The Ironism

The Ironism

The lair of Lars J. Nilsson. Contains random musings on beer, writing and this thing we call life.

June 2010


A Small Rant for Google


It’s no big secret that I’m fairly Googlified. But recently two things have started to bug me. A lot. Not to the point I’d consider, say Apple (queue shudder here), but to the level of severe annoyance…

Dear Google: Almost the entire world can upload and download free applications via Android market. Good. But only a select few (13 at the time of writing) can buy or sell applications. And point in case, Sweden is not among them. What the… ? I completely understand the need of rolling out one market after another, but I don’t understand the complete lack of transparency in the process. No one seems to know when country X is going to be supported, and Google, you keep your mouth closed. But it’s not like Android is new by this time for Christ sake! It’s been years! And Google, this is real money and real adoption we’re talking about. And further more, its 2010, and you’ve done your wealth on the fact that the Internet gives you global access, not local, not based on Market segment, but when it comes to Android you stupidly go the old school route and give us the equivalent of DVD regions one more time. Either you’ve turned stupid, you’ve been lucky this far or the gray suits have taken over, and if so: thank you, it’s was a good ride, but this is as far as you’re going to get; soon you’ll just be another Microsoft.

And then, the timezone calendar issue. You know what I’m talking about. It’s 2010 and you can’t handle time zones correctly?! This is one of the most basic functions of a calendar, if you don’t understand time zones you don’t understand your business. And complaints have been heard for years! Look, it’s simple: there are two types of appointments, those that I want to specify time zone for which will adjust when I travel and those that I don’t want to care about and which should not adjust when I travel. In the first case, a telephone conference is a good example. If I schedule 14:00 GMT+2 (Sweden) for a telephone conference I do want the time in my calendar to change when I’m in, say London, so that it stays correct. But on the other hand, if my plane lands in London 12:00 local time, I absolutely do not want to enter it in GMT+2 just because that’s where I’m currently at, that would be a nightmare! The travel agencies and air companies figured this out years ago, I’m simply not interested in knowing when my plane leaves in Swedish time! But that’s exactly where we’re at! Google, you went live with calendar in 2006, and you exited beta in 2009, and you still haven’t fixed it?! How on earth you’ve got stomach to claim you’re not in beta when you can’t handle time zones is beyond me. What have you done instead? World clock? Fucken swap?! And do read the comments on that last thread, I completely agree with the strongest of them: you’ve screwed up your implementation so badly that you can’t even fix it, and now you’re doing your best to pretend it’s not raining. This problem is on Wikipedia and Washington post and all over the web. It destroys your adoption rate among international companies. You really, really need to fix this.

There, I feel better now. But it still is worrying: is this the gray suits taking over Google? Or perhaps it tells us something about the quality of the code Google produces, that they are so deep in legacy issues that they can’t fix this? After all, it’s not like they wouldn’t want Android market to be available everywhere, that would make them even bigger, there’s something else stopping them. And then the time zone issue… That does sound like legacy code, their implementation is so bad that they figure it’s not worth the time it would take to fix the problem, that they would get their money back, or that the risk is too great trying that they’ve decided to do, well, fucken swap, instead.Google? Please, I still love you, but please…

The proprietor of this blog. Lunchtime poet, former opera singer, computer programmer. But not always in that order. Ask me again tomorrow.

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