I just finished listening to the latest "This Week in Tech" (TWiT) podcast on my way home from work tonight.
I'm a regular listener of TWiT. Even though I'm aware of most of their news items prior to hearing it from them, I like some of the personalities on the show and their discussions are generally interesting. But I have one big problem with TWiT: they never talk about RIA (Rich Internet Application) technology. Oh, they might say the word "Flash" or "Flex" in regard to some specific product or service, and maybe say a sentence or two about AJAX, but that's as far as it ever goes. Maybe they think their audience is mostly end-users who don't care, but that doesn't stop them from talking about stuff that only geeks would truly care about, so I don't think it's a valid excuse.
I thought this week might be different. With all of the press coverage over the release of AIR this week, and with all the subsequent articles hyping the RIA struggle between Microsoft and Adobe, Silverlight vs. AIR (even though it's not an accurate comparision)...surely the TWiT panel couldn't ignore the topic this week.
Sure they could.
What got me even more frustrated was the way it WASN'T mentioned. Just over 4 minutes into what was an 87-minute podcast, host Leo Laporte notes they have a large roundtable group and "absolutely nothing to talk about." Not usually a good sign for the rest of the podcast.
After discussing about two news stories and a discussion about having another option for listening to podcasts besides via iTunes, the discussion turned to a comparison between the Twitter and Pownce messaging systems. I got hopeful again: Pownce provides an AIR-powered desktop application, so maybe the discussion would cause the AIR release to come up. One panelist mentioned that the Pownce API had been updated last week, and I thought "Maybe they were waiting on the release of AIR to release that new API" (I have no idea if the events were related).
So I shouted (I kid you not) at my iPod, while driving in my car, at the pre-recorded voice of someone who could not possibly hear me: "Say maybe it was because of AIR! Mention AIR! SAY ITS NAME!"
Yeah, well, that didn't work.
I'm not a fanboy of AIR, or Flex, or any of the other RIA technologies (though I do use AJAX reasonably often). I like whatever gets the job done in the most reasonable way. I wouldn't be upset if they made fun of any of those technologies, or questioned their usefulness, or whatever: I listen to them for their opinions, whether I agree with them or not.
But to not say anything: that's pathetic. RIAs are out there and gaining a presence, whether good or bad. I can't see how you can ignore them by mistake.
Near the end of the podcast, regular panelist John Dvorak mocked the use of Twitter because at the end of the day, it didn't put $5 in his pocket, and a few minutes later someone on Twitter apparently offered to send him $5.
Hey, John, I'll send you $5 if you can get the TWiT panel to discuss RIA technology. It would be worth it at 10x the price.