Blog Post

What is SIMBL?

The Smart InputManager Bundle Loader (SIMBL), developed by Mike Solomon, is a hack, and not only that, it’s a hack that allows for more hacks. In this meaning, it’s a good hack. SIMBL allows developers to write plugins for cocoa applications that would normally not allow them. Once SIMBL is installed, each time a cocoa app is launched, it scans the SIMBL plugin library (/Library/Application Support/SIMBL/Plugins) to see if there is a plugin. If one is found, the app loads the plugin and continues launching.

The reason it’s a hack is that it allows modification to running programs that the developer does not have access to the source code to… they have to guess. Luckily, there is so much documentation about cocoa, that the developers can make a very educated guess. The reason its a good hack is because it modifies the existing InputManger to allow the plugins to load only for thier intended application, instead of all cocoa apps. This means developers can target a particular Apple app, like, say, Safari.

The recently covered Visor, AcidSearch, and Mike’s own Pith Helmet are a few examples of the many plugins that have already been developed using the SIMBL input manager.

6 Responses to “What is SIMBL?”

  1. SiinNight

    I agree with “None” and with “Jason Terhorst.” With the latest Apple Update 4.9, my Macs came to a screeching halt. I am now weeks in trying to fix problems, with Apple on board. It has been one extremely nasty nightmare. I am now removing SIMBL. It has infiltrated other applications that it should not be affecting. TinkerTool Systems and other programs are affected now by SIMBL, although it was installed just for Safari and perhaps Camino, except for InvisRay perhaps.

    Apple quite possibly is breaking these hacks. If that’s the case, Apple should include some of the features these hacks provide in the applications they put forth, instead of focusing on iPhones associated with one vendor that doesn’t reach half the nation.
    Apple is ripping users – of what has been it’s core products and services – off to wander off into “more money from the next new flashy thing” land.

    I am so bad off, my Apple installer disk no longer works, and I have been waiting for weeks for the overnight replacement from Apple.

    In the meantime, they aren’t much good at solving software problems that they, it seems, are creating! Too bad, these little programs must suffer at the mighty hand of Apple! I simply have no choice this time. I need my computers back!