To demonstrate its new Amazon S3-killer App Engine, Google built a sample application for the domain HuddleChat.com. The problem: "HuddleChat is just a feature-for-feature clone of 37signals's Campfire," writes Daring Fireball's John Gruber.
The layout is the same, the tabs at the top of the screen are the same, the right-side sidebar listing participants and file uploads is the same. It even copies Campfire's trick of formatting a message as "code" if it contains literal newline characters.Google, citing "complaints from the developer community" has pulled the application from HuddleChat and posted an explanation instead. Gruber isn't satisfied. "Borrowing ideas is fair game, but copying an entire app is wrong," he writes. "It's creepy, in a Microsoft-of-the-'90s way, when it's a $150 billion company cloning an app from a 10-person company."