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Steve Jones (Trevor Drake)'s profile photoAndrew Dodd's profile photoAngus Grayling's profile photoAbbad Nurullah Imad's profile photo
Rob M.
Isn't this old hat though? Even for aosp? There's always some type of manufacturer hurdle to overcome with binaries et al.
Nexus 10 Factory Images are out for 4.3, so what's the driver issue?!?
The industry badly needs some standardization here... It is ridiculous that we are beholden to manufacturer-specific drivers for common functions.
+James Mason In the "real" world of software development. There's one license for consumer use, one license for the source code and another license for redistributing compiled binaries which you don't "own" they general state how those binaries are to be packaged and handled. Which is why they come as separate "packages" . Redistribution rights or the lack there of is also the reason you have to download gapps separately  as well.
Hardware makers seem to like being dicks about drivers. And the system integrators (OEMs) allow them to continue being dicks by not negotiating better terms...
+James Mason It's another "arcane and idiotic lawyers" situation...  Obviously the way the licenses are structured allows distribution of a factory image, but apparently not the subcomponent of that image consisting just of the GPU blobs.

Nonsensical - but the general theme with both this and situation with mako and flo has been "nonsensical lawyer bullshit that makes no sense to any sane person".

For a device to officially be supported by AOSP, I am fairly certain the binaries have to be available as a separate download.  Extracting from a device, or even, apparently, a factory image, is not kosher for official AOSP support as far as I can tell.

The end result is you often have cases of devices where the community has no issue supporting a device even though AOSP can't officially do so - the community lives in a legal grey area on MANY of their devices, and the oddball "non-AOSP Nexii" are just another item in this category.  (For example, with the CDMA Galaxy Nexus mess, community projects extracted and re-signed the APKs in question, but for many months, those devices were not officially supported by AOSP, because re-signing hacks were a no-no and the licensing forbid redistribution of those items.)

That said, bullshit like this, if it continues, will just burn out the next AOSP lead too, and if upstream keeps getting burned out by lawyer idiocy, community projects that derive from AOSP are going to be in bad shape.
You really are great at explaining stuff like this +Andrew Dodd, thanks for taking the time. 

I'd figured most of that out from reading heaps of different things about this issue since JBQ quit AOSP, but you've distilled pages of waffle down to a few paragraphs, well done.
Didn't they experiment with only using a script that pulls blobs of a device first as a workaround? I guess the lawyers was not happy about that either 
One day a GPU vendor will publish open source drivers and firmware, and I will only buy devices using that GPU.

Now, a fully open-source device - from the bootloader to the last hardware core - that is a geek dream. If the Ubuntu phone was like that I might have bought one.
Correct me if I'm wrong. This means that the factory images provided by Google contains 4.3 gfx support, but are unusable for custom rom builders like CyanogenMod?
+Evert Jaspers It's more complicated than that.  It depends on how much of a legal grey area you want to live in.  (CM has always relied on the methodology, so many of these issues don't directly have an impact on CM - but if CM were ever to ship as an official commercial product, it would be a whole other ballgame.  Even the current extract-files method is a little bit borderline.)

Think of it as being somewhat similar to gapps redistribution terms, although gapps is a bit more strict (and different) than this mess.  (Proprietary "nice to have" applications compared to stuff needed for the device to boot at all.)
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