Software


As somebody who uses the product on a regular basis, heavily modified (still, after losing a bunch of modifications from “upgrades” to the thing), I have to say I’m getting a bit tired of Mozilla fucking over the users.

I’ve written comments on slashdot.org about some of the issues that I see with Mozilla.

This won’t end well (the link has the link to the original Slashdot article…)

I’m already seeing erosion of extensions just because of the changes that are being made in Firefox, and developers’ are getting tired of fixing the breakage. Forecast Fox, a nice weather bar suffered from losing the default status bar. OK, there are ways to get it back, but now you have an extension that requires other extensions to work. Then…

Yep, they’re pissing off the authors who write extensions.  Now, they are going to have to be signed by Mozilla to be installed.  Evidently if you use Nightly, or perhaps even Beta, that won’t be enforced, so you’ll be able to “test” your extensions on those browsers.  But if you’re creating your own, now you will have to have a different browser just to get it installed and working.  I guess, but I don’t think it’s the way to go. :/

In another article about Mozilla’s falling user share, I wrote this one. One of it’s problems (sorry about the incorrect it’s…, and the link to the article is in the link, I’m not about to go linking to links that are easily found. :P)

The destruction of it’s ecosystem.

Too many choices have been made to simplify Firefox when maybe they should have done a bit more spelunking to see what the users were actually using.

Taking away the status bar. Yeah, there are multiple extensions to get that back, the trouble being that they aren’t the original status bar and some of the extensions that I use expect the old status bar, not the extension status bar. Update that extension? Well, the person writing that extension has thrown in the towel. When other issues cropped up, somebody else did come along and fix the issues, but the original programmer can come around and kill it because it’s still technically his copyright. Yeah, he didn’t GPL or put any other kind of license on it. So, it might exist today, but tomorrow it won’t.

Making Firefox look like Chrome is just stupid in my book. There was zero reason to change it. Talk about getting the desktop to look like the mobile is pure crap. They are different environments. What works on a phone or tablet doesn’t necessarily mean that it works on the desktop, even Microsoft has figured that part out with Windows 10 coming out now. Extremely obvious to me, so I must be a genius. Or not.

They have changed things such that old themes no longer work. The old personas, which I guess are now considered to be theme extensions, seem to be the only new themes actually getting developed. And they’re ugly.

Their mobile push (for Firefox OS) was interesting, but again, desktop seemed to suffer again because of it. They started actually pushing a 64-bit version of Firefox on their Nightly page. Then decided that tracking those bugs specific to it might be too much, so they decided to stop it, then after an outcry, decided to keep doing the 64-bit builds, but if you had a problem, don’t bother filling a bug for it unless it also happened on the 32-bit version. And then they decided to back track on that as well. You just can’t find the 64-bit version on the Nightly page anymore. But it can be found, at least.

I run the 64 and 32 bit Nightlies, release and beta versions. And they work for me. At least for now.

I don’t like IE. Chrome works. I’m just not sure I want Google tracking me that much.

And now, updates to the Nightlies aren’t working.  Why?  Oh, somebody saw a problem, and thought, “Oh, we’ll just send all these people to download from the CDN instead of our FTP server.”  OK, it sounds like a valid reason to change things, but somebody submitted a patch the same day that was accepted without actually understanding what those changes might mean, and now, Nightly updates are completely Fubar.  We have to download the patches (maybe, I don’t even know how to apply the .mar patches) or download the installer (50MB everyday, baby!).  This doesn’t sound sane.  The bug is here. Bug 1146185

The bug causing that bug? Bug 1144985

Seriously, I’m just about ready to go off and tell the idiots (they aren’t really, but I think that the organization is losing sight of just what the hell is going on) that they need to revert the patch, now, and then actually do what the hell they should have done to begin with, and actually understood what the hell they were going to be changing, because it’s pretty clear, they had no idea.  Maybe I should be a little more patient. But I don’t think they understand just how pissed off some of their users are getting. I’m certainly getting there, and I usually consider myself to be quite patient.

They have made some bad bets, as far as I’m concerned. They have gone running after the mobile area a bit too fast. I understand that they thought that they could get a browser on a phone that would also work as its operating system. I’m not sure what that gets them, let alone anybody else. Especially when they didn’t, and still don’t, have a good hardware partner that can actually help show their stuff off. The started to push 64-bit software on Windows, and then decided that it wasn’t worth it, and have been awkardly walking that back a bit, but not entirely. I am extremely disappointed in Mozilla.

Maybe Windows 10 and Spartan will be the way to go. We’ll see. I wonder when we’ll see Spartan out on the Preview. :/

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Dude! /Bill & Ted

I have modified my Links to Monitor in a way that is pleasing to my eye.

I have figured out how to center the heading over the maximum length of my stuff (hand calculated right now, but oh well) instead of centering over the whole window.

It took some JavaScript to do it, and it looks like this:

<script>
var wanted = 1070, winw;
if (window.innerWidth && window.innerHeight) {
winW = window.innerWidth;
}
if (winW < wanted) { wanted = winW; }
document.writeln('<div style="width:' + wanted + 'px">');
</script>
<noscript><div></noscript>

Which basically makes the maximum width to be 1070 pixels for the header stuff.  And if there is no javascript, I just put up a dummy <div> to match up with the </div> that is buried elsewhere.

It’s probably absolutely ridiculous for most web slingers, but I like this.  I have really been thinking about how to get it to look like this for awhile, I’m glad I came up with a way that I was able to incorporate in less than 30 minutes.  And most of those 30 minutes were recovering from the crash that I was forcing Firefox to go through (for some unknown reason, I sent debug reports…) in search of a way to get what I wanted.

I may have to adjust the pixel amount every now and then, but at least, if anything, it’s at least close to what it should be!

Installed on a VM last night.

I’m not digging the Metro UI right now. It’s built for touch, but trying to deal with a mouse without touch just doesn’t quite work for me. Of course, I have a trackball, not a mouse, so it may even be less intuitive that way. After Windows 7 and Windows XP and Windows 2003, I expect something to happen when I right click something. I understand you really can’t right click in a touch system, but it’s been so engrained in Windows users that you would think that there was some kind of transition, at least.

Pressing the Start button or pressing the Windows key goes straight to the Metro GUI. I think it’s a bit too jarring myself.

If they keep it the way it currently is, it’s going to be a tougher transition than even going from XP to Vista or 7.

I have a machine I might use as a real test machine.

Took care of a sample post done here (I’ll right about it later, when we get the site up). We’ll be using WordPress ourselves.

I’ve also been cleaning up my links that I monitor. One site that I had under my Monthly banner hadn’t been updated in five years according to the archives. A couple other sites had simply disappeared or were returning 403(!) errors. I’ve also got a few that are currently down, but I’ll keep an eye on those.

I use both Rapportive and Gist. Rapportive is nice because it shows me info about the person that sent me an email. Usually. But I generally get the full name and stuff like that.

Gist pretty much tries to put everything together, but since everything is javascript, even running under Firefox 4 makes it rather clunky. I haven’t tried Chrome, maybe I’ll try that combination next. But Gist is pretty damn manual intensive. It won’t go out like Rapportive to even see if it can figure out what somebody’s real name is, which would be a big help. I don’t like the way the news goes, it’s just a bit too much, and why some of those people are ranked so high in importance while others are ignored (which I have fixed manual, it’s the others I guess I need to fix, but sheesh, that’s another manual operation…)

I think I saw Scoble claim that he liked Gist over Rapportive, but I just don’t see why. Rapportive gets me information without even having to hit the site. I don’t find it slowing down Gmail even as it struggles to find something about the email. And the incessant complaints about no last names and no companies (over 250 of my contacts don’t have a last name, and that was after I culled about 100 mailing lists out of those) are enough to drive one batty. I’m sure that I’m not the only person that has a certain email on file, so why when somebody else puts in information, why doesn’t that just show up for me? I understand that personal stuff might not want to be shared, but employment, Flickr and other accounts. And then there’s no undo, so if I accidentally click on something (very liable to happen with the slow as fudge javascript), I have to refresh and find out what I did.

OK, just tried Chrome, it’s not really any faster.