Team Murder No Brain No Headache.

12Apr/04Off

List Continued From Sticky Note

I keep a list usually on the ultra flaky medium of a sticky note of my wish list. This is usually software related and usually a malfunctioning feature or the like. I've been accumulating them for a while and, of course, lost the sticky note. That means a little publicly posted thinking which you or may not want to read.

1. Development based Linux distributions.
I've been thinking about this one for awhile and during that time there have been several attempts to construct things sort of like this but none fit the specifications that I'd need. Zopix is a good start towards distributions like this although it is a live CD primarily and concentrates on Zope development. What I'm thinking about would more likely than not be a fork of an established distribution where the focus of bug squishing would be focused on a particular environment and making sure that all of the components/modules of a particular programming environment would work smoothly together without breaking any other parts. Working with Python on numerous distributions has been a headache when dealing with libraries that suicide bomb other libraries leading to an irreversible mess that is more quickly resolved with a reinstall than counter measures.

2. Meta packages that don't do the same thing fifty times.
If you use Debian or Gentoo you'll understand what I'm talking about almost immediately. If not: a meta package is a wrapper of sorts around a group of related packages that taste great together. KDE is full of them on almost every distribution. What baffles me about these collections is that they never reuse information within the package. Compiling a meta package that involves Qt can be incredibly frustrating. Watching irretrievable minutes of your life ebb away as a couple of dozen packages do the same search for the same libraries at the same crawling pace is not what meta packaging should be about. Although I'm admittedly ignorant about the mechanics of putting together these patches you'd think that it would be moderately easy to create temporary configuration files in the directory that you're compiling in. Maybe I'm wrong but those extra minutes, man...

3. Sites that refuse to cooperate with tabbed browsers.
BlogLines is the one that I'm thinking of. Unfortunately, the frame set model is pretty borked when you're using a modern browser. Using a tool that allows you to track numerous feeds but doesn't allow you to open subscribed feeds in another tab seems pretty pointless. This is made worse by the fact that clicking on a new feed clobbers the old one and there is no back button to escape from this forced linearity. Even an "open feed in new window" button would be better. Yeesh.
Update/Clarification
I realize now as I'm reading back over this entry that I didn't do a very good job of explaining what I meant and Mark Fletcher from Bloglines actually posted a comment attached to this entry asking for clarification. So: what doesn't work with tabs in Bloglines is multiple instances of the main content window. You cannot open multiple instances of the lists of aggregated content and moving from one to the next marks the contents of the first set to be marked read. I'd love it if it was possible to open the contents linked on the right side column to new tabs. Is it the end of the world? Not really but what drives me absolutely crazy are things that are close to perfection.

Hey. It was a sticky note....

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  1. Saw your comment about Bloglines and tabbed browsers. I’m not quite sure I understand. I use Bloglines all the time with Mozilla, and tabs are an essential part of the Bloglines experience. I have Mozilla configured so that clicking on a link with the middle mouse button opens the link in a new tab, and that works great with Bloglines.

  2. Actually what I’m talking about is being able to open individual feed lists in new windows. This is frustrating because you can only have one set of aggregated headlines open at a time. Hopefully that is a clearer gripe.

    Obviously it isn’t a fatal complaint because I still use and like Bloglines but that additional functionality would make it more comparable to a local aggregator. I too use the middle click to open links in a new tab but being able to open multiple instances of the main window is what I’m really looking for.


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