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.

Meh.

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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