Opinion: Lack Of Appreciation For Devs, The 'Thank-less' XDA, SlimROM & More

It seems that I come to you all with bad news more and more lately. I've just read a post by one of the all time great theme developers over at TBO (Team Black Out) that he is calling it quits as far as his public releases go. Later in the post he mentioned that instead of calling it quits, he may just not release updates on a regular basis, as opposed to quitting out right. Either way, this is something that should have never happened for the reasons that it did. This decision came after many app change requests and bogus bug reports from a few of the people that were using his theme, most of which were unfounded because the end user was either not installing the app correctly or was using other mods that would conflict with the themed app. I will keep the developers name and app he works on concealed to keep him from getting any unwanted gripe from this article.

I am seeing this sort of stuff more and more on XDA Forums, Google Plus, Devs Base and other forums. The rules over at XDA really leave the developers hands tied when responding to posts from ungrateful entitlelists that ask, or in some instances even demand, that the developer make changes to his or her work to meet their needs. That my friends is outrageous. The threads then get cluttered with responses from the developer's devoted followers demanding that an apology be made by the ones submitting the requests for changes and it goes on back and forth until an XDA moderator steps in and cleans up the thread. This makes it near impossible to find anything important that you may be looking for as far as development on the app, ROM or kernel goes within this now cluttered thread.

It's come to the point where developers are treated as if they were on a payroll and the people using their hard work are the ones paying the bills. I was talking with Krittin, who is another great writer here, and we were jokingly talking about having polls on each of the XDA threads just to see how many people would vote against the developers because they don't get what they want in an app, ROM or kernel. Good thing that is not the case. I see more and more developers hanging it up because they are just tired of dealing with the ungreaful posts and demands. Hardly anyone reads the OP (list of what's in the ROM, kernel, mod, features, how to install and use, and changelogs bugs "if any") any more either. The OP is the bible of the thread. This small but very useful item has everything that you would need to know to be successful with the instal. And the questions being asked over and over on the same subject is getting crazy. You will see that someone will answer a question and not three posts later someone else will ask the same question because they didn't read any of the thread. A ROM or kernel thread is a developement thread and was never ment for questions and answers, there are usually linked threads just for this. The questions will range from "how do I flash this, step by step" or "hey, your ROM is awesome but can you change this, it's in xxxrom and I think it would be great here"... Really???

Since when do we feel that we have the authority to ask a developer to make changes to a mod, ROM, kernel or any other work that the developer is giving to us for free of charge? In most cases there is a donation link but most people don't even give that link a passing glance. I personally donate to developers in some way. If I use their product on a daily basis and it benefits me, I will either purchase the "Prime or Pro" version of the app or if it is a ROM or kernel, then I donate a couple bucks to get the developer a cup of coffee or even a beer. But just because I make a donation to them, that does not entitle me to demand that changes be made to the developers work. It is still their work that they are sharing with me with no implied warranties included. The donation is just my way of saying thank you for the sharing of their hard work and to maybe encourage them to continue on with the development. But I do not expect anything more from the dev for my donation.

I need to make this clear, I am not a developer in any way shape or form but that doesn't mean that I couldn't read up and learn the ways of custom android building so I did and then started to get into the development field my self not too long ago, with my personal rom for the Galaxy Tab A 8.0 called "Ghost Project". I did it because there was nothing in the form of a TWRP flash-able, stripped down and rooted ROM available for it at the time. It wasn't 2 pages in, on my XDA thread, that I was getting requests, even though I clearly stated in the OP that I was not a developer but rather an Android enthusiast that happened to build a good running ROM with outstanding battery stats and decided to share it. So all I was doing was sharing what was working brilliantly on my device, as is, to anyone who wanted to try it as well (for free). I was getting emails and posts on my ROM reviews and even PMs in the XDA forum from the same 2 people to either add/change something or build for their device. Again, I would never think to do this as I just don't have big enough balls to do something that disrespectful.

My questions are, when did all this entitlement mentality get infused into the main stream? When did this come into vogue and when was it accepted by all to be the "norm" and when did this become right? I have to bring up though that for the most part the majority of you are respectful. You are appreciative of the work that goes into the custom side of Android and you do give thanks and recognition where and when it is due. I see that side too. The problem is that those entitlelists are ruining it for the rest of us and this rant was long over due.

In my last blog I had stated that we are now down to one theme engine and I really think that had it not been for the influx of those entitlelists asking, and in those rare cases even demanding that the developers switch their roms over to OMS, that Lineage OS would still be working on CMTE. But again, we had the entitlelists that felt owed, commenting on all the forums like in Resurrection Remix, Dirty Unicorn, Screwd, Lineage OS, AICP, CR Droid and the list goes on, about how much better OMS was over CMTE and that the devs should just include it in their roms and not wait for CMTE. They felt that they were right and anyone in support of anything else was uneducated and should be silenced by any means. I feel that the developers decided to just switch over just to shut these people up (just my opinion of course). The snow ball was now formed and was rolling down that proverbial hill getting bigger and bigger. And because of it, we are now down to one theme engine. Read my last blog to see why this is a bad idea. By the way, to all you entitlelists, Thanks for that snow ball..(insert sarcasm here)..lol

There was an update to this that I feel I need to comment on. The fine devs over at Slim Rom built their own theme engine and released it about 2 weeks ago. The one thing that wasn't done by Team Slim, and even this is questionable as to if it was wrong, was to give credits to Team OMS and others. This is what Android and the whole open source code is about. Anyone can use or contribute to the master code and if you use, you give credit to anyone who has a hand in it. In this case that would have been Sony, CM and Team OMS.

This was met with immediate resistance from Team OMS/Substratum and the accusations started. They were insisting that STE (Slim Theme Engine) was kanged (stolen code) directly from Team OMS's repo. A few at Team OMS then started a bashing campaign to both embarrass and finally embargo anything Slim related and they have such a following that there were absolutely uncalled for comments made all over the internet and plastered on Slim's Google Plus Community slandering Team Slim. And 95% of all the slanderous posts were made from straight cool-aid drinking followers that didn't even take the time to look at the code to see if Team OMS's accusations were even founded.

Turns out that Slim stole nothing, which was known by all but the cool-aid drinkers and the focus then went from Stolen code, to non implementation of OMS's anti piracy code within STE. So it was all about money for themes. I could do a whole editorial on this too but I digress. So if you like or liked Slim-OS at any time, they could really use your support right now. And because of the pressure put on by the OMS Team, Slim changed their theme engine to be more like legacy Substratum which includes the anti piracy code. So you see where giving one group all of the control takes us? They will not stand for any other theme engine in Android and if another happens to pop up, you can rest assured that they will try to squash it in the same way they did with Slim.

I just want to say again that I love OMS and use it regularly. I am not trying to put down their team either. But what was done needs to come to light and the whole story needs to be told. Anything from either side of the camp is going to be biased so my recommendation to you all is to look at the code and judge for your self.

David Hayes
A lover of custom ROMs, a husband, and a proud father, David Hayes is the eldest member of the AndroGuider family. He owns a plethora of devices including several from Google, Samsung, OnePlus and Motorola. In addition to being a blogger, David is also a custom ROM developer having compiled ROMs for the Nexus 6, the Nexus 6P, and the Google Pixel 2.
Opinion: Lack Of Appreciation For Devs, The 'Thank-less' XDA, SlimROM & More Opinion: Lack Of Appreciation For Devs, The 'Thank-less' XDA, SlimROM & More Reviewed by David Hayes on 4/02/2017 07:37:00 PM
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