back to article Google taunts 'losers' with secret Android code

Google isn't just hiding the Android SDK from the world's developers. It's teasing them with it. Yesterday, just as we finished detailing the search giant's shabby treatment of mobile-minded coders, it treated them even worse, dangling its secret software developer's kit just under their proverbial noses. The Mountain View …

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oh come on...

This is a common marketing practice these days to "increase the buzz", and when dealing with the likes of Apple, MS, Google et al can be taken for granted. Which just goes to show what marketing types think of engineer types.

If only engineer types would hold off and feign a bit of apathy the marketing droids wouldn't try these stunts. After all it's hardly as if there aren't enough other worthy platforms on the market begging for attention.

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Erm

"..developers have spent more than four months using bug-ridden tools to build apps for a non-existent platform."

Early-adopters experimenting with a virgin, alpha platform ... they knew the risks.

"It may be 2009 before Google's open mobile platform is actually open."

But it really doesn't matter, does it? The platform is not out now, is it? So there can't be much of a rush to use it, can there? I guess this qualifies (without the amusement factor provided by the reported developer-screwing) as a "So what?" event, doesn't it?

Could it be that the author was one of the short-shrifted developers? Tastes like sour grapes.

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Coat

hang on...

"an online Android developer forum that boasts 3,075 registered members"

why not start their own effort? c'mon, this is the 21st century. if the company doesn't want to play, go play by yourselves.

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Happy

Clever?

If I wanted to debug a new development platform, including getting the bugs out of the API, I would seek a limited number (oh, say 50) of motivated testers who would try it out in ways that I could not anticipate. They would have to be really motivated, so they wouldn't be too miffed by frequent changes to the specs., but I would like to avoid paying them exhorbitant consultant's fees.

Hmmm, what would be a good way to do that?

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Happy

@Tanya re.Clever?

"...................... Hmmm, what would be a good way to do that?"

I'm sure you'll think of a way Tanya. However, even a well motivated developer is not the best person to find bugs in the entire system (though they would be sure to make noises about API problems in the development platform). What else you'd need would be an even larger number (oh, say 3000) of application testers to stress any completed products coming out of the development effort.

These application testers would have to have a mindset that said 'damn, I'm going to break you !' and be really motivated so that ideally you wouldn't have to pay them anything.

Hmmm, what would be a good way to do that?

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Shouldn't that be...

"Google Developer Challenged Team" since they seem able to alienate the free labor they so desperately need?

Or maybe the 50 finalists are in a race to be hired, and the also rans are clearly losers who can be jettisoned.

Google (and everyone else) seem unable to develop a meritocracy forum scheme, where one can set the "merit" cutoff to prune off the losers when searching for information. In this case, gooble would set the cutoff so only the top 50 can advantageously communicate (everyone else can read and fume but not comment), but toss the rest a bone... in the form of an unsupported SDK.

Instead, it's like, why bother. Lots of work being a point man, little reward and high mortality usually. Might be interesting to look at when the free labor battalions have finished sweating it out.

Mine's the one that says: "In a bear market, I only have to run faster than you!"

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Happy

@Frank

You are right, of course. Perhaps they are control freaks. They seem to like keeping things in Beta for a really long time, which suggests a reluctance to let go. Then again, maybe they have commitment issues, and are loathe to have a relationship with more than 50 people at a time. Or they could just be really shy, and/or fear criticism of their work. (These creative types can be really temperamental sometimes.)

I guess we just have to be patient.

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@Frank

"What else you'd need would be an even larger number (oh, say 3000) of application testers"

No actually, what you would need is a bunch of non-techy users to try and break the crap out of your system. Because I guarantee that they'll do things the techy's never thought of, simply because it makes no sense.

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Alien

One Good Turn deserves Another .... ad Infinitum.

"If I wanted to debug a new development platform, including getting the bugs out of the API, I would seek a limited number (oh, say 50) of motivated testers who would try it out in ways that I could not anticipate. They would have to be really motivated, so they wouldn't be too miffed by frequent changes to the specs., but I would like to avoid paying them exhorbitant consultant's fees.

Hmmm, what would be a good way to do that?" ..... By Tanya Cumpston

Posted Wednesday 16th July 2008 00:00 GMT

When motivated testers can Guarantee FailSafe Return of exhorbitant consultant's fees, does their payment represent a No Cost Alternative Intellectual Property Root/Route 42 Boost In House Capability and Facility.

That would be One Good Way to do IT. IT is Most Certainly the amfM HyperRadioProActive NEUKlearer Path.

"These application testers would have to have a mindset that said 'damn, I'm going to break you !' and be really motivated so that ideally you wouldn't have to pay them anything.

Hmmm, what would be a good way to do that?" .... By Frank Posted Wednesday 16th July 2008 01:44 GMT

Err, act like Google?

"Then again, maybe they have commitment issues, and are loathe to have a relationship with more than 50 people at a time. Or they could just be really shy, and/or fear criticism of their work. (These creative types can be really temperamental sometimes.)" ... By Tanya Cumpston

Posted Wednesday 16th July 2008 02:35 GMT

Tanya,

In Days of Yore, they would engage a Proxy Champion who would Share the Spoils and Spurs Won in the Hearts and Minds Battle Field ... Virtual Engagement ........ Royal Sport of Kings and Queens for the Ace of Hearts in FluXXXX.

Enter the White Hat Knights into the Hood. As-Salāmu `Alaykum. Allahu Akbar. Amen.

And that is Ruby Red PerlyGatesPython Running in ASP Nets ..... just Hanging Loose and Free in the SnakePit, Checking Out the Vibes for Quality of Control.

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Coat

@Andy Enderby - Wot he said

Works for Steve Jobs all the time. Yes, the fanboys moan and groan but they still line up like lemmings to buy the latest gadgets. Actually never seen lemmings buy anything let alone gadgets.

Got to go - mine's the one with "Add *.google-analytics.com/* to your content blocker" on the back.

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Symbian anyone?

Interesting to note that Symbian has now gone and released it's code (for a nominal cost) to anyone interested enough to develop. Ok, perhaps the cost and challenge of developing on Symbian is greater than Android, but definately a safer bet.

http://www.symbianfoundation.org/

Personally I don't like Nokia, but this is a nice effort from the mammoth mobile companies.

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Linux

Thought it was supposed to be an OPEN platform

I thought the whole point was that it was supposed to be an open platform based entirely on open source software and development tools?

But then, I'm still waiting for the Source Code for Google Earth and Picasa. I think Google only like Open Source to the extent that they can get something for nothing and cage it up. And that's why I prefer the GPL to the BSD licence or LGPL.

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Happy

@Andy Worth re. @Frank

"No actually, what you would need is a bunch of non-techy users ...................."

Yes of course :) The famous Microsoft-Method - "The world is our beta test site (and the testers pay us!)"

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Do no evil

Anyone remember that?

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Linux

iPhone anyone?

Hmmm ... seems that Google got a whole load of positive press after the Android announcement and SDK release. Especially in comparison with the proprietary iPhone.

What a difference a year makes. The iPhone has a reliable, released, updated, SDK open to anyone that cares to register for free. Google has an SDK that out there for free, but its old and out of date. If you weren't one of the lucky few then Google aren't interested.

Apple still has work to do with the paid-for iPhone developer program but seems to have retaken the initiative from Google. It looks as though developing an API and liasing with developers is more complicated than just dumping code out there every now and again. Who'd have thought?

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Stop

Google's pets?

The developers that competed in the Google competition, the sames ones that have worked diligently to help get Android where it is today have been cut off at the knees. Google has evangelized its openness and intentions to be transparent, especially when compared to other platforms, such as Apple's iPhone SDK.

The competition was merely designed to foster innovation. It was never advertised as "You have to be in the top 50 or else your left in the dust". Many developers have sunk their heart and soul into furthering the development of this platform. Without them the Android platform would not be where it is today.

Not only has the new SDK been reserved for "Google's pet applications (potential business partners), but it has also stopped providing valuable information and updates. The discussion groups are often void from the Google staff that once frequented them with suggestions and advice. It is truly deplorable that Google would not at least make an effort to communicate what is going on.

If being secretive is an underlying business strategy for Google, it goes directly in the face of what they said they intended to do. You really can't have a foot in both worlds and be popular.

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and there's another shiny object over there!

Has anyone noticed that Google's attention span may be a bit short for a long-term project like this? The coolness of Android has probably worn off so fast that nobody is left to write "Beta" on its home page before shelving it for a couple of years. Spammers may still find great uses for it, as they have with Google Groups, Blogspot, and GMail.

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Unhappy

Android??? Meh.

I've lost interest in Android and the other mobile platforms it's competing with.

They're all gimmicks designed to lock you into a specific vendor, Google's included. None of them want to play fair with their users, so why even bother?

I've switched to running Java 6 on the EEE, where I get a FULL JDK/JRE and none of the limitations of so-called "mobile" java. Battery life isn't a concern because I got one of those portable power sources (essentially, a construction drill battery with an inverter) and I can go nine hours without plugging in -- PER power source, and I carry two.

The heck with these guys. Google's run by elitist swine, anyway. Who needs 'em?

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Jan

Re: Google's pets

"Google has evangelized its openness and intentions to be transparent". Google is a multi-billion operation. Intentions from an organization playing at that level exactly what the word says: intentions. What was that English saying again? Ah, yes. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Now if they *had* released everything in a proper open source fashion you'd have something to work with but please, a big big big multi billion operation asks you to invest a lot of free time because it *intends* to do the right thing? Proof, pudding, eating. Maybe engineers should get a mandatory anti-gullible mindset training.

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Google just wants to disrupt MS

Google's strategy, like always, is to enter into a space that Microsoft occupies, make a commotion and generally disrupt things at Microsoft. MS had hotmail, google came with gmail, microsoft had MSN, google came with google "talk" (or whatever). MS has office suite, google did their web things, MS has windows mobile now google has to do something. Google doesn't know how to be successful bringing a product to market and they don't want to be, that's Microsoft's thing. Google just wants to be the fly in the ointment and as someone has already said, Google tends to keep projects in Beta forever. They are clearly showing some growing pains now that they are wandering into an area where outside forces are telling them what to do (carriers) and in order not to be a total embarrassment they have to leave the Beta stage.

Google is known as an innovative company and I find their maps and search technology exciting but I am already sick of them as far as a products company. Despite the core ideas of Android that were marketed, the search giant is showing his ugly corporate face with their attitude towards developers. Google's Cinderella stage was a long one but it may be coming to an end

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Anonymous Coward

Openmoko

Android is going to become a little irrelevant soon, once the Openmoko Neo Freerunner ships, and I think US side it has already, developers are going to be building basic libraries and frameworks themselves.

Google will offer and already does offer the APIs needed to get into most of their useful systems, the OpenMoko runs a fairly standard Linux kernel and an X server, so from the getgo there will most Linux apps available.

People will probably create libraries specifically for telephony, but hey you can already take an OpenMoko and use it as a drop in router, firewall, encrypted device, mini database, access control system, wifi access point. If you think the linksys Linux routers were popular in their ability to turn a 40 quid device into something beyond a high end cisco router, then imagine what the OpenMoko desire will be like.

And hey we don't have to use Java which is the bottleneck, you can run compiled C or C++ applications, or why not Haskell or Erlang. What will android offer against this, it will just be another option, people will hone some very small and customizable interfaces for the OpenMoko, which will work fast, be stable, and give access to the various components in the phone.

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Joke

@Jan

According to [Douglas Adams | Terry Pratchett] (can't remember which), the road to hell is paved with frozen door-to-door salesmen - their good intentions are a con.

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Ignore the Anonymous

(Off-Topic: I'm getting a feeling that Anonymous = 12 year old pseudo-experts. The Microsoft fan above and the OpenMoko fan... Evangelize much? Your ignorance of Google Android is in play here.)

FTA: I agree. Example: the folks at AndDev.org have some great apps in development. Teasing them with this e-mail does not seem like Google.

Sounds to me like someone farked up when the notice got sent.

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Huh?

Jodo Kast,

Want to inform us all about the Android project and what glaring omissions you think are being made based on what was said? No? Probably not, because your two sentence post was more about falsely characterizing posters than expressing an opinion on the article or informing. So what i'm saying is, you suck.

And no, I am NOT a MS fan. You are way off on that one, kid. I have been a linux user since the early days and do almost all my work on Fedora Core. What I dislike more than MS is people following in MS footsteps. Do you refute that? And how do you refute that Android is following in the footsteps of Windows Mobile? I don't think you can oh fearless high school drop out. There's nothing to KNOW about Android because the ideals they marketed about their OS are all B.S. as made clear by their recent actions.

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