The Saga of a CyanogenMod Exynos4 device maintainer - The Conclusion of the Saga

Disclaimer:  This series of posts contains the personal opinion/perspective of just one member of the team.  It is not, in any way, an official statement from the project.

This is the conclusion of the saga, with the previous post at https://plus.google.com/u/0/101093310520661581786/posts/3S6k5dCwjpy

For those who haven't read from the beginning, it is at https://plus.google.com/u/0/101093310520661581786/posts/cdPnNjLAb4F

So, after all that has happened - I am mentally exhausted and pretty much burned out.  Since BABBQ I've barely had the motivation to touch my CM source trees, because I've gotten tired of constantly bashing my head against the devices I own to make them more attractive to a given subset of users, when the manufacturer of said devices has done almost nothing to help answer technical questions or solve other issues.

I'm tired of Samsung constantly talking about how they're going to do things for the community, and then failing to deliver.
http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?p=11296387#post11296387 - lots of promises to be "here to help" and such.  Nothing delivered.
http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=954869 - Getting ready for a "huge announcement", he "wasn't going to let us down" - Guess what?  We got let down, NOTHING delivered.
http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1291758 - Back with "big announcements" - sending some XDA developers to a Samsung conference.  End result:  Total failure.  Nothing delivered
http://www.xda-developers.com/android/samsung-diligently-working-towards-hardbrick-fix/ - Diligently working on a Superbrick fix.  The "fix" proposed then was inferior to what was already in place, and a month later we had a grenade thrown in our faces with I9100 XWLPM.  It's now near the end of November 2012, and not a single affected device has received Samsung's official fix, which has been ready since early September, and a number of affected devices HAVE had releases since then (such as Sprint Epic 4G Touch FI27).  I still get PMs once or twice a week from users that have wound up with damaged devices asking for help, and the only thing I can tell them is they're SOL and need a new motherboard.
The Galaxy S3 has been marketed as Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy (aka Bluetooth Smart) since its release - but it is not actually BTLE capable - http://developer.samsung.com/forum/board/thread/view.do?boardName=GeneralB&messageId=157757 - Samsung is STILL advertising the device as BTLE capable when it is NOT, despite the fact that they have been aware of this false advertising for months.

In short, Samsung talks endlessly, but I have major trouble finding any examples of them delivering anything useful.  If anyone from Samsung is wondering why the community has been so harsh and untrusting - look at your own damn track record of constant broken promises.  Only a complete and total idiot would trust Samsung after dealing with all of the bullshit above, and also knowing about how the company is run - http://www.kernelmag.com/features/report/3028/samsung-power-corruption-and-lies/ - Yup, that's right, their chairman was jailed for bribery and corruption, only to be let out a few months later (probably after bribing a few extra people...) - Even after getting jailed for bribery and corruption, they are still in charge.  Ethical companies will can an incoming CEO just for sleeping with a subordinate - http://www.abc15.com/dpp/news/national/chris-kubasik-fired-lockheed-ousts-incoming-ceo-over-inappropriate-relationship

Meanwhile, for the past year, Sony has rarely talked.  They just deliver - over and over and over again, they deliver useful things that developers actually need.

I'm a volunteer.  I do this in my spare time, and receive very little financial compensation (XDA donations are a pittance, and honestly, I don't care.  I do this because some of the work I do keeps my mind sharp and until I started getting heavily involved with Samsung devices, it was work I could take pride in.)  At this point, I no longer enjoy the work I'm doing, and it's gotten to the point where the distraction of all this bullshit is starting to impact my ability to concentrate properly at my day job, which is absolutely unacceptable.  A major change is needed or I'm going to totally burn out and lose what little passion I have for what I've been doing the past year.

I believe +Daniel Hillenbrand is in a similar position - but at least he's already started switching over to Sony, which has been a massive breath of fresh air for him.  In the past two months or so, I think they've given him more assistance and answered more questions than Samsung has over the past two years.  The Xperia T is a perfect example of what happens when a manufacturer actually cooperates - in only three weeks it was running CM10 better than the I9100 and I9300 were after months of Jellybean work.

+Guillaume Lesniak has primarily been working with Asus Transformers.  It's scary - he's actually having better success with Tegra3 devices than we've had with Exynos4!  I know he's pretty close to his limits with Samsungs too.

+Espen Fjellvær Olsen is I think the only one who hasn't totally lost hope yet...  He's been dealing with this bullshit for the least amount of time.  However, I expect the burnout to get to him pretty soon too.

There have been other contributors/maintainers that also deserve credit, I'm not sure how many of them will be continuing.

+Alan Orth and +Andrew Ohana , the P68xx/P62xx maintainers.
+Nebojsa Cvetkovic , N7100 maintainer
+Steven Harper , audio routing guru
+Atin M , retired but may be coming back for Nexus 10
Sam Mortimer, another I777 contributor
+Chris Boyle , I9100P contributor
Paul Kocialkowski, hardcore Replicant project guy who gave us the hope of freeing ourselves from Yamahell
Quite a few others whose contributions to the various Exynos4 devices on Gerrit have kept us going a little longer without burning out.  There are probably quite a few others I've forgotten.

Samsung is fortunate in that the Nexus 4 is heavily backordered...  If I had one, I'd be much more likely to just eBay my Samsung devices.  Most likely, if I haven't seen major changes from Samsung by the new year and I can score a Nexus 4, I'll be eBaying all of my Exynos4 devices in January.  I'm just utterly sick of the bullshit, lies, broken promises, and inability to even properly comply with the GPL (It's November 28, 2012, and they have yet to provide kernel source that matches any binary shipped with the GT-N8013 since August 17, 2012.  When this issue is raised, it is either ignored or responded to with a lie - a claim that UEALGB is a "leak" despite the fact that it was preinstalled on every N8013 unit sold in the United States for at least a month after launch.

Is it possible for Samsung to redeem themselves, even at this point?  Of course.  Look at Sony Mobile winning "OEM of the Year" for 2012 ( http://www.xda-developers.com/holiday-guide-2012/oem-of-the-year/ ) despite the fact that they started out 2012 almost universally reviled by the community due to the actions of Sony as a whole - But Sony Mobile fought valiantly to polish the tarnished image of their parent company's past actions, and they succeeded.  Sony did this not with talk and PR announcements, but with constant repeated actions favorable to the community.  Samsung has a farther uphill battle here, as in this case, the community has been impacted negatively by the business units involved themselves, and not other business units, but still - it is possible, with ethical behavior and honesty, for any company to make up for their past mistakes.  That is what sets a truly good company apart from the rest, the ability to take responsibility for one's mistakes and fix them.
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