Sunday, August 17, 2008

a Firefox 3 issue and why i moved to google reader

I installed Firefox 3 on its second day of general availability, and I have been pleased with its overall performance. Hooray jemalloc.

I was totally on board with some of the (touted) new features from the beginning, such as everything in the performance and standards sections of the release notes, the improved session restore support, and the changes within Password Manager, Add-Ons Manager, and Downloads Manager.

I am still not a fan of the Awesome Bar (for me, it is not so awesome), although the Hide Unvisited extension took care of some of my issues with it. But whatever—I can deal.

However, the one issue that I just couldn't deal with any longer was the way in which live bookmarks are loaded. Specifically, live bookmarks load extremely aggressively and hang the UI at startup if you have more than a few bookmarks in the list (all live bookmarks are updated at once). This is a known bug: Bug 329534 - Live bookmarks load way too aggressively (lock up/hang/freeze browser). There are many good comments and suggestions in the bug report, and conversation is ongoing. I am certain that at some point a solution/compromise will be found and this aggressive loading of live bookmarks will cease to be an issue.

In the meantime, I adjusted to the situation by removing all my live bookmarks. This is a pretty big deal for me since all my live bookmarks are in my Sage feed reader extension, which I love very much and have used for well over four years. Four years. That's a significant number if we counted in Internet time.

But I gave up Sage and switched to Google Reader. I've never been against Google Reader or anything...I just don't switch to things unless I need to. I'm a big believer in "if it ain't broke, don't fix it," and Sage wasn't broken (actually, Sage still isn't broken—FF3 is). But now all my personal and edu mail is with GMail, I blog with Blogger, and my students use Google Docs. Good thing I like Google. They're still on the short list corporate entities I'd ever consider working for (you know, if this academic thing doesn't work out and the company I work for now decides to pack it in).

The short list, if anyone is interested, is Google (because yeah, I can just "choose" to work at Google), Pearson (they do pay me already, but not as an employee), and Sun Microsystems (I actually worked there before).