Friday, October 28, 2005

Merry Fitzmas!

Fitzmas is here and Father Fitzgerald has brought gifts! "Scooter" indicted on obstruction of justice charges(!!) resigns and the WH has no comment.

I know a lot of people are kind of dissapointed--Fitzgerald seems to have gone trolling rather than casting the wide net a lot of people were hoping--and i think this is not as good as a solid case against the whole White House, but i think Fitzgerald has a game plan in mind. My theory is pretty complex, so forgive the simplifications for here.

Fitzgerald's stated purpose is to investigate the now-infamous leak.

However, his indictment was of "Scooter" Libby and not on a leak charge but rather obstruction of justice.

During his press conference he said two things: that a grand jury was secret, but an indictment was public (reading between the lines--if my Fitzgerald Decoder Ring is up to the task--it seems like this is an important part to him and part of the investigation into the leak) and that the investigation was almost, but not quite, complete.

He didn't, that i caught, mention Rove, Cheney, or even say Novak's name. That, i think, is pretty huge.

I think he's missing something--we have seen him tease us with this stuff for a while now (he kept putting off the indictments, i mean)--and this looks like another move in his overall investigation and not the end result.

I think the comparison between fishing with nets and fishing with poles is fairly accurate, but Libby is the bait and not (as it might at first appear) the catch.


George W. Bush almost certainly knows--or could easily find out--what's really going on here by putting pressure on his staff, but he isn't doing that. Whether he's incompetent (which is certainly what he will claim--and incompetence is an impression he has been careful to give) or criminal the fact that the White House is still acting as though it has nothing to do with this ("No comment", indeed!) is damning.

The executive summary:

Bad: Fitzgerald doesn't feel he has a solid case against those who perpetrated the leak, at least not strong enough to indict at this time. He might, later, but we'll see.

Good: Fitzgerald seems to have a plan for extracting that information. A high-up is being charged on very serious grounds which do not let the rest of the administration off, either. (Remember he didn't get charged for the leak--he's not ultimately responsible, it seems--but rather for lying about the leak.)

Monday, October 10, 2005

Firefox 1.5 beta 2 review (and existential ranting)

Okay, i haven't been writing much here lately. Skip the next few paragraphs if you don't like existential rambling.

Yeah, whatever. I have school (18 credits? What was i thinking! Oh wait, i know: "I'll just drop one of these and then i'll be down to something more reasonable". Note to self: "effects on sanity" has not, typically, been a factor in my decision-making process...) and i've been sick and stuff.

Plus, really, the stuff i've been blogging about recently (politics, politics, and oh yeah: also more politics!) has been sort of burning me out. (See: outrage fatigue) and even though it looks like some of the punk-asses are going to get at least some jail time (even if it's Martha Stewart "It's like I'm back in college!"-style jail time--as opposed to "Meet Jake. He murdered five people with his penis; he weighs 350 pounds, a surprising amount of that is muscle, and he's your new cell-mate." jail time) it's still pretty shrug-your-shoulders unexciting. The House, Senate, and White House are all under separate, though thematically related, investigations for illegal wrong-doing. Each has the potential to end some sick bastard's carreer--possibly, though very very unlikely, someone's life in the last case; of course, the death penalty "is for little people" who are very much unlike the ones involved here.

It's all very nice, but what more can i say? Not much. Commenting on the mechanical procedures--although fascinating to me--has never really been my "thing" and there's not really anything else here to say. Republicans still suck, mmm'kay?


Skip to here, yo!

Okay: so i downloaded Firefox 1.5 beta 2 about an hour or two ago. It's very nice. Except for one problem. One problem that has plagued Firefox since forever. Perhaps you can tell what it is:

A Fatal Flaw

What do you mean "That's the way it's supposed to look!"? It's missing something. Something vital. See if you can spot it in this "corrected" version i made:

A Flaw Corrected (By Shapeshifter)

See it? Firefox needs--and has needed, as i noted, since forever--the ability to add an action from that dialog. I don't care if the adding is a bit advanced. It's gotta be there.

One bug that has plagued Firefox--at least, for me--is that when you click the "Always perform this action" option on the save options dialog (which, as i understand it, should add an action to the dialog i'm complaining about) it doesn't always work right. That's actually the real problem, but lacking an "add action" button also breaks the interface's intuitiveness: you have to go find a file to download to add an action, but you have to open up the dialog to remove or change one; these are two sides of the same coin and really, IMO, should be findable in the same window at least somewhere inside the browser.

So it's broken. It can't be that hard to fix (both making sure that "always" means "always" and also keeping the interface congruent) but nobody has done it.

There's another problem, although i fear i'm getting into the Holy Wars with this one, in the new save/open file dialog. Or at least there is in Linux. Actually, the problem is the dialog. They switched it from the one i like (the old Firefox) to the one i absolutely abhor (the new Firefox). For comparison:

The good dialog...
The Good Dialog

The stupid dialog...
The Stupid Dialog

Of course, the real difference between the two--or rather, the part in the so-called "stupid dialog" that i really detest--can't be seen. And, i must add, other than this one fatal flaw i really do like the stupid one better. It's just that this one flaw is a dealbreaker.

In the good dialog box i can type in whatever i want to find and it'll try to find a file in the current directory that has a name fitting that. For someone like me (i have over 200 files in my "home" directory) that is vital. Without that i end up scrolling through absolutely tons of files. I know i could organize my stuff more strictly, but there's really no sensible hierarchy that sticks out and so they all sort of get thrown together. It works when i can search it quickly by filename--like i can in the good dialog box--but does not work so much when i have to scroll through a list and manually pick out the one i want.

In other words: it takes a long time to do something really simple. Even with reasonably-sized directories it still takes me a significant amount of time more to work with them when i can't type things.

Now, there's probably more to this than i realize (and i don't just mean the justification for switching) but--here's the real thing--i don't really care. You see: i like the first dialog because it's easy to do stuff. I dislike the second because it isn't. The advantages of the second aren't precisely apparent to me because i don't use programs that use that dialog.

Okay? Well, sometimes i do. But the vast majority of the programs i use have the sane dialog. The others are either used only occassionally or do not really need a save/open dialog that often. Seriously. If i see that dialog, or others like it (hello, Qt) it's a mark against the program. Firefox, however, i use a lot. A whole freakin' lot, in fact. So the prospect of having to scroll through all those files a lot is really, really unappealing.

"So fix your directories, already!"

Here's the problem: it is easier for me to scroll through the list than it is to keep the directories clean. So, although i complain, i scroll. But for lack of a very obvious option i scroll. I say to you: is that right?

Anyway, wrapping it up:

I like Firefox 1.5, barring a couple issues (the pretty serious save/open dialog change, and of course the still-non-existent "add action" option in the download action dialog primarily) and crashes you expect out of a beta (the "sanitize personal data" thing, while cool, segfaults Fireox for me) but i'm reluctant to give it a ringing endorsement as an upgrade right now. Sure, new XML stuff and some CSS3 support is nice. Important, even. But when we're getting something like that--which is, let's face it, pretty optional at this point--over seriously obvious stuff...

Oh yeah, and did i mention the new save dialog interferes with the "add action" issue even more?

Here's hoping for the final version!