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post #161 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post


Because Amazon and Barnes & Noble aren't members of the Open Handset Alliance, and aren't subjected to the same rules. What they've done is Google's worst nightmare, and there's nothing they can do about it.

I think you misunderstood the question.

 

Of course those two don't belong to the OHA. Yet they still were able to use "Android" as the basis for their device OS. If core Android isn't open-source how did they do that?

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post #162 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

I think you misunderstood the question.

Of course those two don't belong to the OHA. Yet they still were able to use "Android" as the basis for their device OS. If core Android isn't open-source how did they do that?

I understand that, but it does seem hypocritical that while Android is open to some it's not as open to others.
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post #163 of 178
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Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post


Idealistically, I agree with you.

However with a mobile device like a phone you cannot depend on:
  • A large PDS (Virtual Memory) *
  • Reliable Power
  • Large RAM
  • Large processing power
  • The time to manage sophisticated multitasking

* Flash Storage is not the best solution for a PDS

So from, a practical standpoint, I do think that it is reasonable for a mobile OS to force close programs while giving them the opportunity to save state.

 

Let me be clear - I'm not bashing iOS and Android saying they are inferior in terms of multitasking. Being mobile devices there have to be some trade-offs and I think Apple's method of providing "services" is better for a mobile device.

 

My whole point is Android fanboys seem to think Android is exactly like a full-blown desktop OS when in actuality it has far more in common with iOS (especially how it handles multitasking). When an Android users makes fun of iOS multitasking it's a clear-cut case of the pot calling the kettle black.

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post #164 of 178
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Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post

Android, like iOS, does not have virtual memory or a swap file and will force close Apps when resources run low. No OS that can force close an App arbitrarily can be considered to offer "true multitasking". Apps can be suspended or swapped out to virtual memory, but they shouldn't be closed outright. Android does this. So does iOS. They both remember the "state" the App was in so it can be "restarted" in such a way to make the user think the App was always running when in fact it wasn't.

There are several things wrong with that statement.

 

Android does have virtual memory. It does not have swap. The two are not the same. Virtual memory means that each process has an independent, isolated memory space. Android implements this. It's part of its security and fault-tolerance models.

 

Android only kills apps when it's low on memory. By the say, regular desktop Linux does the same thing (using a different strategy), even on systems with swap space. It's called the Out-of-Memory killer. It's been in the kernel since the 2.6 days. See this LWN article for a decent discussion of it, and how it differs from Android's implementation.

post #165 of 178
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Originally Posted by realitychecks View Post

You can literally go and download Android right now and create your own Android OS.

It doesn't mean it is open and free, which is what jragosta wrote. I assume he means "free" as in "freedom," not free as in beer.
You can fork Android, but you can't call it "Android" if you don't play by Google's rules (which involves licensing some closed software from Google) and pay them a fee. There are also clauses that prevents members of the ironically named "Open" Handset Alliance, from doing the very thing that you proclaim as the reason why Android is open and free: putting forked Androids on phones. There are other reasons Android isn't considered "free", see Richard Stallman's thoughts on Android.

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post #166 of 178
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Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post


It doesn't mean it is open and free, which is what jragosta wrote. I assume he means "free" as in "freedom," not free as in beer.
You can fork Android, but you can't call it "Android" if you don't play by Google's rules (which involves licensing some closed software from Google) and pay them a fee. There are also clauses that prevents members of the ironically named "Open" Handset Alliance, from doing the very thing that you proclaim as the reason why Android is open and free: putting forked Androids on phones. There are other reasons Android isn't considered "free", see Richard Stallman's thoughts on Android.

Not calling it Android is a trademark issue, not a code issue. You can still use the Android code without Google's approval or even knowledge of the project you're using it for. If you want to use your device with Google Play, Google services or use the trademarked Android name, then you need Google's OK.  It really shouldn't be that hard to understand. Seems pretty clear.

 

EDIT: The final paragraph from your linked article:

 

"Android is a major step towards an ethical, user-controlled, free-software portable phone, but there is a long way to go. Hackers are working on Replicant, but it's a big job to support a new phone model, and there remains the problem of the firmware. Even though the Android phones of today are considerably less bad than Apple or Windows smartphones,  they cannot be said to respect your freedom."

 

I'm surprised you linked it, but it's an interesting article so thanks 


Edited by Gatorguy - 5/20/13 at 12:15pm
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post #167 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post


I understand that, but it does seem hypocritical that while Android is open to some it's not as open to others.

Is OHA membership required to use certain parts of the android source code (distinct from google services, which have always been closed)? If not, it seems that your beef is with the terms of the OHA contract, rather than with android itself.


Edited by d4NjvRzf - 5/20/13 at 12:44pm
post #168 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by d4NjvRzf View Post

Is OHA membership required to use certain parts of the android source code (distinct from google services, which have always been closed)? If not, it seems that your beef is with the terms of the OHA contract, rather than with android itself.

I'm not clear on that nor what the 'rules' are. I'd also like to know if a phone manufacturer is required to join to the join the OHA, which I think not because Apple isn't a member, so what are the benefits?
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post #169 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Not calling it Android is a trademark issue, not a code issue. You can still use the Android code without Google's approval or even knowledge of the project you're using it for. If you want to use your device with Google Play, Google services or use the trademarked Android name, then you need Google's OK.  It really shouldn't be that hard to understand. Seems pretty clear.

EDIT: The final paragraph from your linked article:

"Android is a major step towards an ethical, user-controlled, free-software portable phone, but there is a long way to go. Hackers are working on Replicant
, but it's a big job to support a new phone model, and there remains the problem of the firmware.
Even though the Android phones of today are considerably less bad than Apple or Windows smartphones,
 
 they cannot be said to respect your freedom."


I'm surprised you linked it, but it's an interesting article so thanks 

Strange you should cherry pick that statement (what you emphasized), because then you missed the point of Stallman's comments, which was about Android, not other "less bad" operating systems that don't claim to be free. He wrote that article to combat the popular perception that "Android is free" because Google has gotten away with cloaking the closed parts by wrapping it in mostly free or open source.

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post #170 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

Because Amazon and Barnes & Noble aren't members of the Open Handset Alliance, and aren't subjected to the same rules. What they've done is Google's worst nightmare, and there's nothing they can do about it.
 
1) They're not making handsets.  2)   If it was "Google's worst nightmare" they would never have put the source code out there to begin with.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

I understand that, but it does seem hypocritical that while Android is open to some it's not as open to others.

 

The Android source is open to anyone to use.  What is not "open" is making some core decisions, or calling your OS "Android" unless it's tested to be compatible.  Low level drivers and baseband code are also not supplied, but that's pretty normal for a phone OS.  Especially with the baseband, there can be licensing issues.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

If Android has memory problems on low-end smartphones, it doesn't bode well for the future, for it's use on even smaller wearable devices.

 

Already there have been at least a couple of Android based smartwatches.   I had the WiMM, which ran just fine.  (They've been bought up by some unnamed company.)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post

This is the major difference between Windows and Android/iOS. In Android/iOS you could have a perfectly behaving program end up getting closed for no other reason than another program requesting too much memory. To me that's unacceptable for a modern OS.

 

Yet that's the way it's been with mobile OSes for well over a decade, due to memory limitations. 
 
Android (and later, iOS) implemented what Symbian, Windows Mobile and many J2ME devices had done for years:  alerting processes that memory is low and killing off the least used app.  (Alas, many of those earlier app programmers never wrote code to handle the situation.)
 
In most cases, this behavior fits pretty well alongside the paradigm of only seeing one active window at a time.  An app's UI does not need to run until it is brought to the front.
 
As you pointed out, it's the background processes that should suffer.. in theory.  Android, for example, shuts down user apps first, and most used services last.  (Even then, services restart when there's enough memory again.)  With today's RAM allotments, service shutdown is not a big worry, since there's enough memory for them to keep running while user apps are shut down instead.
post #171 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post


Strange you should cherry pick that statement (what you emphasized), because then you missed the point of Stallman's comments, which was about Android, not other "less bad" operating systems that don't claim to be free. He wrote that article to combat the popular perception that "Android is free" because Google has gotten away with cloaking the closed parts by wrapping it in mostly free or open source.

That wasn't what I got from his article. Instead it was that if you wanted to build a 3rd-party smartphone OS using only the open-source Android code available to anyone it would be pretty darn difficult as there isn't enough "free" code there to do so. (He also mentions that many of the items he discusses as not truly "free" aren't really part of Android per-se anyway). But at the same time he says independent developers are slowly getting there using Android open-source code as their basis and using other tools to fill in the blanks. If you think I misread it please take a moment to explain where I've erred.

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post #172 of 178
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Originally Posted by KDarling View Post


1) They're not making handsets.  2)   If it was "Google's worst nightmare" they would never have put the source code out there to begin with.

1) No they're not but they are making money of which Google gets 0.

2) Google never took tablets into account when they decided to make Android open. They figured any manufacturer would be part of the OHA and abide by the rules.
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post #173 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

2) Google never took tablets into account when they decided to make Android open. They figured any manufacturer would be part of the OHA and abide by the rules.

 

Google encourages the use of Android on devices other than smartphones.

 

They themselves use it for Google Glass and Google TV.   Several companies use it for smartwatches.   There are Android based automobile multimedia systems.  Game consoles.  Cameras.  Headphones.  Etc. 

 

None of those device makers need to belong to the OHA, which is primarily a handset group.   Encouraging the free use of Android helps Google because it creates more people and companies that are familiar with it.

 

So I'm not sure what your point is. Is it that you think Google thought tablet makers would all purchase a license to Google's Play Market or something?  There have always been lots of (cheap) tablet makers who never did that.


Edited by KDarling - 5/21/13 at 2:27pm
post #174 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by KDarling View Post

Google encourages the use of Android on devices other than smartphones.


They themselves use it for Google Glass and Google TV.   Several companies use it for smartwatches.   There are Android based automobile multimedia systems.  Game consoles.  Cameras.  Headphones.  Etc. 

None of those device makers need to belong to the OHA, which is primarily a handset group.   Encouraging the free use of Android helps Google because it creates more people and companies that are familiar with it.

So I'm not sure what your point is. Is it that you think Google thought tablet makers would all purchase a license to Google's Play Market or something?  There have always been lots of (cheap) tablet makers who never did that.

My point was there weren't any tablets (with a mobile OS) when Android was made. I've used a Kindle Fire and it looks nothing like the Android I'm used to. Do you really think that they're thrilled with the idea of people buying apps and media solely from Amazon?
Edited by dasanman69 - 5/21/13 at 2:52pm
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post #175 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Not calling it Android is a trademark issue, not a code issue. You can still use the Android code without Google's approval or even knowledge of the project you're using it for. If you want to use your device with Google Play, Google services or use the trademarked Android name, then you need Google's OK.  It really shouldn't be that hard to understand. Seems pretty clear.

EDIT: The final paragraph from your linked article:

"Android is a major step towards an ethical, user-controlled, free-software portable phone, but there is a long way to go. Hackers are working on Replicant
, but it's a big job to support a new phone model, and there remains the problem of the firmware.
Even though the Android phones of today are considerably less bad than Apple or Windows smartphones,
 
 they cannot be said to respect your freedom."


I'm surprised you linked it, but it's an interesting article so thanks 

Is the "less bad" he refers to like being "less pregnant"?

It makes equally as much sense, it's open or it's not, partly open is not how Google markets it.
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post #176 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by KDarling View Post

Google encourages the use of Android on devices other than smartphones.

They themselves use it for Google Glass and Google TV.   Several companies use it for smartwatches.   There are Android based automobile multimedia systems.  Game consoles.  Cameras.  Headphones.  Etc.

That sounds like they're going the Windows Everywhere route, and we all know that vision didn't pan out. But this is a different company, so we'll see.
post #177 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

My point was there weren't any tablets (with a mobile OS) when Android was made. 

 

Windows CE tablets and slates were around since the beginning of the century.  Very popular in the field worker field.  We even had custom versions manufactured just for our projects.

 

Quote:
I've used a Kindle Fire and it looks nothing like the Android I'm used to. Do you really think that they're thrilled with the idea of people buying apps and media solely from Amazon?

 

As for media, Amazon's been in that business a long time with or without Android.  Would Google rather the Fire used the Play Market for apps?  Perhaps so.

 

Otherwise, I think Google looks at it like I do:  it's just another embedded device that could've used any OS, including a homegrown one.  By forking Android, Amazon gives free side PR exposure to Android that otherwise would not have happened.  Better something than nothing. 

 

Edit:  Imagine if WebOS had been Open Source a little earlier.  Perhaps the Kindles would be running it instead!  Darn.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

That sounds like they're going the Windows Everywhere route, and we all know that vision didn't pan out. But this is a different company, so we'll see.

 

Except Windows had a license fee.  Of course, Android is not really "free" either, since you still need developers to port the OS to your own device, but the savings of $10-15 license per device is attractive.  (Assuming you do not also license Google Services, the cost of which I do not know.)

 

Hmm. All this talk has gotten me interested in doing an Android port myself.  (I used to port a realtime embedded OS to various hardware many years back.  It's kind of neat to watch a new board come alive!)

 

Cheers!


Edited by KDarling - 5/22/13 at 12:26pm
post #178 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by KDarling View Post


Except Windows had a license fee.  Of course, Android is not really "free" either, since you still need developers to port the OS to your own device, but the savings of $10-15 license per device is attractive.  (Assuming you do not also license Google Services, the cost of which I do not know.)

Hmm. All this talk has gotten me interested in doing an Android port myself.  (I used to port a realtime embedded OS to various hardware many years back.  It's kind of neat to watch a new board come alive!)

Cheers!

Ah, the license fee. Well, $5 would only be 3% on a $500 device, so personally I don't think that could be an issue. But ok, costs nonetheless. I actually meant, with my Windows Everywhere referral, that MS had this vision of Windows on all devices. And that didn't pan out because each device needs a tailored OS, which is something Apple has done right time and again. Even with the iPad, they used iPhoneOS, nee, iOS, and customised it properly. I hope for Googles' sake they'll customise it the same way and not slap a default OS on every device.
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