Great Artists Steal? Apple Developers Should Walk Out


Dear Independent Apple Developers,

Walk out.

It's very simple. Support your fellow developer or watch as the next application Apple copies wholesale is yours. They've done it to Adobe, they've done it to Watson, they've done it to OmniWeb and now they're doing it to Konfabulator. I'm a wanna be switcher and a Jobs-devotee and if you've been reading this weblog for any amount of time you know I normally never miss a keynote once it's available online, but this time I don't have the stomache to bother watching it. This is the biggest ripoff ever.

I think in the past I've seen some justification for Apple's infringing on third party developers. I think we've all done that - things that "should" be part of the OS and make wholistic sense, well, we'll give Apple some leeway. A menu widget or extensions to Sherlock. Okay. A web browser? Why not. Even Brent saw the practicality in adding RSS to Safari, no? RSS is getting more popular every day, it's only a matter of time before Apple and Microsoft add it in.

But copying the JavaScript-enabled Desktop Widgets? Nonononono. That's not right. I remember when I first read about Konfabulator about a year ago I was amazed at how cool the app was and how ingenious it was as well. We *all* love elegant, simple to expand solutions like Konfabulator. But vital to the Mac OS? No. Not in any respect. For Apple to copy Konfabulator like they did is just stealing. Not "Great Artist" stealing like what Jobs did at PARC, just plain outright idea theft. A common robbery. A mugging.

If I was at the WWDC tomorrow I'd walk out. Pick a time. Say Noon. Go out and stop traffic on Mission St. for 30 minutes, get the local press to cover it, maybe someone can give a call to CNN. Give Apple a black eye, they just put one of your fellow developers out of business. They want to poke fun at Redmond about copying ideas and then turn around and rip off ideas and implementations like this wholesale? It's hypocrisy at the highest level. Don't stand for it.

Pass the word.


Update: Om feels the same way.

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