PLEASE DO NOT REPLY TO THIS POST. I've created a separate thread for discussion and Q&A:
This is NOT a new wiz-bang overvolting underclocking souped up power ranger wonder-kernel. If you're looking for a kernel to load on your phone for daily use, this thread isn't for you.
This is a thread for developing a kernel that works in the Samsung Galaxy Note II for AT&T (SGH-i317.) That previous sentence is carefully phrased: The thread is for DEVELOPING the thread. It's not a "download this kernel" thread. As a matter of fact, I will NOT be posting a precompiled kernel or installer for the kernel.
I'm hoping to try and share my experience making these things so that YOU can do it on your own... without my help. In that regard, this will likely start as a "HOWTO" type of thread, and hopefully move into actual development discussion. On the other hand, it is NOT a classroom.
My intended audience includes existing developers with little android experience, or even experienced android developers that would like to tinker with kernels. I'm sure even non-developers who want to learn might be able to pick something up from this. I fully expect that I'll be writing things that people already know - and much of this will be boring "review" for many readers. Remember that while "you" might already know something, someone else reading it might not. (This is something I often forget myself. When it happens, please remind me.)
There are a couple things you should know about me...
First and foremost, you have to understand that I'm not a "people person", I'm sarcastic, and I'm a horrible teacher. I also expect a certain amount of technical ability. If I provide a suggestion that you go to "http://source.android.com/source/index.html" and follow the instructions for setting up a build environment on a linux-based machine, I expect you to understand that you need a web browser to go to the URL, that you have to type the URL into the browser (or just click the link), and that you read the webpage and figure out that "Initializing the Build Environment" is probably the proper thing to click. If a person has issues with that, then there really isn't anything I can do to help. It might be because they are beyond all help, or it could be because I'm a grumpy engineer. Either way, I'm sorry - please move on.
I hope to retain the patience to walk people through setting up a github account, branching a stock kernel, pulling that kernel source to your own machine, insert the files for a ramdisk, compiling that kernel, manually pushing that kernel to your own device (for testing), writing an edify script (for installing the kernel), and packaging it all together for installing via a recovery-type program.
Once we have a working kernel, I intend to walk any remaining readers through the process of "cherry picking" (not nose picking) changes from another open source project into this kernel. This is a fairly common practice among open source developers where individual changes from one project can be copied to another. Many of the kernels posted on XDA are made up of nothing but cherry picking.
Then, I hope to add some simple modifications to that same kernel, and explain what those modifications are, why the are done, and HOW they are done. There will be no "new" features being added here... just reinventing the wheel (at least as far as I'm planning.) Actually, these "modifications" will probably be copies of the work of another for the sake of simplicity (and the fact that most of the simple things worth doing have likely already been done.)
There are many steps in between all these, of course. Kernel logs, kernel configs, troubleshooting, recovery, etc.
You will need to have a linux machine suitable for building linux kernels. It doesn't matter if you have a dedicated machine for it, a "dual boot" system, or even if you run it in a virtual machine. (It just so happens that I typically run it in a VM.) We aren't building the entire linux system, just the kernel, so you won't need 50GB of free drive space. No, I don't know exactly how much space you'll need. Plan on 15GB and you should be fine. You'll have to know what adb is, have it installed, AND have it working. That's something I won't walk anyone through - there are plenty of tutorials on the web for it and if you can't get that basic part done without help, you should consider just using your android phone and not developing with it. Really, "adb" is a fundamental android tool and is worth understanding even if you don't want to tinker with kernels.
You will need to have some tools (a toolchain) installed.. However, we'll get to that a bit later. There are MANY prebuilt toolchains floating around, and there's no reason not to take advantage of them. A text editor on that linux machine will be useful. I won't make any particular suggestions, but if you have no idea what to use, "gedit" is a servicable editor, is included in most linux distros, and is good enough.
Keep in mind that I have a real life outside of XDA. A full time job, a wife, two kids (7 & 9) and my own hobbies. There might be significant delays between "chapters" of this HOWTO. There's really nothing I can do about that. It's life.
What do I expect to get out of this? I expect that people LEARN methods, ideas and concepts... and that we DISCUSS and SHARE development. I'm freely giving my knowledge and the lessons I've learned, so I expect that people who learn from it will also give that knowledge freely to others. If this thread gets you going with building kernels and you figure out how to solve some problem as a result, I expect that you'll share that solution just as freely. I expect that when you start building kernels for other devices, you don't bribe people with "extra features" if they give you money. I expect that you give back to the open source community what the open source community is giving you - with interest.
Why am I doing it and What am I getting out of it myself? I'm not completely sure, to be honest. Chances are very high that I'll get extremely frustrated from doing this and regret it. On the other hand, I hope I'll learn from the experience and that I'll learn from the people who participate in the thread. I don't care what you currently do or don't know - there's always something I can learn from you.
I also have to admit that I'm doing this because I'm tired of seeing the "development" subforums on XDA looking like app stores with support threads instead of places where people share and discuss development.