place with 191 releases. Black Duck compiled the data after scouring through over 185,000 of open source projects across 4,000 Internet sites."
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Android Gathers Steam Among Open Source Developers

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Of all the open source projects I've worked on or had interaction with the Google Android and Chrome teams have been by far the best. Most friendly, most competent, etc.

    Not perfect of course, but an absolute pleasure. I can certainly see why Android would be popular with the rise of smartphones and the netbook and smaller category of devices.

  • OpenMoko (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ilovegeorgebush ( 923173 ) * on Thursday February 26, 2009 @11:56AM (#26998825) Homepage
    It's such a shame that Sean Moss-Pultz is so full of sh-t, Android is what OpenMoko could've been if they'd pulled their fingers out. What's going to happen to it now? Will OpenMoko continue to develop and will it ultimately still bring out hardware?
    • by Nursie ( 632944 )

      Minor point of interest - OpenMoko is the software company, AFAICT, and FIC are the hardware company. FIC span off OM about a year ago.

      I have android running on my openmoko. Compared to the OM software it's a joy to use. The port is not yet complete but is in *very* active development by a number of different people, som part of OM, some part of Koolu and some independent. Already it's streets ahead of OM in terms of usability, UI responsiveness, UI completeness and ease of use (i.e. no command line for wif

      • Minor point of interest - OpenMoko is the software company, AFAICT, and FIC are the hardware company.

        I don't know if that is an accurate statement.

        FIC is definitely the hardware manufacturer, but OpenMoko seems to be responsible for a significant portion, if not all, of the hardware design for the OpenMoko phones. (At least, this is what I glean from mailing lists where OpenMoko employees discuss the development of hardware revisions.) This would put them squarely in the hardware company category.


        • by Nursie ( 632944 )

          Android on FR is not a hack to install, if you've played with the Trimarchi images. Standard 2M kernel and rootfs.

          Koolu I'm not so sure about. Michael's images are far more functional than any of the OM stuff, in my opinion.

          What's more, android apps targeted at the G1 (AndNav2, text to speech engine) work on the FR due to the java nature of it all.

          The FR is, IMHO, totally inadequate as a hardware platform after this year too. Something which they wwillnot be addressing in their next revision. The 1973 and t

  • steam? (Score:4, Funny)

    by gEvil (beta) ( 945888 ) on Thursday February 26, 2009 @11:56AM (#26998827)
    I would think an android that gathered methane from would have more of a job to do, especially in the open source community.
  • by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Thursday February 26, 2009 @12:16PM (#26999105) Homepage Journal

    As reported this week on Slashdot [], some hackers have got X desktops (Gnome, KDE, LXDE, IceWM), "All Working On Android".

    If I can have an Android "phone" and seamlessly use "Android" apps alongside Linux apps (and use a Debian-style APT for installation/maintenance), I've got the first real 21st Century platform.

    If someone hooks up Android with X features that let me "grab" my session from a desktop (or other PC with a big display), keep using it (but scaled/arranged for Android) as I leave with my "phone", then pop it over to a nearby PC (scaled back up) intact, I've finally got "mobile computing". If my VoIP phonecalls remain intact throughout the transfer, the "computer" will eventually disappear unnoticed, with only me and my "computing" session really mattering. We're going to have to come up with new words for these things, once they're just our constant virtualized telecoms companion.

    • by Welah ( 1487721 ) on Thursday February 26, 2009 @01:16PM (#26999991)
      I "agree". Your use of "words" helped me "understand" what you "meant". I, too, would like to "use" my "Android" "phone" as a "constand virtualized telecoms companion".
  • by siDDis ( 961791 ) on Thursday February 26, 2009 @12:16PM (#26999113)

    There has been so much focus on iPhone, Android and Windows application development in the media the last few years. And yet no one as far as I can remember has ever mentioned that Nokia has a great open source development platform for their phones which runs on newer Symbian 60 called PyS60(Python for Symbian 60) []

    With PyS60you have access to about every feature in the phone. Everything from SMS, to the accelerometer. Not to mention that programming in Python is fun, and if speed is an issue, you still have access to several Python C++ Extensions [] and there is support for developing your own c++ extensions. On the Nokia wiki there are several small easy to read examples of how to use all the technology in their phones []

    Yet I don't understand why developers and media ignore this development platform. Isn't powerful applications that can be coded in less than hundred lines pure joy for a developer? There is a lot of people with Symbian 60 phones out there, more than Android and iPhone together(not sure about Windows though).

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by InlawBiker ( 1124825 )

      I think it's a case of too little too late. They didn't open it up until they saw the headlight of the train that was the iPhone and Google coming out of the tunnel.

      If you're an upstart with funding for 1, maybe 2 platforms which do you choose? You choose the hot ones.

    • There is a lot of people with Symbian 60 phones out there, more than Android and iPhone together(not sure about Windows though).

      The difference is mainly that of hype. Apple and Google both were new to the whole mobile phone market, while Nokia is the incumbent. It's not sexy to develop something for a phone everyone and his dog has.

      PyS60 was out there long ago, and the S60 as a development platform isn't that bad. I've written a few scripts for my N95, but I use my phone for calling people and reading email

    • Read reviews of Symbian devices: they have great hardware, but their user interface is hard to use and outdated. The OS is also aging. Python doesn't fix any of that.

      Nokia makes great hardware; they should switch to Android. They don't stand a chance with S60.

      • by mvdwege ( 243851 )

        The user interface is just fine. It's based on the common '1 menu button and two action buttons (OK and Cancel)' paradigm that has been used in cell phones for decades. Every cell phone user is acquainted with that UI paradigm. It's the PC users that expect a mobile computing device instead of a phone that have the hardest time coping, but they're a minority (at least here in Europe).


  • There is a reason why the G1 felt incomplete.

    Google was smart to skip development of certain applications and features.

    Let the OSS community do it for free.

    This is why there was no video player built-in and also why we have yet to see the infamous cupcake.

    There is still no video recording and no bluetooth tethering support unless your phone is rooted.

  • "Despite launching on the T-Mobile G1 with little mainstream fanfare..."

    Waddyamean little mainstream fanfare? Big coverage by the BBC on TV and Radio news (and news website) on it's launch as the 'iPhone killer'

  • (USA-centric post)

    I've been using my trusty StarTAC on Verizon for many a year now (motto: if it's still working, keep using it) but now I want to take the plunge into mobile development. Does Verizon support any platforms that have geek cred i.e. open source, large developer base, few restrictions, decent tools, goddamn-this-is-a-great-phone etc. etc. Verizon's network has been 5x5 in my experience so I'm reluctant to switch. ("Perhaps the other networks are just as good, we don't know. Frankly, we don't
    • It's because Verizon does it's damnest to take an otherwise decent phone, put their crapware that is vcast on the phone, and cripple any and every feature that could be useful to a third party developer.

      The only people they've not been able to play this game with is Blackberry as far as I can tell. They've got a great network, but cripple the phones. I left Cingular a couple years ago because connection down here sucked. Went to Verizon, put up with their crap for two year, then got an iPhone.

    • by CompMD ( 522020 )

      Verizon will let anything on its network so long as you can get the proper PRL file. That is pretty cool and not a lot of people know about it. Then again, its difficult to work with CDMA phones. Sprint has more hackable phones on the market than Verizon, and Sprint doesn't cripple their devices as much as Verizon does. ATT/T-Mobile Samsung phones you could unlock and hack *from the keypad* without even needing the unlock code from the carrier.

    • by jonwil ( 467024 )

      Good luck with that. With the exception of certain expensive fancy Blackberry and Windows Mobile devices (which can be hacked to remove the restrictions and allow you to write your own apps), essentially ALL CDMA phones sold use BREW and wont let you run stuff without carrier approval.

      As for Linux, I doubt you could even MAKE a phone running the linux kernel with a CDMA radio and still comply with both the GPL and the Qualcomm NDAs

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