The “Reason” Behind the SDK Lockdown

Google has spoken out on the reason why the new SDK has been dumped in the closed source closet temporarily. A Google spokesperson came out in hopes to calm all the angry developers but more than likely his/her comments may just spark a huge flame wars that has no end.

After reading that we have to wonder where is the Google-y open source love? In the world of open source everyone is equal, everyone gets the chance to test and file bugs about stuff at the same time. So what’s up with all this special treatment towards 50 developers who are a just small fraction compared to the thousands working day and night on Android applications.

Google you cannot just hop along and change the rules of the open source community. You need to abide by it like everyone else or Android will just become a memory like an ancient plague. When the next ADC comes along and you see far less turn out than the previous, don’t be too surprised.

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  1. I will have to side with Google on that one. If the SDK will be out eventually, would u like a buggy one with many problems all over tech forums, or a stable one with no needed extra tweaking for basic functioning?

    Releasing it for “everyone to test and play” could generate needless bad publicity.

    My only objection is the word “weeks” in the statement. Obviously, Android is too late. Not only in hardware (Pre-Christmas HTC Dream), but now, also late in software.

  2. @Tarex:

    Could that needless bad publicity be any worst than what is happening now? It doesn’t matter how buggy the SDK is, Android is said to be open source so nothing especially the SDK should be closed off from the community. This is not the way you go about trying to build a relationship with the open source guys, with all this secretly trying to shift the SDK to just 50 developers I wonder how many open source developers are even gonna bother with Android? How many application will we see with the source code available to everyone?

  3. @ Vamien:

    Yes, the bad publicity from a very buggy SDK would be even worse than not releasing it to everybody. Right now, we have a bunch of pissed-off developers. If the buggy SDK was out, we would have a LOT MORE people talking about how Android is bad and not ready for primetime, etc. I am with Google on this one.

    Also, I don’t understand what the developers are so pissed about. Google was clear from day one of announcing the Android Developer’s Challenge that only the winning developers would get to play with the latest SDK in later rounds. So, it’s not as if Google is doing something different now from what it had said previously!

    A S

  4. I fully agree with TareX.

    It makes sense to use actual development teams outside Google to use the new SDK more extensively and to send back bug reports (we do not know yet what’s in NDA documents finalists have signed).

    The mistake Google made is having their email accounts open to the internet (as any other normal company has) which made it theoretically possible for an email to be sent to the wrong recipient(s) and an employee to vent out some of the frustration due the lack of understanding of the Android product development strategy. As we’ve witnessed, both events did happen in practice. Even at Google – SHIFT happens, that’s all. Mind you, they’re humans.

    Who knows what else (even worse) could have happened? My guess is that Google will tighten the cork on the PR bottle a little bit. I don’t think this will affect Google’s approach to the Android roll-out (SDK et al), although it has hurt their image a bit.

    In my view, the atmosphere of the looming delay of the Android mobile device debut made people sensitive and overreact to these events. Furthermore, I think it proves the anticipation of Android hitting the market is still pretty at large and growing, which is a good start. I hope as many other hyped-up people that Google will rise to the occasion and that we’ll all have a lot of fun with Android platform and devices.

    The real question here (and elsewhere) is: does it pay off to rush to the market and potentially make serious, irreparable mistakes or to ride the hype wave a couple of months more (“a couple” <= 3) and properly impact the market?


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