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Google Takes Down HuddleChat After Complaints [Warning]

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the all-chat-clients-look-the-same dept.

Google 157

desmondhaynes writes "There were striking similarities between one of Google's App Engine demos, HuddleChat (a real-time chat application) and the Campfire app from 37Signals. Google has taken HuddleChat down from the App Engine app gallery." Google explains: 'The App Engine team was looking for some sample apps to help kick the tires on their new system, so we invited Googlers to build some as side projects. A couple of our colleagues here built HuddleChat in their spare time because they wanted to share work within their team more easily and thought persistent web chat would do the trick. We've heard some complaints from the developer community, though, so rather than divert attention from Google App Engine itself, we thought it better to just take HuddleChat down.'" We noted the launch of Google's App Engine yesterday.

Update: 04/10 14:51 GMT by KD : A reader wrote in to warn that the link in this article is infected. Windows users beware, and have your AV up-to-date.

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Whiners (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23013600)

If your business model is based on such a trivial application, why should anyone care if you fail?

Re:Whiners (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23013746)

Agreed. Can't they just use Twitter? *sigh*

Re:Whiners (0)

fatnutz (988615) | more than 6 years ago | (#23013822)

I don't think their whole business model is based on one app. Pretty sure Google will survive without this one 20% app as a testbed for some new product they roll out.

Re:Whiners (5, Informative)

NoTheory (580275) | more than 6 years ago | (#23014058)

No, if 37signals business model is that trivial.

The complaints are ironic if what Zed Shaw says [zedshaw.com] is true:

Well, silly boys and girls, rails-core ripped off the idea and probably most of the workings for Campfire from NextApp Echo2 ChatClient Demo. [searchenginewatch.com] I know this because I was in the rails-core IRC channel and I showed them how cool this Echo2 framework was, including that chat demo. A few weeks later they had Campfire and since they say it took them two weeks to write it, Iâ(TM)m guessing they got lots of inspiration.

Re:Whiners (2, Interesting)

Thought1 (1132989) | more than 6 years ago | (#23013834)

Exactly. Get a clue, people. Stop trying to patent the frikkin' XOR cursor loop.

37Signals should learn to innovate, not whine (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23013610)

If you want it make it big by offering minimalism don't be surprised when someone does exactly the same thing. The 37 Signals developers and DHH should be ashamed of themselves for claiming huddlechat is a rip off, it is an obvious idea and plenty of other websites had implemented similar chat system BEFORE campfire ever came around.

It is funny how a company who sells a book on design philsophy complains when someone else uses that philosophy.

If you deliberately make featureless software don't be surprised when people "copy" it, even as a tech demo.

Compete and Innovate.

Re:37Signals should learn to innovate, not whine (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23013692)

I agree, I followed this controversy and frankly the issue is that both huddlechat and campfire look exactly like many of the AIM clients out there. They have the same layout and very similar features. They even look like toned down MSN chat applications. If you design to the style du-jour it is totally likely that you will look similar especially in a similar arena, chat clients. I think the issue here is that the domain is so minimal that any client who tries the bare minimum of ajax web chat with file uploads will end up being the same. So I guess 37signals is claiming they somehow own the minimal implementation. Well they don't, it is an obvious idea and they should buck up.

Re:37Signals should learn to innovate, not whine (4, Funny)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 6 years ago | (#23014496)

I wrote something like this 5 years ago, so we could have a chat meeting with some clients who were behind a corporate firewall. It wasn't that pretty, but it did pretty much the same thing, and it only took a couple of hours to write.

I would be ashamed to put something so trivial out into the community and charge people money for it.

Wish my girlfriend bent over as quickly and easily as Google.

So, when will Google be taking down every other service offering they have besides search? Everything they offer outside of Search and Google Earth are "me-too" products when you get right down to it.

Re:37Signals should learn to innovate, not whine (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#23014740)

Ditto. I wrote one of these for a company extranet a long time ago. They had people that needed to 'meet' on a weekly basis, but they were scattered at different geographical locations across the company, including some outside the company.

Granted, mine wasn't nearly as pretty, but it did everything that Campfire does -- searchable logs, ability to transfer files. I wrote the whole thing in mod_perl inside of 8 hours.

Re:37Signals should learn to innovate, not whine (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23014878)

Wish my girlfriend bent over as quickly and easily as Google.

She does.

Re:37Signals should learn to innovate, not whine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23015140)

What does her tattoo look like?

Re:37Signals should learn to innovate, not whine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23016066)

Trick question. She doesn't have one.

Re:37Signals should learn to innovate, not whine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23016082)

What does her tattoo look like?
WoW

Re:37Signals should learn to innovate, not whine (4, Informative)

StallmanHearties (1270282) | more than 6 years ago | (#23013784)

This is also ignoring the issue that this company is selling the software as a service. Which means you are paying for timesharing. If it were free software you could install it on your machine and provide a service to people you care about. You could also ensure your privacy by installing it on your own machine. Timesharing is generally bad because it means you have no freedom to change and 37signals has long had a history of ignoring customer feature requests.

IAWTP. Innovation that Campfire should offer: (3, Funny)

Enlarged to Show Tex (911413) | more than 6 years ago | (#23013830)

Computerized smoke signals

Re:IAWTP. Innovation that Campfire should offer: (5, Funny)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#23013924)

I know! Let's call it UDP!

Re:IAWTP. Innovation that Campfire should offer: (4, Funny)

Enoxice (993945) | more than 6 years ago | (#23014154)

I just thought you should know that I've tried explaining this to everyone around me that heard me laughing, and I think I failed at it.

Re:IAWTP. Innovation that Campfire should offer: (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 6 years ago | (#23014598)

You bastard... do you have any idea what green tea in the sinuses FEELS like?!

Re:IAWTP. Innovation that Campfire should offer: (1)

encoderer (1060616) | more than 6 years ago | (#23015184)

Warm Snot?

Re:IAWTP. Innovation that Campfire should offer: (1)

binaryspiral (784263) | more than 6 years ago | (#23015636)

Computerized smoke signals


No, no, no... Sony's batteries already have this feature.

Re:37Signals should learn to innovate, not whine (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23014134)

Zed shaw comes out swinging: [zedshaw.com]

Well, silly boys and girls, rails-core ripped off the idea and probably most of the workings for Campfire from NextApp Echo2 ChatClient Demo. I know this because I was in the rails-core IRC channel and I showed them how cool this Echo2 framework was, including that chat demo. A few weeks later they had Campfire and since they say it took them two weeks to write it, I'm guessing they got lots of inspiration.

Re:37Signals should learn to innovate, not whine (0, Flamebait)

August Lilleaas (1111117) | more than 6 years ago | (#23014452)

So it's 37signals that's been whining? Got something to justify that statement?

Thought so.

Re:37Signals should learn to innovate, not whine (2, Informative)

NigelBeamenIII (986462) | more than 6 years ago | (#23014726)

According to the blog Read Write Web [readwriteweb.com] , they received an e-mail from Jason Fried, the 37Signals founder, claiming that it was basically a "feature for feature, layout for layout" copy. That's the closest I've found to them officially whining so far.

Re:37Signals should learn to innovate, not whine (0, Offtopic)

August Lilleaas (1111117) | more than 6 years ago | (#23014902)

Not exactly official, is it? And I got modded as flamebait? I'd say OP is more of a flamebait. I still got a lot of things to learn about the modders at slashdot, it seems.

Re:37Signals should learn to innovate, not whine (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23015230)

Shut up, you cunt.

Re:37Signals should learn to innovate, not whine (2, Insightful)

Seumas (6865) | more than 6 years ago | (#23014850)

I'm not familiar with either app, so perhaps I'm missing something. However, how can they get all stirred up over it? Can ONLY "Remember The Milk" do to-do lists on line? Can ONLY Amazon do sales online? Can ONLY Google do spreadsheets on line?

Seriously, unless the Google version clearly took a trademark or other creative content from them *or* literally took actual CODE from them, then who the hell cares?

Whiney Ruby bastards.

IRC rip-off? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23013612)

"Persistent web chat," eh -- the idea sounds so novel, I'm sure they must have pirated source code straight from "campfire" -- unless this is just a web frontend to IRC, like yahoo! chat or something like that.

What's the big friggin' deal? Not that I've ever even heard of Campfire anyway, but it doesn't sound unique in any meaningful way.

and first post.

Re:IRC rip-off? (1)

TheBracket (307388) | more than 6 years ago | (#23014298)

Even if its not an IRC front-end, "persistent" web-chat is hardly a novel concept. Heck, I had it running (in ASP, blech) on a site I created back in 1999 - complete with "rooms" that retained their state/history, searchable logs, etc. It's not exactly rocket science.

Re:IRC rip-off? (0, Redundant)

SleptThroughClass (1127287) | more than 6 years ago | (#23014602)

I switch between several computers and have been intending to use or code a "persistent web chat" anyway. Are you implying there aren't already fifty web to IRC tools or services?

Re:IRC rip-off? (2, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 6 years ago | (#23016084)

If you just need a persistent IRC session, use irssi & screen. It can't be beat.

Re:IRC rip-off? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23015720)

FYI, first post should be at the top.

Please help me out here (5, Insightful)

Fuzuli (135489) | more than 6 years ago | (#23013614)

I'm not sure I am getting the reason for taking this app down. Really. If I were to clone an app to demonstrate a new platform, would that be a problem? So, what is the possibility of Google taking down google docs, in response to complaints from MS, or some other online office software provider?
No bad intentions here, I just don't get it. Care to enlighten me?

Re:Please help me out here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23013654)

37signals cool.

Google evil.

*grunt* *grunt*

Re:Please help me out here (4, Insightful)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 6 years ago | (#23013684)

I think they pulled the app mostly for PR reasons; not that the app generated tons of bad PR but that it was distracting people from what google wanted them talking about. Rather than argue about their right to have the app, they simply pulled it so people wouldn't be able to argue about it on the blogosphere.

Re:Please help me out here (5, Insightful)

kingcool1432 (993113) | more than 6 years ago | (#23013932)

they simply pulled it so people wouldn't be able to argue about it on the blogosphere.
Front page on Slashdot. Wow, they sure dodged that bullet.

Re:Please help me out here (3, Funny)

mweather (1089505) | more than 6 years ago | (#23014424)

That's not funny, that's insightful.

Re:Please help me out here (2, Insightful)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 6 years ago | (#23014624)

Yup. But their statement made the front page too. Which is the important bit... WHY they took it down.

Re:Please help me out here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23015056)

Slashdot stories are typically rehash of old news with insightful commentary.
Its doesn't mean anything if the news aren't popular by themself.

Re:Please help me out here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23014188)

It could be a good way to get even more positive PR for google. They pull their persistent group chat. Then one of the 10000 GAE preview users goes out and builds a copy of the exact same feature set in a week.. is 37 signals going to whine some more when it's some random joe? It will just show the power of google's platform.

Re:Please help me out here (1)

klenwell (960296) | more than 6 years ago | (#23015224)

Rather than argue about their right to have the app, they simply pulled it so people wouldn't be able to argue about it on the blogosphere.

That to me would be the bigger story. Some (including myself) were quick to note this very issue in yesterday's thread announcing the new app engine service:

Build you new killer app, have it grow to the point where it takes advantage of the trumpeted scaling features of the service, then helplessly watch it disappear when Google PR feels it's "distracting people from what google wanted them talking about."

(I'm still working on Part I myself and didn't even get a trial account before they cut off new signups. But still...)

Having been burned by this with other Google services, this is my biggest concern about GAPE (is that what we're calling it?), despite what look like rather generous terms of service.

Re:Please help me out here (4, Interesting)

Otter (3800) | more than 6 years ago | (#23013756)

So, what is the possibility of Google taking down google docs, in response to complaints from MS, or some other online office software provider?

As best I understand, the Ruby on Rails cultists are one of the main developer groups they're counting on as App Engine customers, so they don't want to offend its leader. Annoying Microsoft doesn't cost them anyone they want to work with, and might help.

Re:Please help me out here (3, Funny)

syphax (189065) | more than 6 years ago | (#23013814)


This is ./, we don't understand pragmatism. Unless we're coding.

Re:Please help me out here (1)

encoderer (1060616) | more than 6 years ago | (#23015266)

"Unless we're coding." ... And in such a case the attending physician should just let most of you die.

Re:Please help me out here (2, Funny)

Alsee (515537) | more than 6 years ago | (#23015448)

we don't understand pragmatism. Unless we're coding.

Programmer One: What's this code here?

Programmer Two explains five pages of adaptive enhanced Quicksort code.

Programmer One: Wow, those are some pretty impressive techniques to speed up quicksort, and it cleverly solves the Quicksort worst-case running time problem to boot. But we're only sorting a list of five items, wouldn't it be more pragmatic to just use Bubblesort?

Programmer Two reaches under his desk and literally pulls out home built working replica of WWI flamethrower. Paying more attention to his hobby toy than to the conversation, Programmer Two distractedly chuckles: Bubblesort? Heh, Real programmers don't use bubblesort.

[Programmer One quietly backs away.]

-

Sour grapes. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23014046)

37Signals is the marketing force behind Ruby on Rails, and Google's AppEngine is heavily geared toward Django, which the RoR world seems to consider a big threat due to Django's allegedly superior robustness and speed. I wouldn't be surprised if they'd spent their time since the announcement of AppEngine looking for something to act martyred about and hopefully redirect some buzz toward their own offering.

In which case Google probably did the right thing disabling the trivial app before the buzz hijack could succeed.

Or maybe I've been in this industry too long and I'm just way bitter, I don't know.

Re:Sour grapes. (1)

August Lilleaas (1111117) | more than 6 years ago | (#23014554)

..and Google's AppEngine is heavily geared toward Django, which the RoR world seems to consider a big threat due to Django's allegedly superior robustness and speed.
The RoR world, at least it's big names, doesn't feel threatened by Django, as they don't care about critics that compares them to other frameworks. The fuck you picture from a talk by DHH [gilesbowkett.com] - enuff said.

Re:Sour grapes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23014966)

The RoR world, at least it's big names,
Please stop being an asshole. You mean "its", not "it's", which is a contraction for "it is". Thank You.

Re:Sour grapes. (3, Interesting)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 6 years ago | (#23016070)

Right. And the email from a founder of 37S complaining "is not official"... here's a hint: If something motivates you enough to put a slide in a presentation saying "Fuck You", someone's gotten under your skin.

Could you be the prototypical RoR apologist?

Re:Please help me out here (3, Interesting)

mounthood (993037) | more than 6 years ago | (#23014622)

No bad intentions here, I just don't get it. Care to enlighten me?
I think it goes like this: Think in terms of Apple complaining that someone copied the iPod UI. It doesn't seem fair that someone can trivially copy something that takes so much time and effort. Good design should be rewarded and encouraged. Of course I don't know how that should work exactly...

Re:Please help me out here (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23015130)

They *exactly* copied our hard work.
The article shows a side by side comparison. It's not even close to an exact copy. As far as I can tell, it's not even a copy at all. If anyone made a chat client, I'd expect it to look very similar.

It doesn't seem fair that someone can trivially copy something that takes so much time and effort. Good design should be rewarded and encouraged.
Lots of people work very hard doing all sorts of things and don't get a government monopoly. Suffocating the free market with all sort of government rules designed to reward the few people you think are cool just costs everyone a fortune and penalizes plenty of people who don't deserve to be punished.

Re:Please help me out here (1)

SpinyNorman (33776) | more than 6 years ago | (#23014804)

Call me cynical, but my take on it was a Google self-advertisement :-

"We built a fully functioning space shuttle over the weekend as a demo of our coolness, but NASA objected so we dismantled it. No biggie."

fake 'weather' leaves several questions (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23013648)

where are the real clouds? how much does cloud spraying cost US? & how deep in doo-doo are we really? some of these might be answered in the upcoming 'corepirate nazi crusaders answer yOUR questions' interview here on /.. let yOUR conscience be yOUR guide. you can be more helpful than you might have imagined. there are still some choices. if they do not suit you, consider the likely results of continuing to follow the corepirate nazi hypenosys story LIEn, whereas anything of relevance is replaced almost instantly with pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking propaganda or 'celebrity' trivia 'foam'. meanwhile; don't forget to get a little more oxygen on yOUR brain, & look up in the sky from time to time, starting early in the day. there's lots going on up there.

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080108/ts_alt_afp/ushealthfrancemortality;_ylt=A9G_RngbRIVHsYAAfCas0NUE [yahoo.com]
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/31/opinion/31mon1.html?em&ex=1199336400&en=c4b5414371631707&ei=5087%0A [nytimes.com]

is it time to get real yet? A LOT of energy is being squandered in attempts to keep US in the dark. in the end (give or take a few 1000 years), the creators will prevail (world without end, etc...), as it has always been. the process of gaining yOUR release from the current hostage situation may not be what you might think it is. butt of course, most of US don't know, or care what a precarious/fatal situation we're in. for example; the insidious attempts by the felonious corepirate nazi execrable to block the suns' light, interfering with a requirement (sunlight) for us to stay healthy/alive. it's likely not good for yOUR health/memories 'else they'd be bragging about it? we're intending for the whoreabully deceptive (they'll do ANYTHING for a bit more monIE/power) felons to give up/fail even further, in attempting to control the 'weather', as well as a # of other things/events.

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(Score:-)mynuts won, the king is a fink)
by ourselves on everyday 24/7

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I don't see the problem. (5, Insightful)

maciarc (1094767) | more than 6 years ago | (#23013660)

They both look like chat apps. How many different ways is there to show a chat window, a text entry box and a list of people in the room?

more importantly.. (4, Informative)

thermian (1267986) | more than 6 years ago | (#23013954)

How is their product even saleable?

I mean, how much can they seriously expect to make from a cut down chat client when there are a gazzillion billion and two chat clients already out there?

Re:I don't see the problem. (1)

August Lilleaas (1111117) | more than 6 years ago | (#23014570)

Jason Fried from 37signals has discussed this issue regarding a previous ripoff [37signals.com] .

Re:I don't see the problem. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23014728)

What bunk! All minimalist designs are going to look similar. The watches shown are not minimalist. Their chat has just the barest number of elements required to function as a chat program. Of course any other simple implementation is going to look similar. Google's chat is a trivial implementation. Just like all "normal" clocks look the same. No one "stole" his design. There was no serious design in the first place.

Re:I don't see the problem. (2, Funny)

Xsydon (1099321) | more than 6 years ago | (#23014656)

How many different ways is there to show a chat window, a text entry box and a list of people in the room?
42.

Re:I don't see the problem. (2, Funny)

cparker15 (779546) | more than 6 years ago | (#23015904)

I think you meant 37.

Campfire is hardly innovative (4, Insightful)

tolan-b (230077) | more than 6 years ago | (#23013666)

It's just a nice web interface to a chat room, hardly revolutionary. Anyone getting hot under the collar about someone copying it has a great future ahead of them in the patent troll business.

Sure if they copied it exactly feature for feature and took the interface then it's understandable but otherwise...

Re:Campfire is hardly innovative (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23014346)

Sure if they copied it exactly feature for feature and took the interface then it's understandable but otherwise...


That was the point of the complaint in the first place.

Re:Campfire is hardly innovative (1)

tolan-b (230077) | more than 6 years ago | (#23015468)

Right, well that's why I added the qualifier :)

The article is light and obviously the app isn't up for comparison any more. But as another poster said, there's only so many ways you can order a chat window, a text entry box, and a current users list..

Campfire is hardly feature rich.

Real-time chat applications are overrated (4, Funny)

Tibor the Hun (143056) | more than 6 years ago | (#23013668)

When I need to reach my contacts on the blogosphere 2.0, to let them know, for example when I'm doing lunch, or taking a vac-a, I just que up my batch chat application, que up the chats in that, (including my questions and a list of possible answers) and presto.. 45 minutes later the batch is done, and all of my contacts are notified, and we had a meaningful (though somewhat predictable) conversation.

I don't know who really needs real-time chat, except maybe pilots, or UAV operators.

Re:Real-time chat applications are overrated (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23013744)

hey -- please learn to spell.

you either "cue" the next thing, or you "queue" up something to be done in order next.

thanks

Re:Real-time chat applications are overrated (1)

Tibor the Hun (143056) | more than 6 years ago | (#23013914)

Thank you!
I will try to remember that.
I'll blame it on my ESL nature.
(For years I used to pronounce "Kludge" as "fudge" with a K. No one knew what I was saying.)

Also, I see my original post is up to +3 insightful... Come on mods. Batch-chat?

Re:Real-time chat applications are overrated (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23014480)

que? I don't understand.

captcha: pulsing

Re:Real-time chat applications are overrated (4, Funny)

Ctrl-Z (28806) | more than 6 years ago | (#23013748)

I just call my secretary.

Re:Real-time chat applications are overrated (1)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 6 years ago | (#23014790)

your mom?

Re:Real-time chat applications are overrated (2, Funny)

fuzzlost (871011) | more than 6 years ago | (#23015638)

Just because your mom answers the phone before you do doesn't mean she is your secretary.

ruby fans (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23013682)

got their panties in a bunch and freaked out ...

How are either of these anything new? (5, Insightful)

phpmysqldev (1224624) | more than 6 years ago | (#23013772)

Based on this article I think I will make a low feature program that allows people to look at remote "pages" and view them in a standardized format. Yes, yes similar things have been done before, but my product will be sub par and do nothing revolutionary.

And if anyone else tries to "copy" that Ill go after them with a vengeance.

Re:How are either of these anything new? (5, Funny)

atlastiamborn (1252206) | more than 6 years ago | (#23014280)

Are you saying you're going to develop a web-based web browser?

That would be like totally awesome, imagine being able to browse the web from any web-capable device!

Re:How are either of these anything new? (1)

Phroggy (441) | more than 6 years ago | (#23015860)

He never said it would be web-based. Although, I think you can run this [www.iol.ie] in Internet Explorer...

Real-time chat patent pending? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23013792)

So now businesses trying to claim inventions even if they didn't register patents?

Re:Real-time chat patent pending? (1)

evanbd (210358) | more than 6 years ago | (#23013972)

Actually, "Hey, we thought of that first. Don't steal our ideas, please." seems like a much better way of doing things than patents and lawsuits. It seems to me that Google is just being polite, here. 37Signals is being a bit asinine, but if it matters to them and not to Google, why shouldn't they honor the request?

Re:Real-time chat patent pending? (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 6 years ago | (#23014672)

Actually, "Hey, we thought of that first. Don't steal our ideas, please." seems like a much better way of doing things than patents and lawsuits.
No, it's only a precursor to lawsuits, if they do not comply. Jason said so himself [37signals.com] .

"And 1% of the time it requires legal intervention..."

It's just that it's such incredible crap that, like this, no one thinks its worth the bother.

What are football players to do? (1)

imyy4u1 (1222436) | more than 6 years ago | (#23013846)

Without their huddle chat?

A: Time for no huddle offense!

huh? (5, Insightful)

apodyopsis (1048476) | more than 6 years ago | (#23013940)

I applaud them for their principled stand, but I ridicule them for this decision. It was surely taken in the interests of staving off a good 'ole web flaming then any sensible grounds. There are so many of these applications of this style and format around that I find it hard buy their argument.

And I, for one, would find this kind of demo application extremely interesting. It always interesting to see how these things are done.

Bottom line - I think there is nothing intrinsically special with this kind of application, any of us with a modest amount of programming experience could of knocked it up. It is always interested to see a standard basic application in a new system as a common ground to allow ease of adoption. For that reason there is a bunch of "hello worlds", "simple graphs" and so forth. On a web development system you would expect by the same argument to see "tables", "blogs", "portals" and the "simple chat" as their demos. This is like MS trying to stop the notepad demo that comes with some windows compilers, or LiveJournal trying to stop the blog demo that came with GWT. Totally Daft.

Go on, reinstate it!

Re:huh? (3, Funny)

ezzzD55J (697465) | more than 6 years ago | (#23014008)

any of us with a modest amount of programming experience could of knocked it up
AAAAAAAAAARGH

Do no evil means offend no living soul? (-1, Redundant)

dbdweeb (598548) | more than 6 years ago | (#23014080)

I suppose "Do no evil" means don't offend a living soul on the planet in which case Google (10^100) becomes the world's biggest whimp.

Google originally didn't do evil, then they gave credence to whining which is mildly evil.

Give us back the demo "app."

Re:Do no evil means offend no living soul? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23014870)

Google = web search engine and company
Googol = 10^100

The REAL Reason (4, Funny)

garett_spencley (193892) | more than 6 years ago | (#23014260)

Google had spent a couple weeks developing HuddleChat but then they read this [slashdot.org] Slashdot story on Monday and realized that they are all/mostly introverts and really don't like Chat and IM programs after all.

The 37Signals story is just a cover-up so they don't look silly.

They should have made the code available (2, Insightful)

jocknerd (29758) | more than 6 years ago | (#23014440)

It would have been nice to see the code for a "real" working app on App Engine.

Translation (1)

JamesRose (1062530) | more than 6 years ago | (#23014562)

We Stole their idea, and we did it so unsubtly that we can't even slightly pretend we didn't. It was this or get into a storm of lawsuits and bad PR.

Re:Translation (1)

cHiphead (17854) | more than 6 years ago | (#23015098)

Wait so are you pretending to speak from the mouth of Google for stealing 37sigs 'idea' or from the mouth of 37sig for stealing the most generic chat interface 'idea' reworked into another language from everyone else?

I'd really like to know, b/c a developer at Google probably looked at various web chat, IM chat, and IRC interfaces going back to 1997 for inspiration for huddlechat. The idea that anyone can steal that shoddy, generic interface from 37sigs two bit chat app is fucking ridiculous. Or maybe its just me and the rest of the internets that think this.

Cheers.

HuddleChat 2 coming soon (1)

jhkoh (588461) | more than 6 years ago | (#23014572)

Google has nothing to lose: Some Google Apps Engine developer will soon enough put up HuddleChat 2. Google will look chivalrous, and 37signals will still get poked in the eye.

Re:HuddleChat 2 coming soon (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 6 years ago | (#23014690)

Pfft. I just did it in 30 minutes, perl, and javascript.

Hey who shut down my Huddle Account (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23014722)

I was using my Huddle account yesterday and now its gone.
I want to complain my stuff is missing.

VCs time to divest from campfirenow its only time before someone starts there own "huddle" like product on Google.

Censorship? (1)

moezaly (1197755) | more than 6 years ago | (#23014748)

I am surprised no one has cried censorship from Google. If they put down an app from a complaint from just one developer, think what they would do if say a big government asks it to do something!

Re:Censorship? (1)

Fastolfe (1470) | more than 6 years ago | (#23015826)

The app that was taken down was a demo application written by Google engineers. It was intended to simply be a sample application. Google's reasons for taking it down were right there in the article's summary. This wasn't an involuntary "take-down" of some Joe's app, it was effectively a Google application. I really don't think it's appropriate to infer anything from this about Google's willingness to take down future applications based on 3rd-party complaints.

Meh (1)

Vexorian (959249) | more than 6 years ago | (#23014798)

This almost looks like google saying "won't feed the trolls"

If it was MS instead of Google... (2, Insightful)

qaam (609419) | more than 6 years ago | (#23014894)

I'm surprised most slashdotters seem to think that Google was in the right here. Let's leave out Google's name and see how the story sounds:

A company with over 10,000 employees duplicates a 10 person company's product feature for feature, even down to the animation effects, and gives it away for free.

Substitute MS for Google in this story and slashdotters would be flaming mad. It's not that Google just created a similar chat app to Campfire, it's that they created a carbon clone of Campfire, which is despicable no matter the company that does the cloning. The argument that Google's not responsible, since they're just hosting, is bogus. Google employees created this clone, meaning that it's Google's property.

Re:If it was MS instead of Google... (3, Informative)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 6 years ago | (#23015716)

Substitute Microsoft for Google and yes, people would be far more up in arms about it.

"Why?" you ask? Do you really need that spelt out for you?

Microsoft has based its entire business history on unethical actions and slippery business tactics. They did not get ahead in the world by being the best at their products; they got ahead by screwing over anyone they could get away with screwing.

Google on the other hand has based its rep and business practices on delivering the 'best' product. They haven't gotten ahead by double dealing, underhanded tactics, or screwing over people.

Yes, Google HAS done things that people don't agree with. But none of the things that people point out are deliberate attempts to screw with people.

Microsoft got in bed with companies telling them that they were specifically planning on doing X, while secretly planning on doing Y. They did this, as has been documented, to give Microsoft an edge in its own competing product.

Google has had van drivers accidentally drive up someone's driveway while taking low resolution pictures. One had malice in their intent; one simply made a mistake.

Microsoft stole, actually STOLE, someone's code and distributed it as part of Win9x. They didn't even bother to remove the copyright strings in the binary and only stopped distributing it when they were found guilty by a jury (see Stac Electronics).

Google had two engineers in their off time who copied an extremely generic idea and placed it in their gallery of "look what you can do with this new toy we have!" and took it down when it became apparent that there would be hard feelings over it.

There is a reason why Microsoft gets the shit treatment and Google doesn't. And it's not because everyone here has "Google fever". It's because so far Google acts responsibly and ethically while so far Microsoft acts predatory and unethically.

Re:If it was MS instead of Google... (1)

pohl (872) | more than 6 years ago | (#23015752)

Substitute MS for Google in this story and slashdotters would be flaming mad.

Gosh, I'm torn between two different ways of responding to you...

#1: Aren't you assuming that the exact same set of people would be commenting in both threads? (This thread, and the hypothetical thread you propose). I think it's more likely that the appearance of "Microsoft" in the headline would merely get a different set of people to post in it, and that is why the results would be different.

#2: MS is copying all the time and rarely do I see people actually get angry about it. Sure, Apple will poke fun at them ("Redmond, start your photocopiers") but they didn't actually get offended. Rather, they appear to take it as the sincerest form of flattery.

Re:If it was MS instead of Google... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23015764)

Well, except the big company cloned a really trivial product. We're talking about two man-weeks of work, while learning a new framework. If Microsoft did that, yeah, the few people whose work got cloned would be calling them assholes, but most people would not be flaming mad; they'd be saying, "so what? I wrote a 'hello world' program once too, and it looked like everyone else's."

they created a carbon clone of Campfire, which is despicable no matter the company that does the cloning.
It's not despicable, if it's a joke or demo (rather than an actual attempt to compete). I'm starting to wonder if you work at 37Signals. You're taking their nearly-worthless product awful seriously.

Re:If it was MS instead of Google... (0)

Diss Champ (934796) | more than 6 years ago | (#23015808)

Let's try another thought experiement- switch some other words:

A GNU project duplicates a Microsoft product feature for feature, even down to the animation effects, and gives it away for free.

Aside from the flying chairs, noone would be complaining.

37Signals hasn't said a thing. (1)

shinma (106792) | more than 6 years ago | (#23015044)

Everyone keeps jumping on 37Signals for being whiners, but they haven't said anything about this in their blog. This is a case of the "blogosphere" getting up in arms about something on behalf of the "victim" without the victim ever lifting a finger.

Re:37Signals hasn't said a thing. (2, Informative)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 6 years ago | (#23015228)

Really? [searchenginewatch.com]

"We're flattered Google thinks Campfire is a great product," said Jason Fried, 37signals CEO and co-founder. "We're just disappointed that they stooped so low to basically copy it feature for feature, layout for layout. We thought that would be beneath Google, but maybe its time to reevaluate what they stand for."

here is what started it all (5, Informative)

hashmap (613482) | more than 6 years ago | (#23015324)

"We're flattered Google thinks Campfire is a great product," said Jason Fried, 37signals CEO and co-founder. "We're just disappointed that they stooped so low to basically copy it feature for feature, layout for layout. We thought that would be beneath Google, but maybe its time to reevaluate what they stand for." From http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/080408-123318 [searchenginewatch.com]

Phew, we had that in 2001 (1)

Enleth (947766) | more than 6 years ago | (#23015976)

Campfire was released on 16 February 2006 [37signals.com] , while we had this on a website I'm an admin at since mid-2001. PHP and some JS. It works to this day and looks the same, although it was rewritten several times throughout the years to use AJAX instead of a reloaded frame.

No, I'm not giving you an URL - I wish I could, to prove my words, but the server load is high enough without the /. crowd trying the thing out...

Re:Phew, we had that in 2001 (1)

Enleth (947766) | more than 6 years ago | (#23016044)

Oh, I forgot to mention that it even IS called "campfire" - the whole website is themed as a medieval village, with the campfire outside the gates as a place to chat even for unregistered newcomers.
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