Ex Bibliotheca

The life and times of Zack Weinberg.

Thursday, 30 May 2002

# 2 PM

A dream: I was helping someone assemble a complex map-of-the-world puzzle, with a nasty twist. All the pieces had the same shape, and if you put one in the wrong place it would melt. There was also some concern about pieces having been used up already — they gave the owner magic powers, rather like the cards in Card Captor Sakura, but only when loose, and using them that way could make them vanish. It was really important that the puzzle get completed.

Also there was something about a can of spray paint but I don't remember that bit clearly,

# 1 AM

I'm playing with Galeon, which is a web browser. The authors basically took Mozilla, peeled off the layers and layers of bloat wrapped around its rendering engine, and put in a nice thin GTK-based user interface instead. Thoughts so far:

On the up side:

  1. It's fast.
  2. I can make all the unnecessary chrome go away.
  3. It does antialiasing, which magically makes all the tiny print on various web pages (such as Electrolite's comment windows) legible.
  4. It has "load no images", "ignore all color specifications", "ignore all font specifications", and "ignore the style sheet" right there in the menu bar, instead of buried in preferences.
  5. "I want my bookmarks to be my home page" is a standard feature.
  6. There's no artifical limit on the length of the back-button's history menu.
  7. Did I mention it's fast?

On the down side:

  1. It doesn't have Mozilla's lovely "search by typing into the URL bar" feature. Or at least I can't find it.
  2. It randomly forgot half of my preferences when I quit it the first time.
  3. It doesn't have a mode in which pop-ups can only happen as a result of a mouse click (which should have been the only way it worked from Day One of Javascript). It does have the ability to turn all pop-ups into tabs, which compensates partially.
  4. The bookmarks-as-home-page mode is not perfect. Lemme dust off a rant from my old journal:

    Arrgh. Fscking Netscrape.

    I have it set to start by displaying my bookmarks list. There is no way to get rid of either the Personal Toolbar Folder (although you can delete all its entries, thankfully) or the top header; nor can you change the text of the header. Thus both of these things are wasting my VALUABLE VERTICAL SCREEN REAL ESTATE which should be PRODUCTIVELY occupied displaying BOOKMARKS.

    I have the same bitch about the menubar, toolbar, location bar, status bar, and title bar (ok, that last is the window manager's fault). An entire inch of my screen is lost to this crap.

    Galeon's "my portal" mode does the Right Thing and displays the bookmark as a series of paragraphs, not an unordered list, which makes them almost fit onto the screen. And there are neither large headers nor unnecessary chrome wasting space. However, there is a huge image floated in the upper right hand corner, and guess what? That makes the difference between everything fitting onscreen, and not.