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

53: There's Gonna Be Some Flapping

Flappy Bird hamburgers, things John likes, WhatsApp, and replacing Objective C (Copland 2010).

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

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⏹️ ▶️ Marco Don’t say anything funny now. That’s a really good. That’s a really good ending So don’t say anything funny and

⏹️ ▶️ John you can always put at the beginning of the show. That’s true Time has no meaning in podcast Marco. You were the master of

⏹️ ▶️ John time and space

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Some follow-up do we want to talk about flappy bird and getting an argument

⏹️ ▶️ Casey again

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I I would just like to say that I think most of the feedback sided with me that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco flappy bird is actually a good game Not a great game, but it was that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it got most of its popularity, at least the initial popularity boost that got it into the top charts, which

⏹️ ▶️ Marco then made social elements really take over. It got a lot of its popularity simply because of

⏹️ ▶️ Marco its merits. And even though it is not, it is not like, you know, to me

⏹️ ▶️ Marco it’s like a McDonald’s hamburger of games. Not even a McDonald’s, it’s more like a Wendy’s hamburger of games. burger of

⏹️ ▶️ Marco pain. It’s like, you know, you shouldn’t like it. It’s terrible. It’s complete

⏹️ ▶️ Marco junk. However, it’s good.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey No, no, no.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey That’s McDonald’s. Wendy’s is good. McDonald’s is not good. Except breakfast. Breakfast is good.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, whatever people eat at McDonald’s that’s actually good. Is there anything there?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey Yeah, breakfast is good.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey The burgers are not, but breakfast is good.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I’ve actually found that on long car trips where I have to stop at a rest area somewhere middle of nowhere to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco eat, if I have to pick between the major fast food chains and you’re

⏹️ ▶️ Marco really somewhere in the middle of nowhere, I would go with McDonald’s because

⏹️ ▶️ Marco they’ve always been extremely good about quality control standards. And so

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you’re guaranteed to get the same crap everywhere. Whereas, I like Wendy’s better

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in an ideal case, but I’ve had a much wider range of Wendy’s quality. Where

⏹️ ▶️ Casey did we stop on the way back from South Carolina? I thought we stopped at Wendy’s.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco We did. That was in a fairly populated area. I’m talking about like if you have to stop on the Pennsylvania Turnpike or something, where

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you’re really in the middle of nowhere. And you have the Roy Rogers or

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the McDonald’s.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey Oh, god,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I remember those. Or the TCBY. This is

⏹️ ▶️ Marco our new podcast. This is it. So John, what do you think about the Flappy Bird follow up?

⏹️ ▶️ John I think the feedback was, it’s hard to tell with Twitter especially, Because of course, I only see the replies

⏹️ ▶️ John that mention me. People might be at mentioning just you to say they agree with you.

⏹️ ▶️ John I wouldn’t see those or whatever. But I think the majority of the feedback was that they agreed with you.

⏹️ ▶️ John And that just goes to show that the majority of people are often wrong about things.

⏹️ ▶️ John So as is often the case in this podcast where I don’t do any preparation, we sort of

⏹️ ▶️ John just talk about things in the moment. And then after the podcast, I think of like how it would

⏹️ ▶️ John have, you know, how I could have approached it better or explain things better or maybe just the next show

⏹️ ▶️ John I want to summarize stuff or whatever. So I do have some actual follow up that I put in the notes about this, but like

⏹️ ▶️ John I have a vague outline here of kind of what we said the last time and

⏹️ ▶️ John the heading here is that the two two sides of success and we barely touched on one

⏹️ ▶️ John of these sides and maybe we should have talked about it more. The first side of success is like

⏹️ ▶️ John when you’re very successful, you get a lot of attacks from people who don’t

⏹️ ▶️ John think you should be that successful, don’t think you deserve your success, or just because you’re very

⏹️ ▶️ John popular, you get the backlash effect. We’ve all experienced this to one degree or another, and it scales

⏹️ ▶️ John proportionally with your success. If you’re massively successful and everybody knows what you are, you’re going to have a proportionally

⏹️ ▶️ John larger backlash. And that was mentioned at the very beginning of that show,

⏹️ ▶️ John maybe. And I tried to point out that, like, I didn’t think it was a terrible game

⏹️ ▶️ John because it’s not it’s not terrible. It’s not completely incompetent. It’s not non-functional. It’s, you know, it has

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey it has

⏹️ ▶️ Casey high praise.

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah. All right. So what I’m saying, like people, I don’t think it’s a terrible game. No, it’s not a terrible

⏹️ ▶️ John game. And yes, you have to recognize that because it’s so successful that you see this crazy backlash against

⏹️ ▶️ John the game, the concept of the game, people who enjoy the game and everything like that. That is one of the sides of success.

⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t think we spent enough time focusing on that because I think a lot of the people saying I agree with Marco It’s not a terrible game.

⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t think anybody said it was a terrible game. Nobody thought it was terrible You know, I said it was not a good game and then it’s like well What’s

⏹️ ▶️ John good versus mediocre versus you know, I would call it a mediocre game. I would not call it a good game But it’s

⏹️ ▶️ John certainly not terrible, right? And of course it has many things about it that make it

⏹️ ▶️ John be successful in the marketplace and I’m drawing distinction that a lot of other people don’t Between the quality of something

⏹️ ▶️ John like is this a good game a bad game or whatever and how successful it is in the market Sort of like the is the

⏹️ ▶️ John McDonald’s hamburger a good hamburger a bad hamburger versus how many McDonald’s hamburgers are sold every year that

⏹️ ▶️ John type of distinction Although I draw that line Much more harshly than most people do because most people

⏹️ ▶️ John will say that their favorite movie is the best movie and I would never say That about my favorite movie or you know,

⏹️ ▶️ John I can separate those two more than most people like to separate them

⏹️ ▶️ Marco What

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John is

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the best movie?

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, that’s a whole other podcast. I Would say Marco what is best in life and you would say what are you talking

⏹️ ▶️ John about? Anyway? So the second side of success is… Over my head.

⏹️ ▶️ John Me too. Good job, guys. At least we’re

⏹️ ▶️ Casey consistent. I’m sorry, were you trying to have a serious conversation

⏹️ ▶️ Casey here?

⏹️ ▶️ John This is not that long, but there’s going to be some flapping, so just… There’s going

⏹️ ▶️ John to be some flapping and some birds. Second side of success is the

⏹️ ▶️ John idea… It’s the opposite side of the coin of like everyone attacking the thing that’s successful. And that is people

⏹️ ▶️ John deciding that the successful thing is a success based on its merits. And

⏹️ ▶️ John the trick about that is choosing the merits that you think seem fair or admirable.

⏹️ ▶️ John So that means diminishing the role of chance in this and minimizing or diminishing less attractive

⏹️ ▶️ John merits. So for example, if you think it’s admirable to be a successful game because

⏹️ ▶️ John of the code that’s in the game itself because of what’s on the screen and how it works. You will elevate those

⏹️ ▶️ John elements and if you think it’s not admirable to be successful because of a genius marketing campaign

⏹️ ▶️ John or like a very well-made television ad or whatever you decide is sort of

⏹️ ▶️ John less fair or less, you’re deciding what your

⏹️ ▶️ John merits are. Most of us kind of agree like, oh, if the game itself, if the code that ships is good and

⏹️ ▶️ John the game is successful, that is fair, and that is admirable, and we should all look up to that. But if something

⏹️ ▶️ John isn’t successful because, to take the other end of the spectrum, someone, you know, paid to get a bunch of fake reviews, we all agree

⏹️ ▶️ John that’s not admirable. What if they had a really good ad campaign, and they wrote the ad copy themselves, and they made the art, and they…

⏹️ ▶️ John what if they had a really good strategy for viral marketing, or whatever? We decide, well,

⏹️ ▶️ John those aren’t creepy or anything, but they’re not as admirable as the game. So, as being

⏹️ ▶️ John in the game itself. So when I’m talking about success based on the merits, most people, when they see a big

⏹️ ▶️ John success, will decide that the thing is successful based on whatever they think are the most admirable

⏹️ ▶️ John aspects of that success. And I think that was

⏹️ ▶️ John the position I was taking on last podcast was that the merits of the game itself,

⏹️ ▶️ John and that’s the thing that I would find an admirable reason for success, is what’s in the code, what’s in the binary

⏹️ ▶️ John that ships to people, and all the other stuff I consider less directly connected

⏹️ ▶️ John to success in terms of like, is the game good versus is the marketing campaign good versus

⏹️ ▶️ John the popularity of it or whatever. When discussing that, I mentioned in the show that

⏹️ ▶️ John there are plenty of other games that have similar attributes, and that’s what we were talking about when Marco was saying the

⏹️ ▶️ John attributes of the game that led to its success. I’m saying those attributes were probably necessary for its

⏹️ ▶️ John success because if it’s a terrible game, no one’s going to want to play it or anything, but they’re not sufficient because lots of other games have those same attributes,

⏹️ ▶️ John and they’re not successes.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So you’re saying that they were necessary but not sufficient? Yes, yes.

⏹️ ▶️ John But implicitly, what I’m trying to get at here is implicitly, when we were discussing that, all of us agreed implicitly

⏹️ ▶️ John what things we’re talking about. We weren’t talking about the ad campaign. We weren’t talking about

⏹️ ▶️ John any other aspects of the game. We were talking about essentially what’s in the binary, like the app itself.

⏹️ ▶️ John And we didn’t need to establish that up front, because I think we’re all on the same page

⏹️ ▶️ John in terms of when you’re talking about the game, that’s what we mean. And I don’t think that’s necessarily a valid

⏹️ ▶️ John viewpoint from all perspectives, because if you are in the advertising business, for example, if you read

⏹️ ▶️ John Ad Age and are big into the advertising world, of course you would consider the ad

⏹️ ▶️ John campaign part of the success of the thing. It’s like, that’s so important. In fact, it’s more important than the binary that you created.

⏹️ ▶️ John But I just want to establish that there are assumptions that we don’t state that are definitely informing

⏹️ ▶️ John what it is that we’re talking about, so much so that we didn’t even need to call them out last time. Most people

⏹️ ▶️ John who are responding to this also didn’t need to call them out, but I think it’s worth thinking about other perspectives on this.

⏹️ ▶️ John And anyway, so since I said that about other apps in the App Store having these characteristics, of course people

⏹️ ▶️ John came out of the woodwork and said, well, show me these tens of thousands of games that have these other characteristics.

⏹️ ▶️ John And that’s kind of a sucker’s bet, because A, how many games are there in the App Store?

⏹️ ▶️ John 100,000? 150,000? want to know how many games there are, but no one has played them all, so it’s pretty much

⏹️ ▶️ John impossible to exhaustively find them. And then you have to do some sort of statistical sampling of games to try to find

⏹️ ▶️ John games with these qualities. A couple people posted games that they said, here’s this game from five years ago that has

⏹️ ▶️ John these qualities or whatever. But the reason I say it’s a sucker’s bet, because whatever game anyone was to

⏹️ ▶️ John cite, someone will say, well, that one is not alike enough, because there’s

⏹️ ▶️ John always some extra nuance that Flappy Birds has that this game doesn’t have. Down to the fact like, well, that game doesn’t

⏹️ ▶️ John include birds, and Flappy Birds includes birds, and do the history of the App Store with, what

⏹️ ▶️ John is it called, Angry Birds and Tiny Wing that birds themselves, you know, therefore Flappy Birds was this perfect

⏹️ ▶️ John thing. You know, and it would be impossible to satisfy, because they would say, see, that little

⏹️ ▶️ John nuance that I pointed out, this game has and that game doesn’t have, you know, extra levels, all in one screen, doesn’t scroll, doesn’t

⏹️ ▶️ John matter where you tap on the screen with your thumb, like, there would always be some difference between the game that you cite in that game, And they’ll say, see, that’s

⏹️ ▶️ John why Flappy Birds is a success, and this other game wasn’t. And that’s why I think Flappy

⏹️ ▶️ John Birds itself is the best example, which is why I gave the time travel scenario on the show, which was like, OK,

⏹️ ▶️ John go back in time to before Flappy Birds was created, bring the Flappy Birds binary with you, submit it to the App Store.

⏹️ ▶️ John Of course, provisioning profiles would never let you do this. But anyway, we’re in a hypothetical scenario.

⏹️ ▶️ John And you’ll see that it doesn’t sell. And Flappy Birds itself was on the App Store for months and months and months, And

⏹️ ▶️ John it didn’t sell, right? And even then, with this example, I imagine someone will say, well, there was some minor gameplay

⏹️ ▶️ John tweak that happened just the week it took off, and that was the minor gameplay

⏹️ ▶️ John tweak that made it happen. I don’t know if this is true or not. I don’t know if Flappy Bird’s gameplay was updated at all between the time it was released six

⏹️ ▶️ John months ago and now, but that’s what someone would say. And the reason I’m bringing up these hypothetical,

⏹️ ▶️ John you know, people’s complaints that they would have if you were trying to cite earlier games, or even if you were trying to cite Flappy Bird’s itself, which I did

⏹️ ▶️ John frequently on Twitter, and say, what about Flappy Bird’s itself? It was out for six months, it was not successful. It’s like, well, you don’t understand.

⏹️ ▶️ John It was, you know, it had to be in the store just dating for six months because that’s how long the ramp takes

⏹️ ▶️ John for viral, whatever, you know, there’s always something you can say. And this is the point I really wanted to get at

⏹️ ▶️ John on this podcast and that I didn’t bring up enough in the last one. It’s

⏹️ ▶️ John the second side of success is people seeing something successful and then working backwards from its

⏹️ ▶️ John success to determine why it was successful. It’s kind of this fatalistic, everything happens

⏹️ ▶️ John for a reason mindset, where you see something that’s successful and decide that every attribute of that thing that you find admirable

⏹️ ▶️ John has to be in exactly that position for it to be a success, otherwise how could it have happened, right? And

⏹️ ▶️ John this, I think, even applies to really good games and most other things in life, where you look

⏹️ ▶️ John at the success and even the really admirable, awesome things about it, you’ll say, that’s why it succeeded,

⏹️ ▶️ John and also every other detail of that thing, because how could it have been any other way? You know, this is what happened,

⏹️ ▶️ John so it was written, so it shall be done. Flappy birds is the perfect game because it is massively successful other games that

⏹️ ▶️ John were not five birds were not successful Therefore you must be like flappy birds to be successful. Nothing, but flappy birds could have been successful

⏹️ ▶️ John so on and so forth And to address this friend of the show Kieran Healy put a blog

⏹️ ▶️ John post He’s a sociologist or does he play one on the internet? I think he’s a real sociologist or teaches sociology

⏹️ ▶️ Casey He’s at least smart. He teaches at Duke I believe that’s true And if that’s not true and I got and he’s actually at

⏹️ ▶️ Casey UNC or something. I’m gonna be in real deep trouble

⏹️ ▶️ John He posted something where the sociologists are interested in this phenomenon of like how do things become successful and

⏹️ ▶️ John the angle they were taking on it was why can’t record executives and stuff predict like hit songs.

⏹️ ▶️ John And the whole idea is like don’t these guys know anything about their business? How come they have such

⏹️ ▶️ John a poor track record or predict hit songs? Some songs hit, some songs don’t. And if you ask executives beforehand,

⏹️ ▶️ John they would be totally sure this song that was going to be a hit and it wasn’t and other people would say this song is going nowhere and it becomes

⏹️ ▶️ John a mega hit. Why can’t we predict that? So trying to figure out this phenomenon, they ran a series

⏹️ ▶️ John of experiments where they had a bunch of songs in this case, and had people listen to them and download

⏹️ ▶️ John them. It was like 14,000 different people, and in some situations the

⏹️ ▶️ John people could see what other people were doing, they could see how many downloads a song had, and in other situations

⏹️ ▶️ John they couldn’t see how many times a song was downloaded. So it’s basically

⏹️ ▶️ John trying to move the slider on social influence from like zero all the up to maximum.

⏹️ ▶️ John And what they found in this experiment was that increasing the strength of social influence increased both

⏹️ ▶️ John the inequality and unpredictability of success. So as they made the social aspect more relevant, like

⏹️ ▶️ John as they showed the download numbers more prominently, as they sorted by downloads or whatever, the difference

⏹️ ▶️ John between the most only successful became much bigger, the difference between like the winners and losers,

⏹️ ▶️ John which you kind of expect because like there’s a piling on effect of like once everyone recognizes a winner, everyone’s going to go download it and

⏹️ ▶️ John the losers won’t go download it at versus if you had no signal from what other people are doing, there would be,

⏹️ ▶️ John you wouldn’t see this runaway success. But the other part of the thing was that the predictability of success

⏹️ ▶️ John went down. So in general, the best songs never did really badly, and the worst

⏹️ ▶️ John songs never did really well, but almost any other result was possible. I’m quoting from his blog

⏹️ ▶️ John post here. So basically, once you add social signal to the mix,

⏹️ ▶️ John amongst the games, amongst the songs that were kind of in the good category, As the social signal

⏹️ ▶️ John increased which one of those songs would be the hit became totally unpredictable

⏹️ ▶️ John and What he wrote he first wrote this blog post I was like oh, this is one point that he didn’t make and I’m excited to make it

⏹️ ▶️ John on the podcast next week But then he updated his blog post to making my additional points He told me I could still

⏹️ ▶️ John make it because we’re both right so I will He used the the phrase

⏹️ ▶️ John that I was gonna use here I had to come up with different wording because I don’t want to copy His phrase exactly basically he’s trying to explain

⏹️ ▶️ John the reluctance of people’s reluctance to agree that true unpredictability is a real feature

⏹️ ▶️ John of markets like this. Like people don’t want to believe that there’s that unpredictability as you increase social signal amongst

⏹️ ▶️ John the top. They want to believe that the one that came in number one was always going to be the number one, but these experiments prove that

⏹️ ▶️ John in a totally different set of people with the same set of songs, run this experiment lots of different times amongst the sort of

⏹️ ▶️ John good enough to be good songs, as you increase the social signal, it’s totally unpredictable which one will hit, and

⏹️ ▶️ John people do not want to believe that. to believe that. So he says, psychologically, people are often predisposed to believe in

⏹️ ▶️ John some version of a just world hypothesis where people are fundamentally get what they deserve. And that’s what I was trying to get

⏹️ ▶️ John at with the fatalism thing. People want to believe that the world is fair and just and that

⏹️ ▶️ John what happened deserve to happen, especially if it’s something like, well, I like this game, and it’s the number one game,

⏹️ ▶️ John obviously, it’s number one, because it’s a good game. And if you try to tell them that it’s number one, for reasons

⏹️ ▶️ John other than just it being a good game, they’ll say you’re saying this game is terrible, or you don’t you just don’t understand why

⏹️ ▶️ John this game is good or anything like that. Herein even cites

⏹️ ▶️ John the other example that I was hoping to bring out, which is you see this all the time in books about how to succeed

⏹️ ▶️ John at business. What will happen is basically in the 80s and I guess in the 90s and probably today as well,

⏹️ ▶️ John some rich white dude, I hate to bring up rich white dudes for two shows in a row, but some rich white

⏹️ ▶️ John dude, he may or may not be bald or wear a toupee if it’s the 80s, becomes amazingly successful

⏹️ ▶️ John for whatever reason and decides, I now know everything. I am massively successful.

⏹️ ▶️ John I need to write a book telling everybody else what I know and they don’t. And they write these books about like, here’s

⏹️ ▶️ John what I do, wake up every morning and have cornflakes, all right? And then make sure you drive an American car

⏹️ ▶️ John and get into work early. And like, they just pick every detail from their life and they say, because I am successful,

⏹️ ▶️ John everything I do in my life must have led to that success. Therefore, all of you people should do this. And you’re not successful, so who are

⏹️ ▶️ John you to complain? Sort of, again, working backwards from success. And every business is like that. Like,

⏹️ ▶️ John we did this in our business, and we were successful. Therefore, you should do this. Seven habits of highly effective people,

⏹️ ▶️ John or whatever. We can get into software methodologies about, in a future show, I’m sure,

⏹️ ▶️ John talking about the same type of thing, where it’s like, we did something. We were successful.

⏹️ ▶️ John Therefore, this methodology should work for everybody. And all business books, in particular,

⏹️ ▶️ John love to just let the winners come and tell you, here’s what I did. And if you do this, you’ll be successful.

⏹️ ▶️ John To think otherwise would be to think that your success is derived from something other

⏹️ ▶️ John than the merits you consider admirable. If your success is derived from like, you know, the fact that you

⏹️ ▶️ John had rich parents and got into a good school because their legacies, the fact that you were in the right place

⏹️ ▶️ John at the right time with a product that was merely satisfactory and,

⏹️ ▶️ John and you know, you decide it’s because of your great business acumen, really any monkey could have run the business and would have been

⏹️ ▶️ John just fine and had the same result. Like no one wants to believe that happenstance or

⏹️ ▶️ John things that you don’t consider admirable contributed to your success, but I think in general that is

⏹️ ▶️ John more often the case. Anyway, this link to Kieran’s article, but the results and links

⏹️ ▶️ John to the papers that no one’s going to read, but he has a really good summary of it with some graphs and everything. I encourage everyone

⏹️ ▶️ John to read it. I agree, Marco, that most people did agree with you, but I think all of them are suffering

⏹️ ▶️ John from the symptoms described in Kieran’s blog post here.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, and also, I think one other valid point to make here, I’m not going to even

⏹️ ▶️ Marco try to address all that because I’m not qualified really and I have to save my words tonight

⏹️ ▶️ Marco so I don’t end up coughing all night but… And it’s science! Yes and science

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is always right. So I think another thing to consider

⏹️ ▶️ Marco here is when trying to apply lessons learned from someone else’s success

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to general cases or to your case. During the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the great Gruber and Merlin South by Southwest 09 talk? What year?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Was that 09? God, we’re old. I’ll put it in the show notes. It’s when

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Gruber and Merlin talked and the title is like, How to Supercharge Your Blog and that’s of course a sarcastic title.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And it’s a fantastic talk. There’s audio recordings of it. It was 2009.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah. Okay.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So, South by Southwest 09, Gruber and Merlin’s talk. And one

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of the points they make in there is like, you know, you can’t… I don’t know if they

⏹️ ▶️ Marco use Gruber as an example, I forgot the details, but they basically are like, you know, if you go out today

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and try to be Daring Fireball, it’s not really going to work because we already have a Daring Fireball.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And Daring Fireball got big in an environment that didn’t have a Daring Fireball. And

⏹️ ▶️ Marco so like, and the environment back then was different, and then he succeeded in that environment. But

⏹️ ▶️ Marco if you try to do the same thing today, you’re in a completely different time, a completely different set of conditions

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and you know the same lessons don’t always work more than once because they they have they have this context

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that let them work or or that they thrived with it and so like everyone’s gonna make all these flappy

⏹️ ▶️ Marco clone games now and try to replicate this but this succeeded

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know in part because of the environment and and the time and the fact that something like this hadn’t

⏹️ ▶️ Marco really done this before so it was this novelty

⏹️ ▶️ John no no no not something like like this hadn’t done it before, or something like this hadn’t done it before that people had

⏹️ ▶️ John seen. And it’s why people saw it, that’s the interesting thing. But that’s why when people brought up the Flappy Bird

⏹️ ▶️ John clones, there was lots of debate that sort of at-mentioned me that I didn’t participate in on

⏹️ ▶️ John Twitter. And some of them were like, well, just look at all the Flappy Bird clones, why aren’t they succeeding? Well, that

⏹️ ▶️ John is obvious. They’re not succeeding because Flappy Birds already exist. That’s the reason I came up with the time

⏹️ ▶️ John travel scenario. You can’t say, well, if I make a bird just like Flappy Birds now, better doesn’t succeed

⏹️ ▶️ John therefore, you know, what I was describing. That’s not a valid example, you know.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco By the way, the Flappy Bird clones are succeeding.

⏹️ ▶️ John Well, you know, they succeed the same way that domain squatters succeed, you know, typos and the

⏹️ ▶️ John wonders of the App Store search ensure that they have success far outweighs the- No, look at the top charts.

⏹️ ▶️ John They’re like,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the clones

⏹️ ▶️ John are still up there. Well, you know, it’s also the fact that now you can’t get Flappy Birds. So the market’s wide open

⏹️ ▶️ John for Flappy Bird clones, but you know what I mean. None of those clones is going to be Flappy Birds because Flappy Birds already exist.

⏹️ ▶️ John So that’s not a relevant thing to talk about.

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⏹️ ▶️ John powerful as the Angry Birds brand that at least I’m continuing to refer to this as Flappy Birds when it’s

⏹️ ▶️ John singular.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I was not going to correct you on that. Everyone’s doing this, by the way. Yeah, I know.

⏹️ ▶️ John I’m like, I have the opposite problem with Tiny Wings, where I feel like I always want to call it Tiny Wing, but it would

⏹️ ▶️ John make no sense if there was just one wing. Anyway, all these bird games, and I’m serious about that thing.

⏹️ ▶️ John I was serious about the thing with the birds, like things that contribute to the success of Flappy Birds. I have to think somewhere on the list

⏹️ ▶️ John of things that contributed to its success is the fact that it features

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a bird. Absolutely. I mean, and the fact that birds are

⏹️ ▶️ Marco common in the app store. There’s been a lot of hit games with birds, and they’re cute, and this game’s about flying,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and it’s had good artwork. I mean, there’s no question that was part of

⏹️ ▶️ John it. Like in terms of like Kieran’s experiment that he cited in his blog, like what is

⏹️ ▶️ John the thing that caused Angry Birds to hit? Or go back in time, why is it that bird

⏹️ ▶️ John games are associated with mobile devices? Was Angry Birds the first one? Was it building on something

⏹️ ▶️ John else? It’s such an incredibly complex situation, which I didn’t think you could ever devise an experiment

⏹️ ▶️ John to try to isolate the things they isolated in this experiment. But even this experiment is much simpler than the actual app

⏹️ ▶️ John store, because songs are sort of, I guess they have titles and maybe that contributes to it, but they don’t have artwork.

⏹️ ▶️ John And I guess they have the entire history of music behind them. But it’s kind of like you don’t know what you’re getting until you click

⏹️ ▶️ John on the thing and then you listen to it. Like, what determines as they increase social signal, which one becomes a hit? It’s one of those

⏹️ ▶️ John ones in the good group, but which one? So they run the experiment a million times and it keeps becoming incredibly unpredictable

⏹️ ▶️ John which one will be the runaway success. There always is a runaway success, but you don’t know which one out of the good group it is.

⏹️ ▶️ John And I think that will be the next phase in the experiment. Try to figure out, is it really completely random?

⏹️ ▶️ John Or what other variable is contributing towards increasing or decreasing your chance of sort

⏹️ ▶️ John of being the lottery winner among the games that have these, among the

⏹️ ▶️ John songs that have these qualities to put them somewhere in the good group. Anyway, enough flapping.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey So we had a kind of monumental moment over the last week.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t remember exactly when it was.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco You mean when John was wrong?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’m going to choose to not engage on that one. But I will say…

⏹️ ▶️ John You have to pick. You have to choose, Casey. Mom or your daddy, which one do you love?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey But

⏹️ ▶️ John I

⏹️ ▶️ Casey love

⏹️ ▶️ Marco both of

⏹️ ▶️ Casey you! Which one am I? Right. So we’re professionals. So we

⏹️ ▶️ Casey had an interesting moment over the last week wherein we actually got a bit

⏹️ ▶️ Casey of not complimentary feedback about John, of all people.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Which never really happens. This is very

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John rare.

⏹️ ▶️ John That’s not true. Like, it doesn’t come to the show. It comes directly to me. And believe me, it exists.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey It may exist, but hand on heart, I’ve seen maybe five less than

⏹️ ▶️ Casey complimentary things about John and about 500 for Marco and about 5000 for me.

⏹️ ▶️ John I bet Marco gets a lot of them directly too because once they know like where they can reach you they don’t need to Go through the show

⏹️ ▶️ John feedback forum to say mean things to you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, I usually get it on Twitter the email has mostly stopped since I pulled my email address off them off my site

⏹️ ▶️ John It’s so hard to figure out too.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, exactly

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Well, anyway, so John do you want to address what this what this person said?

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, I didn’t put it in there because I thought it was such a big deal that you know I get hate mail because everyone gets hate mail, right? But,

⏹️ ▶️ John because I thought, well, a couple aspects of it were interesting. I’m going to read a paragraph of

⏹️ ▶️ John it here, not the whole thing. It’s sent from, what they put in the feedback form was Goofball Jones,

⏹️ ▶️ John which is a fake name obviously, and it says, throwaway account, not really looking for this to be read on air and it

⏹️ ▶️ John probably won’t. So there’s some good reverse psychology there, like, you know, when they say, I don’t expect a reply,

⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t expect this to be read on air, and if I say that they’ll read it on air. out of there,

⏹️ ▶️ John but in effect it worked.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Let me just point out also before you get into it that somebody criticized you on and as a result our notes file

⏹️ ▶️ Marco now has 15 links in it for this topic.

⏹️ ▶️ John You’re going to put all of them into the show notes. So anyway, continuing.

⏹️ ▶️ John I can’t take listening to this podcast anymore. I mean I know that Syracuse’s schtick is to not like anything after all his

⏹️ ▶️ John old podcast was called Hypercritical. It wears thin after a while. The guy complains about everything. Well, it’s okay once in a while.

⏹️ ▶️ John It’s all the time, all in caps. It’s not even funny anymore. It sounds more like a miserable person just

⏹️ ▶️ John whining about his miserable existence. What are we to do with this? Does it really offer any insight to anything?

⏹️ ▶️ John Are people actually entertained by this on a sustained level? Now, the reason I bring this

⏹️ ▶️ John up to the show is to put this in the show is two reasons. One, I’m fascinated by the idea that this person

⏹️ ▶️ John put in a fake email in the feedback form, like, or that used like a throwaway

⏹️ ▶️ John account or whatever. Like I don’t even know if there’s I think there’s a real email. But why would you create a fake email?

⏹️ ▶️ John you just type anything in the email field? It doesn’t make you confirm that your email is real, right?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I don’t think so. Yeah, I think you can just put anything there.

⏹️ ▶️ John And like, why wouldn’t you put just put your regular eat like, either put it either put like xx at

⏹️ ▶️ John or something or just a made up thing or put your real email in like is there is there a downside to having the

⏹️ ▶️ John real email like I’m gonna harass them by email or tell people their email? I don’t know. Anyway, that

⏹️ ▶️ John confuses me as as does not using the real name who cares like if you don’t like it, you know, put your real name like

⏹️ ▶️ John it’s It’s not like I’m going to put you on an enemies list. Anyway, so

⏹️ ▶️ John what I put in the show notes, because there are a whole bunch of links to me being not

⏹️ ▶️ John critical about things, or talking about things that I mostly like or that I like a lot. Mostly.

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah. And I put these in here not to convince

⏹️ ▶️ John anybody of anything, because I just want to provide context. Now, I’m going to preface this by saying

⏹️ ▶️ John that if your state of being requires some elaborate explanation, there’s already a problem. this person is never going to like

⏹️ ▶️ John me, right? No matter how much context, I was like, oh, you don’t understand. Here’s the context for me complaining about things. And I’m

⏹️ ▶️ John going to be like, oh, yeah, now I find it much more enjoyable. Like, I’m not winning this person over. This person’s not listening to the

⏹️ ▶️ John podcast anymore, whatever. But I thought it was worth talking about, because it’s easy for me to

⏹️ ▶️ John assume, and easy for all of us to assume, I think, that everybody already knows where we’re

⏹️ ▶️ John coming from, that they know all of our context, that they’ve read our blog for years, that they’ve read everything we write on the web, they’ve

⏹️ ▶️ John listened to all our old podcasts, everything about us. And that’s just not true. We get kind

⏹️ ▶️ John of feel like, you know, of course, everybody knows who these people are, except for Casey, obviously. And you know,

⏹️ ▶️ John where they’re coming from, and what opinions they’ve had before,

⏹️ ▶️ John and what other podcasts they’ve been on, and what things they like, what things they don’t like, stuff like that. I mean, I find

⏹️ ▶️ John myself doing it too. Like, I assume that, you know, everyone who listens to the show has listened to hypercritical, and I find someone who listens

⏹️ ▶️ John to the show and has never heard of hypercritical, and I’m surprised and I shouldn’t be right. So

⏹️ ▶️ John I think it’s It’s worthwhile providing context to the people who do actually enjoy the show.

⏹️ ▶️ John I think they would enjoy it more, understand it better with a little bit of context. So to that end, the main

⏹️ ▶️ John thing I object to in this person’s email is not so much that they don’t like the show. Fine, you don’t like it, you don’t like it, whatever.

⏹️ ▶️ John You don’t like me, you don’t like me. That’s fine. But the idea that I’m a miserable person and I have a miserable existence,

⏹️ ▶️ John that’s easily refuted by the long list of podcasts I’ve been on where I talk about things that

⏹️ ▶️ John I almost, know, unabashedly love almost everything about. And I put

⏹️ ▶️ John tons of links in there, I’m not going to read off what they all are, Marco will copy and paste them into the show notes.

⏹️ ▶️ John But suffice it to say that I talk about some podcasts, I mostly just talk

⏹️ ▶️ John about things that I like. And the one link that I want to put in here, for the people who want some context, this is the original

⏹️ ▶️ John thing that I posted the internet in 2009, with the title hypercritical, which is sort of my explanation of my schtick, as

⏹️ ▶️ John he put it, like, what’s the deal with this guy who complains all the time, here’s my attempt at explaining it again, this explanation is

⏹️ ▶️ John not going to convince anyone that they, oh, now suddenly I like hearing complaining all the time. No, obviously it’s not going to win anyone over.

⏹️ ▶️ John But I think it does provide context. And again, I always just assume everyone who reads my blog or listens

⏹️ ▶️ John to this podcast or listen to my old podcast, of course they read this article. How could they be listening to this?

⏹️ ▶️ John You know, they wouldn’t know where I was coming from, but that seems to not be the case. So anyway, and also

⏹️ ▶️ John we did an episode of ATP, by the way, of where we talk about how we deal with criticism and all that stuff,

⏹️ ▶️ John which again, new listeners may not have heard. So there will be a cornucopia of

⏹️ ▶️ John show notes links this week for people who want to hear me liking things.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey You know, I think the uh most obvious uh example of this which is

⏹️ ▶️ Casey the first one you listed is you and Dan Benjamin doing your uh, 5x5 at the

⏹️ ▶️ Casey movies. Is that still the only edition of 5x5 at the movies?

⏹️ ▶️ John No, I think there’s a second one, isn’t there?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey It doesn’t matter. Well, the point is there’s not many and And

⏹️ ▶️ Casey this podcast, which you did with Dan, if you don’t know

⏹️ ▶️ Casey listeners, and you should listen to this, Dan and John took the movie Goodfellas,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and you literally spent something to the order of 150% of the

⏹️ ▶️ Casey length of the movie discussing the movie. I remember you being extremely effusive.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And it’s – how do you spend three hours talking about a two-hour movie,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey even if you love it? And that to me is the just seminal example

⏹️ ▶️ Casey of you being extremely positive and effusive about something. I mean, it’s one thing to

⏹️ ▶️ Casey spend an hour talking about a two-hour movie and liking it. It’s another thing to spend two hours talking about a two-hour

⏹️ ▶️ Casey movie and liking it. But you spent something to the order of three hours discussing this two-hour movie and how phenomenal

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it was in every frame. And that’s pretty darn complimentary.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And I loved it. And I love Goodfellas, and I’ve seen that movie. Thank you very much. seen it before

⏹️ ▶️ Casey you had done that podcast. Thank you very

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John much. Good job, Casey.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I know you’re proud. But no, truly, the podcast is wonderful. And,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey you know, it reminded me a lot of the really fantastic ones that

⏹️ ▶️ Casey John Gruber and Dan did about the Bond series. But either way, the point is, it was extremely effusive.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And to me, one of the things I love so much about the work that you do and why I’m so lucky to be on the show with you

⏹️ ▶️ Casey is because a lot of the times when you tear something apart, to me, it’s so clearly out of love, Out of hate

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and and and that’s that’s what makes it so enjoyable because if it really was negative I wouldn’t want

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to be on this show I don’t know

⏹️ ▶️ John as the saying goes the opposite of love is not hate It’s indifference and if I’m indifferent to something you don’t hear me talk about

⏹️ ▶️ John it at all Other good examples. I know I said I wasn’t gonna list these but we did the incomparable Covered the

⏹️ ▶️ John first three Star Wars movies, which I really like and we did two episodes on each movie So that’s six

⏹️ ▶️ John total episodes for the original trilogy of Star Wars And of course the video game that I could not stop talking

⏹️ ▶️ John about about, you know, since it was released and still haven’t talked journey, we did an episode of the incomparable about that as well.

⏹️ ▶️ John So anyway, there’s tons of me liking things. If you want to hear that,

⏹️ ▶️ John which you may or may not.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I was expecting a much better rant. I’m a little disappointed now because I sent an IM to Marco

⏹️ ▶️ Casey a couple of days, like a day or two ago saying, Hey man, if you looked at the show notes lately, because

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John we’re in for a good show

⏹️ ▶️ Casey this week.

⏹️ ▶️ John Like, what am I going to do? I try to convince someone who doesn’t like me that they should like me like this. This

⏹️ ▶️ John section was not for that person who presumably is not listening to the show anymore, but for the people who are listening and do enjoy

⏹️ ▶️ John it and might enjoy it more with more context and background.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Fair enough. I’m a little disappointed. It’s okay though.

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⏹️ ▶️ Casey Do we have any thoughts on what’s app? What’s up? I don’t even know how to phrase this.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t really, to be honest, this is kind of unimportant and boring to me,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey which I know is making friend of the show, Ben Thompson, pull his hair out. But

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I don’t know, to me, it’s just very unremarkable other than the cost, because it doesn’t

⏹️ ▶️ Casey mean it doesn’t mean anything to me. I’ve never seen the app outside of a screenshot. I think

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’ve won on one of Strategory’s posts. Does this matter

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to you too?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think what’s interesting is that we don’t know that much about it and it’s this big. I think this shows

⏹️ ▶️ Marco more than anything recently that there were always, you know, there’s the consumer tech stuff

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that we all see and then there was always like the kind of business side of enterprise tech stuff that was

⏹️ ▶️ Marco this mostly invisible world to those of us outside of it. That we

⏹️ ▶️ Marco don’t really care if SAP bought Oracle. That would be a major deal to a lot of

⏹️ ▶️ Marco people, but consumers wouldn’t know who these people are and wouldn’t care.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco This I think shows that the consumer tech world is now so big.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco WhatsApp is, as far as I know, and again, I know very little about it, I really shouldn’t even be talking about but

⏹️ ▶️ Marco as far as I know it is huge in lots of places but North America is not one of them

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and so as far as I know at any rate it’s really massive everywhere else at least

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and so I’ve had a lot of Americans aren’t that familiar with it you know

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and the fact is it’s it got so big to be a

⏹️ ▶️ Marco major threat to Facebook and Facebook also you know so so what’s up is is basically

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a replacement for SMS and there’s a few other apps that do this like there’s line and there’s a couple other ones

⏹️ ▶️ Marco but I think I think this was the biggest worldwide I think I’m not sure about that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco but what this really shows you know SMS is extremely valuable and Facebook want Facebook has

⏹️ ▶️ Marco wanted to own that they wanted they want everyone to use Facebook Messenger and not everyone uses Facebook

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Messenger and I think that’s pretty much the reason for this that Facebook saw this

⏹️ ▶️ Marco major market this is worth a ton of money because it replaces SMS for so many people

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and Facebook wants in on that. And if Facebook is not a part of that and it’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco not some kind of standard protocol like SMS was, then they’re kind of locked out and it could actually work

⏹️ ▶️ Marco against them to not own this in the future. You know, if all this socialization is happening on

⏹️ ▶️ Marco something that someone else controls and that someone else could lock up and could keep Facebook out of, that’s pretty bad for

⏹️ ▶️ Marco them. So I think this there’s no question why Facebook would want this.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco That is very… No question that is clear. As

⏹️ ▶️ Marco for the finances, I have no idea. People who are more knowledgeable about this stuff than us

⏹️ ▶️ Marco seem to think this is actually not a terrible price for this. But

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think it just really shows that the tech world is so big now. It’s such a massive

⏹️ ▶️ Marco collection of multiple industries even. This isn’t even just one industry anymore. It’s so big that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco extremely major things like this can happen in it and most of us don’t know anything about it and you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco know the idea of having like a tech show that comments on everything in the world of tech is completely outdated now because

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the world of tech is too big and like one show not only doesn’t have enough time for that kind of thing

⏹️ ▶️ Marco but even the hosts on the show like you can’t you can’t get enough hosts on a show to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco make them experts in all these areas where big news is happening anymore.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey 20s. Yeah, I agree. The only reason I think that maybe we don’t understand this is

⏹️ ▶️ Casey how many friends do you have, Marco, that you communicate with on a regular

⏹️ ▶️ Casey basis, regular enough that you would desire to send them text messages that do not live in the

⏹️ ▶️ Casey United States? Exactly. How about you, John?

⏹️ ▶️ John Well, we live in the United States, but if you lived in

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey another

⏹️ ▶️ John country, you’d be communicating with your friends in that country as

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey well. Well,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey but the thing of it is, is that the United States lives in a very, I don’t

⏹️ ▶️ Casey know if sheltered is the right word, but we live in our own little igloo. Insular. Thank you. That’s

⏹️ ▶️ Casey the word I’m looking for. And so looking at Europe, for example,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey in Europe, it’s very easy to go to another country because all the countries in Europe are the size of Rhode Island.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And so I’m going to get so did just email Marco. But anyway, the point is-

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John Yeah, good luck with that.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey But the point is, all kidding aside, is that there’s a lot more international contact in Europe and –

⏹️ ▶️ Casey or from everything I’ve gathered anyways. So it would not be surprising to me

⏹️ ▶️ Casey if it was a much more important thing to have international text messaging

⏹️ ▶️ Casey between countries. I know I have a friend that lives in Wales and he happens to be American but he lives in Wales.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey a year and a half ago, maybe two years ago, he begged me to install Viber, which

⏹️ ▶️ Casey was some equivalent to WhatsApp, that would let us exchange text messages for free.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey That was before iMessage, or it was around the time that iMessage was a thing. I know that I wouldn’t

⏹️ ▶️ Casey talk to, for example, Mike Hurley nearly as much as I do if it wasn’t for the fact that he and I can

⏹️ ▶️ Casey iMessage back and forth.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Right. An iMessage was doomed to never be this thing because you couldn’t do it on Android.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, exactly. The advantage of WhatsApp and Viber and all these other things is that they are cross-platform.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey So by virtue of them being international and being cross-platform, which are two things

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that don’t matter that much to the three of us, the cross-platform part anyway, and certainly

⏹️ ▶️ Casey don’t matter that much to us in the international part, I don’t think we were ever really

⏹️ ▶️ Casey in a position that Americans would understand this. Plus, most American cell phone plans,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it’s a fee to get unlimited text messaging, but nearly everyone that I know

⏹️ ▶️ Casey pays it. In fact, I was one of the big holdouts to not get an unlimited text

⏹️ ▶️ Casey messaging plan, and even I eventually caved, I don’t know, three years ago, four years

⏹️ ▶️ Casey ago, something like that. So it’s not surprising

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to me that Americans don’t understand it, but it’s also not surprising to me that it is a pretty big deal.

⏹️ ▶️ John I still don’t have an unlimited texting plan, which will surprise them.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey You barely have a cell phone!

⏹️ ▶️ John I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco know, that’s right. Well, I don’t have one either, because I’ve been holding on. One of the reasons

⏹️ ▶️ Marco why everyone has these unlimited plans in the US now is because the carriers have removed most of the other sensible options

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to force you to pay more money. It’s just like the triple play

⏹️ ▶️ Marco deals that every cable company and Fios pushes extremely hard on anybody who doesn’t

⏹️ ▶️ Marco have all of their services. It’s similar with text message plans where I’m

⏹️ ▶️ Marco still using this grandfathered $5 a month for a few hundred text message plan

⏹️ ▶️ Marco because I just don’t need anything more than that. But if you had to start a new line today, your

⏹️ ▶️ Marco only choice basically is no text and pay for each one, which usually ends up being

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a lot, or unlimited. In the US, there’s almost no other options.

⏹️ ▶️ John WhatsApp thing is just when I look at it, it looks like more sort of kind of useless

⏹️ ▶️ John churn in the market for things that like we all know that people

⏹️ ▶️ John want, but that we can’t seem to get in a in a nice, pleasant way.

⏹️ ▶️ John Like people want to talk to each other. Like the telephone was a nice way for people to talk to each other,

⏹️ ▶️ John but it had both real and artificial barriers. The real barriers were that, you know, the other person had

⏹️ ▶️ John to be there when you called them and then international calling is like a quarter second delay for you know

⏹️ ▶️ John the distances traveled and that was weird for real time and then the artificial barriers well that kind of real too

⏹️ ▶️ John with like long distance fees because it would cost more money to call farther away because we had to pay for the infrastructure

⏹️ ▶️ John to get there but then the long distance fees scaled up on a scale that wasn’t proportional to the cost of making the call

⏹️ ▶️ John that was all kind of weird but people want to talk to each other and so instant messaging with the advent of the internet

⏹️ ▶️ John is like well you know now we don’t need to pay long distance fees I I can talk immediately to someone in another country. I just have to

⏹️ ▶️ John type, or of course you can do email. Email’s the one that kind of sort of worked out, although, you know, the

⏹️ ▶️ John terrible security decisions led to spam, but at least there’s only sort of one email. But instant message, there was tons of

⏹️ ▶️ John instant message clients, and it was all surrounding us wanting to talk to each other in real time. And

⏹️ ▶️ John all that stupid churn between ICQ and AIM and Yahoo Instant Messenger and MSN and Skype

⏹️ ▶️ John and like all these different networks, each sometimes getting critical mass and nothing will ever be as big as ICQ

⏹️ ▶️ John and I’ll remember my ICQ number till the day I die and then it just goes away and then aim is big and everyone’s on aim

⏹️ ▶️ John and all my friends are on aim and then SMS comes and everyone’s texting like all these things

⏹️ ▶️ John are churning around the basic desire we have to communicate to each other in

⏹️ ▶️ John more or less real time with maybe a little bit of asynchronous stuff allowed like but you know

⏹️ ▶️ John shorter than an email not a phone call text to and from each other and

⏹️ ▶️ John WhatsApp was taking advantage of like oh SMS is artificial thing where they charge you 10 cents for these stupid things that they’re piggybacking

⏹️ ▶️ John on analog cell signals anyway back in the day, you know, it was like it was free for the carriers and they would say, we can charge people 10

⏹️ ▶️ John cents for these things will make a mint and they did. But that was an artificial, but even people started to realize that

⏹️ ▶️ John was artificial. That’s another reason I hate SMS. It always struck me as like you are charging money for something that should not

⏹️ ▶️ John cost as much, but people found it valuable. So they paid. And then as soon as people could bypass that with WhatsApp

⏹️ ▶️ John and vibe and line and I message and all the other apps that say we have access to the public internet over the data

⏹️ ▶️ John networks, these same cell providers give us why would I pay 10 cents or pay for a texting plan. Well, because all my friends

⏹️ ▶️ John are in Texas, everyone text from each other, whatever. Well, WhatsApp and the other apps like it got enough people to say,

⏹️ ▶️ John Hey, come over here. It’s cheaper or free. And we don’t charge you 10 cents per message.

⏹️ ▶️ John And you can do it across countries. And we can eliminate all these other artificial barriers and everything will be good. But

⏹️ ▶️ John really, that was just another private company now being swallowed up by another private company. Like, I don’t feel like we’re

⏹️ ▶️ John making progress there. It’s just shifting around. It’s just like this, this big, you know, it’s like a pile

⏹️ ▶️ John of chips on a table and we’re shoving the chips towards this corner. Okay, now towards that corner, not towards that corner. And it never is

⏹️ ▶️ John it landing in a place where we feel like, is there a sustainable way that we can all talk to each other in semi real time or we’re all

⏹️ ▶️ John in the same network and we can all text with each other and it’s, you know, it maybe it’s not free, but it’s sustainable

⏹️ ▶️ John with some pricing structure or it’s on a standardized protocol or anyone can implement or like, it’s so hard

⏹️ ▶️ John to get to even a solution as crappy as email where we kind of all agree on the protocols, even though the protocols

⏹️ ▶️ John are terrible and lead to the scourge of spam. And that sometimes I think, well, at least we got

⏹️ ▶️ John email. At least there’s one email system, and we don’t have to deal with every single day or every single

⏹️ ▶️ John decade or so some new email service coming up like, oh, I can’t send you email because I’m on the Gmail email,

⏹️ ▶️ John and you’re on the Hotmail email, and we can’t send email. Of course we can send email to each other. There’s competition for the front end clients and everything,

⏹️ ▶️ John but the back end is all interoperable. And we have not achieved that with ways to send

⏹️ ▶️ John little bits of text to each other. And I think Facebook buying WhatsApp

⏹️ ▶️ John doesn’t bring us any closer to that goal, which makes me sad.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And there’s also, I think, I mean, I’ve been beating the storm a little bit recently, but

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think this is kind of creepy or

⏹️ ▶️ Marco just kind of negative news to me because it’s such a massive acquisition. It looks

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to me like Facebook is just taking out a competitor. That’s all this was is

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Facebook got freaked out and has now neutralized a competitor. And,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco which they’ve done before, that’s what Instagram was. And it just seems like the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco web giants are so giant these days that they can afford to buy

⏹️ ▶️ Marco pretty much anyone else besides some of the other web giants, even then sometimes they might

⏹️ ▶️ Marco be able to do that. But they can afford to buy pretty much anybody whoever becomes a threat to their business.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And this has to be limiting the amount of true innovation and progress

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that we’re seeing in our industry because it’s pretty much impossible. Most

⏹️ ▶️ Marco big tech startups who are doing very well are gonna have a really

⏹️ ▶️ Marco hard time turning down a multiple billion dollar offer of a buyout. And

⏹️ ▶️ Marco so this basically gives Facebook and Google and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco pretty much anybody who has enough money willpower to buy

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a multi-billion dollar company, it gives them all assurances that they’re not going to really be

⏹️ ▶️ Marco messed with by anybody. And occasionally something will break out and not take

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that route, like Twitter did that most recently where they just went for the IPO instead.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John So far.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Right, yeah that’s a good point. But you know I just I can’t I can’t

⏹️ ▶️ Marco help but be sad at what this actually does to the big picture where

⏹️ ▶️ Marco there’s so much less competition and progress once everyone gets so big they can just

⏹️ ▶️ Marco buy anyone who’s a threat.

⏹️ ▶️ John If your business is based on like everybody being on your platform like if you’re trying to be a protocol like

⏹️ ▶️ John email didn’t have a company behind it but Facebook is a company behind it and has so many people on Facebook that it’s

⏹️ ▶️ John like their their goal is you know everyone should be on Facebook and so

⏹️ ▶️ John if they perform well in their business plan it’s like we have to find the

⏹️ ▶️ John other thing that is going to get enough critical mass that we can never compete with it

⏹️ ▶️ John no matter how good we make our product and buy it before it gets that critical mass

⏹️ ▶️ John and becomes so expensive. And I think they waited a little bit too long on WhatsApp because they always want they want to buy

⏹️ ▶️ John it like they want to be sure that it would be something that we that they couldn’t compete with like look you know Instagram’s got

⏹️ ▶️ John too much mass like we no matter how good we make our pictures features we’re never going to pull this Instagram

⏹️ ▶️ John people away they’ve gotten too big we need to snap them up now and maybe they waited a little bit too long on Instagram too, but

⏹️ ▶️ John you don’t want to buy all these companies like, Oh my God, they’re a threat. They’re going to buy them for like $500 million and they never would

⏹️ ▶️ John have been a threat and they never would have gone anywhere. It’s so hard to tell again, getting back to the unpredictability of success. Once you

⏹️ ▶️ John cross some threshold of value and in WhatsApp, like it says that type of situation where it’s

⏹️ ▶️ John like, look how big they are and there’s no way Facebook messaging is ever going to pull those

⏹️ ▶️ John people away. Like they’ve got the critical mass in the same way that we did. We got critical mass. Our only option

⏹️ ▶️ John is to buy them because that’s, that’s what you do. know that’s the final play and you would hope that they would

⏹️ ▶️ John go for that from there again from the perspective of the strategy if they’re doing well they they

⏹️ ▶️ John do that before they cost 16 billion dollars but it’s actually worse to say well they’re too big now I’m not gonna pay 16

⏹️ ▶️ John billion dollars let’s just let them go because they’re never going to you know they’re never gonna make

⏹️ ▶️ John a messaging product that dethrones whatsapp whatsapp will be thrown by something else but probably not Facebook

⏹️ ▶️ John so yeah the strategy when you got all this money is we maybe we waited too long, but

⏹️ ▶️ John late is better than never. Because if we just ignore them, then they’ll, they’ll be there undoing. Like

⏹️ ▶️ John what if my space, I don’t even know the timings of this workout, but what if my space had the wherewithal to

⏹️ ▶️ John offer a, uh, a newly born Facebook before it was anything, enough money to eliminate

⏹️ ▶️ John it as a competitor, we’d all be talking about my space buying WhatsApp now, or obviously we wouldn’t because of the,

⏹️ ▶️ John those darn monkey, uh, those darn butterfly wings flapping. But anyway, you get the idea. Like that’s

⏹️ ▶️ John the strat. If you’re one of those companies, we’re like, are the only way we succeed is if we get every single person

⏹️ ▶️ John in the world, like if we offer a feature, that’s the feature that everybody in the world has to use for that. You want to show somebody

⏹️ ▶️ John pictures and tell them about your kid’s birthday. You have to do it on Facebook. And if someone’s using something other than Facebook

⏹️ ▶️ John to do that, and those somebodies are hundreds of millions of somebodies we’ve screwed up and we need to buy

⏹️ ▶️ John that company. And yeah, that’s from, from a consumer’s perspective, that’s terrible. But if you are acting

⏹️ ▶️ John as Facebook, that’s their strategy.

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⏹️ ▶️ Casey MR. HOFFMAN You know, when I looked at them a couple weeks back when they first sponsored, I saw this

⏹️ ▶️ Casey really long list of videos and I was like, you know, that’s a lot but not overwhelming.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey And then I realized I was only looking at the new videos area. And come to find

⏹️ ▶️ Casey out, come to find out there were 11 gajillion videos waiting for me. I

⏹️ ▶️ Casey just hadn’t navigated away from the new videos section.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, like if you just look at any of the categories, you know, like pick an application you want to learn how to use better

⏹️ ▶️ Marco or pick a programming language that you want to learn. And you can see like it’s, it’s pretty,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco pretty deep.

⏹️ ▶️ John The pricing plan is so nice because when you have a huge selection like that, if you had to pay like

⏹️ ▶️ John even like a dollar a video, you’d be worried like, oh, is this the right video out of the umpteen million I could pick? Like,

⏹️ ▶️ John even if it was just a dollar a video, you’d spend all this time fretting, which is a flat fee, just like sit there and watch videos.

⏹️ ▶️ John It doesn’t matter how many you watch.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Exactly.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey All right. So we put this off last week. And I think we should talk about

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it this week before it becomes so stale that it’s not worth talking about. It seems like

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it’s that time of year. And it’s that time of year when everyone in the iOS development community says,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey oh, Objective C sucks, and we really need to get over it. We need to get away from

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it. We need to move on to something better. Apple, why won’t you help us? And this was

⏹️ ▶️ Casey originally – well, in my exposure, originally posited by John’s piece

⏹️ ▶️ Casey called Copeland 2010. And I guess, John, would you like to

⏹️ ▶️ Casey describe simply what Copeland 2010 was saying? Can you summarize that for

⏹️ ▶️ Casey us?

⏹️ ▶️ John Yeah, I think I don’t have a link in here, but when did I write that? 2005 or something? The stone ages. Yeah,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it was a long time ago.

⏹️ ▶️ John But anyway, the point is it was before 2010. And the point of my blog post is that I was worried about what

⏹️ ▶️ John Apple was going to do with its language and API going forward,

⏹️ ▶️ John because it seemed like all of its competitors were moving to sort of memory-managed, higher-level languages, and Apple was

⏹️ ▶️ John not. They were sticking with a C-based language, Objective-C. This was all, yeah, it was 2005.

⏹️ ▶️ John This was all before the iPhone and before all that stuff or whatever. And Copeland is a reference to one of

⏹️ ▶️ John Apple’s many failed attempts to get a next generation operating system. They had the classic Mac OS, which

⏹️ ▶️ John is a really old school operating system where any application could write to any part of memory, including the

⏹️ ▶️ John parts that are used by the OS and everything like that. And so which meant that a badly behaved app that

⏹️ ▶️ John started writing memory to a bad pointer would just scribble over random parts of memory and bring

⏹️ ▶️ John your whole machine down. that was just archaic and everyone else was getting protected memory and preemptive multitasking

⏹️ ▶️ John where the OS could take the CPU away from a process that wasn’t true in the old Mac operating system unless the process yielded.

⏹️ ▶️ John So it had these technical problems with its OS and it could not figure out a way to

⏹️ ▶️ John get a next-generation operating system and Copeland was the highest profile failure. I have a book on my

⏹️ ▶️ John shelf to my right that’s a couple was gonna be Mac OS 8 and it’s called Mac OS 8 revealed and it’s a

⏹️ ▶️ John book published by Apple with an Apple logo from Apple Press describing the next generation

⏹️ ▶️ John operating system that would be Mac OS 8 and you know it’s Copeland basically. That operating system never shipped.

⏹️ ▶️ John Apple shipped something called Mac OS 8 but it was not Copeland. There were other failed attempts and

⏹️ ▶️ John other weird partnerships and this is all the dark times of Apple’s existence but

⏹️ ▶️ John the Copeland 2010 thing was me saying if Apple doesn’t get its act together and come up with

⏹️ ▶️ John whatever it’s going to plan for its next generation programming language and API you could find itself

⏹️ ▶️ John in the distant future, like the year 2010. You know, I’m writing this in 2005. I’ve read

⏹️ ▶️ John Arthur Clarke as a kid, so of course I’m going to pick 2010. If they don’t get their acts together, they could find themselves

⏹️ ▶️ John in a situation just like they were with Copeland, where everyone else has something, they don’t have it, and they don’t have a viable

⏹️ ▶️ John plan to get it, because it’s not so easy to snap your fingers and get a new modern language runtime and

⏹️ ▶️ John API to go with it. I also wrote another article in 2010 called

⏹️ ▶️ John Copeland 2010 Revisited, explaining what I got wrong and why about,

⏹️ ▶️ John you know, about particularly about the year 2010 because people are saying, well, here we are in 2010 and Apple’s not having any problems because

⏹️ ▶️ John they don’t have a memory managed language and API. And there are lots of other reasons for that. But in general,

⏹️ ▶️ John the major failing is like anytime you try to predict the future, you just pick some round number in the future. That seems so distant. It’s been really it’s only

⏹️ ▶️ John five years away. And that’s just, you know, bad thinking and a common mistake when trying to deal with the future. But

⏹️ ▶️ John anyway, as Casey said, the topic came back up again, And I’m not sure why it came back

⏹️ ▶️ John up again, and I’m not sure what people are saying about it that’s different than what’s been said before. Maybe Casey can enlighten me.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, there were these two posts. There was one by Ash Furo and one by Steve Streza, which we’ll put in the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco show notes. And basically, just saying we need to replace Objective-C

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and with a few things that we need that will be better. And then our friend Guy English

⏹️ ▶️ Marco wrote a post in response to these that basically said, and forgive me if I’m

⏹️ ▶️ Marco butchering the argument, but basically said, like it’s easy to like hand wave and say we need something

⏹️ ▶️ Marco better, but we need like more specifics, like what exactly needs to be better

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and how would that work? Like, you know, it’s easy to just say, oh, well,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco we need something that’s higher level. Okay, well, does that mean garbage collection? Does that mean,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, reference counting in a different way? Like, you know, like, does that mean a dynamic

⏹️ ▶️ Marco type? Does that mean like all these all these decisions about higher level languages. And it seems

⏹️ ▶️ Marco like not a lot of the arguments contain answers to questions like that. It’s just like,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco oh, we have to have something that’s newer. And that will, by default, be better, which

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think is itself a flawed argument.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey John Greenewald Yeah, it seemed like, you know, it’s tough, because I have tremendous respect

⏹️ ▶️ Casey for for Ash and for Steve, but it seemed very hand wavy. And This argument

⏹️ ▶️ Casey tends to go around regularly in the iOS development circles. And it seems

⏹️ ▶️ Casey like every year or two, everyone gets all upset about the fact that

⏹️ ▶️ Casey we’re still writing in Objective-C. But the problem that Guy seemed to have,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and I concur with it, is, OK, that’s lovely that you think that Objective-C is bad,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey but tell me what’s bad about it, or tell me why we need something new. And before

⏹️ ▶️ Casey ARC, automatic reference counting, and before Grand Central Dispatch and blocks,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I would have probably said the same thing. And I probably would have said that not

⏹️ ▶️ Casey having closures in 2012, 2013, that’s a problem. But I don’t remember when

⏹️ ▶️ Casey blocks became a thing, but it was, I want to say 2012. But so up until 2012, I probably

⏹️ ▶️ Casey would have agreed. And in summary, There were a couple of really big advancements really big and important

⏹️ ▶️ Casey advancements in the last couple of years that I really think brought objective C to a position

⏹️ ▶️ Casey where it’s it’s relatively modern in its

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Archaic its own archaic ways and so I don’t I don’t really see

⏹️ ▶️ Casey What’s so terrible about it and I can tell you that cocoa and cocoa touch which are the frameworks?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey They are They are Unbelievably good. They’re truly

⏹️ ▶️ Casey amazingly good and I love me some C-sharp I really do but the dotnet framework

⏹️ ▶️ Casey while very solid is nowhere near as good as cocoa and cocoa touch And so I don’t

⏹️ ▶️ Casey really see what the urgent burning need is to get rid of Objective-c

⏹️ ▶️ John Considering I’ve had the urgent burning need to get rid of objectives in 2005 You won’t be

⏹️ ▶️ John surprised to learn that I still feel it and really what I was writing

⏹️ ▶️ John there, the audience to that was not so much developers trying to tell them that the language they’re using is bad or something, but it

⏹️ ▶️ John was really Apple. And I think that by the time I was getting a little bit panicked about this,

⏹️ ▶️ John well, part of it is kind of like, you know, how someone who’s, you know, grew up in the depression is always panicked about

⏹️ ▶️ John money and worried about not having enough food and stuff like that. If you live through the whole Copeland disaster,

⏹️ ▶️ John obviously you’re going to be a little bit more panicky about, Oh my God, what is, what is Apple’s plan for its next generation? Whatever. thing

⏹️ ▶️ John that I mean, the Apple today is so different than the Apple then that it’s a little bit ridiculous. But a lot of that is that’s

⏹️ ▶️ John where that’s coming from, as someone who experienced their company that they admired and thought should

⏹️ ▶️ John be successful, almost die because they failed to think about stuff like this ahead of time. But as the

⏹️ ▶️ John years pass, I don’t get more relaxed about this. It just, you know, I continue to worry

⏹️ ▶️ John about it. And my point would be like, if I was in charge of Apple, I

⏹️ ▶️ John would have had starting and like, starting basically when Java, say you were totally asleep at the wheel and Java

⏹️ ▶️ John comes on the scene, I would have had multiple teams, multiple small teams

⏹️ ▶️ John of the fancies, you know, computer science, PhD, whatever. Maybe

⏹️ ▶️ John these teams don’t know about each other. Maybe they’re on different continents, you know, whatever, working on

⏹️ ▶️ John the next generation language, runtime, and API, all those things. And most of those

⏹️ ▶️ John teams, I imagine, would fail and produce nothing useful. But you know, your Apple, you have all this money that I’m talking about

⏹️ ▶️ John the modern Apple budget. You know, like maybe maybe the old Apple could only afford to have one or two teams with a few people

⏹️ ▶️ John who aren’t that good. But at this point, Apple could have 10 teams with, you know, the 10 best people money

⏹️ ▶️ John can buy all working on this. And the reason I bring this up is not so much that we need to replace objective C next year. If

⏹️ ▶️ John WWDC 2016, Apple doesn’t replace code code objective C, they’re doomed. Of course not, right? It’s because

⏹️ ▶️ John doing this making a new language and API is so incredibly difficult and takes so

⏹️ ▶️ John long to ring out and you have to bring it out, not just in these little these little labs and these competing teams, but then you

⏹️ ▶️ John actually have to build real apps with it. And you have to sort of like, it’s just so hard to do this transition so hard to

⏹️ ▶️ John make, I would say the API is harder to make the language and runtime people focus on the language and runtime

⏹️ ▶️ John so much. But that’s kind of like, you know, that’s basically basically it’s picking from, you know, what do you want?

⏹️ ▶️ John What features do you want? And they can do experiments with that, but making the API that matches up with the language, because I’ve always said

⏹️ ▶️ John that you can’t just have the new language, you have to have the API and the language to go with it. And Coco has been in development

⏹️ ▶️ John basically since like the 80s and it’s taken that long for Coco to get from where it was in the 80s

⏹️ ▶️ John to where it is now. So assume whatever thing you’re going to make to replace Coco is going to take at least

⏹️ ▶️ John as long to get at least as good you know in terms of relative you know so you’re not going to jump from

⏹️ ▶️ John okay objective C is done now everyone try this new language in this new API and it will

⏹️ ▶️ John be better than Coco. It won’t be out of the gate it’ll be worse in the beginning just like OS X was worse than classic

⏹️ ▶️ John Mac OS in in almost every respect for years. And it took years to develop, and it was

⏹️ ▶️ John false starts with the whole Rhapsody project and everything like that. I know how long it takes to do this, and I

⏹️ ▶️ John know how badly wrong it can go. I mean, think of every other company that’s tried

⏹️ ▶️ John to do this. Even Microsoft with C Sharp and Common Language on time, which I would say is the biggest success story,

⏹️ ▶️ John hasn’t been a clean win in terms of getting rid of Win32 and now Win64, if you want to call it that, and all this other stuff. And that

⏹️ ▶️ John also took years to be adopted widely

⏹️ ▶️ Marco for developers. Yeah,

⏹️ ▶️ John and like it’s just and they they put tons of money and tons of like you can’t wait You can’t

⏹️ ▶️ John say like objective C is fine now, and it’s gonna be fine for five years therefore We need to do nothing Assume that it’s gonna take

⏹️ ▶️ John you 10 15 years to get this crap figured out and assume you’re gonna fail a couple times before you Do because I think those

⏹️ ▶️ John are safe bets Someone in the chat room posted well, maybe two apples just holding its cards

⏹️ ▶️ John close to his vest That’s entirely possible as with anything in Apple you have no idea what the hell’s going on over there

⏹️ ▶️ John They could have 17 teams full of people who they kill after their three years are up if they don’t produce something useful And

⏹️ ▶️ John they hide the bodies and we have no idea what’s going on That’s where I’m coming from with this not

⏹️ ▶️ John so much from the perspective of like I’m developing today And I think this is ridiculous because I do think a lot of that stuff is ridiculous But I

⏹️ ▶️ John I feel like I understand how incredibly hard it’s going to be to make something that’s better

⏹️ ▶️ John than this and the second part of this is that I think a lot of people don’t want to sign up for and maybe is not relevant to them

⏹️ ▶️ John is that But this day will come. And I think a lot of people are either are of

⏹️ ▶️ John the opinion that this day will not come in their lifetime, which may be a very safe bet, in which case, you know, they

⏹️ ▶️ John feel justified in saying, look, I’ll be dead or retired when this happens. So I don’t have to worry about it. So it’s not on my radar

⏹️ ▶️ John at all. And how maybe the current leaders of Apple think I’ll be dead or retired by the time this happens. But

⏹️ ▶️ John I’m I’m thinking longer term like, yes, I’m I and everyone I know I’m going to die.

⏹️ ▶️ John But if Apple wants to live on or if we as humans want to live on, there will come a day when it is unacceptable to have a

⏹️ ▶️ John pointer that you can scribble over the memory, yes, just of your own process, sure, but that’s

⏹️ ▶️ John barbaric. That’s going away. We all agree it’s going away, it’s just a question of the timing. And a lot of people

⏹️ ▶️ John think, well, the timing is not in my lifetime, therefore I don’t care about it. But someone’s got to care about it, otherwise Apple’s

⏹️ ▶️ John going away. And if you don’t care if Apple goes away, you know, then fine. But someone

⏹️ ▶️ John at Apple, presumably, should care if Apple goes away, even if they’re retired when it happens? I don’t know. Maybe I’m thinking

⏹️ ▶️ John too long term. this is not how human beings think. And I just have to accept that Apple is going to go

⏹️ ▶️ John under in 75 years because they’re never going to get away from Objective C and someone else is going to replace them. And that’s the way of the

⏹️ ▶️ John world. And I should just be OK with it. But that’s where I’m coming from with this. And that’s why I think calls for like,

⏹️ ▶️ John what specifically do you want or whatever? As many people pointed out, that’s what Apple’s supposed to figure out. It’s not our job

⏹️ ▶️ John to come up with Apple’s next generation language. And we’re talking, it’s their job. And how do they do it? It’s going to take

⏹️ ▶️ John them a whole bunch of tries and it’s going to be really hard. And they should have been started working on it two decades ago when it was obvious that this is

⏹️ ▶️ John the way that the world is going. And it should have always been obvious. This is the way it always goes to higher level languages. So

⏹️ ▶️ John that’s what I’m fretting about. And it’s kind of an esoteric concern that no one really cares about. But the

⏹️ ▶️ John rank and file people have to deal with Objective-C every day. They see what other languages are like.

⏹️ ▶️ John And those other languages have features that everyone agrees are good, that they wish they had in Objective-C. And it’s like, well, you can’t

⏹️ ▶️ John just have that feature. You can’t just have the, you know, the native regular expressions

⏹️ ▶️ John or nicer strings or, you know, memory protection, not memory protection, but, you know, managed memory

⏹️ ▶️ John and not having to deal with pointers and stuff like that. You can’t just tack them on, right? You,

⏹️ ▶️ John that, but they see them in other languages. They see them in contemporary languages that are doing similar things. And they say,

⏹️ ▶️ John well, everyone agrees that’s good. Why did I have that here? And that kind of discomfort is maybe how

⏹️ ▶️ John this type of stuff begins, but this is not something that can begin from the outside. It can’t be a bunch of developers complaining about Objective-C.

⏹️ ▶️ John It can’t be developers leaving the platform because they don’t like Objective-C because that’s not going to happen as long as they continue to sell apps.

⏹️ ▶️ John It has to be from within. So this is something that Apple needs to undertake. And that’s always been my my thrust

⏹️ ▶️ John with the whole Copeland 2010 thing. It’s not telling developers what to do. It’s trying to tell Apple what to do. And

⏹️ ▶️ John we know how successful that usually is.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Right. But the problem is, is that as someone who has a leg in two worlds, I

⏹️ ▶️ Casey there are definitely things about Objective C and Coco that I that I wish I had

⏹️ ▶️ Casey when I do my day job of writing C Sharp. Like Grand Central Dispatch is a great example.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey It is unbelievably easy to just throw things onto random

⏹️ ▶️ Casey queues and to throw things onto the main thread without even having to think twice about it. And,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey you know, C-Sharp has gotten better with that over the years, but Apple did a great job. Now, granted the syntax

⏹️ ▶️ Casey is unbelievably bad and there is an entire website whose URL

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I can’t mention without having a horn go off, but there’s an entire website based

⏹️ ▶️ Casey on the syntax for how to write blocks properly. And that’s

⏹️ ▶️ Casey probably not a good sign. But nevertheless, there are things about COCO, this antiquated

⏹️ ▶️ Casey language that we all want to throw away, that I—well, COCO is a framework—but there’s things about

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Objective-C and COCO as a pair that is supposedly so antiquated that

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I would love to have in Objective-C. And it doesn’t mean that you’re

⏹️ ▶️ Casey wrong, John, but I don’t see the urgency that

⏹️ ▶️ Casey perhaps a lot of other people see. I concur that it needs to be being worked

⏹️ ▶️ Casey on, but I don’t know that we’re at the day where they need to flip the switch. And I don’t think you’re saying that

⏹️ ▶️ Casey either, but it seems like it’s still a little bit down the road to me

⏹️ ▶️ Casey as long as there’s continued improvements to

⏹️ ▶️ Casey both COCO and Objective-C, there are. Well,

⏹️ ▶️ John like the urgency should be at Apple and I understand

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey the

⏹️ ▶️ John anti-pattern they’re defending against is if you spend all your time worrying about your stupid next generation thing,

⏹️ ▶️ John then you take your eye off the ball, which is people making Objective-C better, people working on Cocoa. Like Apple is so about focus,

⏹️ ▶️ John I can totally understand. So that’s a sucker’s bet. You do not want to spend all your time coming up with these crazy

⏹️ ▶️ John new APIs, these crazy new languages. You’re taking your eye off the ball. You should be making the products that you have now better.

⏹️ ▶️ John Like what they’re doing with Objective-C and LLVM, like that’s exactly what they’re supposed to be doing. And any effort they

⏹️ ▶️ John spend, so they might think, any effort they expend on like, what is the next generation pie

⏹️ ▶️ John in the sky, architecture, astronaut crappy thing that we’re supposed to be doing, that is just like, that’s not in

⏹️ ▶️ John our DNA. We don’t worry about that or whatever. And I understand the urge not to

⏹️ ▶️ John fall into that trap. But the other trap is, we will never have to do that. We will get there by increment

⏹️ ▶️ John starting from C, we will have pointers forever until we don’t and that will somehow make that transition. Like,

⏹️ ▶️ John how do you get from point A to point B? It’s kind of like what they tried to do with the classic Mac OS. Copeland was like,

⏹️ ▶️ John we can try to keep some kind of compatibility, and old style Mac apps will be able to scribble all

⏹️ ▶️ John over memory. But we’ll make these new style apps that run on this new kernel that are protected from each

⏹️ ▶️ John other. And eventually, all the old apps will go away. It’ll be able to transit. It was an idea to transition

⏹️ ▶️ John into protected memory and preemptive multitasking, maintaining backward compatibility with existing classic

⏹️ ▶️ John apps by allowing them to still have free random memory, but just like the device drivers in the new apps

⏹️ ▶️ John wouldn’t. Like it was a hybrid type incremental solution, and they could never pull it off. And it’s not to say they

⏹️ ▶️ John couldn’t pull it off because it was incremental. It’s just to say that I think history has shown that

⏹️ ▶️ John the next generation thing will be very different from the previous

⏹️ ▶️ John thing. It won’t be the previous thing just improved in small increments. It’ll be something entirely, very

⏹️ ▶️ John often something entirely different from a different company, which is not what you want. Apple managed to do it to itself by saying,

⏹️ ▶️ John Well, sort of like we sent our CEO away in 1985 and he made another company. And now he made a

⏹️ ▶️ John new OS and we’re just going to bring that back. And that’s our new OS convenient. That was all secret plan all along.

⏹️ ▶️ John You see, it was very clever. Anyway, it was a complete replacement. Like people objected on Twitter. I was citing

⏹️ ▶️ John like OS 10 as a complete rewrite of the Mac operating system. From the perspective of the app,

⏹️ ▶️ John it is a different operating system. It has a compatibility layer that was, you know, to, you

⏹️ ▶️ John know, virtualize for classic apps and everything like that. but holy cow is it different than classic Mac OS. It’s Unix for crying out

⏹️ ▶️ John loud. So incredibly different. I know this. That was the thing. That was the thing

⏹️ ▶️ John that worked, right? Most often, the thing that replaces you is radically different and also from

⏹️ ▶️ John a different company. So if Apple doesn’t want that to happen, if they don’t want the next thing to be radically different and also from a different company,

⏹️ ▶️ John they need to balance their desire not to take their eyes off the current ball, which I agree with, with the reality

⏹️ ▶️ John that eventually, like, eventually you got to go away from pointers. Not this year,

⏹️ ▶️ John not this decade, but it’s like, whenever you think it is in the future, I don’t think, I’ve never met anyone who says, nope, pointers are gonna

⏹️ ▶️ John be forever. 7,000 years from now, people will be writing programs and if they dereference a bad pointer, they’re gonna

⏹️ ▶️ John scribble all over memory. Like that is not gonna happen, right? And well, Apple will be gone then, it doesn’t matter. Like,

⏹️ ▶️ John I guess it just depends on what time horizon you consider fruitful to think about.

⏹️ ▶️ John And I’m thinking about time horizons that I myself would have to say are perhaps not fruitful for me to

⏹️ ▶️ John be thinking about, but those are the type of things I think about. And I think someone at Apple somewhere should be

⏹️ ▶️ John high-minded enough to realize this is a concern and to start doing something to

⏹️ ▶️ John help with that.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco See, I’m a lot less convinced that this is inevitable, that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a progression like this has to happen even within a time span of like 20 years, 30 years. How about 200, 300? Pick your

⏹️ ▶️ Marco time

⏹️ ▶️ John scale. Everyone agrees it’s going to happen, right? Well, sure, but I think— So

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you were just arguing over the number then. That’s it? I think Objective-C,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco modern Objective-C and the tools that we have for it, are

⏹️ ▶️ Marco so much more advanced than where it was five or ten years ago. And

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think that we… I don’t think modern Objective-C is as far away

⏹️ ▶️ Marco from what people want as they think when they write blog posts like this. If you look at a lot of the complaints

⏹️ ▶️ Marco or a lot of the things people say it needs, a lot of them are APIs, not part of the language.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco A lot of them are really fairly minor cosmetic details almost. And

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a lot of it, it already has. And looking at the history of

⏹️ ▶️ Marco programming languages, there’s this assumption that you’ve said that most of these posts are based on, which is that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco everything always moves higher level as time goes on. But that’s not necessarily

⏹️ ▶️ Marco true. Stuff moved higher level at the beginning.

⏹️ ▶️ John It’s true with bumps. Obviously it’s not a straight line, but it’s true, the trend line.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Sure. there are certain things that kind of settle in and become kind of locked in. And I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco think one of the greatest examples of this is C. C

⏹️ ▶️ Marco has been around forever. No part of it is new, except blocks,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco but that’s about it. No part of C that in general use is really

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that modern. And yet it’s been around forever and it’s everywhere. And

⏹️ ▶️ Marco every language, usually languages are written in C, Usually you know languages

⏹️ ▶️ Marco have tons of C modules that can be added on Anything that high performance is required is

⏹️ ▶️ Marco usually written in C. You know there’s I Would not historically I would not bet against

⏹️ ▶️ Marco C

⏹️ ▶️ John But but you have to you know it’s going like it’s not gonna go away in the same way assembly didn’t go away I mean hell even machine code didn’t

⏹️ ▶️ John go away like people were running game consoles someone’s writing some Hexadecimal numbers that they know are machine code

⏹️ ▶️ John right like it’s obviously like a layer cake but C will lose its primacy eventually, the same way assembly

⏹️ ▶️ John lost its primacy as the way you program computers, the same way that machine code did. C is just having a much longer life

⏹️ ▶️ John than, I don’t know, has C had a longer life than assembly? I’d have to look up the numbers to see, but certainly

⏹️ ▶️ John assembly had a longer life than writing machine code because it was so incredibly unfriendly. But, like,

⏹️ ▶️ John all you’re arguing about is timescale. You think, like, oh, this is a long plateau. You’re right, it is a long plateau. How

⏹️ ▶️ John long is the plateau going to be? But I think the systems that we have now that do use higher level languages

⏹️ ▶️ John are out there enough to sow a little bit of discontent, even in just the regular rank and file people who

⏹️ ▶️ John find it so much less verbose. To get the same operation done in a higher level language

⏹️ ▶️ John like Python or Ruby or something, like, boy, I have to do so much less typing, and it’s so much more clear what I’m doing.

⏹️ ▶️ John It’s just more concise. It’s a higher level language. I can do more with less typing. I can

⏹️ ▶️ John be more clear with my intent. Even things like Go, or implicit parallelism,

⏹️ ▶️ John and other abstractions that allow you to express yourself in a way that would not be

⏹️ ▶️ John possible in C. Even in a language that’s not particularly higher level than C,

⏹️ ▶️ John because Go is very similar to C, but with better libraries and built-ins and stuff. Because

⏹️ ▶️ John of all the existing high-level languages that people do other kinds of development in, it allows

⏹️ ▶️ John them to see what the future might look like, even if we’re not quite ready for it today. it today. And I think that’s,

⏹️ ▶️ John I mean, that’s, that’s the beginning of the writing on the wall for C-based languages. And, you know, you’re saying I

⏹️ ▶️ John wouldn’t bet against C and it’s locked in, like, those are all relative terms. Like,

⏹️ ▶️ John you know, if I start throwing out big year numbers, eventually you agree with me, but like, you don’t want to agree with

⏹️ ▶️ John them in any year number that you can envision either being alive during or, uh, or envision

⏹️ ▶️ John like anyone, you know, being alive during and that’s, maybe that’s just human nature, but like everything

⏹️ ▶️ John just depends on what the time scale looks like. And there are discontinuities where suddenly you make a great leap forward

⏹️ ▶️ John because of some reason, because, you know, an earthquake wipes out Apple and Google and some new company has to rise from the ashes and

⏹️ ▶️ John it bases everything on Erlang or something, and we enter the new Erlang age, or I’m trying to think of a crazy

⏹️ ▶️ John language, but, uh, but yeah, I, I think your, your

⏹️ ▶️ John desire not to think about anything beyond C may be well-founded because for your entire career you’ll never

⏹️ ▶️ John have to think about that but your grandkids probably will.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah I mean and I think I totally agree that given a long enough

⏹️ ▶️ Marco time scale you’re right that given a long enough time scale this will have to be replaced but

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I think that I think it’s pretty likely that by the time that happens

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Apple might not be that relevant or we might not be running the same OS even you know like… Well

⏹️ ▶️ Marco if they don’t listen to me of course they don’t. Right like you I think

⏹️ ▶️ Marco there’s a lot of things that keep Objective-C as it is in power.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And part of it is that there’s the whole tool chain that kind of requires it. But even

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the reasons why things that are compiled down to Objective-C and various toolkits and stuff haven’t

⏹️ ▶️ Marco really been huge is mostly because Objective-C, as I said

⏹️ ▶️ Marco before, it’s close enough in a lot of ways to what people actually want. And

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you can say, oh look, the brackets are ugly, and that’s mostly people who are unfamiliar with it who

⏹️ ▶️ Marco say that, and then once they get familiar with it, it just stops mattering. Because every language looks weird when it’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco unfamiliar to you. And I think it’s close enough

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to a lot of what people want. I think a lot of the alternatives are not clear-cut.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco If you say, okay, well you shouldn’t even have to think about memory ever again. Okay, well then which memory management model

⏹️ ▶️ Marco do you pick? And that’s not an easy question. The question of

⏹️ ▶️ Marco types and how they’re implemented, that’s not an easy question. But also we got this great

⏹️ ▶️ Marco reset with the rise of mobile, where efficiency is suddenly a lot more

⏹️ ▶️ Marco important than it was in 2005. Because in 2005, if you’re building

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a desktop app, then the CPUs were so powerful back then for desktop apps

⏹️ ▶️ Marco for most types of use that you could do anything with the language. You could have the language having tons of overhead and tons

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of dynamic safety stuff and it’d be fine. Whereas in mobile, that was

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a great reset. And obviously mobile’s getting faster, it will keep getting faster,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and eventually this will become a lot less of an advantage. But it sure has

⏹️ ▶️ Marco helped iOS so far that most of the apps people use are written in a very low

⏹️ ▶️ Marco level language, or at least are compiled down to a very low level language, so that they have a lot

⏹️ ▶️ Marco less overhead than, say, Android apps. And there’s different things like just-in-time compilation

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that have been very advanced in recent years. But still, the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco compiled C-based language that is mostly static and fast

⏹️ ▶️ Marco has a lot of advantages in mobile. And what’s different in mobile is that the power budget

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is so much tighter, that it actually matters not only for speed but for battery life. And

⏹️ ▶️ Marco so this will continue to matter for a while. And you’re right, eventually it won’t over

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a long enough time scale. But I think I’d say we probably have a good 10 years at least

⏹️ ▶️ Marco where this will continue to matter and where it would be

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, John unwise.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco It’s

⏹️ ▶️ John picking around numbers.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco That’s true. I think we have another 7.2 years. Yeah, I know. I know.

⏹️ ▶️ John It’s the same thing I did with Pick With 2010. Yeah. In the revisited article, I basically said, like, in 2005, what I didn’t

⏹️ ▶️ John see coming in 2005 was the iPhone. I mean, who did, right? But like the prominence of mobile, right?

⏹️ ▶️ John And that, I wouldn’t call it a reset, it’s a delay. And it could be a massive delay. I forget what I said in the revisited

⏹️ ▶️ John article. Like, is it a 20 year delay? It adds at least a decade, you know, because yeah, all the things you

⏹️ ▶️ John said are true. Like, mobile being low level is such a massive advantage in mobile. Like, that’s why

⏹️ ▶️ John Apple was able to do these, like, that’s why everyone thought the iPhone was fake. Because, you know, you can’t do that. They were like the

⏹️ ▶️ John Java apps that were running on the stupid smartphones then. There’s no way you can do stuff like that in those jobs. Like, you need to

⏹️ ▶️ John have a crazy desktop powered CPU in there. Well, if you have a language that’s more efficient Java

⏹️ ▶️ John on your phone, you could do pretty amazing stuff. And yeah, so this, this has been an advantage and it’s a sustainable

⏹️ ▶️ John advantage and Apple’s investing in that advantage and making Objective-C better and everything. So I don’t know how long

⏹️ ▶️ John that delays things. It delays things for a long time. You’re right. Uh, but on the other side of

⏹️ ▶️ John the like, yeah, it’s going to happen eventually, but not in my lifetime. I always think about like, we were just talking about WhatsApp

⏹️ ▶️ John or think about any, you know, think about my space, things move faster in industry

⏹️ ▶️ John than most of us are comfortable with, even just reflecting on. Every

⏹️ ▶️ John time I see the timeline of something that, oh, this happened a long time ago, way back

⏹️ ▶️ John in 2004. How long was it before Facebook even existed? How many years ago? How

⏹️ ▶️ John old is Facebook even? How old is Instagram? How old is Twitter? All these things that we accept as institutions,

⏹️ ▶️ John how old is WhatsApp that just cost $16 billion? In some respects,

⏹️ ▶️ John things have a lot of momentum and mobile’s going to keep us, to keep Apple’s advantage of objective C

⏹️ ▶️ John relevant for a really long time. But in other respects, that’s what I’m talking about the discontinuities. Like the graph

⏹️ ▶️ John is not smooth. There’s long plateaus where nothing changes and there’s a big spike where crazy things change

⏹️ ▶️ John and you never know what’s coming down the pike. So it could be that we are all stuck with C-based languages

⏹️ ▶️ John for our entire lives and careers. But it could be that 20 years

⏹️ ▶️ John from now something dramatic happens that we didn’t predict. And suddenly, all C-based

⏹️ ▶️ John languages are swept under the carpet because the amazing new company that is becoming to prominence uses

⏹️ ▶️ John a language at super high level that everybody loves. And everyone looks down at the barbaric people

⏹️ ▶️ John slinging pointers and relegates them to

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey writing

⏹️ ▶️ John device drivers for whatever.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Well, I’m really upset at Marco because I was going to make the same point about mobile kind of

⏹️ ▶️ Casey resetting everything. I

⏹️ ▶️ John already made it in the Revisited article in 2010.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I know, I know. Well, OK, so I’m upset. Opera did it first. I’m upset at both of you then. But the

⏹️ ▶️ Casey other thing to consider is if this supposed iWatch is really a thing, I mean,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that kind of does this whole being near the metal.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey It makes being near the metal a huge advantage all over again.

⏹️ ▶️ John Well, is it you think the power constraints of the watch are that much different than a phone? I mean, they’re

⏹️ ▶️ John probably like 2x, but maybe not 10x less. I don’t know.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, but do you think you do you think you’re being you’d be in a position that running a just-in-time compiled

⏹️ ▶️ Casey or or a or a common language runtime kind of Setup is really

⏹️ ▶️ Casey going to be a good call on a watch

⏹️ ▶️ John I don’t think it’s as big a delay as going from a a laptop or a desktop to

⏹️ ▶️ John a phone I think it’s a smaller jump going from a phone to a wearable.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Well, that’s probably true but

⏹️ ▶️ John but yeah, but you’re right that continue a I mean, the continuation of mobile and battery-powered stuff is going to

⏹️ ▶️ John be a substantial delay in making any kind of high-level language. It may end up being a disadvantage to anybody who doesn’t have

⏹️ ▶️ John a C-based language, but it already is. Talk to the Windows. I mean, it’s

⏹️ ▶️ John hard to say, because again, it’s kind of like the

⏹️ ▶️ John working backwards from success. It’s like, well, the iPhone is so awesome. And as I said, the iPhone couldn’t have existed

⏹️ ▶️ John probably without this type of language. But if Microsoft had not been so incompetent

⏹️ ▶️ John and its mobile strategy and had come up with an OS like the, you know, iOS

⏹️ ▶️ John years before the iPhone using C sharp, it would have had terrible performance

⏹️ ▶️ John and been like everyone would have looked at it and said, why the hell are you doing this? You’re making everything so slow.

⏹️ ▶️ John CPUs can’t handle this. There’s no mobile GPU that can sling this many pixels. It’s embarrassing. And it would

⏹️ ▶️ John have reminded me of OS 10. All of that was a hundred percent true of OS 10, 10.0, a composited

⏹️ ▶️ John GUI running all in the CPU. It was slow as balls. you couldn’t even scroll windows full

⏹️ ▶️ John of text. It’s like, this is your next generation operating system. I can’t scroll a window full of text without it stuttering.

⏹️ ▶️ John Forget it. And Apple’s like, No, no, no, we think this is the right way to do things. Eventually, the hardware will catch

⏹️ ▶️ John up. And it did. So if Microsoft had had fielded, you know, sort of Windows

⏹️ ▶️ John Phone seven, or whatever the hell number they’re up to, way back in the day, or done something like iOS on C sharp,

⏹️ ▶️ John and it was slow, that may have, you know, and they became successful, they became, you know, the iPhone,

⏹️ ▶️ John because they did it first, and they got they, and made this amazing product and you know eventually it got good enough

⏹️ ▶️ John and Apple was like the you know Johnny come lately you wouldn’t be able to make the argument that like oh well the only

⏹️ ▶️ John way you can do this type of thing is with a low level language I think something like C sharp and the common

⏹️ ▶️ John line growing time now are good enough to make something kind of fast on a phone

⏹️ ▶️ John it probably would have taken longer to be as fast as the iPhone is and it wouldn’t have been as good but we wouldn’t have

⏹️ ▶️ John the iPhone to compare it to so we would be like oh this is as good as it can possibly be like that’s what like the whole the

⏹️ ▶️ John whole idea that the way things currently are is the only way they could possibly be. I

⏹️ ▶️ John have very big objections to that. And it’s human nature to just assume that that’s the case. So while I think

⏹️ ▶️ John that Objective-C has been such a big advantage to Apple, I don’t think you can say, well, you could never have a phone type device with

⏹️ ▶️ John C Sharp, because C Sharp is not that slow.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey It’s

⏹️ ▶️ John slower, you know, but like, I mean, hell, people can do amazing things with stupid JavaScript,

⏹️ ▶️ John just crazy. Like, you know, we have those classic Mac emulators and stuff inside a browser window

⏹️ ▶️ John and JavaScript, talk about a slow language, it’s not designed to be fast at all. So I’m

⏹️ ▶️ John not convinced that C sharp, that Objective-C is the only way that we could have iPhone-like devices

⏹️ ▶️ John in our lifetime. And I think even the current state of Windows Phone, which yes, I know uses code that,

⏹️ ▶️ John you know, quote unquote native code to do its things that have to actually be fast, and the same thing with Android with its native code, and I understand

⏹️ ▶️ John all these things that they have to do to be faster, but I don’t think C sharp is necessary

⏹️ ▶️ John to have, you know, smartphones, for example, or Objective-C is necessary to have smartphones.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Right, and I don’t think anyone’s making that argument. I think it’s more that, you know, if you can have something that’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco this fast and this efficient, it’s an advantage. It’s not a requirement, but it’s an advantage for sure.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And as time goes on, it becomes less of an advantage proportionally, but still, you know, it still

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is significant now. And, you know, and again, I just think like, you know, Casey,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I mean, you are very qualified to talk about.NET. I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco would say C Sharp and the.NET framework are a very good example of the kind of thing that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco we might be moving towards, although we’d probably go, hopefully, another evolutionary step because that’s now 15 years

⏹️ ▶️ Marco old or whatever. Based on what you know with.NET

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and what you know with modern Objective-C development, is.NET

⏹️ ▶️ Marco really that much easier to use for mobile app development?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey If you had asked me a year or two ago, maybe two or three years ago actually, I would have said yes,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it is considerably easier. Ref counting is not that conceptually difficult, but it’s still

⏹️ ▶️ Casey a hell of a lot more difficult than just writing the new keyword all over the place.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey But given the advances of ARC, given the advances

⏹️ ▶️ Casey of having closures in Objective-C, no, I don’t think it’s really

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that different. And that’s kind of what I was driving at earlier. There are things in Objective-C

⏹️ ▶️ Casey that I love and that I miss when I write C Sharp. There are things that are in C

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Sharp that I love that I miss when I write Objective-C. But if I were

⏹️ ▶️ Casey to – like the first thing that jumps to mind of something that I really miss in Objective-C that I enjoy

⏹️ ▶️ Casey so much in C Sharp is something silly like reflection or introspection,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey which really is not necessary and is completely ancillary to the

⏹️ ▶️ Casey conversation we’re having. Like that, it’s-

⏹️ ▶️ Marco But a lot of that’s there. Just

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey so

⏹️ ▶️ Casey you know. No, it is there, but it’s, no, it absolutely is there. It’s just comparatively a royal pain in the butt

⏹️ ▶️ Casey compared to how easy it is in C

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John sharp.

⏹️ ▶️ John But it changes the way you write programs, though. Like, I mean, think of, if you think of writing in actual, very high

⏹️ ▶️ John level language, it’s not just like an incremental step. if you have those features

⏹️ ▶️ John and they’re built into the language in a convenient way, it informs how you write APIs

⏹️ ▶️ John for

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey that language. Absolutely.

⏹️ ▶️ John Think of all the Ruby people writing their stupid DSLs by making their little, you know, because it’s so easy to just add

⏹️ ▶️ John methods to classes and throw the, like, extending the number of classes they can put, like, 1.times and

⏹️ ▶️ John 3.days.ago and all this. Like, not I’m saying all this stuff is good, but language

⏹️ ▶️ John features change what the API looks like. And another thing that changes what the API looks

⏹️ ▶️ John like is success. And I think a lot of the narrowing gap

⏹️ ▶️ John between Objective-C and C Sharp is based on the success of the companies

⏹️ ▶️ John that shepherded them. The relative success over the past decade of Apple versus Microsoft, it’s a pretty stark

⏹️ ▶️ John contrast. And although Microsoft has been improving C Sharp and everything, they have not had

⏹️ ▶️ John the dominant, thriving, big new platform as a tractor to pull their language and API.

⏹️ ▶️ John They have had the kind of fizzling, not really doing well in the mobile market platform and

⏹️ ▶️ John the old legacy Windows platform and a bunch of other confused APIs, you know, pulling them along.

⏹️ ▶️ John And so yeah, the gap is narrowing because Apple’s firing on all cylinders with Objective-C

⏹️ ▶️ John and Microsoft is – I don’t know what they’re doing with C Sharp but

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey like –

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Well, you say that but I mean C Sharp is making considerable strides on a regular basis and

⏹️ ▶️ Casey like –

⏹️ ▶️ John The language, yes, but the

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey API? Yes.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey That’s a fair point. The API has gotten a little better with like parallel programming for example.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I would argue it’s not as clean and as simple as Grand Central Dispatch, but it’s better.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey But C Sharp as a language, I really, really, really, really like it

⏹️ ▶️ Casey a lot, a lot, a lot. And I’m not saying I love Microsoft. I mean, Microsoft has its own

⏹️ ▶️ Casey woes, but C Sharp as a language is really, truly incredible. And I really, really like

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it. And some of the things you can do with C Sharp, like someone brought up in the chat a minute ago, link,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey language integrated query. You can do some of that with predicates in Coco,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey but it’s not as nice. It’s not as easy. And like I said, reflection earlier,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey some of those things are really incredible. And having easy access to introspection, having easy

⏹️ ▶️ Casey access to writing SQL-esque queries against objects, it

⏹️ ▶️ Casey makes the way you write code very different, just like you said, John. And so I see both

⏹️ ▶️ Casey sides of this coin, and it’s so tough. I want to be more definitive and come down with a

⏹️ ▶️ Casey particular perspective. But I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know what I would do if I was Apple other than

⏹️ ▶️ Casey put some really big nerds on it and see what they come up with.

⏹️ ▶️ John I think link is a good example because this this whole thing of like, you know, higher level language

⏹️ ▶️ John with managed memory and these other features and native strings and all these other things from high level language that

⏹️ ▶️ John we think we want and it providing you the ability to like, let’s try this experiment. Let’s

⏹️ ▶️ John do this, you know, link link is yet another attempt to sort of make it easier to deal with

⏹️ ▶️ John big buckets of data in a language. Like we want to get the data out and we want to get the data into like variables essentially

⏹️ ▶️ John in our language so we can deal with them. We want to take whatever structures we have in our language, whether they be objects or something else,

⏹️ ▶️ John and put them into some other big bucket of data, probably a database, like how many times have we taken a run of this problem

⏹️ ▶️ John with object relational mapping and direct SQL queries and link was yet another example. And it just

⏹️ ▶️ John goes to show that the features of language that we’re talking about, being higher level,

⏹️ ▶️ John will become a necessity. It will be necessary to be memory managed,

⏹️ ▶️ John to not be able to have a segfault, to have things that we all expect to have, like name parameters, native strings,

⏹️ ▶️ John and maybe regular expressions, and native implicit parallelism baked into the runtime, all these things,

⏹️ ▶️ John those will be necessary, but they will not be sufficient to be a better language.

⏹️ ▶️ John Because link, many people hate because they’re like, everyone hates ORMs, right? But then link,

⏹️ ▶️ John people are like, oh, this is a great idea. And then you use link for a while, and you’re like, no, link’s not that great either. And some people go back to just writing

⏹️ ▶️ John the SQL queries. Like, just because you have these features doesn’t mean you’re gonna make an awesome API. GCD is a great example.

⏹️ ▶️ John The people who made that had a better idea of what would make a good, easy API for do parallelism.

⏹️ ▶️ John And they shoo hard into just C for crying out loud, right? Just because you

⏹️ ▶️ John have memory management doesn’t mean you’re gonna come up with an API that’s as good as GCD. It doesn’t mean that you’re going to come up with a way of dealing with databases

⏹️ ▶️ John that’s better than link, that’s better than ORMs, that’s better than writing direct queries. It doesn’t automatically

⏹️ ▶️ John make you the winner, but it will eventually be necessary. And eventually you get to

⏹️ ▶️ John the point, like Apple was with Copeland, where no matter how good your stuff is, if

⏹️ ▶️ John you don’t meet this minimum bar, if you do not have memory protection, you become a non-entity.

⏹️ ▶️ John You can’t play in the game anymore. No matter how awesome your stuff is, you’re like, oh, look at this. we have this and we have

⏹️ ▶️ John that and our UI is nice or whatever, it’s like, I’m sorry, you spent a long time over there dicking around,

⏹️ ▶️ John and the bar has moved. And now you’re just a not a player anymore. And that’s the scenario that we’re trying

⏹️ ▶️ John to avoid here. It doesn’t mean that if you make a memory managed language, then it will be better than objective

⏹️ ▶️ John C. In fact, chances are very great that it will not be and your API will not be as good as Coco. That’s why I

⏹️ ▶️ John was saying, make 17 teams put them against each other, don’t tell them each other exists like it’s going to be difficult

⏹️ ▶️ John to do. It’s not even guaranteed that you’re going to be successful. But if you don’t try, you are guaranteed long term that you’re doomed.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah, I agree. It’s just, I don’t know, it’s, it’s so tough. And

⏹️ ▶️ Casey one thing I should point out is that link is about more than just hitting databases. I mean, what’s

⏹️ ▶️ Casey what’s really powerful about link is if you have a dictionary or a hash table in

⏹️ ▶️ Casey memory, you can write really expressive queries against that

⏹️ ▶️ Casey hash or that dictionary. And you can do it either in a format that smells a

⏹️ ▶️ Casey lot like SQL. Literally within code, you can write from

⏹️ ▶️ Casey dictionary, where blah, select blah, or you can do it in a more

⏹️ ▶️ Casey traditional way. But Link is extremely powerful. It’s things

⏹️ ▶️ Casey like that that make me think you’re right. But I don’t know. I think

⏹️ ▶️ Casey the most prescient thing you said was that it takes a long time to develop a really solid

⏹️ ▶️ Casey API, a really long time. I don’t think the.NET framework’s there. I

⏹️ ▶️ Casey would take Cocoa over the.NET framework. As much as I would miss Link, as much as I would miss reflection

⏹️ ▶️ Casey in the easy peasy form that it is in.NET, I would probably take Cocoa over

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it, and that’s saying a lot.

⏹️ ▶️ John Even if you have an awesome API, and even if you have an awesome language, and everyone agrees your API is better than everything

⏹️ ▶️ John else in the market, and everyone agrees your language is better than everything else in the market, if it’s not attached to a successful product, that will

⏹️ ▶️ John also doom it all. The things that have to come together, that’s how we end up with C and Objective-C. It’s

⏹️ ▶️ John like in the end, like if no matter how great a thing you make in terms of the underlying things,

⏹️ ▶️ John if it doesn’t get attached to successful product, it’s gone. And whatever is attached to successful product, provided

⏹️ ▶️ John to meet some pretty low minimum bar of suitability, it will be wildly successful and will be

⏹️ ▶️ John will be stuck with it for decades anyway. So that’s the other, you know, again, the

⏹️ ▶️ John theme of this show of like, just because it is everyone uses it and it’s attached

⏹️ ▶️ John to successful products, It doesn’t mean that it is the best thing that we could ever possibly have in its success, you know, like

⏹️ ▶️ John Objective C would be nowhere if Apple didn’t buy next right is it because I would have to see it’s bad No objective C is

⏹️ ▶️ John better in many many ways than a lot of its contemporary languages but it would be nowhere if Apple hadn’t bought them

⏹️ ▶️ John and so like that Apple has when you have the successful product and you have the ability

⏹️ ▶️ John as Microsoft sort of had to try to to try to Prevent yourself from becoming irrelevant

⏹️ ▶️ John by revving your technology stack trying to do it at the same time as also making successful

⏹️ ▶️ John products, I don’t know, maybe it’s impossible, maybe Apple’s, maybe Apple’s lifetime is limited by the lifetime of Objective-C. If it’s

⏹️ ▶️ John institutionally incapable of ever making anything good enough to replace it, then

⏹️ ▶️ John it will be, Apple as a company will live as long as it takes for Objective-C to become

⏹️ ▶️ John like a disqualifier, where now, like, just like memory protection was, like, memory protection, lack of memory protection, preemptive

⏹️ ▶️ John multitasking became a disqualifier for the desktop PC market, And Apple had to do something and

⏹️ ▶️ John they almost went out of business. Well, that if that’s Apple strategy, we should see if we ever get Tim Cook on the show,

⏹️ ▶️ John you should give him a call. I would ask him this super esoteric question. It’s like,

⏹️ ▶️ John I think this is like, you know, it’s probably he’ll be retired. Like he doesn’t have to worry about this like personally.

⏹️ ▶️ John But I wonder if if you’re a CEO of a company, have you ever think about things like this? Like three

⏹️ ▶️ John CEOs from now, that guy might have to worry about this. Do I care at all? And if I do, am I

⏹️ ▶️ John planning for it now or am I just content to say, we’re going to make complete improving Objective-C

⏹️ ▶️ John as long as hard as we can. If it ever becomes a disqualifier of success, well, that’s the end of Apple, but that’ll be so long

⏹️ ▶️ John from now and nobody alive cares. So good job.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey So what I keep wondering is right around the time that I think

⏹️ ▶️ Casey all of us were getting completely fed up with the fact that we needed to perform

⏹️ ▶️ Casey our own reference counting in Objective-C, that’s when ARK came out. And at the

⏹️ ▶️ Casey last possible moment, the biggest issue that all of us had, or I would say the biggest

⏹️ ▶️ Casey issue all of us had with Objective C suddenly wasn’t an issue anymore. If Apple continues

⏹️ ▶️ Casey down that road and at the 11th hour finally fixes whatever the current

⏹️ ▶️ Casey issue is, is that a long term plan that’ll work, do you think?

⏹️ ▶️ John Well, it took them two tries to do that because the first try was garbage collection, right? And that

⏹️ ▶️ John was a multi-year effort that ended in failure because it wasn’t widely adopted by

⏹️ ▶️ John anybody except I think they made the Xcode guys do it. I forget who they had dog food the garbage collection, but

⏹️ ▶️ John it didn’t work out because it wasn’t nicely compatible with the C-place language. So they found a better solution that had

⏹️ ▶️ John better characteristics. It was a better fit for their language. That is more of a compromise in many senses than garbage

⏹️ ▶️ John collection, but it is so much better fit for a C-base language. And also garbage collection has many

⏹️ ▶️ John disadvantages on mobile that ARC doesn’t have. So ARC was the right solution at the right time for Apple, no question.

⏹️ ▶️ John But it’s not really the right solution if you’re going to try to incrementalize your way from

⏹️ ▶️ John where we are now to a higher level language. I guess if you’re phenomenally

⏹️ ▶️ John successful, you can use that to extend your life for a really long time. But eventually we’re going to

⏹️ ▶️ John get to the point where we are like with HFS Plus where, there we go, bingo board, where

⏹️ ▶️ John you kept tacking stuff on to something for as long as you possibly could. And as long as you’re still successful,

⏹️ ▶️ John you know, hey, all those iPhones, they got hrs plus on them, it must be pretty awesome, right? Like, you can keep adding features

⏹️ ▶️ John for a pretty long time. If you have successful products, you’re just really delaying the inevitable though. And I have a hard

⏹️ ▶️ John time seeing a path from something like objective C, like the transition,

⏹️ ▶️ John difficult transition is when do the pointers go away? That’s the really hard, like, there’s always like

⏹️ ▶️ John a chasm that you can keep making things better, improving the syntax, dot notation, string literals,

⏹️ ▶️ John object literals, like, you can do lots of awesome things, especially with LLVM, the new compiler infrastructure,

⏹️ ▶️ John like they have a lot of runway out in front of them, they can do lots of awesome things, again, long enough probably for everyone who works at Apple to

⏹️ ▶️ John get old, retire and die. But eventually the runway does run out. And you’re left with this crazy

⏹️ ▶️ John ass mongrel, like the runway I think has run out on HFS plus, that is just you can tell has had

⏹️ ▶️ John tons of stuff modified and tacked on to it. And some other successful product will come along will

⏹️ ▶️ John be successful not because of the language, but just incidentally also happens to have a language where you can express yourself

⏹️ ▶️ John concisely, you know, in a so much nicer manner that people will, in

⏹️ ▶️ John addition to saying, I’m going to write for the whatever contact lens OS, because that’s awesome in the

⏹️ ▶️ John year 20, whatever. And by the way, the programs are awesome. And you don’t have to, you

⏹️ ▶️ John know, maybe we’ll just say square brackets again, because that’s all people can see is a stupid syntax, even though it’s not the most important thing.

⏹️ ▶️ John But yeah, like there will be a better way to program and it will be attached to

⏹️ ▶️ John some other product if Apple doesn’t make it.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, and I think this conversation, the conversation of like, oh, Apple needs to do

⏹️ ▶️ Marco this, I think if you’re going to make that point, I think it needs specifics. And

⏹️ ▶️ Marco you know, it’s easy to say, oh, well, Apple needs to do, they need to move in this direction

⏹️ ▶️ Marco in general terms. And I agree that they do need to move in the direction of higher level eventually. But

⏹️ ▶️ Marco there’s a big question mark there of what exactly that means. And you

⏹️ ▶️ Marco said earlier, John, that you think it’s Apple’s responsibility. I don’t necessarily think that’s the case. I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco think they should have some people thinking about it, but I think it’s up to the world of

⏹️ ▶️ Marco developers, really, to figure out what the heck we want.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And that, I think, is a much harder question.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I definitely think that the whole platform and all developers

⏹️ ▶️ Marco benefit substantially by there only really being one canonical language that you write

⏹️ ▶️ Marco apps for these platforms in. There’s one language with the official API,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and yeah, there’s fringe efforts to use other languages, but I

⏹️ ▶️ Marco think overall everyone benefits from there being one agreed-upon default language. So the question is, if something’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco going to replace that language, what changes and what

⏹️ ▶️ Marco decisions are good enough to replace it? Because if you try to have it both ways, and try to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco maintain both, you know, you had two whole shows on bridges, it doesn’t really work very well.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So what choices would they make? Right now, Objective-C is

⏹️ ▶️ Marco pretty good at most stuff, really good at some stuff, and really rough at some other stuff. But

⏹️ ▶️ Marco overall I would say it’s pretty good. And I think overall people who

⏹️ ▶️ Marco are familiar with it enough to look beyond the brackets would probably agree with that. It’s pretty good.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco So what new thing would be at least that good

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to at least as many people or applicable to as many circumstances?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And I think that’s a really hard question. And this is like a design question.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco This is not as much a technical question. is a design choice and design is hard because

⏹️ ▶️ Marco a lot of times with these with design questions there is no good answer like there it’s a lot like

⏹️ ▶️ Marco politics like there is like no good policy in some cases

⏹️ ▶️ Marco where everyone’s gonna be happy or where it’s where it’s universal win or even everyone can agree that it’s a net win at

⏹️ ▶️ Marco all and so I think objective C replacements are gonna face a big problem there

⏹️ ▶️ Marco which is like there’s this huge API that has to be you know ported over

⏹️ ▶️ Marco or converted or rethought. There’s this huge installed base, there’s all these developers who know what it is, and it works

⏹️ ▶️ Marco for the most part, it works really well. Like all the problems of C that make it hard to use

⏹️ ▶️ Marco or clunky or hard to maintain if it’s badly written, Objective-C

⏹️ ▶️ Marco tackles a lot of those and severely reduces the impact of a lot of those. And

⏹️ ▶️ Marco so like a lot of the problems of C aren’t really problems in Objective-C or are so much

⏹️ ▶️ Marco smaller that it’s basically irrelevant. And so to make something that’s substantially better

⏹️ ▶️ Marco is, technically, yeah, you’re right, it’s a lot of work, it’s gonna take a lot of time, but I think the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco much bigger question is, what is just deciding what exactly that should be and how it should work

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and all the decisions that go into designing a language and the associated frameworks, but

⏹️ ▶️ Marco just the technical implementation details, that’s a really big question and I don’t see

⏹️ ▶️ Marco any consensus forming among developers who are suggesting that it should be different, I don’t see any

⏹️ ▶️ Marco consensus forming to say, oh, it should move from where it is to x.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And what exactly x is?

⏹️ ▶️ John There’s a little bit of consensus because of all the other high-level languages that are out there. Because so much development these days is done

⏹️ ▶️ John not on native platforms, quote unquote, server-side programming. There’s all these other languages like Python,

⏹️ ▶️ John Ruby, and even PHP, and all that stuff out there, and JavaScript, giving people a taste

⏹️ ▶️ John of the things they don’t have in native languages. And there’s some consensus on things that I think everyone would agree

⏹️ ▶️ John that a modern language has to have. I’m thinking more like you mentioned the transition before.

⏹️ ▶️ John Transition is going to be terrible, because you can’t just wake up one day and say, OK, everybody, write this new API

⏹️ ▶️ John in this new language. Go. But luckily, Apple has some experience in this area.

⏹️ ▶️ John It transitioned everybody from a C, C++ API

⏹️ ▶️ John system for writing, whether it’s the Mac Toolbox or PowerPlant or whatever. It transitioned them from that

⏹️ ▶️ John to a language that almost looks like a lateral move to Objective-C, also C-based, but totally different API,

⏹️ ▶️ John totally different language. They managed that transition, perhaps not as well as they could have, but for

⏹️ ▶️ John a long time, they had things like Carbon and Cocoa, and you’d make a new control, and this control is only available in Cocoa, and this one’s in

⏹️ ▶️ John Carbon. People would complain, why can’t I get that control? I want a drawer in my Carbon app, and they had Quick Draw

⏹️ ▶️ John still in there, and the Quartz, like, it was a hairy mess. And that move was such a tiny move. Like

⏹️ ▶️ John you’re saying like you need a language that’s so amazingly better in this consensus. Was there consensus that objective seeing Cocoa is better

⏹️ ▶️ John than carbon? Definitely not among old school Mac developers. Definitely not among like Adobe and Microsoft

⏹️ ▶️ John and stuff like that. It’s I’m not going to say it’s going to be easy, but I think the

⏹️ ▶️ John the carbon to Cocoa transition is evidence that it is possible

⏹️ ▶️ John to do that in a way that doesn’t totally destroy your platform, which is not. I don’t think it was a given because I don’t think

⏹️ ▶️ John anyone else has ever pulled off a transition like that. hasn’t managed, I think, to pull it off with C Sharp. Because

⏹️ ▶️ John nowadays, if you’re writing a Mac app, you’re writing a Cocoa app. But nowadays, if you’re writing a Windows app, or you’re writing a C Sharp

⏹️ ▶️ John app in whatever the hell API they’re pushing these days for the GUI, like. Who’s running Windows apps? Yeah.

⏹️ ▶️ John I mean, that’s a question too. But yeah, it’s going to be really difficult. And the transition is

⏹️ ▶️ John almost as difficult. But I think the thing you’re transitioning to, like, I don’t think you need all that much consensus. And I don’t think

⏹️ ▶️ John it needs to be that fantastically better. Because Apple has kind of shown that you can do it sort

⏹️ ▶️ John of by fiat. And eventually people will come around if the things that you can program

⏹️ ▶️ John in Objective-C are popular enough, like the iPhone. And

⏹️ ▶️ John you manage to bring along Microsoft and Adobe eventually kind of kicking and screaming, what was

⏹️ ▶️ John the first Cocoa version of Photoshop, like two versions ago or something? Something like that. It’s taken

⏹️ ▶️ John a long time, but you manage not to lose them. And they’ve basically completely transitioned. If you’re writing

⏹️ ▶️ John an application for Apple’s platforms, doing it Objective-C and Cocoa, despite the fact that they’re not

⏹️ ▶️ John all that different from C, C++ APIs that preceded them.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey What I don’t see though is, Marco, you said a minute ago, it’s up to

⏹️ ▶️ Casey the developer community in order to kind of, I don’t know, dictate is a strong word, but kind of

⏹️ ▶️ Casey help figure out what the way forward is. I mean, how do we do that as a community?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Do we just write blog posts? Do we write our own coffee script kind of equivalent that trans compiles into Objective-C?

⏹️ ▶️ Casey How can we influence that change?

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I would say that’s exactly it. We do it by both discussion and by

⏹️ ▶️ Marco example. Again, though, I think the biggest challenge is that

⏹️ ▶️ Marco this is a really hard problem. It’s a really

⏹️ ▶️ Marco, Casey hard

⏹️ ▶️ Marco question to figure out what should be next.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of the posts have said that, you know, no one’s saying, oh, you should switch to

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Python. No one is putting a specific language in place to say,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco this specific thing is what you should switch to. It’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco just this very hand-wavy, like, oh, well, it needs to solve these criteria,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco or it needs to change this list of my personal nitpicks about the language. And as

⏹️ ▶️ Marco I said Like, you know, a lot of those things could be solved by API changes,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco not not language changes. And, and a lot of those things do require language changes,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco but are like, superficial, like the brackets. And so I don’t want to beat this too much into the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco ground further. But I just think that one of the biggest

⏹️ ▶️ Marco reasons why we don’t have something like this yet, is because

⏹️ ▶️ Marco what, what that next thing should be is really not obvious to anybody, as far as I can tell,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco no one’s clamoring for something specific that is widely considered a

⏹️ ▶️ Marco good idea.

⏹️ ▶️ John Well, there’s never going to be consensus outside Apple. And if Apple waits for consensus, the form that consensus would take

⏹️ ▶️ John would be all their developers leaving to develop for a more popular platform. And

⏹️ ▶️ John then the only thing Apple could take away from that was, well, everybody’s leaving to develop for whatever the

⏹️ ▶️ John new pinky ring platform is that’s become amazingly popular. And then they would decide whatever

⏹️ ▶️ John the hell API and language that the Pinky Ring platform uses, that’s what they should use. And I don’t

⏹️ ▶️ John even know if that would be the case, because all it would mean is they just move to a more successful platform. The same way that people would say Objective-C

⏹️ ▶️ John is the best language ever, because look at all these developers who want to develop in it. It’s not really because of language. They’ve learned

⏹️ ▶️ John the language because it’s the way they can get apps onto the iPhone. So the signals from outside,

⏹️ ▶️ John all you can get from it is kind of like a big fuzzy noise. If you wait for a clear signal,

⏹️ ▶️ John the clear signal will be a sign that you waited too long and you’re doomed and it’s probably not a good signal anyway

⏹️ ▶️ John because you would again look at the thing that they’re moving to and say that’s what we should have done. Not necessarily, you could have done something entirely

⏹️ ▶️ John different 10 years ago and prevented this from happening, but you didn’t. So now you’ve lost the

⏹️ ▶️ John opportunity to dictate what the next language and API is going to be. That’s why I think Apple has to do it because they

⏹️ ▶️ John have to do it now when they’re in their position to be masters of their own destiny. If they wait, there’s

⏹️ ▶️ John never going to be consensus outside them. All they can look at is sort of the fuzz of noise of high level languages

⏹️ ▶️ John and pick and choose the features they think, like, what are the biggest pain points? I mean, they’re kind of

⏹️ ▶️ John doing that with ARC and everything now, but like, how can we transcend those pain points? Not just patch over them, not just make them

⏹️ ▶️ John a little bit better, not just find a solution to those things that’s a better fit for our current language than,

⏹️ ▶️ John for example, garbage collection was, but say, what is the next leap in languages? And they have to look at everything

⏹️ ▶️ John across the entire world, all the different ways you can write software and maybe come up with some new ideas of their own. It’s a big

⏹️ ▶️ John responsibility, but when you’re the biggest technology company in the world, that’s what you have to do.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Thanks a lot to our three sponsors this week, Ting, Squarespace, and

⏹️ ▶️ Marco And we will see you next week.

⏹️ ▶️ John Now the show is

⏹️ ▶️ Casey over. They didn’t even mean to begin. Because it was accidental.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Oh, it was accidental. John didn’t do any research, Margo

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and Casey wouldn’t let him Cause

⏹️ ▶️ John it was accidental,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey it was accidental And you can find the show

⏹️ ▶️ John notes at And if you’re into Twitter,

⏹️ ▶️ John you can follow them Follow

⏹️ ▶️ Marco them at C-A-S-E-Y-L-I-S-S So that’s Casey Liss, M-A-R-C-O-A-R-M

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Auntie Marco Harmon, S-I-R-A-C-U-S-A

⏹️ ▶️ John Syracuse, oh it’s accidental They didn’t mean to, accidental

⏹️ ▶️ John Tech Podcasts So Long

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I know, I know. I didn’t

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John bring up like,

⏹️ ▶️ John oh, I can create my database using XPath. It’ll be

⏹️ ▶️ John awesome. Nor did I bring up the database drivers for in-memory

⏹️ ▶️ John things and comma separated files and all that good stuff that Pearl was doing decades ago.

⏹️ ▶️ John, Marco DVD, CSV, man. Operative.

⏹️ ▶️ John DVD memory, yeah. Operative defers, Pearl, yeah. Now, I think Link is awesome. I think it’s amazing.

⏹️ ▶️ John I just think that like the ability to try something like that is the important thing.

⏹️ ▶️ John The actual success, Like, once you try it, you’re like, well, it has strengths and weaknesses versus

⏹️ ▶️ John all the other things we’ve tried before. And then someone else tries again. But you can’t even try something like Link if the language doesn’t

⏹️ ▶️ John provide support for it. So we’ll keep trying. Like, I don’t know what the solution is

⏹️ ▶️ John to the problem that Link and ORMs and everything else we’ve tried to use.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey See, but here again, you keep associating Link with ORMs, and it’s so much more than that.

⏹️ ▶️ John I know, but it’s a way to get a data. It doesn’t have to be in a database. It’s basically a way to bridge the world of, like,

⏹️ ▶️ John I want to get this information. It’s in some place. Like, to be able to view everything through

⏹️ ▶️ John a certain lens. What if I could query a dictionary the same way I can query a database? Now they’re unified under the

⏹️ ▶️ John single API. And

⏹️ ▶️ Casey yes, that’s a much better way of looking at

⏹️ ▶️ John it. There are advantages to that. And then sometimes you’re like, but that’s not really a good fit for this type of thing. Maybe I want

⏹️ ▶️ John to get it in a different way. And in the same way that people always say, I don’t want to view my database as a database.

⏹️ ▶️ John I want to view it as a bunch of objects. And I like ORM better. Maybe I have an object database.

⏹️ ▶️ John Because then the database actually will be like the objects and I’m getting, but then object databases suck. And we keep trying

⏹️ ▶️ John to figure this out. I give it full marks for being an interesting and

⏹️ ▶️ John novel way, approach to a familiar class of problems aided

⏹️ ▶️ John by the abilities of the language.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah. And the thing that I love so much about LingQ is I use it against objects constantly and not just dictionaries.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey I’ll use it against arrays. Give me all the items where such and such property is greater

⏹️ ▶️ Casey than such and such value. me all the people where age is greater than 21. Yeah, that sounds a lot

⏹️ ▶️ Casey like a database query, and that’s where Link got its start, but I can do that against an array in memory,

⏹️ ▶️ Casey and that’s what makes it so powerful. I very, very rarely, in fact, almost never use Link against

⏹️ ▶️ Casey SQL. I almost exclusively use Link against objects, and it’s so powerful.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Again, you can do a lot of that with NSPredicate, but it’s not quite so clean. It’s not quite

⏹️ ▶️ Casey so transparent. Although perhaps I’m saying that because I’m just used to Link.

⏹️ ▶️ John But you would love Perl, because Perl is the big thing about Perl is that you’re

⏹️ ▶️ John comfortable speaking in that sort of, not dialect, but like, I want to get things out

⏹️ ▶️ John of an array, and I think of it, I can think of it in the same way as I would think of getting it out of a dictionary. It’s comfortable to me.

⏹️ ▶️ John Perl is the poster child for giving your way to express the same

⏹️ ▶️ John sentiment in whatever way you’re the most comfortable thinking about it. So if you’re more comfortable thinking about getting information out

⏹️ ▶️ John of an array as phrasing it in that way, then that’s a way that will work. And not just

⏹️ ▶️ John more than one way to do it, but more than one way to say it. Like, people would argue, why do you want to say it in these two different

⏹️ ▶️ John ways? Well, sometimes people’s brains work in a certain way, and they think of it in this manner. And other times, people’s brains think

⏹️ ▶️ John of the same exact task in a totally different way. With everything switched around in a different order, they should be able to express

⏹️ ▶️ John that as well.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey Yeah,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that makes sense. I also want to bring up one more quick thing. That’s famous last words. And

⏹️ ▶️ Marco that’s concurrency. And a lot of the

⏹️ ▶️ Marco posts and thoughts about the next big language revolve around concurrency, which is a valid

⏹️ ▶️ Marco concern. The problem is that what a lot of people seem to want is for concurrency

⏹️ ▶️ Marco to be hand-waved away. Oh, we’ll just make everything concurrent at the language level,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and it’ll make concurrency easier. And the reason

⏹️ ▶️ Marco why concurrency is hard is not because of the language. The

⏹️ ▶️ Marco reason why concurrency is hard is because it’s complicated. But there are language

⏹️ ▶️ John aspects of it, though. Like, you think of something like Erlang, where if you design the language around the idea of concurrency,

⏹️ ▶️ John a lot of the code that we have to write now to do things safely and concurrently, like

⏹️ ▶️ John implicit concurrency, where even Go has a little bit of this, and lots of things where you can express

⏹️ ▶️ John something in a high enough level way where not only do you not care about the details of how it’s

⏹️ ▶️ John done, you don’t have any control over the details of how it’s done. are invariants that are provided by the language in

⏹️ ▶️ John runtime that you can guarantee. All that does is just move your set of problems up to a higher level. Because

⏹️ ▶️ John you’re never going to get rid of like, but at least it gets rid of the super low level concerns and the medium

⏹️ ▶️ John low level concerns. And now you deadlock on much higher level concerns than you

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey were

⏹️ ▶️ John previously. But that’s progress. Because you want to have some sort of primitive

⏹️ ▶️ John semaphores and atomic operations on CPUs. And that lets us stop thinking about that particular problem and think

⏹️ ▶️ John one level up. And it’s never going to be easy. But what people want is like, look, I’m tired of thinking

⏹️ ▶️ John about concurrency at this level. I would love it if simple things, I could do simple concurrent

⏹️ ▶️ John operations on sets of data where I didn’t care about the parallelism, and that was like built into the language, and I would just

⏹️ ▶️ John implicitly express something like, do all this on all these with the, and GCD

⏹️ ▶️ John does it goes away towards that, where it’s like, I don’t want to worry about those details. The language itself can provide

⏹️ ▶️ John you lots of ways of worrying about things at a slightly higher level of concern. And

⏹️ ▶️ John I think everyone would see that as a big win. And that’s what they’re mostly talking about concurrency. Maybe they have fantasies where like, there’s not gonna

⏹️ ▶️ John be any problems. It really, they’re just going to reduce the number of deadlocks or deadlock on higher level things.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Well, but again, isn’t, I mean, so many of these, of these wishlist items, this included,

⏹️ ▶️ Marco isn’t this much more of an API problem than a language problem?

⏹️ ▶️ John But it can be a language problem if you design a language with concurrency in mind, even if it’s just part of like the standard

⏹️ ▶️ John library. I don’t know enough about Go to know whether their concurrency things are part of the language whether they’re just a library that comes with the language

⏹️ ▶️ John and that line is fuzzy to begin with. I mean, like Objective-C technically is basically like a C library. It’s not

⏹️ ▶️ John like it’s there in Objective-C language, but this is Objective-C runtime, which is a C program that runs your, you know what I mean?

⏹️ ▶️ John Like it’s a fuzzy line. But I think Erlang and Haskell and other kinds of things where you

⏹️ ▶️ John express operations at such a high level that there’s no way to control any sort of like, the

⏹️ ▶️ John parallelism may either be non-existent or like pervasive and you just, you know,

⏹️ ▶️ John you know sort of the preconditions post conditions and the language guarantees that and you’re not concerned with how

⏹️ ▶️ John it performs those things. If you can get that kind of implicit parallelism built into the language, whole classes

⏹️ ▶️ John of problems that people, like, that regular sort of run-of-the-mill programmers are afraid to tackle with concurrency

⏹️ ▶️ John now, even though they totally have the tools to do it, become open to them. In the same

⏹️ ▶️ John way that GCD has opened up parallelism to people who otherwise wouldn’t try it, but now you’re like, well, I got this great library GCD,

⏹️ ▶️ John previously I would just run that on the main thread, but it’s so easy for me not to run that on the main thread, I’ll just throw And then those people learn that

⏹️ ▶️ John actually you can screw yourself doing that too, you know. But like, it’s all about lowering the bar to

⏹️ ▶️ John what type of parallelism am I willing to attempt and feel confident is going to work. And if you can bake things

⏹️ ▶️ John like that into the language or into a library that’s so much part of the language that it seems like the language,

⏹️ ▶️ John it lets more people do parallelism more easily.

⏹️ ▶️ Marco Yeah, I don’t know. I guess I’m much more of an optimist that there’s still tons

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of room for improvement with libraries and APIs with the same language and that you don’t need to throw out

⏹️ ▶️ Marco the entire language and the entire existing API to get progress on a lot of these fronts

⏹️ ▶️ Marco people are asking for. And I think that’s, you know, you’re right that if you, if you make it like part of the syntax and part

⏹️ ▶️ Marco of the native way of doing things, then it certainly can go deeper. But I just think there’s

⏹️ ▶️ Marco so much more we can do. And I think that’s one of the reasons why Objective-C has stuck around all this time

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and probably has a pretty long future because there is so much more Or you can do with just libraries

⏹️ ▶️ Marco and API changes and maybe a little help from the editor and the tools.

⏹️ ▶️ John We didn’t even bring up core data, speaking of like link and ORM and all the other ways. Core data is yet

⏹️ ▶️ John another way to try to deal with like large troughs of data that you can

⏹️ ▶️ John rummage through. And they have a different model, which is kind of like ORM, not really like link.

⏹️ ▶️ John Like you

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey mentioned- Don’t call it a

⏹️ ▶️ John database. You mentioned NSPredicate, it’s an object store. It’s not a data. You know,

⏹️ ▶️ John that problem has been run at many different times. Never, I think, at the language level. I think maybe LingQ is as close as you’ve gotten,

⏹️ ▶️ John even though it’s not language level. It’s like it relies on language features, but…

⏹️ ▶️ Casey It’s language integrated. That’s what it says in the damn name.

⏹️ ▶️ Casey, John You know what I mean.

⏹️ ▶️ John But it’s language

⏹️ ▶️ John, Casey integrated. I know what you’re saying. I know what

⏹️ ▶️ John you’re saying. Like, yeah, that’s… Problems, yeah. Having

⏹️ ▶️ John more tools to run at a problem, having the language help you in that regard can let you try new solutions. solutions

⏹️ ▶️ John may not be better or worse than what came before, but at least opens up the door. And I think I don’t know enough about

⏹️ ▶️ John these highly parallel languages to know, like if we had an Erlang expert on here, they would explain what

⏹️ ▶️ John it is specifically about Erlang that makes it so much better than doing the same things in any other language

⏹️ ▶️ John because language was designed with concurrency in mind. But I’m convinced enough

⏹️ ▶️ John from things that I’ve read about language that that is the case. It’s just that Erlang is so much worse at everything

⏹️ ▶️ John else that people want to do with programs that it hasn’t really caught the world on fire. But who knows, if the iPinky

⏹️ ▶️ John Ring was programmed only in Erlang, and everyone on Earth bought 10 of them, then we’d all

⏹️ ▶️ John learn our length.