Flutterby™! : Stop the Ads

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Stop the Ads

2002-01-14 03:28:09+00 by TC 11 comments

Stop those anoying Pop Up ads. I even went so far as to turn off javascript in my browser because the ads were soooo anoying but I'm going to give this a try.

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:34:26+00 by: Dan Lyke

Opera has an "all pop-ups become pop-unders" option which is a nice compromise between "let them have free reign over my desktop" and "break the interface on those sites which open sub-windows because they think they're being helpful".

(Hint: Using target="..." is slightly bad, using JavaScript to pop-up separate windows is evil and should be punishable by rutabaga flagellation.)

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:34:26+00 by: topspin

I had the "cross thread" notion to try to "Google-plex" rutabaga flagellation.

5 hits. Sigh.

This reminds me of Dan's "chia" comment about newsgroups, circa '95 or so.

"It doesn't bother me that there's a group called alt.binaries.pictures.erotica.hamsters.ducttape. What bothers me is there's traffic in alt.binaries.pictures.erotica.hamsters.ducttape."

Never did ask how he knew there was traffic..... hmmmmm.....

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:34:27+00 by: Shawn

Dan, I disagree rather strongly. Using Javascript to open a new window is simply a tool - and an often useful one at that. The problem (as with all tools) is when it is abused.

And I continually rail against the heavy-handed action of disabling Javascript entirely. That's like watching a movie with earplugs because you don't want to hear the sniffling and muttering of the people behind you. Not to mention the fact that I've found Javascript code can result in faster downloads and rendering. (I used to have a page of thumnails - of my wife's first flight lesson - that loaded in one third the time when it was coded entirely in Javascript).

These days there are a number of products that allow one to combat the pop-up-ad idiocy:

  1. Stardock [opens in a new window, as do all my links] makes a product called WebBlinds that provides options to disable pop-ups in the OnLoad and OnUnload events with IE.
  2. The current versions of Mozilla have an option setting (although I believe it still requires manual editing of a configuration file) for the same.
  3. Netcaptor is an alternative, tab-based browser that has a really comprehensive page of settings for dealing with pop-up ads.

And I've heard of a lot more out there.

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:34:27+00 by: Dan Lyke

I need to make the "open in new window" thing an option. To me, coding a page so that anything opens in a new window is insulting the user; if they want a new window they'll use the center button (or right click, on lesser operating systems). That's a decision that needs to get pushed to the client interface.

And coding pages so that they're usable with JavaScript entirely disabled is a necessity if you expect bleading edge folks to use your pages. I'm not just talking about snobs like me who still use Netscape 4.76 on systems, but people who browse from lightweight interfaces, like handhelds.

But, as always, I'm sure I'm in the minority on this.

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:34:27+00 by: hanan

Use WebWasher. They have a Win,MAC and LInux versions. http://www.webwasher.com

Hanan Cohen

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:34:27+00 by: Larry Burton

On Windows I use PopupKiller to manage popups. It seems to work fairly well but I do have to disable it from time to time. Turning off Javascript was just too much of a hassle with a lot of the sites I visit using it for good rather than evil.

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:34:27+00 by: TC

Wow this is a rather interesting thread to me right now. I've gotten along pretty well without javascript because most well designed sites seem to "degrade" gracefully and work just fine (maybe less sparkly or something). Right now I'nm on the other side of the fence though. I drew the short straw on this game Dan & I are working and so I'm saddled with the interface issues and the flash version is a slam dunk but the HTML version pretty painful right now. What do guys think about frames? Are they taboo?

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:34:28+00 by: Dan Lyke

I'm sure I've ranted on this before, but... Frames are fine for applications, they break all sorts of usability when used for presenting data or pages.

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:34:28+00 by: other_todd

I wrestle with JScript quite a bit at home. My biggest gripe about JScript is that I want to turn it on and off on a page-by-page basis; that is, I want a button up on the browser's toolbar to toggle it. Netscape at least lets me turn it off with one check; for IE I have to go into my security settings (punch down two dialogs deep) and change two, sometimes three, radio buttons depending on how much I want to turn off.

Why is this important to me? Well - ahem - a lot of what I do at home is look at porn sites. (Yes, I do keep a sex weblog but I won't pretend it's ALL research.) And porn sites do annoying things with JScript. What worries me is seeing these (ab)uses permeate to the rest of the web.

My least favorite JScript tricks: 1. Popup ad windows. I am perfectly happy with your putting ads inline, even big ones, even bouncy ones ... but I'll control how many windows I have open, thanks. Your page content is your business; my desktop clutter is MY business.

  1. Concealing URLs from pointer hover. I want to know where I'm going when I click. Period.
  2. In fact, don't put anything in the status line of my browser at all - no tickers, no cutesy messages, no ads. That line is for browser status. I want the browser to be able to use it to tell me what it's doing. Leave it be.
  3. Blocking right-button use. (Several porn sites use this to try to prevent you from downloading an image or opening it in a new window.) I recognize they have copyright concerns and those concerns are valid, but, again, this is something I should control. I may want a look at that image by itself for reasons that have nothing to do with downloading. (This actually should be #1, since I will turn off JScript for this before anything else in this list. It really bothers me.)

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:34:28+00 by: other_todd

Line breaks didn't quite work in that message the way I intended, but you get the idea.

#Comment made: 2002-01-15 01:11:04+00 by: Shawn [edit history]

Ok, ok. I'll stop doing target="_new" here.

Dan: In general I agree with you about opening windows. But designing the client interface is part of designing a web page. For example; when putting together a website about my wedding I wanted to have notes (kinda like footnotes) at certain points throughout the text. Those notes pop up in a smaller window (without menu or toolbar) and just display a quick blurb that I want to insert into the narrative. Now, mind you, I'm responsible about it. Each blurb request displays in the same window, so you don't wind up with a bunch of post-it sized windows all over your screen. But putting that little information into a full-sized browser page was not just pointless, IMO - it was stupid. Sometimes the page design/interface really does call for opening new windows.

Also; sometimes, as part of the design, I don't want people to leave my site just to read - or make a note of - something somewhere else. Especially if it's a link meant to interject information into the narrative that they are reading. Again, like a footnote: "go read this and then come back". That, to me is a perfectly valid use - and not in the least insulting. Rather, it's a gentle reminder.

As for "bleeding edge"... Netscape 4.x will do javascript just fine. And I really think you PDA browsers are all sick freaks ;-) You will never catch me surfing the 'net on anything smaller than a 10-inch screen. Why do you do it? The screen is far too small to be at all useful for this. I honestly don't have much sympathy for anybody who wants to subject themselves to that kind of pain. The right tool for the right job is what I always say - and, incedentally, is why I generally don't participate in web-based discussion forums (Flutterby doesn't count - it's more a commment forum, not a discussion one) - I use newsgroups and mailing lists for that. Everything is not better once it's been webified. (pant, pant... ok... deep breaths... deep... breaths...)

All that said, when I design and build web pages professionally, I do take into account the lowest common denominator (well, except for PDAs - unless it's Dan telling me he can't navigate the [now in stasis] Washington Sexual Civil Rights web site ;-). But those who have javascript disabled are gonna miss out on all the nifty interface features of my personal and hobby pages. (Can't even get past the front door of my homepage without it.)