Sal Soghoian Departs Apple

Sal Soghoian:

Q. I hear you no longer work for Apple; is that true?

A. Correct. I joined Apple in January of 1997, almost twenty years ago, because of my profound belief that “the power of the computer should reside in the hands of the one using it.” That credo remains my truth to this day. Recently, I was informed that my position as Product Manager of Automation Technologies was eliminated for business reasons. Consequently, I am no longer employed by Apple Inc. But, I still believe my credo to be as true today as ever. […]

Q. What does the termination of the position of Product Manager of Automation Technologies mean for the future of user automation in macOS?

A. Ask Apple. Seriously, if you have any questions or concerns about the future of user automation, ask Apple. If user automation technologies are important to you, then now is the time for all good men and women to reach out, speak up and ask questions. The macOS user automation technologies include: UNIX CLI (shell, python, ruby, perl), System Services, Apple Events (JavaScript, AppleScript, AppleScriptObj-C, Scripting Bridge), Automator, Apple Configurator (AppleScript, Automator), and Application scripting support in Photos, iWork, Finder, Mail, and other Apple applications.

This sounds ominous. Just this week in my review of the new MacBook Pros, a huge part of my argument for why I feel so much more productive on a Mac than an iPad revolves around the automation technologies that Soghoian’s group developed. I have the impression that Soghoian was a bit of a rebel within Apple, fighting the good fight to keep advancing the Mac’s automation tools. If they had simply fired him, that’d be one thing, but the fact that they’ve eliminated his position is another. This is shitty news. I find this to be a profoundly worrisome turn of events for the future of the Mac. I hope I’m wrong.

On a personal note, I’ve known Sal for a long time. I first met him at a WWDC in the early years of Daring Fireball. I didn’t expect him to know who I was, I just wanted to thank him for his and his team’s work. But it turned out he was a fan of the site, and he thanked me for my posts about AppleScript tips and tricks. You’ll never meet a warmer, nicer, more gregarious guy.

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

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