Home > Podcast > Episode 47 – Fork You Growl! Interview with Perry Metzger

Episode 47 – Fork You Growl! Interview with Perry Metzger

Scumbag Growl
For those who may not know, the developer of Growl, that great little notifier app for OSX decided they should be paid for their work. There is one slight problem however. Growl is Open Source Software.

It's not like we've never seen this before. A company starts an open source product, gets a bunch of people to contribute to it and then keeps a separate branch of development for themselves and their paying customers. Eventually enhancements and bug fixes make their way into the Open Source version of the product. In the case of Growl however OSX Lion happened, and what better way to profit than to create a private branch of Growl, put all the fixes needed to operate Growl under OSX Lion and throw it up on the AppStore for $1.99. Yeah, they never bothered to feed the fixes back into the OSS version of Growl. They took their proverbial ball and they're going straight to the bank with it.
Testing Mother Fuckers Do You Do It
One of the biggest problems with this approach, other than the fact they just pissed off a lot of people who beleive strongly in OSS, is that Growl is still broken. So you pay your $1.99 and it no workie.

So while these snake-oil salesmen are busy fleecing their users via the AppStore along comes a guy who's had just about enough. A paying customer who was extremely dishearten by the fact a piece of software he paid for just didn't work as advertised. His name is Perry Metzger, and he forked Growl. Not only did he fork it, he fixed it, and it's free. Now the road for Perry wasn't smooth, he tried to reason with the authors of Growl, he tried to help existing users who were left out in the cold, and the thanks he got was a cease and desist and a one month ban from the Growl mailing list. Open Source Software indeed.

Have a listen to Perry's story and please let him know he's fighting the good fight.


Listen here:



About the Author

Craig Tataryn started his career as a Visual Basic programmer, but don't hold that against him! The system he helped create was a cutting edge, n-tiered revenue collection system whose transactions per second metric was off the charts! Around the year 2000 he discovered Struts and never looked back. A professional Java developer for close to a decade, Craig has worked on a wide variety of projects ranging from Recruiting, Purchase order, Revenue collection and Mortgage systems. More recently Craig has written web services for children's educational toys and has honed his skills on Wicket, SOA and iOS application development. "I love to learn and more importantly I love to teach. Hoarding knowledge is one of the most petty and selfish things you can do, especially as a contractor. This is why I always make it a point to document and share my knowledge with my client's employees"

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  1. October 22nd, 2011 at 05:47 | #1

    So weird, I actually just finished listening to this interview with Chris Forsythe:

  2. florin
    November 7th, 2011 at 05:25 | #2

    Can you please hold off on the foul language so that some of us can read your post?

  3. November 7th, 2011 at 07:49 | #3

    It’s not the responsibility of everyone else on the Internet to accommodate your profanity preferences, Florin. If you want to make the Internet profanity-free, you’ve got technology available that will censor appearances of profanity (see http://is.gd/lwIFDv – and no, there’s nothing unpleasant behind that link). But don’t (try to) make people bend to YOUR tastes and preferences.

  4. James Shiell
    November 7th, 2011 at 08:39 | #4

    The source for 1.3 is available on the official website.


  5. November 7th, 2011 at 09:22 | #5

    Your blog has a nice audio plugin, but it is not loading :-(

  6. November 7th, 2011 at 09:26 | #6

    Mike , I thought florin asked very nicely.

  7. Darwin
    November 7th, 2011 at 10:17 | #7


    Really? You should probably avoid the internet all together.

    This whole Growl thing has left a bad taste in my mother fucking mouth.

  8. Darwin
    November 7th, 2011 at 10:23 | #8

    @James Shiell

    It’s not in the downloads section.

  9. javier
    November 7th, 2011 at 12:53 | #9

    Hey guys, before you rip florin a new one consider that he might be behind a firewall that actually prevents him from reading the material due to the language. The way he worded his request made it seem like he couldn’t actually read it, not that he was offended by it.

  10. November 7th, 2011 at 13:13 | #10

    I see your point. I’ve taken the strong language out of the text, unfortunately the image url still has it and might be caught by a net-nanny

  11. chrisinajar
    November 16th, 2011 at 12:27 | #11

    Been systematically listening to all of these, I really enjoy the casts!

    Quick unimportant input: You guys should re-record your outro with the microphone not directly in the line of fire of your breath. That “Twitter” hits hard.

  12. shardbearer
    December 13th, 2011 at 01:22 | #12

    @James Shiell
    Click Downloads. It only has through 1.2.2

  1. October 22nd, 2011 at 11:20 | #1
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