Opensource? and free!



  • Who doesn't love it? A very nice program for free? Cool isn't it? I used to like flashget from the ages it was shareware. Then it got free and started getting new and new options. Strangely the homepage is in chinese or God know what language. It started crashing on and off but hey, it's free! Now what I found finally convinced me that I should find some replacement - if such a simple thing they can't get it right - what about the rest... it sort of explains what's going on with this project:

     



  • "Download managers" are universally a load of half-truths and bad ideas. Most of what they do is just busywork, playing off the idea that more complicated things are somehow better.



  • @asuffield said:

    "Download managers" are universally a load of half-truths and bad ideas. Most of what they do is just busywork, playing off the idea that more complicated things are somehow better.

    The basic concept of download managers is sound; splitting up a download into multiple chunks and running multiple HTTP streams at once, along with tracking blocks to allow pausing and resuming without failure.

     This is extremely effective on overloaded websites; splitting the file into 10 chunks can easily boost your download speed by 1000% when your connection is 600KBps and you're only getting 30KBps.

    Of course, most are terribly written, I agree.

     DownThemAll is a very simple good one.

     



  • Unless a lot of people start using them, so that the total connections increase by 10 fold across the board, increasing overhead and decreasing everyone's net throughput.



  • @SeekerDarksteel said:

    Unless a lot of people start using them, so that the total connections increase by 10 fold across the board, increasing overhead and decreasing everyone's net throughput.

    Of course.  Download managers are the equivalent of cutting in line. 



  • @Dark Shikari said:

    @SeekerDarksteel said:

    Unless a lot of people start using them, so that the total connections increase by 10 fold across the board, increasing overhead and decreasing everyone's net throughput.

    Of course.  Download managers are the equivalent of cutting in line. 

    I make no secret of the fact that I despise them. Heck, I wrote a download accelerator once, but I also ran a Web server off my old Mac for a few years. On an upstream of 16 or 24 kB/sec, a single user gets all the bandwidth there is. Two users, half each. One user with five open connections, just strangles the poor server. A second user now gets 1/6th of the bandwidth, a third user will simply time out. Horrible things.

    I wrote a download counter for another site, that did a passthrough to stop HTTP auth upsetting Internet Explorer. This bypasses Apache's Range support, stopping people from resuming broken downloads. So I had to write my own byte range support, and took it as an opportunity to stop download accelerators working =) If the byte range requested did not reach the end of the file, I would return 200 OK and the whole file, so the accelerator would assume that byte ranges were not supported. Never got to prove that it worked (I didn't have a download accelerator installed), although normal resume worked.

    Alas, Dreamhost spoilt all that with their lousy, misimplemented server limits, so I had to throw the counter out. Shame.



  • @Dark Shikari said:

    The basic concept of download managers is sound; splitting up a download into multiple chunks and running multiple HTTP streams at once, along with tracking blocks to allow pausing and resuming without failure.

    To my opinion, the best feature of download managers is tracking and categorizing all your finished downloads, so you know, which came from where. Back in the days I had dial-up, I used to "surf offline": prepare a bunch of webpages to view, connect-download-disconnect, read, follow links to prepare a new bunch, goto 2. Flashget was my best friend then.

    Notwithstanding, I still curse the day when I upgraded to FlashGet 1.8. When they added BitTorrent, they broke everything else. And when they added MFTP (eMule), they broke the UI, as well. And since FlashGet upgraded my download DB, and I deleted my backup, I can't go back. So now I'm stuck with 1.8.2.1001, fearing and loathing the subsequent releases. Arrr!

    BTW, there is an Engrish homepage as well. And there's nothing opensource about FG, unfortunately.



  • @nsimeonov said:

    Who doesn't love it? A very nice program for free? Cool isn't it? I used to like flashget from the ages it was shareware. Then it got free and started getting new and new options. Strangely the homepage is in chinese or God know what language. It started crashing on and off but hey, it's free! Now what I found finally convinced me that I should find some replacement - if such a simple thing they can't get it right - what about the rest... it sort of explains what's going on with this project:

     

    In what way does a very minor translation mistake (that could just as well be a typo) in a language that is not that of the developers have any bearing at all on the general quality of the program? I think you're being a bit xenophobic. For commercial products, true, 'Engrish' may be indicative of things being done 'on the cheap', but for a free (as in beer) program being presumably developed by amateurs, the quality of the translation is irrelevant to that of the actual code.

    That the program keeps crashing DOES indicate something is wrong, but not the translation glitch.

    Maybe TRWTF is the 'Normal, High, Highest' marketingspeak. Like McDonald's offering 'Regular, Medium, Large'. Because no-one wants to call their offering 'Small'.



  • @m0ffx said:

    Maybe TRWTF is the 'Normal, High, Highest' marketingspeak. Like McDonald's offering 'Regular, Medium, Large'. Because no-one wants to call their offering 'Small'.

     

    I once ordered a "regular" size drink at a fast food place, and they gave me this little 8 once drink.   Then I said, I ordered a regular.  And they said, "that is a regular".  And I said, "what are your sizes?", and they said, "regular, medium, large".  And I said, "I wanted regular as in the default size.  Regular according to the english language."  I argued with them until they gave up and gave me a medium size drink.  I've never been back.  Fuck that place (it wasn't McDonalds, it was fucking Arbys).


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @tster said:

    I once ordered a "regular" size drink at a fast food place, and they gave me this little 8 once drink.   Then I said, I ordered a regular.  And they said, "that is a regular".  And I said, "what are your sizes?", and they said, "regular, medium, large".  And I said, "I wanted regular as in the default size.  Regular according to the english language."  I argued with them until they gave up and gave me a medium size drink.

    So having been informed that they call their smallest drink 'regular,' and the one you wanted 'medium' you still persisted on ordering a 'regular' and got stroppy because they wouldn't serve you a 'medium?'

    Makes sense. 



  • @PJH said:

    @tster said:

    I once ordered a "regular" size drink at a fast food place, and they gave me this little 8 once drink.   Then I said, I ordered a regular.  And they said, "that is a regular".  And I said, "what are your sizes?", and they said, "regular, medium, large".  And I said, "I wanted regular as in the default size.  Regular according to the english language."  I argued with them until they gave up and gave me a medium size drink.

    So having been informed that they call their smallest drink 'regular,' and the one you wanted 'medium' you still persisted on ordering a 'regular' and got stroppy because they wouldn't serve you a 'medium?'

    Makes sense. 


    Regular is way too ambiguous, generally any employee should be able to get you a drink of a relatively appropriate size if you specify how many ounces you want. I used to work at Tim Hortons (a super popular Canadian coffee shop), regular could mean: a small coffee (8 oz), a medium coffee (10 oz), a large coffee (14/16 oz) [safest bet was medium], also it could mean non-decaf (although specifying a modifier for said coffee is redundant and confused alot of people) or a coffee with one cream and one sugar. Also I had the pleasure of serving a few irritable customers whose definition was anything but regular (presumably they thought they were regulars). Yay, I love parentheses.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Lingerance said:

    @PJH said:

    @tster said:

    I once ordered a "regular" size drink at a fast food place, and they gave me this little 8 once drink.   Then I said, I ordered a regular.  And they said, "that is a regular".  And I said, "what are your sizes?", and they said, "regular, medium, large".  And I said, "I wanted regular as in the default size.  Regular according to the english language."  I argued with them until they gave up and gave me a medium size drink.

    So having been informed that they call their smallest drink 'regular,' and the one you wanted 'medium' you still persisted on ordering a 'regular' and got stroppy because they wouldn't serve you a 'medium?'

    Makes sense. 


    Regular is way too ambiguous <snip>

    Generally yes. But there was no ambiguity above, once the employee specified what the sizes were.



  • @tster said:

    @m0ffx said:

    Maybe TRWTF is the 'Normal, High, Highest' marketingspeak. Like McDonald's offering 'Regular, Medium, Large'. Because no-one wants to call their offering 'Small'.

     

    I once ordered a "regular" size drink at a fast food place, and they gave me this little 8 once drink.   Then I said, I ordered a regular.  And they said, "that is a regular".  And I said, "what are your sizes?", and they said, "regular, medium, large".  And I said, "I wanted regular as in the default size.  Regular according to the english language."  I argued with them until they gave up and gave me a medium size drink.  I've never been back.  Fuck that place (it wasn't McDonalds, it was fucking Arbys).

    Wouldn't it have been faster to just say "medium", then?

     

    Even if "regular" means default size, why couldn't small be the default size?

     

    That has got to be the stupidest argument and reason not to go back to a place I've ever heard. 

     



  • @NerfTW said:

    Wouldn't it have been faster to just say "medium", then?

    I rarely ever eat at fast food restaurants, so I'm always significantly dismayed at the truly tiny burgers you get given. I don't have a problem with their fries or drinks, but if I wanted a burger the size of a digestive biscuit, I'd make that clear ;-) Radio rally burgers are always bigger and much tastier. Reminds me of the one where the waiter asks you how you found your steak ...



  • A.  I didn't know their sizing scheme when I ordered, or I would have ordered a medium (duh).   However, having been to places where their sizes are "medium, large, super" I wanted to make sure I got the "regular" (meaning average) size drink.
    B.  That's not the only reason I don't ever go there again, its on a list of some other reasons.



  • @m0ffx said:

    In what way does a very minor translation mistake (that could just as well be a typo) in a language that is not that of the developers have any bearing at all on the general quality of the program? I think you're being a bit xenophobic. For commercial products, true, 'Engrish' may be indicative of things being done 'on the cheap', but for a free (as in beer) program being presumably developed by amateurs, the quality of the translation is irrelevant to that of the actual code.

     I don't strictly agree with that, most free software should still include some degree of QA.  Most open source solutions certainly do.

    That said, "Hight" is a typo I've been known to make when my fingers are working faster than my brain.  My typos rarely make it through my own testing though, let alone through QA.
     



  • @tster said:

    A.  I didn't know their sizing scheme when I ordered, or I would have ordered a medium (duh).   However, having been to places where their sizes are "medium, large, super" I wanted to make sure I got the "regular" (meaning average) size drink.
    B.  That's not the only reason I don't ever go there again, its on a list of some other reasons.

     

    Yes, but your story says that you continued to order "regular" after being told what the sizes were, and being shown that "regular" was a small, until they "gave in" and gave you the medium.

     At the point where you saw what size regular was, and was told what the sizes were, you should have just said "Oh, then I wanted the medium.", not argued over the naming scheme. Especially since "regular" varies depending on where you are.



  • @asuffield said:

    "Download managers" are universally a load of half-truths and bad ideas. Most of what they do is just busywork, playing off the idea that more complicated things are somehow better.

    Back in the dark ages when I used dialup, I found having a download manager absolutely essential. It supported resuming downloads (Netscape Navigator didn't, and IE's support was buggy), and it let me queue up downloads and then get them one at a time.



  • @tster said:

    A.  I didn't know their sizing scheme when I ordered, or I would have ordered a medium (duh).   However, having been to places where their sizes are "medium, large, super" I wanted to make sure I got the "regular" (meaning average) size drink.
    B.  That's not the only reason I don't ever go there again, its on a list of some other reasons.

    The whole 'funny sizing' thing is quite annoying actually.  There's nothing inherently wrong with calling everything Small, Medium, and Large, and there's the added benefit of not confusing your guests.  Do they really think they are fooling anyone with that crap?

    And while we're on it, what the fuck is with Starbucks?   They have three sizes that all seem to mean 'large'.  Screw that, I just ask for small, medium, or large there also, and they always get it right.

     



  • @tster said:

    A.  I didn't know their sizing scheme when I ordered, or I would have ordered a medium (duh).   However, having been to places where their sizes are "medium, large, super" I wanted to make sure I got the "regular" (meaning average) size drink.

    I always ask what the sizes are when they have more than 2 sizes (like regular and large). And on most fast-food places you can usually see the cups and there are usually signs with huge letters with the name of the size. And for the record - I don't really understand what's up with everyone in US - I can't drink so much water what to say about cola. On last trip to Vegas I was always ordering the smallest size and still couldn't drink it all what about refilling which is free usually. 8 ounces are over 200ml so that's exactly what I order here. Hey it's not wine, that some soda :)

     

    @NerfTW said:

    Yes, but your story says that you continued to order "regular" after being told what the sizes were, and being shown that "regular" was a small, until they "gave in" and gave you the medium.

     At the point where you saw what size regular was, and was told what the sizes were, you should have just said "Oh, then I wanted the medium.", not argued over the naming scheme. Especially since "regular" varies depending on where you are.

    Yes, but think this way - he made the day of this guy (I believe it's either a guy or a very ugly girl, because they kept arguing... if it was a blonde girl she would have just smiled and that would put an end of the argue). And also we can guess that this guy was really bored so a philosophical debate was just what he was looking for. Imagine being on a place like this asking people day after day what they want and explaining the same promotions, offering bigger sizes for a few cents more like it's the biggest deal they can get in their life etc. Man, that debate about "what should be the default size and is the word 'regular' appropriate for it and should it be the smallest size... oh and isn't 8oz way too small to offer it in first place" - wow, that's sounds so much more interesting and refreshing. You can bet they were talking about this for a month at least :)



  • @NerfTW said:

    @tster said:

    A.  I didn't know their sizing scheme when I ordered, or I would have ordered a medium (duh).   However, having been to places where their sizes are "medium, large, super" I wanted to make sure I got the "regular" (meaning average) size drink.
    B.  That's not the only reason I don't ever go there again, its on a list of some other reasons.

     

    Yes, but your story says that you continued to order "regular" after being told what the sizes were, and being shown that "regular" was a small, until they "gave in" and gave you the medium.

     At the point where you saw what size regular was, and was told what the sizes were, you should have just said "Oh, then I wanted the medium.", not argued over the naming scheme. Especially since "regular" varies depending on where you are.

    my story says that I never ordered again after I was told that a regular was 8 oz.   And as you say, what I said was, "Then fine, what I want is that one, pointing at the middle size of all sizes."  Of course being the idiots that they were they didn't simply give it to me and change the price that they were charging me, they continued to tell me that it was a medium.  the exchange went as follows:

    "I was a regular drink" - me
    <cashier hands me a 8 oz. drink>
    "I wanted a regular drink, not a small" -me
    "This is a regular" - cashier
    "I want a larger drink than that" - me
    "We have this medium and large" - cashier
    "I want that one" <points at medium> - me
    "But I already charged you for the medium which you orded" - cashier
    "I don't care, I want that one" - me
    "But you said you wanted the regular" - cashier
    <insert speech about the meaning of the word "regular"> - me
    "fine take the medium" - cashier

     

    I didn't want to type out a novel about my shitty service, but since you people seem to be unable to understand the sentences that I have typed, perhaps you can see now what happened.


     



  • @nsimeonov said:

    @tster said:

    A.  I didn't know their sizing scheme when I ordered, or I would have ordered a medium (duh).   However, having been to places where their sizes are "medium, large, super" I wanted to make sure I got the "regular" (meaning average) size drink.

    I always ask what the sizes are when they have more than 2 sizes (like regular and large). And on most fast-food places you can usually see the cups and there are usually signs with huge letters with the name of the size. And for the record - I don't really understand what's up with everyone in US - I can't drink so much water what to say about cola. On last trip to Vegas I was always ordering the smallest size and still couldn't drink it all what about refilling which is free usually. 8 ounces are over 200ml so that's exactly what I order here. Hey it's not wine, that some soda :)

     

    @NerfTW said:

    Yes, but your story says that you continued to order "regular" after being told what the sizes were, and being shown that "regular" was a small, until they "gave in" and gave you the medium.

     At the point where you saw what size regular was, and was told what the sizes were, you should have just said "Oh, then I wanted the medium.", not argued over the naming scheme. Especially since "regular" varies depending on where you are.

    Yes, but think this way - he made the day of this guy (I believe it's either a guy or a very ugly girl, because they kept arguing... if it was a blonde girl she would have just smiled and that would put an end of the argue). And also we can guess that this guy was really bored so a philosophical debate was just what he was looking for. Imagine being on a place like this asking people day after day what they want and explaining the same promotions, offering bigger sizes for a few cents more like it's the biggest deal they can get in their life etc. Man, that debate about "what should be the default size and is the word 'regular' appropriate for it and should it be the smallest size... oh and isn't 8oz way too small to offer it in first place" - wow, that's sounds so much more interesting and refreshing. You can bet they were talking about this for a month at least :)

     

    you win the thread.  (and for the record, it was an ugly teenage male behind the counter) 



  • @tster said:

    @NerfTW said:
    @tster said:

    A.  I didn't know their sizing scheme when I ordered, or I would have ordered a medium (duh).   However, having been to places where their sizes are "medium, large, super" I wanted to make sure I got the "regular" (meaning average) size drink.
    B.  That's not the only reason I don't ever go there again, its on a list of some other reasons.

     

    Yes, but your story says that you continued to order "regular" after being told what the sizes were, and being shown that "regular" was a small, until they "gave in" and gave you the medium.

     At the point where you saw what size regular was, and was told what the sizes were, you should have just said "Oh, then I wanted the medium.", not argued over the naming scheme. Especially since "regular" varies depending on where you are.

    my story says that I never ordered again after I was told that a regular was 8 oz.   And as you say, what I said was, "Then fine, what I want is that one, pointing at the middle size of all sizes."  Of course being the idiots that they were they didn't simply give it to me and change the price that they were charging me, they continued to tell me that it was a medium.  the exchange went as follows:

    "I was a regular drink" - me
    <cashier hands me a 8 oz. drink>
    "I wanted a regular drink, not a small" -me
    "This is a regular" - cashier
    "I want a larger drink than that" - me
    "We have this medium and large" - cashier
    "I want that one" <points at medium> - me
    "But I already charged you for the medium which you orded" - cashier
    "I don't care, I want that one" - me
    "But you said you wanted the regular" - cashier
    <insert speech about the meaning of the word "regular"> - me
    "fine take the medium" - cashier

     

    I didn't want to type out a novel about my shitty service, but since you people seem to be unable to understand the sentences that I have typed, perhaps you can see now what happened.


     

    So you didn't pay attention to the wording they posted on their menu and then got upset about it?

    Why not just use Small, Medium, and Large, which leaves little to no room for interpretation.  At best, you order a small and they say "Regular" and you respond "yeah, that.  Thanks"

    I always use Small, Medium, Large when I am not sure because people like to rename things.  But Regular is an ambiguous term leaving open what could be interpreted.  At least when you order a Medium, you know that it can't be smaller than the small and should be smaller than the large.

    I believe, rather than be a pompous ass, you could've had the following conversation:

     "I want a Regular drink" - you
    <Cashier hands you an 8oz. drink>
    "Oh, I'm sorry.  I was thinking something larger than that - like a Medium or something" - you
    "Oh - Regular is our smallest size.  We have Regular, Medium, and Large" - Cashier
    "Alright - can I have the medium instead?" - you

    At this point, if the cashier argues, you at least have been quite reasonable about the whole thing.

    Have you ever worked retail or food services?



  • @Carnildo said:

    @asuffield said:
    "Download managers" are universally a load of half-truths and bad ideas. Most of what they do is just busywork, playing off the idea that more complicated things are somehow better.

    Back in the dark ages when I used dialup, I found having a download manager absolutely essential. It supported resuming downloads (Netscape Navigator didn't, and IE's support was buggy), and it let me queue up downloads and then get them one at a time.

    The fact that all the browsers you tried were unspeakable outdated crap is not really a justification for anything.



  • @asuffield said:

    @Carnildo said:

    @asuffield said:
    "Download managers" are universally a load of half-truths and bad ideas. Most of what they do is just busywork, playing off the idea that more complicated things are somehow better.
    Back in the dark ages when I used dialup, I found having a download manager absolutely essential. It supported resuming downloads (Netscape Navigator didn't, and IE's support was buggy), and it let me queue up downloads and then get them one at a time.

    The fact that all the browsers you tried were unspeakable outdated crap is not really a justification for anything.

    Eh?  If he's talking about the IE 5 days, there were no good download managers built in to any browser that I had ever seen.  Having been on dialup until about 2001 starting around 1993 or so, I can say a download manager was better than anything else.

    I believe I used one of the first versions of GetRight.  Simple, easy, and didn't do much of anything aside from allow you to resume a download.



  • @ShadowWolf said:

    If he's talking about the IE 5 days, there were no good download managers built in to any browser that I had ever seen.

    Microsoft are a strange company. The difference between their Mac and Windows products is always intriguing. Tantek Çelik -- one of the developers of Mac Internet Explorer -- mourned the passing of the product, which is puzzling, since about all IE:mac 5 did for me is look pretty and crash hard. Yet, it resumed downloads, as did (and still does) the rival iCab (which is precisely what I used for dial-up). IE for Mac was, system crashes aside, a reasonable adopter of Mac technology; it was Netscape and then Mozilla which utterly refused to participate in Internet Config to derive all of its settings, something even Microsoft did perfectly for IE and OE. Mozilla was horrible.

    Windows Internet Explorer, though ...

    I don't know why Windows/Linux browsers all failed to resume downloads, although Mozilla have finally decided to introduce it with Firefox 3. They've taken their time about it but got there at last. There are still enough people left with dial-up for it to matter, and with luck it will survive a bluescreen too :-)

    But queuing, too? Even on 56k, sites can fail to saturate your connection, so running two connections at once helps to keep it at peak (!) But find a program that will have a one connection limit pers site, and two connections total ... I've never found that. If my limit is one concurrent transfer but it's going slowly, I can't start a second from another site, not even a teeeeeeeensy little file. It's OK with Firefox as even the DownThemAll! extension is optional, but with a built-in mechanism like iCab, there's no override. Firefox won't queue anyway though, it's incapable of it. It just spins when it has no spare connections for that site. I hope 3 fixes this too ...



  • @Daniel Beardsmore said:

    I don't know why Windows/Linux browsers all failed to resume downloads

    Keyword: Windows. More or less all of the Linux/Unix web clients do it. It's just the ones ported from Windows that don't (both of them).

    @ShadowWolf said:

    If he's talking about the IE 5 days, there were no good download managers built in to any browser that I had ever seen.

    I bet you didn't use anything other than Windows.



  • @asuffield said:

    @Daniel Beardsmore said:

    I don't know why Windows/Linux browsers all failed to resume downloads

    Keyword: Windows. More or less all of the Linux/Unix web clients do it. It's just the ones ported from Windows that don't (both of them).

    So, what, the Linux dudes are playing a trick on Windows users to make sure that all the good software never actually leaves Linux? =) I bet that accounts for Audacity too ...



  • @Daniel Beardsmore said:

    So, what, the Linux dudes are playing a trick on Windows users to make sure that all the good software never actually leaves Linux? =) I bet that accounts for Audacity too ...

    You mean to say the Linux build of Audacity rivals an implementation of ProTools? 



  • @dhromed said:

    You mean to say the Linux build of Audacity rivals an implementation of ProTools?

    As I understand it, asuffield was saying that the Linux browsers that made it to Windows are, in some ways at least, inferior to all other browsers; I was joking that the Linux world would not deign to have their crown jewel browsers make it over to Windows. You have to switch to get to use those.

    I also speculated that if this were true, it may also account for Audacity. I'm not saying that the Linux version is any better, but that Linux has superior audio editors that no-one else is allowed to use. I've pulled off some magic with the shareware SndSampler for Mac OS (where you have to pre-allocate all the RAM you'll ever need) and yet I can't seem to do any good with Audacity even though it seems superior in every way. Maybe it's that SndSampler has a pink waveform graph? (Pink train doors look especially good.)

    PS. I hate bad spelling twice as much as the next guy, but open source software with translation errors in? Uh huh ... I translated one of my own tiny programs into French and German and still screwed up really badly :) Crashing is bad, spelling, don't worry about it.



  • When last I checked, Audacity runs just fine on Windows.



  • @Daniel Beardsmore said:

    @asuffield said:
    @Daniel Beardsmore said:

    I don't know why Windows/Linux browsers all failed to resume downloads

    Keyword: Windows. More or less all of the Linux/Unix web clients do it. It's just the ones ported from Windows that don't (both of them).

    So, what, the Linux dudes are playing a trick on Windows users to make sure that all the good software never actually leaves Linux? =) I bet that accounts for Audacity too ...

    I believe it's more that the people who can write really good software are acutely disinterested in the fate of Windows users, so never bother to port their stuff. My experience is that they usually think Windows users have chosen their own punishment and should be left to enjoy it, and not bothered by people trying to make their lives better for no personal gain.

    As I understand it, asuffield was saying that the Linux browsers that
    made it to Windows are, in some ways at least, inferior to all other
    browsers

    Firefox and Opera are the only significant ones that run on both platforms, and they are both fundamentally Windows applications that were later ported. There are no significant ports to Windows of browsers that originated on Linux/Unix. Given this, it's hardly surprising that they both suffer from the culture of mediocrity that surrounds WIndows.



  • @asuffield said:

    I believe it's more that the people who can write really good software are acutely disinterested in the fate of Windows users, so never bother to port their stuff. My experience is that they usually think Windows users have chosen their own punishment and should be left to enjoy it, and not bothered by people trying to make their lives better for no personal gain.

    Well, Linux devotees do have their heads up their assholes a lot anyway :)

    I was a devoted Mac user, but it soon became clear that unless I converted everyone I knew to Macs, no-one could even run any of my software (Macs felt even more obscure than Linux). I never imagined I'd run Windows at home, but life changes in unexpected ways. The more I used Windows, the more I realised that it's usable, and it's helped me to realise that there's no perfection, and you choose your poison. Every OS sucks and you find what you can live with. I have Mac OS 9 and Win2k set up here for routine use, and Mac OS X and WinXP on machines too akward to use for long periods. I'd probably be bored enough to install Linux if it was easy enough, but it's not. I have coLinux set up, and a Windows-based X server, but I need far more RAM for that to work.

    But a lot of people don't know any different and certainly won't or even cannot afford to shell out for a Mac, or make head or tail out of six billion competing Linux distros that still have collossal reliability woes. I don't judge people by their choice or lack thereof any more, and would rather help them. For example, a Windows version of a tool of mine will really help a friend who has to work with Windows, but laughing in his face won't do anyone any good.

    Cross-platform though depends on your starting point. GTK+ is an interesting one because GTK+ runs in Windows, so some ports were created as an afterthougt, for example Pidgin (gaim). XUL (through XULrunner) is another choice that will work out well. But if you want a nice native solution, you have to build that in from the start, using wxWidgets and anything else suitable (that's the only one I know of). It's not just a case of Windows any more as Macs are getting trendier and even Linux die-hards are moving over to Mac OS X, so suddenly GTK+ is no longer as good a starting point: your app won't work on Macs.

    I still ponder on this one: is it better to write a whole app from scratch on each platform, and triple the bug count and workload, or go cross-platform? You can make life easier with a core-UI split, as in libpurple to finch, Pidgin and Adium. But that still means tons of UI design and debugging that wxWidgets or XUL would prevent. But then you have to weigh up the costs of non-native feel to apps.

    My dream is to be good at C++ and be able to clean up wxWidgets and make it perfect. Audacity's scroll bars for example are drawn wrong (even Firefox does a better job with its fake ones than wxWidgets' native ones) and it indicates a flaw. Menu iteration in VLC Player is very slow -- is that a wxWidgets flaw? And I'd want to compare every aspect -- button size, spacing, scroll bar widths, window padding, window layout policies (control count, use of tabs vs large dialogs) ...

    Maybe another day...



  • @ShadowWolf said:

    @tster said:
    @NerfTW said:
    @tster said:

    A.  I didn't know their sizing scheme when I ordered, or I would have ordered a medium (duh).   However, having been to places where their sizes are "medium, large, super" I wanted to make sure I got the "regular" (meaning average) size drink.
    B.  That's not the only reason I don't ever go there again, its on a list of some other reasons.

     

    Yes, but your story says that you continued to order "regular" after being told what the sizes were, and being shown that "regular" was a small, until they "gave in" and gave you the medium.

     At the point where you saw what size regular was, and was told what the sizes were, you should have just said "Oh, then I wanted the medium.", not argued over the naming scheme. Especially since "regular" varies depending on where you are.

    my story says that I never ordered again after I was told that a regular was 8 oz.   And as you say, what I said was, "Then fine, what I want is that one, pointing at the middle size of all sizes."  Of course being the idiots that they were they didn't simply give it to me and change the price that they were charging me, they continued to tell me that it was a medium.  the exchange went as follows:

    "I was a regular drink" - me
    <cashier hands me a 8 oz. drink>
    "I wanted a regular drink, not a small" -me
    "This is a regular" - cashier
    "I want a larger drink than that" - me
    "We have this medium and large" - cashier
    "I want that one" <points at medium> - me
    "But I already charged you for the medium which you orded" - cashier
    "I don't care, I want that one" - me
    "But you said you wanted the regular" - cashier
    <insert speech about the meaning of the word "regular"> - me
    "fine take the medium" - cashier

     

    I didn't want to type out a novel about my shitty service, but since you people seem to be unable to understand the sentences that I have typed, perhaps you can see now what happened.


     

    So you didn't pay attention to the wording they posted on their menu and then got upset about it?

    Why not just use Small, Medium, and Large, which leaves little to no room for interpretation.  At best, you order a small and they say "Regular" and you respond "yeah, that.  Thanks"

    I always use Small, Medium, Large when I am not sure because people like to rename things.  But Regular is an ambiguous term leaving open what could be interpreted.  At least when you order a Medium, you know that it can't be smaller than the small and should be smaller than the large.

    I believe, rather than be a pompous ass, you could've had the following conversation:

     "I want a Regular drink" - you
    <Cashier hands you an 8oz. drink>
    "Oh, I'm sorry.  I was thinking something larger than that - like a Medium or something" - you
    "Oh - Regular is our smallest size.  We have Regular, Medium, and Large" - Cashier
    "Alright - can I have the medium instead?" - you

    At this point, if the cashier argues, you at least have been quite reasonable about the whole thing.

    Have you ever worked retail or food services?

    1.  Yes, I worked fast food for 3 years. 

    2.  I just realized it's worthless arguing with you because you don't even bother to read the words that I write.  But I will try again:

      a.  I have ordered mediums before and gotten a small because their sizes went somethinglike, "medium, large, super".  So I abandoned that idea.
      b.  I followed pretty much exactly what you tell me should have done except I pointed at the "medium" size drink instead of saying "medium".  Considering that he could not possibly have been confused about which size I pointed at, that would be just as good.  Then he proceeded to tell me that he already rung me up for the "regular" (note: I hadn't even paid yet, though I would have said the exact same thing even if I had paid).  Then I told him to change my order.  And he argued with me again.  This is the point that I lost it.  After he refused to change my order twice after I had showed him exactly what I wanted.  Perhaps you are that kid at the Arbys with whom I had this exchange, because it seams you too need to be told 3 times before you understand.

     
    Also, if anyone here hasn't worked in fast food, it's probably you.  Everyone that has ever worked fast food (and been any good at it (and I was)) knows that the key to making more money (and hence getting raises, getting more hours, getting the manager to like you, and getting the days off you want off) if up selling.  To argue for a millisecond when a customer clearly states that they want a larger size than they currently have (especially a soft drink) is beyond dumb.  Furthermore, when someone came to me and orders a "regular" drink, I hold up the medium and the large and say, "would you like this one or this one?"  About half the time they will pick the larger one.  If the customer orders just "a drink", what I do is I hold up the large drink (and only the large drink) and I say, "is this size OK?"  They almost always go with the large.  If anyone reading this is in fast food, you should try this next time your at work, I guarantee you it will work!
     



  • Pray tell asuffield, what browser do you use?  It sounds like you're saying that not only is Konqueror the best browser ever (or are you one of those people who insist they use Lynx for everything?), but that no "really good software" is ever written for Windows?

    For the record, Opera supports resuming downloads.



  • @Daniel Beardsmore said:

    laughing in his face won't do anyone any good

    It usually improves the mood of the person laughing. That's pretty much always been the purpose of laughter. Once again I find myself wondering what somebody thinks the purpose of this site is.

     

    I don't judge people by their choice or lack thereof any more

    I am puzzled as to how you judge people, if not by their decisions. 


    For example, a Windows version of a tool of mine will really help a friend who has to work with Windows

    And as I already said once, the really good developers are unlikely to have any interest in helping them. I believe this is because such people always have better things to do.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @tster said:

    my story says that I never ordered again after I was told that a regular was 8 oz.   

    QFT:

    I once ordered a "regular" size drink at a fast food place, and they
    gave me this little 8 once drink.   Then I said, I ordered a regular. 
    And they said, "that is a regular".  And I said, "what are your
    sizes?", and they said, "regular, medium, large".  And I said, "I
    wanted regular as in the default size.
    Regular according to the english language." I argued with them until they gave up and gave me a medium size drink.

    That indicates to me you had the chance to re-order your drink in the 'correct size' - instead you argued that what they gave you wasn't regular, even after you'd been told it was their regular.

    Makes sense. 

    (Now arguing that they wouldn't change it for a medium because you'd already paid/they'd already poured it/whatever - that would have made sense.) 



  • I find it an interesting claim that all the "good stuff" of open source comes out for Linux rather than Windows; if this was true, there would be an an equivalent of Avisynth on Linux ;)

     But since there isn't, and development of Avisynth 3 is basically stalled, Linux is a completely useless environment for video editing and processing, with mencoder serving as a pale shadow of what one can do on Windows.

     Its quite annoying being forced to use Windows because its open-source software suite, at least in some categories, is better than Linux's.  So much for cross-platform.

     



  • @Daniel Beardsmore said:

    Windows Internet Explorer, though ...

    I don't know why Windows/Linux browsers all failed to resume downloads, although Mozilla have finally decided to introduce it with Firefox 3. They've taken their time about it but got there at last. There are still enough people left with dial-up for it to matter, and with luck it will survive a bluescreen too :-)

    But queuing, too? Even on 56k, sites can fail to saturate your connection, so running two connections at once helps to keep it at peak (!) But find a program that will have a one connection limit pers site, and two connections total ... I've never found that. If my limit is one concurrent transfer but it's going slowly, I can't start a second from another site, not even a teeeeeeeensy little file. It's OK with Firefox as even the DownThemAll! extension is optional, but with a built-in mechanism like iCab, there's no override. Firefox won't queue anyway though, it's incapable of it. It just spins when it has no spare connections for that site. I hope 3 fixes this too ...

    When I was on 28.8kbps dial-up (stupid line-splitter degrading ...) I used a download manager for 2 things:
    1: Download pausing and resuming, and auto-resuming if the connection got killed (2-hour limit + auto redial).
    2: On REALLY slow sites, I had it connect to multiple mirrors at once to saturate my connection.

    I had the download manager set to "max 1 connection per site", because I knew how pointless it was to connect to the same server multiple times. If it was slow because of an artificial limit, sure, but if it was slow due to load then adding more load is just being an arse.



  • @asuffield said:

    And as I already said once, the really good developers are unlikely to have any interest in helping them. I believe this is because such people always have better things to do.

    I cannot deny it, I'm not a good developer, but if I were to laugh in people's faces, I would not be much of a friend then, would I? If the only way to be a "good" developer (in the eyes of the self-appointed mighty) is to become cold and callous to users' needs (which is so true of US developers) then it's the world that has already failed, and I would have failed along with it.

    @Dark Shikari said:

    I find it an interesting claim that all the "good stuff" of open source comes out for Linux rather than Windows; if this was true, there would be an an equivalent of Avisynth on Linux ;)

    Every platform has its good and bad sides when it comes to software. Apparently no other platform has an equivalent of Windows's mp3DirectCut. Photoshop works better on a Mac than on Windows, and I've never seen a Linux image editor a fraction as good as Photoshop (can anyone say "layer effects"?). If I had space, I'd probably end up with a Linux PC to run stuff that's only good in Linux, in addition to my Mac for Mac stuff and PC for PC stuff. Fun fun =) Right about now, I'd just love space to set my 486 back up.



  • And what about Starbucks, who calls their smallest "tall" (implying that it's tall, but is not) their medium "grande" (big) and their biggest "venti" (no idea what this means). 

    Apparently the Venti were the gods of the winds or a network storage system. 



  • @Daniel Beardsmore said:

    Photoshop works better on a Mac than on Windows, and I've never seen a Linux image editor a fraction as good as Photoshop (can anyone say "layer effects"?).

    PS argument GO!

    Can you provide details as to why Photoshop's Mac buttons are more clickable and its Mac keys more pressable than the Windows port?

    And layer effects in CS3 are a misimplementation of a wonderful feature: they should have been filter layers, just like adjustment layers (which Iove more than women*). Forcing a Smart Object and allowing only 1 single mask per filter group is without a doubt a terrible crime, possibly from the portfolio of perversions of Lucifer himself.

    What ironic force of the cosmos produces a feature that gives so much freedom yet stifles it in such fundamental ways?


    (*) lies



  • @dhromed said:

    Can you provide details as to why Photoshop's Mac buttons are more clickable and its Mac keys more pressable than the Windows port?

    Apple have long provided a zoom widget in document window title bars, which signals the app to intelligently resize the window. It's not been widely copied; RISC OS is the only GUI I know of to have lifted it. Photoshop always sizes windows to fit into the gap between the palettes, so your work is never obscured by them. Mac Illustrator, at least as late as 9, works like Windows: the palettes just get in the way. There is, though, a solution for Windows: move the palette windows to the screen edges and resize the MDI window to fit in the gap manually.

    @dhromed said:

    And layer effects in CS3 are a misimplementation of a wonderful feature: they should have been filter layers, just like adjustment layers ...

    And therein lies the irony. See, when I was using brand new GIMPs (not that long ago) I was still using Photoshop 5 from 1998! I wasn't asking the GIMP to compete with Photoshop CS, but 5. And it failed to do so miserably, loading slowly and not being useful. The newest I've used, for a few seconds, is CS, and the newest I've used seriously is 7. I have 6 here right now, and that's all I need.

    I do agree that layer effects are a suspect implementation, but if no-one else can even get that far, they've lost. But yes, there are flaws in Adobe's implementation, most notably for me the fact that you can't choose which order they're drawn in. And indeed, sometimes you want to touch up the effects, but that means splitting them out as regular layers, severing the automatic generation. Your idea would let me paint out parts of effects layers, and re-order them, which would be most excellent.



  • @Daniel Beardsmore said:

    @asuffield said:

    And as I already said once, the really good developers are unlikely to have any interest in helping them. I believe this is because such people always have better things to do.

    I cannot deny it, I'm not a good developer, but if I were to laugh in people's faces, I would not be much of a friend then, would I? If the only way to be a "good" developer (in the eyes of the self-appointed mighty) is to become cold and callous to users' needs (which is so true of US developers) then it's the world that has already failed, and I would have failed along with it.

    That kind of failure to think things through probably has more to do with it. Really good developers tend to apply the same standards to life in general that they apply to their work, so they usually aren't friends with the sort of people who would willingly choose Windows. The flaws in the rest are obvious.



  • @asuffield said:

    Really good developers tend to apply the same standards to life in general that they apply to their work, so they usually aren't friends with the sort of people who would willingly choose Windows.

    I have to say, you know (or think you know; I'd have to verify all the facts) an awful lot about Windows, which suggests that you've had to spend huge amounts of time working with it in depth. As such, you'd be failing the standards you believe I should be setting in my personal life. I would entertain a guess that your home computers are not running Windows even if you have to work with it during the day. This is this friend's case, of course: his work environment includes Windows and Mac OS X, and I succeeded (if you can call it success) to get my tool to work in both those OSes before I'd ever had a computer running either (there's a strange irony in connecting a VNC session across the Atlantic ocean to do my only testing of a program, twice -- for Windows, and later with someone else for OS X). He was a Linux devotee at the time, and went over to Mac OS X in time (now that was a shock).

    I don't know how friendship is meant to work with programmers. In fact, viewing human relationships exactly like computer software makes it all the more painful, as a human being doesn't come with source code, allowing me to patch them up and compile a new version. Dealing with humans is precisely the opposite of what Open Source stands for: humans are a perfect example of something the FOSS movement wants to avoid: software where you have to suffer failure without any guarantee of resolution.

    I wasn't aware that we were even meant to have friends, and I use the term very loosely and not connoting what, growing up, I took the word to mean. One day, we will have open source friends, except they'll be more like Mr Data ...



  • @asuffield said:

    @Daniel Beardsmore said:

    I don't know why Windows/Linux browsers all failed to resume downloads

    Keyword: Windows. More or less all of the Linux/Unix web clients do it. It's just the ones ported from Windows that don't (both of them).

    @ShadowWolf said:

    If he's talking about the IE 5 days, there were no good download managers built in to any browser that I had ever seen.

    I bet you didn't use anything other than Windows.

    Incidentally, I ran on SuSE Linux for quite a long while during this time period, but never found any good download managers for Linux either and the ones built in to the browsers had little to no fault tolerance compared to GetRight.  GetRight could resume downloads from multiple locations (server can't be contacted, type a new URL, don't have to redownload a 10MB file from scratch) and also worked better when I went LD abruptly.

    Now'adays, though, I do not run Linux any longer.  I ran Redhat at first, then Mandrake, SuSe, Gentoo, and lastly Ubuntu before Windows finally met all my wants.



  • I just realized it's worthless arguing with you because you don't even bother to read the words that I write.

    7 years of retail, grocery, and fast food jobs here.  And yeah - I do read what you and basically everyone else writes, usually at least 2 times if I'm going to respond.  Sure, I can miss something - we're all human here, right?  

    Because I interpret things you write differently than you originally intended doesn't necessarily mean that I didn't read it, contrary to your belief.  Further, looking at the other responses, you might consider that you just wrote it differently than you intended; however, I'm not sure that you did.  In my experience, and obviously that's subjective, the people I worked with never purposely tried to screw their customers by selling things they didn't want or need.  I have no doubt that it works, but I guess the point is that I would rather go home knowing that I actually helped people rather than get an extra day off.  But eh - maybe that's just me.  I personally find the concept of up-selling dishonest, but again - just me.

    Certainly, him arguing over the size isn't really a reasonable thing to do, but it does take two people to argue.

    On the Starbucks thing, I've never had issues with them giving me a Medium sized drink when asking for a Medium or their Venti or whatever when I ask for a large.  Often times I am not sure if I'm at Starbuck's or Caribou until I get the cup since I order the same thing at both places, so I don't always even think about it.  As long as I get what I want, I'll keep ordering that way.  If it stops then I guess I'll bother to learn the sizes.



  • Many customers actually consider upselling a service!  For instance, We sold bagels and cream cheese.  Many customers do not know about all the flavors.  So when they order certain bagels, I suggest a flavored cream cheese to go with that bagel.  And they say, "Oh my, I never realized you had salmon (the most expensive ;) ) cream cheese, thank you!"   What do you find dishonest about suggesting a larger size or higher quality product to a customer.  That being said, If a customer specifically orders a certain size/flavor/brand whatever, I don't try to upsell.  Obviously they know what they want.



  • @tster said:

    Many customers actually consider upselling a service!  For instance, We sold bagels and cream cheese.  Many customers do not know about all the flavors.  So when they order certain bagels, I suggest a flavored cream cheese to go with that bagel.  And they say, "Oh my, I never realized you had salmon (the most expensive ;) ) cream cheese, thank you!"   What do you find dishonest about suggesting a larger size or higher quality product to a customer.  That being said, If a customer specifically orders a certain size/flavor/brand whatever, I don't try to upsell.  Obviously they know what they want.

    Certainly, trying to sell your product is always what you need to do, but the difference is whether you're selling (providing products/services they might want) or up-selling (providing products/services for the purposes of making the sale more profitable).  If the customer happens to want something that also makes the sale the most profitable then hey, that's just the best of all worlds.

    There's nothing wrong with showing 'em the Salmon, but there is something wrong if that's all you show them in my opinion.

    Personally, I have never met a customer who was happy to hear about the good ol' Gold USB Cables.  They were confused and frustrated - typically only buying it because they didn't know better.  That's kinda the case-in-point of up-selling.



  • @ShadowWolf said:

    Gold USB Cables

    It comes in Gold?  I'm getting one! 


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