On 7/27/05, Ernest Prabhakar <email@hidden> wrote:
> Just to set expectations appropriately: our goal is to ultimately
> make iTunes the best possible Podcasting citizen, and reflect the
> needs of the larger community. However. that will take time, and as
> mentioned earlier we can't comment or commit to specific product
> features before they are released. Thank you for your understanding.
Thank you for taking the time to set up this list, and for agreeing to
respond to our questions. However, please do not misinterpret our
politeness as an indication that our concerns are minor, that our
interest is casual, or that your problems are easily solved.
Your current product is broken in several critical, demonstrable ways.
Your specification(s) have been less than helpful, and each one seems
to raise more new questions than it answers. That leaves us with a
large black box labeled "iTunes, no user-serviceable parts inside."
By poking at that black box from different angles, I and other members
of the "larger community" have managed to uncover a shocking number of
discrepancies between the application, your specification, and the
underlying standards (HTTP, XML, RSS) on which you build.
By way of analogy, if it was discovered that a tire manufacturer was
producing tires that left a sticky Napalm-like residue on the road, it
would be inappropriate for the manufacturer to state that "we can't
comment or commit to specific product features before they are
released." It would be more appropriate for the manufacturer to
acknowledge the problems and commit to a timetable for a recall, and
promise that the next batch of tires would not destroy any roads on
which they traveled.
iTunes 4.9 is spreading techno-Napalm everywhere it goes, in the form
of non-interoperable feeds being published, core RSS elements being
redefined, standards being subverted, and fundamentals of HTTP being
ignored -- to everyone's detriment, including your own iTunes-using
customers and your own iTunes-supporting content partners. If iTunes
were a car or a tire or any form of physical product, it would be so
obviously harmful to its surrounding environment that consumer
advocate groups would demand an immediate recall.
But software does not work like that, and in lieu of consumer advocate
groups, you are stuck with us -- the technical experts who know how to
turn your product into "the best possible Podcasting citizen." Part
of that is about accepting feedback from the community, and you're off
to a good start by starting this list. We are here, and we are eager
to help. Possibly a little over-eager. :) But another, equally
important part of it is about giving back to the community too. We
don't care about getting your code (we have enough of our own), and we
don't care about getting your money (we are offering our expertise for
free). But we do care about knowing that our time is well-spent, that
our feedback is really being heard, and that real progress is being
made. This can take the form of screenshots of your nightly builds
(Dave Hyatt has done this with Safari), or wire traces of your
improved HTTP activity, or simply confirmation that specific test
cases that once failed are now passing. Something. But please don't
end every answer with "we can't comment on that." Sure you can. Try
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