2010-02-22

Trash talk.

The press likes a good fight and when Steve Jobs talks trash about Adobe and Flash, the press is more than willing to print it.  Of course, there's also the fact that Jobs is right about Flash.

Flash is an embarrassing piece of software that doesn't work for any reasonable definition of the word "works".  For what it does it consumes a staggering amount of resources and it doesn't seem to get any better with each new version.  Of course, users hardly expect Adobe products to really get better over time.  Seriously, they don't, and it is starting to show up in sales numbers. They just grow more features you don't need, and take up more space.

Which is how Adobe squandered their most important product ever:  Adobe Acrobat Reader.  Did you know that the download page for Acrobat Reader used to be the web page with the highest static rank on the web?   You would think that would inspire Adobe to make an effort -- to understand their customers, to make sure their product was the best measured by the sort of metrics the customer cares about.

It is rather telling that I many PDF files during a normal day, yet it has been several years since I used Acrobat Reader to do read PDF files.  I just don't need the hassle of Acrobat Reader.  

Sadly, Adobe seems to be managed by people who should have retired more than a decade ago.  No really, I mean it, they should get a new management team.  They can't possibly be any good at what they do.  Adobe has several dominant, sector-defining products and the demand for the sort of products they make is increasing.  Business should be great -- not "meh".

But back to Steve Jobs.  I think that before he bashes Adobe he should clean up his own back yard first.  And he can start by cleaning up the iTunes application.  What the hell is wrong with the people who do the iTunes app? 

The thing produces the spinning ball of fail all of the time.  Whenever it tries to do more than one thing at a time, the application becomes unresponsive for long periods of time.  Even when it only tries to do one thing it often becomes unresponsive.  Very, very often.  As in "several times every time I try to do something".  Get it?

Steve Jobs: your iTunes app behaves like a first year student's first exercise in concurrent programming.  No, really it does and I am being nice to you.  It is a showcase of concurrency fail.  There is no reason why the GUI thread should be blocked because iTunes is downloading a file or talking to a connected iPod.  None.  Zero.  iTunes doesn't need to lock up because IO takes place.  I have a Mac that is more powerful than most supercomputers of not too long ago -- it does NOT need to mull things over for a good 10 seconds while doing IO.  

Now that the iTunes app is becoming such an important conduit for business at your company, you should take it a bit more seriously than you have up until now.  You do not want to end up like Adobe Acrobat, right?

Less bitching about Flash.  More work on fixing the most obvious problems in iTunes.

1 comment:

  1. And therein lies the problem: As long as Steve keeps talking about Flash, there's an IO operation in progress and nobody at Apple can get any work done.

    :-)

    ReplyDelete