Silver's Simple Site - Weblog - 2006 - March

My First Places

So I tried building Firefox with Places a couple of days ago. It ain't pretty. It's definitely good that it isn't being released for a while yet.

  • Importing my history and bookmarks took 15 minutes and have no UI what so ever. I only didn't kill the Firefox process using 100% CPU because I saw some sqlite files in my profile being created and modified.
  • The imported data is 74% bigger than the original. This seems like a rather big increase.
  • My personal toolbar is now empty, and I can't add stuff to it. (The folder in Places for this has the right stuff on, though.)
  • The URL bar does not update when changing tabs or if the page loads. This means it only ever displays what I last typed.
  • The URL bar has no autocomplete, either as-you-type or using the drop-down button.
  • All links appear unvisited, despite clearly being in history.
  • None of the navigation toolbar works either, so no back/forward/reload/stop. Not even the shortcuts work.
  • The browser no longer opens my homepage on start, even though it's still configured the same. It just loads about:blank, and if I click the Home button it loads the Google start page!
  • Add Bookmark menu item does nothing.
  • Selecting either the History or Subscriptions items in Places itself hangs Firefox for 5 - 10 seconds. I think this is the calendar, rather than the data, as searching the history only takes 1s second.
  • There is no way to select all dates in the calendar, even though it is (apparently) the default when going to a view.
  • Expanding or collapsing a folder in Places' top-left box takes 5 - 10 seconds if Subscriptions is selected.
  • Switching folders keeps the search string, but doesn't search the newly selected folder.
  • Searching "Current Collection Only" doesn't do anything.
  • Adding a search filter then can't be removed.
  • Filters only allow "starts with", "is" and "is on site" for location matching. Where's "contains"? Have to use "Containing the text" for that, which includes the title.
  • No title search option! Have to search title and URL together.
  • The icons for items are not fixed, so appear badly inconstant, as they show the favicon.
  • Properties context-menu item does nothing, at all, anywhere in Places.
  • Quitting Firefox closes all windows, then spends at least 15 seconds using 100% CPU (saving something I think).

Please don't bother pointing out that Places isn't finished yet - I know that, and it sure shows.

Permalink | Author: | Tags: Firefox, Places | Posted: 11:38PM on Sunday, 05 March, 2006 | Comments: 0

SUSE Net-install

So, here I am, 1am and nothing (interesting) to do. Time for something completely random, I think! Let's do a network install SUSE.

  • plus Like the graphical "thing" that starts right away from the CD.
  • minus "Press Esc for more information" it says. Do that, and you're dumped to text-mode - which is ok - but there's no way to get back to graphical-land (that I could find).
  • minus In the default graphical-land, the download of the network installer (all 65MB of it!) happens with no progress indication. The text-mode loader does show the percentage, though.
  • minus After all that pretty graphics (that did very little, mind), it imediately dumps you into text-mode YaST. Not fun!
  • minus Navigation in the text-mode YaST is a real bitch. It just seems to not follow any sort of convention. Esc never seems to close things, even the Help window which says it does! (Thank Bob that F1 also closes that window.)
  • minus It asks me whether I want KDE or GNOME. How the f**k should I know? So it helpfully explains how my decision will affect things:
    • KDE is a powerful and intuitive desktop environment that uses Kontact as its mailer and Konqueror as its browser and file manager.
    • GNOME is a powerful and intuitive desktop environment that uses Evolution as its mailer, Firefox as its browser, and Nautilus as its file manager.

    Joy of joys. They're the same. Why tell me what apps they use, when I've no idea what the difference in them are? If I didn't already know what these apps are like, or that KDE is supported better by SUSE, I'd be completely fucked at this point - it's anybody's guess which would be the better option. Oh, and there's an Other button too!

  • minus Now it analyses my system, and starts "Evaluating package selection..." (all I did was pick KDE), which really means let me download some more data with no progress indication. Judging by the time taken and my network graphs, I'd say it is probably downloading about 30MB.
  • minus And it's at this point (2:33am) that YaST just hangs entirely. Woohoo. Can't "click" (use the shortcut Alt-<letter>) any buttons, bring up help or anything, and it still says "Analysing your system..." under Software and Language.
  • AHA! 8 minutes later (!) it finally is done and ready for me to use it again. That was really bad.
  • minus Doing anything in the "Installation Settings" screen seems to take a decade to work, even opening the list of things to change (4 items)! Click accept button (2:46am).
  • Two minutes later, is asks if I'm sure I want to install! And now it starts formatting the disk.
  • minus By 3am, it's failed on the formatting. "An error occured during the installation." Joy.

And that's it. Can't get it to continue from this point - it spams something to the screen that looks like an error, but overwrites it with the error dialog almost instantly, and Ctrl-Alt-<number> doesn't work so I can't get at any logs or anything. Sucky.

Permalink | Author: | Tags: Linux, SUSE | Posted: 04:46AM on Thursday, 09 March, 2006 | Modified: 04:47AM on Thursday, 09 March, 2006 | Comments: 0

Technology vs. Common Sense

If you ever thought e-mail <--> newsgroup gateways were a good idea, think again. I think the following quote sums it up absolutely perfectly:

This is horrible. It feels like I’m playing some 21st century Web 2.0 version of “telephone”.

Permalink | Author: | Tags: Mozilla, Newsgroups | Posted: 12:36PM on Thursday, 30 March, 2006 | Comments: 0

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