A mild Chrome annoyance

Posted on 2015-06-18 16:49 +0100 in Tech • Tagged with Google, Chrome, Mac, Windows • 2 min read

For a long time now Chrome has been my web browser of choice. It has, to some degree, become my "other emacs" (ignoring for a moment that my use of GNU emacs has sort of lapsed the last few years). By that I mean that it's a portable environment that serves me well on many operating systems and, for one of my machines, actually is the operating system. I really appreciate how Chrome's sync lets me feel right at home no matter which machine I'm on.

But I've run into one small issue that's kind of annoying.

In some situations I find it pleasing, and I find it makes sense, that some web "apps" open in a window of their own rather than in a Chrome tab. On Windows and on ChromeOS this is simple enough, all I need to do is find the "app" in the Chrome app launcher, pull up the content menu, and tell it to open as a window.

Chrome app context menu on Windows 7

Nice and simple1.

Now, the Mac, so well known for doing everything every other OS does but doing it better and being easier to use.... you'd expect it's at least the same there, right?


Chrome app context menu on OS X

There's no option at all to open as a window!

So, on the Mac, while I'd love to be able to open Gmail as a window/app in its own right, I'm totally out of luck, it seems. I've no idea whose "fault" this is. It's not clear to me if this is a Chrome/Google decision or if it's about how things have to work on a Mac. Thing is, I find it hard to believe that it's the latter given that Google Keep runs in its own window on the Mac and I can happily pin it to the dock.

  1. It's that simple on ChromeOS too. In case you're wondering why I didn't also illustrate that, it's because you can't take a screenshot on ChromeOS while you've got a context menu open. O_o 

Hello, World!

Posted on 2015-06-18 14:53 +0100 in Meta • Tagged with blogging, Mac • 2 min read

Hello, world.

So I've decided that it's time I had a blog again. An actual blog. Not a set of posts on Google+ or a torrent of 140-character thoughts on twitter but an actual blog.

Part of the reason for this is that there's a couple of personal coding projects I want to have a go at over the next few months and writing about them as I work on them might be fun. Another reason is that I've being wanting to explore the business of hosting a blog on GitHub pages for quite some time and now's the perfect time to do it.

So how am I doing this? Well, for starters, I recently acquired an iMac. The reasons for how and why I chose to do this are varied and mostly uninteresting but what it does mean is that, for the first time in quite a long time, I have a Unix desktop machine again. This fact alone means it's nice and easy for me to play with the likes of Git (or, at the moment more GitHub for Mac than the command line git), ruby, Jekyll and SublimeText (along with a rather nifty package for quickly kicking off a blog post). So that's how I'm doing it. Writing it all locally and pushing it up to GitHub and hosting it with GitHub Pages.

As this goes on I imagine much will change. I've started out with a basic setup, created by simply using:

davep@Ariel:~/blogging$ jekyll new davep.github.com

From now on I'll be playing with styles and my own layouts to see what I can come up with and what I like (although, I most say, for the most part I'm actually liking the clean look it delivers out of the box).

One thing that's obviously missing right now is a facility for commenting. That's something I'll look into should I feel it's necessary -- from what I've seen elsewhere it's easy enough to make use of something like disqus. Update: This has now happened.

One other thing I might look at doing is putting this behind my own domain. For the moment it's only available via github.io and I guess it might look nicer if it was actually available via a URL that looks like the name I've attached to the blog. Update: This has now happened.

Anyway, that's it for now. Time to push this up and think some more about where it'll go from here.