Alex Payne has a new blog post on the problem with creating and/or using User Hostile Platforms, which argues against using platforms like Adobe AIR, other cross-platform widget toolkits, and non-native cross-platform mobile app platforms.

What’s interesting is that I completely agree with Alex’s introduction, as well as his concluding paragraph:

Doing things the right way is hard, which is why most businesses take the lazy path and settle for mediocrity. People respond to quality, though: they reward it, in no small part because quality such a rarity in today’s marketplace. Do right by your customers and they’ll do right by you.

That said, the main thing being blamed in his post for said mediocrity is the platform being used, when in reality, high quality apps in general are hard to create and require solid development teams with excellent focus on user experience. The problem in my opinion is that platforms like AIR and PhoneGap lower the barrier to entry for web developers in creating native desktop and mobile apps because they allow developers to leverage their existing web technology expertise, but they do not lower the overall barrier to entry for creating amazing user experiences. Instead they just have different issues to solve.

Most developers stop before they reach amazing or extraordinary, regardless of the path they went down to get there. And that’s where being lazy and/or settling for mediocrity is evident. We simple see more bad apps created with lower barrier platforms because more people can use those tools to achieve mediocrity.

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