Glazman Responds to My Response

Daniel Glazman:

Daring Fireball posted a long reply to my article, but I think John Gruber just did not get my point: Apple started thinking about the features probably beginning of 2010 or even earlier. They started implementing the features second half of 2010. The standardization could have started on their proposals at beginning of 2010, and stabilize around them beginning of 2011. It means we could have obtained a Candidate Recommendation for these features in the course of 2011 and then Apple would be shipping today an application with a clear competitive advantage — being the only one on the market — conformant to future standards.

I think I understood Glazman’s point. What Glazman doesn’t seem to understand is that Apple had no interest in publicly sharing its specific plans for interactive book design two years ago. The new iBooks 2.0 and iBooks author are a typical Apple product — developed in secret, announced when ready.

On the contrary, Apple has implemented features that are now partly or largely incompatible with the future standards, and I am saying this is yet another burden on the Publishing industry that is fighting with already too many formats and too many bad quality conversions.

No argument there. But again, Apple’s not in this game to reduce the cross-platform burdens of the publishing industry. If the publishing industry wants to reduce the number of formats it supports and the hassles of converting from one format to another, Apple’s pitch would be to go exclusive to the iBookstore. This is another case of people acting surprised and/or disappointed that Apple, a for-profit company, is acting like a for-profit company.

Monday, 23 January 2012