To maintain GPL compliance, HTCDev has finally released the source code for the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich kernel for the HTC EVO 3D. The release comes 29 days after the official Sprint OTA on July 31st which included new firmware, firmware that didn’t play nice with custom kernels.

While it’s great they didn’t take 42 days to release the kernel source like they did with the HTC EVO 4G LTE, kernel developers have had to make do with modifying older kernels to work with the new firmware, or hacking the GSM kernel and adding CDMA code in one instance to create a workable kernel for the 3D.

The files in the kernel download archive report the newest date as today, and most directories inside are listed as being created on Monday. However, the code was completed and done before they shipped it to Sprint which tested it for weeks, so they’ve been sitting on this for quite a while.

Kernel source allows developers to produce custom kernels that can be configured for more stability, speed, battery life, or to correct the errors that can take HTC/Sprint months to track down and fix with an update.

Postponing source releases also delays AOSP development on new platforms. In this case, I don’t think we ever got a fully functional AOSP Ice Cream Sandwich ROM for the HTC EVO 3D before Jelly Bean came out and most developers started going in that direction.

Most of the kernel code is not HTC’s. The company is taking code and modifying it to work with their hardware, and as such is entering into a contract with the people whose code it’s using to return it to the public after it has made its hardware drivers so that other developers can have a crack at it and continue to make the software great.

In other words: it asked for permission to borrow the car, said it would be back shortly, and came back two months later with bumper stickers professing the love of [insert hated political party or figure here].

But – it’s out and hopefully will speed the EVO 3D on to some AOSP goodness of the Jelly Bean variety.

Thanks, newtoroot!