Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Legacy is an interesting word. In most walks of life, a legacy is a good thing, but in computers, legacy is a bad word; it means that something is old (not necessarily bad), does not integrate well with current systems (bad) and usually that it's a pain to deal with.

This is leading up to a bit of a rant about my wireless connection. The computer that's on this connection regularly falls off the network, and when it does, the installation of Firefox it runs generally goes into "Offline Mode". Offline mode is a legacy (see, there's that word again!) of the days when most people were on dial-up, and it was important to keep your browser from dialling a connection (thus costing you money and/or time in cancelling the dialup process) whenever it wanted. What it does is prevent the browser from making requests over a network connection. Now, it was a good idea to have offline mode kick in on a lost connection back in the bad old days, but I for one cannot remember the last time I had to dial a connection. I know that that old machine doesn't even have the means to dial a connection set up. Is it so much to ask that Firefox ask what the primary network connection is on install, and if it's not a modem, disable offline mode? Or indeed provide some means of disabling offline mode? In the days of a flaky but theoretically always-on connection, offline mode is nothing but a sulk, and I don't like my programs to sulk.

It's a privilege I reserve to myself, the LA, and the cats.

1 comment:

  1. I actually found myself wishing for offline mode in Google Chrome the other day (it doesn't have one) when I wanted to look at a page in my history when I was traveling and thus without internet connectivity. So it still has its uses, rare though they may be.

    I'm with you, there should be an option to disable it if you like. But it should be there if you need it.


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