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ajt (2546)

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UK based. Perl, XML/HTTP, SAP, Debian hacker.

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Journal of ajt (2546)

Monday June 02, 2003
03:12 PM

Printer friendly

[ #12567 ]

When I go to a commercial news web site, I always hunt down and select the printer friendly version of the page. I don't do this to print the page, I don't often print news pages out, but I do it to get rid of the adverts. Naturally I use Mozilla or Opera, so I don't get pop-ups, and I've gradually blocked off most of the advertising image servers, but the Flash based adverts still get through, and they are by far the most annoying. Plus the page is often hard to read with navigation scattered willy-nilly all over the place, and with huge blocks of blank space breaking up the flow.

A properly designed web page doesn't need to be re-parsed for printing, any decent browser can read modern HTML/CSS and render the page on a printer differently from a screen. The web design site A List Apart has used this technique for quite a while now, and it works very well indeed.

To be honest the adverts are so annoying and flash is so useless, that I think it's actually worth removing it from a machine that has it. Okay there are the odd sites that use flash well, but they are not where I go regularly. I've got the various Mozilla config tools that are good for tweaking Mozilla, and there is a kill-flash option in there, but there is no option to turn it off by default, with an option to turn it on when you actually want it. Another option is to install a hosts file with a bunch of known advertisers and their IPs mapped to some bit-bucket.

I use to browse the web on a Sun running XMosaic on a 21" Trinitron on a high speed academic network. Things have changed (or not) an awful lot over the years, but sometimes I don't think it's all for the best......

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