Six Colors
Six Colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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App rot

If you’re not a developer, you might not care about the news that Facebook is shutting down the cloud API service that it bought in 2013. Developers loved it because, as Allen Pike wrote, developers love shortcuts.

As a user, you might care about Parse because an app you use might break when it dies. As Marco Arment writes:

It’ll be problematic when possibly hundreds of thousands of iOS apps just stop working in a year because their developers have long since moved on, or their contracts expired, or they can’t afford to spend time on a significant update. One of the most damaging side effects of unhealthy App Store economics is that developers have little motivation or resources to keep apps updated.

There is nothing worse as a technology user than having a key part of your workflow just stop working, or be “sunsetted”, or be updated into something that no longer does what you need it to do. I still remember the feeling when my VideoGuide1 just stopped working one day, with a cold, unfeeling notice saying the service had been turned off and would no longer function.

It’s a terrible feeling, especially when there’s no warning. If you’re using an app that relies on Parse and isn’t going to be updated, you may never receive that warning. And that’s going to be rotten.

  1. A predecessor to the DVR; it’s a long story
—Linked by Jason Snell

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