Update, October 2016 – John just posted a good critique of Twitter’s interface. Straight outta Norman. So, I don’t want to discount his views on UX entirely. He was just wrong about the CUPS thing last decade… and I belatedly wrote about it because I remembered it as such a talking point at the time.
In spring 2004, John Gruber wrote Ronco Spray-On Usability. He mocked the idea of taking CUPS and making it more usable, arguing that usability is something that needs to be part of the software design from the very beginning.
A philosophy that makes sense and is often good advice. Usability is important, yes. It’s a good idea to have it in mind while doing the original design, yes.
But a bad example since Apple had been using CUPS (the very same printing system) for two years at the time of that article, and they bought the system outright in 2007.
They literally bought the system Eric was using and figuratively sprayed on some usability.