Monday, May 17, 2010

Performance benchmarks... or lack thereof

A friend of mine was over the other day and I was showing him this cool website I had recently heard of, grooveshark. So after admiring it for a little while he came out with "pity it's written in flash". So of course I asked the obvious question "Why?" and got the obvious answer "Because it's inefficient and sucking up all your CPU". He popped open 'top' and sure enough it was using 35% of my cpu, his point was proven.

However, that is completely and utterly irrelevant. This does not make flash a bad technology nor does it make grooveshark a badly written application. Maybe 35% cpu usage is just the cost of running in the browser. It's like the old complaint against firefox, "Firefox uses too much memory". By itself that means absolutely nothing. It's nonsense. For that to have any real meaning you'd have to compare firefox to another browser doing the same task. A legitimate complaint might be "Firefox uses 3 times more memory than opera when I view, 300 mb versus 100mb". An arbitrary decision as to what amounts to be "too much" is useless without a reference. This is exactly what far too many people are doing to flash.

Sure, grooveshark uses more CPU and memory than banshee, but banshee isn't running inside firefox. It annoys me that people make such arbitrary decisions and try to pass off as fact that flash is inherently bad and HTML5 is inherently so much better and yet have no reference to compare against. I haven't seen anything even close to the complexity of grooveshark written using html5. So before you get on your high horse decrying all plugins, show me a comparable application which uses $COMPETING_TECHNOLOGY_OF_CHOICE and performs measurably better.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Zencomic - increasing happiness since nineteen digity two

Today I had some spare time and decided to hack together a quick addin for Zencomic. I choose garfield minus garfield as I feel it reflects my life pretty closely in some aspects (not the manic depressive aspects though ;) ).

One of the downsides of working with a distributed team is that everyone starts work at a different time. On some of the quieter days when people are away on holidays, I'm sometimes the only hacker actively working on Moonlight in the wee small hours of 9am UTC. By the time the Americans wake up, I've sometimes left a nice little monologue in the IRC channel detailing my frustrations and successes during the morning.

Anyone, now for the obligatory screenshot

The addin was hacked together over the course of 30 minutes. It should be able to open any garfield-garfield comic, but if you find a particular one it fails on do let me know. Also, please don't suggest I switch my beautiful string splitting code into a Regex unless you plan on writing it yourself ;)

UPDATE: I just fixed the last known issue. The addin now detects exactly how many pages of g-g goodness there are rather than being hardcoded to assume 101 pages (the current number).

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

hapy birfday 2 me

My confusion this morning was evident

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