Wednesday, February 12, 2003

New Safari Beta

A new build of Safari is now available for download or as a software update.

David Hyatt's weblog is probably the best source for "what has changed" information.

Besides the bit o' traditional bug fixes, Safari has some new features such as the ability to load/render XML files.

I found it amusing to note that this release is actually smaller than the previous release!

As I noted in this post, Safari was already a tiny binary-- only 7.2 megabytes-- in comparison to some of the competitors. This release sheds 300k.

% du -sh

Wow! More features in fewer bits!
1:53:55 PM    

Respecting an NDA

Recently, Adam Attarian was fired from his job at an Apple Store for violating the NDA he signed when he was hired. You can read his side of the story in his journal.

He is claiming all kinds of horrible treatment at the hands of the a particular internet site. Adam even went so far as to claim he was fired because of the posting made on that site.

Before getting all up in arms regarding the treatment of Adam, read this analysis of the whole situation. Interesting.

It also raises a bigger question: Why do people feel that NDAs are meaningless?

Certainly, the may not be legally enforceable -- I am not a lawyer and don't have any clue one way or another. But that doesn't mean that a company cannot terminate their relationship with you-- and, worse, with everyone in the particular channel through which a leak occurred-- because of an NDA violation.

It isn't hard to comply with an NDA -- just don't say anything. By revealing information that you are contractually obligated not to disclose, you are doing more than just breaking a contract. You are harming the very community of people that may rely upon the disclosure of said information to effeciently pursue their business!

Imagine if all the third party developers who write apps that integrate tightly with the system were to lose access to the seeds. Apple would ship an update and a bunch of apps would break because the developer was unable to test against the seed prior to release.

Furthermore, seeding programs-- Apple's, Microsoft's, Intel's, whoever...-- give developers the chance to catch problems before the customer ever sees the release. Not just bugs, but problems with the architecture or implementation that can be adjusted prior to release.

As users, we all benefit from seeding programs that have lots of participants. If the leaks continue, that number of participants will be reduced as Apple/Microsoft/Whoever eliminates channels that have been identified as "leaky". Fewer participants means fewer problems caught before release, a longer release cycle because of increased internal Q/A costs/time, and a lower quality released product.

No thanks.
1:10:52 PM