Disappointed

Recent Google Chrome Changes Alienating Hardcore Users gets added to the pile of unpleasant surprises. Chromium is open source, right? Open Source means user freedom, right? We’re, like, grownups, right? We can make our own decisions … right?

The second shoe fell or, rather, the second boot kicked me in the stomach toward the end of the article …

These changes weren’t made in Chrome alone, but are also reflected in the Chromium project, used as the base for other browsers, such as Opera, Vivaldi, Brave, and others.

Advertisements

Tabs vs Spaces Personal Preferences

I’ve always preferred tabs. While binge-watching Silicon Valley, I was totally on Richard’s side … at first.

Then I thought, “But wait, if I used spaces, I might not have that problem of my code getting all ugly and confusing when I switch editors (because I work on three different machines). Just as I finished that thought–while Richard and Winnie were breaking up over it–Winnie says, “because it could look different on other people’s computers.”

So, Facebook … I’m totally smart enough to work there. Call me.

Oh my gosh … of course, someone posted just that scene on YouTube.

winnie.png

I do hope Hubert Applebaum‘s profile pic is actually him:

comments.png

Anyway, I finally took a look at the Preferences in my various apps and learned a couple things. If, like me, this is fairly new to you, here’s how to changes the relevant prefs in your editor(s).

AtomPrefsLaptop.png

I was giddy with glee that I also found the settings for Soft Wrap in Atom and Word Wrap in Sublime Text.

SublimeText_Mac.png

Another pleasant surprise was discovering SublimeText’s “use tab stops” setting. It’s been a source of frustration to press tab to insert tabs only to have backspace move one space at a time.

Dreamweaver 2015‘s prefs confused me, however.

DW2015_home.png

Indent and Tab Size appear to be two different things. Are they different in those other editors? If so, can I control them there as well? Because, dude, that would ruin all this new joy if the tabs didn’t match up with wherever the cursor/indenting landed whenever I press Enter/Return. Why would you ever want them to be different?

For the curious, Dreamweaver 2017 has some additional settings:

DW2017_work.png

Speaking of differences between Adobe CC 2015 and 2017 … BEWARE! Prepare yourself by backing up all your prefs and such.

I use 2017 at work. Because when IT installed the updates (this is the strictest organization I’ve ever worked with when it comes to how locked down the computers are), it didn’t just update the apps, it “upgraded” them from 2015 to the all new 2017 … which completely wiped out all my custom settings and preferences in Photoshop. I was not happy. I’m now resetting all my shortcuts, workspaces, etc. as I need them. Dreamweaver remembered all of my custom shizzle but, for the first time in fifteen years, Dreamweaver got some significant changes and those changes make using it a drag so I definitely won’t be updating/upgrading at home.

I think it’s worth mentioning that if Atom would get it’s freezing & crashing under control, I’d never use another editor and none of this would even matter.

On another related note, Google just announced you can no longer email JavaScript files as attachments and suggest we use Google Drive or DropBox. So, these tab/spaces preference settings I’ve just learned may be moot. I may just start working on my laptop even when home or on lunch at work (where we are forbidden to access Google Drive or DropBox).

I find this decision quite irritating. Because of every idiot who ever invited a virus or bit of malware onto their computer or their employer’s network, I have to suffer. This isn’t the first time some browser people have made decisions for me that cause me pain and suffering the likes of which refugees never have to endure.

Chrome has always automatically updated Flash which caused problems at two separate employers. Meanwhile, Firefox makes you approve every flash-based thing … except, of course, any advertising. Ads get through just fine.

I’d love if I could wirelessly connect my laptop to my Mac and work laptop. I’m fairly sure I can do the (Linux) laptop and Mac but, of course, there’s no way for me to get past whatever security nightmare is on my work computer.

Another thing I hate about Adobe CC 2017 apps is a Articulame Stupidline feature they’ve adopted. When I launch an app, I click the icon/shortcut and then go back to whatever app I was using while I wait for the new app to finish launching. Storyline has always refused to stay in the background, however, jumping in front of whatever you’re using, forcing you to stop and send it to the background a time or two. This is in addition to the fact that you never know which monitor it will open on so it’s not like you can prepare. Regardless of the monitor you had it in last time you used it, it’s either random or decides to open where you don’t want it just to be a dick. Oh, and let’s not forget that after you move it, you then have to click the minimize/maximize button (it won’t minimize or maximize the window, it just changes the button to a maximize button), maximize it (which doesn’t maximize it but puts it in full-screen mode), minimize it (which doesn’t minimize it but puts the window back the way it already was, floating above the desktop), and maximize it (this time it actually means maximize) before you can use it. Have I ever mentioned what a piece of junk Storyline is?

Historically, Adobe products stay patiently and obediently in the background while launching. Now, they’re even more persistently obnoxious than Storyline. After a click or two, Storyline stays in the background. Thus far, Photoshop, Illustrator, and Dreamweaver and like self-aware … cats! They’re like cats pacing across the keyboard and in front of the monitor no matter how many times you (gently and lovingly, at first) set them aside.

gMail Security Roxor My Soxor

Tried to log in to gMail only to be told for the second time in the last few months that, due to suspicious activity, I was forced to change my password.

But here’s the kicker: this time the suspect actually used my password when attempting to log in! Fortunately, since they are, apparently, cracking my shizzle from the Bat Caves of Malaysia, Google was like, “No, I don’t think so, man.”

batcaves.png
Google even provided a map (not this one) in the notification which was extremely amusing.

Notice the time in Kuala Lumpur–they were up to no good in their own wee hours between midnight and 4am!

badGuys.png

I’m such a nerd. I’m so proud that it’s all Mac and Linux except for my day job and the bad guys. The bad guys use Windows. Gotta love that (as my son would say).

badGuys2.png
Note that bad guys use Chrome.

The initial notification specifically said, “Someone has your password” and that they used it to try and access my email. Of course I wonder from where they obtained it or if some script/app gave it to them. It could be that when … was it Amazon? … a few weeks or months ago sent me an email stating somebody had pilfered their users’ information and I should change my passwords elsewhere if I used the same one for multiple apps/sites. No, that couldn’t be it because I’ve changed them since then. Hmm …

All About Favicons & Such

Finally finishing a trio of tutorials I started months ago and just uploaded this PDF:

Give Your Site Some Yummy Favicon Goodness

Soon, I’ll write a post about the pros and cons of how various browsers handle Favorites/Bookmarks. For now, I’ll just highlight each browser’s Favorites/Bookmarks bar — a focus of discussion in the Favicon tutorial. It’s a tiny matter, really, but I believe little things count when it comes to User Experience, User Interface, etc.

I may say something akin to, “Browser X doesn’t have this feature” and some of you might quickly think, “Yes it does” but the point of my statement is twofold:

  • I shouldn’t have to look for it
  • If I look for a setting, it should be easy to find

Those are the two commandments of UX/UI as far as I am concerned. If I can’t find or use a feature/setting, it may as well not exist.

examples.png
Figure 1: Favorites Bar in Internet Explorer for Windows

A major advantage of Favicons is potential for optimized real estate on the Bar. By default, the bar includes both the site icon (favicon) and site name. Each browser has its own method for changing this.

Internet Explorer

Right-click a favorite in the Favorites Bar and choose Customize title widths > Icons only. Nice & clear, I must say.

Downside, IMHO, is it changes it for all of them. Ideally, we could change individual Favorites for a couple reasons:

  • Easily recognizable and rememberable (next year’s Word of the Year, I guarantee it) don’t need to show the site name while ugly, vague, generic favicons do.
  • Sites without favicons sharing the same generic icon provided by IE (or any given browser) need to show the name.
  • Multiple Favorites from the same site (a dozen favorites from Adobe.com, for example) need some descriptive text.

Pros

  • Tooltip shows favorite Name (which you can edit via right-click > Properties > General), page Title (which you can’t), and URL so you have even more freedom to use Icons only.
  • Icons only applies just to the bar, not to items in the menu (Figure 1)
  • IE rawks alone among all browsers by allowing you to change the icon (right-click > Properties > Web Document)! Yet another reason for Icons only. Win for IE.

Con

  • Icons only also applies to folders so how many I create is limited by my capacity to remember their names and which folder is which. The tooltip shows it, but that’s a huge inconvenience because, you know, I’m a white, male, American.

 FireFox

FireFoxMac.png
Figure 2: Firefox for Mac

Right-click a bookmark in the Bookmarks Bar, choose Properties, and delete contents of the Name field.

Pro: Above method is for each, individual favorite so I can have some with the name (Weather.com in Figure 2) and some without (Apple.com in Figure 2).

Opera

OperaMac.png
Figure 3: Opera for Mac

Rt-click > Edit and delete Name.

Pro: Super-convenient Add to bookmarks bar button. Win for Opera.

Chrome

ChromeMac.png
Figure 4: Chrome for Mac

Rt-click > Edit and delete Name.

Con: Also removes Name from menu. Lose for Chrome.

SeaMonkey

SeaMonkey.png
Figure 5: SeaMonkey for Mac

Rt-click > Properties and delete name.

Cons

  • Also deletes name in tooltip. If I have the name showing, I don’t need the tooltip but if I don’t have the name showing, I need the tooltip. Lose for SeaMonkey.
  • Ugliest generic icon.

Vivaldi

Convoluted mess I won’t dignify with a description. Lose for Vivaldi.

Tor

TorMac.jpg
Figure 6: Tor for Mac

Doesn’t seem to grab favicons or even have a generic icon so everything else is moot. Lose for Tor.