Looks like something went awry in a recent site rebuild and mike.whybark.com is not rendering in-browser. None of the other sites are down so I take it to be some sort of PHP error. This post is an experiment to see if it can be self-healed or if I have to crawl around under the hood.

Update: Looks like something’s a bit off base at blogrolling.com, and the version of Firefox I’m using hangs the whole pagebuild while waiting on the remote server. Stupid free software. Stupid free remote-hosting service providers.


In all seriousness, Firefox is really beginning to drive me nuts under OSX. It’s molasses-slow even using G4-optimized rebuilds, and gets slower and slower over time as it’s left open (as Safari once did). That slowness is the sort of performance degradation I associate with memory leaks, exactly the kind of bug that gets shuffled down to the bottom of to-do lists in a feature-driven development environment. Feature-driven development is a firm test-case for marketing-oriented goal setting, and a signal event in the fatal turn toward bloatware. It often means that the managerial folks who provide direction to the dev groups have lost control of their bailiwick in a power struggle with marketers.

In a non-corporate development environment, the theory is that the developers are free of the pressure to succumb to featuritis and can concentrate on fixing bugs that serve the needs of the extant user base. I have not been following Mozilla politics for years, and don’t really need to get up to speed on the intricacies, but my assumption is that the organization behind the browser now has a substantial source of corporate funding and that the funding is at least partially dependent on reorienting development practices to align with the rest of the crap-driven industry’s bloatware boogie. Getting a major open-source development group to drop user-oriented development in favor of marketing-oriented development would clearly be in the interest of the paid-software industry as a whole.

If I had to guess, I’d finger Google as the funder (based on the well-written, practically indispensable FF-Google plugins that I have enjoyed adding to the browser over the past year or so). It would clearly be in Google’s interest to capture Firefox by controlling the management practices and goals of the browser’s development. It would be less in Google’s interest to allow the enforcement of corporate software development practices to drive users such as me away.

I would guess, however, that if my hypothetical corporate funding source has an internal goal of capturing the development of the browser, the shift toward crudware might be inevitable, as the corporate funder’s least-valuable managerial assets would gravitate toward the external management tasks in order to minimize accountability and challenge. Feature-oriented goal-setting is the lowest common denominator in managing the software development process and strongly tends to dominate development processes where excellence is denigrated in favor of marketing and speed.

In conclusion, I guess, this probably means that if I’m right about big bucks coming into Mozilla, I can expect Firefox to suck more and more until I eventually abandon it entirely. Of course, by two years from now I’ll be on a new computer and that can have a very significant effect on the way that software behaves. For the moment, though, it looks as if I will be playing the field.

See ya, Firefox; it’s been good to know ya. Hope you kick that nasty habit someday. In the meantime, I won’t be lending you any money.

One thought on “Non-rendered

  1. I’m so uncool that I actually liked Safari better, but the slowdown prob that you mentioned drove me ot Firefox, which, as you mentioned, is starting to slow down and act weird. Still, I enjoyed all of the tech talk. Kind of like having a doctor tell you what’s wrong when you’re too sick to understand. I have no idea what you just said, but I take comfort in the fact that it’s good hands.

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