Cross-Platform Usability.

Alex Payne’s article “Shortchanging Your Business with User-Hostile Platforms” received a lot of attention over the weekend including lengthy blog responses from Merlin Mann and Ed Finkler.

I tend to agree with Alex’s main point that poor usability is a likely outcome of choosing AIR and its ilk, and, further, that poor application usability is a detriment to your company’s chance of profitability. Where Alex went further in postulating that the raison d’être of AIR apps is laziness or contempt on the part of the developers is plausible but surely cannot account for all or even most such decisions.

Alex eventually agreed, and you can see his amended post if you go there now. What you can’t see are the edits— unless you view his GitHub commit history. This may actually be more interesting to me than the debate over cross-platform development, an argument that has little new to offer since it was first proffered decades ago. Was Alex right to chop large portions of his article after later consideration? Blogging tradition holds that we leave those in place and provide mere updates, strikeouts, or additional posts to account for the new facts on the ground. Radically altering the original post will surely confuse anyone visiting the site a few weeks from now let alone a few years.