Saturday, February 12, 2005

Lamest Program Startup Ever

Don't you also just hate to watch Adobe Acrobat Reader wasting your time on initializing twenty million plugins that you are never going to use? That pathetic splash screen, which lists one plugin after the other, while the system locks up for a minute or so. I don't want Extended Accessibility, XML Forms, Digital Signatures, DRM, ECMA Script, Barcode Support, SendMail, SOAP, ... - I just want to see my freaking PDF!

It's already quite annoying on a hi-end workstation, and turns into a nightmare on older and slower machines. As far as I remember, it got progressively worse from Acrobat Reader 4 on, but version 6 is the last straw (I heard that version 7 improved, though). Once I tried to downgrade to version 4, that didn't work either for the Acrobat ActiveX which runs via OLE within my browser, and is still as of version 6 (clean COM de-registration, anybody?).

I really appreciate most of Adobe's products, but here they violated some of the most basic usability principles. I know those plugins make sense for some folks, but then - please - let them be activated selectively, and leave them off by default. Or: initialize them once they are needed, and not before.

Anyway, there is remedy: AR-Speedup lets you deactivate Acrobat Reader plugins with just some mouseclicks. Or alternatively, why not give Foxit PDF Reader a try?