Musings from Mars Banner Image
For Software Addicts: Yes!MaybeNah!
Mars Report:

Dave Winer Should Stick To Scripting

Published December 24th, 2005

This is just a quick “thank you”? to Les Posen for his patient defense of iTunes in the face of an incomprehensible attack by RSS and scripting guru Dave Winer yesterday. First, in case you haven’t read it, here is Winer’s opinion of iTunes, excerpted from one of his blogs:

The user interface on iTunes is awful. It’s the worst piece of crap I’ve ever used. People would tell me when I was a Windows user that it was because the Windows version of iTunes is crap but the Mac version is easy. Well, both programs are head-up-butt impossible to figure out. The user model makes no sense. When is something on the iPod? How many copies of the music do I have? Where the fcuk are they? How do you delete something? Is it really gone? Why does it wipe out the contents of the iPod when I don’t say it’s okay to?

Now, I know that Dave Winer thinks he’s a god, and probably a lot of others do, too. However, it’s important to understand that here on earth, if you’re God of Scripting or God of Podcasting, that doesn’t make you God of Interface Design as well. You don’t get to rule in that space. It’s just like the ancient greek gods… each one specialized in a certain field, and didn’t try to tell the other gods how to run their special areas. Can you imagine Poseidon, who was god of of the sea, giving a critique of some musical composition to Apollo, who was god of music? Or, even if he did, would Apollo (or any of the other gods) take him seriously? Of course not.

So we humans need to learn to just ignore it when a guru like Winer starts wining about an aspect of computer software he is not especially gifted in. But first we need to make a little fun of him. :-)

It doesn’t take a genius to recognize that Winer’s opinion of iTunes is just all wacked-out. God knows what the origin of his blind-spot about iTunes is, but he’s clearly never approached the software with the eye of a newbie. Or even with the eye of someone who likes and uses a lot of GUI software. In any case, Posen does his incredulous statements much more patient justice than I would have. No, I would have skewered him the way I did to Jim Hurley when he made similarly stupid statements about the iPod last August.

Now, I know I’m way down on the Mount Olympus of computer gods–not even qualifying as a god at all, in fact–but even someone as low on the totem pole as I can tell when a god has put his foot in his mouth. Software as wonderful as iTunes doesn’t get to be as popular as it is by being “awful… the worse piece of crap…”? And the iPod would never have become as popular as it is without the brilliant interface that iTunes provides.

So go read Les Posen’s critique of Dave Winer, and you’ll discern a true user interface god in action.

  • Google
  • Slashdot
  • Technorati
  • blogmarks
  • Tumblr
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • Mixx

Show Comments
Just Say No To Flash