Here’s why I don’t like Apple’s Dashboard move in relation to Konfabulator. Apple has for years complained about or pointed to the way that Windoze copies the Mac. Everybody in the Mac community complains whenever a new iMac-like PeeCee comes out, or another iPod want-to-be hits the market. It is most evident in their banner at WWDC, proclaiming ‘Redmond, start your photocopiers,’ which Arlo Rose remixes as “Cupertino, start your photocopiers!’ on the Konfabulator home page.
What the above linked rant largely overlooks and dismisses in Apple’s actions is not only the hypocrisy that “Cupertino, start your photocopiers!” so ironically and clearly points out, but the design of it. Not the code design, but the look. Apple computers has a large stake in the design industry and lots of people who work in design like the look and feel of Apple not just for the Macintosh platform and the technological ease of it all, but because of the look and feel of the products. Who knows more about design and can better support design than someone who exhibits fantastic design?
Now, with that in mind, hold a screenshot of Dashboard up against a screenshot of Konfabulator and tell me that they are not knowingly ripping off Konfab’s design. Sure, the code is accomplished in entirely different ways and implemented differently, but on the surface it is a rip off. Just as Windoze remixes of Mac technologies are rip offs even though the code is entirely different. What makes it even more obvious is the way that the Apple press surrounding Dashboard’s release is totally gunning for Konfabulator’s current user base. Why call them widgets to the public when the developer documentation is different? Why say they are java-based (something Konfabulator is known for) and then have a Safari developer provide his clarification later? They want Konfab’s customers, and it is obvious, and it is backfiring a bit on them.
Sure, everybody copies everybody, but when it is big guys squashing little guys and in such an obvious play (all the time claiming that they love the little guys), it sucks. Bad move, Apple.