I’m finding it very interesting how a number of articles in the blogosphere are attacking the Google Android platform. I guess it is easy to criticize given it’s only been in the public for 6 weeks. Yeah it looked like it would be vaporware until we got a hold of the actual running emulator and SDK. And yeah, the quality of the SDK could be better and there could be more for building native apps. But I think the Android team has done a great job of getting something in developers hands early so that they can start coming up with some money-making ideas and feedback any issues that they do run into.
The issue that I think people are getting caught in is the claim that Android is a fork of the Java standards. You know, I could really care less about that. If the Android platform is truly open with a commercial friendly license and is available on a lot of platforms, it will succeed. And if that means you’ll have to port your Java ME or even your Java SE apps to it, the market will tell you that you should invest in that. I’d rather see the community decide what the best platform for mobile should be, not Sun who has little experience with it.
And I’m sure many at Eclipse would feel the same. Believe it or not, Eclipse is a fork of the Java standards as well and for much the same reasons. The Java standards didn’t cut it when building great desktop applications. SWT and the Eclipse Platform have really kept Java alive where I thought it would never survive. It’s a fork for all the right reasons. And so is Android as an embedded platform.
One thing you will see though is that Google, or at least the Open Handset Alliance (OHA) of which Google is the most powerful member, will dictate what the Android standard will be, much like Sun does with Java standards and much like the Eclipse Platform team does with the Eclipse Platform. And there is nothing wrong with that. If you’re in the business of making money writing applications for these platforms, you want them to be as successful, i.e stable, as they can be.
But what it does mean is that if we want changes, we’d better the requests in now before we start debating whether there will ever be an Android 4.0…