The Bogeyman is Here for Your Phone
posted Sunday Jun 6, 2010 by Scott Ertz
Dan Morrill, Google's open source and compatibility manager for Android, wrote a very long blog post this week, essentially saying that I'm wrong and a fear monger. While I do enjoy scaring the crap out of you, I don't know if the best way to make a point is to attack the people who are going to pass your point on. Here's what happened.
For a few months, people like myself, have been talking about the problem of fragmentation in Android, and how it could ultimately destroy the platform. Morrill took this as a personal attack, apparently, and went on the defensive, saying,
Because it means everything, it actually means nothing, so the term is useless. Stories on 'fragmentation' are dramatic and they drive traffic to pundits' blogs, but they have little to do with reality. 'Fragmentation' is a bogeyman, a red herring, a story you tell to frighten junior developers. Yawn.
Now, I do agree that some reports have been exaggerated. I don't think it will be the undoing of all of Google (I think that will be brought about by their need to know everything about you). I do, however, believe that it is a legitimate issue that needs to be discussed. Either this guy is the least connected person on the planet or he is pulling an Apple and attacking specifically when he knows they are right.
The blog does little to actually confront the issue of fragmentation, but instead tries to reassure readers that it doesn't exist. However, it does. We all know that. There are 6 versions of Android on the market right now, all released within 19 months of each other. Most devices cannot upgrade to the newest version and take advantage of new features. Take the G1 as an example; it will never have the ability to use the new features of Google Maps that is only available on 2.1 and the future 2.2.
So, tell me what you think. Is there a problem in the Android community? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section.