Every so often, I solve a problem with a hammer

January 23, 2012

For reasons beyond the scope of this entry, I maintain a special Firefox profile and instance for uploading pictures to my Flickr account. Back in the old days, Firefox had a very convenient behavior for this: when it asked you to choose files to upload in an upload form, the default directory was the current directory that you'd started Firefox in. This meant that I could cd to the day's photo directory, start my Flickr Firefox instance, and have the GTK file chooser dialog start in exactly the right directory. Then at some point Firefox changed this so that the default file chooser directory was something like your configured download directory.

I poked at this off and on but couldn't find a way to make Firefox get its old behavior back. So recently I decided to fix the problem with brute force. The script that I use to start my Flickr Firefox instance now looks somewhat like this:

ln -nsf $(pwd) $HOME/CURDIR
exec firefox -P flickr "$@"

This is inelegant and not a real solution, but it makes things a lot more convenient; it's now much faster to navigate to exactly where I want to be. Sometimes that's the right way to deal with a problem, when either the real solution is too much work or the problem is too small to justify anything more than a quick hack.

(I suppose that this could be slightly improved by putting the symlink directly in the download subdirectory. I'm not sure why I didn't do that.)

Written on 23 January 2012.
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Last modified: Mon Jan 23 00:15:48 2012
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