Apple try to make it impossible to revert to a prior version of Safari Technology Preview (STP) – and they also try to force updates to the latest version immediately, without user consent. This is bafflingly hostile behaviour for what is supposed to be a beta version of the browser that users voluntarily, out of charity, help Apple debug.
It’s also highly problematic when new versions are flat-out broken. Starting with around STP 124 I started experiencing consistent crashes on some websites, making them completely unusable in STP. For the time-being I chose to use them separately in regular Safari, on the assumption that these egregious issues would be quickly fixed in the next STP version. Well, three versions later and those bugs have not been fixed. Not even close.
Now, with STP 126, it crashes on launch. Every time.
Well, thankfully there are places where you can obtain the prior versions, even if Apple won’t provide them. My preference is The Wayback Machine – you can start with this calendar, from which you can pick a date and (with any luck) the download page for that date will point to the version you want. You then download the disc image, delete the current copy of STP from your Applications folder (otherwise the pkg installer for the older version will refuse to work), and re-install the older version.
Once you’ve done that, make sure to turn Automatic Updates off in System Preferences, otherwise Apple will just trash your working version with the broken one again.
If you appreciate that – I certainly did; I like having a web browser that doesn’t crash on launch – remember that The Wayback Machine is run by the Internet Archive, a non-profit group, and they can always use monetary support as well as volunteers.
P.S. Yes, I’m aware that their donation page is sadly a bit janky. If you’re a web developer or designer, maybe you could volunteer some of your time to improve it? 😁
I’ve experienced an interesting arc over my twenty or so years (thus far) of software development.
I started out as a one-person shop, doing my own things, selling shareware. I had no manager nor technical lead. I had to make all my own decisions, in all aspects, without guidance or assistance.
Subsequently, during my four years at Apple, I did have a manager, but they focused on people, not the technical – myself and/or my colleagues collectively made the technical decisions, and provided technical leadership, and effectively set the product direction. My managers were there to make that as easy as possible for us.
Over my nearly eight years at Google, I observed the tail half of a major cultural transition for Google. Long before I started, Google had explicitly laid down a culture where managers were not product / technical leads. The two roles were physically separated, between different people, and they operated independently. Managers focused on people – career growth, happiness, basic productivity, & skills – while tech leads focused on the technical, the product. In fact the manager role was so principled about focus on people that managers would sometimes help their direct reports leave the company, if that was simply what was best for those people for their own success & growth. And, to be clear, not in a “you aren’t working out” sense, but for engineers that were excellent and simply didn’t have deserved opportunities available to them at Google.
By the time I joined, that culture was half-gone, but still present enough in my division for me to experience it. But by the time I left the culture was heavily weighted towards managers being technical leads.
In my nearly three years now at LinkedIn, I’ve completed that arc. LinkedIn culturally & executively emphasises managers as technical / product leads even moreso than Google ever did. As far as I’ve been told, LinkedIn always has (meaning, this is presumably the culture Yahoo had too, from which LinkedIn forked).
Having experienced most of this spectrum, I finally feel qualified to pass judgement on it.
I immediately, intuitively recognised & appreciated this at Google, but now I’m certain of it.
People management & (technical) product leadership are fundamentally at odds with each other. The needs of individuals are often at odds with the needs of the product. The product might need Natalie to really focus on churning through a bunch of menial tasks, but to evolve, Natalie might really need design experience & leadership opportunities.
Having one person (in authority) try to wear both hats creates conflict, bias, and inefficiency. It discourages dialogue, because you can never really trust where the polymorph stands. The roles require different skillsets, which rarely coexist in a single person and in any case are difficult to keep up to date in parallel. Context-switching between them is burdensome. It creates a power imbalance and perverse incentives.
Even if an individual is exceptionally talented at mitigating those problems, they simply don’t have the time to do both well. Being a product or technical lead is at least a full-time job. Likewise, helping a team of any real size grow as individuals requires way more hands-on, one-on-one attention than most people realise. It’s hard enough being good at either one of them alone – anyone that attempts doing both simultaneously ends up doing neither effectively.
I’ve had the opportunity to be both a technical lead only and a manager only. This is quite rare in the tech industry. I deeply appreciated being able to focus on just one of those roles at a time. I could be consistent, deliberate, and honest. I could, as a manager, tell people exactly what I thought they should or shouldn’t work on, irrespective of what the product(s) need, because I knew the technical lead(s) would worry about those angles. Conversely, when I was a technical lead, I could lay out what was simply, objectively best for the project, uncomplicated by individuals’ interests. In either case, there was real, other human being that could be debated with, as necessary, to find happy mediums.
Yet beyond just being more efficient and effective, the serendipitous consequence was that it gave agency to the individuals – whenever a conflict arose between people and products, it was revealed to them, and the implicit decision about it at least in part theirs to make. Most importantly, they knew that whichever way they leaned they had someone in their corner who had their back.
(Of course, sometimes they didn’t like having to make that decision, but putting it on them forced them to take control and responsibility for themselves, and evolve into more confident, happy, motivated developers.)
I suppose it’s no surprise that companies tends this way – to conflate people with products. These days, for many big tech companies, people literally are the products, and their humanity inevitably stripped away in the process. People are “promoted” into management from technical positions, and often by way of the Peter Principle, are not actually good people managers, nor able to relinquish their former role and ways of thinking. A hierarchy of technical leads in manager’s clothing becomes self-sustaining, self-selecting, and self-enforcing.
I just found this while reviewing some very old backups. Like most things of this ancient era, I’d completely forgotten about it, so it’s been fascinating to look back – as if in the 3rd person – at my younger, far away self.
I don’t recall why exactly, but evidently I had to write some kind of cover letter in order to intern at Apple. I don’t even know if this was addressed to Apple, or was perhaps just part of the visa process.
Statement of Motivation
My internship offered at Apple Computer Inc. is a fantastic opportunity for me to be introduced to and get involved with one of the worlds leading and most innovative technology companies. It will provide exposure to their current – and possibly future – hardware products, as well as the processes by which they develop them.
Additionally, the time in the U.S.A. will provide exposure to U.S. culture and general life, which will be an invaluable grounding should I pursue further work in the U.S.A. (at a later date). While I have no immediate plans to do so, I would certainly like to have the option, as the U.S.A. is the worldwide hub for development of advanced computer technology – the best place for someone in my industry to end up.
In terms of furthering my studies and career, the impact is almost immeasurable. My employability – not just in Australia, but also internationally – will be increased tremendously by the internship, both from the training and experience provided as well as from the impressive addition it would make to any resume. Specifically, I hope it will open the door to future employment at Apple Computer Inc.
On a personal level, I’d like to see a bit of North America as a tourist, as much as I can – visit all the cliché spots, like the Grand Canyon, Death Valley, Yosemite, all those. I think it’d be a great experience, and hopefully a lot of fun.
21-year-old me, in 2005
I’ve been to all three of those places now. Two out of the three were indeed fun, as hoped.
A fun footnote was that the internship paid $25 US / hour, @ 40 hours per week. That was about $33 AUD / hour, given exchange rates at the time. That compared preeetty favourably with my prior internships – $18.50 AUD / hour at NEC, $15.79 AUD / hour at PIRVic – and beat the pants off the first real job I recall having, at a flower nursery, in high school, for an amazing $5 AUD / hour.