Google engineer apologizes for ‘rant’

The Google engineer who yesterday made the mistake of posting criticism of Google+ publicly has withdrawn what he calls a ‘long opinionated rant’.

Poor Steve Yegge explains that he’s not an experienced user of Google+, and made the post publicly weithout realizing. And in any case, he says, he doesn’t know much about what Google actually does.

“Even now, after six years, I know astoundingly little about Google. It’s a huge company and they do tons of stuff, and I work off in a little corner of the company (both technically and geographically) that gives me very little insight into anything else going on there,” he explains.

“So my opinions, even though they may seem well-formed and accurate, really are just a bunch of opinions from someone who’s nowhere near the center of the action – so I wouldn’t read too much into anything I said.”

Yegge’s criticisms of Google centered on the accusation that the company focuses too much on the end product, and not enough on building a platform that can be used in unanticipated ways.

Meanwhile, Google’s added a bit more functionality to Google+, adding real-time search results and improved hashtag support.

“Now when you search in Google+, you’ll see a message about new posts the instant they’re available. If you click on this message, or select ‘Most recent’, then relevant posts will start appearing in real-time,” says company engineer Vic Gundotra on the Google+ blog.

“People have long used hashtags to mark their posts with certain topics – just ask our very own +Chris Messina, hashtag inventor. You don’t have to use hashtags on Google+ (search works fine without them), but when you do, we’ll automatically link to search results.”