Unofficial Accidental Tech Podcast transcripts (generated by computer, so expect errors).

7: The Forecast For iCloud

Summly and Yahoo, retaining good tech talent, why iCloud sync doesn’t work well, whether it’s fixable, and whether you should use it even if it gets fixed.

Episode Description:

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Transcribed using Whisper large_v2 (transcription) + WAV2VEC2_ASR_LARGE_LV60K_960H (alignment) + Pyannote (speaker diaritization).

Transcript start

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Is this interesting at all?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey I don’t know. I’m bored.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey What are we talking about tonight, then?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t know. Is there anything to talk about with this Summly thing?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t know. I thought your post about David was really interesting. And

⏹️ ▶️ Casey this is obviously mutual admiration society, but I thought it was very, it was

⏹️ ▶️ Casey very prescient and impressive that he was smart enough not to reveal his

⏹️ ▶️ Casey age and then made an oops, And like you said, suddenly every article about Tumblr became

⏹️ ▶️ Casey about his age rather than the fact that Tumblr was really well done. And that’s too bad. But

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’ve never used Summly, so I don’t know if it’s any good. Apparently you say it’s not good.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t know what they did in the last six

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to nine months. They had their whole app that was this whole news browsing

⏹️ ▶️ Marco thing. That all came about fairly recently. Before all that is when I tried it. So I didn’t try any of the new stuff,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco so I can’t really speak to what it was. But the, originally the whole

⏹️ ▶️ Marco summarization engine, I was really not impressed by. I think it

⏹️ ▶️ Marco was a reasonable idea to try to do something like that, but

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it wasn’t that compelling. Like, something like that where, okay, so the idea of this thing is to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco take any, you know, web article, news article, whatever the case, and summarize it into

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like three little one sentence bullet points. And so the idea is that you don’t have to read

⏹️ ▶️ Marco everything. Well first of all as somebody who likes reading things that’s you know kind of missing the point

⏹️ ▶️ Marco but okay there’s some uses for that I can see that. The problem is that the summaries were so bad.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Not you know occasionally it would get maybe one and a half of the three bullet

⏹️ ▶️ Marco points would make sense but that was like the best I ever saw it do.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So it was a way to poorly summarize news stories sometimes.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And so to me, I just don’t have anywhere where that fits into my life. You

⏹️ ▶️ John guys probably don’t remember this because you didn’t start using Macs until recently, but back in the classic Mac

⏹️ ▶️ John OS days, Apple made a big stink at one point in its sad decline in the

⏹️ ▶️ John 90s about system-wide text summarization service, where you could select text and

⏹️ ▶️ John ask it to summarize it, and it would summarize it down to a couple sentences. Is this sounding familiar yet?

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco Yeah, exactly.

⏹️ ▶️ John And this was classic Mac OS. And that feature, it might still be in there. You should go look

⏹️ ▶️ John in Automator and see if there’s a summarized text thing. But it predates Mac OS X, my

⏹️ ▶️ John recollection. And yeah, that feature did not set the world on fire.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And I don’t know what the state of the art is with natural language processing doing summarization.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’m sure there’s probably good stuff out there. But the thing with lots of natural language

⏹️ ▶️ Marco processing or or a i type algorithms uh… is that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a lot of times the best they can ever do is like an eighty percent job and says a lot of cases in the world but

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that’s useful usually when you’re like directly between

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the data and the human and you’re trying to do it just as one smart thing that involves language

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and and concepts and you know very subjective difficult complicated things

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s it’s not usually good idea to uh… to expose the A. I. S. Output directly to people, because

⏹️ ▶️ Marco usually it’s like, let’s say it’s 95% good. 5% is

⏹️ ▶️ Marco still pretty often. You’re still going to hit that a lot, you know. So like John, you’ve talked a lot about

⏹️ ▶️ Marco speech recognition software because you used it a lot in dictation software.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco You know, what do you think is like the most or the highest acceptable error rate

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that you would still use it

⏹️ ▶️ John for a summarization of her speech recognition speech recognition? Well, speech recognition,

⏹️ ▶️ John I mean, the error rate is pretty high, and I think I’d be willing to put up with a much

⏹️ ▶️ John higher error rate than I currently get. In fact, I think I’d be willing to trade correctness

⏹️ ▶️ John for responsiveness, because when you’re trying to speak, you don’t want

⏹️ ▶️ John to be waiting. The built-in dictation in OS X is the worst case,

⏹️ ▶️ John because you activate the little thing, and then you see a little blinky cursor in front of you, then you talk,

⏹️ ▶️ John then you have to activate the thing again to say, OK, take what I

⏹️ ▶️ John just said and do something with it. And then you stare at the blinky thing, and then a whole bunch of text comes on the screen. And that’s when you find

⏹️ ▶️ John out whether it has been totally off the rails. Whereas if it had exactly the same error rate, but did it a word

⏹️ ▶️ John at a time, kind of like the difference between Siri and the Google iOS

⏹️ ▶️ John talk speech searching thing, responsiveness, I think, is more important than correctness.

⏹️ ▶️ John Obviously, if it was 70% error rate, you’d be annoyed. But I think being responsive is more

⏹️ ▶️ John important than being exactly correct. Because the dragon has really, really good accuracy, really

⏹️ ▶️ John high accuracy. But it still frustrates me sometimes when I’m talking faster than the text is appearing, and I have to stop.

⏹️ ▶️ John Maybe I don’t have to stop, but I do stop to wait to see the last 15 words come splatting out on the screen,

⏹️ ▶️ John usually all at once, to see that it’s on the same page. Because if you don’t do that, if you just close your eyes and talk,

⏹️ ▶️ John it will do an amazingly good job. But every once in a while, it’ll get something off. And I’ll go back and I’ll re-put what I quote

⏹️ ▶️ John unquote wrote by speaking. And I’ll have no idea what the hell I was saying. And I’ll have to like, I’ll look at it and try

⏹️ ▶️ John to think of homonyms. You know, like which word that sounds like the words on the page. Because

⏹️ ▶️ John when you make your own typos, it’s like, oh, I was typing the right word and I screwed up a couple characters. You could figure out what it was you said. But

⏹️ ▶️ John when you do like speechos where it transcribes the wrong thing, it could be so

⏹️ ▶️ John far off semantically. And I’ve literally had times where I say, I have no idea what the heck I was trying to say here. Because

⏹️ ▶️ John the sentence actually makes no sense whatsoever. Even though all the words are spelled correctly and they’re English words, they don’t make any

⏹️ ▶️ John sense. And I don’t remember what I was saying. And I got to like say the word as written out loud and close my eyes and

⏹️ ▶️ John think of what it sounds like. But I mean, I don’t think any, many people

⏹️ ▶️ John would choose to use speech recognition. Let’s put it this way. Like I wouldn’t be using it if I didn’t have RSI things

⏹️ ▶️ John with typing, right? I think that’s when you’ll know speech recognition has really arrived.

⏹️ ▶️ John When people who can already type very quickly choose to use speech recognition instead

⏹️ ▶️ John because it’s like either equally as fast or it’s so accurate

⏹️ ▶️ John that why would you bother flicking your fingers around? But we’re far from that right now.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Well, plus it’s not a group activity. What I mean by that is if you’re working in

⏹️ ▶️ Casey an office full of cubicles like John, I presume you do, and I certainly do, if all of

⏹️ ▶️ Casey us are talking to our computers, that’s going to be a bit loud,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to say the least. And furthermore, doing the sorts of things that all three of us do, which is write

⏹️ ▶️ Casey code, which is a far cry from regular prose.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’ve never imagined nor tried to do speech recognition for writing code, but John, I

⏹️ ▶️ Casey can’t imagine you’re writing Perl and regular expressions, which is basically the same thing, using speech

⏹️ ▶️ Casey recognition.

⏹️ ▶️ John It is not the same thing, and no, I am not. I’m not sure of that.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Oh, yeah, yeah.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco That was a good troll.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I do my best.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I feel like, you know, there’s places for this stuff. Like,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a lot of people have said that, you know, first of all, there are opportunities

⏹️ ▶️ Marco for anything that could be considered an assistive technology for people. Like, dictation

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is great for people who can’t type and RSI is, you know, a

⏹️ ▶️ Marco usually mild but still a handicap. And so if you can’t

⏹️ ▶️ Marco or would rather not use your hands to type, then it’s great to have alternatives.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco But the place for a lot of this stuff is in other contexts, people who don’t permanently

⏹️ ▶️ Marco have a specific disability, but who might temporarily have one. For example, when you’re driving, you really

⏹️ ▶️ Marco shouldn’t be typing. And when driving, you’re also

⏹️ ▶️ Marco theoretically, hopefully partially blind to your computing device. So that’s why

⏹️ ▶️ Marco things like voice command and audio cues can be so useful in a

⏹️ ▶️ Marco mobile app that you’re expected to use while you’re in the car. And so Siri is great for that, but

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Siri is not good enough for me to dictate everything that way. As John said,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco when you have alternatives, you’ll take them, but it’s still good to have this thing

⏹️ ▶️ Marco when you don’t have alternatives or when your alternatives are worse.

⏹️ ▶️ John I’m trying to look up the text summarization service from Classic MacOS in Google, and I can’t find it. All I can find

⏹️ ▶️ John are the references to it existing in Mac OS 10. So maybe I’m misremembering, but I could have sworn

⏹️ ▶️ John that this was like from Mac OS 8 or whatever. But anyway, if you want to just fire up text edit now in Mac OS 10,

⏹️ ▶️ John paste a bunch of text in there from an article, select the text, go to the services menu, summarize will be in there if you didn’t

⏹️ ▶️ John deactivate it in your pref pane. And you get a little slider that lets you crank it down to

⏹️ ▶️ John one sentence if you want. So I don’t understand how, I

⏹️ ▶️ John don’t know anything about this Summary thing except for what I read on Marco’s blog and one or two other news stories.

⏹️ ▶️ John Summarization is not the whole thing. I think it was like, it was basically a way to let you consume news

⏹️ ▶️ John without you having to look through all the news. It would try to give you a condensed version, but not, you know, am I

⏹️ ▶️ John getting this right? But not having a human do it, having the computer do it. And summarization would be a part of that.

⏹️ ▶️ John If it’s the summarization part that they were excited about, like, again, this feature has obviously existed for a

⏹️ ▶️ John long time, whether it’s in classic Mac or not. No one cares that it’s there. Is it patent encumbered? Is it like,

⏹️ ▶️ John I still don’t understand what they paid $30 million for it all. I don’t understand it at all.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And so that’s what a lot of the debate has been about, is first of all, it’s cool to say Yahoo

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is being stupid because Yahoo’s had some pretty bad decades. So everyone’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like, oh, look at how stupid Yahoo’s being. But I don’t think it’s them being stupid.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Usually, if you think a company is being stupid, usually you aren’t looking at the whole picture, or

⏹️ ▶️ Marco there’s something that you’re missing, or there’s some better reason for what they’re doing that’s better explained

⏹️ ▶️ Marco than they’re idiots. So I think you can look—unless the company

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is RIM, now called BlackBerry. Anyway, they actually are idiots.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco But for the most part, everybody else, when the explanation is, oh, they’re being stupid. There’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco usually more to it. So I think in this case, a lot of people have suggested… So here’s the deal. They

⏹️ ▶️ Marco bought, summly, the product and part of the staff for $30

⏹️ ▶️ Marco million, most of which was cash. I think they said 10% was stock, but all the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco numbers are actually rumored or from inside sources that are unnamed. The numbers were not officially made public, but everyone’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco saying $30 million, mostly in cash. And it’s a classic

⏹️ ▶️ Marco textbook acqua hire. The product is immediately shut down and Yahoo

⏹️ ▶️ Marco paid, for this size startup, it’s a relatively modest sum,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco basically for three people, for the three most important people by their definition, to work

⏹️ ▶️ Marco for Yahoo for a minimum of 18 months. So basically they’ve paid

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like $10 million a head for these key people.

⏹️ ▶️ John That sounds even more crazy. Now that you’re telling me more about this, I’m thinking it sounds even crazier than I thought. So they’re shutting

⏹️ ▶️ John down the stupid product that summarizes stuff?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Oh, it’s gone. They pulled it from the App Store.

⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t understand it at all. There’s no way those three people are worth $30 million.

⏹️ ▶️ John There’s just no way. Right.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John And there’s part of the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco debate that some people are saying that the technology was actually licensed

⏹️ ▶️ Marco from SRI, the parent company of Siri before Apple bought it, that the speech recognition

⏹️ ▶️ Marco or the sorry the the natural language processing technology was actually SRIs and it was licensed from

⏹️ ▶️ Marco them that some we didn’t develop that but then the some way people are denying that so that’s it’s unclear what what

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is the truth there but the at least what Yahoo bought at least what we know that they bought was

⏹️ ▶️ Marco they paid 30 million dollars for these three people one of whom is the 17 year old kid

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Nick oh god I’m not I should not try to pronounce his last name. D.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Aloecio, maybe? D. Aloecio. I’m sorry, Nick. I’m probably butchering that.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Nick D. But not Nick Denton. Yeah. Gosh, this is tough.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Anyway, Nick D. Aloecio. Sorry. He started

⏹️ ▶️ Marco this company when he was 15. Now he’s 17. So now he’s a 17-year-old tech whiz kid

⏹️ ▶️ Marco millionaire, which of course the press loves to bang on that angle so much. And I kind of ripped them apart

⏹️ ▶️ Marco yesterday for that, as we were saying at the top of the show about how

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that was originally a problem at Tumblr, because David was so young.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So all the stories are about how young this kid is, or about the tech press freaking out that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco why the heck did they buy this and why the heck did they pay so much. But to bring this back a little bit.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco We had a couple weeks ago we had a question from Abhi Bekert. He suggested an interesting

⏹️ ▶️ Marco topic. He said, what if Apple bought Yahoo? And the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco idea there was like Apple needs to buy or Apple needs good server-side

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and services talent and Yahoo might have that. And I thought about

⏹️ ▶️ Marco this topic for a little bit. Yahoo is is still very popular among especially

⏹️ ▶️ Marco among non-geek demographics like normal people as we like to say in the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco geek world which is probably condescending or somehow weird but sorry about that anyway we

⏹️ ▶️ Marco brought I don’t know I don’t know what the right term is non geeks I think it’s fair

⏹️ ▶️ Marco but I think Yahoo is for the most part resting on their previously achieved laurels

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and I don’t think they’ve really done a lot in the last decade maybe

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to to really get new users and to really grow the company and And that’s why everyone has said they’ve been in trouble,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and that’s why it was interesting when they brought in Marissa Meyer, a CEO from Google, so that was interesting.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco But either way, this is a company that needs to make a comeback of some sort. They’ve also, in the last

⏹️ ▶️ Marco decade, gone through a lot of layoffs. A lot of very talented people have

⏹️ ▶️ Marco left or gotten fired or gotten laid off. So

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t have any inside sources at Yahoo, but I have to imagine they probably have a talent

⏹️ ▶️ Marco shortage. And because if you’re really good, you probably have,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you probably were not happy working at Yahoo in the last decade, and you probably left or didn’t go there in the first place.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Because they’ve just lost so many good people over the last few years. So,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and they have some good properties like Flickr that we’ve just seen just, you know, languish and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and stagnate as all the good people have left or they’ve gotten fired. So

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yahoo, talent-wise, I have to imagine is not in good shape. So

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the other angle people are discussing with the Summly deal is, first of all, Nick D’Aloisio,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco again I’m sorry, he might be a really good product sensibility

⏹️ ▶️ Marco person. And that’s, you know, it’s the kind of person that in one way Steve

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Jobs was, it’s the kind of person certainly that David Karp is at Tumblr, believe me, he is

⏹️ ▶️ Marco definitely that kind of person. And that’s a very

⏹️ ▶️ Marco valuable kind of person, you know, just shorthand just called product people.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Product people can make or break a company because they make the decisions about what a product should be and they

⏹️ ▶️ Marco have the sensibilities to know what people will like and what will work.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So if Nick D’Aloisio is a really good product person,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco then it would be valuable to bring them onto Yahoo, because Yahoo needs people like that.

⏹️ ▶️ John Not $30 million valuable. I’m trying to

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco think of some

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey sane reason that you’d pay $30 million,

⏹️ ▶️ John and here’s what I’ve come up with, and it’s not great, and it’s based on no information. One,

⏹️ ▶️ John there’s a bidding war. You’re not the only one who wants to buy these people. You pay with the market demands. If you want them more than

⏹️ ▶️ John someone else, you just go up, up, up, and we get them in. And two is intellectual property. They have some

⏹️ ▶️ John stuff that would, you know, it would cost you… It’s more important for you to own this intellectual

⏹️ ▶️ John property because it would cost you more to let someone else scoop it up and then you have to license it from them long-term. Those are the only

⏹️ ▶️ John two things I can think of.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, what I’m thinking is there are two factors here that could have driven

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the price up a little bit artificially. One is that Yahoo

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is, again, not in good shape. And, you know,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you could argue that having a really good product person is very valuable to the company,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you could counter-argue that, well, he’s only obligated to stay there for 18 months. So,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, they might—

⏹️ ▶️ John It doesn’t matter how good you are. 18 months, one thing. And the second thing is unproven. So show me you’re a great

⏹️ ▶️ John product person. Where’s your great product? Was it this thing that we just can’t and no one was really interested in? Because that ain’t great. I mean, even Steve Jobs

⏹️ ▶️ John didn’t get $30 million the day he arrived at Apple in 1997. He had to kind of sort of A, kick out

⏹️ ▶️ John the old CEO, and B, kind of sort of prove himself before like they were like, okay, well, you know, I mean, he didn’t come

⏹️ ▶️ John out the gate and say, oh, Steve Jobs, you’re wonderful. We’re going to immediately let you take over and give you tons and tons of

⏹️ ▶️ John money and shower you with praise. If Steve Jobs has to prove himself, this kid has to as well. You don’t pay $30

⏹️ ▶️ John million for a couple of employees, no matter who they are, even if they literally are the best employees in the entire

⏹️ ▶️ John world. You just don’t pay that much money for it. You wouldn’t have to. You could get those employees

⏹️ ▶️ John for less money if they didn’t know. They obviously know they have something or think

⏹️ ▶️ John or know they have something that’s actually worth much more than they would be individually as employees, you know?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, maybe Yahoo can’t get them for less. Again, Yahoo has a problem

⏹️ ▶️ Marco because if you’re really good in this industry, do you want to work at Yahoo? Probably

⏹️ ▶️ Marco not.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John That’s a problem. I think $5

⏹️ ▶️ John million a head for 18

⏹️ ▶️ Marco months would do it. So anyway, one thing I think they can justify the high price by saying,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco well, we’re Yahoo. We need people. We need good people. The other thing is, Nick D’Aloisio,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco again, I’m sorry, is extremely relentless and really,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco really good at self-promotion. This guy, there was, I linked to this Gizmodo

⏹️ ▶️ Marco article, which is really kind of tasteless, honestly. I felt bad even linking, I almost didn’t

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey link to it. Wait,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey on Gizmodo? Really? Weird.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Because when, you know, this, you got to keep in mind, this is a teenager, or at least he was. Well, he’s 18

⏹️ ▶️ Marco now, I guess, or 17, whatever. But he’s a teenager. Like, if I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco started a company when I was a teenager and got a whole bunch of publicity and got all over the press and was able to email

⏹️ ▶️ Marco people who were important in the industry, I don’t know that I would have acted that much better, honestly, because when I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco was a teenager, I was an idiot. And I guess I’m probably going to look back at this time

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in 10 years and say I was an idiot now, but I at least feel like I’m way less of an idiot now than I was

⏹️ ▶️ Marco when I was a teenager. So I got to give this kid the benefit of the doubt that, okay, you know,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco he was 15 when he started all this stuff and when I was 15 I was an idiot. So anyway,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco but he emailed this Gizmodo reporter relentlessly,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like every day, making up all this stuff like, oh my boss is gonna get on my back if you don’t put my

⏹️ ▶️ Marco app in the Hall of Fame or something like that. And everything was marked urgent. So I didn’t see that story when

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it came out. But Nick gave me a similar email barrage

⏹️ ▶️ Marco about six months later trying to get me to integrate Summly into Instapaper.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And I mean the the emails he sent were… I don’t want to be mean

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to the kid, but I mean it was ridiculous. He would email me like multiple

⏹️ ▶️ Marco times a day on some of these days. Everything was marked like super urgent, even though it wasn’t urgent,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco which is just kind of a rude thing to do. And he would impose

⏹️ ▶️ Marco this artificial sense of urgency and everything had to be done quickly, right now,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco oh my god, a lot like a high-pressure car salesman, you know, like really like high-pressure

⏹️ ▶️ Marco manipulation, I would say. And really, I was not left with a very

⏹️ ▶️ Marco good impression of Nick from these emails, just because I felt like I was being manipulated and and badgered

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and and annoyed so this and and clearly you know because he did the exact same thing to somebody else I have to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco imagine this is just part of his personality where he can badger the crap out of people until until

⏹️ ▶️ Marco they do what he wants and and so if you look at his company

⏹️ ▶️ Marco his company has some fairly prominent investors he had

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a video promotional video done with Stephen Fry and among other other people he

⏹️ ▶️ Marco did a few things with to and like he has a lot of connections obviously and I don’t know if he badgered

⏹️ ▶️ Marco his way in or if he earned them or what this kid is really really good

⏹️ ▶️ Marco at getting people on his side and badgering people into paying attention to him and doing with what

⏹️ ▶️ Marco he wants for his product so it’s very possible that just Yahoo’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco desperation and that could have been the only two factors that made this price go Way higher

⏹️ ▶️ Marco than we think it probably should have that seems highly unlikely to me. You didn’t get these kids emails

⏹️ ▶️ John I saw I read the

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco articles.

⏹️ ▶️ John He’s like, yes, he’s enthusiastic and annoying but like this there’s obviously something there

⏹️ ▶️ John that That we don’t know what have information about there’s something it’s

⏹️ ▶️ John a bidding war. It’s intellectual property It’s not it’s obviously not the product because they can that so you can’t

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s not that did the product have a big user base They’re transferring. No, I don’t think that’s it either It’s got to be it’s got to

⏹️ ▶️ John be something

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco else. I’ve had

⏹️ ▶️ Marco less than a million downloads and no revenue

⏹️ ▶️ John I mean cuz think about it like if you’re running a company you can’t you can’t hire a superstar person

⏹️ ▶️ John For you know 10 million dollars head all your existing people who are like wait aren’t I a superstar?

⏹️ ▶️ John Why don’t I get 10 million dollars for a team? It doesn’t you just can’t do that doesn’t there’s got to be something They’re worth

⏹️ ▶️ John money to the company Besides those human beings

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I I think it’s clear I think you’re right that we we don’t know the whole story here because obviously this still

⏹️ ▶️ Marco seems ridiculous, but I Don’t think there needs to be that much more to it for it

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to be understandable or or a plausible Like I don’t think they

⏹️ ▶️ Marco had some kind of awesome super duper Natural language processing technology that Yahoo now owns

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t think that’s it at all because I saw the technology and it wasn’t that compelling

⏹️ ▶️ John Well, I might just be patents Like I said intellectual property doesn’t have to actually be awesome. It can be super duper dumb In fact, those

⏹️ ▶️ John are the best kind of patents, the super dumb patents.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t think they were in business long enough to get a patent issued.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John Everybody’s

⏹️ ▶️ John got a patent. Everyone’s got a patent.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Well, and I read somewhere today, and I wish I remember where I read this. So this is probably false, since I

⏹️ ▶️ Casey barely remember where I read it. But somebody said that it wasn’t even their tech, that

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it was like quasi-Siri in that they licensed the tech from someone else and just

⏹️ ▶️ Casey put a UI in in front of it and called it theirs. So I agree with you, John, that if

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it’s not the people, then it should be IP, but supposedly the

⏹️ ▶️ Casey IP isn’t theirs anyway. So what gives? I don’t

⏹️ ▶️ Casey know.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t know. Again, I think, you know, John’s right. There has to be something

⏹️ ▶️ Marco else here that has not been reported.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Well, and if it’s the desperation of Yahoo, something that I’ve heard or have read a lot about

⏹️ ▶️ Casey lately is how desperate Apple is. So how far is Apple from being in this position? And I know

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that’s kind of a ridiculous and absurd thing to ask, but it’s also kind of a legitimate

⏹️ ▶️ Casey thing to ask. I mean, is Apple really where the super incredible

⏹️ ▶️ Casey mega nerds want to be these days?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco That’s a very good question. I’ve heard a lot of things, rumors and some

⏹️ ▶️ Marco things from people in Apple, that they have a lot of problems retaining good talent.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Getting good talent, maybe getting good talent they’re still okay with, but retaining good talent,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco they’re having a big problem there.

⏹️ ▶️ John It makes sense that they have trouble retaining because the way Apple works

⏹️ ▶️ John is if you are a really smart, great performer, lots of talent,

⏹️ ▶️ John can do lots of different things, you’re not going to go to Apple and

⏹️ ▶️ John get to do what you want to do because the company does so few things. It’s focused, right? contribute

⏹️ ▶️ John to what may be a big deal, but you’re not going to go, you know, I have this really great idea for

⏹️ ▶️ John this thing and Apple’s going to be like, no, they shoot down everyone’s idea like the only very, very few ideas actually

⏹️ ▶️ John get implemented. So eventually, after you’ve worked on one or two things that

⏹️ ▶️ John that Apple decided to do and you were important in contributing to them or whatever, you will inevitably

⏹️ ▶️ John say, well, you know, but now I want to actually do the thing that I was thinking of that I think is cool. There’s no way for you

⏹️ ▶️ John to do that inside of Apple. So you inevitably have to leave. And it’s not the fault of

⏹️ ▶️ John Apple for doing this, because they have to be focused as a company. But if you get really

⏹️ ▶️ John smart and multi-talented people, you can’t keep them in this confined

⏹️ ▶️ John place where they can only contribute to the one or two or three things that are important for Apple to do. They will want to go off

⏹️ ▶️ John on their own, even if it’s just like I just want to go off and make

⏹️ ▶️ John a letterpress or something. Apple’s not interested in that, but maybe you are. And you can’t do that within Apple.

⏹️ ▶️ John And so you’re like, all right, well, I worked on this, I worked on that, they were great. It’s really

⏹️ ▶️ John important work. Lots of people use it, but I just want to do my thing. So I think that’s inevitable.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think also you can kind of get some idea that most of the people

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I know, and maybe this is just the people I’ve observed because it’s who I follow on Twitter or whatever, but most of the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco people I know who have left Apple have gone to much smaller companies.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Oftentimes, they’ve gone to start a startup. I think it’s part of what you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco said, John. It’s part of them wanting to do something on a much smaller scale where they can have a bigger role or make

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a product that Apple would never make. But I think part of it also is that Apple

⏹️ ▶️ Marco has created this entire environment, this entire ecosystem of small startups

⏹️ ▶️ Marco being able to succeed and one-person shops being able to succeed on the App Store.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And their people being in charge of this stuff or working

⏹️ ▶️ Marco on the frameworks or working in this world, or at least being surrounded by other developers

⏹️ ▶️ Marco who are working in this world, that has to be very tempting for people who work inside of Apple

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to be looking at all these other people making probably way more money than they make at their job at Apple,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and doing really cool things, and making products from scratch, and having no boss, you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco know, to watch that from the inside and not be able to participate.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco That has to be very tempting and I bet that pulls a lot of people out of Apple.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey But isn’t the converse also true in the sense that let’s say I was a middle-of-the-road

⏹️ ▶️ Casey self-employed iOS developer and I have a few apps

⏹️ ▶️ Casey or maybe just one app in the App Store that’s popular but it’s barely

⏹️ ▶️ Casey self-sustaining and then Apple says to me, hey why don’t you interview with us? I

⏹️ ▶️ Casey can’t imagine I would be like no, I really like being my own person. And it’s

⏹️ ▶️ Casey hard for me to fathom what it’s like to be self employed, because I’ve worked for the man my entire life.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey But I guess what I’m saying is, if if I wasn’t not a superstar, and if

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I was just a regular Joe, who was trying to do his own thing in the App Store, and Apple said,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Hey, we’ve seen what you do, and we really like it. And we’d like you to interview, I got to imagine I’d be

⏹️ ▶️ Casey thrilled at that opportunity. I would be so

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John beside that they want you to

⏹️ ▶️ John move to California, though. How do you feel about it now?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Well, and that’s a very, very fair point.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John And they

⏹️ ▶️ John don’t they don’t do the telecommuting thing really. And that’s, I mean, that’s another limiting factor. You want to work

⏹️ ▶️ John for Apple, you got to live in Apple land and living in Apple land is expensive. And maybe that’s not where your family is. And maybe that’s not where you want

⏹️ ▶️ John to live.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And if you do live out there, you have a lot of competition for that job. Or rather,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco people have a lot of competition for an employer. Like, if you live out there already,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco then you can go work for any number of big tech companies, plus an infinite number of small

⏹️ ▶️ Marco ones.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And that’s a really good point. It really honestly is. And I’m hypothesizing,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t know what any of this is like, but I guess what I’m saying is, as much as Apple

⏹️ ▶️ Casey is arguably bleeding talent, I can’t imagine that it’s that hard for them to find

⏹️ ▶️ Casey new talent. That being said, a revolving door is clearly not a sustainable approach.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey So I don’t know, it’s an odd thing to think about.

⏹️ ▶️ John I think it’s not just the people who go there, are a superstar, do something awesome,

⏹️ ▶️ John like design the UI for the original iOS or the iPhone OS as it was then known,

⏹️ ▶️ John launch the original iPhone, maybe do one or two other projects and say, all right, well, now I feel like I have

⏹️ ▶️ John all the talents under my belt to do Brady’s basically whatever I want, and I wanna be the one in charge. Because you

⏹️ ▶️ John can only have so many chiefs, it’s mostly gotta be Indians, especially at a company like Apple. You only do a limited number of

⏹️ ▶️ John things, only a limited number of

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco people are in charge.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Is this an H1B reference or? Oh,

⏹️ ▶️ John God. Native Americans, Marco.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco don’t know if we’re allowed to call them that.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey Anyway.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John Suddenly

⏹️ ▶️ Casey we’ve taken a turn.

⏹️ ▶️ John So there’s that feeling that you want to, like, I want to be the guy who calls the shots,

⏹️ ▶️ John right? And so those people go off and do that. But it’s not just the people who are like, well, I came in at the bottom. I

⏹️ ▶️ John learned some stuff. And now I’m able to go off on my own. Because like you said, you can make more money. My friends are making these hit applications

⏹️ ▶️ John and making tons more money than I am. I could be proprietor of my own business. I could have unlimited income, limited only

⏹️ ▶️ John by my success, not by a review process and cost of living raises and bonuses and maybe stock

⏹️ ▶️ John options are unlucky. Think about Bertrand, Bertrand Sirle, who was

⏹️ ▶️ John one of the guys in charge, making presumably tons of money. He didn’t leave Apple because

⏹️ ▶️ John he didn’t get to be in charge of stuff. Well, I mean, he wasn’t Steve Jobs, but

⏹️ ▶️ John he was like two or three rungs down from there. If anyone’s, there’s very few people who have that level of power.

⏹️ ▶️ John And he certainly wasn’t, you know, oh, well, I’m so bitter that these people are making money in the app store. He just wanted to go

⏹️ ▶️ John and do something different. And no matter where you are, except maybe if you’re at

⏹️ ▶️ John the very, very top of that pyramid, if you have an itch to go do something,

⏹️ ▶️ John you can’t do it within Apple if it’s not something that Apple wants to do. And so he left to do whatever his secret

⏹️ ▶️ John startup is right now. He didn’t retire to, like, you know, sit on the beach and,

⏹️ ▶️ John you know, count his money and watch the waves come. And he wanted he had he had an intellectual itch

⏹️ ▶️ John and he wanted to do something. And so he left to do it. And that’s

⏹️ ▶️ John that’s inevitably going to happen in a company where you hire people who that’s what you want in your company,

⏹️ ▶️ John people who could be the Steve Jobs of their own company, but you want them to work for you. And

⏹️ ▶️ John and you want to kind of like get them as long as you possibly can and get what you

⏹️ ▶️ John can out of them. But I don’t think Apple is bitter that they go off and do things on their own. And if anything, it’s like, if we

⏹️ ▶️ John have an employee who couldn’t leave Apple and go off and do better for themselves, maybe we didn’t make the right hire.

⏹️ ▶️ John That’s the calculus there. They want all people who could do better outside

⏹️ ▶️ John of Apple, but they want to keep them for as long as they can and get the best work out of them, I guess.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think it’s interesting maybe to distinguish. We’re talking about how

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Apple’s having trouble getting talent, but that seems to be mostly at the lower levels of the company

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and the mid-levels of the company. At the upper levels of the company, they seem to have, for the most part,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco pretty strong loyalty and pretty long-running people there.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John And so maybe—

⏹️ ▶️ John Executives, I mean, can a

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey middle

⏹️ ▶️ John manager go off and do their own thing and be as successful as they are as Apple? No, because at a certain point, when you

⏹️ ▶️ John get high enough—Bertrand is an exception because he was in the engineering organization, but there are people who are just managers.

⏹️ ▶️ John And if you’re a longtime manager at Apple, you’re going to be making lots of money. don’t care, you don’t get to tell the

⏹️ ▶️ John company what the company gets to do. There’s room for middle management everywhere. Those people

⏹️ ▶️ John aren’t going to leave voluntarily.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, I guess that’s true. But if you look at other companies, I think Apple is pretty good at retaining the upper

⏹️ ▶️ Marco people. So I guess the question is, the upper people, obviously,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco frequent changes there would probably be way more disruptive to the company than frequent changes

⏹️ ▶️ Marco at the lower levels of the company. company. Are frequent changes at the lower

⏹️ ▶️ Marco levels really something that they should be worried about? Or should they just keep trying to make the best

⏹️ ▶️ Marco stuff and, you know, keep retaining like the upper people and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco just kind of hope that the lower people keep coming in faster than they’re going out?

⏹️ ▶️ John I think they probably need to figure out some way to prolong

⏹️ ▶️ John the really smart people’s stay by giving them some way to flex their independence and desire

⏹️ ▶️ John to do something. Like, It’s totally against Apple’s MO to do the computer equivalent of concept

⏹️ ▶️ John cars or have something like Google Labs or 20% time. Those are just not in Apple’s

⏹️ ▶️ John culture. But Apple’s culture is so far in the other direction. If you can just give people

⏹️ ▶️ John some outlet within that structure to say, there is a slim

⏹️ ▶️ John chance, however slim, it’s like the lottery, however slim, that you may be able to get us to do your crazy idea.

⏹️ ▶️ John Think of the original Xbox. So I think it was J. L. Ard and maybe one other person had the idea, you know

⏹️ ▶️ John what, Microsoft should do a gaming console. And they were not like vice presidents when they came up with this idea.

⏹️ ▶️ John They were pretty much rank and file employees who’d been there for a while but were not in

⏹️ ▶️ John a position to say, Microsoft should make a game console. But they were able to take that idea and

⏹️ ▶️ John pitch it up, up, up the ladder and eventually convince Microsoft to make a game console. And they became

⏹️ ▶️ John a big part of that process. Not like, oh, good, that’s a great idea, guys. Now go back and toil. So they became

⏹️ ▶️ John bigwigs in charge of that project. That can happen in size. Microsoft released happened once.

⏹️ ▶️ John There are plenty of people in lower positions in Apple whose ideas come to fruition and become a big type of thing.

⏹️ ▶️ John But I’m not sure they go with those ideas up the ladder. So if you could just

⏹️ ▶️ John make some sort of forum within the company for these independent people to come up with something that it’s possible

⏹️ ▶️ John to pitch its way up and to become the next big pillar on the stool, even if that only happens once every 10

⏹️ ▶️ John years or something. I mean, I don’t know. None of us have ever worked for Apple, so we’re all just speculating

⏹️ ▶️ John on the outside what it might be like. But I think that type of 20% time, however

⏹️ ▶️ John BS it is at Google these days, and Google Labs type things, in the pre-Google

⏹️ ▶️ John Plus days, let’s say, before Google tried to become maniacally focused, that was a lot of the reason I

⏹️ ▶️ John think a lot of really smart people stayed at Google. Because whether anything

⏹️ ▶️ John actually came to fruition or not, there was the idea that it was a bunch of smart people and lots of interesting things

⏹️ ▶️ John in all sorts of directions. And why would you leave to go anyplace else? Because here they give you a nice salary. They feed

⏹️ ▶️ John you. They take care of you. You have health insurance. It’s a nice job. And you get to do

⏹️ ▶️ John whatever you want. Who knows, that thing, whatever you want, could become the next Gmail, because that’s where Gmail came from, right? Or the

⏹️ ▶️ John next Google Reader before, you know. So that

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey environment

⏹️ ▶️ John within Google, the pre-Google plus Google, I think that served

⏹️ ▶️ John as a magnet to pull people into Google and to keep people into Google. Maybe the wrong kind of people,

⏹️ ▶️ John maybe not the kind of people Apple wants, but Apple needs just a tiny little taste of that, a little bit more

⏹️ ▶️ John than they have now, and I think that would help them keep people for like say six months longer.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Hopefully

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John longer

⏹️ ▶️ Marco than that, but yeah, I think that’s wise. I don’t know, Casey, what do you think?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I think I agree with everything you said. What’s hard for me to reconcile is if you look at the

⏹️ ▶️ Casey big players in California, And let me hedge heavily by saying I’m an East Coast guy.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’ve only been to California a handful of times in my life. In fact, at least half of them were for WWDC.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t understand what the culture and what the technology sector looks

⏹️ ▶️ Casey like out there. So I apologize for getting all the following wrong. Email Marco. But if

⏹️ ▶️ Casey you’re a really bright engineer and you’re really passionate about writing code,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey where are your options? I mean, you can go to Microsoft, but most people would perceive that

⏹️ ▶️ Casey as just corporate stooge land. You can go to Google, which means your, your entire

⏹️ ▶️ Casey purpose in life is to sell ads. You can go to Yahoo, which means you’re the only

⏹️ ▶️ Casey bright star in a cloudy sky, which some people might like, but it’s not my cup of tea.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Or you can go to Apple and, and at least Apple is devoted to

⏹️ ▶️ Casey pleasing customers as opposed to telling as opposed to telling customers they’re out to please

⏹️ ▶️ Casey them and actually popping their eyeballs for advertisements. Does that make sense? Like,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t see why anyone else would be compelling with the exception, as you guys mentioned, of startups. But

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t know, I guess I’m so risk-adverse that that doesn’t seem that compelling to me either.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John Well,

⏹️ ▶️ John that’s one of the reasons that I think the senior executives stay as well, is because, especially if you’re a senior executive,

⏹️ ▶️ John like it’s the, you know, do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life or come with me and change the world? Like those executives

⏹️ ▶️ John really feel like they can have the biggest impact on the world by being

⏹️ ▶️ John a regular good old middle manager in Apple, then being a regular good old middle manager

⏹️ ▶️ John at Coca-Cola or GM or Procter & Gamble because they don’t feel like they’re, you know, like they can go to parties. So

⏹️ ▶️ John I work for Apple, yes, I’m a very important person. You know the iPod, you’ve heard of that? Yeah, that’s the company that I work. You know what I mean? Like

⏹️ ▶️ John that, there’s all sorts of angles to that, but there really is a chance. And same thing for engineers, to do something

⏹️ ▶️ John that you think will have an impact. That used to be Microsoft, that was certainly Google

⏹️ ▶️ John and probably still is Google, because you could say you work for Google. And that like, you know, I don’t know, we call it job satisfaction,

⏹️ ▶️ John or feeling like your job is important and can change the world. And you’re not just toiling away. And I

⏹️ ▶️ John think Apple is just as much a corporate stooge job as Microsoft or any other place. And it’s a big corporation. It’s like,

⏹️ ▶️ John it is what it is. It doesn’t, it’s not crazily different than any other large corporation, like say Valve

⏹️ ▶️ John or something where it’s totally outside the realm of expectations. They have managers and employees and teams,

⏹️ ▶️ John and there may be a couple of things that are different about them. And certainly at the top levels, the company behaves very differently in terms of

⏹️ ▶️ John focus and everything. But to employees, I don’t know.

⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t think it’s that different.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Maybe it’s naive of me, but I feel like Microsoft’s purpose in life, maybe up until recently,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey but Microsoft’s purpose in life was to please other companies. And Yahoo’s

⏹️ ▶️ Casey purpose in life is to buy cool things and ruin them. And Google’s purpose

⏹️ ▶️ Casey in life— Mad Fientist

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John Yeah, Google

⏹️ ▶️ John buys cool things and ruins them too. John

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Greenewald That’s true. And Google’s purpose in life is to sell advertisements. And at

⏹️ ▶️ Casey least Apple’s building cool stuff, right? I mean, if you’re going to choose a corporate stooge

⏹️ ▶️ Casey job—and I think, John, you’re right, Apple’s more corporate stoogey than I care to admit—but

⏹️ ▶️ Casey if you’re going to choose a corporate stooge job on the left coast, is Apple not the best

⏹️ ▶️ Casey option?

⏹️ ▶️ John Well, it also depends on what kind of person you are. Here’s the problem we were talking about with Apple and

⏹️ ▶️ John its services. Say you are someone who does something on the server side, data centers,

⏹️ ▶️ John infrastructure-type software. You don’t want to go work for Apple because Apple

⏹️ ▶️ John has not shown that it values those people or that part of its business. It just wants it to work, doesn’t want to hear

⏹️ ▶️ John about it. And the smartest, best server side people are not going to go work. They don’t want

⏹️ ▶️ John to work at Apple because they want to be valued. If they go work at Google, they’re practically gods. You get to work

⏹️ ▶️ John on GFS version 3 or Spanner or whatever, these infrastructure things. Like, those are

⏹️ ▶️ John like serious business. That’s the whole company, right? But at Apple,

⏹️ ▶️ John you’re just like, we don’t want to hear you or know who you are or anything about you. All we ever hear is that you’re screwing

⏹️ ▶️ John up and just make it The people who get the glory are I made the iPhone interface or I’m

⏹️ ▶️ John designing the next piece of hardware. I work on the operating system. Nobody is getting any glory or any fame or

⏹️ ▶️ John any recognition or putting anything in open source or contributing to anything who’s working on server

⏹️ ▶️ John side at Apple. Forget it. So Apple, I think, cannot hire those people. We’re talking about like, oh, if

⏹️ ▶️ John you’re a client-side programmer or if you’re a designer, yeah. Designers want to go to Apple. Client-side

⏹️ ▶️ John native app people want to go to Apple. But if you’re a web developer or server-side person,

⏹️ ▶️ John you don’t want to go to Apple,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey probably. That’s not entirely true. I think that’s mostly true.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey But if you happen to be one of the six people on the planet that knows how to do web objects,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I think you can—

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John Yeah,

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s like COBOL. They’ve got to have

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey the COBOL

⏹️ ▶️ John programmers.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey No,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey you’re right. You’re right. But I think that the six people that do web objects in the world

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And an acquaintance of a friend of a friend of a friend does WebObjects and actually

⏹️ ▶️ Casey lives nearby to where I live. And he works for Apple because,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey you know, or at least that’s my understanding. I could be totally wrong. But my point is if you

⏹️ ▶️ Casey do one of the things that Apple does that nobody else does like WebObjects, you can

⏹️ ▶️ Casey pave your own way.

⏹️ ▶️ John But I’m saying that’s why Apple’s having trouble hiring the people they need to make their server-side stuff better.

⏹️ ▶️ John Because hiring a bunch of WebObjects programmers is not going to help them make their stuff better, right? They want

⏹️ ▶️ John the people who are taking the jobs elsewhere who are going to come up with the next big thing, or at least just bring Apple up to date with like 10

⏹️ ▶️ John years ago tech. They’re so far behind and so out in the weeds on this. They just

⏹️ ▶️ John want to get good server-side people to do their stuff. And I bet

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s not just that maybe they can get the good server-side people. Once the good service people get there and they go, the first thing they want

⏹️ ▶️ John to do is, we’ve got to get rid of this WebObjects crap. What the hell are you guys doing? And they’ll find out that the culture is like, no,

⏹️ ▶️ John we can’t get rid of the WebObjects. It runs the iTunes store that sells 20 hojillion songs

⏹️ ▶️ John every three seconds. And you can’t break it. And you’re not going to rewrite it in something else. Just help us get better,

⏹️ ▶️ John but don’t change anything. That type of attitude, that is totally, talk about corporate student jobs.

⏹️ ▶️ John That’s the way it is. I mean, there are realities that have to be dealt with. You can’t come in and say, no,

⏹️ ▶️ John no, no, no, no. Like the Apple store, that should not be written that way. You just got to get rid of it and replace it with something else.

⏹️ ▶️ John That’s not a big, you know, what’s the payoff? So we’re going to risk destroying our entire,

⏹️ ▶️ John you know, multi-billion transaction business from what’s the benefit at the end? Oh, we’re

⏹️ ▶️ John on a web app. Well, you have to see it’ll give you a path forward and you’ll be able to, like, it’s so hard to sell those types of projects,

⏹️ ▶️ John right? And so I think those people go there and then, like, realize

⏹️ ▶️ John that they’re not going to be able to change anything and then leave and get a job at Facebook.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And that’s true until you have somebody like The Verge writing an article about how crummy iCloud is.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John That’s not the

⏹️ ▶️ John server side guy’s fault.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey Is it not?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco No,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco no. Well, we’ll get to that in a minute. Before that, let me give our sponsor break here.

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⏹️ ▶️ Marco So there’s this article on the Verge called, Why Doesn’t iCloud Just Work? And it’s getting a lot of

⏹️ ▶️ Marco attention. And I think this is worth a little bit of discussion here. And there was a great follow

⏹️ ▶️ Marco up from Brent Simmons that we’ll get to in a little bit. But I mean, what do you think

⏹️ ▶️ Marco about this article? Like, it basically cites a lot of users and developers

⏹️ ▶️ Marco basically all saying, like, we tried to build iCloud sync into our apps, and it just didn’t work, and we

⏹️ ▶️ Marco had to cancel

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it. The problem I had with it was very few of the developers were named,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and I don’t blame them because if it were me, I wouldn’t want to be named. I have tremendous respect for,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I think, Pasco from Black Pixel was named. I think Justin Williams

⏹️ ▶️ Casey was named, and I have tremendous respect for those who were named. But I don’t think

⏹️ ▶️ Casey the message was unfair or invalid. Everything I’ve ever heard from both

⏹️ ▶️ Casey prominent people whom I follow on Twitter, for example, and even friends whom do this locally,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey or who do this locally,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco all of them have said- You said boom too much.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, I know. You saw that feedback, didn’t you? Anyway, the people who I

⏹️ ▶️ Casey know that do this locally, everyone has universally said it’s crap. It’s in the same

⏹️ ▶️ Casey way that auto layout is either crap or so impossibly difficult to get right

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that it’s effectively crap, it’s all crap, I tell you.

⏹️ ▶️ John No, this is much worse than other layout.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey It is. It really is. But I mean, so at what point is this wheel squeaky enough for

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Apple to really fix it? And can they fix it? I know, John, you’ve talked at length about how you’re skeptical whether they

⏹️ ▶️ Casey can.

⏹️ ▶️ John Well, this is separate issues. That’s why I said that the iCloud Core Data thing, and that’s specifically what we’re talking about here,

⏹️ ▶️ John is it’s not so much the server-side people. server-side people have to answer for you, the

⏹️ ▶️ John server-side stuff being flaky or whatever. But as far as I can tell from listening to

⏹️ ▶️ John all the same developers and talking to some of them in person and reading all different articles in their blogs,

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s a design problem. It’s a high-level, box-level design

⏹️ ▶️ John and also an API design problem. Like, the high-level design is like, is there a way to have 17

⏹️ ▶️ John different devices with just a bunch of related objects stored in local databases

⏹️ ▶️ John and get them all to sync together without doing what Google does, which is like, OK, well, Google

⏹️ ▶️ John has your mail. Your email is on their servers. And that is the one source of truth in the

⏹️ ▶️ John entire world. And when you pull it up in your web browser, you’re not synchronizing the state on your web browser. But that thing is

⏹️ ▶️ John just like, oh, well, I can. There’s one central source of truth everywhere. And everyone synchronizes with that. And all

⏹️ ▶️ John their actions are modified. This is a bunch of local things that do modifications. Then they all try to synchronize with each

⏹️ ▶️ John other later, sort of in a peer-to-peer type fashion. And I’m not sure that conceptually

⏹️ ▶️ John and algorithmically, they’ve worked out how that’s supposed to work for arbitrary object

⏹️ ▶️ John models. Because with Core Data, you can make up your own object model and make your own relations between things. And it’s not a

⏹️ ▶️ John fixed schema. I mean, it’s not schema-less. But it’s

⏹️ ▶️ John not like they don’t know how your application works. So they’re trying to make a general purpose system for any sort of

⏹️ ▶️ John tree of objects that you can modify in any sort of way and that later go to another

⏹️ ▶️ John thing that has its own tree of objects, it’s in a different state, modify that one, and then have the two reconcile themselves with each other.

⏹️ ▶️ John And have that actually work. Like sometimes you don’t even know what’s supposed to happen. So that’s the first problem.

⏹️ ▶️ John The second problem is it looks like the API design that’s on top of this conceptual thing doesn’t give the developers

⏹️ ▶️ John nice ways to do the things they want because the problems are so complicated. Like one of the ones they put in the article is like, what if someone,

⏹️ ▶️ John you know, takes my app, starts doing stuff with it, builds, you know, essentially builds an object model for their data,

⏹️ ▶️ John And then they sign into iCloud. And their iCloud account, they had previously installed this application

⏹️ ▶️ John elsewhere, and they had a bunch of object data from there. How do I reconcile?

⏹️ ▶️ John Do I erase everything that I have and replace it with their iCloud version of this thing? Do I try to merge

⏹️ ▶️ John the two? What if they’re not related at all? It is just a nightmarish type problem. And I think conceptually,

⏹️ ▶️ John ignore bugs, ignore server availability, ignore service speed, ignore visibility of anything. I just think conceptually,

⏹️ ▶️ John they don’t have something that is nailed down that will work 100% of the time. And then layer

⏹️ ▶️ John on top of that, oh, well, you know, there are bugs and there are APIs that there’s no

⏹️ ▶️ John hook for me to say, hey, tell me when this thing changes. And sometimes it gets corrupted and it gets wedged and you can’t tell

⏹️ ▶️ John what’s wrong because I have no API to query. Is this thing available? Is it not available? Has new data come in? Is new data

⏹️ ▶️ John not come in? Like, it’s just failure on top of failure on top of failure. And it’s not just one thing.

⏹️ ▶️ John So that’s why I think like, get the best server-side people in the world. It’s not going to save them from this, but they still have seven other layers

⏹️ ▶️ John of things that have gone wrong with this specifically. And I think the conceptually simpler ones, like the key

⏹️ ▶️ John value storage and document storage, because there’s a solid design into there, whether it’s

⏹️ ▶️ John like, well, last update wins, like in key value, I think key value is last update wins, and something a little more sophisticated

⏹️ ▶️ John for document, it’s like a very simple conceptual model. Then they can put an implementation on top of that, which

⏹️ ▶️ John may or may not have a few bugs, but it’s okay. And there’s enough visibility into it, and you can get stuff done. Like,

⏹️ ▶️ John I mean, we’re all all developers, you know what it’s like when you start programming something and you didn’t think it through conceptually to begin

⏹️ ▶️ John with? There’s no amount of typing you can do after that to make it better. You have to just go, wait, wait, wait a second, what the hell am I

⏹️ ▶️ John doing here? This is never going to work right. I haven’t even thought it through yet. I can’t just start blindly typing

⏹️ ▶️ John and putting in weird cases and try to make this work. That’s the situation I think they’re in with iCloud

⏹️ ▶️ John core data.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, and I think from what I’ve heard and from what I’ve seen from other developers, I haven’t done much

⏹️ ▶️ Marco with iCloud. I should say that up front. The only thing I’ve done with iCloud was a very basic feature

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of syncing your position and currently read article in the magazine, which works sometimes.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco What

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John did you use tonight?

⏹️ ▶️ John Was

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that key value stuff? Yeah, I just used key value because it’s just way easier. Literally I’m just storing

⏹️ ▶️ Marco article positions in each article because that’s small and I’m storing there’s one key that tells me what

⏹️ ▶️ Marco article you’re currently reading. That’s it. But you know

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the main concerns i’ve heard have been yeah what you said the core data sink, which is i have this whole

⏹️ ▶️ Marco database of objects in my app and in when i clad was unveiled

⏹️ ▶️ Marco i believe steve jobs was doing this part of the presentation he even said

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like and it works the core data you just you know you just sink it and it just works and everyone in the i

⏹️ ▶️ Marco mean that i think that got a huge applause because

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John because of a work the whole audience and wouldn’t it

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Exactly. The whole audience was blown away, like, really? Because that’s a really hard problem. Like,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John that’s amazing. He

⏹️ ▶️ John should have said, no, not really.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John Just

⏹️ ▶️ Marco kidding. And so, you know, we were promised that this would work.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And so a lot of developers relied on that. So the core data sync that I’ve always heard has been a complete disaster.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco But I think… And the key value store is fine and everything. Documents… I don’t know a lot of developers who’ve

⏹️ ▶️ Marco used the document model, because originally everybody just did either their key value or core data if they

⏹️ ▶️ Marco could.

⏹️ ▶️ John Well, there are things to do, Doc. And to be unfair to

⏹️ ▶️ John the server side people, like back in the iOS 5 days, almost nothing worked right. Like, key value is obviously the simplest.

⏹️ ▶️ John And that’s mostly, you know. And document storage mostly worked, but had some kind of annoying bugs

⏹️ ▶️ John and quirks. Even that can be a little bit weird. So all these things were flaky to begin with. But it’s just like, the

⏹️ ▶️ John reason this is coming to a head now is because, all right, these things have had time to stew. iCloud didn’t come

⏹️ ▶️ John out three months ago, right? The iCloud is not brand spanking new. All these APIs,

⏹️ ▶️ John we gave them the one major version of iOS to mature, the one major version of Mac OS X to mature.

⏹️ ▶️ John And now that key value storage and document storage seem to be following the typical path of Apple APIs,

⏹️ ▶️ John and core data is not getting better

⏹️ ▶️ Marco fast enough. I think the biggest problem, I have heard that core data is

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the most unreliable part of the iCloud sync stuff. But I think the much bigger problem, which

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you breezed past a little bit ago, is that everything is tied to the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Apple ID that’s currently signed in, and that people sign out of Apple IDs and into different Apple

⏹️ ▶️ Marco IDs on their devices fairly frequently. Everyone’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco not doing it every day, but there’s a good number of people who do it regularly.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John And they have

⏹️ ▶️ John APIs for that. They have APIs for it. They’re like, oh, and you’re going to keep in mind that when you launch, you may not being

⏹️ ▶️ John the same Apple ID as when your stuff was made. And you may get this callback that means they changed Apple IDs. And

⏹️ ▶️ John they’re aware that this is going to happen, but they shove it under the carpet of the program and say, oh, and you’ll figure out

⏹️ ▶️ John what to do when that happens. What am I supposed to do? In some cases, all the

⏹️ ▶️ John pre-existing data gets deleted that was in your local directory. And what if I hadn’t synced

⏹️ ▶️ John that and it’s gone now? It’s like throwing an exception if the disk is full or something.

⏹️ ▶️ John Well, I’ll catch that, except what are you going to do about it? Delete stuff?

⏹️ ▶️ John Sometimes you can’t. There’s no sane recovery, or there’s nothing smart for you to do. That’s why I talk about the conceptually,

⏹️ ▶️ John not like, oh, well, we have a callback for when they change things, and we’ll automatically clean up all the old data,

⏹️ ▶️ John and you’re ready to go again. I’m like, but wait a second. From a user’s perspective, what if you want to do

⏹️ ▶️ John something different? What if you want to tell people that this is happening, that they’re going to end up deleting all their local data? And

⏹️ ▶️ John I just don’t think it’s been thought through yet. I mean, and this is all like old data, like with the frustration

⏹️ ▶️ John of the Verge article was like, we talked to Apple and they don’t tell us. Of course, they’re not going to tell you anything. That’s their MO. They’re just like total silence.

⏹️ ▶️ John And like either WWDC, they’re going to come out with like the API equivalent of the apology

⏹️ ▶️ John mouse from Macworld, New York, 2000, where they’re sorry for the puck, look under your chair.

⏹️ ▶️ John There’s a sane database syncing. You know, like they’ll come out. It’s

⏹️ ▶️ John kind of, this gives me some hope. Because like MobileMe was a disaster, and they had to change the name, and you get iCloud. they have

⏹️ ▶️ John had at least one instance where they had something that was a disaster, and they came out with a much

⏹️ ▶️ John better, awesome version of it, and didn’t change the name, and that’s FileVault. Where FileVault 1 was just a

⏹️ ▶️ John mess, and FileVault 2 kept the same name, but it was totally unrelated other than a name,

⏹️ ▶️ John and that it did the same function, and is awesome. So FileVault 2 is awesome, FileVault 1 was terrible. So if

⏹️ ▶️ John iCloud Core Data Syncing, if this is considered just awful, and then like something else comes out that’s different,

⏹️ ▶️ John and they say, here’s this new thing, just forget about the old thing, they can still call it iCloud, because iCloud is an umbrella term that already covers

⏹️ ▶️ John umpteen different things. And why not just keep changing out the scope? And they

⏹️ ▶️ John have the advantage of not having this user base. Like, wait, what about all the successful applications built on iCloud

⏹️ ▶️ John and Core Data Syncing? They’ll have to rewrite. Oh, there aren’t any. Don’t worry.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And I think you’re right, though. But conceptually, this

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is a problem. The biggest problem being, that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco people who sign in and out of different Apple IDs, what is the app supposed to do about that? I don’t think that’s the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco kind of thing that could necessarily be fixed with a revision to the API

⏹️ ▶️ Marco or a new server-side backend. Remember a year ago there was a whole debate about

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the guy whose iPhone alarm went off in the symphony and it was this whole thing.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco What should the behavior of the alarm be with overriding the sound switch? I wrote

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a big thing back then about it and you know my theory was you know this is a hard problem

⏹️ ▶️ Marco because you’ve told the phone wake me up at this time no matter what and you’ve also

⏹️ ▶️ Marco told the phone don’t make noise right now and so you’ve given these conflicting

⏹️ ▶️ John directives that was a problem with how 9000 to see you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco give it these conflicting directives and no matter what choice you make it’s gonna anger some some portion

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of the user base that’s non-trivial and and so it’s kind of that’s kind of a problem with the user at that point

⏹️ ▶️ Marco well with this you know with iCloud syncing you know you’ve you’ve made this

⏹️ ▶️ Marco system where your data is tied to that to whatever Apple ID is

⏹️ ▶️ Marco signed in in all your apps like that’s your data is just tied to that and then but a lot

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of people have different Apple ID some people like a couple will share one Apple ID so they don’t have to pay for apps

⏹️ ▶️ Marco twice to be on both of their phones some people will have a different Apple ID for their for being a developer versus

⏹️ ▶️ Marco being a consumer like there’s lots of reasons why people will have different Apple IDs and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco an Apple does not make it easy to merge them or switch them or anything like that so it’s a very

⏹️ ▶️ Marco common thing and you know if your app has its own sync platform

⏹️ ▶️ Marco then it has some kind of concept of being logged in to that and so if you change your Apple

⏹️ ▶️ Marco ID system-wide to go use a certain app or to do a certain thing

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and then you launch you know my note-taking app you know whatever HD cloud plus then

⏹️ ▶️ Marco then you know I I don’t lose that sync association from your Apple ID

⏹️ ▶️ Marco because I’m using my own custom sync thing that you’ve logged into and if you actually go into my app and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and want to sync with a different thing you have to like go into my app and log out explicitly of that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco account and presumably that stuff is all stored server-side and then you can log in as something else like it’s a deliberate

⏹️ ▶️ Marco user action whereas if you’re using iCloud syncing, users might not realize, in fact,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco they probably almost never do realize, that if they log out system-wide of iCloud, then

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the data in app XYZ is going to be blown away.

⏹️ ▶️ John And the worst part is that that data may be blown away, and that data may never have made it to any other device. It

⏹️ ▶️ John may never have been synchronized, so it’s actually gone. And I don’t know that the app has any way to tell that.

⏹️ ▶️ John Well, I mean, some of these things you could fix with APIs. Say the existing APIs were all completely bug-free,

⏹️ ▶️ John and you got these callbacks and you were given an opportunity to add new APIs, like, oh, we’re about

⏹️ ▶️ John to change your Apple ID. Maybe they already have this. And you have an opportunity to save this stuff off to the side or whatever. You still end up with

⏹️ ▶️ John situations where, like, what if I do these three changes in this device, do these four changes in that device that are conflicting,

⏹️ ▶️ John these four changes in that device that are conflicting, and they all happen more or less simultaneously. And I turn these two on, then turn

⏹️ ▶️ John those two off, then turn the third one back on. To try to figure out what the state, should I allow modifications

⏹️ ▶️ John to continue? What about when I turn those two back on? Reconciling these all without a single

⏹️ ▶️ John central source of truth like Gmail, where it’s just everyone communicates up to the server and

⏹️ ▶️ John makes modifications there, allowing you to make local modifications and trying to resolve that into a

⏹️ ▶️ John replayable transaction log that results in some sort of consistent thing, you can make something that’s

⏹️ ▶️ John provably like it will have a deterministic consistent result. But the odds of that

⏹️ ▶️ John result being what the users expected it to be are probably zero, because the users will inevitably

⏹️ ▶️ John issue a series of conflicting instructions. And when the thing synchronized, no matter what the stuff

⏹️ ▶️ John picks, sometimes it’s not going to be what they wanted, because they gave conflicting instructions. There

⏹️ ▶️ John is actually no right answer. So that’s what I’m saying. The model they’re using for core data,

⏹️ ▶️ John arbitrary object graph syncing, even if it’s 100% bug-free, is never

⏹️ ▶️ John going to look to users like the magical, hey, everything just works. Because

⏹️ ▶️ John they will issue conflicting commands with their actions on their individual devices. And when those devices

⏹️ ▶️ John synchronize, even assuming zero bugs and perfect performance, they’re going to be

⏹️ ▶️ John sad that they’re going to end up, quote-unquote, losing data. Even if you were to say, no, let me

⏹️ ▶️ John see, you didn’t actually lose data, because here’s how we reconcile things. And you can see these series of conflicting commands can only lead to

⏹️ ▶️ John one thing. And you can’t have this and not have that. And you’re like, well, but I wanted the other thing. Actually, what I really wanted was a

⏹️ ▶️ John merge of those two. But with me manually picking, like, it can’t know that, you know, so

⏹️ ▶️ John that’s, that’s never going to make people happy. And like, I’m not sure what the solution there

⏹️ ▶️ John is, except for maybe having, I mean, you can’t do what Google does. You can’t

⏹️ ▶️ John have every single change to your application, sending commands up to a server. You know, I mean, Google

⏹️ ▶️ John has offline on a Gmail too, but I think a, like they, the reason that I work

⏹️ ▶️ John with Gmail, I think it’s because they have a defined data model that is not as complicated. And,

⏹️ ▶️ John you know, it’s like an email application, but with messages and labels and stuff, it’s not arbitrarily

⏹️ ▶️ John structured, interrelated data objects and Objective-C that you get to write yourself, you

⏹️ ▶️ John know,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco right. And this is a good segue to the Brent Simmons response article. Did you read

⏹️ ▶️ Marco this yet? It’s called why developers shouldn’t use iCloud sync, even if it worked.

⏹️ ▶️ John I retweeted it.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Oh,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I read it as well. And I was going to bring this up in as well, because, and

⏹️ ▶️ Casey forgive me for kind of interrupting your tangent. But one of the things that I find very

⏹️ ▶️ Casey interesting about iCloud is that Aaron and I Shane is to share the same

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Apple store ID, so we can share the same apps and so on and so forth. We have different

⏹️ ▶️ Casey iCloud IDs. And thus, if we had, say a shared grocery

⏹️ ▶️ Casey list, we can’t share a grocery list if we’re using iCloud or if

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that app is using iCloud in the background. And Brent talks a lot about this. iCloud

⏹️ ▶️ Casey is very personal and not very social. And I hate social because that’s about as

⏹️ ▶️ Casey big a buzzword as brand. But nonetheless, I feel like there’s some amount of truth to that. And

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Brent brings this up. And I presume, Marco, you’re about to recap some of the other things he said.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco But that rang true for me. I quoted two

⏹️ ▶️ Marco things. That’s one of them. Yeah,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I mean, it’s exactly true. And if I were to write, I’ve thought about writing

⏹️ ▶️ Casey a very, very simple shared list keeping app so that Aaron

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and I can share a grocery list or a packing list or a Home Depot or Lowe’s list. But I

⏹️ ▶️ Casey can’t use iCloud for that because we can’t share it because we’re on different iCloud IDs.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John This is terrible.

⏹️ ▶️ John What do you use to use Google Docs for that?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey No, actually, we use Wunderlist, which I’m not a tremendous fan of, but it does the job.

⏹️ ▶️ John A lot of people I know use Google Docs for that, and we use Google Calendar to share our calendars.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey Oh,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey we do use Google Calendar to share

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John calendars. And

⏹️ ▶️ John one of the reasons we do that is because, I mean, I don’t think it’s been thought of at this

⏹️ ▶️ John kind of deep level, but the reality is that we never worry about Google Documents staying

⏹️ ▶️ John in sync. We never worry about Google Calendar staying in sync with our various devices, because we always know when we’re making

⏹️ ▶️ John changes, we are directly manipulating the state of something on a server somewhere. And it’s just it’s always in sync. You

⏹️ ▶️ John know, like it’s never not in sync, because it’s not like we don’t use any

⏹️ ▶️ John offline modes, right? The downside, of course, is that we can’t actually make modifications to

⏹️ ▶️ John our calendar if we’re offline. But thus far, that has not come up.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco It usually doesn’t

⏹️ ▶️ John for most

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco people. That

⏹️ ▶️ John scenario is going to be less and less likely. So like that conceptual simplicity of

⏹️ ▶️ John how does document sharing with a Google document work? Live in real time, always synchronized.

⏹️ ▶️ John That’s how it works. And I can, you know, like, and you just you just don’t think about it. And just like that

⏹️ ▶️ John model, it’s very difficult to do well, and bug free and fast and all that stuff. But conceptually,

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s understandable to people and they they come to trust it. Whereas no one, not even developers

⏹️ ▶️ John of the applications can have any idea how things are working, even with zero bugs. And like the bugs, there’s a couple

⏹️ ▶️ John of things I’ve read about iCloud core data stuff, some of it unpublished, as yet,

⏹️ ▶️ John hopefully it will be published at some point in the future somewhere. The worst part of any

⏹️ ▶️ John of these type of things is when you add on top of all the stuff we talked about the type of bugs where

⏹️ ▶️ John there’s nothing you can do to help your user. There’s nothing like Apple can do to help your user just

⏹️ ▶️ John like things get wedged in a way that that even a developer can’t be expected to figure out on their own, let

⏹️ ▶️ John alone an individual user. And that’s what they were talking about. The verge article is like a support time suck, because sometimes things

⏹️ ▶️ John just get wedged and don’t work. And there’s no visibility of that There’s not even visibility to

⏹️ ▶️ John the developer, unless you can let the developer SSH into your machine and start digging through

⏹️ ▶️ John supposedly hidden directories containing big binary blobs and daemon processes that are hung that

⏹️ ▶️ John are not putting the binary blobs in the right place. And just like, it’s the worst nightmare of trying to debug.

⏹️ ▶️ John At least when you’re debugging server-side stuff, at least you have access to the server and you can see what’s going on there. This is like the worst of

⏹️ ▶️ John all possible words. It’s like every single person literally does have their own little server on their local machine,

⏹️ ▶️ John their own little data store on their machine, and you can’t see any of that. And it’s talking to Apple servers that you also can’t see

⏹️ ▶️ John all of which have bugs, none of which code you wrote, and you don’t even have the source code for it. And good luck debugging that.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey It’s so true. So So Marco, I’m sorry, I interrupted you, you were going to bring up the social aspect. And you said you were

⏹️ ▶️ Casey going to bring up something else.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah. And the other thing is that, you know, Brent says, you know, keep in mind that,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, iCloud is Apple only, he says, you may think you’ll never want an Android or browser based version of your

⏹️ ▶️ Marco app. But are you sure? Really,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John really sure?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Sounds familiar. Well yeah, I’m pretty sure about Android. But

⏹️ ▶️ Marco no, I think you know this is a very good point that you know if you’re in

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the iCloud platform business, if your app relies on that, then

⏹️ ▶️ Marco sure you know that’s fine if today you only have an iOS platform, but

⏹️ ▶️ Marco if you really invest heavily in that, you have to be really sure that you’re only ever going to have an iOS platform. And

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t think that’s a very safe assumption for a lot of things these days.

⏹️ ▶️ John The best part was when he brought up, what about a Mac app that’s not sold through the Mac App Store? Because you can’t use iCloud there either. Right.

⏹️ ▶️ John Exactly. We’d have forgotten about that. We always forget about it. Remember when it was like, oh, well, they’re putting iCloud only in the Mac

⏹️ ▶️ John App Store. That’ll be like, that’s to lure you into the Mac App Store. Now it’s like, it’s more like another repulsor.

⏹️ ▶️ John It’s the opposite effect. It’s not like saying, well, I really don’t want to be in the Mac App Store. But

⏹️ ▶️ John ooh, only the Mac App Store apps get to use this awesome new iCloud API. I guess it is kind of true for

⏹️ ▶️ John key value storage and document storage. But yeah, it’s so incredibly, if

⏹️ ▶️ John you choose iCloud, not only are you just choosing Apple’s platform, but you’re choosing also their sales channels

⏹️ ▶️ John irrevocably.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, exactly. And so I think, and obviously, if you’re

⏹️ ▶️ Marco making an iOS app, you’re always stuck in there. And that’s fine. But I just

⏹️ ▶️ Marco think it’s unwise to limit yourself unnecessarily. It’s one thing to say, I’m only

⏹️ ▶️ Marco going to have an iOS app right now. But it’s a whole other thing to say, I will never have anything but

⏹️ ▶️ Marco an iOS and Mac App Store app. That’s a very, very limiting thing.

⏹️ ▶️ John And Apple can always change this, because these are policy decisions. They could say, hey, guess what? We have a web API with a JavaScript

⏹️ ▶️ John library. Now you can use iCloud APIs from your web app that you write yourself.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco Right.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco That would change a lot. I mean, if Apple ever opened it up to server side or web side interaction,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that would open it up tremendously. But I don’t think they ever

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John will.

⏹️ ▶️ John They don’t understand the web.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco No.

⏹️ ▶️ John Why would we ever do

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that? That makes no sense. Right. There’s no immediately obvious benefit to them to do that, and so

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t think they will. I think that would be a big giveaway. You know, they want to lock iCloud down to their devices

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and their stores. And part of it’s just for control, and part of it’s so they can make sure that nobody

⏹️ ▶️ Marco goes crazy and abuses it through the APIs and everything. But whatever the reason, I don’t think

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that’s ever going to happen. So I think it’s you know and and Brent also points out

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that for most apps needs for syncing it really isn’t that hard to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco write your own server and to run your own server and it really isn’t that expensive and it really isn’t that complicated and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know you can you can design server side stuff to make it to make your life really easy

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in two key ways you can make it really cheap to run and scale and low needs and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you can design the app so that if the server is not reachable the app is still useful

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know and obviously depending on what you’re doing with the server how useful it can be will vary

⏹️ ▶️ Marco but like with instapaper it was really easy for me to do this because instapaper is made to be used offline

⏹️ ▶️ Marco so if the server is not reachable the app thinks it’s offline it still works

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it works just fine like you just can’t load new stuff into it but it still works everything queues up and once it gets a connection

⏹️ ▶️ Marco again it works So like if Instapaper server goes down for an hour, which is a

⏹️ ▶️ Marco pretty major downtime for a web thing I’ll hear about it from a few people,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco but not nearly as many as you would think because Everyone else

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is still just using the app just fine

⏹️ ▶️ John Well that there is a big advantage to these type of like the what Apple wants to happen with these services does happen a lot Where

⏹️ ▶️ John like I mean it’s easy for you to talk about it because you have server-side development experience But what if you’re just a client side guy?

⏹️ ▶️ John Like maybe you just want someone to take care of that other stuff for you. And I mean, those type of

⏹️ ▶️ John API’s allow. Developers who would otherwise not be able to make

⏹️ ▶️ John these types of products to make them or, or would otherwise need more people, you know, some examples might be, okay, so

⏹️ ▶️ John Lauren Brick, your genius programmer, great app designer, but he used game setter, why? Cause he doesn’t want to write that crap.

⏹️ ▶️ John And if it works kind of, sort of didn’t work when he launched his game, but you know, like if it eventually sort of works,

⏹️ ▶️ John he doesn’t have to do matchmaking. He doesn’t have to do accounts and stuff like that. He gets to just write the game part. You with

⏹️ ▶️ John Newsstand, I mean, that’s mostly monetary things, because you want to get the money and everything. It’s not like you couldn’t have done that.

⏹️ ▶️ John But hey, you can make an application that does subscriptions, that does

⏹️ ▶️ John something that a native application wouldn’t do by using Apple services. Right, and then you went and did the web thing yourself

⏹️ ▶️ John anyway, because of course you can. But that’s just an extension of the App Store model, where

⏹️ ▶️ John maybe you don’t want to run a store. You don’t want to figure out how to sell things to people and give them the downloads and host

⏹️ ▶️ John and do all that stuff. we’ll take over that for you. And Apple wants to take over all those things

⏹️ ▶️ John and provide these infrastructural services. And that’s all great when the services actually

⏹️ ▶️ John work and are things that people want done. And I think

⏹️ ▶️ John iCloud is all those things, except for the working part and maybe

⏹️ ▶️ John right after the part where, like, if you were designing your own service to synchronize

⏹️ ▶️ John your stuff, you may design something like key value storage. And you might design something like iCloud’s documents in the clouds.

⏹️ ▶️ John And you might design something like a game center or whatever. Those are functions you can imagine doing. But would you

⏹️ ▶️ John undertake on your own to say, you know what? I’m going to provide arbitrary server-side synchronization of

⏹️ ▶️ John core data across multiple devices. I don’t think an individual developer would bite

⏹️ ▶️ John that off. They would think of something simpler, like the Simple Node, what is that one? The Simple Node server-side API.

⏹️ ▶️ John When third parties who created these services, they’ve looked more like traditional,

⏹️ ▶️ John more like modern web services and less like what iCloud core

⏹️ ▶️ John data thing with because they can’t do that they can’t have little demons running on everyone’s machine synchronized they

⏹️ ▶️ John can’t they can’t make a demon process on iOS that does all this stuff like they would be forced to do something

⏹️ ▶️ John that is it listening on HTTP endpoint that their applications talked you know what I mean like they wouldn’t be able to

⏹️ ▶️ John do all this crazy stuff that Apple did and I think yeah Apple just bit off more than it could chew in this case

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I mean this This is kind of a problem, as we discussed, I think, two episodes ago, or last

⏹️ ▶️ Marco episode, about iCloud’s model to the users, that it is

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the certain simplification of hiding the file system and doing these things, but it’s so limited.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco This is kind of like… It sounds like Apple bit off more than they can chew with a

⏹️ ▶️ Marco lot of parts of iCloud, not just like, oh, it doesn’t work reliably, but this was a bad

⏹️ ▶️ Marco idea.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Well, I don’t know if it was a bad idea, but I just don’t know if it’s been

⏹️ ▶️ Casey executed well. John, when you were talking a minute ago, I feel to some degree you’re describing

⏹️ ▶️ Casey me in that I have iOS experience and I have server-side experience, but the

⏹️ ▶️ Casey thing is I have server-side experience in Microsoft technologies, which are expensive.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And if I was to write, say, a grocery shopping list that I could share between multiple

⏹️ ▶️ Casey people like Aaron and myself, what are my options? I can’t use iCloud because

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that’s tied to a single iCloud ID. So what am I going to do? I could do

⏹️ ▶️ Casey like Pearl and be like John or I could do PHP and be like Marco. I could do Python

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and be, you know, terrible according to you two. I could do

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco Ruby. I don’t mind Python.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Well, you know what I

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco mean.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t know Python, but if I was going to learn something else for the web backend stuff, I would learn Python.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey you can email Marco. But the point I’m driving at is what do I do? And interestingly, and I think Brent

⏹️ ▶️ Casey talked about this in a different post, maybe I would go to Azure. And maybe I would do,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and that doesn’t necessitate using C sharp, it doesn’t necessitate using dotnet. But

⏹️ ▶️ Casey from what I’ve gathered, having never played with this, Azure is a pretty, pretty decent way

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to get some sort of quick server side or cloud database

⏹️ ▶️ Casey without too much effort with it with an iOS API. And that’s just not a place.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t think that’s a position Apple wants themselves to be in. Maybe they don’t care. I don’t know.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John But that just doesn’t seem right. You know

⏹️ ▶️ John what you might end up doing? And I’ve seen people do. This is a low-tech solution to client-side people who don’t want to

⏹️ ▶️ John write a big server-side service, but they know they need one. And they’re like, oh, I just like for the grocery list. Like, look, it’s not

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey rocket science. Don’t tell me Dropbox. Don’t tell

⏹️ ▶️ John me Dropbox. Not Dropbox, but something like, what if I just shove a JSON file up onto S3

⏹️ ▶️ John and have the thing pull it down and reconcile it? Because it’s just a grocery list. How many possible things

⏹️ ▶️ John could go wrong. Worst case scenario, I get the superset of a bunch of changes and there’s some extra items that you don’t want. I can deduplicate,

⏹️ ▶️ John you know, like, when you have a confined problem domain, you can get away with just the

⏹️ ▶️ John most ridiculous, simple possible solution. Like, S3 would be enough. All I need is something,

⏹️ ▶️ John something other. Something not that my device, something not that other device, but something in this third place that’s always

⏹️ ▶️ John available. And I don’t want to make it always available, and that’s annoying, and that’s really all I need is just a bucket

⏹️ ▶️ John that’s shared, that’s always available, and I’ll do everything else myself in client-side code because I can, because it’s a grocery list

⏹️ ▶️ John app. Like, that’s what people end up doing. That’s annoying. They would like to not be able to do that. If their needs

⏹️ ▶️ John are satisfied by key value storage, they’re like, oh, well, everyone’s got iCloud, and I know everyone’s gonna have an Apple ID,

⏹️ ▶️ John and I’m storing, like, you know, like Marco’s thing, like, your last read position, and,

⏹️ ▶️ John like, it’s really easy to reconcile. I

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco just need like two- And it’s not

⏹️ ▶️ John critical. It’s two bits of data. If I don’t have it, I can throw it away, and it’s like no big deal, or like, worst case,

⏹️ ▶️ John I can just pick the later one, assume that you read from top to bottom. Not having to do

⏹️ ▶️ John that and saying, I can just use iCloud Key Value Storage, that just makes people smile. Like, hey, wait, I don’t have

⏹️ ▶️ John to do any of that crap. I just want to store a number somewhere, and iCloud Key Value Storage can do that for me.

⏹️ ▶️ John And it’s like PLIST, where when Mac OS X came out, and they had these property lists, people were using

⏹️ ▶️ John them for everything. But it’s like, oh, well, I didn’t need to design some stupid, like, I’m going to design a C struct,

⏹️ ▶️ John and I’m going to serialize it with an NS encoder, and it’s going to be. No, I just need the store lists of values.

⏹️ ▶️ John I’ll just use a plist. And plist mania goes a little bit crazy, and then you end up trying to make

⏹️ ▶️ John a plist into your entire database, and that’s bad. But if you give developers

⏹️ ▶️ John a little tiny bit of cool infrastructure, that makes them happy. But if

⏹️ ▶️ John you keep ramping that up, you say, we’re basically going to do everything for you, and don’t worry, it’ll work. And it doesn’t,

⏹️ ▶️ John then people scale back and say, you know what, maybe I should go back to uploading JSON files Because

⏹️ ▶️ John that, at least, I can have some guarantees about it working in a predictable way.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey It’s predictable, it’s mostly reliable, and to some degree, it’s a known quantity. I completely

⏹️ ▶️ Casey agree with you.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah. And again, if you have simple needs, you can write your own sync stuff.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And granted, not everyone’s going to get their sync stuff correct. But again, if it’s a grocery list

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and you have to sync stuff, what’s the worst that can happen? It’s not

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John that bad. And

⏹️ ▶️ John if it’s not correct, you can fix it, because you have all the source code and you can throw control both ends. Exactly. That’s

⏹️ ▶️ John the worst part, is if it’s going wrong and the demons running on your local Mac are wedged

⏹️ ▶️ John and are not synchronizing or notifying your application, it’s like, you don’t control that code. You’re not

⏹️ ▶️ John making it run. You don’t have the source. You can file bugs into the black hole and just

⏹️ ▶️ John wait patiently for the next major version. But in the meantime, your customers just want their stuff to sync.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah. And as Brent pointed out, too, and this is such a good article and it’s so short, you should read it before we just quote the whole thing.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco But doing the server-side stuff has really gotten so easy

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in the last five years as so many tools have come out to make it really

⏹️ ▶️ Marco easy, really cheap. You have to write so little custom code these days. There are great

⏹️ ▶️ Marco frameworks, there are great services, there are companies that will automatically scale

⏹️ ▶️ Marco up and down everything. And granted, there’s a lot of things that are more complex

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that will require custom work, But for the most part, for simple needs, for most app developers

⏹️ ▶️ Marco needs, you don’t need anything bigger than a Linode instance or

⏹️ ▶️ Marco paying by the cycle on something like Heroku or Azure

⏹️ ▶️ Marco or S3 or EC2 and the things that use EC2. For most

⏹️ ▶️ Marco developers needs, one virtual server somewhere will cover it. And you can write

⏹️ ▶️ Marco something in whatever framework you find that is understandable to you. And

⏹️ ▶️ Marco as Brent says, I think this is a very good point. I’m just going to read this whole article. As Brent says, if you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco could learn Coco, you can learn this stuff. Coco is so obtuse in so many

⏹️ ▶️ Marco ways. Like web programming, to somebody who does iOS programming, web programming will seem

⏹️ ▶️ Marco easy by comparison. Well, that’s just because

⏹️ ▶️ John you don’t have to deal with pointers and types. But I would rephrase that part of his article.

⏹️ ▶️ John It’s not so much that it’s so much easier than it was before, or at least rephrase your summary of it. that

⏹️ ▶️ John it used to be that for a given amount of effort, you could get a certain result. Now, if you

⏹️ ▶️ John put in that same amount of effort, your result will be so much better. Like the base level has risen

⏹️ ▶️ John so much. It’s still gonna be complicated, there’s lots of stuff to learn and stuff like that. But previously, if you put in

⏹️ ▶️ John like a week into getting your server side stuff, you’d end up with like something that looks like someone who had

⏹️ ▶️ John been doing server side development for a week. But now you have such an incredible leg up with all of these, this infrastructure,

⏹️ ▶️ John these frameworks. If you put in the week, your end result will be you’re standing on the shoulders of giants who’ve

⏹️ ▶️ John created all this infrastructure for you. You’re not staring at a blinking cursor on a bare

⏹️ ▶️ John Linux machine and saying, OK, now I guess I start writing a CGI script

⏹️ ▶️ John or something. Like, I mean, you have such a leg up. So it is really complicated. And that’s, I think, why

⏹️ ▶️ John people stay away. I mean, it’s like anything else. If you are a server-side developer, you take a lot of stuff for granted.

⏹️ ▶️ John But a lot of client-side people are starting from a base of knowledge that doesn’t really help them that much. If they can follow a

⏹️ ▶️ John tutorial to get some sort of Rails thing up, or even like Node and just to get some sort of Node instance

⏹️ ▶️ John up and put a little tiny snippet of code, like echo some string back, and you can run that

⏹️ ▶️ John instance on a virtual machine that you can scale up, you are so far ahead of where expert

⏹️ ▶️ John server-side developers were in 1993 with your stupid little one-line echo Node program, right?

⏹️ ▶️ John Like the things that thing can do, the scalability, performance, and reliability of that are just

⏹️ ▶️ John worlds beyond expert level knowledge from two decades ago. So that’s what

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco I think. Even one

⏹️ ▶️ Marco decade ago.

⏹️ ▶️ John That’s where I think like, you know, that’s what he’s getting at. It’s like, even though you don’t know anything about this, you will be able

⏹️ ▶️ John to get something up that has good performance, scalability, and reliability, even if you have almost

⏹️ ▶️ John no idea what you’re doing, if you just put in a little bit of time. And that was not true many, many years ago. And also

⏹️ ▶️ John remains not true if you were on to have 500 million users, which is why Apple’s screwed. But

⏹️ ▶️ John you’re not gonna have 500 million users And if you do, presumably you can hire, you know,

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco smart people to figure it out

⏹️ ▶️ Marco for you. I mean, look, like, Instapaper runs on about 10 servers because it does a lot of stuff for a lot of people. But

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the magazine runs on the cheapest VPS at Linode. It’s $20 a month.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco The entire service runs on that. My blog,, it serves a good number

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of page hits these days. That runs on the cheapest VPS at Linode,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco again, because it’s like… The stuff that we can get today is so advanced

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and everything is so fast. Hardware is so cheap to rent and bandwidth is so cheap.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’ve never bought bandwidth separately from any of these things like with Instapaper all the bandwidth is pooled from all the servers and I’ve

⏹️ ▶️ Marco never exceeded that pool. Like just whatever each server comes with it’s all pooled together

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and I’ve never needed to buy more than that and that’s a pretty bandwidth intensive app. Like,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you can do so much now with so little money and so relatively

⏹️ ▶️ Marco few servers. And yeah, if you’re using one of these crazy hosted things, you don’t even have to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco deal with the individual servers directly. You can just do so much. And the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco fact is, most iPhone app developers aren’t going to need to do some crazy,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco ridiculous, complex thing during the life of their app.

⏹️ ▶️ John You should finish quoting, but I assume, going by memory here, because I don’t have the article front of me the very bottom part about

⏹️ ▶️ John how, or maybe this was in someone else’s commentary, Apple’s thing about how they want to own and control all

⏹️ ▶️ John the important

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco parts of their business.

⏹️ ▶️ John Read that part.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah. Well, anyway, I can’t find the exact part, but he says,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, he said Tim Wood of the Omni Group tweeted the phrase,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco own the wheel. Here’s the thing. This is Brent’s words here. Here’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the thing. Half the mobile revolution is about designing and building apps for smartphones and tablets. The

⏹️ ▶️ Marco other half is about writing the web services that power those apps. How comfortable are you with outsourcing

⏹️ ▶️ Marco half of your app to another company?

⏹️ ▶️ John It was Gruber’s commentary that I was remembering. It was, uh, said, don’t take Brent’s word for it. Consider Tim Cook’s

⏹️ ▶️ John doctrine.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco That’s right. We

⏹️ ▶️ John believe that we need to own and control the primary technologies behind the products we make. I mean, it’s just, you know, if you

⏹️ ▶️ John want to make a great product, you want to have certain things under your control. Obviously you’re not, you don’t control everything. You don’t control the app store.

⏹️ ▶️ John You don’t control Cocoa, you don’t even have the source code for that in most cases, unless it’s like, you know, something

⏹️ ▶️ John that’s part of Darwin, like so many things are out of your control. And this is what’s frustrating.

⏹️ ▶️ John I think, you know, good developers with iCloud is there, they’re, they’ve accepted the things

⏹️ ▶️ John that are outside their control of the platform, the store, the, you know, the language, the API, the compiler,

⏹️ ▶️ John lots of things are outside their control. But they always felt like I can wrangle the things

⏹️ ▶️ John that are within my control to make sure my customers have a good experience in this iCloud thing is like, between a rock and a hard place because

⏹️ ▶️ John the customers think they want it and they’re demanding it. They want the sync features and they specifically ask for iCloud by name because

⏹️ ▶️ John it has good PR and they can’t make it work. And that’s that’s an

⏹️ ▶️ John uncomfortable situation to be in. Brent didn’t have that problem with Glassboard because they controlled that side of it. And it was

⏹️ ▶️ John on it was on them to make it work. And they could make it work because they controlled everything from top to bottom. They never were

⏹️ ▶️ John going to hit a hit a barrier where they’re like, this isn’t behaving in a deterministic way. It’s buggy and I can’t

⏹️ ▶️ John fix the bugs. Like that was never going to be, you know, it’s a blocker, right? They never had those blockers.

⏹️ ▶️ John If it wasn’t working right, they would tweak their server-side software. And if you really want to, you know, control your destiny to the extent

⏹️ ▶️ John possible, you know, like Brent’s article said, why would you give up control over

⏹️ ▶️ John half of your application unless, unless, like giving up control is one thing.

⏹️ ▶️ John The other thing is like not having to worry about those details. So Lauren gave up control of half of his

⏹️ ▶️ John application to GameCenter. If that had not worked out for him, that would have been very bad.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco And actually, he had

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a lot of problems with

⏹️ ▶️ John that. I know, but eventually it sorted itself out. I mean, there were scaling problems, because no one used Gabe

⏹️ ▶️ John Center before a letterpress, and it’s buggy and weird, but he didn’t want to write that stuff himself,

⏹️ ▶️ John because that’s not what interested him.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John I think he almost

⏹️ ▶️ Marco had to.

⏹️ ▶️ John That’s the trade-off he made there. Maybe he regrets it. Maybe the second time he would do the server-side part

⏹️ ▶️ John himself, but that uncomfortable situation where you’re, you’re giving

⏹️ ▶️ John up control in exchange for, you hope, not having to do that. And if it comes out well,

⏹️ ▶️ John you’re like, hey, look at all that work I saved. That was really smart. And I got featured on the App Store because I’m using Game Center. And there’s

⏹️ ▶️ John other fringe benefits to using Apple’s APIs, right? If it doesn’t work out and you can’t ship your

⏹️ ▶️ John application and you’re rewriting it for the ninth time, then you’re sad. And you’re like, oh, I’m never going to let that happen again.

⏹️ ▶️ John From now on, I’m writing everything from scratch like Lauren Brichter, who doesn’t use UIKit.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey So to wrap this up, what’s going to happen in June, or whenever WWDC

⏹️ ▶️ Casey is, with regard specifically to iCloud? I mean, are they going to have a new API? Are they going

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to say, oh, man, everything is finally fixed? And if so, is it going to be real? Or is it going to be a bunch of baloney?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I mean, what do you guys think?

⏹️ ▶️ John WWDC is all about the new file system, Casey. I know we should. Yeah.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John And don’t forget the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco iWatch and the smart TV.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey No, no, no. John

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Syracuse will be so happy. Yeah. No, but seriously, I mean, do you guys think that they’re going to make a big

⏹️ ▶️ Casey push for iCloud? Are they going to be repentant for it? Are they going to say, oh, no, really?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey For sure, I promise this time it’s fixed.

⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t know if they have enough time has elapsed for them to be able to, you know,

⏹️ ▶️ John they know they need to do something. I don’t know if enough time has passed for them to have actually done it. I don’t know if they can

⏹️ ▶️ John come to WODC and say, here is the thing, and we have a solution. Is the solution fixing

⏹️ ▶️ John it? Is the solution scrapping and replacing? Is the solution something in between? I don’t think that enough

⏹️ ▶️ John time has passed for that to happen. All I think they can do when they show up there is hopefully

⏹️ ▶️ John engage the developers, acknowledge the issues, and have something for them that improves their lives in

⏹️ ▶️ John some way, while also acknowledging that, like, because I don’t think if they’re going to come out, it’s not like a FileVault 2 thing, we’re

⏹️ ▶️ John going to say, FileVault 1, forget that existed. There’s another thing. It’s awesome. It works great.

⏹️ ▶️ John You will forget FileVault 1 ever existed. And people go, oh, wow, that is awesome. All right. And then they just forget. forget.

⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t think there’s been enough time has passed for that because, I don’t know, maybe I’m pessimistic, but like

⏹️ ▶️ John what was the in the Verge story, I think they said they had like four people working on the iCloud stuff or whatever or something. You know, Apple

⏹️ ▶️ John has smaller teams than anyone thinks they have, right? Yeah. And I know how much work

⏹️ ▶️ John a handful of developers can get done in like a year’s time and I’m not optimistic by

⏹️ ▶️ John them coming down from the mountain with new stone tablets and saying, we have solved your problems, you know.

⏹️ ▶️ John Not because they don’t want want to or are negligent, but just because not enough time has passed.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t think that, you know, my theory that I said earlier

⏹️ ▶️ Marco about iCloud is that I think there’s problems in both the API implementations

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and problems with just the user conceptual model of iCloud and of, you know, where your

⏹️ ▶️ Marco data is in your apps, how it’s tied to the Apple ID that’s signed into the device. I think

⏹️ ▶️ Marco there are such conceptual problems there that I’m not expecting iCloud

⏹️ ▶️ Marco as it is named today to ever be fixed. I’m expecting it

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to happen more like MobileMe, which is like some next generation thing

⏹️ ▶️ Marco will come out in a few years to replace or upgrade iCloud and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John it

⏹️ ▶️ Marco will work differently for the users, not just the developers. I think it’ll have to be conceptually

⏹️ ▶️ Marco different for the user.

⏹️ ▶️ John But won’t they keep the name though? I don’t think they’ll do the name change.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco That’s what I was talking about with FileVault.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey I think

⏹️ ▶️ John Because it already is an umbrella term. And there are parts of iCloud that work OK. You don’t

⏹️ ▶️ John have to scrap key value storage. You just don’t. It’s fine. It’s all under the umbrella of iCloud. So when you say that iCloud is conceptually

⏹️ ▶️ John like, there is no such thing as iCloud. iCloud core data stuff is conceptually bankrupt and needs to

⏹️ ▶️ John perhaps be replaced or modified. And iCloud’s conception of, hey, when you sign out, we dump all your

⏹️ ▶️ John data that was linked to it, that whole connection between your Apple ID, your iCloud thing, and the data and applications,

⏹️ ▶️ John that can be revised. And all of that, I think, can happen over the course of several years without ever having to have a

⏹️ ▶️ John mobile meet iCloud type transition. I think they can keep the name. Because it is an umbrella term that really

⏹️ ▶️ John has no relation to, you know, like, why is key value

⏹️ ▶️ John storage and documents in the cloud all under the umbrella of iCloud? No reason.

⏹️ ▶️ John They don’t share the same servers. The back ends might be written by entirely different teams with entirely different code. The front

⏹️ ▶️ John end APIs, also entirely different teams. They could be entirely different languages for all we knew. like they’re all Objective-C,

⏹️ ▶️ John but one could be like core found— like, they’re so—they’re as unrelated as anything else, except for the fact that they’re

⏹️ ▶️ John both network services and marketing decided they’re going to be under the umbrella of iCloud. So I think Apple has plenty

⏹️ ▶️ John of runway and room to totally change everything about iCloud while still calling

⏹️ ▶️ John it iCloud and just making it look like, oh, we’re making it better.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, I think—but I think, though, like, they’re going to have to do something that’s—that’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco changing the way, you know, the whole portion of iCloud that is app storage, like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco app storing their own data and having that sync somehow.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John That I think is- They’ll fix that when

⏹️ ▶️ John they do multiple

⏹️ ▶️ Marco users in iOS. They’ll do it sometime. Yeah, right. I just think that that whole concept, as we talked about

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in another episode about the file storage thing not necessarily making a lot

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of sense or being too simple and not really addressing the problem domain well enough,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think the entire iCloud data model for apps has that problem. the entire iCloud

⏹️ ▶️ Marco data model is too simple, too limited, doesn’t really address the real life problems and usage

⏹️ ▶️ Marco well enough for a lot of apps. And I think we’re not going to see that get fixed with the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco product that we currently know today as iCloud or this section of it. What we will probably instead see

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is people will start following Brent’s instructions of, we’ll just see fewer and fewer apps relying

⏹️ ▶️ Marco on iCloud, especially from big developers who know better and have the resources to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco not use it.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I tend to agree. And I feel like, just like the both of you said,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey key value storage, I think that’ll carry on. I think documents in iCloud will

⏹️ ▶️ Casey probably carry on. I feel like core data sync in iCloud will go the way of garbage collection.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And no matter how you look at it, the forecast for iCloud, it’s cloudy.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Oh my god, we have to end the show now.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I did that just

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco for you guys. We

⏹️ ▶️ Marco are not allowed to keep talking after that.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I knew that was terrible, but I

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John knew that would shut you off. I was going to make an I,

⏹️ ▶️ John son pun before, but I restrained myself.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey See, that’s because you’re a professional.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco We should end with this awesome song by Jonathan Mann.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey How awesome was that?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey That was seriously fantastic. Now the show is over, they didn’t even mean to begin, cause it was accidental. Accidental. It

⏹️ ▶️ Casey was accidental. Now the show is over, they didn’t even mean to begin Cause it was

⏹️ ▶️ Casey accidental, accidental, oh it was accidental, accidental

⏹️ ▶️ Casey John didn’t do any research, Marco and Casey wouldn’t let him Cause

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it was accidental, accidental, oh it was accidental, accidental

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And you can find the show notes at

⏹️ ▶️ John And if you’re into Twitter,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you can follow them at C-A-S-E-Y-L-I-S-S

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that’s Casey Liss, M-A-R-C-O-A-R-M-E-N-T

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Marco Armin, S-I-R-A-C-U-S-A

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Syracuse, it’s accidental, accidental They didn’t mean to

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Accidental, accidental

⏹️ ▶️ John Check the podcast So long

⏹️ ▶️ John Did you see his follow-up song? I like his second version even better. I didn’t,

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco he made a second version? Yes, was that, he said, I

⏹️ ▶️ John said it doesn’t I said the song he made was nice but it didn’t, it didn’t like thematically

⏹️ ▶️ John whatever, uh it didn’t seem right for the show uh, and he said, well what, what sound

⏹️ ▶️ John right for the show? I said, I don’t know, bleeps and boops or something? or

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey something. And so

⏹️ ▶️ John he made one with leaps and boops, which is also awesome.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey That’s awesome. You’ll have to send that around because I did not see that. I had no idea.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco Well, I will have to paste one of

⏹️ ▶️ Marco them in and we’ll give him a good link in the show notes. And thanks to Jonathan Mann, the Song of

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Day guy on YouTube, for doing this. That’s so

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey awesome.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I lost my junk when I saw that in the sense

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, Marco that I

⏹️ ▶️ Casey cannot believe that in the good way in the good way in That I can’t believe that somebody

⏹️ ▶️ Casey on the internet would care enough about us idiots Particularly me to

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to include me slash us in a song that I was beside myself excited

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John That would be after me

⏹️ ▶️ John Casey. I’m good enough

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey enough. And gosh, people like me.

⏹️ ▶️ John People like me.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey People aren’t sick of us yet anyway. So

⏹️ ▶️ John but eventually people will be sick of us. Then we’ll have to do something.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey It’ll take at least 100 episodes, don’t you worry.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Nobody’s gonna be sick of us.

⏹️ ▶️ John And no one isn’t already sick of us. I always wonder if, like, if, you know, so Marco and I,

⏹️ ▶️ John we had our podcasts, right? Are we getting the union of the people? Or are we getting

⏹️ ▶️ John the intersection for the people who can tolerate me and can tolerate Marco? You know what I mean? Like,

⏹️ ▶️ John are we, is the sum of our parts less than, you know?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey You know, I think you guys are confused. Really I’m the big draw and you two are just riding on my coattails.

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah. it. But what your job is, is to make all

⏹️ ▶️ John the people who hate both me and Marco have some unlikable pleasure. John’s on the show. Because

⏹️ ▶️ John there are those people, and you know.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco So once you start,

⏹️ ▶️ John once Casey starts getting haters of his own, then we’ll have a problem.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco It’s only a matter of time. I mean, you can’t do a podcast for that long and not get

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John hated.

⏹️ ▶️ John He’s very likable. He’s very likable. That’s true.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey Yeah,

⏹️ ▶️ John he’s not obnoxious like we are, so. Are you

⏹️ ▶️ Casey sure? Have we met? Did you see somebody, was it earlier today, tweeted about how ugly we all are?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John Yeah, that was great.

⏹️ ▶️ John I what am I gonna argue