Following the subject of unnecessarily CHEAP and chintzy software.
I was looking at it from the wrong angle. It’s about COMMAND AND CONTROL, not about saving money.
Providing variable features for users is OLD in software. It became practical when hard disks became standard around 1985. Every major program has some way of setting preferences, stored in a configuration file. Before hard disks a PC’s memory was impermanent, disappearing when you turned it off.
The web was basically the return of mainframes. Browsers don’t allow apps to save their own permanent config files “because security”, but really “because tyranny”. A web-based app can save into semi-permanent local storage, but local storage may get wiped out when you ‘clear history’. Servers like Facebook and Google CAN write permanent config files in their servers, following THEIR decisions, not YOURS.
Facebook’s removal of time order looks chintzy, but it’s really an assertion of bully power. Facebook knows everything about us, and stores “our” preferences AS DETERMINED BY ZUCK. It doesn’t let us set our own preferences. When FB got rid of time order in messages, it provided a FAKE chooser. You can pick ‘newest first’, but you don’t get newest first. You get one or two new messages near the top as a confuser, but the majority of the thread is still in Zuck’s chosen sequence. And unlike PC programs, the choice doesn’t stick. You have to reselect the fake ‘newest first’ on each new topic.