Saturday, October 11, 2008

programmer appreciation day

For those of you who don't know, "programmer appreciation day" is a holiday that I once proposed where we line up all of the programmers and you get to slap the ones who have irritated you by their stupid design choices.

My nominee for today is the moron who decided it was a good idea to let your browser play sound files without asking. I recently visited a site that plays a short piece of music when you click on the site. It irritates the hell out of me. Not so much the music itself, as that I wanted to VIEW something and instead I am HEARING something. My own computer, paid for with my own money is not under my control, and this really pisses me off.

And the 'tards who added this feature to Firefox apparently thought that it was so obvious that everyone wants to listen to every damn sound file put up by any idiot with a web site that they don't even give a simple way to turn the feature off. There probably is a way to turn it off if you spend an hour figuring out how and you are a programmer. I'll probably be doing that later today.

One thing that did not work was going through the entire list of plugins and setting them all to "always ask". Apparently there is a special exception for .wav files where it doesn't have to ask even if you tell it to because some moron programmer couldn't imagine why you might not want your computer blaring forth with random music fragments as you browse the web.

And as long as I'm on a roll, I'd like to add a nomination for the idiot who first started using the "bell" (really a primitive speaker) to beep at you when you make an error. What additional information could that beep possibly add to the error message? Is the unpleasant sound and startlement supposed to train you not to commit errors? Didn't work. Or is the point to let everyone in the office know that you committed an error, in case they are keeping score? This was so bad in Linux that I used to cut the wire to the built-in speaker on my PCs.

My computer today has a mute button that I can use as a less drastic substitute for cutting the wires, but it still annoys the hell out of me that I can't control what my own computer does when it visits web sites.

UPDATE: Well, NoScript seems to have done the trick. It cancels a lot of other stuff though. I'm not sure if I prefer the security or the convenience.

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