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Re: Some thoughts for the future

Ben Steeves wrote:

On 6/30/05, Mike McCarty <mike mccarty sbcglobal net> wrote:

Did you read what I wrote? I am asking for more ability to customize.
And why should having multiple instances of an application running take
up more resources? I happen not to like tabbed browsing. You do.
Fine. How about a system that allows features to be disabled? Is that
too much to ask?

No, which is why there's already an extension (probably several extensions) that can totally disable tabbed browsing. There's also several extensions for making more out of tabbed browsing that FIrefox does by default. The point is that there's already a framework in place in Firefox for configuring its behavior -- even behavior the designers didn't originally anticipate. Asking for another method to do essentially the same thing is just adding to code bloat and inefficiency. And that's already the trademark of a different OS.

Perhaps I didn't make myself clear. I was making no objection
to Firefox. I like it. And tabbing can (almost) be turned off.
I was making a general statement about configurability. If one
is going to the trouble to make a certain feature configurable,
then it is little additional trouble to make one of the
configuration items be "disabled". I most assuredly was not
asking for "another method to do essentially the same thing".
In fact, that's what tabbed browsing is. I already have a
window manager on my system. Why another?

Anyway, most of the options in FireFox have a "disable"
as an option. For example, what they call "smart browsing",
which I detest. But it is nicely configurable. If enabled,
many options, and can be disabled. Perfect! But just down
the same option page is "Internet Search", which CANNOT
BE TURNED OFF. I happen not to like that feature, but
I live with it.

Also look at the configuration
Edit->Preferences->Advanced->Mouse Wheel
Tell me where one can disable that? Every combination of
mouse wheel with something is required to do something.

I find that, when scrolling with the mouse scroll wheel,
I often inadvertently press it down, and get an action.
I'd like to disable that "button", but I haven't been
able to find where to do that. Gnome has a
Preferences->Mouse->Buttons, but I see no way to disable
the wheel button, or even set what it does, from that
location. I suppose that somewhere there is a way to
configure that. I just don't know where it is.

As another example of the type of "limited imagination"
in configuration options, consider the use of HTML in
e-mail messages. The reader I use (Thunderbird) allows
me to set the preferences of the recipients of e-mail
I send. I can set it to "HTML", "Plain Text", or
to "Both" (essentially, anyway). But I can't set my
own preference. Interesting. There is no way for me
to say "I prefer never to send HTML". Why? I can tell
it automatically to convert the HTML it composes to
plain text, but I can't compose plain text. I also
can't specify a separate editor for it to use. Why not?
Why must I be forced to learn a new editor for every
tool I use? I have an editor. I like it. Why can't I
just use it? I can select from various layouts for
the windows, but I cannot just position the windows
in my mailer.

These comments are directed at code developers and maintainers.
If they are adding a new "feature", and think it needs to
be "configurable", then most of the hard part is already done.
Just add one more option to disable it entirely, and the
world becomes a wonderful place. One man's meat is another
man's poison, as they say. Developers recognize this when
they add configuration options. One more option to disable
is not much.

Speaking of code bloat, I find that it is not the hallmark of
"another OS" at all. It is a general feature of all software
today. "Garbage expands to fill all available space" is a
general maxim. You might prefer the word "clutter". Another
synonym is "software".

I consider Emacs to be a prime example of code bloat. Why
should a text editor be over 4 megabytes in size?
I suppose you don't blame Bill Gates for Emacs.

And Linux won't boot off of floppy anymore.

I am contiually amazed at the amounts of memory/disc/cpu cycles
developers take for granted these days. In fact, many seem never
even to consider such issues at all.

But I digress from Fedora issues.

Anyone have any advice for my

xterm: unable to parse color: e6e6e6
xterm: unable to parse color: 000000

problems I mentioned the other day?


This message made from 100% recycled bits.
I can explain it for you, but I can't understand it for you.
I speak only for myself, and I am unanimous in that!

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