One thing Stu doesn't do is toe the line. Like today, when he's just posted Skype Developer Ecosystem Gets A "D." This is probably the most scathing indictment of Skype's developer relations I have ever read.
Why should you care? Because it is those third-party developers that make those plug-ins and add-ons that give Skype its verve.
Stu reserves specific, "F-grade" wrath for Skype's User Experience, Supportive Team and Business Exchange third-party developer practices.
Here's what he says about each:
User Experience. "Does Skype help developers create "star" products and services? Toolkits? Is there effective brand synergy and marketing impact? Are third party tools seamlessly blended into the Skype user experience? Best practices: Apple's UI standards."
Supportive Team. "How effectively does the ecosystem work as a team, as a community? How free and productive is the exchange of ideas? How effective is Skype's communication and updates to the community? What is the opportunity for co-development with Skype? What are the risks of Skype obsoleting third party products through surprise changes to the API? When and how does Skype compete directly with developers and other partners? How well is Skype staffing to support the developer community? Best practices: Microsoft Developer Network."
Business Exchange. "Working on Developer Time: Do you respect the ISV developer's time? How many minutes does it take for a developer to get a technical answer? to apply to the developer program?
"Does the Skype application enable a two way information exchange? Is data flow through the API one way or two-way or even multi-way? How much is static vs dynamic? Exchanges with the client, exchange of information with the user? Security of information? Privacy management, user rights protection? Can developers build on information exchange to create commerce transactions?
I'd like to hear from some third-party Skype solution dev types out there. What are your experiences with Skype? Post a TalkBack and let us know!