Firefox support for OSX ≤10.4, other crap
(DISCLAIMER: MacOS "fanboy" since 1985.)
On the technical side, I can totally get it. Sooner or later, you have to let go of "legacy" (aka old shit) OSs/hardware support. Hell, I can't remember the last app that supported OSX _and_ OS9 ("Classic"), and didn't even notice when OS9 support ended because I was already whole-hog into using/learning OSX. Luckily, there's http://lowendmac.com/ , though some of the stuff I see in there classified as "low end" is frighteningly-recent vintage, likely owing to the recent bum's-rush of users to upgrade, no matter what. Bringing us to...
...the situation, now. Not a whole lot of people jumping to Pavlov's Upgrade Bell, for a lot of reasons -- Vista sucks, the economy's collapsing, just to name a couple -- and Mozilla's decision to cut off Firefox support for XP and OSX ≤10.4 suddenly sucks, especially considering those of us who 1) can't/won't upgrade for various reasons, and 2) have come to depend on Mozilla/Firefox after finally getting up the cajones to run screaming from MSIE. It's like they know how popular they've gotten and what kind of reputation they've built, and they've gotten totally full of themselves, and seem to be making these decisions either after totally ignoring user input, or, as I suspect, making these decisions knowing full well it's not going to go over well with the users, and just plain not giving a shit. That's what pisses me off the most, I think: the vibe I've gotten off them lately that says "we don't give a shit".
As far as Firefox 3.x goes -- let's just say that in principle, I'm not thrilled with the rumored decision not to support anything < OSX10.4, but in practice, I can't get too worked up over it after trying the current Firefox 3 on my G4 iBook (with OSX 10.4.4). Not only did they seem to remove a few points of control over things like image loading, browsing history and cache setting, and totally ugly-up the interface look; not only does it still insist on contacting the Mozilla update server at start-up, and ramdomly after that _even_though_ I distinctly clicked off the "auto-update" preference...but it also is just plain slower than death. I mean, like, glacial. It was a dog -- and not some blue-ribbon show dog, either, but Old Yeller, the one who's creaky and sick and ends up being taken around behind the barn and shot. I was back with v188.8.131.52 within the hour.
My favorite quote:
> Firefox's Daniel Veditz notes, though, "Is that a Firefox problem or just what you get when you buy Apple?" before adding helpfully, "You can always load Linux on that box when Apple stops supporting it." <
Y'know, I wish I could afford a plane ticket to wherever this guy works, so that I can beat the shit out of him for that crack. I've played around -- that is, _played_around_ -- with Linux (I forget which variety) on a machine at a friend's place and remember thinking it seemed slick enough, but (deep breath) can I get Adobe Creative Suite for it, or QuarkXPress for it, or FinalCut Pro, or drivers for my printer, or the video codecs I need? Oh, and how long will it take me to get the thing so it's running well enough to actually get some work done and get on the 'Net, and how often will I have to stop and fiddle when a printer driver upgrade appears, or a video codec upgrade, or when, mysteriously, shit just quits working (as it tends to do). In principle, I can totally get behind the FOSS movement, but this crap about "just slap Linux onto your box" is really insulting, as from what I've learned and read, Linux doesn't "just run". My mother couldn't install Linux on her Wintel box at home. However, Mom could easily slide a Mac out of the box, plug it in, fire it up, run her Office 2004 (yeah, that's right, it works well enough for her, you go, Mom) installers, follow the prompts to set up her Internet prefs, and be working inside an hour. The only thing she'd need from me is a copy of my disk image file for the Firefox 2 installer.
Linux is noble and revolutionary and all that jazz, but right now it's still an OS for guys who, in a simpler time long ago, would have instead been filling their entire basements with model railroads.