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CVPCS: A Letter to My Followers

I remember the first time I flashed Sapphire on my DROID. I at that point had basically tried everything out there. I could name them all but you get my point. I ran Sapphire for five minutes and immediately messaged my colleagues (Kellex and Picolas) and just started ranting on how I knew I had found the next big thing. Since then a lot has happened to my friend, cvpcs.

His popularity in the community has grown immensely, and his reputation as a ROM Developer has become unbeatable. A class act, he is always friendly and approachable. One of the coolest guys I’ve had the honor of even interviewing for Droid-Life. So it’s with honor that we can bring you this special message from Austen about the end of GEM ROMs, and the beginning of his new work with the CyanogenMod Team. Read cvpcs’ letter after the jump.  

As one era comes to a close another is just beginning!

So many of you have probably heard by now through twitter or the grapevine that I will be halting my work on GEM in order to pursue a new position as a developer for CyanogenMod. Since I first told this to people I have gotten mixed reviews as to whether or not people feel this is for the better, and I just wanted to clear the air, give my reasons, and just lay down everything that brought this about.

First of all, I wanted to address my reasoning for moving to CM. It was a hard decision and as much as I know people think it came out of the blue, I was honestly thinking about it for about a month now. At present I was developing for five devices (Droid1, DroidX, Droid2, Incredible, and Evo), one of which I didn’t even have. Most developers will tell you that they don’t like to maintain more than two devices, as it becomes quite a chore. It was becoming so much work that I wasn’t even getting time to visit with my friends and family anymore, as every moment I took off from developing meant that everything ground to a halt. The problem being that after almost a year at the helm of GEM, I was still (for all intents and purposes) a solitary developer. This put an immense amount of stress on me to make things work in a timely manner, as well as to add new features. Every day I would go to the bug tracker, and for every bug/feature I fixed or implemented five more would pop up in its place. It was becoming so daunting that I didn’t even look forward to doing it anymore, and that was when the red flag shot up.

I have always said that Android Development is a hobby, and as a hobby it should be fun. If it’s not fun then you shouldn’t do it. For anyone out there who thinks that it is for the money (as far as donations are concerned) it is a lie. To give an example, I began working on GEM in March of 2010, and from then to now we have made approximately $1600 in donations. If you consider that I spent roughly three hours a day every week within that time period, with the exception of my three month hiatus from September to November 2010, that totals roughly 33 weeks, which comes to 693 hours, and therefore approximately $2.30/hr. But add into the mix that all of the donations went to purchase devices for development as well as web hosting (there were never any actual payouts to team members in the form of cash), and it becomes easy to see why this is a job that you need to have a passion for to keep working on it. It is for that reason that I decided that I needed to find a way to bring the “fun” back into the equation.

After thinking long and hard about it I decided that I wanted to join the CM team so that I could not only add my skills to the mix to further improve their OS, but as part of their team I no longer would be under the immense amount of stress that I was under with GEM, and will have comrades to assist me if I need it. The whole prospect is very exciting for me and I hope that people will continue to like the work that I do.

I also wanted to clear up something. I have gotten some feedback that people are upset that CM “swallowed up” another independent developer. It should be noted that not once when I was working on GEM did CM contact me about joining them. This was entirely my decision and they simply welcomed me into the fold, which I appreciate immensely. They are an awesome team and I can’t wait to add to that.

So I know that many of you will be sad that GEM is no more, and a part of me is as well. But I don’t like to see it as GEM dying, so much as the best parts of GEM assimilating into the best of CM and producing a truly epic result that will help the vendors out there take notice of what an amazing product this community can turn out.

Now that all of the explanation of my reasons is out of the way, what can you expect moving forward? Well, I have officially signed on to maintain CM7 on the Droid (OG Droid for some, though I prefer just Droid). I will also be doing general work within the CM repo tree, one of the first of which will be to add the scrollable Notification Power Widget from GEM into CM. I also will be looking into porting CM7 over to the DX/D2, but I don’t want to lay down anything concrete on those fronts yet, since I haven’t even begun working on it and therefore don’t know exactly what to expect, but just know that it’ll be looked at in the coming weeks.

The existing GEM source will remain online at my github (github.com/cvpcs), and the wiki will remain online as well but will eventually be moved back to my private server at www.cvpcs.org. All of my work was open source so people are free to take it and build upon it if they wish. I will also be maintaining my IRC chat on freenode at #cvpcs, so if you have any questions you can usually find me there. I thank everyone who supported my work and am extremely appreciative of all of the positive feedback I received.

I hope everyone is as excited about this as I am, and for those who aren’t, I hope I can change your mind!

-cvpcs

I speak for the entire Droid-Life community in wishing cvpcs the best of luck for 2011 and his continued work on the Android platform. Without the hard work and dedication of Developers like him, I have no idea where this community would be. A big “Thank You” and congratulations are in order! We’ll be seeing you around cvpcs!

And please believe, we’ll continue to cover his work and be sure to have the heads up on releases!

-Tim-o-tato

Be sure to stay up to date with everything he is doing on his Twitter!

  • kman79

    I appreciate all his contributions and wish him good luck with CM

    Here’s to hoping CM makes it to the DX eventually

  • Anonymous

    Sad to see Sapphire go, but I understand the reasons and I’m excited to see someone who has so much experience with the DROID joining the CM team.

    Can’t wait to see what he turns out. CM7 on the DROID seems to be one of the ones that needs to most work, so he definitely has his work cut out for him.

  • Flyinion

    It’s all a ploy to get me to finally try out CM lol. Actually I’m looking forward to seeing what happens here. I mostly ran Sapphire because it had speed + stability along with people developing themes for it that I liked. If we can get a feature packed ROM like CM combined with the speed and stability of a GEM series ROM then this is a total win for everyone except those specifically looking for no extra features.

  • Flyinion

    It’s all a ploy to get me to finally try out CM lol. Actually I’m looking forward to seeing what happens here. I mostly ran Sapphire because it had speed + stability along with people developing themes for it that I liked. If we can get a feature packed ROM like CM combined with the speed and stability of a GEM series ROM then this is a total win for everyone except those specifically looking for no extra features.

  • Flyinion

    It’s all a ploy to get me to finally try out CM lol. Actually I’m looking forward to seeing what happens here. I mostly ran Sapphire because it had speed + stability along with people developing themes for it that I liked. If we can get a feature packed ROM like CM combined with the speed and stability of a GEM series ROM then this is a total win for everyone except those specifically looking for no extra features.

  • Flyinion

    It’s all a ploy to get me to finally try out CM lol. Actually I’m looking forward to seeing what happens here. I mostly ran Sapphire because it had speed + stability along with people developing themes for it that I liked. If we can get a feature packed ROM like CM combined with the speed and stability of a GEM series ROM then this is a total win for everyone except those specifically looking for no extra features.

  • Anonymous

    UGH! I have never liked CyanogenMod for a number of a reasons, and I loved the GEM Series for it’s Vanilla-feel. Now where will I go? :O

  • Ed

    So, having a Droid 1 with 2.2.1 FRG83D, can I still root to put Saphire on? And, if so, since cvpcs is going over to CyanogenMod, should I even bother loading Saphire since it may not be supported any longer?

  • eddieonofre

    so here I got a question for you guys I have never use sapphire so

    is Saphire better than CM?????
    What goodies has over CM??
    performance???

  • Wglisso1

    Is there a 1 click method for the Droid 1 on FRG83D??? I lost my root and I want it BACK!!!!!

    • Mosone23

      As much as I hate responding to this question(as I don’t want to validate it…not the place)I still feel the need to help. That being said,one of the great things about a Google phone is GOOGLE integration …don’t be lazy,do a Google search,guarantee superonoclick.executive will come up. Find it,install it,use it.

      • Mosone23

        *superoneclick.exe (facepalm)

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_J4W7LSWCOLJA7B2TTKOTNCQ2UI Abba Dala

    since the CM updater was orignally released i have not run CM on my OG droid. It was sluggish and didnt offer me anything that every other rom had besides being the most popular ROM and publisized ROM in the community. i have tried many different roms and i am currently coping with MIUI, though buggy and random restarts plague the phone when titanium backup is used to restore apps with data. i liked bugless beast, lithium mod, and some others during their development cycles. CM hasnt imp[ressed me as of late, honeslty. i havent checked it since 6.#.# but its my general thought of CM not being to impressive.

    • Anonymous

      I’ve tried a few roms myself: from source, sorta from source, kanged, and so on and while each had their plusses I’ve always found CM stable releases to be, well, stable. I usually tried other roms when they got a jump on CM but now stick to CM nightlies (mostly). I haven’t tried some you mentioned though, and coupled with usually trying their first releases it could effecy my opinion. So, not to take away from anyone elses work, I just want to chime in that CM7, with clean slate (wiping everything) has felt really polished to me. I do seem to always be flashing a nightly anymore so I usually expect some issues so that might be part of it too (just want to add all disclaimers to be fair!) Lastly, super thankful cvpcs is stepping in for the Droid on C!

  • Applefan

    Go apple

  • Beehiveblack

    So…let’s see that first CM Rom for the Nook color now!

    Hahah… good luck, cvpcs.

  • Thesaber2000

    To me this is great news, because I love cyanogen mods and I really like saphire. So 2 great things combined is great. Plus he will be able to have for free time, and with many people working on cyanogen we will get updates faster.

    Best of luck to ya

  • Twalker611

    I been using Project Elite for a little while now and it has been BY FAR the best ROM I’ve ever tried, and I’ve tried a lot. PE v.4.2 came out earlier this week and is amazing. With this move I wonder if I might have to at least give CM another look in the near future… gonna take a whole lot to pull me away from PE though.

    • http://twitter.com/wingdo Doug Wing

      Way to post a totally irrelevant comment.

      • Twalker611

        way to be a total internet douchebag.

      • Twalker611

        way to be a total internet douchebag.

  • Anonymous

    If they can collectively figure out a way to unlock the DX’s bootloader, they can swallow up any developer they want.

  • Anonymous

    If they can collectively figure out a way to unlock the DX’s bootloader, they can swallow up any developer they want.

  • Natanbull33

    Im sorry but I have not been a fan of CM on my Droid. It has been hands down the most buggy/unstable Rom I have ever ran on my Droid! I have tried almost every Rom out there. Currently running Project Elite 4.1 as it has been the smoothest, stablest, and best battery life Rom I have ever ran.That being said Sapphire was my 2nd fav. Rom to ever run and I certainly hope he can bring some of that stability over to the CM team and make me a believer again!

  • Natanbull33

    Im sorry but I have not been a fan of CM on my Droid. It has been hands down the most buggy/unstable Rom I have ever ran on my Droid! I have tried almost every Rom out there. Currently running Project Elite 4.1 as it has been the smoothest, stablest, and best battery life Rom I have ever ran.That being said Sapphire was my 2nd fav. Rom to ever run and I certainly hope he can bring some of that stability over to the CM team and make me a believer again!

    • Anonymous

      I’m very, very sorry to hear this. CM works great on my droid, and though sometimes it’s buggy the features are worth it to me. But, at least you have something that you like. :D

    • Anonymous

      I’m very, very sorry to hear this. CM works great on my droid, and though sometimes it’s buggy the features are worth it to me. But, at least you have something that you like. :D

  • http://twitter.com/wonderyak wonderyak

    This is great. Congrats cvps! I can’t wait to see CM7 with you at the helm.

  • Anonymous

    Man..first LeBron and the Decision and now CVPCS!!! Guess CM is now the dreamteam of android ROM developers?

  • Vire

    Oh this is going to be an interesting change of pace. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was excited.

  • SamuriHL

    As long as CVPCS is working on a ROM, that’s the one I’ll choose. Sapphire has been absolutely incredible. I’ve not even tested out other ROMS since I settled on Sapphire many months ago. His work speaks for itself. I’m excited to see what CM7 brings to the table for all the current GEM users. Gingerbread should be exciting. Having some of the best GEM features in the CM7 ROM should be awesome. As long as the stability and battery life can match what the GEM series gives us today, this will be a great thing. I’m glad CVPCS is able to find balance between having a life outside of development and being able to continue. Still, I am sad to see the GEM series go.

  • SamuriHL

    As long as CVPCS is working on a ROM, that’s the one I’ll choose. Sapphire has been absolutely incredible. I’ve not even tested out other ROMS since I settled on Sapphire many months ago. His work speaks for itself. I’m excited to see what CM7 brings to the table for all the current GEM users. Gingerbread should be exciting. Having some of the best GEM features in the CM7 ROM should be awesome. As long as the stability and battery life can match what the GEM series gives us today, this will be a great thing. I’m glad CVPCS is able to find balance between having a life outside of development and being able to continue. Still, I am sad to see the GEM series go.

  • MALfunction84

    All hail CyanoGemMod.

  • MALfunction84

    All hail CyanoGemMod.

    • EC8CH

      +1… I like Puns

    • EC8CH

      +1… I like Puns

  • http://twitter.com/TDavisTech Taylor

    Good for you for not burning your self out to the point of extinction. It should and is about having a healthy habit not a destructive behavior. Besides my girl will be thrilled when you get CM ported to the DX.

  • http://twitter.com/TDavisTech Taylor

    Good for you for not burning your self out to the point of extinction. It should and is about having a healthy habit not a destructive behavior. Besides my girl will be thrilled when you get CM ported to the DX.

  • Anonymous

    CM on the droid2

  • EC8CH

    A sapphire tear just rolled down my cheek :’-(

    Guess it’s time I check out CM again… it’s just never been as quick as Sapphire in my experience.

  • Anonymous

    Im anxious to see what the future will hold, two of the best droid roms out there being combined as one, do I see the beginnings of the first droid “Super ROM”? :-D

  • Anonymous

    Im anxious to see what the future will hold, two of the best droid roms out there being combined as one, do I see the beginnings of the first droid “Super ROM”? :-D

  • Anonymous

    I’ve always been with CVPCS…great stuff! No one should have to endure stress doing something you love. Great move and we’re all looking forward to the great things coming!

  • Anonymous

    I’ve always been with CVPCS…great stuff! No one should have to endure stress doing something you love. Great move and we’re all looking forward to the great things coming!

  • Anonymous

    I hate to see GEM Roms go, but you have to make sure that it’s fun for YOU. So I appreciate everything CVPCS has done and good luck man.

  • Anonymous

    I hate to see GEM Roms go, but you have to make sure that it’s fun for YOU. So I appreciate everything CVPCS has done and good luck man.

  • Anonymous

    $1600? Are we that cheap? Come on folks! Pony up. The devs need more than gratitude. When the Droid Life crew reminds us to donate, remember this story.

  • Anonymous

    $1600? Are we that cheap? Come on folks! Pony up. The devs need more than gratitude. When the Droid Life crew reminds us to donate, remember this story.

  • Anonymous

    $1600? Are we that cheap? Come on folks! Pony up. The devs need more than gratitude. When the Droid Life crew reminds us to donate, remember this story.

    • http://rainabba.blogspot.com/ rainabba

      I dare say that’s largely the result of his personal attitude. AllDroid isn’t the player it once was, but ironically that’s largely a result of his choices and he lost significant support as a result so ultimately, he dictated that fact. See my blog post further down for a better explanation if you’d like.

      • http://twitter.com/IRONMatt14 Matt Robinson

        stop being a pussy rain. this is Droid Life not RAINABBALAND or ALLDROID or any of your crap. dont come to this site to trash someone. Espicially since cvpcs wanted it on DL not your f**kin alldroid

        • http://rainabba.blogspot.com/ rainabba

          You clearly have a firm grasp on the situation, the facts, and reality at large. Calling me a “pussy” for stating the facts (instead of generating fiction as you have with “since cvpcs wanted …”) absolutely proves it. You should become a journalist for Fox news. You’d fit right in. :)

      • http://twitter.com/MattG4542 Matt G

        If you do not like cvpcs that is fine, that is your personal opinion. We already get it, now please stop starting issues with people and bring it to other sites. If you would like to complain, keep it confined to Alldroid.

  • Kaufkin

    CM7 w/ Gem Highlights? Rock ON!

  • http://smartrevu.blogspot.com/ Wes Campbell

    CM7 on the X?? i’m all for this merger then.. :)

  • http://smartrevu.blogspot.com/ Wes Campbell

    CM7 on the X?? i’m all for this merger then.. :)

  • http://smartrevu.blogspot.com/ Wes Campbell

    CM7 on the X?? i’m all for this merger then.. :)

  • Mr. Joshua

    I look forward to even more awesome things to come from CM. By the way, I am absolutely loving the latest Sapphire release. Long live the Droid!!!

  • Mr. Joshua

    I look forward to even more awesome things to come from CM. By the way, I am absolutely loving the latest Sapphire release. Long live the Droid!!!

  • Mr. Joshua

    I look forward to even more awesome things to come from CM. By the way, I am absolutely loving the latest Sapphire release. Long live the Droid!!!

  • D.sciortino

    Cvpcs I loved your work at 1.1.1 and 2.0.0 and the stable rom and outstanding battery life. I think I’m switching to cm now.

  • Retrokid223

    CVPCS FTW!!!

  • Retrokid223

    CVPCS FTW!!!

  • Anonymous

    Will make CM stronger im glad.

    First in Tim-o-tatos own post? Ya slacking man :P