It’s past 5 a.m., and I should really be asleep, but something somebody told me today has gotten stuck in my brain and it isn’t going to let me sleep until I get it out. It has come to my attention that the Jailbreak community really does not like me.
That’s fine. Haters gonna hate. But, in this instance, I feel like this whole thing is based on some cosmic misunderstandings, so in the interest of unity and tolerance, I’d like to clear a few things up.
First, there was the Denny’s incident. This happened two WWDCs ago during the usual post-drinking visit to Denny’s. My crew was sitting, coincidentally, next to Jay Freeman’s crew. Jay and I engaged in some lively, but amicable debate on whether Apple viewed Jailbreak with animosity or apathy.
From where I was sitting, the younger guys with Jay were being hostile and rude. We really just wanted to eat our food and get some sleep, but they were scrapping for a fight. I tried to be good humored, but when one kid called me a fanboy, I felt the need to drop the kibosh.
Getting right up in his face, fully aware of the fact that I can be terrifying, I informed him that I was a Microsoft fanboy who hated Apple, but that Apple had earned my respect, and that going around calling people fanboys because they disagree with him is intellectual laziness.
Then I sat down, ate my food, and left. I wasn’t offended or anything. We all get full of piss and vinegar sometimes. We’re passionate people. That’s what enables us to do the work that we do. Of course, by the time the story got around and back to me you’d think the Sharks and Jets had accidentally gone to the same Denny’s.
I got a laugh out of it at the time, but seeing as Judy and I had our second and third dates that week, it really wasn’t the biggest thing on my mind. Apparently I really freaked those kids out. I had no idea. I’m really sorry guys. Seriously nothing personal.
Since then Jay and I at least have had many friendly conversations. I had no idea this story was still going around, nor that it had since picked up some friends. Again the old telephone game strikes. As I understand it, I’m said to be going around calling Jailbreak an abomination to humanity or some such.
That’s just silly. I’m a dyed in the wool hacker. One of my favorite things about Appsterdam is the government uses the word hacker correctly. I was around when Jailbreak started. We built it because we wanted to make iPhone apps and there was no SDK.
By “we” I mean the community. I didn’t personally contribute to Jailbreak, because Wil Shipley forbade it, since it was already sucking up a third of the company’s engineering resources, but I was passionate about the iPhone since 9:42, and watched the whole thing very closely. I then went on to co-found a company originally dedicated to lovingly bringing the best of Jailbreak to the new SDK.
Had I chosen money instead of wisdom, what I would be doing in my retirement is building robots with iPhones for brains. That’s my big secret dream, and pretty much requires Jailbreak. The last thing I want is for it to go away.
That being said, I do personally disagree with both the anti-Apple tone and some of the decisions of that crew. The latter, I believe, hurts App Makers and consumers alike, and the former is a disrespectful waste of energy.
But that doesn’t change the fact that I have the utmost respect for that team. They’re incredibly smart guys, and valuable members of our community. I welcome them, and all App Makers, to come see us in Appsterdam. Honestly guys, you’d dig it the most.
In all seriousness, I don’t hate anyone—certainly not those guys—so enough with the schoolyard antics, backbiting, and rumormongering. We, and our entire community, have bigger fish to fry.