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Android least open of open source software


Google will not let go
Market research firm VisionMobile has published a report which lists open source software projects in order of their openness.

The study, partly funded by the European Union, looks at open governance, inclusiveness, transparency, and ease of access to source code. To quantify relative openness, the researchers established criteria and a numerical rating system with points.

Android, Eclipse, the Linux kernel, MeeGo, Firefox, Qt, Symbian and WebKit were tested and ranked in an "open governance index" based on the percentage of points that they received. Google's Android mobile operating system ranked the lowest, with only 23 percent. The Eclipse integrated development environment ranked the highest, with 84 percent. Android was the only project in the study that scored less than 58 percent.

The VisionMobile report identifies some of the key problems with Android's governance saying that Google's "unilateral Android project decision-making processes" and "closed contributions process model" makes it almost closed. There is no Android roadmap publicly available, development of the Android private branch and the roadmap is controlled by Google, with little input from external parties or the Open Handset Alliance members.

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