Exception to Law of Diminishing Versions
A common phenomenon among human developments: the product reaches a peak of quality, then gets worse. The reason varies. Sometimes the creators just use up their ideas. More often the product redirects toward a specialized audience with lots of money and high status, abandoning its original broad but uncool audience. Usually a bad idea.
Nearly all the programs I use for work and play have gone past their peak; in each case I paid for the update, gave it a good try, said GARRRGGGHHH! THIS IS AWFUL!
, reverted to the peak version, and stopped watching for later updates. Usually the past-peak version is bogged down with completely pointless new "features" while failing to solve known bugs and problems.
A new exception to the trend: Firefox 5. I'd been sticking with 3.6 because 4 was AWFUL.
Last week my old XP machine fried and I finally switched to a new Win 7 machine that had been gathering dust on my desk for a year. (Another GARRRGGGHHH
reaction, but the update was mandatory in this case.) Firefox 3.6 won't work properly in Win 7. I already knew FF4 was AWFUL,
so I hesitated to try FF5. Amazingly, FF5 returns
to the good tabbing of 3.0, makes it even better, and also works in Win 7.
Bravo to the Mozilla folks for actually listening to the customers. Especially ... well no, unsurprisingly
... because Mozilla is a non-profit operation. Only non-profit operations pay attention to customer needs in the bizarre world of modern capitalism. (See Polistra's earlier rant
on this subject.)
[Whew! Got through the subject without once mentioning chondrichthyan saltations.]
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Update 11/11/11: Another major app bites the peak dust. While starting the latest revision of my courseware, I thought it would be good to compile the C++ code with Microsoft's latest Visual Studio 2010. My program had been running solidly on XP, 2000, Vista, and Windows 7. Downloaded and tried VS2010. My program crashes when compiled with VS2010. MS had issued a Service Pack, so I installed that, but no help. It appears that the C++ code generated by VS2010 does not include the destructor function
for classes, which is a huge error. So I downloaded VS2008, which I'd used before, and everything is fine now. I can go ahead and make the various needed revisions, and hope that I'm not driving my own product over the peak!