Unraveling Obfuscation

ob fus cate – 1. to confuse, bewilder, or stupefy 2. to make obscure or unclear

Irresistible technology – the tale of two browsers

Posted by Todd McKinney on April 1, 2008

We interrupt your regularly scheduled april fools day nonsense to bring you actual blog content. There have been quite a few recent software developments that keep gently calling to me, quietly urging a switch. This has been giving me a feeling of being drawn like a moth to a flame.


photo credit ul Marga

FriendFeed definitely tops the list, and is really becoming a must-have service for me. There are some collateral needs that grow out of my recent adoption of tools like FriendFeed, however, and I’m still resisting many of them. One good example of this is Disqus. Disqus itself, I’m using, and it’s really quite valuable. That’s what makes life complicated.

Blog hosting used to be a simple question for me. I love the freedom to manipulate every detail of blog software, and I’ve been down that path a couple of times. When I started up this blog I unequivocally decided to NOT host it myself. I just know that I would spend hours fiddling and tweaking and changing things, and I’d rather just have someone else handle it. Especially when it’s free. Now, the decision doesn’t seem so simple. I can’t see a clear way to get disqus to integrate with a hosted WP blog, and probably never will. Also, despite the fact that for me blogging=RSS it seems there is a certain value to having a well done design and the standard templates just don’t quite get there. Weighed against the pain that I know comes with self-hosting, I’m still just not ready for this kind of a hassle in my life. Score one for sticking to my guns.

The point of this post, though, is a change that I just have to make. I’m switching browsers again. It’s not because Jeff thinks my browser is lame :), but what is really driving me back to Firefox as my primary browser is the terrific collection of GreaseMonkey scripts that engtech has put out for FriendFeed. I’ve installed some of these tools and tried them out. Now, I just can’t use FriendFeed without them. The autopage fetching and comment expansion is really helpful, but the Twitter improvements are really the killer feature. Fixes the default setting on the reply checkbox and includes a handy character counter. Simple, and hard to live without. Well done.

I’ve written before about my increasing concern about browser memory appetites, and FireFox certainly does its part to keep my memory fully utilized. That, and the random browser crashes are probably the things that drove me away from firefox as my default browser the last time. Still, there’s so much to love about the multitude of available plugins, and engtech just pushed me over the edge.


2 Responses to “Irresistible technology – the tale of two browsers”

  1. felix said

    Don’t forget Web Developer and Tamper Data! Don’t web develop without ’em. FF3 beta 4 is also remarkably useable if you swing that way. 🙂

  2. Felix, you’re absolutely right. I actually thought about clarifying my general usage scenarios in the post, but I didn’t want to ramble too much. I use FireFox and IE every day, and the dev tools in FFX are indispensable. Also considered addressing the beta angle, but once again, there’s a price to pay for using things that aren’t fully cooked. It is probably about time to start digging into FFX 3 for me, but my initial reaction is not usually “oh wow, broken software, let me go get a copy” when something first comes out. Thanks for dropping by.

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