OnePlus and Cyanogen clash over open source software
Do you care if your smartphone OS is open source? There are untold millions upon millions of users out there who couldn’t care less, only interested in the end functionality their phones offer. But then there’s also this contingent that’s very interested in keeping things nice and open, users who naturally flock to platforms like Android, and even more specifically, to independent custom ROM projects. This affinity is one of the reasons it was so great to see manufacturers like OnePlus publicly embrace open-source software from Cyanogen Inc. (above) – well, up until their falling-out, at least. Now OnePlus is preparing its own custom OxygenOS ROM, and earlier today revealed the team behind it. The company’s been fielding questions in a Reddit AMA, and in the process has revealed some interesting details about how the ROM will approach open-source software, while also drawing the ire of Cyanogen.
In short: no, OxygenOS won’t be open source. The kernel will be, but the full ROM will not. In the AMA, OnePlus dodges several questions asking about specifics, but does offer integration with proprietary drivers as one reason for this decision.
If that was the end of this, that would be fine: OnePlus chose to go a different direction. Maybe not what everyone wanted to hear, but so be it. Instead, the company had to drop a jab at Cyanogen in the process, noting, “Our production release won’t be a community build. It will be a real OS” (emphasis ours).
Unsurprisingly, open-source advocates are a little distressed at that classification, not the least of which being Mr. Cyanogen himself, Steve Kondik. On Google+, Kondik writes, “You can love CM or you can hate us, but we have no plans of taking our toys and going home.”
Mountain out of a molehill? Perhaps, but for those who really believe passionately about open source, this is not something we want to be hearing.