Dear Skype, Please Stop Crashing My Browser

Dear Skype:

I’ve put up with a ton of issues from Adobe Flash crashing my browsers. Now Skype is my main crash deviant.

I’ve put up with your terrible new reinstall that spawns web pages and took FOREVER recently.

You think I’m kidding.

I’ve had Skype installed since Skype began. I’m frequently teased as I’m “Lorelle” on Skype, not “Lorelle254” or some other silly name. I’m the first Lorelle that signed up for Skype, probably in your first 500-1000 registered users. I also pay for your service, so I’m qualified to rant and rave about your growing problems and my increasing frustration.

Logging in today, I was greeted by two confusing “Skype” disguised Internet Explorer browser windows. They were filled with ads but also with options and choices I had to make. I was in a hurry for a meeting and didn’t have time to mess around with reading all the stuff. I just needed to find my login.

It appeared that I would have to install Skype, so I did. Twenty minutes later, I’m now 15 minutes late for my online meeting and Skype is still not installed. Things are loading, whirling, clicking, and my state-of-the-art, powerful computer is locking up and dragging as it consumes memory and hard drive activity. Ten minutes later, it installs, but I’m still clicking around trying to just find a login. I finally find the familiar buttons and open it up, only to have those two damn Internet Explorer windows pop up, covering everything, selling me more Skype crap.

I apologize to the client and life goes on, both of us cursing Skype and browsers, and Internet software in general.

When I’m done, I’m so furious, I completely log out and quit Skype. Continue reading

Advertisements

Whom Should I Allow to Own Me

With the release of the Amazon Fire tablet and the eco-system they’ve created for it, it has me questioning who should I allow to own me.

As I travel the highways and byways of the web, the gate I pass through owns my data. It owns my experience. The information collected about what I do, how I do it, and what I do it with, is collected, collated, and distributed along with the data from my fellow gate travelers and used by the gate keepers then sold to companies of all kinds around the world for them to make sweeping decisions about what I do, how I do it, what I do with it, and how they can make money with me or because of me.

The gate keepers are Microsoft, Amazon, Apple, and Google, for the most part.

My life is already reluctantly owned by Google as I use Gmail, Google Docs, Google Apps, Google+, YouTube, Chrome, and the list goes on and on.

While my computer life started out a prisoner of Apple, I’ve years invested in ownership by Microsoft through Windows and so many of their products and hardware, including the keyboard I use to type this blog post.

Amazon, you’ve had me since the first book. Growing up in Seattle, you and Microsoft grew up with me, entering my life in college and continuing forward through today and into the future. As Amazon grew, my allegiance grew with it.

With Amazon’s Fire tablet using Google’s Android, the lines are getting blurrier and blurrier, but if I go with Fire, the flames will mostly be fueled by Amazon.

I need to get a new phone, so maybe I’ll be back with my old owner, Apple, again, reviving our connection from the 1970s and 80s.

So maybe my question is moot. Maybe I’ve unwittingly been owned by all of them.

Maybe what I’m really asking myself is which owner should I sell my soul to next.

Dear Browsers, Stop the Browser Hacks, Please.

Dear Browsers (and I’m talking to all of you):

I’m reading Paul Irish’s article on the Browser Market Pollution and it makes me ill.

As a web designer and developer, I hate when I have to create a new framework or revisit a current one and deal with browser hacks.

I’ve dealt with browser hacks going back to versions no one on the planet is using any more, even those prior to IE 6. I had hacks for Netscape, IE4, IE5, IE5.5, and so on. I even have hacks for current versions of IE7, IE8, and even IE9.

Oh, you other browsers, Safari, Opera, Firefox, I’ve had hacks for your versions as well, so don’t think you are getting out of this nag.

Irish explains that even as we go forward, the browser industry’s failure to maintain web standards and ridiculous need for proprietary crap that messes with web design, causing even more hacks, will continue and web designers will have to maintain multiple hacks and custom support for multiple browser versions on and on and on into the future.

I’m so tired of coverying your asses with my designs and fixing the designs by others for clients.

When Tim Berners-Lee and his team developed the web as we know it, the goal was to break down the code barriers that stopped the easy exchange of data and information so we could all communicate together. Browser hacks put burdens upon that tenuous web when you all should be reinforcing it with strength.

Please let us stop fixing your problems with browser hacks.

Thank you,

Lorelle
The Tech Nag