Thursday, April 14, 2016

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Hey Firefox Make Me Recommend You

I love Firefox. It is my primary browser and I don't feel at home using another browser. I want to use Firefox to browse the web because Mozilla has always taken the high road when tackling issues of web openness and standardization. HTML5 wouldn't have been possible without the vision that Mozilla and Opera pushed through WHATWG and I am really grateful for such diligence. I also use some extensions that have made the web work for me and I don't seem to find these features implemented on other browsers to my liking. Last but not least, I will only use an open source browser for the fact that an actively developed open environment is less likely to contain defects that allow malicious remote access to my machine.

All that said, I've had a hard time recommending Firefox to my relatives. I am by far the geekiest person in my family tree. Hardly do I come across someone in my personal life who cares about the browser itself. Most of my friends and acquaintances are Internet Explorer users who have no less than three toolbars already. Because of that I want them to move off of Internet Explorer and onto Firefox instead. Contrary to my aspirations I don't see myself recommending Firefox to anyone. I always make them install Google Chrome or install it for them myself. Here are my reasons for that:
  1. Google Chrome auto updates. This is the biggest concern when trying to recommend a browser to my non-geek friends and relatives. I cannot rely on them to update and they have an affinity to dismiss any update window. Manual updates are a doctrine that only I seem to believe in. Everybody else doesn't want it since the system already works. Their facebook is fine.
  2. Google Chrome blocks invasive add-ons. Them add-ons, you can't live with'em and you can't live without'em. I love add-ons. But all my social graph have spyware instead. It just floats onto their systems and I'm totally incapable of preempting their installation. The reason behind this is that the knowledge threshold for understanding malware is higher than that of the average user. I get to see these disasters only when facebook doesn't work.
  3. Google Chrome is easy to use. There are no training wheels on the Google Chrome bicycle but boy is it really easy to ride. This is probably the result of Google starting with a clean slate and adding user interface elements only if needed. Surprisingly though, there isn't much difference between browsing interfaces of all major browsers, but the effect is still felt by every non-geek who compares Chrome and Firefox.
It saddens me every time I recommend Google Chrome and not Firefox to the people I know. I try to explain that I use Firefox and install it for them, but they easily go back to Internet Explorer and don't care about the consequences. Their indifference to risk and lack of understanding of how they are jeopardizing themselves is the primary reason I push them towards Chrome. After all, all I want is that they have a properly patched system.

On a positive note, Firefox seems to be getting silent auto updates, also known as Electrolysis, sometime in the future. The capability of plugins and extensions to overtake Firefox is somewhat mitigated by asking the user whether to allow a plugin or extension to install or not. Australis is getting better at usability but somewhat slowly. Maturing a new UI and design paradigm is paramount but time is always of the essence. Hurry up Mozilla.

Hey Firefox Make Me Recommend You 
I love Firefox. It is my primary browser and I don't feel at home using another browser. I've decided not to use Windows RT devices or an iPad as my primary tablet (when I decide to get a tablet) because I can't run Firefox on either. I want to use Firefox to browse the web because Mozilla has always taken the high road when tackling issues of web openness and standardization. HTML5 [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Html5] wouldn't have been possible without the vision that Mozilla and Opera pushed through WHATWG [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_Hypertext_Application_Technology_Working_Group] and I am really grateful for such tenacity. I also use some extensions [https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/collections/waliddamouny/favorites/] that have made the web work for me and I don't seem to find these features well implemented on other browsers to my liking. Last but not least, I will only use an open source browser for the fact that an actively developed open environment is less likely to contain defects that allow malicious remote access to my machine. 
All that said, I've had a hard time recommending Firefox to my relatives. I am by far the geekiest person in my family tree. Hardly do I come across someone in my personal life who cares about the browser itself. Most of my friends and acquaintances are Internet Explorer users who have no less than three toolbars already. Because of that I want them to move off of Internet Explorer and onto Firefox instead. Contrary to my aspirations I don't see myself recommending Firefox to anyone. I always make them install Google Chrome or install it for them myself. Here are my reasons for that: 
  1. Google Chrome auto updates. This is the biggest concern when trying to recommend a browser to my non-geek friends and relatives. I cannot rely on them to update and they have an affinity to dismiss any update window. Manual updates are a doctrine that only I seem to believe in. Everybody else doesn't want it since the system already works. Their facebook is fine. 
  1. Google Chrome blocks invasive add-ons. Them add-ons, you can't live with'em and you can't live without'em. I love add-ons. But all my social graph have spyware instead. It just floats onto their systems and I'm totally incapable of pre-empting their installation. The reason behind this is that the knowledge threshold for understanding malware is higher than that of the average user. I get to see these disasters only when facebook doesn't work. 
  1. Google Chrome is easy to use. There are no training wheels on the Google Chrome bicycle but boy is it really easy to ride. This is probably the result of Google starting with a clean slate and adding user interface elements only if needed. Surprisingly though, there isn't much difference between browsing interfaces of all major browsers, but the effect is still felt by every non-geek who compares Chrome and Firefox. 
It saddens me every time I recommend Google Chrome and not Firefox to the people I know. I try to explain that I use Firefox and also install it for them, but they easily go back to Internet Explorer and don't care about the consequences. Their indifference to risk and lack of understanding of how they are jeopardizing themselves is the primary reason I push them towards Chrome. After all, all I want is that they have a properly patched system. 
On a positive note, Firefox seems to be getting silent auto updates, also known as Electrolysis, sometime in the future. The capability of plugins and extensions to overtake Firefox is somewhat mitigated by asking the user whether to allow a plugin or extension to install or not. Australis is getting better at usability but somewhat slowly. Maturing a new UI and design paradigm is paramount but time is always of the essence. Hurry up Mozilla. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Sign In to Google, then repeat

Signing in to one account and being signed in to all services at once seemed like an obvious thing to have across all services provided by a company. I love the idea since it relieves me of having to remember multiple usernames and passwords, while still having the luxury of actually using a username and password combination.

This is not a dream though. Already many companies like Google, Microsoft and Yahoo allow you to sign in to one user account and use all the services they provide. It is wonderful when it works. When? Well lately Google has been a pain in my **** because I use a lot of Google services. If I don't start by clicking from a signed in page I sometimes find myself betting with my chances of getting into YouTube or Picasa without using my password another time. Now imagine this. Every time I try to play an HTML5 video in Firefox I have to go to http://www.youtube.com/html5 and join the HTML5 video experiment, again. This is not just inconvenient. This is annoying. Not only does YouTube seem to forget a setting that I set, but I also can't play a video if I set YouTube to play the HTML5 version after it asks me to download Flash.

Google fix it!

Rant over and out.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

a blog post about blogger.com

It's been a while since I last checked Blogger.com and I have some good things to say about it. First and foremost I'm impressed by the amount of customization that can be done with the look and feel of one's blog. The old Blogger felt cramped because it didn't allow much customization beyond changing the colour here and there. Most designs were hard to like and so generic. It was the antithesis of what a blog should be and that is personalized and unique.

The feature that surprised me the most was the "Template Designer". I vividly remember the amount of browsing it took me just to choose a theme that was not great but only acceptable. Most templates were either narrow or forced me to have more coloumns than I wanted. Considering that I'm a simple guy and feel myself influenced by appeal, I was really put off by the predefined molds that were called choice. Now I understand that large services need ways to modularize their offerings and I am not complaining, but rather stating the facts that affected me and had the greater share in shaping my blogging habits. Basically I subconsciously decided that I wasn't going to be caught dead blogging on the old Blogger and I happened to live to tell about it.

Smiles :)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

...a breathe of life...


Hello World

This is my first post on this blog. I hope to keep you entertained for a little while, well that until I start my own talk show or something...

So, see yah,
Kudos till we meet again,
Weedo :)