Regardless of what OS you like it really is the applications that make up most of your experience on a computer. Some applications become iconic to the platform they are built for becoming inseparable from the experience. And when they disappear, the platform trembles.
My recent move from Windows to Os X has made me realize that Apple’s insistence on aesthetic applications from developers really does make an impact for the end user.
Which is why it saddens me when my two favorite developers Atebits and Cultured Code, makers of Tweetie and Things respectively, both have disappeared from they’re online homes.
They are still there, small updates trickle out. But from the devs themselves there is not a sound to be heard. The last post on the Atebits blog was in November, Cultured Code hasn’t let out a peep since September.
They seem to have learned the same secretive style that Apple is so famous for. But for small application developers this can be a fatal tactic.
Delivering perfect polished updates to any product is every developers dream. But we all know from the large hulking creations of larger development companies that this strategy is flawed. Without releasing updates consistently to the end user you might be heading in the wrong direction without ever knowing it.
If the web in the last few years has taught us anything, it is that focus and communication is key to any feature. Twitter is more focused than Buzz, Google Apps have a constant stream of features being tested compared to the take it or leave it strategy of MS Outlook.
So please Apple developers, don’t hide behind a wall like Apple does. Come out and talk to us, what are you working on? How is it progressing?
When you’re releasing updates to each physical product every 18 months you might need to work in secret silence. But when you’re creating a better Twitter app, you can at least let your waiting fans know how it’s going.
For my Bachelors thesis I’m writing a design document for an expansion of an MMO and reporting on how I can msot effectively communicate that design to others.
For my design my mentor and friend Ola Holmdahl gave me a book about the insecurity in our society today because of the many fractured facets of our lives we are trying to control. Compared to the life long professions and family life of a hundered years ago many people are becomming stressed and unsecure.
This is a problem of information, a problem that is turned on its head in MMOs where we face the same issue but see it suface as boredom instead. Players choosing to stop playing after the single player campaign is over or after the first five or so levels.
But this is great news to any crafty coders and internet savvy people out there. The first person to create a community similar to linkedIn and with the functions of Gmail and Google Calendar that works online and from a mobile platform wins.
One community for finding jobs and projects, or workers and qualifications.
That also helps you communicate and keep track of you shopping lists and random tasks. As well as lets the project plan it’s resources and taskes.
We could quell the whole problem before it becomes and epidemic. But I don’t really think this will happen for some years to come. The problem is that it is too wide a target for investors. “You want people to do all that? With an understandable interface? It will never work…”.
It will take a lot of time, and a lot of resources. I’m available for hire by the way… 😉
When I saw the Fox broadcast starring Geoff Keighley, a utter quack and a very biased reporter I was outraged. Media condemning media based on complete ignorance? I foresaw a new age of darkness ahead of us.
But then a light appeared at the sky, gamers and Internet freaks mobilized and did this:
They spammed the quacks book with poor ratings and included reviews that where clever satire of her own blatantly dumb remarks on the Fox broadcast. While I doubt that this will have any effect on any of the involved parties (perhaps Geoff will receive more love from the community for some time) it will almost certainly be visible in some media. Some, maybe not mainstream but it’s a step in the right direction.
I can’t endorse destroying the sales of a persons livelihood because of stupid remarks that person made but I feel proud to be part of the community that actually does something about what they see in the world. Voices for the people are heard on the Internet, we might not be entering dark ages just yet.