Google Brushes Off "Outside" Android Devs...Again


The turmoil that began just over a month ago with a mis-addressed email has boiled over again for Google, after the company issued what was termed "verbal silence" in reply to a petition from more than 200 Android developers.

The original uproar began in mid-July when Google Developer Advocate David McLaughlin accidentally sent an email to the public Android developers list revealing that the company had been providing the contestants in the Android Developer Challenge with updated SDKs — under a non-disclosure agreement — while other developers were forced to work with badly outdated materials. In response to this revelation, an Android developer from Germany, Nicolas Gramlich, drafted a petition calling on Google to provide updates to the SDK as well as increased information about the platform's progress, and began circulating it among Android developers.

The current brouhaha erupted as a result of Google's response to that petition. After sending the petition, complete with 245 signatures, to Google's Android Advocate, Gramlich received an all-but-nonexistent reply. The two-sentence response, which Gramlich subsequently posted to the Android developers forum, reportedly reads:

We appreciate the enthusiasm of our developers and we're excited that you're so passionate about the Android platform.
Thanks for taking the time to send this. — David

Exactly who David is, or what his function within Google might be, was not indicated, though a reasonable guess would be David McLaughlin, the Developer Advocate who set the initial firestorm off with his overeager emailing. What doesn't require any guessing, however, is what the feeling is among the Android developers, who have now been brushed off a second time.

Update: Google has released an updated SDK along with a roadmap for future development.


Justin Ryan is a Contributing Editor for Linux Journal.

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