January 08, 2014

Another tech rant

It's not just that we don't yet have flying cars or even perfect non-stick pans, it's that after being in the software industry for about thirty years I still get peeved that software is still stupid. More accurately, its just that software programmers are stupid. Or more accurately, that with multi-core three gigahertz processors, 16 gigabyte main memory, and 10 megabit networking, no one seems to care about software. Or that you can be knighted and even get a spot in the OlympicsT opening ceremonies for putting together a meager application protocol that does very little itself leaving it up to others to fill in the blanks. Or that arguably the coolest software company on the planet and the best implementation of that protocol's client just doesn't work. Or that as hip and trendy and buzzwordy and venture-capital-impressing as we are, we're still only at the point of hand-cranked automobiles in terms of software evolution.

Here's what set me off: From a banal article about Google's new favicon (http://googlesystem.blogspot.com/2012/08/googles-new-favicon.html): "If you don't see the new favicon when you visit google.com, try clearing your browser's cache."

Translation: If there's some sort of bug, you're on your own. "try" means no one knows if this will work, it may well not work, ever. And if it doesn't work, don't complain: we don't have any support available anyway. "clear your browser's cache" means that if you are a civilian (grandmother, businessman trying to make a real product) you aren't expected to understand this; it means that the only way we know of to help fix a hundred-some bytes of outdated data is to arbitrarily throw out millions of times more data; it means that after 20 years of playing around with this protocol, no one ever cared to try and get it right. It means we're all just cool hackers here, so who cares. Pull over to the side, open the hood, get out the crank, stick it in and give it a whirl. Posted by netrc at January 8, 2014 01:19 PM