21 May 2019

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  • 22 February 2006

    WordPress 2.0 sucks

    6:08pm by rudeboy in category: Software

    I’m usually understanding when it comes to software and it’s limitations partially because I know how hard it can be to develop. Now, when you have a project as large and distributed as WordPress there’s no way you can excuse releasing a sloppy, buggy product rushed from alpha to beta to final in the space of a few weeks. It just doesn’t happen, though, with Wordpress 2.0, they did exactly that. It seems the dev team is more concerned with adding fancy draggable windows and AJAX-powered fade-outs and color shifting boxes than anything their users could really use. I know people say this should be so easy that grandma Betsy should be able to do it, but it shouldn’t come at the expense of usability for intelligent, experienced users.

    One of the more minor annoyances was the installation. Installing is as easy and straight forward as ever, but upgrading is more complicated than it should be. For one there shouldn’t be any reason why the files can’t be made to just overwrite an old installation without destroying it and if that’s too much work a simple upgrade script could come with it. Instead of hitting install.php the user could use upgrade.php to backup necessary file, copy the new files from the extraction directory to their new place and upgrade the database all in one step. Throw all the AJAX animations in there that you want, the newbs would get a kick out of it while everyone else would just be happy to not have to trudge through 13 steps.

    Beyond that the new backend is two steps shy of horrible (though I’m sure the AJAX animations might distract some people from this). The worst part by far being the “Rich Editor”. This monstrosity is an attempt at a WYSIWYG editor that works half-assed at best, if you can get it to work properly at all. If it’s not stringing together an entire paragraph into one giant link, it’s choking on images embedded into posts or constantly rewriting your attempts at formatting while spewing out dozens of empty tags of it’s own. One post I tried to get published ended up having 27 <strong> tags in it because I tried to have a few bold words (it seemingly re-adding the tags every time a sentence was edited and the enter key pressed). Needless to say the first step was getting that disabled which was no easy task. A deceptively titled setting is under ‘Options’, but the actual setting in you need is kept in the user’s profile. Unchecking the option to have WP2 rewrite your xhtml simply had no effect and my pages continued to fail validation.

    Another point of contention is the “cache”, or rather, complete lack there of. It simply doesn’t work. It’s intended to do exactly what it’s name implies; cache popular pages and serve them up in a more static manner in order to avoid overloading the database. After upgrading to WordPress 2.0 I realized my database was getting pounded by the relatively little traffic I get. WordPress 1.5.2 averaged around 14 database queries per page (still about 5x more than it should need) whereas that figure more than doubled to 37 queries with WP2. The guts of 2.0 are so inefficient with so many dirty hacks and programmer worth his salt would be brought to tears to look at it.

    Basically all I can say is DO NOT UPGRADE IF YOU CAN HELP IT. There aren’t any security fixes involved in the upgrade and any references to speed improvements are purely cosmetic at the expense of often fragile database servers. If you do insist on upgrading it should go fine if you follow the instructions to the letter. Second the WYSIWYG editor should be turned off. It’s a nice option, but a horrible default. You’re far better off handling your ‘raw format’ entries. WordPress has the potential to stay a great product, it just took a detour from the path with 2.0.x. I recommend everyone wait for 2.1 and a few positive reviews.

    » Venezuela sends 300 tons of food to Haiti. Bush sends 500 tons of bombs to Iraq. Chavez feeds, Bush kills.

    » Build a ‘Mame Brain‘ for under $150.

    » The case for net neutrality is pretty clear. Should it fail this is what you have to look forward to.

    8 September 2005

    OSX Trolls

    8:14pm by rudeboy in category: Software

    You know what? I’m really sick of seeing OSX trolls posting all over the internet, irc, usenet, whatever.

    Everytime ANY topic comes up, some OSX troll pipes in “So it’s just like OSX!” well, OSX isn’t fully (or even mostly) open source, Quartz Extreme isn’t an open standard, Ok? Do you understand that? Even if it was, the rest of us like our software to be GPL’d so that we don’t just shift from being slaves to Bill Gates and Microsoft, to being slaves of Steve Jobs and Apple. Mabye you don’t care if you really ‘own’ your PC or not but we linux users do. So STFU with your OSX this and OSX that.

    It’s getting absurd. Someone mentions making a Linux network for sharing sound — some OSX Troll pops in “Just spend thousand of dollars on mac parts and there you go! You don’t have to use an inexpensive solution!” Pretty soon I’m gonna start seeing “If those idiots voted in OSX instead of Bush everything would be perfect now”. The Gentoo-Emerge trolls never came close to the kind of witless trolling that you OSX fuckers are reaching!

    I don’t like your cheesy OS. I think the widgets are ugly. I think that stupid bar on the bottom of the screen looks like CDE back from the grave. I’ll take an Athlon64 instead of your goddam PPC. I like my beige box instead of your tiny little silver brick. I want to be able to open my case and see what shits inside it, and I don’t want to have to use a fucking laptop harddrive in a non-portable computer.

    Look you obnoxious pricks — not everyone digs your fucking Macs.

    » If you’re easily frustrated or prone to suicidal behavior, I don’t suggest you attempt The Impossible Quiz 2.

    » Download the book “Gangs of America: The Rise of Corporate Power and the Disabling of Democracy” free here

    » Examples of some pretty extreme rich and poor divides.

    10 August 2005

    Handy Firefox Extensions

    11:27pm by rudeboy in category: Software

    As I stated yesterday I’m a Firefox user. One thing I didn’t get into was the coolest part of Firefox; extensions. Extensions are plugins that can add any number of features to Firefox. For a while I didn’t use them, now I find it hard to imagine using a browser without them. I thought I’d document the ones I use.

    • Adblock: Allows you to block images, flash, embedded iframes or even entire domains so you never have to see another ad again. YOU NEED THIS!
    • Basics: Adds back some basic usability features that were removed in early releases.
    • ColorZilla: Normally I wouldn’t include something like this on a “must have” list, but I’ve recently discovered a rather handy use for it. I was testing out different extensions at the same time as I was working on some CSS and realized that the color picker will highlight the element it’s hovering over. Not only that, it shows the name of the element in the status bar. This can be incredibly valuable when debugging or trying to get an intricate layout working because it offers a visual representation of elements so you can see how things are fitting together.
    • FireFTP: A complete, full-featured FTP client in only 70KB. Opens in a new tab or separate window. Nuff’ said.
    • Forecastfox: Especially helpful if you live in an area where the meteorologists couldn’t forecast their way out of a wet paper bag. Extremely accurate for most areas.
    • SessionSaver: Easily my favorite extension. It saves everything about a given session. If your [windows] machine crashes, there’s a power failure or you accidentally close FireFox this allows you to immediately restart it exactly how you left it. It can save each tab and window you had open with their complete histories intact. It also includes SnapBack Tab/Window that will ’snap-back’ any tab or window you didn’t mean to close on the page it was on when closed also with the full history intact. Great if you have a strong preference for the order your browser tabs and windows are laid out.
    • SwiftTabs: Switch tabs with user-definable keystrokes.
    • TargetAlert: Shows you what type of content a link is pointing to.
    • Web Developer: Perhaps the most important extension for any would-be web designer. Fuck IE, make those pages validate!!

    These are the cream of the crop as far as I’m concerned. If I’ve overlooked a nugget of joy leave a comment and let me know…

    » Steal back your life!

    » Windows Vista install in two minutes.

    » How the Open Source Movement Has Changed Education: 10 Success Stories

    9 August 2005

    Site Testing

    4:26pm by rudeboy in category: Software

    I checked my site at work today so I could see how it rendered in IE. Rendered pretty well. A few glitches with the link images on the left and a few various CSS errors here and there, but with IE that’s to be expected. Since I don’t run windows at home I don’t have the ability to check my site on IE/win. Not that I care really. It’s all 100% valid XHTML so any standards-compliant browser will be able to render it near exactly how I want it. The issue here is that IE is by far the least standards-compliant browser ever written.

    With IE having enjoyed a browser market share in the high 90% range Microsoft changed widely adopted web standards in the name of “innovation”. The real evil being wrought was akin to a drug dealer exploiting an addiction. They knew that web developers would have no choice but to adapt to the new IE-only techniques or face a veritable nightmare of hacks to get their sites to run in the now dominant browser. Of course people opted to make their lives easier by coding web sites and web-based applications specifically for IE.

    Microsoft’s mindset is to maintain their cancerous stranglehold on the technology industry by exploiting their complete, albeit weakening, monopoly in the browser market. They know that if all browsers were 100% standards-compliant people would only be able to choose a browser based on it’s technical merit where IE has none. FireFox is free both as in speech and beer. You can obtain it free of charge at the same time you’re completely able to dig under the hood and make changes should you see the need. This is arguably FireFox’s greatest advantage over IE. When a bug or security flaw is found it’s generally fixed within 24hours and a new release is issued almost immediately in the case of a real nasty one whereas with IE you can wait weeks or months for a hole to be patched… if Microsoft acknowledges it at all. They see the writing on the wall and will do anything to maintain their illegal monopoly.

    Eventually web-based apps will be so complex and fast that it will pretty much eliminate the OS layer from the equasion and people will be free to use what they want without worrying about being tied to a specific platform so they can run a specific app. Windows will finally be recognized for what it is, a gaming platform not an operating system.

    My site isn’t written specifically for any browser, nor will it ever be.

    » An interesting visual representation of Linux vs. Windows.

    » Firefox has been around long enough. Maybe it’s time for a new logo. I vote for this one.

    » Republican Child Predator Labeled ‘Democrat’ on O’Reilly Factor.

    PASSPORT, n.
    A document treacherously inflicted upon a citizen going abroad, exposing him as an alien and pointing him out for special reprobation and outrage.