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ZTE_SeanJacko

Source code - questions please

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Hi all

The source code arriveth.. and createth quite a stir.

Obviously, there are a lot of people with a lot of issues regarding the code. I've read quite a few of the 156 replies (to date) on that source code topic. I started jotting down issues with the intention of presenting them to ZTE to find answers for you all. But, while I am quite techie for a PR person, there are lots of issues that seem to be answered by others, often with conflicting advice and to be quite honest, I found it difficult to impossible to keep track and pick apart what the technical issues are that ZTE can help with.

So, in the spirit of trying to make things as clear as possible while helping as many people as possible, I was wondering if you guys could do me a favour?

Can you please list questions in this topic?

Can I also ask that you make the questions as straightforward as possible? (Avoid sub-clauses, rhetoric, assumed knowledge or interpretations and fixes.)

If you can keep the question(s) down to one or two sentences all the better.

Please try not to be vague and try to avoid colloquialisms or IT terminology as much as possible (the guys in China can access this site - so try to help them help you..)

Have a look at what other people are asking, if you can see your question, then there's no need to ask it again. Related to that point, please don't answer each others' questions - I know this is a forum and one that encourages healthy debate, but in this instance, I'd just like simple questions.

Okey doke, fire away.

  • Upvote 5

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Hi Sean, thanks for the efforts to clear things up.

I think the first and most important question is, is this the actual code and .config that was used to build the MonteCarlo/Skate/Staraddict?

As this appears to be 2.6.32 with some .35 added on top and a .config (from January) that doesn't actually seem to build. The GPL requires you to supply the exact code required to build an exact copy of the kernel you distribute on the phones.

Also, will we be getting Libra 2.6.35 sourcecode (around September 9th?) as it seems that runs Android 2.3.4

Edited by sej7278
  • Upvote 8

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Great questions, sej7278, and well presented.

I have a couple of questions myself:

1) Why do ZTE keep releasing code that doesn't match the kernel in the device (older code, for example). Code released for the Blade in the past has been several revisions older than a stock device. For example kernels built with the source have lag issues which do not show in stock ZTE roms.

2) Why do ZTE provide code that either doesn't build cleanly or doesn't build at all.

Whilst I don't personally believe this is happening, several members do believe that ZTE releasing older incomplete code is just to keep the community quiet and hinder the development of custom roms which could take sales away from ZTE (porting Gingerbread to the Blade, for example, meaning a user doesn't have to buy a new device).

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Do ZTE understand their responsibilities when using code licensed under GPL?

Will ZTE take steps to meet those responsibilities from now on?

To be crystal clear this means: (My comments on how ZTE has failed to meet the requirement in brackets)



  • The "Corresponding Source" for a work in object code form means all the source code needed to generate, install, and (for an executable work) run the object code and to modify the work, including scripts to control those activities. (ZTE cannot provide only parts of the source code. There must be sufficient to build the corresponding object code as distributed)

  • The Corresponding Source for a work in source code form is that same work. (ZTE cannot provide source code of an older version than that distributed)

  • Convey the object code in, or embodied in, a physical product (including a physical distribution medium), accompanied by a written offer, valid for at least three years and valid for as long as you offer spare parts or customer support for that product model, to give anyone who possesses the object code either (1) a copy of the Corresponding Source for all the software in the product that is covered by this License, on a durable physical medium customarily used for software interchange, for a price no more than your reasonable cost of physically performing this conveying of source, or (2) access to copy the Corresponding Source from a network server at no charge. (ZTE must make the source code available with the produce using that code. It is not acceptable to pick an arbitrary "1 Sep" date sometime after delivery of the product. There are various other clauses at play in para 6 but I've chosen 6b because this is how ZTE have been releasing source code so far)

Extracted from http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl.txt

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Thanks for the concise questions guys.

I hope to have some answers as soon as possible.

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The wifi driver, /system/wifi/ar6000.ko is a kernel module & it appears to be GPL licensed too, but the source code for it doesn't seem to be in any of the kernel source code packages which have been released.

The file contains this string

license=GPL and additional rights

So, can we have the source code for that too please?

The defconfig files in the kernel source code don't match the kernel config files on the phones either. It's only a minor annoyance as those can be easily copied from the devices, but they should be in the kernel source.

I also share the same concerns about the source code which is released being older than the code used for phones that they're currently selling. The .32 kernel source code still isn't complete, it's missing a driver for a new screen used in new versions of the v880 (Chinese version of the Blade, which was posted worldwide by ZTE in a recent Twitter competition). The developers here have found the driver elsewhere & added it to the kernel to fix it for newer v880s, but they shouldn't need to. I think something similar happened before too. There are often slight hardware changes & they often need new drivers adding to the kernel, those drivers are added to the binary kernel used in stock roms on the new phones, but no new source code is released.

Also, there should be a printed GPL license in the box with every new Android device, there should be a note attached saying which code is GPL licensed (the kernel, all the kernel modules including wifi driver & also busybox) and how the customer can get the source code for that software, or they could include the source code on a disc. Once they do that, they've met the requirements of the GPL. They only need to distribute source code to people that have a binary copy (aka phone), or on request - if a written offer is included with the phone, but it has to be the exact complete source code that was used to build those binaries. Then anybody that has that source code is also free to modify & redistribute it, as long as they distribute the source code on request too.

GPL software is Free software, as in freedom to modify & redistribute it, as long as you don't remove other people's right to do the same. It is much stricter than other open source licenses, like the Apache license which most of the rest of Android is distributed under - that license includes the freedom to make the software closed source & proprietary, GPL doesn't.

Edited by wbaw
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Also, if you look at the recent Skate source code release, all the links are 404 page not found errors, it's been like that since a few hours after the source code was released, it can't be downloaded from zte now - http://support.zte.com.cn/support//news/NewsDetail.aspx?newsId=1001222&strName=%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20ZTE%20SKATE%20Series%20-%20Gingerbread%20kern%E2%80%A6

Edited by wbaw

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Also, if you look at the recent Skate source code release, all the links are 404 page not found errors, it's been like that since a few hours after the source code was released, it can't be downloaded from zte now - http://support.zte.c...20kern%E2%80%A6

working for me... downloading all parts..

EDIT: last parts ok, first parts 404

Edited by hlubepet

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any update on this sean?

There has been an update and I hope to post it soon. I'm just trying to ensure that my interpretation of the update is accurate before posting.

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Another little problem & example of the source code being out of date is this...

In the driver for the proximity & light sensors there are no proper default values for the proximity sensor, so it wont work without calibrating it. This wasn't an issue with the zte compiled .35 kernel

/drivers/i2c/chips/taos.c line 244 & 245

static u16 prox_threshold_hi_param = 1023; 

static u16 prox_threshold_lo_param = 1023;

That's never going to work. It does work in zte compiled kernels. Those defaults were set properly in the earlier .32 kernel source (but the values are totally different & wont work with the .35 driver. It means that we have to try to work out our own default values & change the source code to make it work.

Also, the download links are still all '404 - file not found' errors, although the error page changes sometimes (always a 404 page, in chinese, sometimes default microsoft iis, sometimes a custom 404 page). It seems that the kernel source was only available from zte for a few hours.

Edited by wbaw
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There has been an update and I hope to post it soon. I'm just trying to ensure that my interpretation of the update is accurate before posting.

its shouldn't need interpretation, it should just be a single kernel.tar.bz2 file hosted on a decent server, that is the exact copy of the kernel you're using in your development labs.

one for the skate and one for the libra.

its a 5 minute job for one of your programmers.

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its shouldn't need interpretation, it should just be a single kernel.tar.bz2 file hosted on a decent server, that is the exact copy of the kernel you're using in your development labs.

one for the skate and one for the libra.

its a 5 minute job for one of your programmers.

I think Sean meant that his interpretation of what ZTE have told him needs to be checked.

When we ask questions Sean passes them on to ZTE who then send them to the relevant people in Chinese, a reply is then passed to someone else then back to Sean. Translation from English > Chinese > English and ensuring people fully understand what is asked and what is given at every stage is not the easiest thing to do and mistakes can happen.

Better safe than sorry

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I wonder if the fact that the source code is no longer on the ZTE website means they realised they uploaded old & incomplete code and will soon upload the correct code? Hopefully Sean could find out?

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@ SeanJacko Can you ask if this answer by i presume a swedish zte rep is true ? Do you have any info on an official gingerbread release for the blade ?

"Patrik: Kommer ZTE Blade uppgraderas till Android 2.3?

ZTE: Hej Patrik, vi jobbar med att få till en uppgradering till 2.3 för Blade under hösten. Håll koll på www.ztesweden.se"

translation: question - Will the zte blade get the upgrade to android 2.3 ?

translation: answer - we are working on an upgrade to 2.3 for the blade sometime around autumn keep your eyes on www.ztesweden.se

This came from a q&a with a rep from zte sweden over at swedroid.

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I wonder if the fact that the source code is no longer on the ZTE website means they realised they uploaded old & incomplete code and will soon upload the correct code? Hopefully Sean could find out?

I will ask about this today. The feedback I have received is that the code available is the source code that was used to build the Skate. Clearly a lot of people here disagree with that standpoint. I have been flagging and highlighting the various points raised in an effort to get clarity.

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I will ask about this today. The feedback I have received is that the code available is the source code that was used to build the Skate. Clearly a lot of people here disagree with that standpoint. I have been flagging and highlighting the various points raised in an effort to get clarity.

People only disagree because the source ZTE provided is broken and incomplete. Whoever uploaded the code possibly made a mistake.

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if you're up for questions, do you know if there are any known issues with the battery monitor and/or temperature sensors in the blade, as it seems that zte ignore overheat warnings.

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