If you love jailbreaking and all the little tweaks that come with it, then you’re probably very familiar with Cydia. It’s the number one place to go to if you want to find hacks for your iPhone or iPad, but it also kind of sucks at the same time.
Cydia is massively unorganized and slow when there’s a rush to jailbreak. Most people want to blame its creator, Saurik, for its weaknesses, but in a recent discussion on jailbreaking, Saurik admitted those things bug him too, but there’s not much he can do about it.
Saurik responded to a post on the jailbreak subreddit a few days ago that asked Saurik to create a ‘sort by popularity’ feature in Cydia so that users could find things easier.
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.
Saurik went on to explain that he has very little control over any of the content in Cydia, much in the same way that Firefox has no control over content on Reddit. Cydia is really just a glorified web browser.
Certainly if he wanted to, Saurik could just take control of the whole store and setup an approval process for each tweak and repo, but that would take a lot of time and money, plus it would defeat the purpose of Cydia.
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.
To us, it seems like Saurik’s belief that jailbreaking should be decentralized is spot on. The reason why jailbreaking is popular is because it gives users an escape from Apple’s walled garden where they are forced to comply with Apple’s standards. Creating another walled garden for jailbreaking would completely defeat the purpose.