2021 has truly become the year of breaking up with code for me. Not my own, we have a quite contentious relationship and the best of times and worse than that during most, but other people’s software that I had decade long or longer relationships with, that have become so integrated into my workflows and life that I never would have thought it’d end (and not like this).

Not the first, but the oldest were Blizzard’s games. Problems with Blizzard didn’t start or end with the unchecked sexism and harassment experienced by employees. The games had become stale, WoW coasts on ten year old successes rather than focusing on improvements, Diablo 4 lost its lead designer through their firing, and Diablo for Mobile turns out to be a thinly veiled Raid Shadow Legends clone, designed to make Blizzard mucho dinero in RMT sales of Casino items, not provide a fun gaming experience. Seventeen years of friendship, ended with the click of an unsubscribe button.

Quora decided to go “Quora+” and encourage others to sell my hard work for real money while neither allowing me to opt out of such reuse of my content nor allowing me to opt into doing the same. Not that I would have done the latter. As an academic, I am keenly and painfully aware that most of this pandemic’s issues stem from paywalls and companies like Elsevier or Springer earning a fortune from taxpayer funded research and closed access academia. Data want to be free and, now that it’s 2021 and we’re in the midsts of the 3rd to 4th wave valley, must be free. Not that Springer cares or the NYT, rather than capitalising on the tragedy, would make valuable reporting open to everyone.

And, even more recently, 1password who gave up on Mac OS and iOS development in favour of a shitty Electron app, and Guild Wars 2 who stopped supporting Mac OS altogether.

Less their fault and more to satisfy my curiosity, I also switched (back) to Overleaf, temporarily retired DaVinci Resolve for a LumaFusion to Final Cut Pro workflow, finally uninstalled Telegram and retired WhatsApp.

I moved all my files into iCloud from Google’s Drive, am still transferring 2GB chunks of those 224.55 GB of Google Photos to Apple Photos (crying as I lose Google’s amazing AI search), left Google Keep for Drafts, and went back to Flickr.

2022 better be a year of none of this.

Mikka Luster @mikka