Welcome to RootCamp! Meant for the beginner and novice-level Android enthusiasts, the RootCamp series was written to provide an approachable format to learning about how to customize, care for, and tweak the ever-living snot out of the best mobile operating system available and the phones that run it. It is our hope that the format and writing style in this article series will help take what may be an overwhelming amount of information and make it approachable, memorable, and maybe even a little bit fun. This week, we're focusing on how to survive and thrive working in and around the forum communities here at RootzWiki and abroad.
Riiiiiiiiiiiiiise aaaaaaaaaaaand shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiine!
What, grunt? You thought you’d get to sleep in? Get out of yer bunk and get your toe on the line ASAP! It’s time for you to learn how to survive
Life On Base
Listen up, recruit: you’ve got a lot to learn if you’re going to hold your own and survive RootCamp. It’s more than just root and nandroids out there, son; there’s a whole lifestyle and language you’ve got to get used to. If you’re going to be working around the brass from the Development Division or trying to not get bowled over by some of the battle-hardened vets, you’re going to have to learn the lingo and how to keep from putting your foot in your mouth. We’re not on the live fire course today, but you can still get seriously injured if you don’t learn your way around.
When you’re on base here – or any other base for that matter – there’s some etiquette you have to learn. This may seem elementary, but you'd be surprised how many recruits have been run off by the vets because they didn't bother to figure out how to fit in. Try the same thing someplace else and you'll likely be met with the same result.
Using Forums (Without Getting Your Ass Kicked)
This place has things divided up neatly between devices. If you can't find your device, make sure you're in the top level of the forum directory then scan the list. If you still can't find it, you either can't read or we don't work with your weapon of choice here. If you don't know how to read, that means you probably can't read instructions and we won't be able to help you anyway. I don't know why I just said that last part, because if you don't know how to read this will just sound like "blah blah blah" to you anyway. Turn your Android device in to the nearest docent and try a Jitterbug instead.
Each device is divided up into a few forums. You'll start in the General section. Here's where you look for advice on how to root your device, how to flash your device, how to find the tools you need to accomplish these things, and basic discussion about the device itself. If you want to discuss a particular feature or ask questions about something you don't understand, this is the place to do it. If your device won't start or has problems with display or sound, this is the right place to post about it. If a problem happens after you flash something (which we've not gotten to yet, so why are you playing with the live rounds already?), then post about it in the manner described in the next paragraph.
Each device will also have sections for Development and Themes. The Development section hosts the discussions for all of the custom ROMs, kernels, and recoveries for your device. The Themes section houses the visual modifications for either your stock ROM or a ROM from the Development section. Until you've got the shoulder frills identifying you as a Developer or Themer, don't start threads there. If you have a question about a ROM, kernel, recovery, or theme, put it in the thread that's already there. If you have a problem come up only after you've installed a ROM, kernel, recovery, or theme, post it in the thread that's already there. New threads in these sections by anyone other than a party with the appropriate security clearance will result in the thread being moved to the right place or removed outright.
Dealing With Problems: Hardware/Software
I've already mentioned where you're supposed to post if you have questions or issues, but that just scratches the surface. If you really want help, there are some ways to ask for it that will help you get the answer you need.
1. Use the Search function to see if someone else already has the problem. The brass that run this place have given you a powerful search tool to keep you from looking like a tool. Use it. You can search the site, a section, and even a single thread to see if your problem already exists or if there's been a fix.
2. If you're starting a new thread, make the title specific. Titles like "My phone sucks" or "It's broken" or "Damn it Jim, I'm a Doctor not an OEM" won't get you any help. If your phone dies at night while off-charger and won't turn on without a battery pull, title your thread "Phone requires battery pull to turn on after night off the charger". Has your screen turned green after turning up the volume? Try "Everything looks green after pressing Volume Up".
3. Whether you're starting a new thread or posting in one that already exists, keep your issues succinct and to the point. Make note of information other people might find important in helping you with your problem. Here's an example:
And here's an example of what not to do. Posting this four times got Private Johannsen put on Warn for several days for failure to think.
4. Whatever you do, don't hijack another person's thread. If another recruit or even a vet has a thread for a specific topic or problem, leave it on topic. Just because you see some action going on in there doesn't meant it's there for you to get everyone off course. If someone's asking how to adjust Automatic Brightness levels, don't interrupt and ask what the Swagger Toggle is for. Start your own thread if no one else has asked that question anywhere else or post in the right ROM thread for that if it's a ROM-specific feature.
5. Here's a biggie that even some veteran Rooters need to be reminded of: ROM/kernel/theme sections and threads aren't for asking the ETAs of new ROM/kernel/theme updates. That's not a hardware or software issue, that's you being an impatient ass. If you want to run off someone in the Development or Theme divisions, hound them about their projects. It doesn't matter if you bought them coffee at the canteen last week, the answer will still be the same. They're ready when they're ready. Learn that now and you'll be much happier and piss off a lot fewer people.
6. Open Source means Free Thought, not Free Beer. Just because Android is an open platform doesn't mean everything is free. Posting links to download paid software for free will get you a one-way ticket off this base. Don't post links to stolen and renamed software. Don't post instructions on how to defraud companies. That shouldn't be too hard to remember.
Dealing With Problems: Personal
You're not going to be everybody's best friend, get over it. Some enlisted officers on this base are smarter than your entire unit put together but have the all the social skills of a porcupine with an itchy ass. It's how you handle things that will keep you out of trouble.
If you don't like a person's reply or feel that they have been disrespectful or dismissive of you, use the Private Message system to have an adult conversation with them. Obscenity ridden trades, any insults, name calling, and harassment and confrontation have no place here either in open forums or private messages. If you give respect to start you'll probably get it in return. Grab a cigarette and beer from the PX if you think you might haul off and try to out-mouth someone; hot heads don't help anyone at any rank. Wait, think, then click Submit. Crisis averted.
I don't care that you were a Burger Castle manager of the year before you got here or how many video card flame wars you put out somewhere else, if you don't have the Moderator or Staff patch on your shoulder, you're not going to be Captain Policeman around here. If you see a post you find offensive, we've got a report system for that. If you see someone posting in the wrong thread or section, we've got a report system for that. If you see someone blatantly ripping off a member of the Developer division's work, we've got a report system for that. Being a vigilante will win you no points with the brass, veterans, or fellow recruits. Ninety-nine times out of 100 the best thing to do is file a report and stay the heck out of the way. All it takes is one or two people trying to handle other peoples' behavior on their own to turn a topic from three helpful pages into five pages of hell that will be sliced, diced, and re-stitched three ways from Sunday by the surgical thread experts on the Moderator team.
We’re going to end this training session with the mother of all dangerous words. You don’t toss this word around. Using this word out of context will get your baby-face beat in faster than I can put a stop to it. That word is Kang. If you see Kang in a ROM title, that usually means the developer borrowed code or features from another developer with permission or acknowledgement. If a developer or another member calls someone else’s work a kang, read between the lines to see if it’s an insult or compliment. Dropping this word without context tells a developer that they’ve stolen code without permission for their own glory. If you want to get beat down, go into a ROM thread and call a feature "a kang" or "kanged". I won’t be responsible for what happens to your body, and good luck to your family in identifying the remains.
Let’s try some examples, shall we?
- I say “I kanged the toggles in the drop-down menu for my latest ROM. Thanks to Dev Zero for permission to use his code.” I used a cool feature, I acknowledged that I had permission, all is well.
- The thread title says “CM9 Kang”. The developer has acknowledged that the work is based off of the CyanogenMod 9 project. All is well.
- JeffTheLegume says "BanzaiBazinga kanged my screen transitions for his latest ROM release. I demand it be removed from the ROM." JeffTheLegume is pissed, and BanzaiBazinga better be able to prove it was his own work or else find another way to make JeffTheLegume happy. Your job? Stay the hell out of it; the brass will take care of this one. Commenting on the situation could get you in a world of hurt from one side or the other.
- You say: “That weather feature looks kanged from ROM X. Does the dev know about this?” Expect a beat-down of epic proportions, even if you’re right. Save your skin and just report the thread so the right authorities can handle it.