AOSP – Android’s open source problem: JBQ, Jean-Baptiste Quéru, announced yesterday that he was stepping down as Technical Lead for AOSP, the Android Open Source Project. The problem appears to be a combination of Qualcomm’s desire to keep control of it’s SoC drivers and Google’s inability to shake them of that view despite building Nexus devices which use Qualcomm chips. JBQ has found himself in the middle of this and recent tweets quoted by Android Police seem to bear out that the pressure was getting to the AOSP leader who was being blamed for not getting factory restore images of various Nexus devices out of the door. If Google can’t do it for their own devices, the questions about Android’s open source credentials will come to the fore.
Google Cloud: The platforms of the Google Cloud have had some updates. Google Compute Engine now has layer 3 load balancing as an option, with balancing over a set of healthy Compute Engine VMs in a region. Google Cloud Datastore now has an SQL styled Google Query Language, support for metadata queries and how-tos for Ruby developers. Over on Google App Engine, the company has also made improvements to the PHP runtime’s Cloud Storage along with other more general changes.
gNewSense: Version 3.0 of the “Free as in freedom” (no non-free elements) GNU/Linux distribution gNewSense is now available. The big change with this release is a switch from Ubuntu to Debian as the base distribution. It supports i386, amd64 and mipsel architectures (the latter being the CPU of the Lemote Yeelong notebook as previously used by Richard Stallman until it was stolen).
More Mozilla updates: Firefox ESR 17.0.8 also arrived earlier this week with 2 critical and 6 high severity holes fixed. Details on the advisories page for Firefox ESR and downloads page. Same set of vulnerabilities are also fixed in Thunderbird ESR 17.0.8 (downloads here). Seamonkey, the forgotten browser suite, also got updated to version 2.20 with the same security fixes and enhancements that were applied to Firefox 23. It can be downloadable by anyone who wants to recall the heady days of the all in one browser suite.