Tim Bray, co-inventor of XML, has joined Google as “Developer Advocate,” with a focus on Android.Tim announced and explained his new role at Google on his blog–and, in a move that is extraordinary for normally buttoned up Googlers, expounded on his hatred of the iPhone and all it stands for.
The bottom line: He thinks Apple’s closed system for the iPhone is terrible, and he’d going to do all he can to destroy it. Here’s the part of his blog on Apple:
As of now, they’re selling around 90K iPhones per day compared to around 60K Android handsets. It’s a horse race! ¶
The iPhone vision of the mobile Internet’s future omits controversy, sex, and freedom, but includes strict limits on who can know what and who can say what. It’s a sterile Disney-fied walled garden surrounded by sharp-toothed lawyers. The people who create the apps serve at the landlord’s pleasure and fear his anger.
I hate it.
I hate it even though the iPhone hardware and software are great, because freedom’s not just another word for anything, nor is it an optional ingredient.
The big thing about the Web isn’t the technology, it’s that it’s the first-ever platform without a vendor (credit for first pointing this out goes to Dave Winer). From that follows almost everything that matters, and it matters a lot now, to a huge number of people. It’s the only kind of platform I want to help build.
Apple apparently thinks you can have the benefits of the Internet while at the same time controlling what programs can be run and what parts of the stack can be accessed and what developers can say to each other.
I think they’re wrong and see this job as a chance to help prove it.
The tragedy is that Apple builds some great open platforms; I’ve been a happy buyer of their computing systems for some years now and, despite my current irritation, will probably go on using them.