Web Developer as Puppy

July 16th, 2007  |  Published in etc  |  2 Comments

The New York Times site has one of the. most. annoying. behaviors. EVAR.

If you’re a compulsive “clickety-click on the page while reading” type like me, anyhow. Or if you’re the type who is aware of “repeated double-click = expanded selection scope” behavior and uses it, which I also am:

Doubleclick a word on nytimes.com and a new browser window with the answers.com page on the word appears.

It doesn’t even fall under the same class as “eyeball greedy webmaster makes all external links open in new windows,” which annoys but at least happens when you click on an element of the page that is advertising itself as clickable. And any decent browser will warn you of the behavior in its status bar, anyhow. nytimes.com’s feature just triggers over any click anywhere, “helpfully” defining whatever is under your mouse, with no warning.

Safari appears to be immune. IE and the Mozilloids aren’t. The New York Times Kill Doubleclick Dictionary userscript fixes this for Firefox.

This is why I just don’t buy the wounded “it’s my page coz I wrote it and that’s the way I want it and your Greasemonkey (etc) extension is DEFACEMENT” line. Or, rather, I’m perfectly willing to accept that what a greasemonkey user is doing could constitute “defacement” in some very private sense of the word, but I just don’t care.

See also: The quiet addition then removal of the lightbox code on this site. gl. was right to complain about it because it introduced a behavior that thwarted a few reasonable expectations about clicking on an image link. A degree less egregious than the nytimes thing, but annoying. And when I hit a lightbox-enabled link on our old G3 iBook, it was embarrassingly slow to draw. Not polite.

I’ve been playing with SmugMug’s options for getting to images I store there. There’s a naked display option, but I like pointing to the sized versions in the context of a gallery with more navigational cues and opportunities to see related images … that’s a bit of help some visitors appreciate.


  1. Ed Heil says:

    July 16th, 2007 at 11:23 am (#)

    I had just noticed that re: the NYT. thanks for the script. :)

  2. Kevin Reichard says:

    July 16th, 2007 at 1:48 pm (#)

    sounds like someone has a case of the Mondays.

Leave a Response

© Michael Hall, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States license.