[nSLUG] Browsers and source saving (was "Re: Re: amusing convergence of old and new")

Daniel Morrison draker at gmail.com
Fri Apr 16 11:43:28 ADT 2010

Mike: you need to chill out. :)

Yes, I know you labeled this as a rant. But it's no excuse for not
fact checking.

I'm sure many firefox extensions interact with Javascript on a web
page (flashblock, for example) and so do not work if Javascript is
disabled. (Luckily, most flash isn't loaded anyway if javascript is
disabled!). However I have found that javascript is not required for
extensions per se. The great Web Developer extension still works fine
with Javascript disabled. (I don't use many extensions, so that was
the limit of my testing). I wouldn't be able to tell you if the
ImgLikeOpera extension requires javascript.

I, too, was confused by the "too old to remember Opera" comment.

The idea that popped into my head for your image loading issue was to
install a web proxy. Squid is the one I use; it does caching as well,
further improving your dial-up (apparent) speed. Squid is capable of
calling out to scripts that to perform manipulations on images. I've
never done it myself but I read about the practical joke "upside-down
Internet" in which for April Fool's a sysadmin implemented a script
which flips every image upside down before serving it to clients. (My
memory is faulty: it was revenge for stealing wifi, not april fool's.
Script available here:

Based on this idea, it should be possible to replace every image with
a local placeholder blank image of the correct size. Whether it can be
made into a link that fetches the original image... I don't know, but
I think the possibility deserves exploring. The big benefit would be
that it would work for any browser.

I understand your desire to comprehend and thus have a solid
connection with just about everything around you in life, and it is a
noble and often productive goal. However (as you indicate you do
understand) it is ultimately futile. It is an impossible task. Are you
a Linux kernel expert? What about microprocessor fabrication? Digitial
timing in the GHz range? Soldering and multi-layer PCB manufacturing?
Hard drive recording? What about the telephone system? Do you truly
understand analog modem technology, but not DSL or cable? Myself, I
have a superficial understanding of both (actually I think DSL/Cable
is fundamentally simpler, since it never involves DAC/ADC steps).

I'd love to be entirely independent, but it's just impossible. We are
a social animal, and our humanity (society, culture, sanity) requires
us to depend on others to get through life. We may not always like the
choices others make (personally I think KDE, Gnome, Firefox, etc. are
leading the free software charge straight towards Microsoft-land) but
short of cutting myself off from society (and thus cutting out part of
my humanity) there is no choice but to be forgiving and accepting.

Heck, firefox is free. How much can I complain? (Bloody GTK2 garbage... )


On 16 April 2010 02:21, Mike Spencer <mspencer at tallships.ca> wrote:
> This morphed from a short comment into a rant. Hit delete here if
> that will be  annoying.
> Stephen Gregory <nslug at kernelpanic.ca> wrote:
>> On Thu, Apr 15, 2010 at 10:10:41PM -0300, Mike Spencer wrote:
>>>     Clicking on such an icon causes the image to be fetched and the
>>>     page re-rendered to include the image.
>> You want the ImgLikeOpera extension:
>> http://imglikeopera.mozdev.org/
> Hmmm... okay, lemmesee here...
> Oh, right.  That's an XPI file.  So what's in it?  Right: javascript.
> So much for disabling js, eh?  I'm guessing here that all "extensions"
> to Firefox are written in js.  So if you disable js as a defensive
> move against intrusive code, you also disable extensions?
>> I am guessing the authors of the extension are too young to remember
>> Opera.
> Opera appears to be alive and well.  ITYM Netscape?  Yes, probably so.
> Just to defend being so cranky:
> I like to try to understand the technology I use (in the most general
> sense) at a deeper level than "turn the key, put the pedal to the
> floor".  But there is (obviously) too much to do that with everything.
> Everything is "stuff" so I majored in chemistry.  My own body is
> pretty important so it was biochemistry with a lot of physiology.  The
> car has been dominant tech for most of the last century.  So I spent a
> few years as a mechanic back when cars were analog.  Food is an
> essential so I can raise and butcher a pig or grow a year's supply of
> vegetables.  When privately owned computers came along, I learned to
> program in assembler and C.  When the web came along, I learned to
> write HTML.  The blacksmithing is a whole rant/digression in itself.
> Other stuff too -- not to tout my accomplishments but just the
> opposite: it's all the stuff I just skipped, that I understand poorly
> or not at all. If I was going to RTFM and the underlying specs as
> well, the choices had/have to be very selective.  So with the tidal
> wave of new digital tech, I can't stand to "just do it", download the
> software and launch it without having a clue what it's doing under the
> hood. But life is too short (and my aging mind too feeble) to master
> everything that comes along.
> So what's worth taking the trouble to understand?  js?  XML?  The
> Firefox API (if there is one)?  Crypto?  rsync? Setting the clock on
> my VCR?
> KISS except where "complicated and arcane" promises reward.
> Maybe I should just shut up now and go do something useful such as
> fabricate a steel dishpan to replace the leaky enamel one that can no
> longer be found in the stores. All-analog tech.
> ObLinux: (But maybe I'll write a perl script to solve the cone-shape
> -> pattern layout once and for all.)
> - Mike
> --
> Michael Spencer                  Nova Scotia, Canada       .~.
>                                                           /V\
> mspencer at tallships.ca                                     /( )\
> http://home.tallships.ca/mspencer/                        ^^-^^

More information about the nSLUG mailing list