Monday, August 17, 2009

Android -- Free but not Open



This is what my basketball coach used to say to me when I made a bad pass. "Michael, nice try the guy was free but not open." This is exactly how I feel about Android. Nice try but not completely open. As some of you know, work has been ongoing to get the full Android stack running on Ubuntu. There are some major roadblocks in doing so. If one looks at the source code for Android there are some major pieces missing in the git tree. 1. No Google Maps application 2. No Marketplace 3. No Google login service code. Number three is a big one. Without this code, you can not use most of the Google applications that require Google for its back end. So -- when trying to launch Google Calendar, you get the following stack trace.


W/dalvikvm( 9037): threadid=49: thread exiting with uncaught exception (group=0xf2708df8)
java.lang.RuntimeException: java.lang.reflect.InvocationTargetException
at android.os.Process.invokeStaticMain(Process.java:288)
at android.os.Process.access$000(Process.java:43)
at android.os.Process$1.run(Process.java:243)
at java.lang.Thread.run(Thread.java:1058)
Caused by: java.lang.reflect.InvocationTargetException
at android.app.ActivityThread.main(ActivityThread.java:3948)
at java.lang.reflect.Method.invokeNative(Native Method)
at java.lang.reflect.Method.invoke(Method.java:521)
at android.os.Process.invokeStaticMain(Process.java:276)
... 3 moreW/ActivityManager( 9037): Unable to start service Intent { action=android.accounts.IAccountsService comp={com.google.android.googleapps/com.google.android.googleapps.GoogleLoginService} }: not found



53 comments:

  1. What a pain. To be fair, though, the Google apps aren't part of Android. They're the same types of customization any vendor/carrier can put atop Android.

    Android is still free AND open, it just doesn't include the Google apps running atop it. Just like HTC's 'Rosie/Sense' UI and all the widgets that come with that... You can't complain that HTC's additions have made Android "not open," so can you fairly say the same thing about Google? It's like being upset that Microsoft Windows doesn't come with Microsoft Office. Same vendor, different applications.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You've made amazing progress on this port, and it's a little annoying to hit missing features like this. Unfortunately I think jer is correct. As you are the "vendor" of Canonicals flavour of Android, some of these missing bits may need replacements written. Here are a few suggestions:

    1. Maps - There is a MapView replacement class, 'osmdroid' that uses OpenStreetMaps instead of Google Maps. While this is not a complete "Maps" app replacement, it could become one with a little extra coding. Using OSM rather than Google Maps would also fit the ethos of a fully open project nicely. Unfortunately this wouldn't help for existing apps that use the Google MapView component.

    2. There are various other "Market" apps already around, independent of Google's Android Market, however I don't think any have the same range of apps available that Google's does (for both free and paid apps). Ultimately I'd still prefer to be able to run the Google Market app, even if it would only download free apps. Hopefully Google comes to the party on this one.

    3. Similar to 2. In theory, a drop-in replacement GoogleLoginService could be rewritten, but why duplicate effort if it's already written ? It would certainly be nice if Google released the source to this component, but I think at this stage it is part of their strategy for making money from Android - vendors will presumably pay to include "with Google" on their phones.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  4. This is about calendar app http://caustiq.esoteriq.org/nb/archives/2009/01/28/index.html

    ReplyDelete
  5. I think that porting Android to netbooks with Ubuntu is a great idea.. but I'd REALLY like to see it ported to the N900.

    What sort of commitment is Canonical dedicating to this? I think it's got some real potential.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm also interested in whether this project is still active :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you do not try...................................................

    ReplyDelete
  8. I want it too. I have ubuntu netbok with touchscreen in my car dashboard a I just want this touch enabled browser :-)

    ReplyDelete
  9. 世間是非,要如水泥地般水過則乾。.........................

    ReplyDelete
  10. Constant dripping wears away the stone. 滴水穿石!加油!.........................

    ReplyDelete
  11. 一個人的價值,應該看他貢獻了什麼,而不是他取得了什麼..................................................

    ReplyDelete
  12. 如果成為一支火柴,也要點亮一個短暫的宇宙;如果是一隻烏鴉,也要叫疼閉塞的耳膜。.................................................................

    ReplyDelete
  13. 真正仁慈的人,會忘記他們做過的善行,他們全心投入現在的工作,過去的事已被遺忘。..................................................

    ReplyDelete
  14. 人應該做自己認為對的事,而不是一味跟著群眾的建議走。..................................................

    ReplyDelete
  15. 要在憂患恥辱的環境裡,創造我們自力更生的新生活。..................................................

    ReplyDelete
  16. 偶爾上來逛逛,下次不知是否還有緣再進來,先祝您平安順利!!!..............................................................

    ReplyDelete
  17. I don't suppose you're still working on this? I'd love to pick your brain on your progress so far. This is something I'd really like to work on myself!

    ReplyDelete
  18. has anything be released yet ?
    --
    http://rzr.online.fr/q/android

    ReplyDelete
  19. What happened to the Android Ubuntu project? If it stopped, may I suggest you release the source code so that someone else can pick it up?

    ReplyDelete
  20. hi can i have your source code please . or your dalvik vm source code .. :)

    ReplyDelete