08-19-2011 07:01 AM
Jim, we appreciate the link you previously provided for kernal source requests, but thus far that link has proven to be nothing but a bit-bucket. Toshiba's failure so far to comply in a timely fashion with the GPL license requirements is one thing (sadly, it is not alone among manufacturers here), but quite another thing entirely is Toshiba's failure to communicate with it's customer and developer communities regarding its intentions in this matter.
Please continue to convey to decision-makers with Toshiba our deep concern regarding its ongoing failure to communicate its intentions in this matter. Toshiba has made encouraging progress in the quest to build bridges with us, the customer and developer communities, through it's provision of an unlocked bootloader from Day 1, through its frequent system updates to address critical problems, and through its testing program to ensure that these updates will perform well and meet customers' needs. We all would, I am sure, like to continue working with Toshiba to maintain and even enhance this positive relationship with a company which has earned our respect, but that hard-earned respect is threatened by the Wall of Silence we are currently meeting regarding our perfectly reasonable inquiries regarding kernal source availability. The relationship between Toshiba supporters and the company, like any healthy relationship, cannot be one-way only; Toshiba needs to repay its collaborators and supporters by showing that community a minimal level of respect by communicating openly and honestly concerning its intentions in this matter. Anything less is unworthy of Toshiba's fine name and reputation.
We all understand that considerable behind-the-scenes effort is required in order to release kernal source in a supportable fashion, so no one expects it to happen overnight. In contrast, however, it takes very little time and effort to simply communicate the company's intention. Is kernal source on the way, or isn't it? And if the former, what is the projected timeline? A week? A month? A year? Or only after the product has become obsolete?
Testers, developers, bloggers, and customers are waiting...increasingly impatiently...for word from our respected partner, Toshiba. We need this information in order to decide how -- and, indeed, whether -- we will work with the company in future, and how -- and, indeed whether -- we will continue to provide Toshiba with 'air support' against the occasional ill-informed negative review of the product. Please don't let us down.
While Toshiba engineers have been busy developing critical system updates, the developer community has been equally busy developing enhancements which bring real value to the Thrive (and, no doubt, enhance its sales), and testers have been equally busy providing detailed feedback on update performance (another free service which undoubtedly contributes to improved sales). But developers and testers will...and should...soon lose interest in providing these free services to Toshiba if it doesn't rather quickly learn how to work with that community and treat it with respect.
The tablet market is fast becoming a commodity market. Vendors in commodity technology markets distinguish and differentiate themselves through quality relationships with developers. No relationship, no differentiation...and developers move on to competitors who prove themselves more accomodating...and customers soon follow the developers and the apps and enhancements they provide.
For perfectly legitimate business reasons Toshiba may well be reluctant to publicly communicate its intentions here. But there are, as Toshiba now well knows, other alternative lines of communication potentially available to it to more informally and privately communicate its intentions to its valuable (and, we hope, valued) dev community. The door is open. Please join us!
08-19-2011 02:13 PM - edited 08-19-2011 02:15 PM
Send me a PM with details if you've had no response to an email sent to the address in the URL I provided earlier in this thread. Please include your email's 'from' address, date request sent, and body text of the request email. That email address is Toshiba's defined method for requesting kernel source code so if it is ineffective then I'll escalate the issue.
Click here to send me a Private Message.
08-22-2011 02:09 AM
Jim iI finally got a response this morning as shown below. but it appears to be a automated response and seems like its jus a fob off to try and avoid giving out the source as it should not take weeks to sort out.
Dear Mr. xxxx xxxx,
Thank you for your request and personal information. Now, the OSS of your request ,THRiVE souce code, is under the way of disclosure.It may take a few weeks. We will contact you again as soon as we finish the procedure.
08-22-2011 07:47 AM - edited 08-22-2011 07:58 AM
Regarding the larger issue of establishing effective lines of communication between Tosh and its Thrive developer community however, much remains to be done. Even with the current inefficiency of Tosh/dev communication great strides have already been made: as those who follow other Toshiba Thrive Forums know, we have already rooted the Thrive, have produced superb 'one-click' tools for the technically unskilled to root, unroot, and return to stock prior to updates, and are now well along in the process of producing and beta-testing wonderful custom ROMs offering Thrivers features and performance undreamed of by Tosh itself. Just imagine how much more might have been accomplished already if only we had effective communication between Tosh and its developers! The Thrive might already be regarded as THE customizable, customer-responsive Android tablet and burning up the blogosphere with praises and excitement, instead of the way it is actually generally regarded today...which is to say, as 'yesterday's news'. Let's briefly review how this communication between Tosh and devs works today:
1. Devs communicate among themselves in dev chat rooms and on other web sites, raising questions no one can answer because Toshiba isn't in the conversation.
2. Somebody (not infrequently me) finally posts a question to Tosh on this web site.
3. You (Jim) respond quickly and point us toward some Tosh resource.
4. Somebody communicates your response to the devs (necessary because few devs actually read this forum -- it's just too basic for our needs).
5. Devs go to the resource you've pointed us to (such as the site for requesting kernel source).
7. Devs complain among themselves regarding Tosh's lack of response.
8. Somebody (frequently me) complains on this forum.
9. You respond immediately, going behind the scenes to escalate a response to our concerns.
10. (...more crickets...)
11. Tosh finally responds in some half-hearted manner (for example in this case, broadcasting an uninformative email claiming it will require "several weeks" for it to comply with our requests, without explaining WHY it takes several weeks to burn a CD.
12. Communicating among themselves, devs as a group learn of Tosh's response and speculate regarding whether this is a delaying tactic or a sincere effort. Ill-will naturally builds.
13. I come back to this forum and post another comment (such as this one, for instance).
14. You once again get caught in the middle (I love ya, man...but I wouldn't have your job for all the tea in Tokyo) =)
15. Rinse and repeat, ad nauseum...
16. Someday, maybe, something actually useful happens.
Much as I...and we...appreciate the effort, it must be said that this isn't really communication, as much as it is a rendition of the old parlor game, 'Telephone'. There are so many more effective ways to communicate today: telecons, webinars, WebEx.... Clearly Toshiba doesn't avail itself of them because it doesn't quite know what to make of its dev community. What are these guys (I can practically hear Toshiba asking itself)? Hackers? Competitors? High school kids? What are the legal implications for Toshiba of communicating directly with them? Who the heck in the corporation has the authority to sign off on and authorize communication with them? Who will lose his job if we do this and it somehow all goes south on us? Not me...you? Uh-uh, not me either...him, maybe? Nope, not him either....
Android is a brave new world which Toshiba has chosen to enter (and, we hope, to compete in effectively). Toshiba doesn't control it. Microsoft doesn't control it. Even Google doesn't control it. Nobody controls it...at least not in the sense in which, in the good old days,a few powerful players rigidly controlled OSs. In order to really thrive in the Android world (pun intended) vendors must abandon the old 'command and control' ways of doing business, and embrace instead...however scary it may be, initially...a more collaborative way. An "Other Way". Will Toshiba be the first to 'get it right', or will it prove to be just another of Evolution's 'hopeful monsters', left by the wayside because it couldn't adapt to a changing environment (a la HP)?
Tough, good , and fair questions, these. It would be interesting to have...oh, I don't know...maybe a webinar to explore these issues, to let the dev community help Toshiba think its way through the business implications of this Brave New World, to start attempting to build some trust and some relationship between the corporation and the Android World. But gosh, who signs off on that? Well, presumably Corporate Communications, and maybe Marketing, have dozens or even hundreds of people who get paid to do stuff like this, to take a chance, to position Toshiba for out-sized success...instead of just logging into their desktops every morning, attending the usual staff meetings, and basically just looking busy in conventional Business As Usual form (nothing personal intended here...Business As Usual is how all major, hide-bound corporations, work; not just Toshiba). But Business As Usual is not a strategy for success in the Android ecosystem. There needs to be an Other Way.
08-22-2011 11:14 AM
well said deedawg yet again
i agree with that totally, ive been developing for android now for somethinglike 5-6 years (i can still remember porting android 0.9 to old htc windows mobile devices. ) and i have never worked on a device thats been 100% open to developers, samsung have recently tried to do this (and very sucessfully too it seems) by seeding SGS II phones to members of the cyanogenmod team, also cyanogen himself is now working for samsung in their android dept. toshiba need to embrace their dev community far more (they do already by doing the beta testing they already do ) and helping them out as best they can then we developers can help make the thrive one of the best tablets available to users, i myself have already ported one rom to the thrive and its running pretty well. but with help from toshiba it could be even better.
ok ive babbled on enough now
08-24-2011 03:59 PM
The email from email@example.com that I received a copy of stated that it "may take a few weeks" to deliver the GPL code on CD-R media. Of course, it doesn't take that long to burn or duplicate a CD so there are apparently some other steps in the process that first need to be completed.
There's not much to be said about convenience or efficiency but, as mentioned in a previous post, this is currently Toshiba's only method for providing the kernel source.
I understand and appreciate the interest in opening communication channels between Toshiba and developers. However, there is no existing developer program today with whom to develop better communications so there's no gap for me to bridge. If I've created an impression that I'm doing that it was unintentional.
Hopefully there's ongoing value in this community for all types of members, including developers. It's primarily the community members themselves that provide value to each other here -- same as it ever was.
Thanks to all for your spirited discussions and feedback, including constructive criticism. Your input is valued and appreciated.
08-25-2011 06:17 AM
A succinct statement of the problem; thanks, Jim.
Another way of saying this would be "The lights are on but nobody's home."
08-25-2011 12:46 PM
The expression "No news is good news." does not apply here. I am of the understanding that one of the devs over at thriveforums.org made an ftp option available to Toshiba to help with getting the code out in a more timely manner. While it may take time to refactor and edit comments in the code I feel that enough time has passed, especially considering that they had to have known when they released the Thrive that the code would eventually need to be released as well. There is no polite way to say that they are dragging their feet on this. What date does Toshiba officially consider as the release date for the Thrive? Does it vary by country or is it worldwide? Australia got the Thrive first if I am not mistaken and it has been pointed out that it has been well past a month since its release there.
Here's hoping we see something before the christmas season.
08-27-2011 02:56 PM
These forums are not an official source for that info but if I hear any news I'll post it here.
The official Toshiba source (the email address at the URL posted earlier in this thread) is saying they need "a few weeks" to deliver it, so that's what we've got as an ETA.
09-02-2011 02:23 AM
well they have had 11days since their last contact with me and ive had no obvious further response, i know others have been waiting longer. i suspect they are trying to just fob us off to be honest jim
09-02-2011 08:21 AM
What was the content of the first response you got?
The email I got said that "a few weeks" were needed to get everything lined up but that I would then be sent a CD-R. That was about a week and a half ago and so at this stage I've got no reason not to give the the benefit of the doubt.
09-02-2011 08:45 AM
i got the same response others have pm'ed you, was recieved 11days ago now so nearly 2 weeks,
09-03-2011 04:53 AM - edited 09-03-2011 04:59 AM
So, you don't feel that the fact that Toshiba is months overdue on honoring the terms of the GPL license constitutes a reason for doubt?
Where I grew up, another vague promise does not neutralize a broken promise. That's the reason for the skepticism and impatience you're hearing. It's a pretty reasonable response, don't you think? People (or companies) who value their word don't dawdle around at repairing a broken promise...they hustle. So, at this point, we've got no reason to give the benefit of the doubt.
09-08-2011 01:50 PM
I'm expecting that the CD-R be delivered in a time frame very close to what was promised. While I'm not in a position to be getting any news about your request, if the delivery doesn't happen in the promised time frame and if you can't get a response via the email address you have then I am willing to help escalate.