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Their media stores take hours, sometimes a day, to propagate metadata changes. Any time an App Store app gets released or updated, there's a fun game where you watch it slowly propagate to visibility among your friends and acquaintances.

Their store for physical goods goes down every time they make a significant change to the product offerings.

Both are highly successful, but all this tells us is that a web service doesn't have to be particularly well run in order to be successful.




> Their store for physical goods goes down every time they make a significant change to the product offerings.

That still amazes me. No wonder why WebObjects never took off...


WebObjects never took off because of pricing.

And by the time they ported it to Java there were plenty of open source alternatives.


"Any time an App Store app gets released or updated, there's a fun game where you watch it slowly propagate to visibility among your friends and acquaintances"

Are you sure that is for technical reasons? I don't see a big advantage of pushing such updates to all customers in one go, and I can see an advantage of staggering updates (say 1% every hour over a couple of days): if your update breaks something, it gives you a fighting chance to at least adjust your web site before all your customers send you mail at the same time.


I'd say that's far outweighed by users complaining that they get odd errors when they try to install the app when it's in a half-propagated state. Heck there was a 5-page macrumors thread of people keeping each other updated on what fun error the Mac App Store was telling them for each country when Mountain Lion was being released. Took a day for it to propagate.

If Amazon CloudFront worked that poorly at replication, everyone would rightly tear them a new one.


>Their store for physical goods goes down every time they make a significant change to the product offerings.

Many years ago it used to go down for technical reasons.

Now it is purely PR/Marketing. They get massive traffic spikes whenever it goes up and it instantly results in thousands of web pages going up with free PR. Why would you give that up ?


According to Gruber a few months ago, it is legit a technical issue: http://twitter.com/gruber/status/264135810566209537


How does he know? He's not a WebObjects programmer and the tweet is quite vague ("certain types of changes") which implies he's not privy to any real information.


Obviously I can't be 100% sure of the validity, but I am inclined to believe it for a multitude of reasons:

-Outside of Apple employees, you would be hard pressed to find a person with better inside information on Apple than John Gruber

-Additionally, in the tweet, he is corroborating another Apple journalist's similar claim

-Saying it is a technical flaw reflects somewhat poorly on Apple, and Gruber isn't exactly one to go out of the way to claim Apple is doing something poorly without a real reason to say so

-"It is for the PR!" always struck me as pretty weak post hoc reasoning. Sure, it drums up some interest in the tech blogs, but it also means the store just does not work for a period of time for everyone. Including people who don't care and just want to hand Apple money. I presume Apple wouldn't go out of their way to frustrate customers and possibly lose money.


If John Gruber makes an objective claim like, you can bet he has some real information. He may be an Apple shill, but he is a very well informed shill who values his reputation for providing accurate inside information. He isn't a WebObjects programmer, but dollars to doughnuts that info comes from someone who is.




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