Saurik Interview

Cydia, despite being the go-to app and tweak store for several years in the jailbreaking community, has a number of shortcomings. It’s slow to load and daftly unorganized, among other things.

And most people tend to blame Saurik for all of these issues. After all, he is the creator and ‘grandmaster’ of Cydia, right? Not so much, according to his latest comments in a Reddit thread…

It all started with a Request post by Reddit user NaitsirkC in the jailbreak subreddit, essentially asking Saurik to implement a ‘sort by popularity’ feature in Cydia to make top tweaks easier to find.

Now, Saurik makes a number of comments in the thread that are worth reading, as they provide a behind-the-scenes look at Cydia. But perhaps his best one is in response to a complaint about the ads.

“Yeah, you know? You have a point: if I was in charge of all the content in Cydia, I’d also make a ton of changes: for starters, I’d remove all the ads… the ads really suck, they are horribly confusing for users, and they sometimes even attempt to hijack the user from their tasks installing packages. Then, I’d go through all of the incorrect spacing and inconsistent messaging that you see on all of the packages, and I’d fix that as well: I cannot describe to you just how angry I am every time I see a repository screw up the 9px margin between boxes on their package depictions.”

The truth is, Saurik doesn’t have control over any of that content. “Cydia is a glorified web browser,” he explains. “And I don’t have any more control over the repos than FireFox has over Reddit content.”

So why doesn’t he just take control? Why doesn’t he create a ‘main’ repo for jailbreak developers to centralize Cydia and make the content more manageable? Because, he says, that would defeat its purpose.

“I really mean it when I say this: the reason Cydia is interesting and the reason jailbreaking has been successful is specifically because we decentralize so much of it. I have been very adamant since the beginning that I didn’t want to see myself become an arbiter of content, and I actually do sometimes intervene to “maintain the balance of power” between repositories in the hope of guaranteeing a good mix. “

Again, all of Saurik’s comments in the thread are worth reading. They will give you some insight into how Cydia is run, and open your eyes to some things about the store that you might not have known before.

Thoughts?