Slingshot around the sun would be faster

Ok, so you all now know that I’m in on the Slingshot beta now. They have asked me to be candid and blog about my experiences with developing for Slingshot, good or bad, in “real time.” So that is what I am doing…

Joyent Sleeping?

I finally had the conference call with one of the developers at Magnetk and David Young founder and CEO of Joyent last Thursday. He originally confirmed the call for Wednesday. I emailed a number of times but didn’t hear anything until Thursday morning when they called. Five minutes early or 1,435 minutes late, you decide ;)

And then I was promised that I’d “revieve the code” by today (monday) and be able to start hacking around with Slingshot. Shockingly enough, I haven’t heard a peep from them.

Sofar, I’d say we’re off to a somewhat shakey start. Three weeks before the official launch of Slingshot and I don’t have access to the code or documentation.

I forget, is PST 3 hours or 27 hours behind EST?

I’m not an impatient person by any stretch. I’m just used to people doing what they say.
Why would you voluntarilly commit to a time unless you’re absolutely certain that you can exceed it?

Slingshot is a real risk on their part. If they don’t handle this properly they run the risk of alienating their developers. And if there aren’t any people developing on their platform then it will shrivel up and die.

Obviously I don’t think that being a wee bit late a few times in a row is going to jinx you from the get go, but it is starting them out in the red. They’re already behind in my book. Time is money, baby! If you’re going to waste my time then I might think twice about setting myself up for it again.

You expect more from a for-profit business

I’ve been spending more and more of my time on open-source or open-standard1 software over the last few years. In that environment you come to expect things to be late and have vast expanses of no forward development, bad communication with the development team, etc… It’s just the nature of the beast.

But when you try and make a closed-source for-profit business, I’m going to expect a little more out of you. You should provide your customers with some way to contact you. You should respond when they do contact you. You should be all in all a bit more professional.

Lately I’ve actually seen the exact opposite to be true.

Open souce developers all seem to be hanging out in IRC and in mailing lists and blogs and on IM and actually reading and responding to their email. Not to mention that if you ever have any problems with their code or desperately need to know how something is implemented you just have to pop open their source code and read or edit the stuff directly, skipping out the middle-man altogether.

Ok, now I’m just ranting like a maniac

Ok, that’s all extremely unfair to the poor Joyent Slingshot peoples here. They aren’t exactly Adobe or anything. And Slingshot isn’t exactly Adobe Apollo.

I’m sure they’ll get something to me tomorrow. And I’m sure it’ll be way less than 2000 minutes late. To be completely fair, it’ll still be Monday for another few hours. The last thing they need is my abuse :P They did have me agree to blog in “real time” though, so it’s their own fault.

-Oi, i need some sleep.-

Please forgive the rant my friendly internet peoples. Everything is all smiles and joy and the raindrops shall skitter away as does the dew when once it falls upon the stillness of the pond, or something like that…


It’s now 10:45pm EST Tuesday night… I haven’t hard a peep out of them since last Thursday. But I’m sure they’ll email me, any minute… now or not.

Apollo, here I come!


Wednesday at ~1:30pm EST they emailed me back…

We found a big bug in unsync. We should have it fixed today.

Well, that’s probly good. Don’t want to have buggy stuff. I just wish they’d emailed me on monday to let me know I wasn’t going to get it that day.


I finally got access to Slingshot today, Friday April 13 2007. The Windows version isn’t ready yet.

1 TextMate bundles are an “open-standard.” While the primary application that uses the bundles is for-profit and closed-source, the bundle file formats themselves are open and anyone can use them. See, for example The Power of Textmate on Windows