Nevertheless, she persisted

I just read the unix haters handbook, so this "systems-thinking" is on my mind.

My RSS reader has a bug where links can only be opened in the browser that ships with the OS, or the system default browser. This is despite having a setting to control which browser is used (setting it to something other than those two will fail).

My default browser is an app that forwards to other applications based on user contributed rules. Fox example, when I click an onion link it automatically opens in tor, github links open in firefox (where I am signed in), etc. Uncategorized links are forwarded to a separate app, which displays a dialog to select the browser, similar to iOS and Android.

I was sending (uncategorized) links to my laptop from my phone. It was getting tiresome selecting which browser to use for every link. I set my system browser to firefox, and forgot to switch it back. Later, I discovered links were not being opened with my chosen browsers. A minute or so of "debugging" helped me sort everything out. I incorrectly assumed it was a bug (well, a different bug) with my RSS reader.

I am reminded of an article describing google’s operations. Apparently, there are little to no manual overrides for many processes, including deployment. Any changes must be committed, and automation will apply changes. A similar system here (perhaps like nixOS) would have prevented this folly, because I would have a record of changes made. Such things feel like overkill for my silly machine.

#Systems #Browser