If you’ve spent any time brushing up on your jailbreak news over the past couple of months, then you likely noticed that Jay Freeman, also commonly known as Saurik, has released a plethora of updates for Cydia Substrate recently.
Those who know their jailbreak facts will know that the Cydia Substrate package isn’t one to normally receive a ton of updates. As such, many jumped to the conclusion that Saurik may be trying to modernize Cydia Substrate solely for competitive purposes as other tweak injection methods gain steam on alternative jailbreaks. A statement recently released by Saurik reveals that this couldn’t be further from the truth…
The statement, published Tuesday afternoon on the official Cydia Substrate depiction page, goes into detail about the circumstances and Saurik’s response to such claims:
I get absolutely nothing from people using Substrate (and this was true even before Apple finally managed to edge Cydia out as a viable store). I started working on updates to Substrate recently for iOS 14 (pushing 0.9.7102 a couple days after the first iOS 14 beta). In the process, I offered to just discontinue Substrate, as I heard that Substitute might be preferred by some people now, and I find the duplication of efforts a bit silly; however, I was told (by someone working on Substitute) that Substrate still had a place, and I determined most of what was wrong on iOS 14 was actually a bug in Apple’s Objective-C runtime anyway, and so I figured “ok, I’ll at least continue through iOS 14”. (The update cycle on all of my projects is that I try to work on each of them, furiously, about once a year for a week or two, and then leave them in some stable place so I can do other projects furiously for the rest of the year; users like to judge me for this, but it is the reason I am able to dive deeply into so many projects, and I suggest they try it ;P).
In the process, I was shocked to learn–by way of people commenting on posts about my updates (the only posts I force myself to read, and which I agree I should also be avoiding ;P, but I take at least some responsibility to read if people say “this update was worse”… I dunno… it was probably a mistake)–that there were some pretty wide-spread bugs that I was not being told much about (and which I would myself not notice, as, as I mentioned in the 0.9.7104 changelog, I don’t use jailbreaks anymore other than to do some very minimal tasks, due to a combination of wanting some space from a demanding userbase and having moral issues–largely surrounding harrassment and bullying, including sexism and outright cruelty–with supporting the work of some of the key developers in the current community… this is also why I don’t participate in or often even read community forums, as many of the people are just too amoral for my sanity: “I actively praise anyone who gives me good software as if they are good people, and I actively hate on those who fail”).
I say this, as some people have decided that I’m clearly only releasing updates to Substrate due to some kind of “competition”. This fits neither the timing (which was very clearly coordinated with iOS 14) nor the incentives (as again: I get absolutely nothing from people using Substrate). It also doesn’t fit my personality: I find the idea that developers in this community prefer to rebuild and “compete” rather than work together more than a bit abhorrent, and it is the reason why so many core projects (including this one) end up closed source: almost none of the open source projects ever get help 🙁 they are instead forked by a hostile developer into an incompatible closed-source “alternative” that is billed as having a “better UI” or claims of “better battery life” and the community as a whole suffers due to the new regime; like, ask yourself why Substitute (sometimes considered a “competitor” to Substrate, though there is actually a lot of knowledge transfer… I’d say we work together, really) is now closed source?
Regardless, while I do have some moral issues with specific developers right now (which has nothing to do with the hostility mentioned in the previous paragraph, and is incredibly widespread… people, I think, like to simplify issues down to one person, but I don’t even feel good using checkra1n and only “use” unc0ver :/ if I go into the extent of the problem, everyone will claim I am into “drama” and should stick to writing software… while I disagree with that attitude, I am spending my mental cycles fighting in local politics these days), I honestly don’t care what hooking framework you use on your phones… as long as it is paired with a package manager (and I hear there are many these days) compatible with the federated repository ecosystem (as opposed to using some proprietary repository format, as was the case with Installer 2 or the original Rock Your Phone) and doesn’t come with DRM (which was a goal of iMods, and is the reason why I was upset about Substitute). In fact, over the years, I’ve even found myself testing that Substrate is actively compatible with the likes of Rock Extensions and Mobile Enhancer ;P. Seriously: go uninstall Substrate… all it means to me is one less user I’m responsible for.
TL;DR: Saurik says he has no interest or hidden motive to compete with alternative tweak injection methods because he doesn’t get anything in return for developing Cydia Substrate.
Saurik once juggled the idea of discontinuing Cydia Substrate entirely, a consideration no doubt exacerbated by the fact that it would never go on to support A12 and newer devices, but instead decided to continue working on the package to implement preliminary support for Apple’s upcoming iOS 14 release after he was convinced that Cydia Substrate still had a place in the jailbreak community.
The comments go on to explain how Saurik doesn’t really care which tweak injection method you’re using, although he hopes that jailbreakers will at least use some sort of standardized tweak injection option with universal support that isn’t proprietary.
In case anyone had any doubts, Saurik’s comments reveal that he cares more about the community’s right to jailbreak than he does its means of going about it. One thing to note, however, is that Saurik doesn’t enjoy being falsely accused of mischievous actions – and can you blame him?
It cannot be overstated that Saurik’s work on Cydia Substrate should be appreciated. It’s one of very few pieces of jailbreak software that almost flawlessly works on every iteration of iOS from iOS 2.0-14.0, and new device limitations aside, it’s a stable and capable tweak injection method if your jailbreak supports it… *cough* checkra1n users *cough*.
Do you use Cydia Substrate for tweak injection on your jailbreak, or are you using something else? Share your position in the comments section below.