Photos courtesy ofÂ Simon via Wes’s Facebook
Sorry Wes 😆
WesGarner Developer Interview by Dan Lesser of AndroidSPIN
We’re pleased to present our next developer interview for our regular “Down with a Developer” series. Â Wes Garner is known by everyone in the Android developer community. Â He was responsible for the team that created the OpenEclair ROM for the Dream / G1 and first Open Development project. Â A big time kernel developer and excellent resource for theÂ wholeÂ community, Wes is what the Android community is all about. Â You can follow Wes on Twitter to keep up with his latest exploits.
WithoutÂ any delay, let’s get into the Interview!
Dan: So firstly, I can just call you Wes, right?
Dan: Okay then. Let’s get this first out the way quickly. Surely it’s safe for me to call you a “proper developer” without incurring the wrath of Team Douche, right?
Wes: I am a part of Team Douche, but I just fail a lot. And yes, I am.
Dan: How did you first get into Android, as a user and a developer?
Wes: For a long time I was just a user, then I started getting into some development as a WinZip dev working on the MT3G. The first thing I decided on was to get rid of Apps2SD for the MT3G as it wasn’t needed, then I did the ZipAlign work. Also, I did a lot of experimenting with CompCache, and that was when I started WG-Build.
Dan: What was your first Android device, and how long did you own it before you rooted it?
Wes: The G1 – I got the phone when it first came out and rooted it around the first few versions of JesusFreak.
Dan: And your current device(s)? I’m guessing there may be more than one.
Wes: My current devices are the MT3Gs and the Vibrant, though I still have my MT3G (still running OpenEclair) and G1 around somewhere.
Dan: OpenEclair, there’s something I haven’t heard mentioned in a long time.
Wes: No joke.
Dan: That just faded into nothingness after a while, didn’t it?
Wes: Yeah, we kept having some troubles with the version 2.0 we were making until Cyanogen started working on CM 5.0 for the Dream/Sapphire, so I tried to just help with the CM team, but I had some stuff in life going on so I didn’t get back into it until recently.
Dan: While you used to release your own ROMs and kernels, you now seem to have taken more of a backseat role in development. You haven’t released anything yourself in a long time. Is there a difference to releasing stuff yourself and being part of a development team?
Wes: Honestly, all of that was taking too much of my life. It is more fun to be a part of the CM team because there are so many developers working on it. Plus, I have been really interested in adding more to the CM device lists over work on CM and really basing most of my work on CM in the first place.
Dan: But you still get a fair amount of criticism, or at least so it seems to the uninformed person. Who was the first person to #blamewes and what did they blame you for?
Wes: #blamewes is just for fun. Itâ€™s completely a joke, and not serious at all. I think it was Ben Buchacher who started it, but I forgot what he said.
Dan: In the words of PsychoI3oy: “Why shouldn’t everyone #blamewes?”
Wes: No reason! I encourage it for fun. Psychol3oy really hated me for it because I made an issue on Google Code about it. It had about 40 comments on it filling up his RSS feed.
Dan: Is CM6 for the Vibrant coming along nicely?
Wes: Ha, I knew that was coming. Right now I have been putting most of my effort into the MT3Gs because that was the first phone I was going to work on and made some promises that it would be my first priority.Â There has been a good bit of work on it (originally started by Scepterr), but I have been a bit slow on it because it’s a new learning experience being Samsung and all. Actually, Cyanogen is going to work on a couple hold-ups we have going on with the Slide, so I will probably put some work into the Vibrant tonight.
For the record, tonight being the night of August 3rd
Dan: Can we eventually expect CM6 for the international Galaxy S as well as just the Vibrant?
Wes: I’m pretty sure that’s possible but is definitely something for the future. It would really help to have a developer for CM that actually owns the device.
Dan: What’s the hardest thing about ROM Development and what’s the most enjoyable?
Wes: The biggest problem is when HTC or whoever doesn’t provide us all that’s needed to get a working ROM. Plus, they try their hardest to prevent it.
Really, I just have fun working on it – love programming and Android is just something I have always been pretty obsessed with
Dan: What advice will you give to a new developer interested in ROM development? Considering how unpopular “file-pushers” are in the community, where should they start?
Wes: Reading source is the best way to really get into it. Personally, I only learn from hands-on. Iâ€™ve never been interested in classes or books. A good thing to start with is just to get into git/repo and download the source. Start playing with applications because Eclipse makes it pretty easy to get a feel for how it all works before OS development
Dan: Do you have a day-job in addition to your Android work?
Wes: Yea, I work for a certain cell phone company in sales plus going to school for Computer Science.
Dan: Let’s move onto stuff that’s a bit more general. If you could add one feature to Android, what would it be?
Wes: I donâ€™t know, actually. A couple of things would be like having a working landscape mode for the Android IME when you have a hardware keyboard. Plus a few things I am working with a friend to try to get out to the Market. His Twitter account is @shagge68. Weâ€™re working on some things that would be completely new to the Market.
Dan: Which Android device, released or upcoming, do you most want to own? Do you already own it?
Wes: The new T-Mobile HSPA+ device, assuming it has a full keyboard and good camera. Right now, I am using the Vibrant but go back and forth between it and the MT3Gs. I like both pretty equally.
Dan: This is just something I traditionally ask. In one word, do Android phones need a task manager?
Wes: I personally have Advanced Task Manager but mostly to close out a program that is dead, but otherwise not really – especially with the newer devices that have more RAM.Â Also, I kinda hate the Android low-memory killer. It seems to be very inefficient
Dan: You, as Ander Webs did, have failed to spot the “In one word” part of the question.
Wes: Oops…final answer: No.
Dan: Now that you’ve had it a while, would you recommend the Galaxy S? Is it all that it’s hyped up to be?
Wes: Definitely not as hyped up as it seems to be, but it is still a good device. Iâ€™d say that itâ€™s a good replacement for the Nexus One I think, but it is very much an iPhone knock-off.
Dan: What are your favourite apps/games for Android?
Wes: Apps – Touiteur, GMaps, TextEasy, Last.fm and FourSquare. Games – Sims 3 and all of the Papi ones.
Dan: Okay, final question. This is something that I asked Ander Web. What do you think of: a) the Android community in general, and b) the XDA Developers community?
Wes: The Android community is pretty awesome – much better than any other platform out there. Honestly, XDA kinda bugs me – never really seem to be on it much unless I see a post that interests me
Dan: Thanks for your time
Wes: No problem, I had fun.
We hope you enjoyed this latest developer interview and if you can always check the rest of the down with a developer series.