inessential by Brent Simmons

Change in Spring status

Robb Beal reports that he’s communicated to Spring users a change in status: “Spring development has slowed down dramatically and will continue to be sporadic going forward.”

This saddens me. Robb is a talented developer; Spring is an innovative application.

There are, it could be said, two types of innovative apps. NetNewsWire is one type—it takes a new technology (RSS) and gives it a user interface that’s familiar. Spring is the other type—Spring’s point is the user interface itself; it takes an idea and goes all the way with it. NetNewsWire is evolution; Spring is revolution.

It may be that these types of apps are created by different types of developers: I could never create something like Spring. (Though Robb could perhaps have created NetNewsWire.) And so I admire Robb and other developers with revolutionary, idealistic temperaments. They’re utterly necessary to the software ecosystem. (And I am not one of them.)

The unfortunate part is that the market doesn’t always reward apps like Spring. Apps like Spring are always much more of a gamble.