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Linux -> Android: Where did the Devs Sell Out?


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  1. Abaddon_au

    Abaddon_au Member This Topic's Starter

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    I use Linux on my home computer, and I'm sure the penguin is over-represented in Android users compared to people with iPhones or Pocket PCs. Similarly, given that the Android OS is essential Linux, I reckon that a lot of the devs for Android have cut their teeth on Linux.

    So, my question is what's happened to the Open Source Ethos?

    I don't have any Ad-supported-$2.99-to-upgrade programs on my Desktop. Open Source programmers are happy to work on their projects for the love of the job, love of the penguin and the good of all.

    On Android? Nah, have a banner ad, suckers!

    I'd been keen to hear what people think. Is it just an economy of scale? Android is taking off so can't be maintained for free, or have people finally given up on free-as-in-freedom or free-as-in-beer and moved to free-as-in-pay-for-it-you-cheapskate!
     

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  2. malcom2073

    malcom2073 Well-Known Member

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    I write FOSS software for the PC, been doing it for about 10 years now. I've never gotten a cent in donations, and rarely get a "thank you" for the thousands of downloads, time, and bandwidth spent. Android comes out with an easy way to make some money off my applications, of course I'm gonna jump at the chance. Finally, I can actually make some money off my applications. I've been too jaded by the lack of enthusiasm from non-developers about FOSS stuff... so screw 'em. They can pay for it if they want it.


    Don't get me wrong, I still write FOSS stuff for the pc... but I see no reason to do it for the Android when there are people who are actually willing to pay money.

    Also, look at code.google.com. There are a crapton of FOSS applications for android.
     
  3. jreed2560

    jreed2560 Well-Known Member

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    I don't mind paying someone for the work they do. It seems like most of the apps in the market that aren't free have a free ad-supported version (some full apps, some lite versions). Why shouldn't someone get paid for what they create? You say where is the "love of the penguin?" I say if you love it so much pay for it! ;)
     
  4. dbpaddler

    dbpaddler Well-Known Member

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    ummm....Android is a different animal than a desktop linux distro of some sort. You're talking about something that represents single digit market percentage to something that should fight to be in the top three and probably top two in the smartphone market. The masses don't know this has a linux kernel and most could care less. It's just another mobile OS that people are going to write for now and want to be rewarded for their time and effort. The apps are much cheaper than apps used to be for PalmOS and are for WinMob and BB. Take the iphone out of the equation and paying under $5 for most apps that will or should be well supported and updated is a no brainer. If you have a problem with it, you should try writing your own apps and throw them in the market. Then deal with the barage of emails and criticisms in your inbox from people that wouldn't even dream of clicking the donate button. Bunch of sheep and leaches that want something for nothing.
     
  5. malzfreund

    malzfreund Member

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    Right from the start. Do you really think Android Inc. and later Google and the Open Handset Alliance developed Android for
    ???
     
  6. Zeabrid

    Zeabrid Active Member

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    "Open Software" does not mean "Free Software". If you think it does, you really don't understand the ideology behind Linux in the first place.
     
  7. miamicanes

    miamicanes Member

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    Personally, I dream of the day Amazon launches a payment processing service for Android Market that lets casual developers charge small amounts (like $1) for apps, and basically credits it straight to an Amazon gift card with minimal service charges or processing fees (if any at all). IMHO, it would be a win-win deal for both Amazon and casual developers... Amazon would sell more merchandise, and we'd get our book purchases subsidized by people who enjoyed using our apps without being completely raped by Google Checkout's service charges that don't even leave you with enough profit from a $1 sale to buy a stale gumball from the vending machines in front of Wal Mart.
     
  8. ttaylor0024

    ttaylor0024 Well-Known Member

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    What he is meaning is that Linux used to be soo... I dont know how to say this without sounding mean, but so geeky (no offence) that there wernt very many people using it. It was like a secret fraternity. People did stuff for other people for the greater good of the OS, something most people dont even do for their own neighbors, or better yet family anymore. I personally dont use the OS, but I have a hunch that if I started (which I plan to do as soon as I get my netbook) that the community will help out alot more than a microsoft or apple forum calling people noobs and idiots 24/7. [/translation]
     
  9. Zeabrid

    Zeabrid Active Member

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    As much as you guys want to keep saying this, it's NOT TRUE.

    Most linux software is not paid because of the model and ideology behind linux itself. It was meant to be a free base (just like android is), and then able to be customized or edited or modified based on the person using it (which you would pay someone to do for you or you would do through paid applications.

    You also paid for any kind of support on a [/b]'free'[/b] distribution or 'free' product.
     
  10. kennyidaho

    kennyidaho Well-Known Member

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    First off you really don't need to know jack squat about Linux to develop for Android or other Linux based OS's like WebOS because it's all fairly abstract from the kernel. Developers primarily work within the Android framework that sits on top of the kernel.

    What is Android? | Android Developers

    There is the NDK though that does allow developers access to add native (C and C++) code to their applications. However it's still not the same as completely developing a native code application for a desktop distribution.

    On a side note there are plenty of pay to use closed source softwares for Linux. I've not looked to closely at the licenses on any of the applications that I have used however I highly doubt any of the ones I have purchased are open source anyways. Yet if you do happen to find an open source application that uses ads then by all means feel free to fork it and pay the $25 to put it on the Android market if it helps you sleep better at night.
     
  11. TheBiles

    TheBiles Well-Known Member

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    Let's see...

    Option 1) Spend time working on freeware for an OS with the smallest market-share with no benefit to yourself.

    Option 2) Spend time working on $2 apps for Android, which was created by one of the largest companies in the world, and actually make a small profit.

    HOW DO I DECIDE?!
     
  12. kennyidaho

    kennyidaho Well-Known Member

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    There is a lot of personal benefit to option 1.
     
  13. TheBiles

    TheBiles Well-Known Member

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    Please elaborate. Other than giving you something to stick on your resume, I don't see any direct benefit to the individual (other than "feeling good" about oneself).
     
  14. kennyidaho

    kennyidaho Well-Known Member

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    Well there is the something to stick on your resume and the feeling good about yourself aspects. This may come to a surprise to you but there are some people who just enjoy programming, they enjoy finding a problem (perhaps a need) and finding a solution to that problem. They do it because it's what they want to do. Think of it as a hobby. There is also a learning aspect as well. If you want to branch out and learn a new language or platform you could read all the tutorials you want but you still need a project to put it all together with.

    A lot that we enjoy in the computing and electronics world does not exist because X person sat down and said "I want to make money so I am going to invent or develop this." Often it's just done for the sheer intrinsic rewards; latter on the focus might change when the inventor or developer discovers he/she could capitalize of his or her project.

    Don't believe me? Just look at Google - it was after all just a research project not a master mind plan to make the two college students billionaires.
     
  15. TheBiles

    TheBiles Well-Known Member

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    I can respect that. I'm just currently a little frustrated because one of the courses I'm taking this semester is taught by two extremely dedicated Linux enthusiasts who will stop at nothing to push it down our throats (not only having us install it, but things like having us compile code through the command line when there are nice open source programs for Linux to do that for us). Plus the fact that I had to re-learn C last night after about 7 months of not using it kind of has me in the "I hate programming" mode.
     
  16. Abaddon_au

    Abaddon_au Member This Topic's Starter

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    Good to generate a little bit of enthusiasm in replies - although reading back through my original post it was probably a bit more of a rant than I intended it to be.

    TheBiles writes:
    Following on from What kennyidaho said in the post above I agree that previously there have been a lot of people that were very happy to work on software for Linux and not get paid - I haven't bought any software for my Linux PC and it does everything that I want it to do. Not so with my phone. I guess it was the reason for this difference I was interested in.

    Malcolm2073 writes:
    That's a shame, because I always make a point of emailing the devs if I find a program to be useful and have made donations to a goodly number of them. I am very glad though that the Linux devs have persevered with the way they do things, rather than sticking banner ads in their programs.

    dbpaddler writes:
    Surprisingly, not all of us code. And as for the sheeps and leeches, that comes back to my original point -
    Linux: I'm going to write some software that does something and if people like it, go for it and I'll tweak it a little in my spare time if I get some feed back
    Android: I've written a program that does something and if people like it, go for it, and if they don't they can all f*ck off.

    And finally, as for Zeabrid, I'm not going to feed the trolls so this thread doesn't turn into a definition war.
    So, reasons so far:

    * Android is not linux and shouldn't be seen to be the same
    * The iPhone model has paved the way and people will pay for apps so why not
    * The Market infrastructure is there, so why not use it
    (does this mean adware is actually a good thing? Are people saying "I really want this app out there but I can't do it, so rather than charging I'll put a banner in")
    * Coding for Linux shouldn't be non-remunerated because there are overheads and people should be prepared to pay for it too.
    --> it's this one that I'm most interested in exploring, because it really seems counter to the FOSS ethos that has existed so far.
     
  17. graymulligan

    graymulligan Member

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    Well said. Open source doesn't equate to "make stuff for free".
     
  18. lekky

    lekky Lover VIP Member

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    Re-quote, both guys spot on. There is a business model behind open source that makes those devs money, be it customisations or official support.

    The thread can be put down to mild ignorance (not in a bad way, your typical user just sees free software, not everything else)
     
  19. dbpaddler

    dbpaddler Well-Known Member

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    besides, even with that general thought process, this isn't linux as Abaddon mentioned. The core is linux, but the OS was developed by a for profit company plain and simple.

    Abaddon is wrong about one thing... The iphone didn't pave sh*t. People were paying for apps for quite a long time, and a heck of a lot more than a few dollars. Maybe there are some youngin's on here with a very narrow frame of mind, but Palm had paid apps for over a decade. Then you had pocket pc which became windows mobile which had even more expensive apps. Then enter Blackberry. Yes, even more paid apps. And then there was Symbian. Even more paid apps. There was even an app store by a 3rd party software seller made for PalmOS that was done over the web long long before the iphone was a thought in someone's head with a credit card on file and downloads direct to the phone. All the iphone did was take it mainstream and did it very well at that.

    I seriously don't even understand the purpose for the rant in the first place. The cost of apps nowadays are dirt cheap compared to the old days, and you get a lot more for your money. And just because the app is free, if it's something worthwhile that you use, if you don't feel compelled to donate a dollar or two to the developer, then shame on you for thinking you're just entitled to it for free.
     
  20. Zeabrid

    Zeabrid Active Member

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    I wish you two would both just stop talking. You can agree with eachother all you want but you're still ******ed and you're still making shit up.

    Android IS A LINUX DISTRIBUTION. It's not "kinda linux", it's not, "like linux". It's ****ing linux. If you don't understand linux, please don't even assume you know enough to talk about it.
     
  21. Abaddon_au

    Abaddon_au Member This Topic's Starter

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    I'm a bit disappointed to see I've shaken the shaggy old FOSS trolls out from their caves, and that it's the same old stuff. Open Source is a movement, not a monolith, and I reckon there are people out there writing Open source software for all sorts of different reasons.

    I've been using all sorts of Public Domain / Open Source programs on my computers since the 1980s and I've seen over that time a gradual shift away from freeware to shareware to cripple-/trial-ware. I don't have any paid apps on my Linux system at the moment, and I used to have many parts of my Amiga workbench swapped out for freeware bits and pieces.

    I don't have a problem with writing paid software, and I don't have a problem with people making a living. Completely open software though is not something that people can really turn a profit from - how can you charge for people to access a program when they can download the source and compile it themselves? Yes people have to make money, but as people have alluded to, the Redhat model is charging for support.

    Zeabrid writes:
    I don't pay anyone to customise my Linux - I do it myself, or with free and or open-source stuff I download. No payment required. Granted as other people have pointed out that Android is paid for by design (when you buy your phone) whereas Linux is not. And while I agree that FOSS is about more than "stuff for free", free-as-in-beer is a by-product of free-as-freedom.

    What prompted the rant was that lots of Apps that I use on Android have now mysteriously gone Adware. How would people feel if Firefox all of a sudden developed non-closeable banner ads because they were sick of people being Leeches. Similarly with Amarok or any of the other widely uptaken FOSS projects? This sort of thing doesn't happen often (and if it does, there's usually a fork not too far away). It's the difference in attitude between Linux and Android I'm interested in.
     
  22. takeshi

    takeshi Well-Known Member

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    I can only assume that we'd see you ranting about them as well...
     
  23. Zeabrid

    Zeabrid Active Member

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    Know what? You're ****ing useless to try and argue with because you're just going to use your own ciclejerk every single time and it just makes you sound like a complete idiot.

    This is the last step proving that you're an idiot. The linux kernal is free and open source. The android OS is free and open source. By saying android is 'paid for when you by your phone' means you have absolutely no idea that this happens every single day with NUMEROUS PC/Laptop/Netbook manufacturers who have bundled [FREE] linux distributions in their [FOR SALE] hardware. (Asus, Dell, etc)
     
  24. Eugene

    Eugene Well-Known Member

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    Android is a javaVM running on top of linux. Developing for android is donw with java so you can develop without knowing linux. So you have really two different deveoper methods here, one is working on the android 'OS' which may require some understanding of linux or the interfaces into it and the other which is app developemnt which fits within the JVM so all you have to know is it. Writing apps is kind of like writing web pages, if you know html then your page works, you don't have to know or understand any OS calls.
     
  25. darkdusky

    darkdusky New Member

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    I was interested by this discussion. I am just starting to develop apps for Android. Can anyone give some examples of what kind of money is it possible to make from basic apps? Also does anyone have any info / links on how to add ad-banners to apps?
     

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