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Idealism ahoy! - Lindsey Kuper [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Lindsey Kuper

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Idealism ahoy! [Feb. 16th, 2006|06:46 am]
Lindsey Kuper
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Man, it drives me crazy when I read things like "It is uncertain whether Autodesk plans to add Firefox support to other products", and I finally figured out why.

You can't really add Firefox support to an existing product, not in the way that that iTunes can add support for podcasts or LiveJournal can *ahem* *cough* add support for trackback. You can't bake a cake for Internet Explorer and then stick some Firefox frosting on top later -- not without having a cake that sucks. The Firefox support has to be mixed into the batter right from the beginning. Actually, even the term "Firefox support" is a misnomer, because it makes it sound like something proprietary, like something that you have to go take a Mozilla-branded class, or pass the Firefox Certified Developer Exam, in order to learn how to do. Pfft. There's no such thing as "Firefox support". There's just standards-based design, which will work in every modern browser, and there's nonstandard design, which you take your chances with.

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Comments:
[User Picture]From: underwhelm
2006-02-16 03:24 pm (UTC)
'support' has two meanings in the IT world. One means that a product has the capacity to work with some other product, but the other means that the company intends to sanction that interoperation.

e.g. Qwest DSL doesn't "support" Linux; Comcast doesn't "support" multiple machines — it really means that even if the first condition is satisfied, the second is not. Corpspeak requires both conditions to be satisfied before they'll use the word 'support.' Hackers are satisfied with the first and find that the second invariably interferes with their chi.

I think this is a case where the second meaning reveals itself as superior to the first in corpspeak, that interoperability comes only after a decision to sanction interoperation, not before; even if it would come for free using sound, standards-compliant engineering.
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[User Picture]From: lindseykuper
2006-02-18 04:33 am (UTC)
You're right. Good point.

Corpspeak requires both conditions to be satisfied before they'll use the word 'support.'

Actually, I think corpspeak only requires the second.

*rimshot*
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[User Picture]From: lindseykuper
2006-02-16 08:05 pm (UTC)
Heh. That's pretty much what script.aculo.us is.
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[User Picture]From: lindseykuper
2006-02-17 12:54 am (UTC)
Too easy! You can do better than that.
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[User Picture]From: jes5199
2006-02-16 05:43 pm (UTC)
preach it, brother!
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[User Picture]From: pixelherder
2006-02-17 03:59 am (UTC)
The CMS company I used to work out categorized things as certified and supported. Certified meant that the QA department had tested it extensively. Supported meant that we think it probably works, but don't blame us if it doesn't.

Amusingly our product was only supported but not certified to run on the Apache server, but that's what most of us devs used on our dev boxes. And Firefox wasn't even on the supported list, though I'd guess that's what about 3/4 of the devs were running daily and testing it with. (And we'd still file bugs if things broke in FF). Thanks to dogfooding among the devs, Apache and Firefox probably ran our system far better than any of the "certified" platforms.

So I always take that kind of announcement with a grain of salt and figure it just means the suits have finally caught on.
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[User Picture]From: lindseykuper
2006-02-18 04:46 am (UTC)
Thanks to dogfooding among the devs, Apache and Firefox probably ran our system far better than any of the "certified" platforms.

I had to look up what you meant by dogfooding. Yeah. At my company we use all the stuff we build, too, and yeah, I guess we catch Firefox issues a lot faster 'cause it's what we use.
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[User Picture]From: leadsynth
2006-02-17 02:46 pm (UTC)
LaSalle Bank: The bank that works.

Firefox support: A cake that sucks.






I got nothin'.
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