Pet Peeve: Application Splash Windows/Screens

SPLASH WINDOWS – WHY?

WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY?

No, really, I mean this quite, quite seriously:

  • GIMP
  • OpenOffice / NeoOffice / StarOffice
  • Evolution
  • Freemind
  • etc…

…all of these applications – and several others – when you fire them up the first thing they do is take-over a rectangular box in the middle of your screen so that you cannot get on with your work, nor access the windows behind them.

The box generally gets filled with some manner of logo or other version information, and sits there whilst the application is chundering away, loading.

It may take some time to achieve this.

You can’t access the window it is covering, because the splash window hides it.

You can’t close the window, because there is no close button.

You can’t move it, because there is no drag bar.

You cannot bring other applications in front of the window, because the splash window floats on top.

You shout in vain: YES I KNOW I AM LOADING YOUR FSCKING APPLICATION YOU EGOTISTIC LITTLE GUI-WORSHIPING OPEN-SOURCE PRICKS! THAT’S WHY I PULLED DOWN THE BLOODY MENU TO LAUNCH IT! WHY NOT PISS OFF AND LET ME GET ON WITH MY WORK WHILE YOUR PROGRAM EATS INTO MY CORE MEMORY AND HANGS MY UNDERPOWERED LAPTOP? LISTEN TO MY HARD-DISK CHUGGING AS MY SYSTEM FIGHTS WITH MY COMPILER FOR I/O BANDWIDTH TO PAGE YOU IN! WHY ARE YOU DEPRIVING ME OF THE ABILITY TO EVEN READ MY OWN SCREEN IN THE MEANTIME? DO YOU WANT ME TO SOLELY DEDICATE MY MACHINE TO RUNNING YOUR PROGRAM? DO I REALLY NEED TO BUY A DIFFERENT MACHINE FOR EACH JOB THAT I DO? AM I NOT MEANT TO BE ABLE TO READ ANOTHER WINDOW WHILST LOADING YOUR MARVELOUS PROGRAM? IS YOUR SODDING APPLICATION REALLY SO TERRIFIC THAT YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO DENY ME THE MULTITASKING ABILITY OF UNIX? IF I GET A MACHINE WITH TWO HEADS/DISPLAYS/VDUs, WILL YOU PUT A SPLASH WINDOW UP ON ALL OF THEM JUST TO MAKE SURE THAT I KNOW PRECISELY HOW INSECURE YOU ARE ABOUT YOUR ABILITY THAT YOU NEED TO SPLASH ALL OVER EVERYONE’S SCREENS?

Grrrrrrrrrr… two minutes of a grey box, eventually filled by “The GIMP” and a smiley fox-face, the latter lasting 30 seconds.

It drives you bonkers.

Maybe I should start a “Campaign for the Abolition of Application Splash Screens”.

If you’ld like to join-up, leave a comment below.

Two wheels: good. Two legs: terrorist suspect

Absolutely barking. This happened in May, but if this sort of thing continues, I can see the Terrorism Act going the way of the Sus Laws

[www.timesonline.co.uk]

Two wheels: good. Two legs: terrorist suspect

By David Lister, Scotland Correspondent

WITH her year-round tan, long blonde hair and designer clothes, Sally Cameron does not look like a threat to national security.

But the 34-year-old property developer has joined the ranks of Britain’s most unlikely terrorist suspects after being held for hours for trespassing on a cycle path.

Ms Cameron was being hailed yesterday as Scotland’s answer to Walter Wolfgang, the 82-year-old heckler manhandled out of the Labour Party conference last month. She was arrested under the Terrorism Act for walking along a cycle path in the harbour area of Dundee.

Yesterday, after receiving a letter from the Tayside procurator fiscal’s office informing her that she would not be prosecuted, Ms Cameron said: “It is utterly ridiculous that such an inoffensive person as myself should be subject to such heavy-handed treatment.”

She was walking from her office in Dundee to her home in the suburb of Broughty Ferry when she was arrested under new anti-terrorist legislation and held for four hours.

She said: “I’ve been walking to work every morning for months and months to keep fit. One day, I was told by a guard on the gate that I couldn’t use the route any more because it was solely a cycle path and he said, if I was caught doing it again, I’d be arrested.

“The next thing I knew, the harbour master had driven up behind me with a megaphone, saying, You’re trespassing, please turn back’. It was totally ridiculous. I started laughing and kept on walking. Cyclists going past were also laughing.

“But then two police cars roared up beside me and cut me off, like a scene from Starsky and Hutch, and officers told me I was being arrested under the Terrorism Act. The harbour master was waffling on and (saying that), because of September 11, I would be arrested and charged.”

Ms Cameron, who said that at one stage one of the officers asked her to stop laughing, described the incident as “like a scene from the movie Erin Brockovich, with all the dock workers cheering me and telling me to give them hell”. She said: “I was told that the cycle path was for cyclists only, as if walkers and not cyclists were the only ones likely to plant bombs. There are no signs anywhere saying there are to be no pedestrians.

“They took me to the police station and held me for several hours before charging me and releasing me.”

She said that she was particularly galled by the letter from the procurator fiscal’s office, which said that she would not be prosecuted even though “the evidence is sufficient to justify bringing you before the court on this criminal charge”.

Keith Berry, the harbour master at Forth Ports Dundee, said yesterday that Ms Cameron had been seen as a “security risk”. Speaking about the incident, which took place in May, he said: “We contacted the police in regards to this matter because the woman was in a secure area which forbids people walking. It was seen as a security risk. We were following guidelines in requirement with the port security plan set up by the Government.”

A spokesman for Forth Ports said: “We will robustly prosecute anyone who breaches these new security measures because they have been introduced by the Government and we are obliged to enforce them.”

World’s Oldest Pot-Noodle is Millet-based

[news.bbc.co.uk]

The remains of the world’s oldest noodles have been unearthed in China. The 50cm-long, yellow strands were found in a pot that had probably been buried during a catastrophic flood.

Radiocarbon dating of the material taken from the Lajia archaeological site on the Yellow River indicates the food was about 4,000 years old.

The noodles resemble the La-Mian noodle, the team says; a traditional Chinese noodle that is made by repeatedly pulling and stretching the dough by hand.

To identify the plants from which the noodles were made, the team looked at the shape and patterning of starch grains and so-called seed-husk phytoliths in the bowl.

These were compared with modern crops. The analysis pointed to the use of foxtail millet (Setaria italica) and broomcorn millet (Panicum miliaceum)

“Our data demonstrate that noodles were probably initially made from species of domesticated grasses native to China. This is in sharp contrast to modern Chinese noodles or Italian pasta which are mostly made of wheat today,” Professor Houyuan Lu said.