Issues with Flock

I love Flock. It’s a new, free, open-source web browser based on Firefox. However, I have several issues with it:

  • The first thing I noticed: Yahoo! is the default search engine. Thankfully, with the Google Toolbar,
    I was able to overwrite that setting. Maybe I shouldn’t tell the Flock
    developers; they might find a workaround to cripple the Google Toolbar…
  • I cannot synchronize my work and home installations of flock.
    • I have to add each RSS feed to each computer.
    • I have to add flickr accounts to each computer.
    • I have to configure the toolbars on each computer.
    • I have to install extensions on each computer.
  • It’s slow.
    • Firefox boots much faster. I timed it, and Firefox takes about fifteen seconds to start. Flock: 35 seconds.
    • Firefox opens tabs faster.
    • Firefox even seems to browse faster.
  • Sometimes flock logs me out of Gmail, disabling chat.
  • Flock crashes sometimes (without any crash-report tool).
  • Favorites Manager
    • Okay, the integration of del.icio.us and flock is great! It’s the number one, killer feature for me. I switched to flock for this one feature. I have nearly-instant access to my 1,000+ del.icio.us bookmarks. However, to sort through the favorites with the favorites manager is a pain! When I type in a word in the search bar, the top four favorites are shown after a delay of about 0.5 seconds. However, if I click on “View all local favorites results…” then it takes about 15 seconds to load my favorites! The reason: first is loads my 1,000+ favorites, and only after it’s done load them does it apply the filter I provided in the search box.
    • I cannot remove the annoying and pointless “manager” on the left! Sure, I can drag it and shrink it somewhat, but I am not allowed to remove it from my view. I don’t use it, I never have, and probably never will. Please, let me disable it!
    • Also, please let me choose how many of my “local favorites” appear as I enter a search string. What if I want five? or ten?
  • RSS reader
    • First of all, let me say that this is a great feature. Firefox 2.0 should have an RSS reader, but that’s months away. Way to go, Flock! However…
    • Please call it “My Feeds” not “My News”
    • Suppose I have two RSS feeds in the same “collection.” When I click on the collection icon, I get all the entries from both feeds. Good. However, when I mark them as “read”, it fails to save this setting. I have to select each feed separately and mark the entries as “read” in each one.
  • Mouse-keyboard interaction
    • When I type in a search string, it pops down with the top four hits from my local favorites. I press DOWN on the keypad, ENTER, and *wham*, I’m on my way to my favorite website. But what if my mouse is in the way? What if my mouse is hovering over the third item? Does the keyboard take precedence? Nope. What if the mouse isn’t even moving? Sorry, it won’t work. Bummer.
  • Blog writer
    • The command “right-click | Blog this…” doesn’t preserve formatting.
    • It can handle a single link, but not multiple links
    • If two links are hilighted, with text inbetween, it will grab the first link and ignore the rest.
    • Ironically, if you use the traditional “Copy, Paste” from the browser window to the blog composition window, none of these problems appear!

Sigh. Yes, it’s only on version 0.7. Perhaps I’ll have to start contributing to the code base…

C’est la vie!

-jFc

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2 comments on “Issues with Flock

  1. Erwan says:

    >> Maybe I shouldn’t tell the Flock developers; they might find a workaround to cripple the Google Toolbar…

    Too late 😉

    But don’t worry, we’re not going to cripple the Google toolbar. Actually, you don’t need it to change the default search engine. Just go to “Accounts & Services” to select the search engine you prefer.

  2. jcarroll says:

    Erwan,

    Thanks for the tip. I tried it, and, as I recall, it works. Mostly. When you select text on a webpage and click “Search the web for ‘foo’…”, it searches with Yahoo! Search. After installing the Google toolbar, it now googles.
    There is another issue: “Yahoo! auto-complete” is built in, but “Google Suggest” isn’t.

    Let’s see… del.icio.us is owned by Yahoo! Flickr is owned by Yahoo! Hmmm…. Flock is…

    Don’t get me wrong. Flock is my current browser of choice (except when I need speed), but I want it to be even better.

    Happy browsing!
    -jFc

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