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Kit Plummer
Software Engineer :: Techitect :: Evangelist
kitplummer@gmail.com
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Is no one else out there starting to get a little nervous about Google? Although, I’d I really like to believe they are still in “change the world” mode there are just too many weird signs.

The issue revolving around Google’s lack of contributions to source code has me a bit puzzled. The fairly recent announcement about Google and MySQL would seem to squash this problem. But, I don’t think it really does. It is really just Google’s way of improving the product lifecycle, for their benefit. (I do agree in principal that this is a benefit of OSS, though I’m not sure MySQL qualifies.) So, why wouldn’t they just contribute the code for all of their effort – whether they are morally obligated to or not? Business? Afraid of Yahoo!, MS, or someone else? Just doesn’t really make sense. I’m not expecting them to give away their entire architecture – just the improvements to OSS-licensed code.

I don’t have a problem with Google’s weblications…maybe, because I don’t really see them as relevant just quite yet. But, Gmail is something that I’ve really started to like. Strange thing is that I can’t tell you why. Maybe it is simple because SPAM hasn’t caught up with me there yet…like it did at Yahoo! And, the search is by far the best. I even use iGoogle as my main page…though since GReader has come to fruition I don’t find myself at “home” very often. Google Maps are the best, and as an iPhone user I appreciate them even more. Google Earth, well it is just cool. As a Mac user I scoffed at Google Desktop, then tried it, then dumped it because it took over my system (always processing). GoogleTalk, I use it. code.google.com – could be good. The list goes on and on. And, that’s the piece that begs the question..why?

Then there’s this OpenSocial thing. I’m not sure I really understand the point. Standards are good, when they are governed appropriately. Having Google be the standard, and standard authority is not a good thing – how quickly we forget the Microsoft Word quagmire. There is a huge difference between “common” and standard (de facto or not). The only difference here, is that a lot of “follower” companies are getting on board early to avoid missing an opportunity.

So, today we get Open Handset Alliance. What exactly is Google doing? Propaganda. There are blog-grumblings of VaporWare. Frankly, I don’t want Open in my phone. Just like I don’t want Open in my ABS on my car. Are we not just taking this Open thing a bit too far, for the wrong reasons. Let’s be real. Google’s not an Open Source Software company. The laundry list of OHA members is the usual suspects…but, I’m curious at the motives (same as OpenSocial).

Evil – probably not. But, here’s Google’s public mission statement:

“Our mission is to organize all the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”

I’m not sure how they get from there to the GPhone…and that is what scares me. What’s next GBankAccount? I’m seriously considering going back to Yahoo! Mail…but, I don’t like having to use the web-interface. It is almost like Google is making it so easy for me to give them all of my data…


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