My (Long) Todo List :(
December 21st, 2008

Earlier today, a user known only as "Weak Mind" commented on a post on RiPDev's blog, attempting to give a more articulate and balanced view of "saurik". This post was overall very positive, and frankly somewhat touching. I will not deny any of the negatives, but there is one I would like to at least discuss a bit and, specifically, to apologize for.

"he didnt do something he said he would and let a few people down (me included)"

First of all, I'm sorry. I tend to get swept up into a lot of things that I just might not have the time to do. When I try saying "no" I tend to then fall to pressure of the form "but it wouldn't take long, what we need isn't hard".

In my life, the most notable example is my PhD, which isn't progressing very quickly (often I am just stalling so I can work on more iPhone stuff).

Currently, I am just doing "too much".

In addition to my PhD: I am often a consultant, I am the (part-time) CTO of a barely-funded startup and a partner in a totally unfunded one, I donate time teaching at my favorite college, and I try my best to be a caring friend to those I'm close to. (All of this came before Cydia.)

At the same time, for Cydia, I am battling wars on many fronts: issues ranging across all of the applicable areas: legal, political, economic, and technical. I find myself spending a lot of my time simply "being articulate", whether it be on public blogs or in private on either the phone or e-mail.

Even so, I tend to eventually get to things. I hardly ever let something entirely drop off my todo list: I either leave messages in my Inbox or keep entries in a list. It is just that my list has over a hundred "tasks" on it and, unfortunately, everyone's priories are going to be somewhat different.

Yesterday, for example, I got out a release of Mobile Substrate that a lot of people have been waiting for: one with a drastically improved Safe Mode experience. I tried to hit all of the finishing touches, from centering the text on the statusbar to adding a "sad iPhone" lock wallpaper (thanks to Geoff Stearns). You can now easily and (at any time) exit Safe Mode, and I have a place where I can add information on a website to help users with potential problems.

So, please, please: if you feel there is something that I just completely dropped the ball on, send me an e-mail and we can at least talk about it. Hopefully, we can then figure out if it is something that is still on the radar or something that simply can't be done anymore, and if so: why.

For now, here is a "state of my life" on a few projects that people here might be explicitly concerned with (a list I will update if I think of more).

Responding to My E-mail

To people who have sent me e-mail: please know that I still do intend to respond to it, even if it is sometimes months later. I now have 750,000 people e-mailing me, and some people have even taking to calling my cell phone (which I stubbornly place the number of on my website).

Therefore, all of my communication channels have become "difficult to manage" (I often just leave my phone on silent, and I whitelist numbers). I still feel like I am doing an "ok" job, though: I currently have the continual goal of keeping my Inbox below the 3,000 message mark. ;P I do not, however, answer most phone calls.

iPhone Binary Toolchains

Sadly, I've gotten a lot of flack for not releasing this as soon as Apple released their NDA, but it actually got more complicated: Apple didn't just remove the NDA: they also changed some other terms. In all seriousnes, I am mostly done with the parts of this I had been intending to accomplish.

Though, I have noticed that a lot of people are confused about parts of the problem that my plans hadn't actually ever addressed: how to get the sysroot you need, for example.

To help with this, my todo list now includes an automated firmware downloader and extractor. This should make the toolchain a very simple installation. It's just not done.

Non-Objective-C Languages

To be very clear: I never said I would port Jiggy. I said I was working on it, but I never said that "I will finish this".

That aside, I know there are some tasks I still haven't finished, things I said I would get to, for both Java and Python on the iPhone. Please know that these are still very interesting to me, and if it were just me doing what was fun, this is what I'd be doing.

A few things many people probably don't realize, though, is that I am making progress on these fronts.

For one, I now have gcj "working". The resulting binaries, though, have crippling issues with exceptions, but I have an idea for how to fix that.

I also got some help from ius (on's #xpwn) with the W^X issues that are plaguing Python.

Really: I'm just bad at juggling. :(

More WinterBoard Features

The list here is rather long. I get a lot of suggestions for WinterBoard, not all of which are easy, even if they sound like they should or might be.

Here, however, is the current "todo":

  • semi-transparent icons
  • winterboard icon labels on top
  • add ... support for long names
  • different icons on and off dock
  • style lock screen date/day/time
  • lockwidgets to go with widgets
  • >8 character FakeCarrierName
  • arbitrary icon label positioning
  • ability to theme system fonts
  • fix video wallpaper looping
  • lock widgets during calls...

(Note: this is just for the backend.)

Cydia Fixes & Improvements

I have seriously been working on the next Cydia release now for months. :(

I made a really big mistake of letting a major feature I was working on get leaked (people even ended up with screenshots), and then had to switch tracks on developing it (I was using Google's App Engine, which has a lot of bugs, especially with the iPhone).

I believe I am finally coming to terms with the idea "you can release all this other stuff, and fill in that feature later", especially as I implemented Storage (which I think you'll all find awesome): "soon" is (almost) now.

Continued Cycorder Work

In all of this, I am certain that a lot of people think I've completely forgotten about Cycorder: I really haven't. :(

What I've mostly been concentrating on, though, is the business model: really, how to keep it free to users.

I believe I have (quite only recently) figured out the key to doing this.

So, my current plan is that when I finished the aforementioned Cydia release I am going to be focusing my time on Cycorder. The plan is still "things you can do with your videos".