August 6, 2002

Fear and Loathing in Dulles
It wouldn't be such a big deal if we hadn't seen it all before. Watching history repeat itself, after myself living through (and surviving) the Great War, fills my soul with dread. Why do companies have such a hard time learning from their past mistakes? Why must they make them again and again simply because management refuses to listen to line-level management and engineering when they firmly plant little red flags in the ground? I'm sure it's because certain parts of managment have their own flags to plant: big, wavy, this-is-my-land-bitch-you-better-step-off flags. Flags of Crusaders. Flags of Doom.

And so we, the proud little pawns of engineering, go charging into the breech to fill the hole in the line and even assist the invading armies. Isn't our goal to spread the Gecko user-agent far and wide? Does it matter who uses it, or for what purpose? Does it matter whose feathers get ruffled? Does it matter who gets the ax? Does it matter that it's all about ego and not about the best software? Does it matter the invading armies have no desire to play in an open-source world?

I am trying to sit calmly on the hillside, hugging my little Chimera, keeping it warm and safe, hoping that it will be a lucritive prize, not just a trophy and casualty of war. Yet as I sit on the sidelines, I watch my comrades in arms being bloodied in the valley below and more dread sets in. Then I wonder if it's only a matter of time before they come after me. Perhaps it's just me being Chicken Little, but I have seen it all before.

Posted by pinkerton at August 6, 2002 10:41 AM