RetrospectiveFri Jun 11, 2010
For the record, I have no idea how I got here.
Starting from a Windows-using Graphic Design graduate three years ago1, and ending up as a Netbook-toting, Linux-using, command-line slinging Scheme hacker who uses Emacs and Conkeror as his editor and browser of choice respectively.
Which is not to say that I don't draw anymore. In fact (perhaps ironically?) I draw better now than I ever have ever. It actually took dropping comics to get further, which was fucking unexpected to say the least. Not in the sense of "grownups don't draw comics", in the sense that my mind needed change. Had I spent my entire childhood gleefully slinging oil-paints around, I'd need a change from that too. In the same way that it doesn't do to be an X programmer, it doesn't do to be an X-artist. You don't even see it while you are an X-artist, because it doesn't occur to you to think outside of your own experience, but it's amaszing how constricting habits can start to feel after a while. Ironically, you'll only ever recognize the discomfort after you stretch your wings.
After growing by leaps and bounds, I want to go farther. As weird and intense as the trip so far has been, I want to run faster. And I still think I can do it. Which gives me this eery feeling that I just don't know enough yet.
On a completely different note, I started using a new browser, and it's fucking awesome.
I've sort of been looking for a Chrome replacement for a while now. It's good, and it maximizes screen real-estate2. A while ago, Firefox started to bother me. I noticed that between the various bars and tool dealies they had, my browsing real-estate was reduced to unacceptably low levels. I switched to [Chrome](http://www.google.com/chrome) because it has exactly one line of tabs at the top3. A few bugs started burning pretty badly lately, though. The number 1 being that (ironically) Chrome randomly fails to log into Gmail on Linux.
So here were my requirements:
- Maximized screen real-estate
- Intuitive shortcuts
And last (but I really wasn't too hopeful here)
- Decent keyboard browsing support. (so I could avoid using the trackpad)
First thing I looked at was W3 mode, because I've become quite the Emacs ardent since first discovering it. It's really not acceptable. It works ok if you just browse text-based sites, but most of the stuff I browse isn't text-based. I also discovered that I had additional requirements that hadn't been apparent earlier.
3b. It should be sufficient for testing websites/webapps 3c. It should handle graphic browsing
I also tried Konqueror, actually installing KDE on my netbook before realizing that it's not what I'm after. It has some good ideas, but it's heavy on the chrome, and I prefer my computer be fast rather than look cool. As I was searching around for Konqueror tutorials, trying to figure out whether I can at least use it for my desktop, I stumbled across a page mentioning Conkeror
Firefox for Emacs users
I mean, go on...
It's a clear win.
- Check. It uses the whole screen (no address-bar, no favorites, no bullshit, just the familiar mini-buffer at the bottom).
- Check. I realize they wouldn't be intuitive for everyone, but I already love and use Emacs, so it was a very easy transition to make. Two days in, it's as if I've been using it for years.
- Oh you bet that's a Check. It chugs a bit when there's six billion links on a page, but otherwise fine.
minibuffer_auto_complete_default=true; url_completion_use_bookmarks=false; url_completion_use_history=true; xkcd_add_title = true; define_key(content_buffer_normal_keymap, "N", "follow-new-buffer"); define_key(content_buffer_normal_keymap, "V", "view-source"); define_key(default_base_keymap, "C-c", "cmd_copy"); define_key(default_base_keymap, "C-v", "cmd_paste"); define_key(default_base_keymap, "C-w", "kill-current-buffer"); define_webjump("youtube", "http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=%s&aq=f"); define_webjump("stock", "http://www.sxc.hu/browse.phtml?f=search&txt=%s&w=1&x=0&y=0"); define_webjump("lang", "http://langnostic.blogspot.com"); define_webjump("plt", "http://docs.racket-lang.org/search/index.html?q=%s");
- Who incidentally really really didn't want to learn about PHP and databases because it seemed too complicated.↩
- Which is important because I use a certain netbook very often, and you want every milimeter of a 10 inch screen contributing.↩
- Your favorites can be toggled with Ctrl-B, so you have them when you need 'em, and not otherwise.↩