359xanHey, so I read a mea culpa of a leader in OAuth’s development yesterday who bailed out of the project in flames. In the ensuing thread everyone patted him on the back for wanting nothing to do with what they perceived to be a project doomed to fail, some questioning why can’t we just make a fork to OAuth 2.0 that necessitates signatures signatures at the protocol level. Its mediocrity was likened by someone to PHP which as it turns out almost everyone seems to hate – while conceding its ubiquity in spite of viable alternatives brewing and the great demand for those alternatives to brew faster.

But that’s not happening and there is no sign that PHP is going anywhere, in spite of how its popularity is paralleled only by its volume of criticism. Some irony there, parenthetically, that these programmers were blogging their rage using WordPress, maybe the most common example used by them as the epitome of how PHP is a pile of crap.

I immediately thought of Android – now wait a second, I am quite fond of it and find its routine criticisms to wildly exaggerated – because of how much trash is spoken against it, just like PHP, and also like PHP which has so much trash written about it that people write about how much trash is written about it (with the occasional guy defending it), how its ubiquity and dominance in spite of this nerd rage continues to trounce the competition with no sign of a reversal in sight.

I’d like to think that in a somewhat free market, even with the Truth distorted by clever marketing and evil carriers, the best product and/or service will eventually prevail. Wouldn’t you? If Windows Phone is so fantastic and Android is so horrible, or at least that’s how the two are generally perceived by those concerned, why is Windows Phone’s success being so effectively suppressed? Sure, there are hurdles that are challenging to overcome, like poor timing, an unsexy brand, carriers’ closed mindedness, retailer incompetence and so forth, but if it’s so good as it’s purported to be and conversely Android is so damn horrible (purportedly), what’s the story here that those hurdles cannot be overcome after this much time?

truck

Not necessarily asking you about Windows Phone versus Android or PHP versus Python and Ruby, but in general, how can something held in such great disdain tower over something loudly venerated by anyone who’s used it maintain such dominance to the chagrin of so many? How can something get away with that for years and years? What is so strong that it can freeze not just progress, but the implementation of progress already made, indefinitely?

Doug Simmons

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