There have been some big changes at Google lately. Â Larry Page is the CEO of Google and he is changing things around. Â Andy Rubin is defending their decision to not publish the code to Honeycomb (Android 3.0).
Larry Page is changing the way decisions are made at Google. Â A few years ago, it seemed like Google was showing off something very cool. Â As your company gets bigger and bigger, they create layers of management to “insulate” the engineers. Â Some of Google’s best ideas came from engineers and over time managers “insulate” you with no. Â The culture of “no” can pervade even small companies where a single manager says “no” because it is safer that saying “yes”. Â And when that “no” project becomes successful all of those “no” managers are there to take credit. Â I can only hope Google goes back to the way it was.
Next and more disconcerting is Google not releasing Android 3.0’s source code. Â The product is already released on the Motorola Xoom. Â Andy Rubin himself once responded to Apple’s lack of openness with a tweet showing how to pull down Android’s source code. Â Google is saying the source code for Honeycomb just isn’t ready and it will be release once it is ready. Â Some people are concerned this is a portent for Android going closed source. Â Google’s code can be closed, but there are other libraries and technologies that prevents it from going completely closed. Â The biggest one is the Linux kernel that Android uses.
I can understand being reluctant to publish source code that is hacked together and ugly. Â I think most companies wouldn’t want the entire world to see the ugly underbelly of their bad code. Â Here’s hoping that Google will do the right thing once they are ready.