Tuesday, September 16, 2008

For the sake of development, stop stealing other people's work!

The Development Community is arguably one the biggest reasons Windows Mobile is still a popular platform.

Forums such as XDA-Developers and PPCGeeks.com are teeming with brilliant minds who create applications that not only add new features to a WM device, but even change the interface itself.

Lately, one of the most buzzed about projects is the s2 series, developed by an XDA regular who goes by the username A_C. The s2 series started with a simple screen-unlocker, S2U2, which was clearly inspired by the iPhone's "Slide to Unlock" screen.
However, it mutated into much more than a simple lock screen, and now offers customized real-time information as well as integrates with his media player, S2P (slide to play), which is a graphically beautiful finger-friendly music player and browser. A_C then went on to create S2V (Slide to View), which is an image viewer in the same graphical vein as his other S2 applications.

Although all of the S2 applications are still considered unfinished "works in progress", many users claim that they are more stable and have better features than some commercial applications on the market.

It should also be recognized that A_C never planned to make money from these applications. He does not it for a living, rather he creates them in his spare time because it is how he beleives a Windows Mobile device should work. As such, he has clearly stated numerous times that his applications are totally free.

My opinion is that A_C is a good guy. The problem is, good guys often get taken advantage of.
According to this thread, A_C was appalled to find the s2 applications have been bundled and sold as part of "iPhone themes for Windows Mobile", without giving him a penny or even asking permission.

Many sites, including www.iphonethemeforppc.com, as well as countless ebay auctions are trying to sell the s2 software for their own profit, which of course is very frustrating for A_C to see.
In vain, he has tried to report every auction to ebay, contact the authors of the sites selling it, etc... however they seem to not care, offering petty excuses or ignoring his requests.

The end result? A_C has decided to halt all development of the S2 series for the time being.

Nice work, fellas. It looks like a couple of unscrupulous idiots have ruined it for everyone else.

Spread the word. Boycott sites that are selling this stuff, send them angry emails, etc. This is not the first time such a thing has happened, but in order for it to end everyone must voice their opinion. For the sake of the development community and coders/users everywhere.