Think Secret “senior editor” Ryan Katz filed an interesting scoop yesterday, “Aperture Future in Question as Apple Axes Bulk of Team“:

Apple recently asked the engineering team behind its Aperture photo editing and management software to leave, Think Secret has learnedThe move, which resulted in the departure of several engineers while others were transferred to different projects inside Apple, raises questions about the future of Aperture, Apple’s most严厉批评and bug-ridden pro software release in recent years.

Sources familiar with Apple’s professional software strategy said they were not surprised by the move, describing Aperture’s development as a “mess” and the worst they had witnessed at Apple.

好奇,我做了一些挖掘I’ll note up front that my sources aren’t first-hand — i.eI don’t know anyone directly involved on the Aperture teamThat said, my sources at Apple confirmed the basic gist of Think Secret’s reportFirst, that even by the standards of 1.0 products, Aperture’s development did not go wellA little bit late is one thing; nine months late — which according to my sources is how late Aperture 1.0 was — is a disasterThe term “cluster fuck” is not generally used to describe minor hiccups.

The second is that the original Aperture development team — both management and engineering — has been dispersedNote though that I chose the verb分散非常仔细地Think Secret’s headline claim that the “bulk of the team” was “axed” is not accurateKatz’s much less sensational in-article description, “The move, which resulted in the departure of several engineers while others were transferred to different projects inside Apple,” is more or less the same thing my sources told me.

It’s up for debate how much of it was an outright disbanding, and how much was good engineers leaving the team (and in some cases, leaving Apple) in disgustBut given that the Aperture 1.0 development process went so poorly, it was pretty much inevitable that the team was going to be restructured.

As a rule of thumb, it’s a bad sign when Apple releases a .1 update to a major application, as they did earlier this month with光圈1.1Apple (as well as other big-ticket app developers like Microsoft and Adobe) shoots for a development schedule that goes from from one .0 to the next one, interspersed only by relatively minor .0.x bug fix updates.

Think Secret is right that major portions of Aperture need to be rewritten, but they’re wrong that Aperture’s future is in any way “in question”.1

The development process might have been a disaster, and the product may not be all that it was intended to be, but the product itself is clearly not a disasterJust read James Duncan Davidson’s first-hand account of使用光圈来管理他的工作流while shooting 2000 images at the ETech conference earlier this year:

But, even with its rough edges, I decided to give it a try at January’s Emerging Telephony conferenceAnd the results were spectacularEven as I cursed the UI slowdowns when working with the huge images from my Canon 5D, the overall rate of my work acceleratedFor the first time I was able to keep up with the flow of the pictures I took and usually posted images from the conference within 2-4 hours of when they were taken instead of the 24-48 hour lag that I saw when using other workflows last year.


Is Aperture perfect? Not at allIt’s definitely a 1.0 productThere are a lot of places in the UI where the performance needs to be tweakedThere are too many places where the response feel of the application is just aggravatingThe ultimate RAW conversion quality at 100% isn’t quite thereBut for what I’m doing in the heat of the moment during my conference photography, it’s kicking some serious ass.

The user interface and interaction model of Aperture aren’t just good — they’re innovativeI think Aperture is at the leading edge of UI design, especially with regard to the ways it takes advantage of today’s larger displays它很简单看起来很酷

It’s generally easier to fix an app with a great UI suffering from performance problems than an app with great performance suffering from a terrible UI.

Word within Apple is that Steve Jobs himself is enormously enamored of ApertureThere’s no question what Apple is going to do with Aperture: they’re going to fix itThe questions are just how, who, and when和Adobe死死的盯着他们Lightroom中, my guess to the last question is “as soon as possible”.


更新2: 这篇文章中包含其他信息并纠正了本文中的几个错误,主要基于原始Aperture工程团队的来源提供的信息。


One thing this story reinforced for me is that I don’t like Think SecretOr, rather, what occurred to me while reading and thinking about this story is为什么I don’t like Think Secret: I hate the way they write.

This Aperture story is both factually interesting and a legitimate scoopFew people outside Apple know anything at all about the company’s development projects(甚至是人内部Apple generally don’t know much about development projects other than their own.) But let’s face it — it’s gossipAnd gossip ought to be fun; not necessarily funny, but fun.

而不是沉闷,沉重,“strain to appear ‘objective’ at all costs” journalism-ese dialect of mainstream news outlets such as the Associated Press, Think Secret (and this goes for Apple Insider as well) ought to be aping the style of tabloid journalismThat’s what made MacWeek’s Mac the Knife column so beloved — it was written with a knowing “we know that you know that this isn’t important, but we also know that you know that this is fun” tone尼克·丹顿是各式各样的Gawker网站-branded weblogs show how gossip can be done well on the web.

不同的是,洋葱, wherein the use of mainstream journalism-ese is part of the gag, Think Secret just comes across as dull even when they’re serving up a juicy scoop.

  1. 因此也罗伯特·X是错误的畏缩的想法孔径团队改组与他的任何东西猜想Apple想要购买Adobe即使Cringely是正确的,苹果可能会购买Adobe - 尽管这只是他的纯猜想这个想法的一些逻辑 - 他肯定是错的“苹果公司的Aperture照片修饰程序可能会死亡所以PhotoShop [原文如此] could reign supreme.” If Apple were to buy Adobe and replace Aperture with an app from Adobe, it’d beLightroom中,而不是Photoshop将其称为“照片修饰程序”表明,Cringely不知道Aperture究竟是什么。↩︎