February 22, 2010
I may have raged about Flash.
I may have said that even coprophiliac porn was preferably to installing CS3.
I may have, between the CS3/CS4 installers and Flash, come up with ways of using profanity that amazed even me.
But nothing, no product team from Adobe, Microsoft or even Apple can begin to create the kind of cold, sadistic, evil fury that Acrobat does.
All I ask, *all* I want is to have Joel and the rest of those fuckers in my office at 7pm, so i can make them personally udpate every fucking machine i have control over while I spur them on with a fucking cattle prod, a paintball gun loaded with rock salt, and a fucking bullhorn.
Then I want to ship them off to every IT manager I know, with a load of rock salt and fresh batteries.| Comments ()
There is always hope...even for Adobe
As some of you may know, I had a meeting with the Adobe Flash Team the Monday before Macworld. (yes, I know, it's strange, but so is my life in general.) It was...really good. No, Dowdell wasn't there, thank god. It was a room full of engineers, with a guest appearance by Emmy Huang, and me. No yelling, no shouting, just an open, frank exchange of ideas, wherein I tried to tell them that as the people doing the work, they had to, had to, start talking about the actual engineering issues, so that their sole representative to the world wasn't Mr. "Use a Flash Blocker".
I asked them to frankly and openly, even in technical detail, talk about some of the issues they face. Not blamestorming, not to justify, but to illustrate that, like the case always is, it's not so easy when you're elbow-deep in the code. But get the damned information out there, because if you're pissed off that everyone is hammering you, well, look at the information your providing! What do you expect people to think when your major public voice is a mindless bobblehead with all the technical acumen of a particularly stupid cat?
If the only facts people have suck, then the only opinions the can have will suck too.
I was happy with how the meeting went, but everything's easy in a meeting. What's hard is actually doing stuff. I wasn't sure if the Flash team was going to skew ala the CS Installer team, (i.e.: "good"), or like the Acrobat team, (i.e.: "bad").
Today I see a bit on Daring Fireball that links to an article from someone on the Flash team may be trying to nudge the supertanker in the right direction. Tinic Uro, an engineer on the Flash team has the kind of post that more people need to associate with Flash. It's concise, seems reasonably correct, (although I absolutely don't have the chops to really judge), but most importantly, it's the opposite of the tripe we have seen too much of from Adobe on this issue.
In truth, all of Tinic's blog is pretty damned good.
So go there, read it, (even if you don't like what he's saying, he's saying it well, and in a non-accusatory fashion. Given what we see too much of from the Flash team, this needs to be encouraged. In other words, don't be reflexively douchey to him), and spread the link love. More Tinic and less Dowdell cannot be anything but good in the long run.| Comments ()
February 21, 2010
An easily answered question
Can someone, preferably from the Acrobat team, tell my why that team makes applying updates to large amounts of computers as hard as possible?
Because i'm just kind of curious about it. Logically, it makes no sense. Yet they do it over and over:
- No native installers for patches and updates. (This is actually worse than making you manually install the main application the hard way.)
- No cumulative updates, so if you're behind, you have to stroke the updater manually over and over, (Acrobat 8 via the Adobe Updater), you have to answer the same inane dialogs over and over, even though the updater is chaining many, many updates together in the illusion of the update, (Acrobat 9 via the Adobe updater), or you download them and manually apply them to every.single.machine. (Both if you download from Adobe.)
- Even if you install Acrobat as part of CS, you have to run the Adobe updater from inside of Acrobat or it will never know you have Acrobat on your system. This is really bad, because if someone doesn't know that the Acrobat team is being this stupid, it can lull them into thinking they're up to date.
- You can't even check for updates as a non-admin.
There are more, but I think the point is clear. At no point does the Acrobat team make it easy for you to apply critical security updates to your machines, and I'd really like to know why they're doing that to their customers. | Comments ()
February 18, 2010
This is why relying on file extensions is stupid
I have a file. It's a text file, with HTML markup.
It has no extension.
I can open it with BBEdit fine, because BBEdit is written by competent developers who understand that you can't always get what you want, and even if a file doesn't have a fucking extension, you should open it anyway, and use the file contents to guide you.
So, I decide that I want to open it in Safari, you know, to see what it looks like all rendered and pretty. Oh fuck no. Safari won't touch it. Why?
No filename extension.
Yeah. This is the most modern operating system on the fucking planet, and yet if you don't have a fucking period followed by random fucking text that safari may or may not know what to fucking do with on the end of a file name, a fucking web browser can't open a fucking text file.
This is what happens when you let unixtards make decisions about user interfaces and user interaction. You get this kind of idiocy. You want to know just how fucking stupid this complete and total reliance on the file name extension is?
If I add a .png or .jpg or .gif extension, the idiot browser tries to open it as a fucking image. Not even an attempt to validate the file contents or even READ THEM. Because it's not like anyone would ever LIE ABOUT A FILE EXTENSION TO GET YOU TO OPEN SOMETHING IN A PROGRAM IT SHOULDN'T!
Even fucking better, if you change the file extension to .txt, because this is not a full-on HTML file, but a text file using HTML markup, goddamned idiot browser is too fucking stupid to even TRY to render it. "Nope, nope, it's a text file, ignore all the html tags DUHHHHH". But put .html on the end, even though it really isn't an HTML file, and SUDDENLY SAFARI CAN OPEN IT.
Holy fucking shit, does someone have to start writing trojans that remove filename extensions in Snow, thereby crippling your ability to OPEN FUCKING FILES before Apple realizes just how fucking asinine this is? How fucking stupid is it for "the most advanced OS in the world" to actually be stupider than Windows here?
Let me be clear, Windows handles this better, because Windows allows for the "fuckit, open it anyway" option, that whatever Apple fuckstick who made this moronic decision didn't allow for. Of course, since, by default, you can't see if there's an extension or not, there's no immediate, obvious way to tell that the file is fine, it's your OS and applications that are fucking idiotic.
Way.To.Go. Apple. Way to be Adobe.
Fuckers.| Comments ()
February 17, 2010
IT NEVER ENDS
If you say the title like the late, great Sam Kinison, you come close to what I'm hearing in my head right now.
So as I talked about before, yay, more Adobe fucking Acrobat security holes. Yah. Hoo. Brian Krebs, being the security guy he is, does his usual excellent job of talking about it. Nothing new there at first, until my feed updates, and in the feed, (But not showing up in the main article yet), I see this:
Update, 4:06 p.m. ET: If you decide to do without Adobe Reader and uninstall it, you might want to nix the Adobe Download Manager as well. Researcher Aviv Raff points to some nifty work he’s done which shows that Adobe’s Download Manager — which ships with all new versions of Flash and Reader — can be forced to reinstall an application that’s been removed, such as Reader. According to Raff, a Web site could hijack the Adobe Download manager to download and install any of the following:
Raff writes: “So, even if you use an alternative PDF reader, an attacker can force you to download and install Adobe Reader, and then exploit the (yet to be patched, but now known) vulnerability. The attacker can also exploit 0-day vulnerabilities in any of the other products mentioned above.” Read more on his findings at this link here.
- Adobe Flash 10
- Adobe Reader 9.3
- Adobe Reader 8.2
- Adobe Air 1.5.3
- ARH tool – allows silent installation of Adobe Air applications
- Google Toolbar 6.3
- McAfee Security Scan Plus
- New York Times Reader (via Adobe Air)
- Fanbase (via Adobe Air)
- Acrobat.com desktop shortcut
I can't even really rage at it properly. The logic behind what Aviv and Brian are talking about hear fucking beggars me. Is Adobe so eager to be the next Microsoft that they are determined to duplicate every mistake Microsoft ever made?| Comments ()
Acrobat: Making sure you hate Adobe
Acrobat, Acrobat, Acrobat...how many ways can you fuck up a ZOMG CRITIKAL SECURITEEEE UPDATE? Let us count the ways:
- Don't provide a cumulative update from your site.
- Put the newest version in the middle of the fucking page. Actually, from what I can tell, Adobe just can't fucking work a list. Here, see for yourself:
- Ensure that when you click on the link to actually download the file, you get told the item can't be found:
I swear to DOG that everyone on the Acrobat team must be on the bottom, because fucking up is about all they're good for.| Comments ()
February 1, 2010
It's not CPU percentages Adobe
So one of the big memes Adobe is pushing in the endless Flash whining is that if mean old Apple would just give them the low-level APIs they need, they could do all this wonderful acceleration, and all that CPU utilization the Flash plugin needs would go away, and life would be fantastic.
This of course, is bullshit, and it's pandering bullshit to boot. CPU utilization, expressed in Mac OS X as a percentage in either top or Activity Monitor, is a great number. It's easy to measure, easy to spot, and even the non-technophile can look at it and grok what that number is saying. There's a problem though...
CPU utilization is not a great metric, in fact, it's barely a metric at all, and Adobe's pushing of it is asinine. First, a high CPU utilization is, in and of itself, not bad. If you're doing something that is CPU-intensive, such as iDVD crunching video, then it is perfectly acceptable and logical to have high CPU utilization. The idea that "zero" is the only perfect number is the implication of Adobe's attempts to blame Apple, and it is, again, asinine. High CPU utilization is only bad if it is causing other processes to not run correctly, or, once a process no longer needs that much CPU, it still keeps eating it. There's a technical term for this, and it's called "That process has lost its damned mind, we'll have to kill that sucker daid."
The problem with the Flash plugin is not high CPU utilization. It's that the demented little fucker spinlocks your browser, even while using almost unmeasurable CPU. Just recently, I'm on the Huffington Post, and of course, the browser spinlocks. It's, of course, waiting for a Flash ad to load. Safari's CPU load? Well, it's locked, so hard to tell, but last reading was zero. The Flash plugin process? Zero to four percent.
Yet there's Safari, locked up all to hell.
So no, it's not all about CPU. It's all about a plugin doing stupid shit.
Dear Adobe: Stop Crashing My Browser.| Comments ()