[linux-elitists] Yet another mozilla atrocity

Karsten M. Self kmself@ix.netcom.com
Mon Sep 29 14:39:04 PDT 2003

on Mon, Sep 29, 2003 at 01:42:31AM -0500, Joakim Ziegler (joakim@avmaria.com) wrote:
> On Mon, 2003-09-29 at 00:32, Aaron Lehmann wrote:
> > On Mon, Sep 29, 2003 at 12:07:55AM -0500, Joakim Ziegler wrote:
> > > Too many preference items are a very bad thing, both for the
> > > reasons cited above, and because they tend to be an excuse for not
> > > doing user testing and thinking, and figuring you what a sensible
> > > way to do things is. So instead, it's made configurable, and it's
> > > up to the user.
> > Are you trying to diss emacs or something? Funny, because I much
> > prefer its configuration system to mozilla's.
> Emacs is very, very different from a browser, in the complexity of
> tasks you use it for, usage patterns in general, and just sheer number
> of things that it can be useful to configure. Emacs is an expert tool.

I disagree with very nearly every particular of the above paragraph.
While there is some difference of degree, it's not orders of magnitude,
for the task at hand.  

There are four tools you can pry from my cold, dead hands, exceptiong
GNU/Linux itself.  All of them are tools I use extensively in a highly
interactive manner:

  - My shell.  This is the interface with which I issue largely every
    command, particularly any more complex than "launch app" --
    pipelining, shell expansion, one-line loops, etc.  The degree of
    frustration I feel when moving to another shell, or even someone
    else's bash prompt which doesn't have my aliases, bash functions,
    and local shell scripts, is palpable.

  - My editor.  Vim here.  It's what I use to compose virtually every
    significant text of more than a few lines in the past six years, and
    it's the only editor I've used continuously (counting precursors)
    which has not undergone catastrophic change or simply died, over the
    past sixteeen years.

  - My window manager.  Again, that's three words.  "My" because it
    inlcudes tweaks and configuration changes I've made to it.

  - My mailer.  My .muttrc runs over 250 lines.  Again, this is a tool I
    use to compose one or more dozen messages daily, read, review, or
    dispose of hundreds, and have custimized extensively to fit my

  - My web browser.  In my case, Galeon, which I've used since ~0.10,
    call it three years.  With five windows and almost 90 tabs open,
    it's literally my window to the world.

My browser protects my privacy (or tries) by blocking or allowing
cookies, javascript, Java, and/or Flash.  It tracks my bookmarks (over
990 of 'em), has usable history, crash recovery, a sensible tab
ordering, sensible tab management, stylesheet chooser, configurable
toolbars, local settings override via userContent.CSS.  Including
bookmarks, preferences, and stylesheets, I have over 9,000 lines of
configurations, still ~2,000 if you reduce bookmark bloat to one entry
per site.  It and I have grown toward each other over the years, and
while there are some warts, everything else that I've tried annoys me
worse.  And I make a point of keeping an eye on the competition:


Simply by virtue of the amount of information which is channeled through
my browser, it is a sophisticated tool.  Again, perhaps not quite so
much so as Emacs, but it is hardly trivial.  The browser can be, and is,
an expert tool.

Back to Aaron's initial complaint:  the de-featuring of browsers is
something that has annoyed me greatly.  I specifically use the 1.2.5
release of Galeon.  The 1.3.x track has been GNOMEified and dumbed down
in ways which make it utterly unsuitable, and has been a huge
disappointment.  The best thing that's happened to Galeon in years was
its being passed over in favor of Epiphany, the new official GNOME
browser.  My heartfelt wish is that Galeon's developers will attone for
their sins and will address the needs of their power users.  This was
particularly disappointing in the case of Galeon largely as the controls
for advanced preferences always have been very sensibly laid out.


Karsten M. Self <kmself@ix.netcom.com>        http://kmself.home.netcom.com/
 What Part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?
  TWikIWeThey: An experiment in collective intelligence.  Stupidity.  Whatever.
    Technical docs, discussion, reviews, opinion.
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