More on Arlo Rose

Friday, 2004-07-09; 23:37:00


Apparently, I got quoted in a Geek Patrol interview with Arlo Rose: normal competitive marketplaces, they [Apple] saw a product [Konfabulator] and thought they could do better, so they decided to go ahead and implement the feature [Dashboard]. It's ridiculous to think that you have complete control over a very general idea -- otherwise there would be exactly one brand of each and every product. (source)

In response, Arlo says:

I agree when it's not a huge company basically putting two devoted developers out of work. If this were Macromedia, I'd have not been upset but it's the company that develops the operating system, and they're giving it away with every copy of the OS. It's as if Safeway decided to start giving away its groceries and charging a fee to enter the building. :)

Fair enough. Arlo's pissed that Apple's created a similar feature and integrated it into the operating system. But that doesn't change the overall situation; he has no right to say that it was "uncouth of Apple to steamroll us rather than work with us." It's been pointed out before that not only is the idea not new (and therefore not an exclusive idea), but the implementation of Konfabulator was less than ideal for a stock operating system feature. What Apple has implemented is a central repository for desk accessories, using not just JavaScript but HTML+CSS+JavaScript (and even Objective-C) . Most importantly, however, they aren't separate applications (so that they use up less resources), and they aren't modal (which for some reason Arlo says is inferior). The point of Dashboard is to allow you quick access to things you want at the flick of a wrist, but that they should stay out of your way the rest of the time.

I don't see why Apple would want to work with the Konfabulator guys when they implemented Dashboard with completely different ideas about the feature, and with completely different methods. The ideas aren't new, and the method of implementation was very different -- so Apple should work with the Konfabulator guys because of a vague similarity between Konfabulator and Dashboard? Right, whatever you say Mr. Rose.

(Props to John Gruber for originally pointing out this line of reasoning.)

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