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June 28, 2004

Dashboard: Oh, Shut Up Already.

[This is a regurgitation of an entry that disappeared.]

Earlier today, Apple made its announcements at its developer conference.

Among them was the announcement of Dashboard, which nearly immediately resulted in cries of "Apple's killing third-party developers again!" from the wacky side of the Mac crowd.

Konfabulator is a rehash of desk accessories. Konfabulator is a rehash of dockapps. Konfabulator is a rehash of many things that existed prior, no matter how many articles or forum posts have Arlo quoted as "inventing" the concept of small desktop utilities that are readily accessible.

Konfabulator rehashed Apple's and NeXT's ideas, now Apple is doing the same. It's okay for third-parties to do this, you see, just not the party who originated it.

Whatever.

Let's say for a moment Apple did shamelessly rip off Konfabulator. What happens next? If Konfabulator's authors don't want to go the way of the dinosaur, they'll improve Konfabulator. And there are people, like me, who feel it needs a lot of improvement.

For me, Apple's Dashboard simply makes more sense -- Konfabulator creates annoying desktop clutter unless you're running at some gigantor resolution, Konsposé has an ugly background, and the weird limbo the widgets exist in means you have to left-click them before you can right-click them. With Dashboard, your widgets only appear when you specifically want them -- just like the old desk accessories in GS/OS and Mac OS as early as 1.0.

If Arlo and Perry want the $25 from people like me, they'll make improvements. If they want the $25 from more casual users, they'll make improvements.

If they want to fade into the ether, they won't make improvements.

It's simple. Improve or die.

Complaining about how unfair life is doesn't make things magically better, particularly when people start calling you on the factuality of your statements.

Posted by Colin at June 28, 2004 7:39 PM

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