Friday, February 23, 2007

Why I hate IE (#1)

Each morning I take some minutes for reading newspapers (online) and for drinking my coffee.

So I did this morning and it hit me that too many of the websites that show click-to-see-larger-version pictures at some point, enlarge them in a javascript activated popup.
It's so damn annoying: first of all, it is a popup window which carries the bad reputation of belonging to some sort of unwanted advertising; second of all it's disturbing my good desktop organization (I don't like irregular things here and there on my desktop); third, most of these popups are fixed size (which usually is the size of the picture, larger than the desktop); fourth, it shouldn't be this way: a picture is a part of the website, is not something 'additional' to pop near the website, it should be displayed inside the website, in a unitary (style-wise) frame so that when I (the user) see and memorize it I also see and memorize the frame, thus the identity of the website: it's OUR picture, the users must remember that. (This is is not even code-wise difficult!)

Naturally, I wondered why... The first reason that came in my mind was that of the need to keep the user on the picture index page: usually you have more than one picture, in thumbs, and the user wants to see a larger version of one of the pictures. Opening the picture must not navigate the user away from the thumbs page so he/she can enlarge another picture if he/she desires. A target blank is not a choice since it would launch another browser instance which is even more annoying than a popup :).
After this reasoning I realized, once again, how much I 'love' Internet Exploder (it's a pun!): their lack of tabbed browsing encouraged 'the popup solution'. In a tabbed browser it's easy: you just open the picture in a new tab (I don't know if such a thing is possible but it should be), or even in the same tab and leave it to the user to middle-click or ctrl+click the enlarging link to open it in a new tab. With firefox 2.0's new functionality of opening all target blank links in new tabs instead of new windows, this is even more simple (even if one shouldn't rely on this kind of particular browser behavior). Worse than this is the fact that IE is way to spread to just ignore your website's UI on this browser.

Since IE 7.0 was too recently released, I suppose people didn't have time to change their websites...

Eagerly waiting for the world (wide web) to turn the other way, I end here wishing you happy non-poppy browsing!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Stupid feelings...

Why do I necessarily feel stupid when using other people's libraries for REAL things?

I'm using now bdb xml and saxon8 for some code and I really feel retard... Nothing goes right, just when I think I nailed it I find out about another 'undocumented feature' or 'oh, so well known and so reported bug' to workaround, not to talk about the situations when I just want to find out more, or to do things 'by the book' (when I only have the 'quick-quickest-in-the-flashiest-of-the-flashes getting started' guide).

I admit, I'm no specialist in anything, I just happen to be able to handle multiple domains and, in my humble opinion, I should be able to work with things... I'm not saying I'm that smart, I'm just saying that things should be stupid enough... :)

I read a blog about why one hates frameworks, and, since then, I tend to find those flaws in everything I use: huuuuuge bushy architectures (incompatible, just to make things more fun), some interfaces to access the huge bushy things (don't instantiate it, GET an instance) and the polymorphism that isn't always the best choice (don't get an instance since the framework does not dispatch your call properly, just instantiate the FactoryImpl).

I know, I know, I choose java (known for some other bad things besides being slow) so I did it consciously to myself but I appeal to your better nature!

All the libraries are great as long as you just want to see if and how they work (that would be to take the "Hello, world!" and modify it in "Bonjour, monde!"), or maybe use it as a 'buzz-import' (you know, that import that we all love because it proves that we know how to 're-use code' and 'not reinvent the wheel'). When one gets over this and really wants to understand what is happening there, write code that not only works but is also readable, safe and in fully agreement with the principles of writing programs (if X.createY() actually returns a cooler subclass Z of Y, but the documentation states that it should return Y, I will never cast Y to Z), then one is in big trouble and the clouds of complete idiocy threaten to darken his/her blue skies of knowledge aspiration.

P.S. The title is NOT wrong, is a pun!

Thursday, February 8, 2007


There is a line in American Beauty which I love: "In life never trust anyone but yourself" - this is a piece of wisdom passed by Carolyn Burnham to her daughter Jane after Carolyn and Lester argue at dinner (that scene when he throws the asparagus plate at the wall).
I would put it another way: "In software industry never trust any code but your own!". A few days ago I installed the new and fabulous update of Firebug. It's a great extension, indeed "Web development evolved", but the 1.0 version, though is cooler than you ever thought you'll see, it crashes my browser! 1.0.1 is now available too (and I thought: "oh, goodie, bug fix"), but it does the same. Whhhhyyyy? :(( Not to mention that it lacks functionality that the previous version had: console options that allowed me to see my messages (not only errors and warnings) sent from the javascript code inside an extension using Mozilla's console service.
But, until writing my own firebug (:D), I'm still thinking if I should stop using it (as a protest) or just "Restore previous session" again and again and again...

P.S. this post should have been written last night but there was a power failure hence no internet. This seems buggy as well...

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Finally... time has come: I'm blogging!
...about the small things that fill my time daily: school projects, new things in software, computers, and techonolgy, world-wide non-computer related news, other stuff that manage to pass my attention spam filter, school projects and maybe about school projects sometimes.

Happy reading! (if anymore than this :) )