Disgusting App Store

Looks like I would again invite the wrath of fanbois on this post. Let’s see, but truth is truth and I cant’ resist from quoting it. Let’ start.

If you are missing some WTF news of late, have some of them here and here.

Let’s take the first example. Tweetie got rejected because Apple found some indecent words in the Twitter profile of Tweetie. Heck! There is no indecent words in the app itself. Now if the app developer says that the girl sitting next to her is sexy, get ready to face the wrath of Apple on your application.

Moving to second example, which would also make you scratch your head a hundred times.  They rejected a Bittorrent control app! Read it again you idiot. It’s not a Bittorrent app, but an app which can be used to control Transmission running on your desktop. Now it means that you aren’t downloading any illegal stuffs on your iPhone. You are just controlling it! Now even if that is illegal, the case is too weak!

Keeping up with the moral policing,  tomorrow Safari should be banned since it can also be used to download illegal content, that too on your holy iPhone, that too not remotely. The iPhone approval process sucks balls and how-so-ever you give excuses of legal and ethical and tons of other shit loads excuses, the fact is that App Store is a nightmare. It is under a Nazi’s rule and you got no right to speak. Admit it that Apple is God. If not, get out of here.

I am not a Microsoft fan, nor I was ever impressed with their ethics. Now I need to weight Apple and Microsoft. Speaking frankly, Microsoft respects developers even though they dis-respect the law. Apple considers developers  as second class citizen who are just here for bowing their heads. The reason why devs are still probably here is that Apple users pay for the app and due to the steady revenue stream.

I had written back about the screwed up App Store’s approval process when Opera got rejected and when they had a sucking NDA in place. If you want to judge the freedom you have at your disposal when you buy,think twice!

Advertisements

Jaunty Notifications, but why did Ted Dzuiba bash it?

I have been a great admirer of Ted Dzuiba, his writing are really thought provocative and humorous as much as possible. Being a critic, he writes to make a issue out of the smallest possible thing espcially Web 2.0 . Though I agree with most of his writings, some of them really fail to amuse me. I felt that being a critic, he sometimes takes a technology and tries to bash it just for no use. I even know I am not as qualified as he is to assess any technology, but still his latest post about Jaunty Notification is really hard to digest. Whatever be the case, he is expert in taking a dig at TechCrunch and making Micheal Arrington‘s pants wet.

He says in his blog post:

The old notifier used to stay out of your way.  Get a little message or whatnot when you got a new e-mail.  It was unobtrusive and didn’t distract you

The older notification was really a headache, same like that in Windows and it never went away when I wanted. I always had to click on that retarded close button everytime I wanted that shit to go away from my screen. I have even written a post how to use the old libnotify library, still I was never much amazed at it. When I came to know about some new notification system in Jaunty, I just hoped that it would be a improvement over the existing, but to my surprise it was much of an overhaul.

The Reasons

The new notification system is passive in nature. Even though it pops up, it goes away without my interference. Agree, it doesn’t have a close button. After all, who needs that big fuckin close button when it can go away by itself?

Another big advantage this new notification system is that, when you hover the mouse over it, it changes the opacity and you can click through. It is somewhat slightly visible to make sure that it hasn’t gone away. Then how come is it obtrusive? It comes and goes away, when you need to access the are where it appeared, it hides itself and allows click-through.

Thirdly for all those designers, the new notification looks better. It’s just like Mac OSX Growl. Maybe some looks-feel loving souls would be happy.

Fourthly, the notifications doesn’t show up randomly all over the screen. All such candidates are queued and shown one below the other instead of popping up and showing up at the same time. Successive notifications from same application are appended on each other. Take an example, someone is talking to you, he keeps on typing and hitting enter which keep up showing up as notifications. Instead of showing a new notification box for each message, they are appended in the original one.

Concluding

If you don’t believe that there is lot of hard work behind this new notification system, then you can simply check out the wiki page of Ubuntu and the Developer’s Guidelines for the same. Even though their work would be below par, still labour has its value.

Adopting newcomers to FOSS/Linux

Just remember the time when you started off with Linux or FOSS. You felt that you can’t find out a solution to your problem. What next? You tried asking for help on forums or any other help channels. Since you were noob, you didn’t even know how to ask questions or what exactly went wrong. You just knew that what you expected to happen, didn’t work. Just have a look at the following conversations:

n00bjoe: I have problems with totem. it cant play music. I am opening it and it refuses to play my media files

geekady: FFS,  Can you please STFW or RTFM?

n00bjoe: ???

There is no dearth of such conversations all over the net, now look at this one below:

n00bjoe: I have problems with totem. it cant play music. I am opening it and it refuses to play my media files

geekfam: You should get the codec pack. Install the gstreamer based ones.  Maybe this <insert link here>  can help you. I got this by 1-min googling and I advise you to do so in the future. I saves time and you can get quicker results.

n00bjoe: Thanks, it works

geekfam: Welcome. Remember always to google before asking questions. Google is your friend.

Did you find any difference between the two conversations? In the first, even though the geek is highly knowledgeable, there is hardly any throughput and in the second one, being a bit polite does magic.

If I come across such posts on forums where some first-timer has asked a question which is not deemed-fit as per the rules, I refrain from replying to it if I cant solve his problem. If I can solve his problem, I do add the small notice at the end citing what rules and regulations he should follow while posting.

The Bottom Line

I can never expect a first-timer to know all those complex geeky terms like gstreamer, licensing, Xorg, restricted etc etc. Everyone is not a techie and technology is not a toy just for the tech-evangelists. A little politeness doesn’t harm. I can’t argue with those people who have made and forum or IRC channel an excellent place for discussions. Even if they do use harsh words, they aren’t at fault, though I just request them to be a bit patient. In such cases let the other people handle those newcomers. After all its a social place

Case Study

Let’s take an example of a discussion forum: Ubuntuforums Absolute Beginner Talk . Go and have a look. The place looks like a mess. Each question is asked many times a day, sms lingo are used abruptly sometimes. Why was this category created? To save the whole forum from the newbies who don’t know how to post, how to answer and the special rules of the forum. It’s like a training ground, the person who qualifies and learns the rules comes out and uses the other sections.

I hardly see any harsh words used over here. This is the place where even newbies who have learnt sometimes post the solution of the problem asked by others. Whenever I went to that place, I answered the question and added that small notice at the end of the post. “Please use google before asking a question, you can save ours and your time too“.

Conclusion

I am an advocate for making FOSS/Linux go mainstream and now just remain in the hands of the the geeks. Some people say that they would prefer Linux being less famous, but they can’t stand those stupid people using Linux. Well, they look stupid just because they don’t know what they should be knowing. It’s our duty to tell them.

I have seen many people(including friends) get pissed off just because they asked the question for the first time and got a harsh reply. They didn’t even knew what are the rules. I even had a hard-time explaining that it’s not that people are harsh, they just want everyone to stick to the basic rules.

The post isn’t rant, but probably a feedback from the newcomers coupled my suggestions for the solution. Don’t get me wrong. I just want the guests to feel like home.

P.S: Don’t bash me for making a reference to Ubuntu(forums). There is actually lots of “Ubuntu Hate” all around. 😀

Shifted to FeedBurner

This is a pretty off-topic post, but still relevant.

The feeds of this blog would now be burned via FeedBurner. I should have done this pretty earlier.

I would request all of my feed readers to please change the feed settings, the new Feed URI is http://feeds2.feedburner.com/ManishTechBlog

Thanks for all the encouragement, I get a lot of hits and comments for each post. I salute you, the FOSS and related communities are awesome.