an idea - community (XDA) certified devices
I hope this post does not get too long and you bear with me...
This idea came to me recently - thinking about ICS and what the vendors are calling "legacy" devices. I even started a thread at qualcomm developer forum, asking them nicely to give us the needed binaries, or even better source code for the user space drivers. I really doubt that it will happen, but it does not cost much to try.
Anyway - here is the idea - instead of begging the vendors to release the source (or binaries, or unlock the bootloaders) lets give them an incentive to do so by introducing community (XDA) certified devices. We could come up with lets say 3 levels of community compliance for the devices - with grades:
A - the vendor has made it possible to unlock the bootloader of the device
A+ - the vendor has made binaries needed for compiling AOSP, Cyanogenmod and other open source projects for the device available and made the bootloader unlock-able
A++ - the vendor has released source code and binary drivers for all of the hardware components of the device, and made the bootloader unlock-able
A committee of recognized developers and community members (I am thinking guys like tytung, texasice, azrienoch, etc... - do not feel left out guys) - would receive sample devices from the manufacturers to test and certify the level of community compliance.
A special section of the XDA site would be set up showcasing the community certified devices, and ad space on the portal would be dedicated to showcase latest devices to recieve certification.
Heck, the community could even make money - by allowing (selling the right to) the vendor of the certified device to put an XDA certified device on the packaging or on the device itself (the money could be used to help support the website costs or fund development projects - bounties and such...)
It may sound like a lot work, but this way we could allow the community friendly vendors to get a chance to show their devices, and smaller vendors trying to ways to differentiate themselves could find a fast-track to the hearts of enthusiasts. The community members looking for a new device would make their minds easily by browsing the certified devices section.
I know I would participate in a program like this (Samsung if you are reading this I am willing to certify the N7000 right now - please PM me so I can send you my address