Tag Archives: sketch

Too late to save the MAS?

You’ve probably heard the news about Sketch. I found this section of their announcement the most interesting, because it highlights that this isn’t just about technical and strategic problems with the Mac App Store, but also about having a direct relationship with the customer to provide the best experience:

“Over the last year, as we’ve made great progress with Sketch, the customer experience on the Mac App Store hasn’t evolved like its iOS counterpart. We want to continue to be a responsive, approachable, and easily-reached company, and selling Sketch directly allows us to give you a better experience.”

Of course, Sketch joins a growing list of apps unavailable in the store. From John Gruber:

“Sketch isn’t the first big name professional app to be pulled from the Mac App Store (Bare Bones Software’s BBEdit, Panic’s Coda, Quicken, just to name a few). But Sketch is the poster child for Mac App Store era professional Mac software. It’s the sort of app Apple might demo in a keynote — and the winner of an Apple Design Award.”

Federico Viticci writes that Apple has to do something:

“The simple reality is that, gradually, developers of the best apps for OS X are finding it increasingly hard to justify doing business on the Mac App Store. I hope Apple also sees this as a problem and starts doing something about it.”

Daniel and I talked about this on Core Intuition recently. Developers have been complaining about the Mac App Store for years without seeing any progress. It was over 3 years ago that I pulled my app Clipstart from the Mac App Store to sell direct-only instead, because of my concerns about adapting to sandboxing.

All this time, Apple could have been iterating on the Mac App Store, improving sandboxing entitlements, improving review times, customer interaction, and more. Yet they have not. At this point, Apple can’t just do “something”. They can’t just improve the Mac App Store a little. They have to significantly improve it, addressing many issues at once. And even then, some of these great apps — Sketch, BBEdit, Coda, RapidWeaver — may not come back.

RailsConf 2006

Airport sketch I attended “RailsConf”:http://www.railsconf.org/ in Chicago last month. There’s a lot of excitement in the Rails community right now, and it was nice to be there for the first year before it explodes to the even bigger event that the conference will be next year when O’Reilly takes over.

The talks were a mix of great to just okay. “Damon Clinkscales”:http://www.damonclinkscales.com/ provided a solid introduction to migrations, and even though he had previewed the talk for me the night before I still picked up some useful tips. I was finally able to hear first hand what a fantastic speaker “Mike Clark”:http://www.clarkware.com/cgi/blosxom is. James Duncan Davidson rounded out the weekend with a high-level “vision for deployments”:http://duncandavidson.com/essay/2006/06/webaspipe/. I also enjoyed presentations by “Paul Graham”:http://www.paulgraham.com/marginal.html, the music and brilliance of “Why”:http://redhanded.hobix.com/, the closing Rails core team panel, and of course “DHH on REST and embracing CRUD”:http://www.loudthinking.com/arc/000593.html. One of the nice things about open source is that soon after announcing the new ActiveResource framework, David checked in his code so you can immediately see “what he has been working on”:http://dev.rubyonrails.org/svn/rails/trunk/activeresource/ and play along.

As I look back on the schedule, there were many talks I missed completely, so I’m looking forward to catching the audio or video of some of those. Still, you could get a lot out of the conference just by talking to people between or during sessions.

While at the Austin airport, I filled a sketchbook page with random people waiting for the delayed flight. This man on the right was leaning against an abandoned ticket counter.

Red crayon

I was wired when I got back at midnight last Thursday from the late Mission Impossible 3 show with “Damon”:http://www.damonclinkscales.com/. A storm had passed over while we were in the theater. Tree branches were down in the neighborhood, and rain continued.

I sat at the dining room table with a sheet of typing paper and a fat red kids crayon and did some characters. It’s hard to draw small with something so big. These were at least twice the diameter of your standard crayon. I shrunk the result slightly and included a few below because I liked some of the line, despite the otherwise clunkiness.

Fun with a fat red crayon