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Dell comes clean on open source

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Dell has provided the code needed to compile a Streak ROM, finally becoming compliant with the Open Source licence, and not before time.

The more technical Dell Streak owner will this morning be celebrating the availability of source code for the Streak‘s hardware drivers. This code allows fans to compile their own Android variants - perhaps even version 2.2, Froyo.

The missing files were noticed last month when a Dell Streak owner first tried to compile Android for the oversized telephone. That proved impossible because Dell did not provide the necessary files despite their provision being mandated by the GPL licence. That provoked a storm of twittered Web 2.0 protest calling for Dell to be publicly humiliated*.

While only half a dozen people were affected there is a matter of principle at stake. Companies making use of (GPL) open source enter into a legal agreement to share their developments, so it was important that Dell complied.

Which it now has, with Linux Magazine providing the details and a link to the code, so anyone with a Dell Streak can now have a go at building a better OS than Dell managed. ®

* In covering that story, your correspondent rather foolishly suggested that nothing gets open source geeks more riled than breaching the General Protection Licence. Turns out that failing to use its proper name - the General Public Licence - in fact gets said geeks more riled.

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