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Every found yourself asking: “Why is Google trying to be so evil to the developer community?” You are not alone. Following the search giant’s recent unveiling of the new Google+, a Google Plus developer has come forward with a rather ranty blog post on how Google broke all his “apps and extensions”.
The developer in question, Mohamed Mansour, posted extensive details of his issues under the title “Thank you Google for breaking all my apps and extensions without warning!” on Google+. Mansour is one of many active developers thinking of new ways to adapt the platform for users for a more personal experience he says.
He has been quite active in Google+ development. He created the much-loved Chrome extension that enables blind users participate in a Google+ Hangout. That extension is gone now that Google has broken all his apps and extensions.
According to Mansour:
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
Google being evil again? You could say but Google+ hasn’t published a public API as the good folks at The Next Web pointed out. Google’s head of Social, Vic Gundotra reiterated the point, saying “Google wants to give access to outside developers slowly, and is working on developing its API’s for services like Google+”.
David Glazer, Google+ Engineering Director, responding to the use of undocumented and unofficial APIs said:
“We appreciate and value developers contributing to our platforms and services, and continue to develop and support our official API. We can’t support applications built on undocumented, unofficial APIs, including those based on reverse-engineering or scraping Google+’s user interface.”