Android and Eclipse

The blogshere is all a twitter about Google’s recent Android announcement. Google certainly knows how to get people talking; first start the rumours about the gPhone, then announce something different – Android, but leave the details sufficiently vague so speculation starts about the real meaning. Nov. 12 is when the Android SDK becomes available, so we will have to wait until then for the specifics.

One of the main discussion points is how Java plays in the Android platform. Google has been sufficient vague; there is no mention of Java on the Android web site, but it is mentioned in interviews.

I tend to agree with most of what David Berlind wrote in his article ‘Is a Java power play lucking beneath the Open Handset Alliance’. Sun does not seem to be a part of OHA and if Java is the base for the Android platform, this is more competition for Sun in the mobile and Java space.

NOTE: The one thing David wrote that I don’t agree with is the possibility for Google to take a Java version licensed under GPL v3 and relicense it under APL v2. The GPL v3 license compatiblity is one way, Apache license code can be relicensed under GPL v3 but not the other way. I may be wrong on this but I think it is true.

The question of how Eclipse participates is of interest to me. If indeed if it is a Java based platform, I know someone will create Eclipse based tools for Android. It is just a matter of who and when. Next week, the release of the SDK will clear up a lot of the details.

8 thoughts on “Android and Eclipse

  1. At the root if this is embedded Linux. The choice of VM is in the hands of the OEMs. It’ll certainly is an interesting platform for the OSGi folk. It’ll likely have a full featured web browser too, so I can see some interest in RAP too. And I’m sure you’ll see some C/C++ apps developed for it. There’s lots of room for Eclipse technologies.

    Given Google’s backing, I’d say this is more than just another mobile Linux play. There’s real ad dollars behind this. The question will be how the providers decide to play along versus what’s happening with the iPhone, another *nix based platform.

  2. They aren’t going to relicense the GPL code. They don’t need to. What I think is happening is an SDK that is Apache licensed to build mobile applications. That will allow vendors to muck with the SDK without having to give it back. But in the end, you can still build closed license software even with LGPL libraries (but not GPL libraries).

    Of course we’ll know for sure on Nov 12.

  3. Yeah, they’d be monumentally stupid to try to relicense the kernel, or Eclipse code to ALv2.

    That’s what the largely useless Android site implies, though, describing Android as a full stack of everything one needs for a mobile phone, that’s solely under ALv2, and stays away from copyleft code like EPL, (L)GPL, etc.

    Google’s marketdroids can’t have it both ways: either it’s a full stack including the kernel, and then it’s got all the copyleft goodness built in, or it’s not really a full stack, and just yet another (java script) runtime environment on top of the kernel (GPL)/glibc (LGPL)/ webkit (LGPL), etc. leaving the poor proprietary software vendors on board with many places in the full stack that can’t be as easily sealed shut as Google would like them to believe.

    But this is just one aspect where the announcement was botched.

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