출처 : Google's Android platform: not so open after all
Google vowed that its Linux-based Android mobile platform would empower enthusiasts and
amateur developers, but today we have seen compelling evidence that this is an empty promise.
Third-party Android application developers, who have grown increasingly frustrated with the lack of SDK updates
, were shocked to discover that Google has been secretly making new
versions of the Android SDK available to the Android Developer Challenge (ADC) finalists under
This was revealed yesterday when Google employee David McLaughlin accidentally sent
notification of a new SDK release to a public Android mailing list. The message, which was
intended only for ADC Round two entrants, says that SDK build 84853
is available through the
private ADC download site. McLaughlin later apologized for mistakenly sending the message to
the wrong list. ADC Round two participants have confirmed that they have access to updated SDK
builds but declined to provide further details because they are bound by non-disclosure agreements.
We have contacted Google and asked for additional details, but we have not yet received a response.
While most of the Android community was forced to use an outdated version of the SDK from
February and were left to wonder if they would ever see another SDK release at all, a small
assortment of 50 gagged developers were given priority access to much-needed improvements and
bug fixes that Google has apparently been keeping secret. This revelation has compelled some to
question the search giant's motives and wonder whether Google is really committed to making
Android an equal-opportunity platform for enthusiast developers. For many of the critics, Google's
secrecy and unwillingness to communicate is ultimately more troubling than the lack of SDK updates.
"I don't think the biggest issue here is who has and doesn't have access to the SDK. I think the main
issue here is communication or lack thereof. Google embraced the development community and
touted how they were going to build this platform with the help of the development community.
Somewhere along the line, this 'seemed' to change. I say seemed because this could have always
been part of Google's strategy," wrote third-party developer Ken Adair in a message
to the Android
discussion list. "The problem is they have failed to nurture the relationship with the development
community. They have cut them off from the information that was once flowing and left them to speculate
and wonder. In response, you are seeing many that feel cheated and betrayed."
Non-disclosure agreements and selective access to development tools are hardly emblematic of an
open ecosystem. Google has intentionally disadvantaged many developers and kept the broader
Android community in the dark about the progress of the platform. Google's failure to fulfill its
commitment to openness has eroded one of the principle differentiating factors that made Android a
relevant alternative to Apple's iPhone operating system. If Google cannot change course, the lack of
transparency in the development process will likely push disenfranchised developers towards other