61

The external contributors to the Android codebase are not private hackers. They are companies with business models that depend on the support of the Android platform. If you look at the email addresses of the contributors to the official Android sourcecode repository you will see that the vast majority of contributors seem to be Google employees. But if you ...


24

Disclaimer: I haven't contributed to Android in any way, but I've been actively contributing to other open source projects. Why help Google make more money? How does the society benefit from such a contribution? Aspect 1 of 2: The Contributors' Objective There may be all kinds of idealistic goals to open source software development, such as promoting ...


19

In the core Android OS space, much of the free software effort is on alternative ROMs1, such as LineageOS, /e/, Paranoid Android, and the like. Many of these projects have removing Google's control as a principal aim: right now, the very first line on /e/'s website says "WE’RE OPEN! You can still shop for our unGoogled smartphones here". Nearly all install ...


12

Probably not a Politically Correct answer for this site but ... JUST SAY NO Of course that isn't going to be enough for your customers, you need to present a good business case for them to continue using you even if it's not open source. Consider why the customers might be asking: They are afraid you will go out of business, and they will be left with a ...


12

Historically, many people have become professionals in coding without benefit of a degree, your perception of the California job market notwithstanding. A CEO whom I know well, amongst many others of my middle-aged peers, is an example. When I hire people, I put a lot of emphasis on 'portfolio', and I know that I'm not alone. Open source is certainly ...


11

What you're describing is called a Version Control System or revision control system. It essentially stores one canonical copy in a central place, which can be downloaded, edited, and committed back there. If someone else changes it in the time you do, you must review those changes and incorporate them into your code before recommitting. Some major version ...


10

Can you share more detail about what your customers really want when they ask if your product can be more open source? There are various open source strategies and depending on what your customers are asking for some may be mutually beneficial. Open code, Restrictive license: It is possible to share source code while keeping that code licensed under a ...


10

First: nice question! Degrees are looked upon as a fairly standardised measure of your ability in the subject you study. Employers look for them because they indicate (in theory) that this person is capable of doing the job they claim they can do. In today's fast-moving world, where you need this new hire last week, they're useful in being able to say "this ...


9

So there's a bug in an Android comapatibility library. If you change the icon of a FloatingActionButton after it's been laid out (I wanted to animate it), the display doesn't update. I download the source, make the one-line code fix, and used the modified version in my sources. At that point, I can either file the bug report, and have the change show up in ...


8

While I cannot help to convince your colleagues, I can offer some of the answer I give to (more or less) the same objections. It is insecure and has no guarantees This is inherently true also for closed source software. No software is secure. The main advantage is, basically, that sometime you can fix an open source software yourself, while you ...


7

Let's step through them: "I make a project opensource without a license." Then it's not Open Source. See, for example, What can I assume if a publicly published project has no license? "I continue contributing to it and at some point I commit a license doc and license text in the header files." From this point, the code is licensed under the license you ...


6

Yes, that would be allowed. Versions of a software product that don't derive from/use GPL code are not subject to the GPL licensing terms, so you can use whatever license ou like for those versions. If the people using the development builds are all part of the same organisation, which holds the copyright on the project, then there the use of the GPL ...


6

What would be a suitable license for this situation? The license that comes closest to your desires seems to be the Apache 2.0 license. It is a permissive license that allows derived works to be distributed under different terms than your template and it has a mechanism for handling attribution notices. The license does have a requirement that if different ...


6

Normally, help is very welcome. But every project has its own culture. Sometimes it's spelled out explicitly as a “Contributing” guide, sometimes it's implicit and you'd have to learn by lurking. It is best not too invest too much effort at once. One reasonably-sized pull request at a time. This helps you to become familiar with the conventions of the ...


6

Why we cannot have a mobile operating system and application store independent of any country's current political views as an alternative for Google android OS So you're presumably aware that there are many community rebuilds of Android. Nearly all of those leave out the Google core apps (the bits that identifiably tie you to Google, including the Play ...


6

First of all, Android != Google. Yes, Android is maintained and mostly developed by Google, and a key factor in Google’s business plans, but it is still open in the sense that the community can take it, fork it and use it any way they like, which includes use cases which might go against Google’s interests. I think of open-source developers as people with ...


5

Well, this is basically a question about how to change the business model. Because a software company CAN make money with open source software, but it probably cannot do it always the same way. But first a question for clarification. You write: It led to the development of a system we can use as a base to build custom software for our customers. So you ...


4

Yes, open source projects can be platform-constrained. Look at the various FreeDOS projects for some examples; many of them only work on DOS PCs. There are many other examples of Windows-only projects, Linux-only projects (even Linux-only projects that work on a single architecture), AmigaOS-only projects... Of course with a free software license there's ...


4

First of all, you're worrying about an assumed problem. You two may run out of time, get a backlog of issues ... or not. So it might not even happen that you run into problems. You also may simply do no maintaining at all. Nobody is forcing you or your friend. Or you could do as much as you can manage. Some people might complain if their issue isn't ...


4

I really would like to continue helping this project. Is there any general rule of etiquette on GitHub or open source projects in general that I don't see? This is my first major project I helped with and I spent a large number of my free time working on it recently so am slightly angry to be told this. In general: they are the owners of the project, not ...


4

We don't have an alternative to Android OS because no one has made an alternative. There should be no reason it can't be done, it just hasn't been done. I would expect at this point in time, given the market share of Android, that anyone would have a hard time getting a decent market share with an alternative OS. You would need to offer a strong incentive ...


4

I've been contributing to various FLOSS projects over almost two decades now, and the dominant motivation for most if not all of my contributions wasn't some ideal of building a better future for the mankind. It was scratching my own itch. I know this also applies to many other contributors. It always starts with a bug in a tool that you're using, or with a ...


3

In my experience all the best free software comes from a developer scratching his/her own personal itch. It's really unlikely, on a planet with several billion people, that you're the only person with any given itch to scratch, and the beauty of free software is other people don't have to overcome any barriers to participating in scratching your itch, save ...


3

The OGL 1.0a isn't the easiest licence in the world to read, and one might be forgiven for thinking WotC's lawyers drafted it on an off-day. Also, IANAL/IANYL, so my analysis may be no better. Nevertheless, as I read it, it does address what you're doing. In s1, it says "Derivative Material" means copyrighted material including derivative works and ...


3

Version control systems are one way of allowing multiple people to work on the same files, but they don't support real-time collaborative editing of a single common version. There are FLOSS editors which support shared editing of documents in a manner similar to Google Drive; I've found that Gobby works quite well for this. It's used extensively during ...


3

The answer is: version control system Usual choices are: git SVN Bazaar Mercurial


3

A specification is a document describing some programs, in many cases interfaces. Regarding the implication of the licenses: it is relevant what implementing a specification does. I don't know about any law-suits indicating that the implementation of a specification is forming a derivate or even violating the copyright of the author of the specification. ...


3

The AGPL is a software license. It doesn't work well for media content like documentation. Even the FSF does not recommend to use the GPL-family licenses for documentation. The AGPL is even worse than the GPL, because its addition to the GPL, clauses for using the software over a computer network, is even more nonsensical when it comes to documentation. ...


3

Working on open source does give several benefits In a large(ish) project, you are working shoulder to shoulder with professionals, doing professional work. You'll learn how to use a suite of tools, and to work in structured relationship with coworkers (in open source, often you never even meet the colleagues). This is training that you'd otherwise acquire ...


3

As a maintainer of a project, it is your responsibility that the project functions as well as possible. Noticing that you lack the time to do everything you want to be done is a very good start. Then it's time to act on it. Some projects work very well with a single maintainer. Some people work a lot better when they are a single maintainer. But that doesn'...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible