Same Great Obstinacy, Uncluttered by Usefulness!

February 6th, 2006  |  Published in old and busted

The good news: Camino 1.0 RC1 is out and available as a universal binary. It’s so smooth and fast it freaks me out a little. Like … there’s elf magic in there or something.

The bad news: Bug 187720. That’s the bug that thinks HTTP authentication and any web form authentication at the same URL are the same thing. I’ve never used a browser that got this wrong, and it’s a behavior I’ve been dealing with on one must-use site for years. It’s something the project has known about since January of 2003 and prefers to defer to version 1.2, which is … well … 1.0’s still just an RC at the moment, and the project is more than three years old … so it’s probably going to be a while.

I cast a vote for it on bugzilla all the same.


Meanwhile, there’s always Safari. And there are even Universal Binary builds for Firefox at the Mozilla Wiki.

And just to add on a bit in the general drift of “software and stuff”:

In the past week, I’ve found several things broken in Macintel-land thanks to the lack of universal binary support or Rosetta compatibility. In each case (except one of the five I can think of off the top of my head), a polite direct inquiry netted me an internal beta with a fix or an explanation of why the product in question has been mothballed for a while and may not be updated. In the case of the one where no fix was forthcoming, I got an invitation to test betas as soon as they’re out.

So, you know, it’s not all bad out there. I don’t even mind being given a beta to play with, because that’s part of the process sometimes, especially when I could have just decided to go with a G5 and enjoyed what would have been a serviceable and speedy machine for a few years.

The thing that’s always been frustrating, however, about Mozilla life, is the sense that it’s a never-ending treadmill of betadom. The thing you want fixed is always “in the next milestone” or “slated for the next major release.”

The fancies of the project shift in a manner us normal folks on the outside will have a hard time keeping up with, and if a pet bug falls victim to that shifting focus or momentum, well … enjoy the wait.

It’s not unique to Mozilla, as anyone who survived the early GNOME Office years can attest. It’s also not unique to open source software. I think the issue for me is having to watch the car crash unfold on my screen. Bugzilla is a public database I can peruse for information on the shit that bugs me about Mozilla project software. I can peer right into the thoughts of the developers. But there comes a point where you get tired of reading bug reports that are met with “That’s not a bug!” and “What you want is stupid so I won’t do it.”

I think a little less transparency and a better sense of choosing tools based on what they can do right now is better for my mental computing health.

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