SpyMac is its own Jesus [updated]

Filed under: Rant | 15 Comments

SpyMac has always annoyed me–it’s a very snobby bunch. I have always been biased because they launched with a lie, and have had no shame about it. However, with this new version of the site, they take themselves even more seriously. It’s cute. Here’s an example:

“Just as the Mac OS X dock communicates application events visually, the navigational elements in Spymac are smart enough to detect important occurrences, such as the arrival of a new e-mail to a member’s Spymac Mail account or the start of a new Auction.”

So you mean that like almost any forum, you can see when you have new stuff? Get out of town. Ever used PMs before?

“Spymac determines time-appropriate events, images, text, and everything in between by automatically syncing with each visitor’s system clock.”

Woo. A JavaScript deal combined with what Dunstan did. Cool, but not so useful. Especially for a site as visually busy as SpyMac (I like it a lot over at Dunstan’s site).

“Spymac is powered by an integrated collection of applications (developed in-house) that together form “Spymac WOS”. Spymac WOS is an intelligent environment featuring patent-pending technology that allows for the creation of an immersive and visually-stunning Web experience.”

Patent Pending? Christ. It’s a collection of PHP scripts that does nothing really new. And the fact they claim it’s all running on 42 dual CPU servers is shady. That would cost a fortune, and there never have been many ads on the site.

Update: I closed comments because of nonsense. If you want to comment, email them to jon AT macmerc dot com.

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15 Responses to “SpyMac is its own Jesus [updated]”

  1. MacManX says:

    I’m honestly starting to have doubts, but not about their sincerity. I mean, the email has always been great, and I’m assuming that the web-space will work just as well. But, how can they afford it with their extreme (sometimes complete) lack of ads? For a while, I thought that Spymac was a actually a secret extension of Apple (it made sense to have all the features with no ads, and having a rumor branch is a good strategy to generate interest). Well, it’ll be interesting to see how this new Spymac works out.

  2. Catch Colt says:

    Sounds like….. typepad.

  3. Jon Gales says:

    Like TypePad? What? Enlighten us a little.

  4. Catch Colt says:

    Just a bunch if easily written scripts (take your pick php,asp,jsp,cf) that can be reproduced by anyone with a modicrum of programming knowledge. I don’t mean to put down the effort that they put into this. Someone has to package this stuff for consumers. I am just saying open, honest, objective analysis for various pieces of web software would yield the fact that they aren’t worth the HTML they are embbedded in.

    Sheesh, typepad could be written in one night.

  5. Jon Gales says:

    And I assume you don’t write web apps for a living? TypePad is a very large application. If you could reproduce it in a night, I have about a dozen projects for you to complete this week.

  6. Catch Colt says:

    I am tempted to show you better than one could possibly tell you, but I’ll let my assertion remain hyperbole for the moment. I think you will see several competiting technologies in this space in short order from people and companies who have coded their own tools seemingly — overnight.

    We could always setup a wager to see who is right, if you are the sporting type mate.

  7. Jon Gales says:

    Seemingly overnight, and overnight are two different things. Weblogs, Inc. came out “overnight” but took tons of dev time. Ask Brian Alvey how long it took him.

    Ask Rick Ellis of pMachine how long it took him.

    I bet you’ll find that it takes 100’s of hours to make a decent CMS. It takes 1000’s of hours to make a great one.

    This is why Vingette costs $100’s of thousands.

    So yea, I’ll take you up on a bet. If someone literally writes a better MovableType in a day or two.

  8. Catch Colt says:

    Thanks. You just validated everything I was saying by bring up Vingette, possibly the worst, bloated, overpriced example of Content Management ever created.

    I can, and I am not alone in this ability, could write movableType and various other CMS in php within a day. This includes such simple features such as spitting out permalinks (an anchor tag with a timestamp?), comment systems (once again, a quick INSERT into a database from FORM data?) , wrappers, RSS feeds (come on dude, thats just spitting out the database in to a XML form with a few loops)

    I viewed weblogs, inc, and I have to say that that’s about two days work. One day to write it in it’s entirety, and a second day to debug. It’s good work, but it’s work thats easily replicated by anyone who knows.

    At any rate, this is common knowledge except to refusniks, the fun part comes in the next level jump in features that will be built on top of this layer of simple markup language sheets, SQL table rows full of blog entries, and HTML forms awaiting your input.

  9. Mike Cohen says:

    Let’s see you do a full featured CMS in one day.

  10. MacManX says:

    Yes, Catch Colt, where’s your masterpiece? So far, you’ve dodged making one yourself. Let’s see you prove us wrong, as you have so boasted.

  11. Catch Colt says:

    Where is the wager to make it interesting mate. You are all to willing to discredit my assertion which I illustrated with factual bulletpoints, but you won’t put up anything to make it worth while. Don’t you fancy a flutter? Or are you posutring as dramatically as I am.

    Put your money where your mouth is I believe the saying you hold most dear.


  12. Jon Gales says:

    How would we bet you? Who knows, you might have been working for months on some code. If I could lock you in a room with a laptop without internet access for 24 hours, there would be another story.

    There is a reason Six Apart got venture capital. There is a reason so many people use it.

  13. Catch Colt says:

    People use other software as well, and there will be overnight challenges basically because the technology is easily replicatable. Just because something got funded doesn’t it the best technology. Neither does being first.

  14. Jon Gales says:

    Movable Type is not the best. That’s why there is version 3 coming out. But to say it isn’t anything that couldn’t be done in a day or two is patently false. Why would Joi Ito give Ben and Mena tons of cash if he could have hired you to make DuplicateType? It would have only cost him a few grand at the most. Seems silly. But Joi is a very smart man.

  15. Catch Colt says:

    Now we have taken to stroking the hand that feeds. Investments are not made based on vapourware (at least not in this economy) and the fact that all these CMS are not worth anything in terms of the technology behind them, has no bearing on Joi’s intelligence or the validity of Six Apart as an investment vehicle. They are investing in people, ideas and a product not some tag hags embbedded code in disposable HTML sheets.

    It’s about low-cost content delivery to multiple platforms not code that can and HAS been dulpicated inumerous times across the planet.

    I am actually more of an investor than a developer at this point, so I put my money somewhere else in this space as you will see.