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Custom ROM vs. OTA ROM

Discussion in 'Droid X Roms' started by Porterhouse0, Oct 28, 2010.

  1. Porterhouse0
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    Porterhouse0 New Member

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    For those looking for the answer to this, as i am, hopefully a dev can explain for us...whats the difference between the ROMs on the DX and the CUSTOM ROMs on the D1?
  2. yuusharo
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    yuusharo New Member

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    The original Droid is the only Motorola Android phone that does not have a locked bootloader, allowing you to install a custom recovery and a custom kernel. Those two things allow you to install just about any build of Android you want that is independent from Motorola's software.

    The Droid X, however, has a locked bootloader that only allows for signed, Motorola-approved software. That means you're stuck with their kernel. Even though it is open-sourced, a developer isn't able to recompile that kernel with new features and bug fixes and install it on his own device.

    That said, you are still able to modify 100% of the user-space, that is everything outside the kernel. So our roms only affect everything in the /system/ folder. We can get very close to having a stock Android experience, but it will always be dependent on the underlying Moto kernel behind it.
  3. Porterhouse0
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    Porterhouse0 New Member

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    very interesting. so what we have now is pretty much everything we would want anyway..MINUS the custom kernel?
  4. ChevyNo1
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    ChevyNo1 Premium Member Premium Member Developer

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    And to be honest - what were we all getting from the kernel anyway? A few minor tweaks here and there, but mostly overclocking. Which we now have with the X. Most of the stuff you would see in a custom ROM, as explained, was outside the kernel. So really, the biggest diff between the two right now is source-built ROMS. For example, on the DX I cannot yet tweak statusbar colors on the fly because that involves putting my code into the DX framework - haven't gotten around to that yet. But all of my scripts will be available on SSX as well as the traditional blue/black look it has. It will definitely get more interesting once I (or anyone else) gets a true source-built DX ROM.
  5. yuusharo
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    yuusharo New Member

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    Can't wait to see what you come up with for SSX. This is my first Droid phone, so I haven't had the pleasure to try it out on the OG Droid.

    There are other roms that are as close to AOSP as you can get. Fission and Focused are two that have source-compiled bases with almost all AOSP apks, keeping as little of Moto's code as possible. Obsidian is still in the pipe, which is using some soft of jailed process trick that will allow a full AOSP rom to run on top of Moto's kernel with zero of Motorola's frameworks, which is very interesting indeed.

    There are a few things you lose by not being able to modify the kernel. You can't really fix bugs related to hardware. You can't enable low-level features like Froyo's built-in hotspot capabilities. Worst of all, if Motorola decides that its done updating the DX to the latest Android version, that's it. You're done. Look at Milestone users, who have the choice of either running Froyo on a 2.1 kernel (glitchy, doesn't have all the features like the JIT compiler and such), or wait until sometime next year to get caught up.

    So, it still sucks that we can't load our own kernels onto the device, but that doesn't mean its worthless. Heck, I would argue that the DX is far more open of a device than HTC's G2. At least Motorola hasn't locked down NAND, allowing us to have full root access over user space... not yet, anyway :(.
  6. furbearingmammal
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    furbearingmammal Super Moderator

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    And since the report of the source code hitting the AOSP servers wasn't that long ago, the ROM experience will be improving drastically in short order.

    Unless that particular news report was erroneous. Was it, Chevy? ;)
  7. ChevyNo1
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    ChevyNo1 Premium Member Premium Member Developer

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    Nope, I have grabbed the code they released - but haven't had any time to look, really. One thing that is confusing me is where the new code for Settings.apk is - not in the download, and they make reference to grabbing stock framework from AOSP to complete the build. But I have yet to see the source code that includes for example 'HDMI' in the settings menu.
  8. furbearingmammal
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    furbearingmammal Super Moderator

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    When you get a chance to dig I'm sure everyone would like to see what you've found.

    No rush. Your paying job comes first. :)
  9. fpatano
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    fpatano New Member

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    From my experience with the Original Droid and now the Droid X, the main difference is being able to install any kernal and having the actual source being updated. What these awesome Dev's have been able to do with a locked bootloader is amazing, but the kernel is locked out from tinkering so if there are bugs, they just cant fix it. One of my biggest issues with 2.2 is the WPA WiFi issue that Cyanogen fixed in their source of 2.2, but has not been fixed yet by Moto for the X. So, the difference is that ROMs that the Devs create are basically editing the /system folder of a rooted Droid X do make various efficiencies and tweaks, but the Custom ROMs for the Original Droid were Custom Source Builds and Kernels with actual code bug fixes and tweaks.
    Personally, I have tried a few of these ROMs like APEX and Rubix, but for some reason, I really like some of the Blur widgets and I dont notice that much of a speed decrease.

    YMMV.
  10. skranendonk
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    skranendonk New Member

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    So now that source code has been released when will we start seeing the results. Not trying to seem impatient, I just am ignorant when it comes to building them. I appreciate each Dev. work and enjoy the experience of tweaking my phone (although my wife hates it).
  11. yuusharo
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    yuusharo New Member

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    Well, looks like some devs out there are looking through it for any gems. Its mostly helpful for AOSP developers who want to recompile a few blur frameworks into their roms to fix some bugs and features, like adding the 3G Hotspot back into AOSP-based roms for example. I don't think you'll see anything revolutionary, however. Most of the roms out there are designed either to remove as much as blur as possible, or to start with an AOSP source and add back in only necessary blur frameworks to make it work.

    I'm not a developer, however, so I'm just talking out of my butt :icon_eek:.
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