Firefox 3 Is Given to the World – Or Maybe Not
As you may have noticed, Firefox 3 is released today. Excited by this prospect, the first thing I did when I got up was to rush to my computer to download it (yes, pathetic, I know). And what do I find? That only Firefox 2 is on offer. I go to the main Download Day 2008 site, and for all its flash/Flash zoomable graphics, I can't find any information about exactly when Firefox 3 will be publicly available, which seems crazy: the one thing this site should be doing is making it easy for as many people as possible to download Firefox 3.
The danger here is that like me, others may rush expectantly to download Firefox 3 as soon as they wake up today, only to find that it is not available – and that there is no explanation as to why that is. Is it because there's some last-minute hitch with Firefox 3? Did they get the day wrong? Was it all just a big con? In any case, the public perception of Firefox is unlike to benefit from this confusion. Not everyone will persist, as I did, trying to find out exactly what it going on.
The answer, when I finally found it, was surprising: Firefox 3 is not actually being launched today, it is being launched at 10 am PDT today.
So what? You might say. Well, just step back and think about the implications of that: 10 am PDT corresponds to 7 pm in Poland (one of the leading countries in terms of the numbers of people who have pledged to download Firefox 3 today), 10.30 pm in India, 1 am on Wednesday in Beijing, and 5 am Wednesday in New Zealand.
In other words, for the vast majority of the world, Firefox 3 is being launched inconveniently late on Tuesday or early on Wednesday. That means huge numbers of people will be kicking their heels for hours, waiting for the fateful moment when they can join in the global fun. I suspect that quite a few will get bored or find better things to do (like sleeping, maybe) before the great moment arrives.
If the launch is Tuesday, 17 June, and Firefox belongs truly to the world, the logical thing would be to launch it at the one time that is independent of specific locations: the moment when midnight passes on the International Date Line – the first place it becomes Tuesday, 17 June. That way, everyone, without favouring any geographical or national spot, could download Firefox 3 as they wake up – a suitably affimative way to begin the day. It would also be a natural way to spread the load on the download servers across the day.
Choosing 10 am PDT suggests a blinkered viewpoint – as if anything outside Silicon Valley is of secondary importance.
That's sad. One of the signal achievements is that Firefox – particular through the splendid SpreadFirefox site – has become a beacon of open, egalitarian participation, something shared excitedly between friends as a gift, rather than handed down from on high with august pomp and circumstance by the stern priests in the cathedral. Releasing Firefox 3 at 10 am PDT flies in the face of all that; it says that contributions to the open source Firefox are of course welcome from anyone, wherever they may be – but never forget where the true centre lies. Ignoring the obvious neutral solution is insensitive to all those people living in timezones well east of California, and strikes a discordant note on what should be a day of global harmony and celebration.
Glyn Moody writes about open source at opendotdotdot.
Fast/Flexible Linux OS Recovery
On Demand Now
In this live one-hour webinar, learn how to enhance your existing backup strategies for complete disaster recovery preparedness using Storix System Backup Administrator (SBAdmin), a highly flexible full-system recovery solution for UNIX and Linux systems.
Join Linux Journal's Shawn Powers and David Huffman, President/CEO, Storix, Inc.
Free to Linux Journal readers.Register Now!
|Working with Command Arguments||May 28, 2016|
|Secure Desktops with Qubes: Installation||May 28, 2016|
|CentOS 6.8 Released||May 27, 2016|
|Secure Desktops with Qubes: Introduction||May 27, 2016|
|Chris Birchall's Re-Engineering Legacy Software (Manning Publications)||May 26, 2016|
|ServersCheck's Thermal Imaging Camera Sensor||May 25, 2016|
- Secure Desktops with Qubes: Introduction
- Secure Desktops with Qubes: Installation
- Download "Linux Management with Red Hat Satellite: Measuring Business Impact and ROI"
- Working with Command Arguments
- CentOS 6.8 Released
- The Italian Army Switches to LibreOffice
- Linux Mint 18
- ServersCheck's Thermal Imaging Camera Sensor
- Chris Birchall's Re-Engineering Legacy Software (Manning Publications)
- Petros Koutoupis' RapidDisk
Until recently, IBM’s Power Platform was looked upon as being the system that hosted IBM’s flavor of UNIX and proprietary operating system called IBM i. These servers often are found in medium-size businesses running ERP, CRM and financials for on-premise customers. By enabling the Power platform to run the Linux OS, IBM now has positioned Power to be the platform of choice for those already running Linux that are facing scalability issues, especially customers looking at analytics, big data or cloud computing.
￼Running Linux on IBM’s Power hardware offers some obvious benefits, including improved processing speed and memory bandwidth, inherent security, and simpler deployment and management. But if you look beyond the impressive architecture, you’ll also find an open ecosystem that has given rise to a strong, innovative community, as well as an inventory of system and network management applications that really help leverage the benefits offered by running Linux on Power.Get the Guide