Sunday, November 27, 2005

More Firefox

(This post was begun a few days ago)

Yes, what follows might seem like an obsession with completely inane minutiae... But I like using the keyboard. So much, that the mid-summer attack of RSI in my left hand has only now receded, to a slight stiffness/numbness of the little finger.

Getting to the point(s)...

Coming back to those Firefox 'recommendations'... there's one extension I didn't mention: Copy Plain Text. Imagine this: you're browsing, and wanting to save a few paragraphs in Word, you perform the usual maneuvres. What used to happen in/to my computer's configuration (until this extension) was an extreme system slowdown (when in doubt, blame Microsoft.) An unmitigated waste of time, nonetheless.

I can almost hear you thinking, "So, this extension sounds great... and what else is new?"

"Shaant gada-dhaari bheem shaant

See, when you need to copy text, you need to copy it, not have to wait for it to happen. Or notice that it didn't, interrupt the workflow and trains of thoughts, and see what went wrong. Or wait for the computer to unclog itself.

Here's the low down: its inbuilt conflict over Firefox' default accesskey for "open in a new tab". While it seems like an issue the (original) developer didn't anticipate, the problem contained enough concrete clues to solve the situation. Like, being able to email (instead of having to amble around at a corporate website, hoping their support staff find the query is important) the extension's developer/maintainer, who replied far sooner than expected. He even attached a modified installation package (just 5kb!) to his email, and offered to explain how to do it myself, if I wanted something other than 'X' (which he had coded in.)

As great as that was, even better was being able to (before his response came) plunge fearlessly into the program's files, and, after a bit of scanning, locate this line:

<popup id="contentAreaContextMenu">
label="Copy as Plain Text"
oncommand="copyplaintext()" />
<!-- Context Menu -->

(I'm now using "Y".) Before you consign this post to "inane obsession with minutiae", how about reorienting the thought processes, along these two ideas: 1. How great is it to (be able to) do (in my case, something as small as) this? 2. In the larger context, to not be stuck with what someone else thought you should/must stay with?


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