Software Archives

February 23, 2005

SwitchProxy fux0rd?

I've been having Firefox problems on both platforms this week, and I suspected that the SwitchProxy extension was at fault. (It's the only extension I have installed on both platforms.) I found this corroboration:

I digged a little deeper and found the culprit: it's the switchproxy extension! By default it "phones home" to see if new updates are available. The developer's website is offline though, so it makes the browser freeze. On slow PC's and/or slow connections it looks as if it hangs.
The poster recommends turning off auto-updates for extensions in Firefox preferences. Unfortunately, that 'fix' hasn't worked for me. I continued to get hangs until I uninstalled SwitchProxy. (Which sucks, cause I use it all the time.)

Does anybody else feel like it's time for a centralized, trusted repository for extensions?

Update 2/24: I forgot to mention that I use the same extension in Thunderbird (necessary when one wants to view syndicated (RSS) content inline, but from outside the firewall.) Disable it there, too, to reclaim your performance. Dangit.
Update 3/17: SwitchProxy author Jeremy Gillick appears to have a new (and hopefully permanent) home up at I'm going to download and reinstall Switchproxy on my Mac and PC, Firefox and Thunderbird both. (Yes, it's that damn useful.) Thanks to Jeremy for writing the extension.

October 5, 2007

Yahoo! UK Message Boards, now with Reputation

As promised, I am in Pittsburgh on a Friday night, holed up in a classroom on 5th-floor Wean on the Carnegie-Mellon campus. We've had a pretty good ebb-and-flow of interested student hackers.. we're down to only the hardcore now (and my eyes are gonna force me back to the hotel soon for intensive drops-and-sleep therapy.) I kinda thought I would hack around on something... maybe a little ruby script or something with Yahoo! Pipes but it's only 8:30 and I find myself with juust enough energy left to.... blog. So...

Last week was a good week for me, and a whole buncha other folks (spread across 3 continents!) at Yahoo! We shipped a project that's been in the works since the early months of this year: the addition of persistent user reputations to our UK Sports Message Boards.

Within the context of a specific message board, contributors earn reputations based on the quality of their contributions to that board. "Quality", of course, is a slippery term, but think of it as a reflection of the community's response to a message: how many ratings it gets, how high the ratings are, and the like. (There's other stuff weighed in too.) So over time, users' reputations should come to be a pretty accurate representation of how highly the community values their contributions. Those who are valued highly enough earn medals (Gold, Silver & Bronze) that are displayed alongside their postings.

These medals have a practical benefit as well: all messages posted to the UK Boards will now feature an 'Initial Rating'—from 2 to 5 stars, it's a value assumption that the system makes about your message. It is, of course, directly tied to your reputation. We assume that past contributions are a pretty good indicator of present value, and reward your message accordingly. (What I really like is that it's just an initial assumption. The community can still, in short order mod a message up or down if that assumption is incorrect.)

I'm pretty excited that we've got this baby out the door (and very excited at early returns—though earned medals are currently few and far between, the boards have gone from being a Ratings graveyard to quite a bit of rating activity in just a couple short weeks.)

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This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Soldier Ant in the Software category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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