This has been exciting week for upcoming news and exclusive interviews with prominent developers. With iH8sn0w's Project iF announcement
and an exclusive interview with Elias Limneos, the trend will continue with another article for the series Behind The Code
. Without further to do, I introduce to you Christian Heusinger:
Christian Heusinger, the main developer from SpiritOfLogic, is a well-known coder and famous for his applications iRealSMS, PwnTunes, and PhotoAlbums+. Some of the most popular applications on the Cydia Store, these are definitely a testament to the coding behind the scene. However, little is known about SpiritOfLogic or the members that comprise it such as Christian. After an exclusive PhotoAlbums+ 3.0 release article
earlier on ModMyi, Christian was willing to undergo another ModMyi exclusive
by being so willing to have an interview with me. His answers are extremely comprehensive, well-thought out, and informational. The following will not disappoint so read with hungry eyes:
Tell us a little about who you are (name, age, location, education).
CHRISTIAN: My name is Christian Heusinger and I'm 25 years old. I am officially studying Physics at the University of Hamburg, Germany. Unofficially I am the fulltime developer behind iRealSMS, PwnTunes and now PhotoAlbums+. Annoyingly I am forced to finish my study at the end of this year which will make it a real challenge to keep working on jailbreak software at the same time.
How long have you been coding for iDevice devices? How did you initially
CHRISTIAN: I started coding for iPhones back in mid 2008 with the first iRealSMS. Back then I had only casual experience with C/C++ for some years. I taught myself Objective-C and iPhone programming within a month and released the first version of iRealSMS. Since then I kept learning special jailbreak related tasks - for example about half of my work is "examining" Apple's frameworks to figure out how to hook into things and make work what Apple doesn't want to work.
How many people comprise SpiritOfLogic? Are all the current members
"founders" or have you lost and gained new developers?
CHRISTIAN: Here at SpiritOfLogic we are only 2 people - and "here" is relative. Jerry, responsible for support, testing, designs, mental input and motivation lives in Texas. Two years ago, he asked me whether he could help me with some beta testing. Since then he not only does awesome work for me but we also have become great friends.
Is the team planning on releasing anything soon? Updates or new
applications? Can you elaborate on any of them?
CHRISTIAN: Currently my development time is very limited (due to the sword of Damocles of study above me). So the most time I spent on maintaining our current apps. We have something great in the pipe though - I am not able to tell any details at this time but you will most likely read about it here at ModMyi first.
What are a few reasons why you love coding for the jailbreak community?
What do you think is unique about the jailbreak community that sets it apart
from the normal iDevice community?
CHRISTIAN: The jailbreak community is much smaller and there is much more interaction with the community and between the developers. Just imagine that there are only about 20 people worldwide capable of doing serious jailbreak tweak/hook development and almost all of them are online in one chat channel all day...
If there is someone in the jailbreak community that has inspired you to
continue coding and doing work in the jailbreak arena, who would that be?
CHRISTIAN: I don't think someone inspired me directly (guess I am not the character for that) but I can definitely say that saurik made a lot if not all of the jailbreak development possible in the first place. He not only provided the platform to distribute jailbreak software but also made it possible to take it to the next level. The keyword here is MobileSubstrate which makes all those great tweaks/hooks possible and is obviously something Apple can and will not provide ever. The second party to mention here are those great guys who continue to succeed in dodging every attempt of Apple to block the jailbreak. From my general reverse engineering experience I can tell as much as that they are ingenious at what they do. I am always impressed (and maybe even inspired) again by their latest and increasingly complicated exploits. Thanks guys!
What are some of your favorite jailbreak applications/tweaks that you use
on your own device?
CHRISTIAN: Actually I use very few tweaks - this is partly because it makes
developing and debugging faster and easier (many many resprings). But there are some essentials that have to be installed right away after every jailbreak: SBSettings as a no brainer, then Tab+ as an absolute essential when it comes to Safari, Crash Reporter, iFile, and all those development tools you won't find on a normal user's device...
If there was a method that would help those of us that are trying to code
for the iDevice and jailbreak community, what route would you recommend?
CHRISTIAN: I was asked this a few times by people motivated to take a chance on jailbreak developing. The problem is there is no easy starting point like "read the book XYZ". Instead you have to teach it yourself more or less using the internet. But what I can recommend is not to wait too long reading a hundred books before actually starting to write some lines of code. Learning by doing is what works best here for me at least. Get a good Objective-C / iPhone programming book as a reference book and maybe grab some small open source tweak, play around with it, and start to write something similar.
And lastly; what do you think will be the future of the jailbreak
community? What will it need to continue its success?
CHRISTIAN: Obviously my hope is that the jailbreak community will have a prosperous future - and I would consider that hope realistic. Although Apple keeps making things uncertain for us, the jailbreakers tend to be as artful. The key here will be iOS 5 and its jailbreak. Besides the availability of a current jailbreak, I think one other important thing is the marketing behind the jailbreak community and especially Cydia. On the one hand Cydia needs good tools to advertise your apps - this keeps high quality developers at work. Sadly Cydia misses some performance here - actually the list of Cydia Store apps is unchanged and outdated for 1 year(!) now. Same goes for other featuring options. Then on the other hand we need to establish the jailbreak as a platform for good tweaks and tools - not for piracy! That is very important to prevent giving Apple a reason to shut us down.
Keep up to date on SpiritOfLogic's developments by following iRealSMS
: Christian Heusinger, iRealSMS