This Week in CyanogenMod

Week Ending: September 21, 2013

“This Week in CyanogenMod” is an ongoing feature that aims to serve as a one-stop shop for weekly updates. Topics discussed are culled from our social media accounts, gerrit, status updates and general thoughts.

Last week we said that the “internet would blow up”. Even knowing it was coming, the reaction has been overwhelming – so much so I forgot to put this up yesterday.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained 

The phrase is about taking risks for the pursuit of something good. With that in mind, we announced the formation of Cyanogen Inc. this week. The company time, resources, and personnel will work together with our community of contributors to make the CM experience ever better. The announcement of the oncoming installer will play a big role in making that experience better by addressing the biggest barrier to entry. This is only the beginning though – there are many areas for improvement of functionality, usability and design which we hope to address as a team.

Questions questions questions 

Shortly after the announcement, Steve, Koush, and I conducted an AMA to field some of the onslaught of questions. The overall reaction was positive, but there was a healthy dose of concern, criticism and fear of the unknown – all of which was to be expected. This is a drastic change in the eyes of some and the next logical step for others watching. We couldn’t answer all of the questions, there are far too many and some for which we honestly don’t know the answers to yet. Those answers will come with the course of events that happen over the next few months.

Impact to the contributors

There will no doubt be growing pains, especially as we work together to define the dynamic between Cyanogen Inc. and the CyanogenMod contributor community. I personally have reached out to individual contributors and our teams to gauge sentiment, concerns and to be there to provide answers to their questions. This too will be a process and will take time, but it is so worth it. Things are very much ‘raw’ at this point in time and given the commitment all members of our project have shown over the years emotions can run high.

I took on the role of Community Manager fully knowing that this will be our greatest challenge and I write this knowing that it will not be easy or simple. From me to you, please bear with me as this process evolves. I can’t promise perfection or that there won’t be missteps along the path. In the end words alone will not be enough – it will be a balance of words and actions that allow us the path forward.

A glimpse of things to come 

When is a teaser not a teaser?

Got a suggestion for a topic you’d like to see in the next round-up? Let us know in the comments below. All device/port requests will be ignored.

  • nathan1465

    Big questions here, and maybe i’m not grasping the idea fully but here it is. Google is in the business of collecting and using data for advertisements, and android devices collect and distribute your data with ease to google and third partys (app devs), as intended. With CM having features to thwart this, or prevent it, and assuming you will continue growth into that realm, isn’t Google’s interest at risk and wouldn’t they do anything possible to prevent CM from continuing to grow. They have numerous ways to make CM impractical, or impossible to use. In short, stopping the collection of personal data is against everything Google is about.

  • Corbin Davenport

    Personally I’m skeptical of CyanogenMod’s incorporation. There are a few examples of good people leaving the project (the developer of Focal, for instance), not to mention the sketchy area of using people’s code for commercial use without their permission. I’m not a fan of the features being removed to work towards Gapps permission, like the Advanced settings and saving pictures to the external SD card.

  • ciwrl

    4.3 introduced AppOps. This also serves as a means to thwart this – so we don’t see this as an issue really. This functionality is not user facing in stock 4.3 configurations, and is very much as hidden functionality. But they are not deaf to the concerns of privacy either, no matter how much it doesn’t sit with their business model.

  • nathan1465

    I think the difference is that Appops manages applications permission to PII, however the operating system itself is still up for grabs. You can stop the FaceBook app from obtaining some PII with Appops, you cant stop Google however from obtaining that info.

  • ciwrl

    The Focal situation was a breakdown between both parties, and all involved had the best intentions involved when it began. I am sad to see where it ended up and wish Xplod the best of luck. I won’t lie and say that either party handled the fallout well.

    Reorganizing settings was my initiative well before the advent of Cyanogen Inc. During the reshuffling we thought it best to standardize interfaces for common actions, instead of one-off interfaces per device. For the majority, most features once found in advanced settings have found a new home in another menu. There are of course some outliers that can’t conform (galaxysmtd tv-out) for example, and those are being granted exceptions to allow the use of ‘DeviceParts’ again to make it work. The goal is not to remove features, it is to standardize the code base as much as possible.

    Gapps compatibility is a requirement for the OEM deals, not for everything across the board – but that said playing nice with CTS is a good thing, not a negative.

    “Permission” is touchy, as it enters into a moral argument. Legally, the CLA and licenses used in Android do not prevent these actions.

  • ciwrl

    CM has been an OS that can operate without gapps, and that isnt changing. If the concern is about the google mothership, then don’t incorporate the GSF into your device.

  • nathan1465

    that’s my point, Google really really wont like that. It hurts their bottom line.

  • ciwrl

    The number of people that choose that route are a non-factor for them. They have already written them off.

  • Caseyjp11

    You might wanna +jono bacon. Ubuntu>>>>Canonical community manager. This move seems similar, especially reading community reactions.

  • BrokenPencil

    I tend to agree with this statement. Only because of how people who decide to not use facebook are still using it by their friends uploading photos of them.. or having their email in the contacts etc.. If that makes sense to you..

    In other words you may not be using it. But someone else you’re talking to who is using it, is passing on the info to the mother-ship for you.

  • Ethan Cottier

    Have Cyanogen Inc also considered making a mid range device for people who haven’t got a lot of money? Just a thought, as a lot of “low end” devices run 10000x better with a port of cyanogenmod, over there own stock ROM. With CyanogenMod, a device doesn’t need to be excessively expensive!

  • wqnoa46

    I am more than a bit concerned about the future of Cyanogenmod’s stated
    “commitment to open source.” Cyanogen and Koush touched on this topic
    very briefly in the AMA, but I’d like some clarification as to what will happen to Cyanogenmod as a free-as-in-freedom operating system (device drivers aside). Will all future enhancements be closed-source, as was hinted? Will you continue to provide a free branch with the closed components stripped out? If Cyanogenmod is going down the proprietary path, what is there to keep me on Cyanogenmod as opposed to the OEM firmware (where at least the camera works properly) or another, more free custom ROM?

  • Alexandre Brochu

    one question I have, is that will this bring faster software release (i’m not asking for ETA here)

  • thartist

    That’s so important; please remember the world is not only US/EU/Japan.

  • falcon7204

    One possible way to avoid the multiple devices snafu might be to go the Windows route and be as generic as possible while building in driver support. Another way might be to go the Apple route and build your own phone. I fear my loyal Captivate will be left by the wayside soon anyway when Kit Kat comes out.

  • ciwrl

    Will all future enhancements be closed-source, as was hinted? No

    Will you continue to provide a free branch with the closed components stripped out? Yes

    If Cyanogenmod is going down the proprietary path, what is there to keep me on Cyanogenmod as opposed to the OEM firmware (where at least the camera works properly) or another, more free custom ROM? We have always been about user choice and that decision has always been yours to make.

  • ciwrl

    Android (and all its various hardware configs) don’t play nice with the one-size-fits-all model of Windows. And we aren’t at the point where we can dictate hardware (yet).

  • ciwrl

    Quality > speed of release.

  • Alexandre Brochu

    Let me rephrase it : will we see a speed-up of release while keeping the same quality that we currently have ? Or is the team aiming for a higher quality while keeping the same timing ?

  • Shivam Maharaj

    With Oppo being CyanogenMod…sorry…Cyanogen Inc.’s hardware partner, wouldn’t they put some limitations on what and what not to include in the ROM? For example, Koush is making it possible for CM to work with Airplay, would that still stay?
    Also, with Cyanogen Inc., would that means for better ROMs for other phones aswell? As in, would CyanogenMod stay and exists how it always have been, or will there be some sort of change?

  • James Joseph Smith

    Once money gets involved, good ideas usually die

  • Zachary Hinson

    My Samsung Hercules is boot looped with cm10.2