Leave Steve ALONE!!! Except for the real issues.

I think some people think this is an accurate representation of me, late at night:

There are real issues to get upset at Apple about, though I think Steve’s health issue is at this point merely annoying than important–and I say that as a shareholder. I also bought an iPhone, much to the chagrin of Stallman’s FSF, failing to be swayed by the news that their preferred open source license isn’t compatible with the distribution model for third party apps that Apple chose. I’ll just have to miss out on GNU Breakout (delivered as an emacs plugin).

Being an Apple user can be an exercise in frustration, especially when the company acts against their avowed values and PR image. At the end of the day, they’re a company built by humans, with some human, but still irritating and sometimes maddening flaws.

Currently arousing my ire is that the iPhone SDK is still under NDA. The rumor is that it’s because things are not as stable as they want, so they’re waiting for the next release so people don’t badmouth it. Criminy. Isn’t Microsoft supposed to be the one that says “Hey, it’s 1.0 (or 2.0 or 2008 Xtreme Edition), so you’re basically our beta testers.” Apple always made its APIs public, and to do so when the product is allegedly out of beta basically says, “We don’t really care if your apps get all that much better, it’s just a marketing line item for us, not a serious reason to use the iPhone.”

Another one that ironically got fixed tonight was Apple’s failure to deliver a patch to BIND in coordination with everybody else, and I mean everybody. Even Microsoft played ball. Maybe Apple has done magic things to BIND on OS X, but I suspect it’s pretty much BSD BIND with a different compile. Either way, there are no excuses for being almost TWO WEEKS BEHIND Edit: THREE WEEKS LATE (that’s just sad) in patching the vulnerability. Even if it’s primarily important for OS X Server, at some point Apple’s lack of Enterprise penetration will limit its growth: people often go with what they use at work. I say that both as someone interested in the health of the platform (mainly so Microsoft finally has a viable competitor) and as a shareholder.

Steve, your bowels are your business, so long as it isn’t life threatening. I’ll give you a pass on that one. But can we ease up on the cult of secrecy with developers of released products and live up to industry standards on patching security issues? Yeah, Macs are still more secure by default than Windows PCs, but that doesn’t mean invulnerable and it doesn’t mean it will always be so.

Leave the computer science to the computer sciences and get on with the product strategy and design.

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