Disgusted by Apple ripping off Konfabulator!

Posted:
in macOS edited January 2014
I am surprised that noone in here is talking about the ripoff that Dashboard is, or if anyone else has said anything about it I missed it. I am an unabashed Apple zealot, and I am quick to point out when someone rips off Apple. But it makes my skin crawl the way Apple has screwed Arlo Rose. The guy makes a seemingly innovative piece of software and Apple has completely ganked it. I thought briefly that Apple must have licensed the technology or bought the company, but according to this article they just stole it.



http://www.macminute.com/2004/06/28/copycat



I gave Apple a break with the Watson thing but that was a great piece of software that they killed and an innovative developer that they pushed from the platform. If you haven't read about it Karelia was sold today probably to Sun. Just had to get that off of my chest.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 90
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,146member
    Arlo Rose is a grown man. He can fight his own battles.
  • Reply 2 of 90
    brussellbrussell Posts: 9,812member
    Yeah they suck. They sucked when they did it to Karelia and they suck for doing it again.
  • Reply 3 of 90
    a_greera_greer Posts: 4,594member
    Hate to say it, but if konfabulator did sue, they would have a hell of a case, a suit could pudh back release by months unless apple strips it and holds it back till 10.5, when any legal trouble can be cleared up.



    But apple probabley already called the konfabulator guy and gave him a big fat sum of cash to let apple go ahead and make sure his yap stayed shut till after the conferance today.
  • Reply 4 of 90
    Konfabulator (and therefore Dashboard) was the logic enhancement to Expose that everyone could expect.

    Charging Apple for having "copied" Konfabulator would have been like charging them for having "copied" Aaron or Kaleidoscope...

    Well that's my opinion anyway!
  • Reply 5 of 90
    concordconcord Posts: 312member
    Yes, it is a ripoff of Konfabulator and poor form on Apple's part not to even discuss this with them. But keep in mind that Konfab is esssentially just a ripoff of DesktopX's Objects and Widgets.



    Just my 2 bits,



    C.
  • Reply 6 of 90
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    Re-implementing a non-patented system is not stealing. Seriously.



    Different code that was written by Apple engineers without seeing the actual code by Arlo is reverse-engineered, and not violating copyright law.



    Since the idea was not patented by Arlo, anyone else (and I mean *anyone* else) is free to do the same with their own implementation. And they did.



    a_greer, Arlo has no legal stance here, period, sad enough for him.



    (And, one could easily argue that Konfabulator is the natural progression of Desk Accessories, and Dashboard is the natural progression of Konfabulator. *shrug*)



    Sucks to be Arlo, and my sympathies are with him, but yes, he can fight his own battles... I'm just not sure how he'd go about doing so with this one when he left himself wide open in a legal sense.
  • Reply 7 of 90
    existenceexistence Posts: 991member
    Apple obviously believes the ends justify the means. If it helps them gain marketshare and make Tiger the best operating system, they will do it.
  • Reply 8 of 90
    faust9faust9 Posts: 1,335member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Kickaha

    Re-implementing a non-patented system is not stealing. Seriously.



    Different code that was written by Apple engineers without seeing the actual code by Arlo is reverse-engineered, and not violating copyright law.



    Since the idea was not patented by Arlo, anyone else (and I mean *anyone* else) is free to do the same with their own implementation. And they did.



    a_greer, Arlo has no legal stance here, period, sad enough for him.



    (And, one could easily argue that Konfabulator is the natural progression of Desk Accessories, and Dashboard is the natural progression of Konfabulator. *shrug*)



    Sucks to be Arlo, and my sympathies are with him, but yes, he can fight his own battles... I'm just not sure how he'd go about doing so with this one when he left himself wide open in a legal sense.




    Exactly!!! Widgets have been around on Apples as well as other OS's for eons. Hell, my Linux PC uses Enlightenment as a window manager and I have all kinds of widgets running to tell me things like disk activity, and CPU usage. Konfabulator was/is a cool plugin but its prior art and as such free to be implemented by others.



    My 2 cents.
  • Reply 9 of 90
    rokrok Posts: 3,519member
    i'm trying to see this whole situation in a slightly more positive light. i mean, arlo et al. are about to get a LOT of articles written about them in macworld and macaddict. they're product is cheap and now really mature. also, apple has told them what they will be releasing potentially a YEAR in advance. if arlo just drops the price a bit for a summer sale to increase registrants, he'll have a huge mac user base (well, um, huger than it is now if he markets it well enough). and i'm sure they're not just going to sit on their hands and let konfab rot. plus, what are apple's widgets written in? one of konfab's biggest advatages is that it's javascript, right? what is apple's? applescript? or do you have to use their developer tools/xcode?



    i mean, i think arlo et al. can really see this as having been given a running head start. we'll see what they can do with it.
  • Reply 10 of 90
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Existence

    Apple obviously believes the ends justify the means. If it helps them gain marketshare and make Tiger the best operating system, they will do it.



    If you mean legally write their own implementation of a non-protected idea that's been around for almost two decades as prior art, in various forms, then yes, they will.



    Like I said, sucks to be Arlo right now, but from a *legal* standpoint, Apple did zero wrong.



    From an *ethical* standpoint... well, let's just say this is why I have two patents in the pipeline right now.
  • Reply 11 of 90
    hobbeshobbes Posts: 1,252member
    Legally, developing Dashboard is completely within Apple's rights... ethically, well, it's much grayer area.



    But the biggest trouble, as I see it, is political. It's one thing for Apple to continue the development of the OS where they see fit; it's another to so blatantly copy an fairly polished, innovative shareware program down to the details in functionality, general look *and* mechanism, and then, in the same breath, request developers to go and develop new innovative apps for the platform.



    It borders on insulting -- I can't imagine that many, if not all, developers didn't feel something of a chill go down their spine when they saw Dashboard.
  • Reply 12 of 90
    hobbeshobbes Posts: 1,252member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by rok

    one of konfab's biggest advatages is that it's javascript, right? what is apple's? applescript? or do you have to use their developer tools/xcode?



    i mean, i think arlo et al. can really see this as having been given a running head start. we'll see what they can do with it.






    Dashboard widgets are written in Javascript. Sound familiar?



    Arlo was going to have to face this issue sooner or later.... but the deep similarity of Dashboard to Konfab across all areas (even look and feel), without a sliver of notice, must make it particularly galling. Considering he worked for Apple once before, I wonder if there was some bad blood between himself and higher-ups at Apple, or even Steve himself.
  • Reply 13 of 90
    What bothers me most about the Konfab mess is Arlo Rose saying they would have to switch to another platform. People like Adobe and the like moaning about competition from Apple and dropping their products don't think MS is going to do it and worse?



    Competition, my dear fellow. Make Konfab better. Bringing the widgets in from off the screen with a function key is a great idea. (I think that's Apple's idea. If not, I stand corrected.)



    Make your products better than Apple's and you'll have my business. Sit back and moan and you get no pity from me.
  • Reply 14 of 90
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by rentedmule

    What bothers me most about the Konfab mess is Arlo Rose saying they would have to switch to another platform. People like Adobe and the like moaning about competition from Apple and dropping their products don't think MS is going to do it and worse?



    Competition, my dear fellow. Make Konfab better. Bringing the widgets in from off the screen with a function key is a great idea. (I think that's Apple's idea. If not, I stand corrected.)




    There's some confusion about that... See, Konfabulator 1.7 with Konspose (naw, no 'homage' there with the name... ) allows you to do the hide-and-show that Dashboard does.



    And it was released three days ago.



    Hmm.



    Considering that Arlo had advance notice about Dashboard... who did what first? *shrug*



    Quote:

    Make your products better than Apple's and you'll have my business. Sit back and moan and you get no pity from me.



    Well, I'm willing to give him a period of mourning, but then, yeah, I agree.
  • Reply 15 of 90
    hobbeshobbes Posts: 1,252member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by rentedmule

    Competition, my dear fellow. Make Konfab better. Bringing the widgets in from off the screen with a function key is a great idea. (I think that's Apple's idea. If not, I stand corrected.)



    He just released that last Friday, called it "Konsposé". Small world. Hmm.



    I can't imagine Konfabulator would fare all that well against Object Desktop, DesktopX, and Longhorn's Sidebar, so... And on the plus side, he'll have access to the CoreImage and CoreVideo APIs to use the same effects Apple is using to make their Dashboard widget nifty. OTOH, being a two-person developer team against a huge company like Apple, who can bundle your months and months of labor into the OS with a snap of the fingers... sounds far from easy. If I were them, I'd move on to something else entirely.



    But who knows. I'm not a Konfab customer, so I can only speculate what the Konfab audience wants.
  • Reply 16 of 90
    mac voyermac voyer Posts: 1,283member
    I think it stinks. I don't really care about legal parsing. There are a lot of things that are legal that stink. This stinks! It was not a natural progression of anything. It was the same way with Watson. Apple had just acknowledged that software as innovative before they ripped off the idea for themselves. It is as if they are sitting back and looking for good ideas from developers and picking off the ones that are vulnerable to attack. Don't talk about competition. A little guy with a good idea and good implementation vs. an exact copy built into the OS. It is not as if two third parties are competing for the same space. They have taken the idea and the implementation and bundled it with the OS. They did not already have a similar product that they decided to bundle to force out the competition. Think IE and the browser wars.



    THIS STINKS!!!



    I really liked the new search features. But even as I saw them for the first time, I said to myself that Launchbar was going to be next on the chopping block. You heard it here first.



    Sorry, I meant LaunchBar, not QuickKeys
  • Reply 17 of 90
    concordconcord Posts: 312member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Mac Voyer:

    I really liked the new search features. But even as I saw them for the first time, I said to myself that QuickKeys was going to be next on the chopping block. You heard it here first.



    When I first saw Tiger's search features I thought, wow, that's nice. I also thought they were nice when I saw them on all those Longhorn demos.



    C.
  • Reply 18 of 90
    flounderflounder Posts: 2,674member
    I don't really understand what people are upset about.



    It was legal, a natural progression, and i'm sure majority of mac users have no clue what konfabulator is.



    It is seamless integration, and that is what apple is about.



    doesn't bother me in the slightest
  • Reply 19 of 90
    mattbmattb Posts: 59member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Mac Voyer

    It was not a natural progression of anything.



    Even without the legal side, to me it really does look like a natural progression of Classic MacOS style Desk Accessories blended with Exposé. I have no problem with the idea itself. What is a little unsettling is the similarity of the implementation to Konfabulator. It certainly looks like Konfabulator and with Javascript being used for widgets, it is even more similar. If the widgets complied more with Apple's usual UI standards and it had used Applescript for creating them (Assuming this is feasible), I couldn't see even the slightest problem here. In fact, the UI ugliness bothers me a lot more than anything.
  • Reply 20 of 90
    I think apple should have talked with the guy, maybe offer some money to buy out the idea first. Adding this feature without telling him is kinda like a stab in the back. What would you think/feel if this happened to you?



    You spend countless hours making something great, and some big corporation just steals you ideas without giving you anything. I would be pretty angry myself. Most people do not think in others' shoes, they just mindlessly say "screw him" or "who cares." obviously that person cares about it.
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