Saturday, October 3, 2009

Mega Rant

I typed this offline and copypasta'd it into Blogger for reasons stated below.

I updated to the latest SRWare Iron and it's a huge improvement over the last version I used. Chrome themes now actually work. No weird glitches upon maximizing the window anymore either. It's still a web browser with no useful extensions at all (i.e. ad blocking, script/object blocking), but at least I can make it look similar to all the rest of the things I'm running.

Then for shits and giggles I installed Opera. Spent a little bit browsing their widgets site, concluded that there aren't really any useful ones on there with only one or two exceptions. There's a Google Translator one that's pretty neat, and one that hooks into GasBuddy to show you gas prices in the area you specify. The Google Translator one works well, but the gas prices one? Even though its linked site has information on Charlottesville gas prices, it just says "no information for this area." Useless. Opera's widgets have nothing on Firefox's extensions. If you want to block ads in Opera, there's no easy way to go about it. There isn't a community-maintained block list (or the infrastructure to have one and fetch updates from time to time), you have to manually block everything and edit the list to wildcard bad domains yourself. There's no object subrequest blocking either, so you'll still see those ads in YouTube videos.

So while I was using Opera (and speaking of YouTube), I figured I'd log into YouTube and see if anyone I'm subscribed to had put up a new video. This is where Opera fails. Since I have it set to block third party cookies, as any security-minded person would do, I can't log into YouTube at all. Never mind that I have Firefox set the very same way and I can log in and out of YouTube all I want.

Then while I was browsing around, it stopped wanting to load YouTube entirely. It must have been a Comcast thing because I went back over to Firefox and it wasn't working there either. It was either that or a Google thing, since I couldn't get Blogger to load either and Google owns both.

So with everything I wanted to do on the internet not working, I moved on to something that's been bothering me for a while. Before I panicked and reformatted/reinstalled windows, I had no operational problems with Winwall. Now it seems that even with the exact same wallpaper list I had before, it insists on adding all the images in the root of the drive my wallpaper directory is on when I load the list. I swear I didn't have to hide five million things before. I have IncludeSubDirs=Off in patch.ini since there are two subdirectories I don't want it picking up on, but the images it adds are one level up the directory structure. All the more reason to write my own wallpaper rotator I guess. Since none of the available solutions do it correctly, I'll just have to do it myself.

Last but not least, Sankaku. Artefact has started putting the shock image a few images before the end of the gallery instead of it always being the last image in the gallery. Just when I'd finally gotten all the bugs out of my greasemonkey script. I don't think it's in a predictable location, and there isn't anything identifying about it that I can see (or access via Javascript). At least stick an id="shockimage" on there so it can be easily targeted (in Javascript via GreaseMonkey; in CSS via Stylish; or even via AdBlock Plus element hiding rules, which kick complete ass).

Sankaku has also been undergoing subtle changes to their site's structure that caused it to conflict with NoScript and AdBlock Plus. Apparently Artefact wanted to merge the blog portion of the site with the forums. In the process, the javascript needed for the blog portion got buried so far that I can't have the site work 100% without allowing their ads via an exception rule. I tried making a greasemonkey script to work around it, but came across a critical flaw in greasemonkey: scripts you write run after the target document has finished loading and its scripts have had a chance to run. To uproot Sankaku's scripts and replace them with my own to keep functionality without allowing ads, I'd need to be able to access the page's content before its scripts get the chance to run. Basically this means I'd have to learn how to write Firefox extensions, which will take way more time than it's worth because the documentation is horrible. So instead I just put in the exception rule and then added a few more element hiding rules to get the ads out of my sight. So now I've got ten element hiding rules for Sankaku, nine of which are sets of three that seem to be interchangeably used. Overkill much?

So, verdicts: Comcast sucks, Google Chrome/SRWare Iron are still just flashy toys, Opera always sucked, Winwall sucks, and Artefact is a fag.

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