Google Shifts Native Development Kit Policy on Public Contributions


ndk1Google is opening up Android development even more with a new policy for the Native Development Kit (NDK) seeing contributed code added directly to the public source tree rather then the private tree it was once relegated to. The hope is that a more transparent contribution process will prevent OEMs from releasing devices with unfinished or broken versions of Android, such as when an unnamed manufacturer almost shipped phones with a pre-release build of Android 1.5. The presence of such unpolished versions making it to market would mean a poor user experience and incompatibility with applications and software. Google, however, does not plan to make this shift for unannounced versions of their software in order to keep their competitive edge in the market.

Along with their own move towards more openness in the software development space, they are encouraging hardware partners such as Qualcomm and Texas Instruments to open up certain aspects of their code to help improve the overall Android experience. More openness can never be a bad thing, right? I suppose for every good addition to the Android code there would at least be a few not so great additions, so there may end up being a lot of junk code to sift through, but as long as dedicated and diligent people are working on the source that might not be a huge problem. But is there ever an instance here software might become too open?

[The Register via AndroidGuys]

Kevin Krause
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  1. To answer your question, NO. Stop trying to add drama, to a good thing.

  2. hummm… what if they open it up and apple steals it and patent it and … market it as “Magical” :) ?

  3. @tatimob you cannot patent that which has already been published.

  4. I think it would be great if Apple try to steal it as inevitably Google will take retaliatory actions against Apple, I can easily see Google getting upset then – and I believe this to be the legal term – wtfpwning Apple.

  5. Who almost shipped with a pre-release build? I hadn’t heard this story :)

  6. @Charles in Vancouver Motorola did with the backflip. oh wait…

  7. this is not free for all, the contributed code will be accepted as valid only after a review by google engineers

  8. Despite what all inside the box thinkers (Microsoft) have been saying for years, Linux has proven beyond all doubt that GPL open source almost always makes software better.

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