2016 has certainly been a year of major changes in the Android world, from the end of the Nexus era to the end of the most popular of the custom ROMs in Android: CyanogenMod. One day after Cyanogen Inc. announced that they were pulling the plug on the “services” that CyanogenMod relies on (which I read as the “servers” that host their builds and their Gerrit code review), the community announced that they would no longer continue under the same name. You can read what the community had to say at the end of the post, or by reading “A fork in the road” on the CyanogenMod Blog
While the failures and fallout of Cyanogen Inc. have been well documented in the blogosphere, there have always been those both inside and outside of the company who’ve always insisted that the community builds are separate from the Incorporation. Nevertheless, the two have become inextricably linked in terms of both resources and of the company owning the trademark rights to “CyanogenMod”. It was only a matter of time before the CyanogenMod open-source community felt the effects of Cyanogen Inc.’s collapse.
Seemingly confirming an earlier report by Android Police, the community suggested that its future Phoenix-like rise from the ashes will go by the name Lineage. Lest we commit the folly of labeling it a simple rebranding, the community declared that it’s going back to its roots and intends to return to what defined CyanogenMod in its beginnings. Incidentally, rumors abound in Google+ that the CyanogenMod Lineage Theme Engine is nearly ready to join the Nougat era.
Last week, we released the final CM-13.0 releases, updated to the latest security patches, in anticipation of what follows.
Yesterday, Cyanogen Inc (Cyngn) announced that they were shutting down the infrastructure behind CyanogenMod (CM). This is an action that was not unpredictable given the public departure of Kondik (cyanogen himself) from the company, and with him our last remaining advocate inside Cyngn’s leadership.
In addition to infrastructure being retired, we in the CM community have lost our voice in the future direction of CM – the brand could be sold to a third party entity as it was an asset that Kondik risked to start his business and dream. Even if we were to regroup and rebuild our own infrastructure, continuing development of CM would mean to operate with the threat of sale of the brand looming over our heads. Then there is the stigma that has grown to be attached to anything named ‘Cyanogen’. Many of you reading this have been champions of clarifying that the CM product and CyngnOS were distinct, yet the stain of many PR actions from Cyngn is a hard one to remove from CM. Given CM’s reliance on Cyngn for monetary support and the shared source base, it’s not hard to understand why the confusion remains.
It will come as no surprise that this most recent action from Cyngn is definitely a death blow for CyanogenMod.
However, CM has always been more than the name and more than the infrastructure. CM has been a success based on the spirit, ingenuity and effort of its individual contributors – back when it was Kondik in his home, to the now thousands of contributors past and present.
Embracing that spirit, we the community of developers, designers, device maintainers and translators have taken the steps necessary to produce a fork of the CM source code and pending patches. This is more than just a ‘rebrand’. This fork will return to the grassroots community effort that used to define CM while maintaining the professional quality and reliability you have come to expect more recently.
CM has served the community well over its 8 long years. It has been our home, bringing together friends from all over the world to celebrate our joy of building and giving. Its apt then that on this Eve of a holiday we pay our respects. We will take pride in our Lineage as we move forward and continue to build on its legacy.
Thank you & Goodbye,
The CyanogenMod Team