Qualcomm to blame for missing Nexus factory images, and Jean-Baptiste Quéru "quitting AOSP"
It has been a pretty rough time for Jean-Baptiste Quéru recently. JBQ is (was?) the affable software engineer at Google who was maintained the images/binaries for the Android Open Source Project. We are unclear on his title right now, because he has said he is "quitting AOSP", and it looks like Qualcomm may be to blame.
JBQ has said that he is "quitting AOSP", but it doesn't look as though he has quit Google, and does seem to still work for the company. Over the past few days, JBQ has been hinting that he was fed up, saying on Twitter that he didn't "want to be doing that job any more", and also noting "That feeling when lawyers sabotage the launch you spent 6 months working on? I haz it. Sad sad sad sad sad sad." He then posted today on Google+ saying:
Well, I see that people have figured out why I'm quitting AOSP.
There's no point being the maintainer of an Operating System that can't boot to the home screen on its flagship device for lack of GPU support, especially when I'm getting the blame for something that I don't have authority to fix myself and that I had anticipated and escalated more than 6 months ahead.
It seems that JBQ is referring to lawyers from Qualcomm who may be blocking the new Nexus 7 factory image from being released, because the company wants to keep the GPU binaries private. This theory has been put together because JBQ reminded everyone that "Google never distributed factory images for Nexus One", which was powered by a Qualcomm chipset. There were also troubles surrounding the Nexus 4 factory images (Qualcomm again), and now the new Nexus 7 (ibid). Probably not coincidentally, those are the only three Nexus devices that had these problems, and the only three Nexus devices to run on Qualcomm chipsets.
Sad to see JBQ leaving AOSP because of such a bad situation.