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Icy 1.4.1

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A semi-minor update to Icy is available immediately -- aimed primarily at iPhone OS 3.0 compatibility -- thanks again for your support!

  • Now automatically moves some of the folders to stash if needed to prevent situations with insufficient disk space when installing some packages.
  • UI fixes for smooth display on the iPhone OS 3.0 (category labels in Recent and Installed are back!).
  • Category names in the Installed packages section are now localized.
  • Report to Maintainer email now contains device type and firmware version for better problem diagnostics.
  • Misc fixes.
On a semi-unrelated note, we are also proud to announce that today we'll release the first commercial turn-by-turn GPS navigation solution for Russia -- named iDA -- in cooperation with Vobis Computer and Sygic. iDA Europe to follow shortly after -- stay tuned for more information and news!

Icy 1.4

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We proudly present a new version of Icy, 1.4. It was tested on 2.2.1 and 3.0b5 firmware versions, and everything seems to work great.

A first thing you will notice is the new icon. This is something we wanted to do all along since pre-1.0, but unfortunately Max was busy for a while, so we only got the icon a few days ago, but I think it was worth the wait. :)

Full change list is available on the Icy webpage, but overall, this release is aimed at providing customizability and fixes.

Customizing Icy for Your Skinning Needs

We have been contacted by many people to adjust the look of Icy so it fits their theme, instead of pure black and white look. The biggest challenge was to keep the speed (app launch time, overall GUI responsiveness) the same as before while giving the flexibility to the theme makers. I believe we have achieved that perfectly.

So, in order to change the Icy appearance, include the file named IcyThemeDefiniton.plist in the theme bundle. Icy will automatically see it and use the definitions from there.

The following keys are available for the IcyThemeDefinition.plist file:

  • StatusBarStyle (string): can be either "black", "white" or "transparent". Defines the appearance of the status bar style in the application.
  • NavigationBarTintColor (string): defines the global color for all navigation bars used in the application, unless a specific section overrides it (see below).
  • TableBackgroundColor (string): defines the global table background color (or pattern), unless a specific section overrides it (see below as well).
  • TableSeparatorColor (string): defines the global table separator color, unless a specific section overrides it.
  • TableTextColor (string): defines the global table text color, unless a specific section overrides it.
  • InstallBackgroundColor (string): defines the install/remove pane background color (or pattern).
  • PackageInfoBackgroundColor (string): defines the package info background color (or pattern).

How to define a color: a color string may be either a triplet or quad of digits separated by comma, or an image file name. It's easier to give some examples:

  • 0,0,0: black color — each digit is a floating point number from 0 to 1, inclusive. If fourth digit is given, it is an alpha value.
  • 0.5,0,0: dark red (0.5 red, 0 everything else)
  • DottyBackground.png: pattern loaded from the image DottyBackground.png in the theme bundle.
  • (empty): clear (transparent) color.

As you can see, you can easily customize the appearance of Icy by defining the keys above. If any key is not found, a default value is used. Now to make things even more flexible, you can define the colors for each section of the application. If any section-specific key is found, it will override the global one for that particular section:

  • NavigationBarTintColor_Packages, NavigationBarTintColor_Sources, NavigationBarTintColor_Search, NavigationBarTintColor_Installed
  • TableBackgroundColor_Packages, TableBackgroundColor_Sources, TableBackgroundColor_Search, TableBackgroundColor_Installed
  • TableSeparatorColor_Packages, TableSeparatorColor_Sources, TableSeparatorColor_Search, TableSeparatorColor_Installed
  • TableTextColor_Packages, TableTextColor_Sources, TableTextColor_Search, TableTextColor_Installed

You can also specify custom category icons in your theme — simply include the files named CategoryCATEGORYNAME.png and if present, the specified category will use that image, for example, CategoryThemes.png.

If you need more flexibility, let us know. :)

Icy 1.3

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Wolf Demon & Icy Girl
Google Images search result for "Icy girl"

Yep, as promised, it's time for Icy 1.3. What's new?

  • Package dependencies now can be viewed (as well as whether a particular dependency is installed or not).
  • Sources refresh tab now shows a progress indicator when refresh is in progress.
  • Ability to turn on and off automatic refresh of sources when on Wi-Fi.
  • Much better Unicode handling of repositories; this should resolve most issues for non-English repos.
  • Commercial (Cydia store) packages are given an additional warning in the description.
  • Better handling of Conflicts field.
  • Better handling of poorly made packages.

Next thing coming up is better handling of repository packages that you can install -- they install APT source files that Icy will not use (as it doesn't uses APT, only DPKG) -- so next release of Icy will support these files as well.

Thanks for your support! :)

Icy 1.2

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"Icy" Copyright © SHINYA

Another week passes with another update to our lightweight installer application Icy.

What's new?

  • Ability to hide categories you don't need.
  • Category names are now localizable.
  • Icy will now auto-refresh sources if it is on Wi-Fi and didn't refresh in past hour.
  • Various GUI fixes in regard to Installed/Updates section.
  • Fixed a script issue causing some package not to be installed.
  • Add email maintainer button for the console error log sheet to quickly report on errors.
  • Fixed sources refresh so stalled repositories won't affect others.
  • Added Polish localization.
  • Added Chinese localizations.
  • Other fixes.
Available in our APT repository and Installer. ;)

Next step -- dependencies view. Enjoy!

Icy 1.1.1

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First things first. When we've started working on Icy two and a half weeks ago, we have never expected this kind of feedback -- and it was totally awesome!


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Silly Icy wallpaper by Telman Akavov

In the past week, we have addressed most annoying issues you had with Icy -- and added the most anticipated feature, Recent Packages. With the help of fellow artists around the world, various themes for Icy are appearing in the repositories - so if you don't like the default black&white pure look, go for one of the themes. ;)

Last 3 days, we've been furiously adding the localizations you have sent in -- as Icy is a true iPhone application, it takes full advantage of the iPhone OS features like internationalization -- and as a result, Icy 1.1.1 comes with 15 languages in stock! This is all, of course, thanks to your extremely hard efforts -- we don't speak that many languages.

So now Icy is available in German, French, Italian, Spanish, Swedish, Greek, Brazilian Portuguese, Dutch, Danish, Serbian, Hebrew, Romanian, Serbian and Ukranian languages -- in addition to English, of course. :) To see your native language, make sure it is chosen as a primary language in the Settings > International (well, or replace English.lproj in the Icy.app with the folder of your language, if you must. I didn't tell you that, okay?).

Among other things, we have tweaked the way sources are refreshed, fixed an annoying dependency-related bug when it would complain about missing firmware package, and added little category titles in the Recent Packages screen so it's easier to see what is what:

Icy: Recent packages with categories

We also had some positive praise from the repository owners around the world -- they are happy with the way More Info pages are displayed -- and they say the pages load faster than in Cydia. The ads you see on the More Info pages help repository owners keep their servers up and running -- so give them some support by viewing and clicking on them -- we don't receive a dime from these.

Either way, snag Icy 1.1.1 from apt.ripdev.com and tell us what you think. And we're already working on Icy 1.2, which will bring a few other major features you have asked for.

Localizing Icy

As promised, here is the localization file containing strings that need to be translated to make Icy speak your native language.

Translating is fairly easy -- open the file in your favorite text editor that can handle Unicode, and then translate all the pairs of strings -- leave the left side intact, and translate the right side. Make sure it all stays in the quotes, like this:

"Hello" = "Aloha";

Then save the file and mail it to us at ripdev@me.com - and we'll try our best to include your language in the next minor update, which will follow fairly soon.

Update: German, Greek, Italian, Spanish and Swedish translations were submitted already - thanks guys!

Icy Won't Launch

If Icy is refusing to launch, then it will be extremely helpful if you could send us some crash logs -- these usually live in the /var/logs/CrashReporter/Icy...crash files on the iPhone or ~/Library/Logs/CrashReporter/MobileDevice/<your device name>/Icy...crash on a Mac OS X (after the synchronization with the phone). We'll see what is causing this.


Ripdev Are Stealing Repo Owners Money?

There was a point running across certain community threads regarding Icy that by excluding the "depiction" and "more info" pages Ripdev is stealing money away from the repository owners. We'd like to clarify that in fact, we are not making any money off Icy -- there is no ads that run in it, and the whole point of the project is to provide a faster and lighter alternative to Cydia.

We all know that the competition boosts productivity and enhances products. In this case, as Icy and Cydia are inevitably going to compete in one way or another, this will tremendously benefit us, the end users.

As for the repository owners, some of them were upset with Icy 1.0 not even giving a chance for their information pages to show -- so this is why we have worked closely with The Big Boss and Fabiano Confuorto to work out a solution that makes the repository owners satisfied without slowing down the application down to the snail speeds. As a result, you can see a blue arrow button next to the package name that will lead you to the repository information page containing download stats, screenshots, and banners to support the repository. We encourage you to click on these often if you'd like to help repo maintainers.

And please, please remember -- this is not an evil plan to screw everyone, nor a holy crusade against repository owners -- we are, truly honestly just want to make your life a little bit brighter and easier. The positive feedback we receive every day helps us going and makes us sure we are moving in the right direction. So if you like or don't like something -- speak out, you will be heard.

Icy 1.1

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So, less than a week ago we have announced Icy 1.0, a lightweight alternative to the popular Cydia installer. During the week, a tremendous amount of people have downloaded it, and we have received a lot of feedback.

Based on the feedback we are pleased to announce an immediate availability of Icy 1.1. There are still stuff we'd like to implement, but overall, this release addresses a fair chunk of what you have asked for:

  • Recent Packages;
  • Support for More Info / Screenshots links in packages;
  • When there are package updates available, Updated tab will be shown by default in the Installed section;
  • Supports Conflicts package specification;
  • Added custom Cydia header to requests so Icy is indistinguishable from Cydia from the repository point of view now;
  • Moved Install/Remove buttons to the toolbar;
  • Shows console log for dpkg failures;
  • Recursive dependencies supported much better now;
  • Support for WinterBoard so Icy should be themeable now;
  • Removed Essential tag in the Icy's own info (mistakingly copied from Cydia);
  • Some cosmetic and minor fixes;
  • Some code profiling to speed up the UI even more.

Recent Packages may look odd at first, by listing all of the available packages. This is because APT repositories has no per-package "date" information so we have to store the information about when a particular version has appeared by ourselves. So first time when you refresh your sources, you will see a lot of 'recent' pages -- this will go away in a few refreshes when real changed packages are being picked up.

Source refreshes are still strictly manual. Next updates of Icy will allow a setting to enable automatic refreshes.

If you don't like how Icy looks, we encourage you to create a WinterBoard theme for it. :)

If you'd like to see Icy in your native language (as it's fully localizable), we will post the files that need to be translated on the blog tomorrow. We got Russian and German covered (German is coming in the next minor update), so we will be glad to add your language to the mix too!

Tomorrow the work on 1.2 will start -- next thing in the pipeline is the dependencies view.

Icy

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In the process of working on InstallerApp, we have extensively investigated how the technology behind Cydia works. Essentially, Cydia is a front-end to two open source technologies - APT and DPKG. DPKG is a system that installs and removes specially prepared packages (.deb files). APT allows these files to be organized in network "repositories" to be indexed and downloaded. Due to the highly unoptimal build of DPKG (as Jay Freeman, the author of Cydia, admits it in his article about Cydia) we had to compile DPKG and the tools needed from scratch. As a result, the same set of tools take only a little over than 1 megabyte as opposed to 32 installed by Cydia.

While testing Cydia support for InstallerApp, we of course had to use Jay's creation a lot. And unfortunately it felt slow, and overloaded. We thought, well, why not make our own front-end to DPKG? It would be compatible with Cydia, but be focused on speed, elegance and be very, very thin. So one of our programmers sat down and made up in a week a new alternative installer that we are proud to reveal to you today, named Icy.

IcyIcy 1.0 is pretty simple, and we plan on keeping it that way. It will only refresh repositories when you tell it to, and will not scroll pages of cool looking terminal text when installing or removing a package. Instead, it presents the installation process in a friendly and cool manner - enhanced with crisp black and white interface featuring icons by quite famous artist Max Rudberg. Icy uses the same DPKG that Cydia does, but without APT that handles downloading of repository indeces and packages - we chose to use a combination of libcurl and sqlite for that.

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Icy only downloads headers when refreshing repositories, so it won't download again the indeces that were not changed - this saves on your traffic and makes the refreshes faster. It will pick up existing Cydia repositories and also will allow you to add more through its Add Source interface.

When we saw that Apple is moving towards supporting landscape mode more in the upcoming 3.0 firmware, we thought - hey, landscape is useful when browsing, too! So Icy supports landscape as well.

Icy will always remain free. Despite what some people may think, we are not blind and we see what tremendious job Jay (saurik) Freeman and community source repository owners (such as The Big Boss, Fabiano Confuorto and others) have done over the past year - and this is our way to say "thank you" to them. We hope you will enjoy the "new kid on the block" - and we have extensive plans on enhancing it in the future versions - for example, 1.1 will have, among other things, a dependency graph for the packages.

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This being said, we will be slowly phasing out support of Installer 4 in favor of Icy and soon-to-be-announced Installer 5. Since we're a commercial entity with over 10 people in staff, we have the dedication and resources to make sure Icy and Installer exist and grow peacefully together with Cydia.

Send in the feedback - it will define what will be added to Icy in the near future.

To install Icy, proceed to its homepage: http://ripdev.com/icy/