anhinga_anhinga (anhinga_anhinga) wrote,

LJ custom colors for S1 style; Gmail weirdness; Google workarounds

The colors for old-style journals with custom colors (S1 styles) were broken after the latest LJ release. Now they are fixed, but if you are affected, it is very likely that you need to set them manually again.

I was lucky that I had a screenshot, so I could use Photoshop GIMP to figure out what were the exact colors I used, and I was able to restore the style precisely. LJ did not test this before release and did not provide the facilities to restore the color schemes after the bug was fixed.

So if you had custom colors in S1 style, you journal might now have an ascetic look similar to this:

There were some mild Gmail delays yesterday, and it turned out that Gmail violated the fundamental paradigm that mail is handled as a stack in the order of arrival. Instead the mail was inserted in the order it was time-stamped by the sender, so sometimes new unread messages were inserted deeper than already read messages.

That's pretty bad, because this creates risk that some delayed messages would never be noticed, if they are inserted deep enough. It seems that Google has problems with quality control recently. The new image search is very demanding on computational resources, and not everyone likes the interface. Unfortunately, there is no switch to request the old-style search (the workaround is to disable Javascript, and then you can use the old-style image search interface under Google; nevertheless, not providing a link to the old style is just rude and disregards the preferences of a large section of their existing user base).

Even more stunning is the deterioration of the Google News interface (on the .com domain only, so far). There was a firestorm of negative comments on their forum, everyone seems to hate the new interface scheme, and no one likes it:

Still Google disregards this completely, and does not provide the ability to use the older style. Partial workaround for those who hate the new interface (short of switching to non-Google news) is to use non-US-oriented Google News, e.g. a Canadian version on the .ca domain. Non-US Google News are not affected by this disaster yet.

I am not sure why Google is so tone-deaf to users' complaints. Is it that some engineering groups have to release a substandard upgrade, instead of staying at the current "sweet spot", because they need to justify their work to the management, and the user satisfaction is less important than the ability to report that the new release has happened? Is it that they hope that complaints will die down and the "silent majority" of the users will eventually learn to like the "new Coke"? Is the Google leadership too busy and there is no "adult supervision" there anymore? Anyway, it is sad to observe this new trend coming from Google.
Tags: decaying infrastructure
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