Three Monkeys, Three Typewriters, Two Days

June 11, 2006

Why Linux is SO not ready for the desktop

I upgraded from RedHat 8 to Fedora Core 4 a few months back. Since then, I've probably spent at least a week of total time trying to get sound working again. It worked fine in RedHat 8, but the ALSA drivers in Fedora Core 4 seem to be unable to deal with a basic es1371 chip. RedHat's bugzilla was no help, apart from telling me to manually install things over RPM-installed files and resolving the bug as "WORKSFORME" a few times. Eventually they pointed me to the ALSA bug database, where at least some sort of progress is happening. In the meantime, I've had no sound; something I haven't run into with Linux since about 1998.

If that gets fixed, I guess I get to try and figure out why all the virtual terminals just show garbage instead of prompts. I want to blame Xorg, since this is typical of what I recall from way back in the day when broken video drivers would just paint crap on the cirtual terminals... If anyone knows what the deal with this is, that would be much appreciated.

I have to admit that the urge to downgrade back to RedHat 8, where everything I needed Just Worked, is very strong. I wouldn't be able to build or run trunk Mozilla on this machine, which means no profiling and no use of trunk for my own browsing. But it's not like I use trunk for my own browsing anyway; it's just too broken for that....

Posted by bzbarsky at 4:02 PM

June 9, 2006

ZIP/JAR/XPI file handling

Now that we can do directory listings for ZIP files, what I'd love is for the helper app dialog for such files to offer an "open in browser" option that would just dump the file to local disk and then run jar:file:///whatever!/. I'm getting a little tired of copying and pasting the URL and adding "jar:" and "!/" to it.

Posted by bzbarsky at 9:29 PM