Dec 14, 2009

Firefox Has Too Many Developers

In its last several releases, everyone's favorite Open Source browser has become an unstable mess of add-ons, plugins, and other hacks that chew up memory like a fat kid with a chocolate-dipped corn dog. In fact, just last week, SecurityFocus released news of a devastating exploit in Firefox 3.5.5 that they blame squarely on its unstable architecture.

From its infancy Firefox has been the product of collaborative effort, unifying code from hackers worldwide. But thanks to the Hayes Law, we see that there is a "sweet spot" to such a development style, and that Firefox has long since left it behind. In the chart below, we can see that the number of Firefox developers has increased exponentially since 2002, and that number will more than double in 2010.

But it's time to be honest: either Firefox, as a modern web browser, will have killer performance on 64-bit, multicore Intel chips or it's not worth downloading and installing. And since, as we have seen in the recent past, that Firefox is actually getting slower with each release, Firefox is certainly a waste of time for anyone who takes their web browsing seriously.

Dec 12, 2009

NetBSD: Bankrupt Software Distribution

Hot on the heels of their NetBSD 5.0.1 release, the NetBSD organization is gearing up for NetBSD 6.0, due in about half a year ("The sixth major release for the six month of 2010!").

To make that happen, NetBSD is asking its industry partners, users, and anyone with spare change to contribute US$60,000. Matt Thomas, of NetBSD's core group, says the money will allow for "network performance improvements and embedded and realtime optimization," meaning NetBSD can finally move onto specialized hardware, an area NetBSD has struggled with in the past.

But is the ultimate goal of $60,000 appropriate for the BSD family's middle child? Is NetBSD a good long-term investment of that kind of money? Is NetBSD even worth the nearly $8,000 raised so far? Why invest in a bankrupt operating system?

Dec 6, 2009

Time to Update the Ol’ LARP Résumé

Eric poured the first of his new bottle of Jägermeister into a glass tumbler, making sure not to spill any drops of the precious thick brown liqueur.

He was warm all over from drinking the last bottle and sweat formed like dew over the numerous crap lines in his forehead. He threw back the shot, slammed his glass down, and brushed a swatch of greasy orange hair out of his eyes.

"Time to get back to work," he said to no one in particular.