[linux-elitists] Yet another mozilla atrocity

Karsten M. Self kmself@ix.netcom.com
Mon Sep 29 18:57:04 PDT 2003

on Mon, Sep 29, 2003 at 04:41:05PM -0700, Don Marti (dmarti@ssc.com) wrote:
> begin J. Paul Reed quotation of Mon, Sep 29, 2003 at 02:47:04AM -0700:
> > Do an "about:config" and you'll suddenly realize why they didn't put in
> > little slider bars, checkboxes and input fields for each configurable
> > Mozilla feature.
> If / or Edit->Find worked on that page (I'm running 1.4, maybe it
> works by now) it would be great for, say, searching for options
> containing "blink", finding "browser.blink_allowed" and turning
> it off.  Some balloon help would be nice too...

Agreed.  With the about: explorations I've performed, these have been
major issues.  That and the fact that display/refresh is painfully slow
on reasonably powerful HW (P4-1.7GHz).  On older HW or remote displays,
it's painful.

Galeon suffers the additional indirection of having features which can
be configured through:

  - Standard configuration dialogs.
  - about:
  - user.js
  - gconf-editor

...but only one mode of setting the configuration actually takes (this
on 1.2.5).  Specifically, I've had a lot of trouble getting proxy
settings to set, or remain set.

This is bullshit.

Before you say "file a bug":  development of Galeon has apparently
shifted entirely to the 1.3 track.  Which as I've stated is broken in a
great many ways.  It's probably time for a fork.

> One thing that I fail to get about multi-tab dialog boxes is how do
> you know whether the thing you want is in a category tab ("Appearance"
> or "Navigator"?) or in an "Advanced" tab -- without clicking around
> like a monkey?

One option is to have features which don't appear unless the "Advanced"
option is selected.  Though this of itself is a major usability issue.
Even Microsoft has, AFAIK, backtracked on the issue of context-sensitive
menus -- menues in which features don't appear unless they are available
(rather than being greyed out), recently used, or activated via
interactions from another setting.  Major mess:  "Select foo."  "I don't
see foo."  "Is bar selected?"  "Where is that?"  "Here <description>."
"I still don't see foo...."  Rinse, wash, repeat.

The solution IMO is sane-by-default, all features listed, but

Of course, I throw up my hands in the face of emacs as well....

> > And actually, you can edit those preferences directly via
> > about:config so you don't have to get your hands dirty with vi (or
> > emacs), and it will even save them in prefs.js for you.
> When software gets to be sufficiently complex, it's more important for
> the configuration system to be searchable than exploreable.  It's more
> productive to bring up an Apache config file and search for relevant
> words than to bring up a proprietary web server's dialog box and click
> around.



Karsten M. Self <kmself@ix.netcom.com>        http://kmself.home.netcom.com/
 What Part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?
  Backgrounder on the Caldera/SCO vs. IBM and Linux dispute.
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