Amongst all the fanfare and news surrounding #newgoogleplus, is a story of bitter disappointment for developers who have spent countless hours hacking together third party extensions and add ons. Arguably one of the better known, and most active developers Mohamed Mansour posted his frustrations this afternoon – aimed squarely at the lack of communication from within the Google+ team. Mansour has contributed a shed load of code to the Google+ community, which amongst others includes an unofficial read write API, my Hangouts extension for Chrome, and a way to make Hangouts accessible for the blind within the service.
His post reproduced in full below says it all – Google should really be bringing developers along for the journey, and get out of this secretive mindset that further alienates them from the community. Further more he has asked for support in raising awareness around the issue, which has previous fallen on deaf ears at the GooglePlex.
Why is Google trying to be so evil to the developer community?
Change is good, but you know what is even better? Relationship with your third party developer community who technically spend hundreds of hours building on top of this platform for free. Where the hell is the transition period?
My extensions and apps were downloaded way over two millions times from the last 10 months. Look at my GitHub page, I loved this platform so much that I spent my personal and free time evangelising for it to make the experience better and more enjoyable. Clearly I wasn’t the only one, tons of developers spent their precious time, free time, extending this platform which many of your users loved and adored.
I technically spent hundreds if not thousands of hours building free open source applications, I have converted many users to use Chrome as their main browsers, I even have converted many users to Google+ and made many of them happy. Why didn’t you reach out to the developers and tell them major change is coming? Didn’t we support this platform enough to know things will break? Now hundreds of thousands of machines who are visiting Google+ have a broken experience, many errors will be shown, many popups will be alerted, our thousands of hours of hard work down the drain.
Facebook never did stuff like this, never forced us to change layouts like this. They have given the users a transition period to use the new layout. They always presented us a transition period to try the new layouts in a BETA sandbox weeks before they release it to the public. Allowing us to fix and comment, and iterate
From the entire blog post that Google released, not even a “Thank You” to any of the developers who contributed to the success of the first Google+ version. Look at the new version, it has a lot of what extensions had. But I guess they dislike giving credit where it is due. We are like Ghosts to them! Great news!
I guess I will officially give up supporting Google+ and find another platform to tinker with that will welcome us, Facebook.
Google, you won, you finally got what you wanted, you lost my support.