Monday, August 3, 2009

Chromium on Linux Coming Along


Chromium is coming along nicely on Linux. Using the chromium-daily PPA the browser is really getting some polish now: GTK theming is almost perfect, with a few minor glitches here and there; The Flash plugin is working well on many sites (there may still be some bugs, though); Developer tools and the task manager are mostly working; most (if not all) font settings are working. Some of the missing/buggy features:
  • The toolstrip isn't complete (it displays when an extension is using it, but that's about it).
  • The top of some of the stock GTK images used in buttons (eg: the stop button) are cut off (minor).
  • HTML5 video element doesn't appear to work yet (on Ubuntu 9.04 x86_64 using the packages from the PPA). I assume it works if you use the official builds, though. It's working now (Aug 06, '09), but still has some bugs.
  • Chromium's Task Manager doesn't yet show the individual memory usage for tabs sharing a process. (don't know if it does on Windows, but I thought it did)
  • Chromium's Task Manager doesn't show CPU usage for individual processes (they all show the same usage).
  • about:memory isn't working yet.
  • There are some problems with certain window managers (eg: OpenBox's borders controls don't disappear when you switch to Chromium's controls, or don't come back when you switch back to OpenBox's. Not sure whether that's an OpenBox problem or Chromium one, but it happens with other WMs too).
  • There's still one Zombie process (called chromium-browse, for some reason) under the main chromium-browser process. All the other processes appear to go under a separate process for whatever reason.
  • Text (font?) display isn't quite right yet (using DejaVu Serif/DejaVu Sans 13, the dots in password input boxes are irregularly spaced).
  • Language settings aren't visible (or implemented?) yet.
Aside from those and a few other problems, things are looking good! Just remember that if you decide to use the chromium-daily PPA that these are possibly unstable, definitely untested builds, and that there is the possibility of bad stuff happening. If you're looking for a stable browser, you should probably wait until Google releases a stable version of Chrome themselves, or until Chromium is included in your distribution's stable repository. ;)

[This post is now out-dated; many of the issues have been mostly or entirely fixed. Those that aren't, may be soon; the reverse may also be true. Such is the way of bleeding-edge software.]

Saturday, August 1, 2009

DSi Proving to be Less Interesting than Anticipated

While I have to admit, I don't have many games (one so far, Brain Age2), I kind of expected more from Nintendo when I made the decision to get a DSi. Don't get me wrong, the DSi itself is a great handheld. The Sound app is really cool (though it would be nice if it supported Vorbis, or MP3), the camera is fun to play around with, and the DSiWare shop offers great potential(key word). However, none of what's available in the DSiWare shop is really interesting to me; I didn't get a DSi to do calculations, or watch the time--I got it to play games on.

My opinions on the current offerings:
  • Pictobits looks interesting, but overcomplicated.
  • Mario vs. Donkey Kong™ seems like it would be fun, but is pretty expensive and I didn't really feel like playing a lemmings-esque game, so I skipped on that one.
  • Already had a brain-training-oriented game, so all those and the sudokus were out of the question.
  • A racing game didn't really click with me on a handheld system.
  • Despite my affinity for numbers, I think Base 10 is a bit too much.
  • BOXLIFE just looked plain tedious.
  • Dr. Mario Express was limited in features (according to reviews, anyway), and (spoiler) Brain Age2 has a similar mini-game built in.
  • I actually got Mighty Flip Champs!, and it's fairly fun. I don't see me playing it over again, but playing through it once will be challenge enough. Not sure it was worth all 800 points, though. Would be happier if it was only 500, but I guess that's how things are...
  • The rest really just aren't anything I would be interested in.
What I would like to see are some old NES titles (for old times sake), and Cave Story (someone was doing a port to the DS, but I haven't seen anything about that in a while and don't have a cart to use anyway). Until then, I guess I'll just have to wait.

P.S.: Don't mention that new Zelda game with the trains; looks like it was made for 4-year-olds or something. I might get some other game, so if anyone has any suggestions, please comment. ^.^