HTC has had a strange relationship with developers who believe in modifying the device's software to help it attain its true potential. This is where a kernel comes into play, specifically speaking once a kernel is released by the device's OEM, developers get their hands on much-needed codes and drivers which they tweak as per their needs and provide us with those wonderful custom ROMs we love flashing onto our devices. HTC has demonstrated their commitment towards software updates in the swift manner the HTC One (M7) got a global update to the latest and greatest Android iteration - Android 4.4.2 Kit Kat. In the latest information from HTC, they have released the kernel code for Android 4.4.2 Kit Kat for last years' flagship the HTC One (M7). This is good news for all developers who can get the kernel dumps from the HTCDevs website. The kernels are separate for all variants and carrier options of the HTC One, so basically the Vodafone UK kernel will not work with the Telstra Australian variant etc. Check out the screen shots below for a detailed list of the HTC One Kernels.
For the uninitiated, a Kernel is not something unique just to Android, but is available for all software platforms. So iOS and MacOS have their own kernel, as does Windows and also Linux. Android uses a modified Linux kernel, which has a lot of code which is specific to Android and specific to the device it is built for. Device manufacturers like HTC have to contribute their own code to the kernel of the respective device especially on account of hardware drivers. This is the reason why independent developers always have to wait for the official kernels to be released, so that they can get their hands on these OEM specific codes and drivers. In essentiality a kernel is the go-between for the hardware and the software to interact with each other. When you tap an app icon on the touch screen, the software knows the coordinates which were touched and opens up the corresponding app. What happens in the background is that the kernel tells the touch screen digitizer to keep listening for a touch, and then informs the corresponding coordinates to the software for relevant action.
All in all, release of this kernel source would definitely speed up custom ROM development for the HTC One (M7) and is great news for developers and users alike.