back; popular demand

I said I’d be back, but I never said I’d be prompt about it. Regular readers, or people who have actually met me, know that promptness is not my strongest suit. Sometimes, in fact, I think I’ve been dealt a void. But enough about me.

Quite a little surge in hits over the last few days, due to the news.com story; from my usual daily average of ~450 to yesterday’s record of nearly 5000. I bet that at least 4500 of those hits resulted in disappointment.

Anyway, I have two major points of clarification with respect to Mr. Festa’s article. I don’t dispute that I said the things that he quoted, and I won’t pretend I don’t believe them, but I do think that there was a significantly larger amount of “KHTML beats/helps us in some areas, and we beat/help them in others” when the quotes were taken in context. Even Safari developers will tell you that Gecko’s “correctness” is materially better than KHTML’s, for standards-compliant and legacy-quirk content alike. Safari also took one of the most complex and effort-intensive parts of Gecko, the view manager, to add to KHTML, because Gecko’s worked so well.

This brings us to the next point of concern: I don’t believe that my statements, even the very ones he quoted, support his contention that Apple’s choice “stings” Mozilla. Certainly, some of the presentation of Apple’s numbers (such as comparing KHTML’s size to that of the Java-laden Netscape browser suite) were a little troubling, and jwz has never been known to spare the vitriol, but that’s not really the same thing. I explicitly said that I wasn’t offended or embarrassed by Safari’s performance or the fact that they chose KHTML. I’ve known about Apple’s choice for many, many months, and I wasn’t even offended then. Apple had some goals for their browser that weren’t met by Mozilla, and certainly ease-of-modification is one of them. I think Safari is great news for Mozilla, because it provides another source of effort for another open source browser, from which we can learn things, as they have learned from Mozilla.

(I really wish KHTML had been “All That” when we were starting out on Gecko, because it would have provided a sanity check against some of the problems that dbaron points out. Their appearance on the scene heralds, IMO, only good things for Mozilla as a project and a technology, other than the inevitable distraction of people trying to spin it into a new browser war.)

That’s probably all I’m going to say about this little episode, because I have a lot of other stuff to think about and work on, and I’m already pretty cranky. Festa has robbed me of more hours of my life, and I keep swearing that it won’t happen again.

In other crappy media news, the public lost an important Supreme Court case today, opening the door for what could well be an indefinite copyright protection period in the United States. I’m interested in seeing whether or not Canada “harmonizes” its copyright duration laws (read: “kowtows to the US”) in time to keep “Steamboat Willie” from entering the public domain up here.

Coop is almost done with a most righteous test suite. I’m quite impressed, especially since I provided basically none of the help I promised. Yay coop, boo me.

Dinner last night with Kev was a wonderful feast of seafood and beer and great conversation. It was great to see him again, especially because he hadn’t seen Madhava since The Days Of The Moustache (Moustake?). If you’re ever looking for a fun dinner companion, I recommend Kev highly, and if you’re looking for oysters and seafood, I can now recommend Rodney’s Oyster House as well. (One reviewer didn’t like the coconut curry shrimp, but Tyla and Kev sure did.)

I’m working from home today, and there’s a cat outside that seems to want attention. I’m not sure where it is, exactly, but Chester seems very interested.

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