inessential by Brent Simmons

Weblog editors

A few people have sent me email with ideas on competing with ecto. Here’s the thing, though: I like Adriaan a lot and I think ecto is cool.

The same goes for other weblog editors and their developers: Blapp is cool, Xjournal is cool, and I like Michael and Fraser. Daniel Berlinger does a great job with Archipelago (a Manila editor)—and Daniel and I go waaaay back.

In fact, I was sad to read that Phil Ulrich isn’t continuing Userspace development, because it sounded really good and I like Phil.

One of the luxuries of running your own business that Sheila and I enjoy is that we are allowed to make decisions that go against common business wisdom. We could have made the NetNewsWire-MarsEdit connection proprietary, but that would have been, well, mean.

When NetNewsWire talks to MarsEdit, it uses the exact same API, the exact same code, it uses to talk to ecto, (by master of ceremonies Buzz Andersen), and other software.

Maybe it’s weird or naive of me, but I like other OS X weblog editor developers. It’s a great group of people. And so I find myself rooting for their success, even when we have products in the same space. And I also find that I really like this situation.

But—more about the weblog editor space—I think the number of people who have already bought a weblog editor is very, very small compared to the number of people who will buy a weblog editor. It’s only just this year that weblog editors are starting to become software you’d want to use day-to-day. (In other words, the success of one editor doesn’t preclude success of another.)

So, it’s not as if different weblog editors don’t compete. Sure they do. But I’m totally not into playing any hardball here: that would suck the fun out of it for me. I think of the competition as being very friendly—but if it gives us all a bit of incentive to work hard and make our software better, that’s cool.

At the same time—and more importantly—we’re all collaborating on showing that weblog editors are getting ready for prime time.