Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Bada starts with bad

Picking a name for a product or a company is not an easy task. When I chose Funambol, I looked for a Latin word starting with Fun, and the concept of tight-rope walking fit perfectly a commercial open source company. I found out later the word can't be pronounced in English or spelled on the phone. Too late, I got stuck with it :-)

Still, I like that Funambol starts with Fun. It brings a good vibe to everything we do.

Today Samsung announced Bada. The name means ocean in Korean. Which is nice. And you can always yell Bada Bing Bada Boom. Which might cheer you up.

But Bada starts with Bad. And there is more to the name.

First of all, it is yet another platform. How many do we need?? Enough already... There is a reason why Funambol decided to acquire an Ajax framework. The future of mobile development is web apps, locally installed with sync and push... We are fed up with any language which is not Javascript+HTML+CSS.

Bada is C++. Developers have had enough of C++, they need something cool to feel their time spent in front of a computer is worth it. I know it is geeky to talk about languages, but Windows Mobile is not going anywhere, also because people like to use Java. And Objective-C is kinda cool.

Then the SDK and IDE are only on Windows. I know, I know. I am an open source guy who does not get that Windows has 92% of the market. It is an obvious choice if you are developing a consumer application (!!!). If you are targeting developers, Linux is much better. Mac OS is much better. Windows is just one choice and most likely not the good one. If you want people to work on your C++ platform, better make an SDK on Linux or Mac fast.

Moreover, they call it "open" but it is not open source. I think we are past SDKs that are not open source. We are past platforms that are not open source. If you are targeting developers, please get yourself in line. We (I have been writing some code lately ;-) do not want to touch proprietary SDKs anymore. Period.

I know users do not understand what open source is and they can't appreciate the benefit of it. But developers do. They see the code. That is what they use to develop. If the code is not open, they go somewhere else.

Lastly, with all written above, there are no phones supporting bada today... Do you really want me to buy a Windows machine to write C++ code on a proprietary platform for a phone that does not exist?



Some days I wonder why Google is the only company in the world getting it right. As evil as they are (and they are, the Google DNS service is the incarnation of evil) they just get it. They get developers. They built a platform around a mobile operating system out of nowhere. They got developer to write Android code before there was a phone. They open source everything (although I do not like the way they keep the development process closed, the code is open and they get by with it). They let you use your tools. Maybe it is just that they are a company built by developers. But they got every device manufacture to adopt it (they sold it to the OEM developers, you know? Not their users...) and they are going to dominate the market next year. Every carriers I talk to is about to deploy Android phones, not one or two, five or ten in 2010...

I am sorry but I feel Samsung does not get it. If they want to lure developers, they better call someone who knows how to do it, or they have a guaranteed failure in front of them. Bada is going to also end with bad.