I use LinkedIn a lot. I also use various Google properties a lot. Both of them have a bunch of distracting and annoying UI features that just get in my way. I know Google and LinkedIn have a vested interest in catching my attention and trying to get me to use their products in the ways that will make them the most money, but as a user, I don’t care what they want. I care what I want.
So I’ve used AdBlock to clean up the elements I don’t want. Here’s how.
I’m assuming you use one of the many excellent AdBlock extensions for whatever browser you use. If not, you need to do that — reclaim your browser and view the web the way you want it. Every time I use someone else’s computer and they don’t have an AdBlock extension it blows my mind.
LinkedIn has a new endorsement feature. They show me a big banner at the top of the page every time I view a connection’s profile page.
I don’t care. I don’t know enough about most of my connections to endorse them publicly, and I don’t want to see that nonsense. So I AdBlock it. This is easy to do — just right-click and select the context menu item to block that whole banner.
I’ve also hidden the endorsements on my profile. It’s nice that people want to endorse me (although I think LinkedIn is almost bullying them into it by putting the obnoxious endorsement box in their faces), but most of the endorsements are for things I’m not actually expert in. Some of them I literally know nothing about. It’s interesting to see the difference between what people think I know and what I actually know.
Somewhere I read that Google+ has quietly become a significantly large social network, with a large fraction of the number of users that Facebook has. I know why that is: it’s because Google has tied a Google+ account into nearly all of their services, and most people I know have multiple Google profiles. I have seven, and a couple months ago I had eight. Google can count me multiple times if they wish; that’s their business.
What’s my business is whether I let them annoy me with notifications. You know that irritating notification bar at the top of the page in all of the pages on Google’s domains? This one?
As far as I can tell, Google doesn’t allow you to disable notifications. The only way I know to get rid of that irritating red animated 1 button is to click on it so it turns back into a faint gray 0:
No offense, guys, I do consider you friends, but I don’t care that you added me to your circles :-\ I don’t use Google+, regardless of what Google tries to make you believe. I bet you were probably bullied into adding me, just to make some annoying suggestion box go away.
The Google+ notifications box is a little harder to hide, because it uses CSS classes to generate the numbers in the box. But a little digging into the page source yielded the following custom AdBlock rules:
And now all of my Google pages are free of one more time-wasting, attention-disrupting, productivity-killing distraction.
I’m really looking forward to Percona Live this year. I will be there, along with Kyle Redinger, my co-founder at VividCortex. I feel that this year the conference has come full circle. 2007 was my first year at the conference, and it was amazing. This year is tremendously exciting for me because it feels like we’re back on the 2007 trajectory.
Those were the golden days. Things were a little sad in 2010 and 2011 as the MySQL community tried to figure out the new landscape and O’Reilly decided to stop running the event, but then in 2012 we all said “we’re back!” with the exception of Oracle, who instead arranged MySQL Connect, as part of Oracle Open World. I don’t think that was a huge success. I don’t know if that’s why Oracle has decided to participate in this year’s Percona MySQL conference, but frankly it doesn’t matter. What matters is that they’re there. Oracle is a vital part of the MySQL community and if we didn’t have them it would be a huge loss.
I think I already said this in a previous blog post, but the schedule is freaking amazing. I have never seen a conference — any conference — with such a high-quality session schedule. To get this many concentrated high-quality sessions you usually have to attend a mega-conference with dozens of sessions at a time, most of them fluff.
I also have to give Percona a huge thank-you for seeing this through. I was involved — but only slightly — in the 2012 conference, and I can tell you that no outsider can possibly understand the amount of time, money, and work involved. I heard some people say things like “oh yeah, I’ve organized a big event, I know what’s required” followed by descriptions of “cost” and “difficulty” that made me laugh. The conference Percona is organizing is unimaginably more expensive and difficult. If you want to say thank-you, I know they will be glad to hear it. The committee will also. And let’s give credit to the sponsors, too. It’s a ton of effort and expense for all of them.
Are you going to be there? If not, what the heck is wrong with you? Seriously. If you are involved with MySQL at all, if you use it, if your company uses it — you need to be there. If you haven’t been in 2007, 2008, or 2012, there’s no way you can understand what you’re missing. You need to take my word and show up. Percona is making it ridiculously cheap — I don’t know if they’re even making money at the price they’re charging. The value of that week in Santa Clara is hard to calculate. Just go.
High Performance MySQL, 3rd Edition has been selling very well. It’s translated into many languages. O’Reilly sends me a hard-copy of the translations, and I have a whole section on my bookshelf dedicated to them. It’s really satisfying to look at it.
Today I’m happy to announce that we’re moving forward with a new batch of translations. Demand has been so strong that we want to make the book accessible to as wide an audience as possible. Plus, I get a fat check every time O’Reilly sells the translation rights.
The new languages will include Australian, l337 (“Leet”), Jive, Ebonics, Elmer Fudd, Blissymbols, and Esperanto. Here’s a sample before-and-after paragraph:
Isolating the Column
We commonly see queries that defeat indexes or prevent MySQL from using the available indexes. MySQL generally can’t use indexes on columns unless the columns are isolated in the query. “Isolating” the column means it should not be part of an expression or be inside a function in the query.
Here’s the same passage, translated to Australian:
˙ʎɹǝnb ǝɥʇ uı uoıʇɔunɟ ɐ ǝpısuı ǝq ɹo uoıssǝɹdxǝ uɐ ɟo ʇɹɐd ǝq ʇou plnoɥs ʇı suɐǝɯ uɯnloɔ ǝɥʇ ”ƃuıʇɐlosI“ ˙ʎɹǝnb ǝɥʇ uı pǝʇɐlosı ǝɹɐ suɯnloɔ ǝɥʇ ssǝlun suɯnloɔ uo sǝxǝpuı ǝsn ʇ’uɐɔ ʎllɐɹǝuǝƃ ˥QSʎW ˙sǝxǝpuı ǝlqɐlıɐʌɐ ǝɥʇ ƃuısn ɯoɹɟ ˥QSʎW ʇuǝʌǝɹd ɹo sǝxǝpuı ʇɐǝɟǝp ʇɐɥʇ sǝıɹǝnb ǝǝs ʎluoɯɯoɔ ǝM
uɯnloƆ ǝɥʇ ƃuıʇɐlosI
And here’s the sample in Jive:
Them Columns Cut a Lemon fo Isolatin’
Ain’t nothin but a thang bout them messin’ up my old lady’s indexes cain’t be runnin’ upside down yo’ head. Slap my fro. MySQL can’t dig it with lay no indexes on dem less’n you gets ‘em say I won say I pray I get the same ol’ same ol’. Yo SQL, MySQL, all them SQL. What it is, Mama, what it is. Knock yoself a pro slick, get ‘em spreshuns ain’t be togetha. Use yo’ gray mattah! True dat, git it out wid de functions. Come on got to be! Sheeeeeeeh.
There may be some rough edges, of course. This is only an early draft.
In addition, we are translating the technical examples and code samples into additional computer languages, including popular ones like LOLCATS, ALGOL (sorry, not the latest release — that will come soon), and even obscure languages like Node.JS and Commodore 64. We’re also extending the book with compatibility plugins — sort of “skins” or “personalities” if you will — that will let you apply all the knowledge in the book to irrelevant, obscure database servers like Oracle, PostgreSQL (a.k.a. “Postgre”), Riak, and FAT32.
Your feedback and suggestions are welcome. Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help make your High Performance MySQL experience more enjoyable. Or, if you prefer: Slide your jib, brother sky, don’t be sayin’ no off-time jive, lay it on, you dig? Mash me a fin.