Tim Bray joins Google as Developer Advocate

As you may have heard, Tim Bray, co-inventor of XML, notable tech blogger and former Sun Microsystems employee has joined Google as a Developer Advocate.  Most people are talking about the negative things he has said about Apple, but in the spirit of Tim’s new job and a fresh start, I would like to focus on his more positive comments:

The reason I’m here is mostly Android. Which seems to me about as unambiguously a good thing as the tangled wrinkly human texture of the Net can sustain just now. Here’s why:

  • It’s not good to be on the Net at all times, but it’s very good to have the Net available at all times.
  • Google needs, and is committed to, Android; it’s not just a hobby.
  • The Android user experience is very good and, more important, getting better fast.
  • It’s developer-friendly; the barriers to entry are very low for the several million people on the planet who are comfy with the java programming language.
  • The APIs are pretty good in my experience, and even more important, complete. Near as I can tell, there’s nothing interesting the phones can do that’s not exposed through some API or other.
  • Anyone can build any hardware they want around the Android software; no approval required.
  • Anyone can sell any program they write via the Android Market; no approval required.
  • It’s open-source.
  • The smartphone arena where Android plays is extra interesting right now, with space for radical experimentation both on the technology and business fronts.
  • The mobile space has had a huge impact in the emerging economies of the less-developed world and I think that’s just getting started. I want to be part of that story and Android seems like the right software platform for it.
  • I’ll enjoy competing with Apple.

What does this mean for Android? If you’re looking for specifics, your guess is as good as mine. On his blog, Tim writes Android is a priority, and that he is interested in learning about mistakes made. He comments that the concept of a native app is outdated and on the need to learn the Android Market. It is reasonable to hope that his leverage may result in broader international access to the full market and an increase in apps ported from other platforms, most notably the iPhone.

In any event, it will be very interesting to see what he has to say once he gets settled and digs in. You can read his full post at his blog, ongoing by Tim Bray.