Archive for January, 2009

Making Gmail a default mailto handler in firefox

Posted in web with tags , on January 29, 2009 by Bartosz Radaczyński

Even though there are some recipies for that in the network (notably this one and this), there seem to be issues with both of these solutions. The first one is almost fine, though the new message gmail screen has the address typed in as mailto:email_address (the mailto: is there even though it should not be). So, actually the way to make it work correctly (at least on my ubuntu box) is to paste the following code in the address bar of the gmail tab:

javascript:window.navigator.registerProtocolHandler(“mailto”,”https://mail.google.com/mail?view=cm&tf=0&to=%s”,”GMail”)

and agree for Gmail to handle the mailto urls. Cool!

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The perfect browser

Posted in web with tags , on January 27, 2009 by Bartosz Radaczyński

Boy, are there many browsers out there. I’ve tried a lot, with all the different versions and all that. But here’s what it boils down to: neither is perfect. OK, granted the closest one would still be firefox, but after seeing chrome boot up twice as fast on the same machine and opera even faster, I’ve gotta tell you, this one is also flawed, and big time that is… But it seems, that (no including IE) every browser that I looked had some nice features. I love firefox’ extensions, Opera’s speed dial, Chrome for it’s ability to save the screen space and for its speed, Safari for a nice user interface and speed, Konqueror for integrating with my KDE (session saving when shutting down the computer). Will there ever be a perfect browser for me? Well, right now it’s still firefox, but some of the ideas from other browsers I has to import through extensions. But still, this KDE integration bothers me a little…

Heres’s a list of my currently used Firefox extensions (see, how many I have to use to get the browser to suit my needs?):

  • Adblock plus
  • Auto dial
  • download Statusbar
  • gmarks
  • locationbar
  • personal menu
  • tab mix plus
  • add’n’edit cookies
  • firebug

I specifically love the gmarks, personal menu and download statustbar for space-saving (uninstalled the google toolbar, removed menu and statusbars and now I have a lot larger viewport, though still smaller than in chrome). Hope that chrome for linux is coming out soon, but I would just love to see Firefox’s new javascript engine being even faster than chrome’s. It seems to me that chrome’s appearance has sped up the development of browsers and I’m just wondering how long Google is going to support financially two browsers (chrome and firefox), and what will come out of that. At the same time, if Konqueror’s also switching to Webkit as the default rendering engine, will Gmail and other google apps work flawlessly in Konqueror, finally?

Why don’t the managers get it?

Posted in Uncategorized on January 23, 2009 by Bartosz Radaczyński

Flow is the mental state of operation in which the person is fully immersed in what he or she is doing by a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and success in the process of the activity.

Yeah, heard it all before, will you nerds stop whinig about your work conditions? Well, no and it is because of that state above. Have you ever wondered whether the managers get it at all? And why do they cram people into open space Dilbert-like cubicles? So, dear programmer, I have some bad news for ya – the wonderful, quiet, private, well-lit office is an almost unachievable dream. Here’s why. As Joel has once written, there are several (in his opinion 5) different worlds of software development. The largest part of the programming world are the in-house programmers (and this is by large factor, I suppose). Now, notice that fo the kinds of organizations that these people work for, they are not the “core business”, which basically means they are not something that the organization is living off. So, if they are not an asset, then… you guessed it. They are the cost, the burden of running the company. Which in turn means the software development departaments in these organizations have little voice and little power. Which directly translates into: the equipment quality (the developers are the last to get LCD monitors and nice chairs), the accomodation quality (usually an open space, probably in some old building, little to no daylight, no free cofee etc.). So, if you’re one of these Java or .NET or c++ monkeys doing some accounting system for a bank/insurance company/telecom/whatever, you’re doomed. Sorry. The fact is that out of all the worlds of software developoment, the only place that you can be trated nicely is when your work translates directly to company’s income. Which is shrinkwrap software (and/or commercial web-based software, which essentially is the same thing, just instead of having to deal with gazillion windows configurations you have to deal with 5 or 6 web browsers <ok, most of the sites test using 2 or 3 and it suffices>). But, I’ve heard war stories of shrinkwrap software companies, where the CEO held an all-hands meeting just to tell the people, that their salaries were the largest cost of running the company, and that it had to be reduces. I wander, why noone told the guy: it’s and investment not a cost goddamnit. Perhaps he came from some cable manufacturing company or a reail chain or something like that and had no clue about the software industry.

So, back to the title question. The managers do get it. At least some part of them do. And it’s not like they do not appreciate the fact that creating software is a highly creative excercise, but there is a reason for the programmers to be called “monkeys”, right? And the reason is that from some point up the hierarchy all these developers seem equally significant to the manager. Every one of them is just a unit of time, a head in a count, that for all they know can be replaced (with more or less effort). They do not matter as a single person, they only matter as a piece of the machine… Like on the assembly line. Like in Office Space. If that movie seems familiar, you’re in deep shit. Get a 5 year plan to land in a decent company that makes shrinkwrap software, cause that is where you can be treated nicely, or, alternatively – make a plan to start up your own.

How to make Gmail work in Konqueror (with chat window)

Posted in Uncategorized on January 21, 2009 by Bartosz Radaczyński

So, finally after quite a while I got to know, how to make gmail play nice with Konqueror. That still does not mean that it is perfect, but it is usable at least.

  1. get the webkit rendering for konqueror (I have it by default in Interpid repos)
  2. set the browser identification to Mozilla 1.7.3 (not Firefox, not Safari, mozilla 1.7.3 specifically)
  3. go to gmail and try it out

It seems to be working just fine at my station. There are of course issues with other sites 😦 (It seems that the text documents in google docs work decently as well. The spreadsheets do not, however).

Is there a way to make webkit the default rendering engine in konqueror?