Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Firefox 2.0, Plus Places Where You Can't Say "Douchebag"

I never really talk about my job here, mostly because I blog enough about work at work.

Consequently, I rarely talk about stuff going on in the industry and the social media space in general. (Which might corn-fuze the few folks who hit my page after seeing Frank's entry from the SixApart business blogging seminar in which he calls me a "major blogger." I appreciate the plug, Frank, but I have a feeling that anyone who hits here from there is saying, "Does this asshole talk about anything of consequence?")

Here are two things that I wanted to mention, but don't really fit into my work blogs at this particular time, so I'm writing about them here, in a departure from my usual inconsequential, self-indulgent offerings:

* Firefox 2.0: I didn't play with the earlier betas, so it's still one day new to me.

Off-hand, it feels like the Mozilla folks did what Apple did with some of the earlier Mac Classic OS releases: Take the functionality of the most popular third-party enhancements (such as the System 7-era Window Shade, Now Menus's hierarchical menus and the DragThing palette), and incorporate them into the next version of the OS. (There's a pretty good Wired article from 2002 about the phenomena.)

With Firefox 2.0, the primary extensions whose functionality has been adopted or co-opted (and they're named extensions, just like the old Mac extensions) would seem to be TabMix Plus and SessionSaver.

I prefer the TabMix Plus tab handling to the built-in FF 2.0 version, so I'll have to wait until the 2.0-compatible version out (I'm using 0.3.5rc1 right now, but it's a little hinky) before I can really sink my teeth into Firefox 2.0.

* Sun blogger Dave Johnson over at Blogging Roller (I met him at the BlogOn Conference last year -- he's the reason I own a vacuum sealer) posted an entry this week about another Sun blogger, Tim Bray, who wrote that Blackbox (the self-contained-server-setup-in-a-shipping-container) was "totally drop-dead fucking cool."

I apparently managed to miss the f-bomb furor when it occurred last week. When it comes to the work blogs, I'm pretty much in the don't-fucking-swear... ever camp, though I have been known to use euphemism and edge up to the line. I find that if you don't swear, even approaching the line can be edgy enough to make your point, without having the actual words distract from what you're saying.

Then again, I'm typically writing for a different audience than a Sun developer. In my work blogs, it's pretty safe to say that you'll never see me say asshole, douchebag, or even retard, even if I'm talking about an asshole douchebag retard.

However, no matter how many "the opinions expressed here are my own" disclaimers you carry, if you talk about your company, and you're seen as an authority because you blog useful truths, you'll be seen as a representative of the company at some level.

Generally, I don't like to swear in my personal blogs. (Unless it's someone who really deserves it, like Verizon. Or I'm drunk.) I've had to make a conscious effort to swear in this particular blog entry (mostly for ironic effect).

Note, though, that swearing to me really only means the Seven Dirty Words -- I have no problem with general blasphemy.

However, I remember a time when hearing "You son of a bitch!" on network TV was a big deal (the first time I recall was the M*A*S*H finale). Forget about the mid-level scatological profanity like pissed off, douchebag and asshole, which is now fair game past 10pm on network TV, or shit, which is a staple of basic cable these days.

Anyway, I wasn't planning on ending this entry with a "Get offa my lawn, you young hoodlums!" bit, so I will have to save the rest of my generation-gapped fist-waving for later.

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