updated 04:45 pm EST, Wed December 19, 2007
Google Android Bugs
Google's Linux-based Android mobile OS is currently suffering from major flaws in both the code itself and in the development process, according to separate reports from Ars Technica and the Wall Street Journal. Though the phone software contains multiple significant flaws that have prevented a smooth development process, Google's current interaction with programmers includes no public tracking system and only minimal documentation; developers must petition Google to report a bug or to receive help, according to the reports.
Among the flaws with the software itself are unnecessarily complex programming elements, according to the claims from code writers. While inital setup and special iPhone-like features such as auto-rotation of the interface or kinetic scrolling work well, the Android kit provides few examples of how to write code and frequently requires extended steps to accomplish normally simple goals such as designing an interface layout.
"Functionality is not there, is poorly documented or just doesn't work," developer Adam MacBeth tells the Journal
Google has noted in the past that the kit is early and that finished handhelds and phones are not expected until the second half of 2008. The Mountain View, California-based firm adds that consistency issues have prevented it from implementing an outside bug tracking system that would let third parties know when another team or Google itself has fixed or reported a bug, greatly reducing the amount of duplicated effort.
"We are considering how we might implement such a system, but we don't have an answer yet," says Google's Dan Morrill. "The biggest snag is simply keeping our internal issue tracker in sync with an external one. So, it's a process problem, rather than a technical problem."
The news may signal teething troubles for the OS, which is intended to let handset makers and hobbyists alike write applications without being forced into proprietary licenses or carrier restrictions. Early demonstrations have noted that built-in features closely resemble iPhone equivalents.
(image courtesy of Ars Technica)