Windows Live Local and Firefox

Windows Live Local, with its isometric, Sim City, “bird’s eye” view, is quite nice.

However, what gets me is — do MS do this deliberately? I’m referring, of course, to the way it’s broken on Firefox 1.5, requiring you to drag twice to get it scrolling around the viewport, and the jumpy, clunky UI on that browser.

Pretty lame — and lazy, too. By now, it’s essential for a new fancy website to work under Firefox; even if only 20% of your users will be using it, a good proportion of those are the bleeding-edge, ‘taste-maker’ types who’ll be blogging about it, writing reviews for newspapers and news sites, and generally generating buzz for you, and thereby attracting the other 80%.

I’m told it works great in IE, but there’s no way I’m starting Windows and opening up that app. If I want to be infected by 700 different malwares within seconds, I’ll ask. ;)

On top of that, coverage seems spotty — Ireland is AWOL, of course.

As a result, my one line summary would have to be: idea = cool, dataset = probably cool, execution = half-assed and crappy. I’m looking forward to Google doing a much better job with their implementation of the Sim City viewpoint.

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  1. ben
    Posted December 9, 2005 at 20:54 | Permalink

    Are you sure it’s not a complete cock-up in Firefox 1.5? I’ve been dealing with egregiously awful failures of my (thankfully still prototype) code since I “upgraded”.

    As far as I can tell:

    obj.setAttribute(‘attribute’,’value’); this used to be required in some instances, now it doesn’t work in any instance. Now it must be obj.attribute=’value’ throughout.

    obj.appendChild(otherobj); This still works OK — but it returns all sorts of weird NS_ERROR_INVALID_POINTER errors in some circumstances where it didn’t before.

    And so on.

    Plus the new “Javascript” console in 1.5 is a nightmare. It puts everything in there.

  2. Posted December 9, 2005 at 21:02 | Permalink

    I dunno, Ben — I’ve been using obj.setAttribute(..) in my greasemonkey scripts OK. they have required a lot of work to upgrade, but that’s due to an entirely separate change in GM, and the setAttribute usage hasn’t changed at all.

    Sounds like general FF 1.5 bugginess with the DOM on your pages.

    I hate that JS console. it’s way too verbose, I don’t want to hear about CSS errors etc.!

  3. ben
    Posted December 9, 2005 at 21:35 | Permalink

    There’s just so much awful unpredictable behaviour in JS as it is, and the fact that there are no really good useful debugging/testing tools makes it worse.

    If someone really clever wrote a Javascript library that overrode all questionable, browser-specific behaviour with functions that worked reliably that would be a positive step.

    Here’s a lovely piece of general JS insanity:

    http_request.onrequeststatechange = functionname;

    No parameters. No parentheses, even! I’m using clunky global vars and things.

  4. Paddy
    Posted December 14, 2005 at 14:02 | Permalink

    I am having no luck at all even getting it going on Safari never mind getting errors. All I get is a permanet “Loading..” screen when I do a search for the simplisitc ‘Pizza New York’. Will revert to Firefox or Camino.

  5. ben
    Posted December 14, 2005 at 18:33 | Permalink

    Ye gods. Justin has a “tag cloud”. I’ve already suspected him of pastel colours and rounded corners.

  6. Posted December 15, 2005 at 20:27 | Permalink

    yeah, but my tag cloud is just a big fat “anti-spam” and nothing else ;)

  7. John Reilly
    Posted December 20, 2005 at 01:06 | Permalink

    I have to agree that its most likely FF1.5 from my exp. I’ve come across a few things that have broken in moving from 1.0.x to 1.5. The Windows Live Local looks ok to me in FF1.0.7.

  8. doug r
    Posted March 17, 2006 at 17:44 | Permalink

    It works pretty good for me….for about 10 minutes! Then it freezes up Firefox so bad I have to use Gnome to shut it down…even that doesn’t work sometimes. One time I guess I was lucky and it just crashed Firefox (at least I got out).