Pages that are altered by the browser

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MikeGale
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Pages that are altered by the browser

Post by MikeGale »

Some browsers have reading modes that alter the content we create.

Here's an extension of that, under development, which does more. (This page is from 2018, development is under way.)

https://brave.com/speed-reader/

I wonder what this sort of thing will do to web development?
  • It might increase the proportion of sites with clean simple design (that doesn't need manipulation).
  • It might spark a movement away from "frameworks" which tend to introduce bloat.
  • It might encourage more paid content if advertising withers away.
  • If the improvements are shown in a browser (

    Code: Select all

    25X faster, 84X less bandwidth, 2.5X less memory used
    ) it might cause mockery, by users, of the awful designs!
  • ...

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Albert Wiersch
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Re: Pages that are altered by the browser

Post by Albert Wiersch »

That looks great. I can see that being very useful if it's easy to use and works well but I can also see a lot of people not liking it because it gets rid of so much of the bloat (ads and tracking) that the content creators and organizations (like news sites) want.

It's really sad that we need technology to fight technology though. The web could be so much better.

Without CSS though, there goes a lot of styling... but CSS is so "powerful" now that it can be abused... and by abuse, I mean do things that interfere with the ease and accessibility of getting straight to the content.

I sometimes turn to Firefox and its reader mode to print documents because without it they often print as a big bloated mess and might not be even legible because the actual content runs off the page.

I see Google has a reader mode that you need to enable at chrome://flags/#enable-reader-mode , but it doesn't look like it's as easy to use as the one in Firefox which is an easily accessible button by the URL (on the right) or one can just press F9. I should try using Firefox and its reader mode more often because I'm sure it's useful for more than just printing.

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MikeGale
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Re: Pages that are altered by the browser

Post by MikeGale »

It's an interesting area.
  1. The likes of Pocket and Instapaper show some of the possibilities.
  2. The 85X metric suggests that less than 2% of web traffic is useful to the audience. Think about that. We get more than 80 times greater capacity from the existing web if we ditch the garbage.
  3. People do serious work to make this web content the way it is. In essence they're the enemies of the readers as are the companies that use them. What happens when and if readers get control?
  4. I think that talent has been captured to do these things. What happens if that talent is released? Do we return to the ealier web which was vibrant and innovative and fun?
  5. How has the need to enable this bloat influenced and hobbled browser development? What if the shackles are released?
  6. What impact will technologies to stop these things have? Will they grow? (Cliqz, Ghostery, ad blockers, Pocket, Brave, newsfeeds...)
  7. Google seems to be fighting back with a replacement for cookies. I haven't studied it, what about that?
  8. What sort of web do different individuals actually want? How might they mobilise to get it?

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Albert Wiersch
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Re: Pages that are altered by the browser

Post by Albert Wiersch »

Yes, very interesting stuff to think about.

It's not hard to believe that less than 2% of a bloated website's traffic is useful to the user.

I'm not sure what you mean by the earlier web, but I thought back a little and I remember the days before pop-up blockers and there were some annoying things going on back than as well... of course such things were much less bandwidth intensive because most people had a lot less bandwidth than they do now... but I certainly did enjoy the web when it was simpler and the content to garbage ratio was higher (at least that's the way I remember it!).

Image

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MikeGale
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Re: Pages that are altered by the browser

Post by MikeGale »

By the earlier web I'm thinking of my experience.

True there was a lot of ugly material and bad intent but there were also a good number of people doing inventive and powerful things.

I remember multiple scripting languages, I even had somebody sending me instructions on how to plug my own language into a browser. There were a fair number of people doing things that melded presentation, programming, database and back end services, in remarkable ways. I loved it.

I remember listening into the discussions, as an "invited expert", at WHTWG and W3C on designing the future of HTML. It was good to listen but the implementation was getting complex, was seemingly controlled by some partially malevolent forces and gave me a sinking feeling.

I'm sure that's still there but the web itself has become so crowded with boring things (that reduce the thought level) that I struggle to find them.

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Re: Pages that are altered by the browser

Post by Albert Wiersch »

I just ran across this today. I have not listened to it. I'd like to if I can find the time but the subject is one in which I am quite interested in and fits in with this topic.

Chris Coyier ‘Easy to design, hard to use’
Chris Coyier talks to Gerry McGovern about how many of the tools and resources out there make it easy for developers and designers to create bloated, heavy, energy-sapping digital designs.

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