Josh (the blog)

Hey there. I’m Josh, a SydneyCanberra-based maker of Internets. I don’t update this very often.


Firefox, straight to the front of the class

Whenever I need to find Firefox in task manager, it doesn’t ever take long. Firefox is the fat kid of web browsers… it’s kind of hard for it to hide. If it once were a sleek, lean fox, today it’s caught just a few too many stray chickens and drunk a little too much of Bean’s apple cider. It wouldn’t take any bulldozers to find this fox, just a moderate sized keyboard with three keys (no prizes for guessing the three-finger’d salute).

I haven’t had a great day with Firefox. Well… I spent 3-4 hours in meetings today, so I didn’t even have that much time with Firefox! Still managed to let me down twice, though.

Damn its indisposable development tools *sobs uncontrollably*

I think I’ll switch back to Opera for all non-development Internet-related activity for a while… unless anyone has any other browser recommendations? I’ve seriously thought about IE7, but its rendering is still just a little too patchy for me to be able to live with myself as an Internet user.

Bleh. Let it be observed: even high-profile open source does not always lead to a good product. Its memory management is nothing short of repulsive. It will regularly use more memory than Photoshop and Illustrator combined — admittedly, I use Photoshop mostly for web production and not high resolution print stuff (though that does happen a few times a week, and it won’t often go far beyond the 350MB that Firefox seems to manage fairly regularly)

I’m still using CS2, so there aren’t any magical CS3 memory management advances that make such a claim possible… Firefox just sucks :P

I’d blame Windows being in need of a reinstall (it’s been running since October… more than six months without death :P Plus I started out not being happy with it because it’d been installed from the guy I bought the computer off, I just hacked it to use my CD key instead of the one he’d used to test things… so it’s never been perfect), but really, it’s not that bad for any other application. I normally do a reboot once a week and things are fine… heavy duty graphics editing, occasional video editing, constant mail and occasional wordprocessing… and of all those things it is a web browser that can’t get it right. Perhaps I shouldn’t be so derisive about it seeing as I make a living off developing in this relatively simple world… but I am.

The flip side to all of that, of course, is that I’ve been trying to live (more) like a normal user the past few years. Essentially, recognising that it’s simpler to buy software than write it (WordPress, Flickr), using hackably-open technologies instead of truly open ones (WMA Lossless sans DRM), and a general abandonment of open source principles in favour of vastly improved productivity (Photoshop, Premiere, Office 2007, royalty-free stock).

It’s certainly paid off in terms of professional development and enhanced creative potential… but there’s something lost in not being able to hack visualisations hooked up to a webcam together on a command-line anymore. Admittedly, that sort of thing only comes around half a dozen times a year! But no matter, it’s all good fun. Given more friends who were into that sort of thing and some good music, I’d so live in the party house. I’ve not figured out how to do the same command-line video tricks using Windows just yet, so next time I’ll probably use Windows for visualisations (woo particle emitters!) and a separate Linux-powered laptop (maybe?) for webcam trickery. Then I’ll take webcam stuff straight out into Windows capture and skip my vis mixer altogether for once… I gotta learn to travel lighter anyway!