[thelist] AOL/netscape was:Netscape 6 loads page twice

James Aylard jaylard at encompass.net
Sun Dec 10 20:53:39 CST 2000


> There's a pretty decent  book out there called "The Software
> Conspiracy" or something like that.

	Sorry, haven't read it. But you can't believe everything you read, of
course. ;)

> Now James, I suggest you give _us_ a break and stop trying to tell us
> companies are blameless and they push out the best product they can
> when they can, etc. and they have no obligation to do any better.

	Hmm. Strange. I don't remember saying anything about companies being
blameless. Nor anything about companies pushing out the best product they
can when they can. Nor that they have no obligation to do any better. Must
be someone else's straw man you just knocked down...

> Now let's take that out to the Real World. In the real world, there
> are two types of software - software that can be used where people's
> lives are at stake and software that can't. You'll notice in all  the
> licenses for Windows that they disavow its use in places such as
> nuclear power plants and medical facilities, and in general provide
> absolutely no guarantee that their software will work as advertised.

	True enough. But do *you* want to pay for software that is guaranteed to
meet that level of reliability? Do you have any idea what that would cost?
Would any average Jane or Joe own a computer, much less any operating system
or software, if that were the case?

> Pardon my English, but bullshit. At least where I work,  I'm expected
> to do the best job I can for that company. I'm not expected to do 50%
> or 80%; I'm expected to do 100% or better. Ideally, developers would
> rather have bug-free code that does all the stuff they need it to.
> Ask em! Marketing people, the ones who really drive software
> development, care more about the deadline and the marketable features
> - for example, a "media bar" in IE.Sure it's cool, but do you think
> the developers made that call? And how does their 100% work become
> 80% when the product ships?

	The heroic developer vs. the evil marketing exec. Yeah, okay. Both have a
role to fill in a company, and at times each wants to strangle the other --
sometimes for very good reason. But if developers ran the company -- at
least without some decent marketing savvy -- the product would *never*
ship -- at least not in time for it to be of any use. Marketing people don't
want a badly coded product, after all. But they do want a product that they
can sell. That's a real-world balance that developers tend to

> I think there are two types of people: those who would like
> businesses to take a long-term approach to their business (as
> long-term approaches tend to be more ethical and successful anyway)
> and those who think that as long as a business isn't actually going
> out and pointing a gun at someone's head (in the literal sense, as
> many Objectivists/Conservative Right/Libertarians have explained to
> me), they should be able to do whatever they damn well please in
> search of the almighty dollar.

	That sounds awfully simplistic to me. No for-profit company exists that
does not have making money as its ultimate goal -- at least not for long.
That doesn't mean they trample on the interests of their customers or peddle
shoddy products (although some do). In fact, no good business can afford to
do that even if, by some twisted logic, it wanted to (and most don't, I
	I'm not entirely sure what you mean by "long-term approach", but I am
assuming you mean not merely wanting to make a fast buck before getting out
of Dodge. The amount of spam I get suggests a lot of people think they can
make money on this approach, but I can guarantee you they don't make any
money from me.
	Certainly large businesses have a harder time keeping "in touch" (to use a
sentimental term) with their customers, and can easily produce some
large-scale disasters. Most companies have to balance the need to develop a
high-quality product with the need to actually sell that product. Those that
try to absolutely perfect a product before selling it will probably never
sell anything.

> There is absolutely _no_ reason that operating systems should crash
> as much as they do. But they still do.

	No reason, except a buggy-software conspiracy, right? ;) BTW, how do you
know that all of the OS crashes to which you refer are actually the fault of
the OS?

> Do Adobe, Quark, Microsoft, AOL, et al really _need_ your defense?

	No, and they don't get it, either -- at least not a blanket defense. I have
personally complained about products from each of these companies (except
Quark -- never used their stuff), and am sure that each of them has earned a
green weenie award from time to time.
	Sometimes they *do* push software out the door before it's ready, IMO, and
when they do, they are deserving of criticism. (Adobe is on my current gripe
list for Photoshop 6 and some weird behavior on Win2K -- supposedly their
beta-test group consisted of only 300 users, which seems a bit scant to me).
But not every bug is avoidable, and I don't view the existence of bugs in a
product as a de facto indication that it was pushed out the door too soon.
And I certainly don't view it as irrefutable proof that a particular company
doesn't care about bugs, but only cares about profit.

James Aylard

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