Introducing Original Development Forums for More Devices
Today, we at XDA are pleased to announce that one of the most popular requests we see from developers will be brought into effect across the majority of the site starting July 9th. For those unfamiliar with the concept, many developers on the Samsung Galaxy S2 requested we introduce a split development forum system in order to help both developers and users find what they are looking for more easily.
This system was highly successful on the Galaxy S2, and indeed users regularly request the split development forum model on many devices. Today we’re pleased to announce that we will be introducing an Original Development forum for all devices after (and including) the HTC One X, as listed on the forum index. We will also add these forums for all new devices added as of today.
Under the new system, if you are making a thread in a development forum, you should post it in one of the two subforums, depending on the work in question. The Original Development area is intended for posting of new work, which isn’t derived from existing work on XDA (in whole or significant part). The reason for this is that feedback from a huge number of users indicated their frustration in finding the cutting-edge development taking place to bring new features to their devices, particularly when the first few pages were full of threads for various very similar ROMs. This makes it harder for users and developers alike to find the actual development, usually going on in threads which are less attractive to less experienced users.
In order to give some guidance as to what belongs in each forum, we have prepared the below rough guidelines. These are not intended to be a complete “flow chart” of where something belongs, rather simply as an indication of how the system operates.
The following are most likely “Original Development”:
- Official releases of highly original and upstream custom ROMs (built from the ground up with significant original development within them
- Official releases/development of such original ROMs, perhaps posted by the maintainer or their nominated person.
- A significant “first” in development for a device. Significant is subjective, but it is likely something which took considerable time/effort, and is generally accepted by developers to be significant and non-trivial.
- Kernels which are built with beneficial changes that are not simply pulled from other kernels already available. Some element of original work is expected.
- Tools and utilities with a clear purpose, and which are well-made, and useful to users. They should have an element of originality, either in purpose or through significant improvement in the means of operation.
- Significant port of a ROM from one device to another, giving enhanced features or functionality to users of the target device. The port should be beneficial (a port from two virtually identical devices isn’t original development, it’s winzipping, and nobody really benefits from this, as it’s not development)
The following are most likely not “Original Development”, and should be posted in the “Android Development” subforum:
- Your own “unofficial” stock build of your favourite original, source-built (or otherwise) ROM, particularly where an official or maintainer-endorsed thread exists already.
- Minor derivatives of other ROMs with little or no changes, or ROMs consisting of “placebo” features as a main constituent or claim.
- Renames or rebadges of others’ work – these don’t belong on XDA at all! Refer to rule 12 for more information.
- Reposts of existing ROMs with small changes (i.e. kitchen work, such as adding a couple of apps). If you could realistically distribute your changes as an “addon pack” above and beyond a ROM, you should do so. In addition, your “ROM” would not be original development as it would be substantially identical to the original ROM.
- A thread created with unrealistic goals that are clearly unachievable by those starting the thread. This is not intended to discourage high aspirations, rather to prevent threads porting Windows Phone 8 to the HTC Wallaby. This is pretty much common sense.
- A ROM where a main or significant claim/feature is graphical changes to the user interface (ie. Themed ROM)
Finally, we’d also like to remind all users about XDA-Developers and its enforcement of the GPL. More information about this is available in our recent post.