Voices of XDA: The Path Of Curiosity

Voices of XDA: The Path Of Curiosity

Editor’s note: This weeks feature has been written by forum member RainbowLaw and takes a look at the daunting concept of beginning your journey down the development path. Your first trip to xda can be a challenge so next time someone you know starts their own exploration in to the realm of Android, why not give them a helping hand and send them this way first.


Introduction to any development can be daunting and exceptionally fun if you know your way around, but don’t worry buddy we’ve got your back. Here at XDA, we’re not divided into developers and users. We are a community; how often do you see a developer help another developer who himself doesn’t own the device in question? Communities can’t survive in a one-sided environment. So cooperation, collaboration and teamwork are the nuts and bolts of our forum. Users help developers and developers help users, and that right there my friend is the perfect blend for a community whose duty is to provide solvent for developers.

The Path of Curiosity

So your first and only friend in this everlasting search for wisdom starts with reading. Reading and learning at your own pace is the key to your success. Of course, if reading is not one of your strong assets or english is not your first language, you can also watch videos to help you better understand and learn new material. Remember you are not alone, you are heard and you are special. I truly believe in the motto “Believe in yourself in all that you are. Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle,” Christian D. Larson. It is never too late to become the person you are capable of being.

O.K. nice speech but where do I start?

If you want to soak up knowledge, you can expand it here. We are not talking about android specifically here; while the lion’s share of users are android enthusiasts, all kinds of knowledge can be found within. For example, here at XDA there are community forums which can be found in the participated tab of the forums which comes incredibly handy, you are also encouraged to roam the forums to find more areas that interest you. A brief summary of each section of the forums can be found below:

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  1. General Discussion:
    – As the name implies, these threads are for anything that involves phones and doesn’t fit in any of the other fora.
  1. Operating Systems:
    – This section is very diverse and includes Google’s Android, Microsoft Windows Phone 8, Ubuntu for Phones, Mozilla Firefox OS, Jolla Sailfish OS and Android Wearable SDK.
  1. App Developer Forums:
    – Here you can find development tools, coding discussion, marketing, distribution, analytics and monetization tools.
  1. ROM Developer Education:
    – If  you desire to learn how to program for Android/Windows Phone/Windows Mobile, this is the place to be.
  1. Legacy Devices:
    – These threads are for lower activity devices.
  1. Custom ROM Central:
    – This forum contains well known Android ROMs for a host of devices
  1. Regional:
    – Region specific device? No problem!

The XDA community is big and there are so many professional members you may stumble across during your journey. If you’re a come-and-go user then you may not feel affection but at least tolerate us and read thoroughly through the content provided. In most development threads you’ll find Feature(s), Instruction(s), FAQ(s) and Bug(s). Read them carefully and precisely because I myself as a modder/hacker would feel bad if one of my users got stuck in a bootloop or was facing an issue that I’m currently not. Then try applying it as is provided by the instructions. I know if you are a user/member of this site I’d prefer that you didn’t come just looking for a quick fix with little or nothing to contribute, this isn’t desirable but as a developer we really should expect all kinds of degrees of knowledge to give the end-user the best.

I keep hearing the term “GPL License”, what is this?

Under the GPL (General Public License) if you distribute GPL software you must distribute the source code whether you make modifications or not. Pointing to another source of the code is not sufficient. You yourself must distribute the code. This means all ROM developers whether they use a custom kernel or not must provide the source code for the kernel used in their ROM in order to be GPL compliant. The vast majority of ROMs use busybox. Busybox is GPL licensed and ROM developers must also provide the code for busybox whether they modify it or not.

By posting your work on XDA-Developers, you are agreeing that it complies with relevant licensing conditions. I am a big supporter of the GPL and have always released my code and don’t have an issue with removing violating software. All licenses should be enforced not just the GPL.

Thanks XDA for giving me the privilege to be part of something big and after all of this I hope I helped someone somewhere at some point.


This was the first article of our new series “Voices of XDA”. The new articles you will start to see under “Voices” are entirely thought of and written by you, the members of XDA. If you have an idea for an article you would like to write to be featured on the portal you can find more information here and apply here.

What do you think to RainbowLaw’s feature? Leave a comment below!

About author

Mathew Bloomer
Mathew Bloomer

He fell in love with Android after buying a T-mobile G1 in 2008 and hasn't looked back since. He firmly believes the future of technology lies within bio-hacking and is an NFC implantee.