Thursday, June 11, 2009

'Abhors' are 'Leasers, Oh'!

Anyone who plays Scrabble on Facebook has one of two choices - either the official Hasbro version, Livescrabble, or the alternative Lexulous. Both seemed to appear after the Great Legal Dispute of 2008-2009, initated by Hasbro (who whined that the Agarwalla brothers were stealing their software).

Anyway, the original Scrabulous disappeared, and shortly afterwards the Livescrabble software seemed to appear on Facebook, and some folks joined up with that. Some time afterwards, Lexulous reppared, and some folks joined up with that, too. Because I couldn't make up my mind I joined up with both of them... and I still can't make up my mind.

Check it out: Livescrabble is clunky software that takes a bloody long time to load and clogs up your computer while you do it, and frequently crashes before you make a single move; but as a bonus it also makes infuriating loud noises every time you make a move. Lexulous, on the other hand, is made from simple software that takes a short time to load and doesn't slow down your computer; however, it doesn't make annoying noises every time you make a move. Lexulous is the software you use if you don't mind pressing the refresh button every now and again (and how exhausting it is) to see the state of the game; Livescrabble, the sort of software that automatically refreshes - even when you don't want it to. Livescrabble is the sort of software you use because your friends use it; Lexulous, on the other hand, is the sort of software that you invite your friends to use. What a choice! Yet again, fierce competition between rapacious companies in this consumer-capitalist society of ours has left me in an agony of indecision!

(This post will make no sense to anyone who doesn't use facebook, but anyway... )


Helen said...

What happened with the Agarwalla brothers? Are they behind lexulous? Did they ever get any financial benefit whatever from their fantastic app, which was taken from us because of a hissy fit from stupid people in Marketing who wouldn't have been able to get something like that up and running themselves. I think they (i.e. the Agarwallas) were treated very shabbily, but then I'm not really very well up on facebook applications and the ins and outs of the software industry.

TimT said...

I'm pretty sure Lexulous is theirs... I read an article in the New Yorker a while ago about scrabble which covered some of the Hasbro/Argawalla legal dispute (in brief, it wasn't the point of the article)... apparently Hasbro lost their case. Maybe the Argawalla's decided to make a few small changes to their online game to avoid legal disputes in the future.

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