Hello all, Sometimes, I get the feeling that some people, mostly newcomers, don't understand Android, AOSP, open-source and the CyanogenMod project. I am in no way an expert on these matters, but I've been around the project for awhile and decided to open up some discussion about it. If anyone of you feel that I've made a mistake or misspoke, please feel free to correct me. First, I'll start with a brief explanation of open source software. Open source means to be free as in libre, but not always free as in beer. Furthermore, just because software has been released as open source, doesn't mean it has to be distributed. According to Wikipedia, in order to qualify as open source software, the software has to to align with these criteria: Certain licensing comes into play as well. The way I understand it, OSS has the code available to change at will and, depending on the license, the person/party who changes the software may distribute, sell, set on fire, etc. the software as long as the changes to the original source were made public. So, I can take a piece of code, make some changes to it and never release the product. The changes I've made, in compliance with OSS rules, would make me obligated to release the changes I've made to the source code. When it comes to Android, which is a Linux-based OS, there is a project called the Android Open Source Project (AOSP). As far as I can tell, AOSP uses a combination of 2 licenses. These licenses are the GPL license for the kernel and Apache for the ROM. Every single version of Android, with the exception of Honeycomb 3.0, has been fully released. When a manufacturer makes a ROM for a phone, they are obligated to release those changes to the kernel and ROM source. For the most part, most manufacturers are pretty good about this. The only company I've seen that does a terrible job of this is Huawei. Now, where does the CyanogenMod (CM) project come into play in all of this. The CyanogenMod project started off as a small, modded ROM that only worked on a handful of phones. CM took the AOSP source code, the same code used to make any stock ROM, and added tweaks and fixes to it as he saw fit. As the team grew larger and more widespread, the CM project started turning into a customized Android distribution. CM and his team has added particular modifications to the AOSP source code to allow it to be customized and adjusted to run a wide spectrum of phones. The same CM source that can be ran on a lowly device like the Ascend can also run Nexus S. The reason why CM is considered an Android distribution is because a developer can add his/her device to the source, customize it for the phone and build. So, no. CyanogenMod was not hacked on the Ascend or any other phone for this matter. CM was not made specifically for one phone or device because AOSP is the same software that runs on all phones/devices. That's all I can think for now. If I made any mistakes, let me know. I don't want to spread misinformation. Oh, and just my 2 cents here, don't go around bashing any developers or their respective ROMs. I hate it when I see people talking crap about Cyanogenmod, his team, other developers, etc. The same people who talk crap are the same people running the ROMs free of no charge. Basically, in my book, it goes like this: Put up or shut up. The source is available. If you think you can do something better, by all means, go ahead and do so. If not...well, you know.