updated 10:40 am EDT, Thu August 26, 2010
Dell Streak to fit in with GPL rules
Dell's official blogger Lionel Menchaca late last evening promised that the Streak's approach to be Android would be open-sourced. Following criticism that Dell wasn't giving out source code for the tablet's device drivers, Menchaca stressed that the company would adapt to "all applicable requirements" and post details. A timetable wasn't available, but more information was coming "soon."
The version of Android 1.6 used by Dell is based on a Linux kernel and by definition fits under the GNU Public License (GPL), which requires that it open-source any new code. Without Dell's custom portions of software, programmers haven't had access to the drivers and other code that talks to the Streak's exact hardware. Using the GPL doesn't carry a deadline for when code must be published, but it's usually assumed code will be available almost immediately or shortly before any hardware or software ships.
Most Android phone manufacturers that have their own custom interfaces, such as HTC, have already posted any changes they've made that would be covered by the GPL.