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[Interview] Interview with miuiandroid.com admin Mark Hedley

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12:04, Oct-21-2013 | From PC
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Interview with miuiandroid.com admin Mark Hedley

QQ图片20131021152603.jpg

We all use English MIUI ROM, any of us ever thought MIUI ROM are used to be in Chinese then how come we use English version.  Mr. Mark Hedley a.k.a @miui-uk is behind this.
I recently had a chance to have someone-on-one conversation with Mark. Here is your chance to meet the man behind the myth.

What’s your real Name?
A: Mark Hedley

How did you first get into MIUIdevelopment?
A: It all started for me back on XDA Developers forum, one late night after work I was browsing the Nexus One forum where I generally looked for any information / news which was related to my device. After seeing a post by a friend of mine (Dai323) I was gob-smacked! Basically a Yoku video showing some unknown UI running what looked to be a version of Android on an HTC Desire. From that point seeing the video of MIUI, I was hooked!
Obviously in the very early days of MIUI everything was in Chinese (except some stock Google parts) so this meant either working to learn Chinese for everyday ROM use or looking at a method to translate the interface!

One of the first things I was doing was looking at what other people started to do with the ROM, decompiling and looking at XML. People started to post modified MIUI ROMs to XDA but in truth, all ROMS just included over 40MB of system bloat and I didn't like this approach. Being a Software Engineer for most of my career I started to look at how to decompile the ROMs myself so I could work on translations and nothing more. I didn't want to spoil the RAW experience of MIUI and because I didn't add bloat to the English versions they became very successful!

XDA became too small for the needs of the project so approaches where made to MIUI developers to ask permission to setup the first unofficial MIUI support outside of China, this was to be miui-dev.com and then later miuiandroid.com / xiaomi.eu which now has over 72,000 forum members, 11,500 twitter followers and a healthy Klout.com social network score of ‘61’.

I have also contributed bug fixes, bug reports and other feedback which has lead to improvements in the ROM for functionality and user experience.

What was your first MIUI device?
A: My first was the Nexus One created by Google, this was my first Android device and at the time of first using it I was on CyanogenMod - mainly because of the stable ROMS. It wasn't until MIUI was discovered online by a friend of mine (Dai323) that I moved over to MIUI (September 2010).

You list UK as your home, have youalways lived there? Where do you live in UK?
A: Yes, always lived in the UK buthave travelled to various other countries over the years. I'm in the middlepart of the UK but would prefer to keep the specific location private :-)

Who is the “real” Mark?
A: I am a 33 year old designer / developer with over 12 years working with languages such as PHP, Python, Bash, TCL, Ruby, Classic ASP and in other areas including Network security / development and design for business and data centre environments / E-commerce. I have also studied in Graphic design from a young age so have had the benefit of design and development environments throughout my career.

I am currently an IT / Technical Manager for a retail outlet selling designer fashion clothing and accessories, I maintain all security, network and IT related functions which ensure the company can trade in Bricks and Mortar and also E-commerce channels. I keep the business operating 24/7 to ensure maximum ROI.

What are your hobbies?
A: I like to tinker with gadgets / android, hacking code, Linux, Programming, Drawing and I am currently learning Mandarin.

QQ图片20131021152624.jpg

Let’s talk MIUI, you’ve got to tell us, How Xiaomi interacted with you for official translation?
A: This was a hard and long fought process, since day one of MIUI I was translating to English each and every week (Friday), this often meant hours editing XML and png image resources. After 3 years you can imagine how tedious this is so I kept asking Xiaomi to include English into the ROM as a default, this was more to do with standardising their Android ROM and giving a better base for language localisations for other languages e.g. French, Italian etc.

A few things happened, the 1st was sending regular XML data to the developers from the daily private beta builds. People from Xiaomi also contacted me in the 1st stages of them announcing that Xiaomi was behind the growing ROM, MIUI to ask for screenshots in English from the MIUIAndroid.com ROM.

After a few long months / years of continued trying we eventually got English ROM support,
English forums and other cool stuff. Xiaomi now even have a dedicated MIUI English news / forum team, something that would of maybe not happened if it was not for the persistence of the project at MIUIAndroid.com and the support from the community of users who use our modified ROM. English support has came a long way and I’ve been very fortunate to make some awesome friends at Xiaomi over the last 3 years.

Fast forward to today and Xiaomi employ a guy called Matt who does English translations, Matt is doing an awesome job of this but I still like to add my personal touches ready for each Orange Friday!

You recently visited China for the Xiaomi Third anniversary, tell us how was this experience?
A: You recently visited China for the Xiaomi Third anniversary, tell us how was this experience?

I think if you had to put it into one word; Overwhelming! With over 5,000 fans and media at the event it was very busy and fast paced. My visit to Xiaomi HQ was rather surreal, finding myself visiting their offices no little than 2 hours after landing in the country was a little crazy!

Meeting people like Wu Na who I have known for a very long time for example was a really amazing snapshot in history for me. I also had the pleasure of meeting Hong Feng, Xiaomi co-founder and MIUI Director of Operations and Finances.

Seeing how Xiaomi operate is amazing, all the different teams and departments, the vast office spaces and seas of computer screens is just mindblowing! I can also safely say that
I was treated with the highest of respect and did not need to ask for anything at any point during my stay there. Beijing and Chinese people are very hospitable and do everything they can to make you feel welcomed and safe.

Having had a taste of the countries culture, the people and their way of working I can safely say without question I would not think twice about moving to Beijing to work at
Xiaomi! know so many great people there and can’t wait to see them all again in 2014!

I saw a pic of your with Mr. Barra, how was the interaction with him?
A: He is a really nice guy, easy to talk to and very approachable. I had an opportunity when I saw him moving toward my direction so managed to stop him for 2 minutes to get a few words in. Was a nice first interaction with someone so influential in the Android ecosystem. My only regret was not having the right time to say more about anything but I am going back to China, Beijing in the new few months to look at some exciting new projects :-)

You are the only person to myknowledge who is selling official Xiaomi products outside China, how did thishappen?
A: Well, we are not selling directly, the way things happened we got approached by a site called ibuygou.com about 1 year ago (roughly) and started discussions with the owner 'king' as he is known. After first dismissing the ideas we left things for several months after the first emails. I then later looked back at the emails and discussed this with the rest of the MIUIAndroid.com admin team to get their opinions. From there we set up a relationship with ibuygou.com and provide at least an unofficial 'safe' way to get the Xiaomi devices online with worldwide shipping!

What are the future plans you havefor Xiaomi and Fans all around the world, what can we expect in next two yearsfrom you?
A: Great question! I have been increasingly making contacts at Xiaomi over the last few months / years and I am travelling back out to Beijing in 2014 to discuss some opportunities which may result in me working at Xiaomi. My ultimate ambition has always been to take a job with the Xiaomi to help with the International Marketing / Social media so next year will certainly be a very exciting time!

I would like to think that in 2 years we could be sitting celebrating the launch of Xiaomi into International territories. That for me would be an amazing achievement having gone from day 1 with MIUI to something as historic as global sales of Xiaomi products and services.

As far as fans go, keep doing what i’ve done for 3 years, promote the ROM, support users and try to help people with learning MIUI or the more technical aspects such as translation, programming or general Android help.

Thank you Mark for this interview. Also ,on behalf of MIUI Forum and myself, thank you to the entire MIUIAndroid team for all your hours of work and dedication.

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 Author| 13:38, Oct-21-2013 | From PC
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I have developed some wallpapers pack and icon packs. You can try them. One of the best Wallpaper pack is AmoledWalls. Try it out for free.
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13:42, Oct-21-2013 | From PC
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Reply Binod Add Thread

awesome!

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13:44, Oct-21-2013 | From PC
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Great job!!

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14:07, Oct-21-2013 | From PC
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Cool, well done,@Binod! It'll be much cooler if he would like to share his photo

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 Author| 14:11, Oct-21-2013 | From PC
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Derica replied at 2013-10-21 14:07
Cool, well done,@Binod! It'll be much cooler if he would like to share his photo

I don't have his photo, if you have it please share...
I have developed some wallpapers pack and icon packs. You can try them. One of the best Wallpaper pack is AmoledWalls. Try it out for free.
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14:18, Oct-21-2013 | From PC
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This post was edited by miui-uk 06:36,Oct-21-2013

Very cool for you to do this with me Binod! :-)


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One of the 1st International MIUI users and Founder of Xiaomi European Community (xiaomi.eu), Original MIUI ROM English Translator from 2010 to 2015. Translator for Mi Jia and more.

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14:23, Oct-21-2013 | From PC
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Mark is way cooler than I expected kudos for all your work

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 Author| 14:36, Oct-21-2013 | From PC
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ginuzence replied at 2013-10-21 14:23
Mark is way cooler than I expected kudos for all your work

indeed, he is best so far...

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I have developed some wallpapers pack and icon packs. You can try them. One of the best Wallpaper pack is AmoledWalls. Try it out for free.
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14:38, Oct-21-2013 | From PC
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This post was edited by miui-uk 06:40,Oct-21-2013
Binod replied at 2013-10-21 06:36
indeed, he is best so far...

I'm blushing! LOL

PS. Where is my MIUI Expert and Awesome medals, hehehe :P lol
One of the 1st International MIUI users and Founder of Xiaomi European Community (xiaomi.eu), Original MIUI ROM English Translator from 2010 to 2015. Translator for Mi Jia and more.

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