Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Google Technology

Google Employee Accidentally Shares Rant About Google+ 354

Posted by samzenpus
from the not-everyone-is-a-fan dept.
First time accepted submitter quantumplacet writes "Longtime Googler Steve Yegge posted an insightful rant on his Google+ page about how Google is failing to make platforms of its products. He also shares some interesting little tidbits about his six year stint at Amazon working for the 'Dread Pirate Bezos'. The rant was intended to be shared only with his Google coworkers, but was accidentally made public. Steve has since removed it from his page, but it has been reposted elsewhere."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Google Employee Accidentally Shares Rant About Google+

Comments Filter:
  • by HerculesMO (693085) on Wednesday October 12, 2011 @04:31PM (#37695742)

    I think that it's got a lot of good information, and this guy desperately wants Google to embrace different ideals than they've held in the past. That said, I think rant is an inappropriate word for this. It's very interesting.

    • by TechLA (2482532) on Wednesday October 12, 2011 @04:36PM (#37695792)
      He's right with this:

      Not in some sort of ad-hoc, half-assed way, but in more or less the same way Amazon did it: all at once, for real, no cheating, and treating it as our top priority from now on.

      Apart from the core services, Google is doing everything in an half-assed way. They discontinue A LOT of their products too and since they're fully hosted on Google's servers, it means users just can't use them anymore. It's different from desktop software, as desktop software you can practically always still use. Using Google's services is pretty much like using DRM, except that there's no cracks, no way to make things work again after Google shuts down their half-assed services.

      • by TechLA (2482532) on Wednesday October 12, 2011 @04:42PM (#37695834)
        Oh and just want to point out this too - even Googlers think Google again failed with their social networking launch.

        The Google+ platform is a pathetic afterthought. We had no API at all at launch, and last I checked, we had one measly API call. One of the team members marched in and told me about it when they launched, and I asked: "So is it the Stalker API?" She got all glum and said "Yeah." I mean, I was joking, but no... the only API call we offer is to get someone's stream. So I guess the joke was on me.

        Google+ is a knee-jerk reaction, a study in short-term thinking, predicated on the incorrect notion that Facebook is successful because they built a great product. But that's not why they are successful. Facebook is successful because they built an entire constellation of products by allowing other people to do the work. So Facebook is different for everyone. Some people spend all their time on Mafia Wars. Some spend all their time on Farmville. There are hundreds or maybe thousands of different high-quality time sinks available, so there's something there for everyone.

        Facebook gets it. That's what really worries me. That's what got me off my lazy butt to write this thing. I hate blogging. I hate... plussing, or whatever it's called when you do a massive rant in Google+ even though it's a terrible venue for it but you do it anyway because in the end you really do want Google to be successful. And I do! I mean, Facebook wants me there, and it'd be pretty easy to just go. But Google is home, so I'm insisting that we have this little family intervention, uncomfortable as it might be.

        It's just much harder to back out of it now as it's integrated to Google search.. Google really shot itself to foot here.

        • by blair1q (305137) on Wednesday October 12, 2011 @05:07PM (#37696092) Journal

          Facebook gets it.

          (blink)

          (blink blink)

          Wow. If what Facebook gets is what he just said, then I don't want Google+ to get the same thing.

          Sure, upgrade the API. Convince devs they will have a willing herd of eyeballs to cadge. But please, do not let it turn into a crashing avalanche of sorry crap in the process.

          Take the Facebook openness, and apply a little Apple App Store QA.

          Oh, and become your own Zynga. Because letting them take down the primary dollar stream is dopey.

      • by hedwards (940851)

        That was one of my complaints about the way that they're handling them. I remember Wave, they discontinued it before there was any chance for users to figure out what it was for. I remember logging in a couple times and I couldn't figure out what need it filled. And I don't just mean for me, I couldn't figure out why anybody would use it.

        They do provide more and more services with the ability to export the data, but it's still not always as convenient as it could be.

      • They've been known to open source a project and hand it out when they shut it down.

        If you don't like that Wave was shut down, you can run your own Wave instance for example.

        That is nothing like DRM. Your analogy is made of failure.

    • by Pieroxy (222434)

      This guy should be promoted actually, for letting that out. It says a lot, a lot of positives, and exposes what's wrong with his company. I mean, what more can you ask for.

    • That said, I think rant is an inappropriate word for this.

      No, "rant" seems more appropriate to me... For all his complaints about how Amazon Invariably Does It Wrong and Nobody Can Use Amazon's Website - he fails to square those claims with some very publicly visible things; a) their nearly bulletproof infrastructure, and b) that millions of people do manage to use the site on a daily basis. Those failures undermine the balance of his 'argument'. (Worse yet, he seems to confuse and interchange user accessibility and developer accessibility.)
       
      Just like the rants you see elsewhere on the net, his is a confused mish-mash of (seemingly) stream of consciousness writing. If he's gotten something right, it's more on the "stopped clock" principle than anything else as near as I can tell.

      • by bigstrat2003 (1058574) on Wednesday October 12, 2011 @06:48PM (#37696862)
        What I found most striking about his post is that I am apparently a fucking genius, because I have never had any trouble at all using Amazon's web site.
        • by lgw (121541)

          You're a geek, yes? The web site has that "by geeks for geeks"smell all over it - tons of clutter, no clear design principles, just blindly cramming as much crap as possible on the screen.

          The right question is not whether you can use it, but whether your oldest living relative can use it. Whether the dumbest guy in the room can use it.

          When your UI starts to look like Eclipse, it's time to listen to those usability guys.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Agreed. I do most of my online shopping at Amazon, and when I use other shopping websites -- or especially the iTunes store -- I wonder how they get shit so wrong that Amazon's had running well for a decade. Both their search function and their personalized recommendations are way ahead of any other site I've tried. Their music recommendations have introduced me to some of my favorite bands, which is impressive considering my obscure and varied tastes, although their personalized Gold Box items seem to now

      • by styrotech (136124) on Wednesday October 12, 2011 @06:49PM (#37696872)

        I think you missed the entire point of it.

        It doesn't matter how wrong you think he was about what Amazon supposedly does badly, that was just setting the scene for what he thought Amazon did and does right.

        It was about how Google needed to follow Amazons example of creating a service oriented platforms rather than standalone products.

    • by SuperKendall (25149) on Thursday October 13, 2011 @12:41AM (#37698512)

      I have a Google Apps account, for email addresses for my business.

      Naturally when Google+ came out, like others I was somewhat curious what it was about so I tried to sign up.

      Nope. You see, if you are stupid enough to pay Google for email accounts, you cannot sign up for Google+. Even though they are very big on verifying identity and what better way than through a paid account?

      This holds true even today, if you pay for Google Apps you cannot use that email address for Google+.

      Frankly at this point I think I'll scrub both, and let Google+ follow Wave into the inky depths. But it points to a huge problem at Google if one kind of account holder cannot work the same way across anyone they provide email for.... that is the business killer right there, when you want to create new products but your own internal complexity prevents them from succeeding.

      • by styrotech (136124)

        Yeah.

        Google doesn't seem to get the need to have multiple accounts/identities - eg work, personal etc etc.

        Switching between these identities is still a pain (even after this new account switching functionality) - especially the way services and apps vanish depending on who you're logged in as.

        I think switching accounts is the wrong idea, and they need to work more on being able to link or combine accounts. eg I'd like to see my work email together with my personal email (which also uses an apps domain) with

  • Sceptics will eat it up in no time :)

  • that we'll see some changes to G+ shortly which (make it more clear)/(ask for confirmation) when posting publicly.
    • If a A-level geek can't grok the UI for Google+, do the masses have any chance?

      • by Altus (1034)

        The UI is pretty damn clear, but it won't stop users from making stupid mistakes.

        • by grcumb (781340)

          The UI is pretty damn clear, but it won't stop users from making stupid mistakes.

          The UI may be clear, clean and simple. But that doesn't mean it's not shit.

          Yegge's point about a default font size is dear to my heart. While I had perfect vision a decade ago, I've been growing progressively farther-sighted over the last five years. Being unable to change the default font size in a browser is a deal-breaker to me. It angers me because someone had to decide to take the feature OUT. I mean, setting a default font size is one of the first things you configure into a browser, and exposing the

      • by Tridus (79566)

        The universe never fails to invent a better idiot.

    • by geekoid (135745)

      There is a box that says public. I'm sorry, but how the hell is the not clear?

  • Amazon & Google (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mystikkman (1487801) on Wednesday October 12, 2011 @04:34PM (#37695764)

    I interviewed at Amazon once, what he says is true about the offices, they didn't look very clean and impressive. That's a bad impression right there.

    Getting back to the topic, Google does get the outside contributors thing. Look at their search engine (leverage webmasters content and make them do the work of optimizing their site for your search engine), Android (app developers) just like his examples of Facebook, MS and Amazon.

    But yes, Google is getting into a troubling mess with Wave, Buzz and now Google+(?).

    • Re:Amazon & Google (Score:5, Insightful)

      by kbielefe (606566) <karl.bielefeldt+slashdotNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday October 12, 2011 @04:56PM (#37695978)

      What I like about Google is they aren't afraid to fail, and their failures often have beneficial side effects for the internet as a whole. Even if all that comes from google+ is facebook being a little less annoying to use, I think there are people at Google who consider it worth the investment.

      • Re:Amazon & Google (Score:5, Insightful)

        by CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) on Wednesday October 12, 2011 @05:17PM (#37696190)

        Even if all that comes from google+ is facebook being a little less annoying to use, I think there are people at Google who consider it worth the investment.

        Not Google stockholders I'm guessing.

        • Fuck em. They don't have any idea how to create a successful business, or they'd be investing in themselves instead. If they want a return, the best thing they can do is keep their noses out.

          • Re:Amazon & Google (Score:4, Interesting)

            by CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) on Wednesday October 12, 2011 @06:36PM (#37696788)

            They don't have any idea how to create a successful business

            Does Google ? That's sort of the crux of the rant, that they can't build successful platforms and use those to expand their business into new areas. Google in some ways bears a resemblance to the Microsoft of the late 90's: one cash cow and a lot of money pits they throw money in to avoid competitors gaining a foothold anywhere where it can threaten their core business. What are Google making from products like Google+ and Android except the benefit of using them as a hedge against Facebook and Apple moving in on their business ? To me those look a lot like what MS did with the Xbox as a hedge against Playstation (and consoles in general) and products like Internet Explorer, created to prevent Netscape from becoming dominant. Ultimately this has been a losing strategy for Microsoft, which has stagnated, and for its stockholders because the stock has been flat. So I think Google stockholders might rightfully be worried about reports like the rant posted.

        • by epine (68316)

          Not Google stockholders I'm guessing.

          The most brilliant thing Steve Jobs ever said, "It's not the stockholders job to know what they want."

    • by 0123456 (636235)

      I interviewed at Amazon once, what he says is true about the offices, they didn't look very clean and impressive. That's a bad impression right there.

      Well, duh. I've worked for a bunch of tech companies, and when they decided that spending a ton of money on a fancy office was better than spending the money on hardware and employees, that was always a pretty good sign that it was going downhill.

      • No kidding (Score:5, Insightful)

        by DesScorp (410532) <<DesScorp> <at> <Gmail.com>> on Wednesday October 12, 2011 @05:43PM (#37696414) Homepage Journal

        I interviewed at Amazon once, what he says is true about the offices, they didn't look very clean and impressive. That's a bad impression right there.

        Well, duh. I've worked for a bunch of tech companies, and when they decided that spending a ton of money on a fancy office was better than spending the money on hardware and employees, that was always a pretty good sign that it was going downhill.

        The writer goes to great lengths to discuss how Amazon does almost nothing right. He went on to state that Amazon's interface sucks (because of Bezos, natch), and how awful it was that the Apple human interface guy that was brought in was ignored.

        Looking at the money Amazon is bringing in, looking at the way Amazon absolutely dominates their field... I don't think Jeff Bezos gives a rat's tail what one of his ex-coders thinks. Plus, Google's storybook offices are indeed the exception and not the rule. He paints this picture of Amazon's offices like they're something out of a Charles Dickens novel, and then goes on to savage Amazon and Bezos for not giving to charities (wonder what he thought of Apple?) and "political" matters (What political matters, Google guy? Did he not support your favored candidate or something?).

        Methinks this fella has an axe to grind. He might have some points, but the Amazon rants come off as bitter, and frankly, just how bad are they doing things if they're that successful? Bezos may indeed be a tyrant, but... so what? So was Jobs and Larry Ellison and Ted Turner and most other driven business visionaries. Again, Google is the exception, not the rule here. And yet, for as great as he says they are, he sure seems to be unhappy about how they do things in the end.

        • The problem with nerds is that what they think matters, actually matters to other people. Nerds often get caught up in being perfectionists when "good enough" is usually good enough for the masses. Now I agree amazon's site is rather bloated but they have a search box and SELL everything, not only that but you can usually just use google + amazon in google search and find what you're looking for on a plethora of sites anyway.

          I think everyone under-estimates the power of search engines to make up the diffe

      • Well, duh. I've worked for a bunch of tech companies, and when they decided that spending a ton of money on a fancy office was better than spending the money on hardware and employees, that was always a pretty good sign that it was going downhill.

        Solyndra -- there, I've just shortened your post to one word for you.

    • by Surt (22457)

      Are you claiming the Amazon offices are worse than Googles? That's just sad. Google's offices are like 30 years old, dingy and ugly. The space is so crammed with people they're adapting the space in weird (and uncomfortable looking) ways too. I've never seen Amazon's, but it's hard to imagine any major tech company being in a worse situation than Google (and I understand how Google got there through too-fast growth, but that's just making excuses.)

      And back on topic: my interviews at Google convinced me

  • Insightful is not the first word I think of when it comes to rants. If it's insightful, is it really a rant?
    • And how smart is this guy if he shares a private post with the entire world by accident? Does he think that he's a congressman?
      • by jazman_777 (44742)
        Maybe he feels most alive when he's afraid of being fired. He did work at Amazon all those years...
      • by vlm (69642)

        And how smart is this guy if he shares a private post with the entire world by accident? Does he think that he's a congressman?

        Pretty smart if his purpose was to slap at the UI that makes it possible.

        There is a growing bipolarity on G+ of people who think the "public" option should be eradicated and those who think that circles as a sharing option should be eradicated. Both groups think the other group is insane and literally can't empathize with their mindset. Kind of like the deletionists vs the non-a-holes on wikipedia (sorry for it being honest/slanted but I forgot the name of the non-deletionist party at this instant)

        • Creationists? ;)

        • There is a growing bipolarity on G+ of people who think the "public" option should be eradicated and those who think that circles as a sharing option should be eradicated. Both groups think the other group is insane and literally can't empathize with their mindset. Kind of like the deletionists vs the non-a-holes on wikipedia (sorry for it being honest/slanted but I forgot the name of the non-deletionist party at this instant)

          You make it sound like the Progressives verses the Tea Party. Couldn't be that bad.

      • And how smart is this guy if he shares a private post with the entire world by accident?

        I suspect that this was as much an "accident" as many "unauthorized" leaks by people in government are really unauthorized. There are many times when it is in someone's interest both to have something be in the public eye and for there to be at least a show of it not being intended to be in the public eye.

        Certainly, the fact that this has been public focusses external attention on what Google does in the area where Yegg

  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Wednesday October 12, 2011 @04:53PM (#37695960)

    But I'll argue that Accessibility is actually more important than Security because dialing Accessibility to zero means you have no product at all, whereas dialing Security to zero can still get you a reasonably successful product such as the Playstation Network.

    Also the most insightful section...

    • Yeah, that's seriously one of the greatest lines of the year.

      Hey slashdot admins, can you put that in the quotes file here? It's certainly deserving.
    • I like it. That's the same insight Microsoft had with Windows. Make sure it's accessible to the masses, as easy to use as possible, even if security suffers.

      Because dialing easy to use to zero means you have no Windows to sell, but dialing security to zero you can still sell an OS...

    • by Tridus (79566)

      We call the corporate security group at my work the "Department of No You Can't" for a reason, and it's not because they're responsive to minor details like actually getting work done or serving customers.

      This is definitely a very insightful line.

  • From the original post:

    ***UPDATE #2***

    This post has received a lot of attention. For anyone here who arrived from The Greater Internet - I stand ready to remove this post if asked. As I mentioned before, I was given permission to keep it up.

    Google's openness to allow us to keep this message posted on its own social network is, in my opinion, a far greater asset than any SaS platform. In the end, a company's greatest asset is its culture, and here, Google is one of the strongest companies on the plan
    • Google's openness to allow us to keep this message posted on its own social network is, in my opinion, a far greater asset than any SaS platform

      Doesn't this very dismissal of S&S as less than the simple ability to allow a slightly embarrassing post to remain provide a head-slapping moment?

      I mean, either platforms are a top priority or they are not... this attitude of "look how awesome we are because we can publish material which reveals some internal dispute" strikes me as either being irrelevant or mi

    • by iluvcapra (782887) on Wednesday October 12, 2011 @05:14PM (#37696156)

      Google's openness to allow us to keep this message posted on its own social network is, in my opinion, a far greater asset than any SaS platform.

      I suspect this post was "accidentally" leaked in the same sense that Apple's iPhone 4 prototype was "accidentally" lost in a bar.

      Corporate messaging challenge: How do you acknowledge that your new product doesn't meet expectations, and that you're aware of the problems and serious about addressing them, while at no time admitting any error on the part of the corporate entity?

  • by AdamHaun (43173) on Wednesday October 12, 2011 @04:56PM (#37695990) Journal

    Stevey's Google Platforms Rant

    I was at Amazon for about six and a half years, and now I've been at Google for that long. One thing that struck me immediately about the two companies -- an impression that has been reinforced almost daily -- is that Amazon does everything wrong, and Google does everything right. Sure, it's a sweeping generalization, but a surprisingly accurate one. It's pretty crazy. There are probably a hundred or even two hundred different ways you can compare the two companies, and Google is superior in all but three of them, if I recall correctly. I actually did a spreadsheet at one point but Legal wouldn't let me show it to anyone, even though recruiting loved it.

    I mean, just to give you a very brief taste: Amazon's recruiting process is fundamentally flawed by having teams hire for themselves, so their hiring bar is incredibly inconsistent across teams, despite various efforts they've made to level it out. And their operations are a mess; they don't really have SREs and they make engineers pretty much do everything, which leaves almost no time for coding - though again this varies by group, so it's luck of the draw. They don't give a single shit about charity or helping the needy or community contributions or anything like that. Never comes up there, except maybe to laugh about it. Their facilities are dirt-smeared cube farms without a dime spent on decor or common meeting areas. Their pay and benefits suck, although much less so lately due to local competition from Google and Facebook. But they don't have any of our perks or extras -- they just try to match the offer-letter numbers, and that's the end of it. Their code base is a disaster, with no engineering standards whatsoever except what individual teams choose to put in place.

    To be fair, they do have a nice versioned-library system that we really ought to emulate, and a nice publish-subscribe system that we also have no equivalent for. But for the most part they just have a bunch of crappy tools that read and write state machine information into relational databases. We wouldn't take most of it even if it were free.

    I think the pubsub system and their library-shelf system were two out of the grand total of three things Amazon does better than google.

    I guess you could make an argument that their bias for launching early and iterating like mad is also something they do well, but you can argue it either way. They prioritize launching early over everything else, including retention and engineering discipline and a bunch of other stuff that turns out to matter in the long run. So even though it's given them some competitive advantages in the marketplace, it's created enough other problems to make it something less than a slam-dunk.

    But there's one thing they do really really well that pretty much makes up for ALL of their political, philosophical and technical screw-ups.

    Jeff Bezos is an infamous micro-manager. He micro-manages every single pixel of Amazon's retail site. He hired Larry Tesler, Apple's Chief Scientist and probably the very most famous and respected human-computer interaction expert in the entire world, and then ignored every goddamn thing Larry said for three years until Larry finally -- wisely -- left the company. Larry would do these big usability studies and demonstrate beyond any shred of doubt that nobody can understand that frigging website, but Bezos just couldn't let go of those pixels, all those millions of semantics-packed pixels on the landing page. They were like millions of his own precious children. So they're all still there, and Larry is not.

    Micro-managing isn't that third thing that Amazon does better than us, by the way. I mean, yeah, they micro-manage really well, but I wouldn't list it as a strength or anything. I'm just trying to set the context here, to help you understand what happened. We're talking about a guy who in all seriousness has said on many public occasions that people should be paying him to work at Amazon. He hands out little yellow stickies wi

    • by lennier (44736)

      This is awesome, and I agree with it almost wholeheartedly.

      The #1 trend which bugs me in computing right now is what appears to me to be an across-the-board drift away from Platforms to Products - led by Apple, or at least by all the companies now desperately trying to be Apple.

      Even Microsoft don't get this entirely. They have so many different subplatforms with such a rapid churn rate that it becomes exhausting trying to predict which one will become the real platform. PowerShell is a bright spark in an ot

    • by dgatwood (11270) on Wednesday October 12, 2011 @06:29PM (#37696740) Journal

      I mean, just to give you a very brief taste: Amazon's recruiting process is fundamentally flawed by having teams hire for themselves, so their hiring bar is incredibly inconsistent across teams, despite various efforts they've made to level it out.

      I've never heard of a company that didn't leave the decision of who to hire up to the teams. Is this person saying that Google hiring is done by HR? That's just a horrible way to do things. Hiring standards vary according to the team because the needs of the team vary according to the team and according to what that person is going to be doing.

      More importantly, I've found that above a certain baseline level of technical competence, it's far more important to hire someone who gets along with the team than to hire someone with any particular set of skills. In effect, job postings are just recommendations for what you'd like, not requirements. Unfortunately, people (both on the hiring side and the applying side) tend to read them as a laundry list instead of as a roadmap, and tend to assume that if a person isn't a perfect fit for every little point, then they aren't a good fit for the position. The reality often couldn't be further from the truth. Being a good match for a job on paper is rarely a good indication of whether someone is a good match for the job.

      Where I work, our team does a dozen different things, and all of us do several of those things in various proportions. A new hire who can do the things listed in the job description might be able to be a drop-in replacement for somebody who retired, which is certainly the easiest hiring case to make. However, more often than not, we would be just as happy with someone who can take over some tasks currently owned by three other people within the team who already know how to do the things listed in the job description.

      Put simply, you don't hire for a position. You hire a person who works well on the team, then you figure out how best to integrate them. That can't be done by anyone other than the project team, because only the project team has a sufficient grasp of all the things that the team does.

  • by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Wednesday October 12, 2011 @04:58PM (#37696004)

    But they don't have any of our perks or extras

    Hey, you work at Google. Nobody has your perks or extras, guy.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by werepants (1912634)

      But they don't have any of our perks or extras

      Hey, you work at Google. Nobody has your perks or extras, guy.

      I'm not your guy, buddy.

  • They will move this guy up. He has a clue. In addition, they would post that all over Google and make that a priority.
  • Favorite line(s) (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Wednesday October 12, 2011 @05:16PM (#37696172)

    There's a lot of good stuff there, and I hope the Big Boys are listening because the guy really gets it. But I must say I loved this:

    head over to developers.google.com and browse a little. Pretty big difference, eh? It's like what your fifth-grade nephew might mock up if he were doing an assignment to demonstrate what a big powerful platform company might be building if all they had, resource-wise, was one fifth grader.

    • Yes, I believe it qualifies as One Epic Rant because it's well intentioned but completely honest. It's wonderful.

      • by gknoy (899301)

        It's especially interesting to me as a developer (not at Google). Looking at the huge amount of infrastructure that he says Amazon had to develop to do a SOA across the board, I am simultaneously in awe and completely daunted by the scale of the effort needed to do something like that. It sounds ... massive.

  • by yacoob (69558) on Wednesday October 12, 2011 @05:18PM (#37696208) Homepage

    It's about Google as a whole.

  • by Animats (122034) on Wednesday October 12, 2011 @05:25PM (#37696268) Homepage

    Amazon can use a platform-based service because Amazon sells things for money. Allowing programs to find out about things Amazon has for sale is profitable, t Amazon's marketing info gets redistributed. Amazon's "cloud" is a pay service, and making pay services available makes money. So Amazon's platform is a win for Amazon.

    Google, on the other hand, is entirely ad-based. (Yes, they get about 3%-7% of their revenue from actual products they sell. So what?) So they don't want their data repurposed, especially if repurposing deletes the ads.

    Facebook is quite platform-oriented internally, with internal services making heavy use of interprocess communication. But little of that is exposed to the outside world. What is exposed is heavily restricted. Facebook games have to accept payment only in Facebook's private money, with a 30% take. [facebook.com]

    Google used to be more platform oriented. There was a Google SOAP search interface [google.com] and a Google Web Search API. [google.com] Both have been discontinued. They didn't push ads.

    Google's priority is to return search results in under 100ms. That requires tight integration. It's all about cache management, not platform APIs. Some data has to be pushed to clients, rather than pulled through APIs, or performance will suffer badly.

    Given Google's business model, they don't seem to be doing their infrastructure wrong.

    • by 0123456 (636235)

      Google's priority is to return search results in under 100ms. That requires tight integration. It's all about cache management, not platform APIs. Some data has to be pushed to clients, rather than pulled through APIs, or performance will suffer badly.

      I'd be happy to wait a second or more for results if it actually gave me what I asked for and not what it thinks I really wanted to ask for.

      Google search really sucks these days for tech-related queries.

    • by SoftwareArtist (1472499) on Wednesday October 12, 2011 @06:06PM (#37696568)

      Google's priority is to return search results in under 100ms. That requires tight integration. It's all about cache management, not platform APIs. Some data has to be pushed to clients, rather than pulled through APIs, or performance will suffer badly.

      The article isn't about search. He barely mentions it, and for good reason. Search is one of the few Google services that already is easy to access programmatically, even all you're doing is sending an HTTP GET that mocks the Google search page. But he's talking about Gmail, Docs, Google+, Maps... All those other products that you could do really neat things with if they had real APIs.

  • by TheSunborn (68004) <tiller&daimi,au,dk> on Wednesday October 12, 2011 @05:31PM (#37696322)
    Dear Google, please start by making Youtube a platform.

    If I want to embed a youtube video on a page optimized to mobile phones, I am fucked. There is for example no way to have youtube show a screenshot of the video, and when the user click it, have it play fullscreen.

    But m.youtube.com does it, so it can be done, just as long as you don't want to do it on your own page. (So they have an internal api to do it, but there is no way for me to access it).

    And just try to watch this thread: https://groups.google.com/forum/embed/?place=forum/youtube-api-gdata&showsearch=true&showpopout=true&parenturl=http%3A%2F%2Fcode.google.com%2Fapis%2Fyoutube%2Fforum%2Fdiscussion.html#!searchin/youtube-api-gdata/embed$20youtube/youtube-api-gdata/VSk5vQFULts/sddOXH4wXTAJ   and look at the response from the youtube team. The best answer is something like: "Use the following hack, which may work. And I can't say if it break the platform agreement, so it might even be allowed..

  • If Steve Yegge were at Apple, he probably would have been walked out by security by now.

    (Although, once they build the new Steve Job's Memorial Spacebase, I assume they will have some sort of traction beam to remove employees more efficiently at the push of a button - why wait for and pay for a security officer.)
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      why wait for and pay for a security officer.

      The Apple security officers are all busy at the moment raiding houses in SF with SFPD. Please take a number and your request will be fulfilled as soon as they return.

  • /. Google (Score:4, Funny)

    by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Wednesday October 12, 2011 @06:09PM (#37696604)
    So have we /.'ed Google yet?

"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro..." -- Hunter S. Thompson

Working...