By John Gruber
Tara AI — Build better software, faster
A bedraggled figure stands at the front door of a nice house. It is Brushed Metal. He wipes his mouth, brushes various crumbs and bits of detritus from his chest and sleeves. He’s been out all night. He knocks on the door. A few seconds later, he knocks again.
The door opens, revealing Safari, looking comfortable in a robe and holding a mug of coffee. This is his home. He seems slightly surprised to see Brushed Metal, but he’s cheerful.
Safari: Hey. Brushed. What’s up?
Brushed Metal: Ah, you know. In the neighborhood, figured I’d stop by. Tried calling you, but kept getting your voicemail.
Safari: (bemused) It’s like eight in the morning.
Brushed Metal: Really? Wow, I thought it was like ten. (Holds left wrist out.) Lost my watch.
Silence for a few beats. There’s a tangible sense of Brushed Metal waiting for a “come inside” invitation that is quite obviously not forthcoming, the awkwardness of which neither acknowledges, which (the lack of acknowledgement of the awkwardness of the situation) is itself awkward. Safari sips his coffee.
Brushed Metal: So how about that fucking keynote? Fucking iLife, the whole goddamn suite, gone to that bastard theme from iTunes. You believe that shit?
Safari: Yeah, I saw that. That’s a tough break, man.
Brushed Metal: Whole goddamn suite.
Safari: Well, not GarageBand.
Brushed Metal: Yeah, that crazy fucker. You know that theme’s on meth, right?
Brushed Metal: Total nut job. You know the worst part of this thing? I had fucking deals signed with all these apps. Contracts. They didn’t even bother weaseling out of them with loopholes — you know, saying something like that the contract was for “iMovie”, not “iMovie HD”, that sort of thing. They just ripped ’em up.
Safari: The contracts.
Brushed Metal: Yeah. That fucker Jobs. Just ripped ’em up. I ought to sue those bastards. If my goddamn agent hadn’t Benedict-Fucking-Arnolded me…
Safari: They do play hardball.
Brushed Metal: You know what gets me about these apps using that fucking theme?
Brushed Metal: That everyone’s raving about how good they look without borders. Everyone is like, Ooh, borders are so out. I loooove how everything goes right up against the sides of the windows now. It feels so light. Brushed metal and borders look so “heavy”.
Like I can’t do borderless! Like you and me aren’t existence proof that I can do borderless! We fucking pioneered borderless. We’ve been borderless right from the start. They took borderless from us.
Safari: My browser windows do have some borders when they’re in bookmarks mode.
Brushed Metal: Sure, but you know what I mean. Those aren’t border borders.
Brushed Metal: And what’s the deal with those squared-off window corners? Oooh, custom corner radiuses. What is the point of that? It looks like a bug.
Safari: Yeah, I don’t get that.
Brushed Metal: We’ll knock those bookmark-mode borders out in your 3.0. Maybe we should do the corner thing, too. What do you think?
Safari: (pause) Well, that stuff’s not my call.
Brushed Metal: We could do it, though. You and me. Remember when your public beta hit the street? Everyone was like, Oh man, brushed metal in a document-based app? That’s against the interface guidelines! You can’t do that! Waaa!” Good times, man, good times.
Brushed Metal: And the whole no-official-name-for-this-theme game. You know what I think they should call him? They should call him “The iLife Theme”. You know, like make it official, put it in the HIG: “This theme is only for use by iLife apps.” Don’t you think?
Safari: Look, Brushed. I’m not involved in this sort of thing. I just want to render pages, keep getting faster. Keep closing leaks. I’m just not involved with the theme stuff.
Brushed Metal looks down, takes a breath, shifts a bit from jovial to earnest.
Brushed Metal: I’ll be honest with you. I’m counting on you, Safari.
Safari: It’s out of my hands. You’ve got to talk to my reps about this stuff.
Brushed Metal: I can count on you, right?
Safari: How did you get my address?
Brushed Metal: All right, all right. Can I ask you something, though?
Brushed Metal: Can I borrow a hundred dollars?
Safari puts his hand on the door to close it.
Safari: I have to go.
Brushed Metal: Fifty?
Safari: Get out of here.
Brushed Metal: OK. OK. Hey, do you know where iChat lives?
Safari closes the door, leaving Brushed Metal alone outside. There’s a CLICK from the deadbolt.
Brushed Metal: (louder, so as to be heard through the door) How about iCal?
(quieter, to himself) Fucker.
Cut to black.