Official releases of highly original and upstream custom ROMs (built from the ground up with significant original development within them
Official releases/development of such original ROMs, perhaps posted by the maintainer or their nominated person.
A significant “first” in development for a device. Significant is subjective, but it is likely something which took considerable time/effort, and is generally accepted by developers to be significant and non-trivial.
Kernels which are built with beneficial changes that are not simply pulled from other kernels already available. Some element of original work is expected.
Tools and utilities with a clear purpose, and which are well-made, and useful to users. They should have an element of originality, either in purpose or through significant improvement in the means of operation.
Significant port of a ROM from one device to another, giving enhanced features or functionality to users of the target device. The port should be beneficial (a port from two virtually identical devices isn’t original development, it’s winzipping, and nobody really benefits from this, as it’s not development)
The following are most likely not “Original Development”, and should be posted in the “Development” subforum:
Your own “unofficial” stock build of your favourite original, source-built (or otherwise) ROM, particularly where an official or maintainer-endorsed thread exists already.
Minor derivatives of other ROMs with little or no changes, or ROMs consisting of “placebo” features as a main constituent or claim.
Renames or rebadges of others’ work – these don’t belong on XDA at all! Refer to rule 12 for more information.
Reposts of existing ROMs with small changes (i.e. kitchen work, such as adding a couple of apps). If you could realistically distribute your changes as an “addon pack” above and beyond a ROM, you should do so. In addition, your “ROM” would not be original development as it would be substantially identical to the original ROM.
A thread created with unrealistic goals that are clearly unachievable by those starting the thread. This is not intended to discourage high aspirations, rather to prevent threads porting Windows Phone 8 to the HTC Wallaby. This is pretty much common sense.
A ROM where a main or significant claim/feature is graphical changes to the user interface (ie. Themed ROM)