Striving for greatness

Thoughts on emerging tech, open source, and life

Archive for June 28th, 2005

One thing that pisses me off about Thunderbird

It’s hard to imagine how annoying this thing is. I don’t understand why it makes me so angry, because it doesn’t take that much time to work around. But it makes me want to throw my monitor through the window.

When I’m reading e-mail, I repeatedly hit the space bar to scroll down to the bottom, then move on to the next e-mail. When I’m reading an e-mail, I often hit the delete key when I’m done to trash it. But Thunderbird must’ve missed a usability exercise for this case, because when it jumps to e-mail in another folder, it highlights the folder rather than the e-mail. Thus, when I hit delete, it pops up this stupid dialog asking, Do you really want to delete this folder?

Of course I don’t want to delete the folder, you stupid piece of crap. If I wanted to delete a folder, I would’ve explicitly clicked on a folder. I want to delete the e-mail I’m reading.

So what are the usability problems here? There’s consistency — when I’m reading e-mail, always respond to the delete key in the same way. There’s expectation — a usable program acts how the user expects it to act. And then there’s the idea that the common tasks should be made easy, and the uncommon tasks should be more work.

Obviously, deleting a folder is a less common task than deleting e-mail.

Anyway, just had to get that off my chest. Thanks for listening, world.

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Written by Donnie Berkholz

June 28, 2005 at 4:57 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

X.Org now has legal representation

It’s always fun to learn something about an organization you’re a member of by reading it in LWN. This particular instance isn’t one I greatly care about, but I’d prefer to see a different precedent set.

Written by Donnie Berkholz

June 28, 2005 at 4:18 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

[Gentoo] Readahead cancels itself out

As a followup to my previous post, the readahead doesn’t help at all. I spent a fair bit of time optimizing which files got read with some grep+ldd shell scripting, but no clear improvement.

Apparently whatever time it spends doing the readahead is about the same amount of time saved by doing it. Conclusion? I guess my disk I/O is not the rate-limiting step.

Written by Donnie Berkholz

June 28, 2005 at 10:47 am

Posted in Uncategorized

[Gentoo] Back to X “boot” speedup

Remember that craze a couple of months ago about speeding up boot times, that bootchart program, etc?

Well, I finally started hobbling along in the bandwagon’s dust. Dropped my time to GDM login from 1:07 to 0:42 after hitting Enter on the GRUB screen, a 37% reduction, with the help of a few patches. Most of them are integrated into the latest baselayout alpha’s, and I’ll commit the XDM change soon if I hear success reports from other *dm’s.

Written by Donnie Berkholz

June 28, 2005 at 12:16 am

Posted in Uncategorized