Software Perfection - Lost in the details


Sometimes imperfections in Software drive me nuts. It’s what drove me away from Windows. It’s what keeps me switching back and forth between desktop environments. It’s what has me wasting a lot of time getting the software to do what I want, instead of getting anything done. I even have two particularily good examples.

Firefox and Opera are my two favorite browsers. Opera is actually not as good, in my taste, as Firefox. Firefox’s slew of extensions (especially my latest favorites - bookmarks and Firebug), better font handling (on Linux) and Open-Source nature keep it ahead, if all things were equal. However, Opera is much faster on my laptop. Way faster. And with the kind of browsing I usually do - zillions of tabs open and all, that difference counts.

My other good example is LaTeX. I have the Beamer package, which makes absolutely stunning presentations in my favorite style of document creation - writing and compiling source code. However, one little thing drives me nuts about it - the symbols in math mode, even if I set it to Serif (Beamer uses sans-serif fonts by default), are not the default ones, which I prefer. For example, the symbol for “\in” (a member of a set) looks horrible in my opinion. This tiny little thing had me chasing font preferences around for half an hour, to no avail.

Graphviz. Ruby on Rails. Networkmanager. Openbox. IVMan. The list goes on… almost every piece of software I use has a little imperfection - not necessarily a bug, usually a missing features - that drives me crazy. Maybe I should quit my degree so I have time to fix all of those?