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Getting Booted from the Android Dev Google Group

Posted: June 9th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: android, Companies, Google | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

A few months ago, I got banned from the Android dev google group.  You might think it was because I was being a troll, or because I got into an inflamed argument with a moderator, but actually it was for none of the above.  I got booted because, the best I can tell, because I broke protocol and commented on a post that the moderator said was closed.

I say the best I can tell, because I received no warnings, no emails saying, “hey what you did was not OK and this is a warning, the next time you will be banned.”  What was in the comment you ask?  I was responding to a thread about why Google had chosen not to use Jazelle, the Java accelerator built into the G1, and the iPhone.  What it is, is an ARM-7 coprocessor used to speed up interpretation of Java bytecode.  The poster was railing Google for not using it and claiming that Android was not fast enough, and that the only reason they weren’t using the acceleration was that they didn’t want to license Java, etc….  The amazing part is that my response was in defending Google.  I was saying that Android was only at 1.1, and that I was sure that there was a bunch of optimization that was left to be done, also that the Dalvik bytecode was likely not compatible with the Jazelle coprocessor.  I reminded them what the V8 team had done for JavaScript with their assembly language VM optimizations and that perhaps those enhancements would make it into android.

Later in the day when I went back, it was like bam, the moderator has banned you from the group.  My first thought was to get mad, turn off my G1, go back to the iPhone and be done with it, but then I remembered thinking that the moderator’s responses were pretty terse and that maybe they were overworked and angry and banned me for posting to a closed / moved post.  I honestly didn’t know where I was in the maze of Google’s group, I couldn’t tell if I had been redirected to the discussion section or not.  It is frustrating to have a company like Google, who I normally associate with free speech and open discourse, censoring me in that way.  By contrast, I have never been banned from an Apple discussion group, or from any other anything for that matter.  Most of us associate Apple with secrecy and killing off free speech and discourse, but actually I have found that their position on what can be said, and should not be said to be clear and reasonable, and that they are always pretty good about that on their posts.  If the post moves into an area that shouldn’t be there, the moderator deletes the posts, says why they deleted the posts and moves on.  I doubt that they permanently ban their board members.

I have been wanting to port Mides to Android, and to build several applications for it, I have been a huge supporter and advocate of Android in my workplace, where I have some ( very small ) influence over what platforms we support, and to have Google shut me down in this way, makes it difficult for me to continue to convince other developers to build for Android.  I would think that the battle for developers would be where platforms succeed or fail, and to have a company who is steeped in the battle carelessly piss off developers makes no sense to me.  I like Android, and I want to see it succeed, but sometimes I just don’t know.