Fallen Grace

Sometimes the good guys lose. Big time. Head tap and unmarked grave bad.

So I was a bit distressed when I saw a couple of articles [Link] [Link] about FireFox. One tries to soften the blow that Mozilla is ceasing to support FireFox for older CPUs, the other tries to justify why not only FireFox but all browsers but Chrome are worthy of survival. 

I can recall when FireFox, or much else, was naught. The internet was owned by MegaHard’s internet explorer with a market share of 0.98. Millions still use internet explorer and are unable to recognize that it was, and is, an odoriferous semi-solid blob of stercus deposited by a tertiary syphilitic pachyderm. In those days MegaHard had all the attitude of Der Fuehrer had the Allies failed. 

And then Mozilla laid low the maiden and rescued the dragon. 

And the world was made a better place. For one thing, its entropy was increased by the profusion of browsers that came forth in the wake of FireFox. Which is probably an irreversible thing. I doubt the internet marketplace has the directiveness to roll back that much entropy. 

If nothing else, the Yankee Government (and lots of furring governments for their citizens,) has seen to that. No, not by law, by practice. Despite much effort and incidentally, money wasted on hiring shill game IT contractors instead of educating their organic folk, many Yankee government site will not work with the modern incarnation of internet explorer or FireFox or Chrome. I know, becuase I have to use a really simple root kit browser to interface with the YG site to manage obligations. The only other sites I have to use this browser with are banking sites, which rather indicates just how customer friendly these sites are.

In fact, the YG site I visit most often says that one needs to use not only internet explorer but a version unavailable for years.

Of course, running Linux, the true Grail – at least for now – of operating systems, I can’t run internet explorer except in WINE and the YG is schizophrenic about my choice of OS. Ain’t democracy wonderful? But so long as I keep the browser simple, one step above the command line, the YG site performs as its designers intended.

And totally explodes with any of the mainstream browsers.

Hence another reason not to worry about a religious transformation to the one, true browser. Because that browser can either work with government and money sites, or it can work with all the rest. But not both so long as we maintain a free market system. (Sorta. But that ain’t my laxative target this blot.)

I am not too worried about FireFox going away. For one thing, there are lots of branches. I have three on this box: Ice Weasel; Cyberfox, and Pale Moon. No, they aren’t fully FireFox compatible, but for lots of things, like getting a version of FireFox that isn’t neutered by Mozilla, that’s good. 

And yes, I still use FireFox for some of my browsing. Why? Because it feels good. And it is reasonably trustworthy.

Those are two things that are wrong with Chrome and to a lesser extent, Chromium. They don’t feel quite right and they fail often and optimally inconveniently.  And I have a couple of branches, notably SlimJet, which is 10dB better in implementation than Chrome. 

And I have another half dozen or so browsers installed. Some are just for testing but most are there because the computer is a tool not an appliance and I may need to deal with some activity on the internet that needs the characteristics of a particular tool. Which is why I also have TOR. (And no, I’m not going to rant about that realty (land and building) agency that thinks that they are advertising themselves when they are really advertising TOR to ever computate person on the other side of a receiver.)

Heck, I know kids in schule who write their own browser as a coding project and keep using – and tweaking – it for years. Causes no end of migrane for information security noids. 

So no, I’m not going to worry about the code developers setting up a monopoly. For one thing, it wouldn’t be a monopoly of code developers, it would be a monopoly of free market capitalists who seem programmed to drive things to monopolies. But code developers can’t agree enough to only make the one true browser. And even if the Bogs were told there was only one, the Nerds and Geeks would know otherwise. 

But I am still saddened watching Mozilla wither away because it just can’t get things right. That’s not new. Read Greek Tragedies. The Great Hero has to die a hero’s death; he (usually) can’t change to not be a hero and survive as a not-hero. Being a Hero is a death sentence and Mozilla is a Hero. In some ways, more than Roger RamJet. 

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