Thank You, Mr. Cegłowski

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Maciej Cegłowski, whose Pinboard bookmarking service I use (and highly recommend), has recently taken a "heroic and lazy stand" against another company's change to its platform and terms of service:

I'm sorry your IFTTT/Pinboard recipes are going to stop working.

It's entirely IFTTT's decision to drop support for Pinboard (along with a bunch of other sites). They are the ones who are going to flip the switch on working code on April 4, and they could just as easily flip the switch back on (or even write an IFTTT recipe that does it for them). Weigh their claims about Pinboard being a beloved service accordingly.

For users left stranded, I recommend taking a look at Zapier or Botize, which offer a similar service, or at one of the dozens of new sites that will spring up next week to capture the market that IFTTT is foolishly abandoning. [links dropped]
Cegłowski's reasons for not working with IFTTT are sound, and boil down to their proposed changes demanding uncompensated work from him, ownership of any patentable ideas he might have as he solves the problem (of their creation) of connecting his service to theirs, and ownership of any content that flows through their channel, among other things.

While IFTTT has the right to offer whatever terms they wish to others, these strike me as unreasonable, and the heavy-handed way the company is attempting to get Cegłowski to go along is depressingly common today. It is refreshing to see someone stand up to this. Just because a sleazy business practice is in vogue is no reason to treat it as normal.

-- CAV

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