New Google Hire Tim Bray Fires a Volley in the Android vs. iPhone War

Software developer Tim Bray, who co-edited the XML specifications in the late 90s and was most recently the Director of Web Technologies at Sun, on Monday published a lengthy blog post explaining he accepted a job at Google and why he hates Apple’s handling of the iPhone and the App Store.

He wrote: “The iPhone vision of the mobile Internet’s future omits controversy, sex, and freedom, but includes strict limits on who can know what and who can say what. It’s a sterile Disney-fied walled garden surrounded by sharp-toothed lawyers. The people who create the apps serve at the landlord’s pleasure and fear his anger.”

Mr. Bray added: “I hate it even though the iPhone hardware and software are great, because freedom’s not just another word for anything, nor is it an optional ingredient … I think they’re wrong and see this job as a chance to help prove it.”

The job in question is Developer Advocate, which he’ll handle remotely from his home in Vancouver. His focus will be on Android, and his post lists the reasons why he thinks the platform is “as unambiguously a good thing as the tangled wrinkly human texture of the Net can sustain just now.”

Lest anyone think Mr. Bray went rogue with his post, he says: “Disclosure: Google asked to see an advance draft of the piece you’re now reading ‘for coordinating messaging,’ but didn’t suggest any changes.”