’Twas the day before Christmas, and all through the ’net
Excitement brewed for iA Writer Pro, the distractionlessest text editor yet!
It promised simplicity, but a powerful workflow.
And touted a new feature called Syntax Control.
As folks were beginning their winter vacation,
iA submited a patent application.
They felt Syntax Control should be protected.
(Secretly hoping their use of NSLinguisticTagger wouldn’t be detected.)
So certain they were that this patent they’d get,
They tweeted a few devs with thinly-veiled threats.
This got @the_soulmen all up in arms.
Software patents, we all know, do less good than harm.
This application was for a technique
While you were hanging stockings by the chimney with care,
@the_soulmen were tweeting “How could @iA dare?”
They wouldn’t let up with the public shaming,
“We’ll never sue devs over our fancy new patent.”
“That’s right,” said @the_soulmen, “Because you don’t even have it.”
iA went as far as to threaten Brett Terpstra.
(At this point I thought @the_soulmen would burst-a.)
We all love simple, powerful writing.
But nobody benefits from developers fighting.
Let’s all build great stuff, and worry a bit less
About what others are doing. That’s just a big mess.
And so, as you begin a new year of prose,
Consider the toolmakers—are they friends, or foes?
Do they play well with others, or bully and pester?
Something to consider when you visit the App Store.
And to the good devs, wherever you are,