Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Equal Time

In a recent post I dissed academic.live.com. It's now working for me, more or less, though there are some strange things that might either be intentional and bad, or just problems with Firefox on Linux. In particular, scrolling in the internal panes is erratic, and tends to take very large jumps. I do like the multi-pane interface that pops up abstracts and other info, but I think the screen real estate isn't used very efficiently, and it means you wind up having to scroll in multiple windows, which is clumsy. Moreover, the database itself is a tad erratic; sometimes, journal names or volumes or even years are missing, which would be a fatal flaw without good links to the documents. Still annoying, as I'm often looking for either recent or old papers, and it's hard to know which a given paper is without downloading it and opening it.

And I still want to know how they actually rank things.

Since I'm a big fan of Linux and free software in general, I have to rant: OpenOffice 2.0 on Fedora Core 4 (running in Japanese mode) still crashes on me on a regular basis. Often without a message or warning at all, it just blips and disappears. Recently I was working on a presentation, and it would drop out on me every 20-30 minutes. Given that file saves can take a long time, and restarts are slow, this means I lost a lot of time. Finally, things deteriorated to the point where it crashed every time I started it, without a message at all. I spent an hour trying everything, digging through the OO registry XML files and everything...then discovered that I was out of disk space. Geez. Stupid situation, to be sure, but OO can't figure that out and give me a warning?


At 1:56 PM, Blogger Big D said...

So, did you file a bug report?

If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem...

When are you getting out here again? :)

At 2:38 PM, Blogger rdv said...

Okay, you're right. I filed a bug report for the out-of-disk-space issue (I tried querying the DB and didn't see it, but I'm not yet facile with the IssueZilla interface, so I may have missed it).

As to the other, random crashes...well, they are random. My bug reports would be little better than "I was doing something and it crashed." They aren't repeatable. (Once or twice I've gotten a "cut and paste this into your bug report" dialog box, but most of the time I don't even get that.)

I expect to make it to CA in October for ASPLOS. I'm already scheduled to give a talk to a Caltech alumni meeting, I will almost certainly be visiting collaborators at Stanford, and I hope to hit UC Santa Barbara and Irvine for visits. I may make you meet me somewhere -- Harris Ranch? Vegas? Monterey? -- if there is a weekend to spare...


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