So, you may have heard, there are other browsers than Internet Explorer and Safari. I guess if you didn't know that, you might not even know that your web browser is an application into itself, and not just part of your operating system. So, yeah. The mechanism for getting to the Web is a thing called a browser, and different people make different browsers.
One of the popular ones (in the top three, certainly, and its position in there depends on who you ask) is Firefox, and they've just released a new version. As in, less than two hours ago as I type.
And, hey, let's make it into more of an event, and lets make it exciting - let's try to go for the full-on Guinness world record. Sure, why not.
They went and solicited pledges - asking people to promise to download the software in advance of the release date. Er, OK, I guess that's a way to build momentum towards the world record attempt. The screwy thing was that people were promising to download before the download date was announced. I'm afraid that my schedule doesn't put up with those sorts of shenanigans anymore, so I didn't pledge to download.
So, today's download day. I checked the site this morning, maybe around 7 or 8 my time, and I didn't see any evidence of a new version. Turns out download day is a 24 hour period starting at 10am Pacific time (by the way, no, not Pacific Standard Time).
By 10:30 or so, I went back to the site, and - imagine this - the site's unresponsive. I guess it's a little much to ask that web browser programmers would also think about having a robust web server setup. That's a serverside issue, I suppose.
As I was wasting time, I stumbled into a forum. Gah. That's never a good thing. People there were complaining about the choice of 10am Pacific, as it was US-centric. Er, I agree that not announcing the start time until very late is weird (and consistent with not announcing the download day until very late). But it seems to me that any 24 hour period takes in daylight hours in France and Iraq and Nepal and where ever it is that the crazy people are living these days. If you want to post from the research station in Antarctica, saying that "download day" is during Antarctic nighttime, you're being goofy, but you're on better grounds than these forum folks.
Over time, pieces of the website seem to be coming up (ramping up server mirrors over time?), and they start offering me the opportunity to download Firefox 2 (uh, I don't think that's why I'm here). In time, I finally got to a Firefox 3 download page, and long story... er... you know. I've got it downloaded now.
Morals of the story:
- think about your servers.
- don't read forums.