Monday, February 21, 2011

WeAmDev: Age don't mean diddly

For a while, it seemed like Cydia had completely dominated the Jailbroken app installer market; after the tragic fall of Rock, Cydia stood alone....until recently. Icy was originally created by RipDev [1], but unfortunately was lost in 2009 when all of RipDev shut down. Fortunately, RipDev was awesome and decided to release the source for Icy, creating the ability to allow several spin offs.

The first is simply called Icy and is essentially the same application updated to work for the latest firmware versions. The name of the group attempting to revive Icy is called WeAmDev, a group of four guys: Rob (Robinofree), Patrick (iChromeX), Ben (Sosumeh), and Adam (AdamApollo11). The current Icy is version 2.0.1b1 in their repo, and 2.1 on their blog. I've never really used Icy before and I can't really say I am a fan, but I did get it to successfully install. But unfortunately, it won't refresh packages, which is really kind of half of the whole point.

Then there is yet another child named Euphoria that is being built by a sole member of WeAmDev, Sosumeh, called Euphoria. This one is a little different, and kind of vague as well since it really hasn't been stable enough for anyone to try, as far as I'm concerned. I know that I got it installed and it crashes/ends a millisecond after launching it. But from the sounds of it, Sosumeh has some good ideas for a package manager.

What really pisses me off is not the apps themselves, flawed as the may be, but people's responses, even personal attacks. First off, there is the generic
  • "What's wrong with Cydia?"
  • "Why do we need 2 package managers?"
  • "These betas suck they brick my iPhone!"
Responses respectively:
  • "Two words: 'Reloading Data'."
  • "Why do we need two web browsers? Operating systems? Ice cream flavors?"
  • "First: they're betas. That means 'You betta be ready for the risks'. Second: Exaggeration much? Truly bricking an iDevice is very hard, from what I've heard."

Then we've got the next type of response:

"What? A 15 year old making a package manager?"

Age means piss diddly. No, that's not even up for argument. Let's look at some examples:

Ramanujan: age 12-17: Brilliant mathematician
Mastered Trigonometry at age 12 including adding his own theorems, going on to contribute much to the field of mathematics.

moot: age 15: started 4chan
Regardless of your opinion of 4chan, you have to give credit to a 15 year old starting the website that sits within the 500 most visited sites daily.

Geohot: age 17: iPhone Jailbreaks
He takes alot of crap, but Geohot gets shit done.

Seriously, with someone like Geohot that has been a driving force when it comes to Jailbreaks, how can people be so stupid when it comes to age?

The fact of the matter is that you can't lean too far in either direction. On one hand, age is irrelevant, and if a kid is smart enough and dedicated enough to create a Jailbreak or a package manager, his age should not be a determining factor. On the other hand, he is not quite an adult, so if he happens to like the publicity he receives for his efforts, I don't believe one should be quick to rail him for it.

Then there's the last type of response: the parody. Yeah, I can't believe it either.
There's "WeEgoDev", parodying "WeAmDev", whose description is "We like to think of ourselves as authority, even though we really aren't." Ok, I will admit it, WeAmDev's claim of being the "New iPhone Authority" is a bit rash, but at least they're aiming high. And creating a parody twitter is extremely unnecessary.
The there's "Sosumego" parodying "Sosumeh", basically focusing on the fact that Sosumeh wants attention -which I have not seen to be the case. And then there's the uber-stupid tweets like "I could make a new installer, or I could just revive an old one and have more people use it. I should announce both but only do the 2nd one." I find that it's much easier to bitch about other people not doing something than to actually do it themselves. My guess is that Sosumego has no clue about how to create an app at all, yet feels he has the authority to complain when someone who is working on two doesn't move production of one of them as fast as he'd want.
Then, lastly, there's "iChromegoX", parodying "iChromeX", basically just saying that he's obsessed with himself, which is -again- complete fabrication.

The thing is that people just seem to be treating it way too seriously. I think it's alright if some younger people want to create package managers at their own pace. It's not a black and white issue; developers don't have to either create a perfectly usable app fast, or not create one at all. Both Icy and Euphoria (if it's still in development) are extremely early in development, but that's not a bad thing; you can't say that a kid is never going to be a good race car driver just because his feet can't reach the pedals yet. Give them time, and give them the respect they deserve.

And yes, maybe they are being a bit "large-and-in-charge", but you know what that shows me? Ambition. If they are 15 and wanting to create a package manager, imagine what they'll want to do at 20, then 25, etc. On the other hand, yes, they very well could fizzle out; maybe WeAmDev will decide that it's just not their thing, or maybe even that they got in over their heads. But will telling them that ahead of time help at all, or just make you seem like a smug bastard?

The only thing that I would recommend to WeAmDev is one word: commit. So far, they've had one person quit, then rejoin, then another person quit, and then etc and etc. I think that people who want to believe in WeAmDev and Icy 2 (or Euphoria) are likely to be shaken in their resolve if they constantly see people leaving and joining WeAmDev. Just remember a few things: (1) You don't always have to immediately tell people what's up; if someone is considering leaving, give them time to think it out, or if someone else is interested in joining, give them a little while to contribute so you can know they're for real. (2) Just because you're a part of WeAmDev doesn't mean you have to consistently contribute; you can take a little hiatus without making an announcement at all. (3) Make sure that if someone is going to join, that they're in it for serious business; this kind of goes for all members -new and old- but each member should want to see the project through till the end, not just for a month or so. Or if they feel like they can only help for a month, just express that from the beginning.

Anyway, those are my thoughts. Yes, I realize the WeAmDev crew has changed, but I wrote most of this post a few weeks ago and am too lazy to toss it out or edit it.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting this - found it interesting. All very true, and nice to find a good, supportive guy among the critics. Trust me, we've heard worse, and I have a plan (one of the popular iChromeX plans) as to how to get the team back to good work... we've all been kind of lazy. I'll admit even I have. But I hope we'll be thought of as some kind of iPhone authority soon enough ;)