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Old 05-28-2011, 08:28 AM   #1
jlinkels
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Is Android Open Source or not?


One of my colleagues at work recently bought an Acer tablet (Iconia or so) with Android installed.

Trouble started when he wanted to install an Office application. I recommended OpenOffice but that doesn't seem to be available for Android. Then he found QuickOffice as alternative, and tried to download that. But he found only commercial versions (at Amazon.com).

And that is where it went wrong. We are located closer to the USA as any other country (not counting Venezuela, but buying anything there is insane, you can't even buy something for export except Chavez doctrine). So we tried to purchase QuickOffice at Amazon, but Amazon said we could not buy because we are not in the USA. Even using a proxy server didn't work as it was recognized by Amazon as such.

Not that we are opposed to buying software, but this reminded cruelly us what happens when commercial companies get a grip on the sales process. Quite unusual if you are used to open source. (Neither are we able to buy anything in the Apple store, btw)

Of course, if QuickOffice is Open Source, Amazon is entitled to sell it, and even restrict sales to USA customers. But if Android and applications are Open Source, it should be available somewhere else, shouldn't it?

jlinkels
 
Old 05-28-2011, 08:43 AM   #2
syg00
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No.
 
Old 05-28-2011, 08:48 AM   #3
TobiSGD
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If you want to buy an app, it doesn't matter if your OS and its apps are Open Source, the only thing that matters is the licensing of the app you want to buy. As fa as I can see, Quickoffice is not Open Source, so the developer/distributor dictates the rules of distribution.

By the way (and I think you know this already), there is more than one Open Source license out there. While the GPL dictates that you have to make the source code of derived apps available, the BSD license does not, it is totally allowed to build close sourced apps from a software released under that license.
 
Old 05-28-2011, 08:49 AM   #4
EricTRA
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Hi,

There are several discussions on the internet about this subject, one more confusing than the other:
Is Android Open Source or not
Is the Android truly Open Source
http://source.android.com/
Quote from the last site:
Quote:
Android is an open-source software stack for mobile devices, and a corresponding open-source project led by Google. We created Android in response to our own experiences launching mobile apps. We wanted to make sure that there was no central point of failure, so that no industry player can restrict or control the innovations of any other. That's why we created Android, and made its source code open.
Kind regards,

Eric
 
Old 05-28-2011, 10:55 AM   #5
jlinkels
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@Eric:

Yeah, I did my homework and somewhere I exactly read this phrase you posted. So your statement about one source being more confusing than the other proves true.

Let me refine/rephrase my question.

Frankly I don't care whether or not an application is open source, whether it is free or not. But how comes an application on Android is only to be purchased/downloaded from a certain country? Why? I have an USA Android device, and my IP happens to be outside of the USA, so I have no luck in spending my money and boost the USA economy. Why? Because of the Homestead Act? Is this different on EU Android devices?

I notice I became quite spoiled with FOSS.

jlinkels
 
Old 05-28-2011, 11:01 AM   #6
EricTRA
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Hello,

I don't know much of the USA policy on software downloads and stuff like that. It's all a political game to me and since I don't care for politics of any kind I never took the time to get acquainted with the content of that Homestead Act nor with the principle behind it. I have a HTC Desire and haven't encountered any limitations yet. I think we here in Europe are even more spoiled by FOSS. As a matter of fact here in Spain there are several local government instances that promote FOSS in various ways.

Kind regards,

Eric
 
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Old 05-28-2011, 11:07 AM   #7
TobiSGD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlinkels View Post
I notice I became quite spoiled with FOSS.
This has nothing to do with FOSS at all. The app you want to buy is not FOSS.

You can't buy that app because of one of these reasons:
1. A US law forbids to sell software to your country. I don't know about something like that.
2. Amazon don't want to sell to your country. I don't know about something like that either.
3. The developers/distributors of that app don't want to sell their software to your country.

May be you have more luck if you try to buy that app directly from the developers page, they have their own shop.
 
Old 05-28-2011, 02:41 PM   #8
jlinkels
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TobiSGD View Post
This has nothing to do with FOSS at all. The app you want to buy is not FOSS.
Yes, it does. It means that I am not used to restrictions after using FOSS for such a long time.
<translate>
Ich merke, ich wurde richtig verwöhnt mit FOSS
</translate>

jlinkels
 
Old 05-28-2011, 02:42 PM   #9
TobiSGD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlinkels View Post
Yes, it does. It means that I am not used to restrictions after using FOSS for such a long time.
<translate>
Ich merke, ich wurde richtig verwöhnt mit FOSS
</translate>

jlinkels
Sorry, I misunderstood/mistranslated that.
 
Old 05-29-2011, 09:41 AM   #10
archtoad6
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What's w/ the German? You both know it's against the Rules:
Quote:
  • All member-created content should be in English. This allows our moderators to ensure all content complies with all LQ rules.
Please explain & then edit.

Thank you.
 
Old 05-29-2011, 09:50 AM   #11
TobiSGD
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Quote:
<translate>
Ich merke, ich wurde richtig verwöhnt mit FOSS
</translate>
is the direct translation of
Quote:
I notice I became quite spoiled with FOSS.
I mistranslated that english sentence and jlinkels was so kind to translate it for to let me see my mistake.
 
  


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