Eric S. Raymond has been pleased with the upgrade to his “backup” Android phone, but encountered a very common problem in technology (especially in open source projects, but still too common in commercial products):
As usual in such exercises, the hard part was interpreting the instructions. The hackers who wrote them were trying very hard to be clear, but the result was a thicket of poorly-organized details. I could follow the procedure, but I had to do it almost blind; there was nothing that gave me a high-level view of the process so that I could grasp clearly why each step was necessary and why they had to happen in the order they did. As a result, for troubleshooting I absolutely had to have live help on an IRC channel.
I wish someone would write a bird’s-eye view of the smart-phone modding process. It can’t be that complicated, and I know what’s involved in writing boot loaders for general-purpose computers. Shout to my readers: has anyone done this already, or do I need to put it on my over-full to-do list?
Much of the problem is that folks who are deeply involved in the technical details are often unable to simplify-without-dummifying their knowledge. That’s not surprising, as most are nowhere near as gifted in verbal skills as they are in their own area of technical ability.