[TAG] Viewing homestead.com web pages
Benjamin A. Okopnik
ben at linuxgazette.net
Mon Feb 20 18:42:30 MSK 2006
On Mon, Feb 20, 2006 at 11:04:10AM +0000, Francis Daly wrote:
> On Sun, Feb 19, 2006 at 01:51:53PM -0700, Bob van der Poel wrote:
> Hi there,
> > Just wondering if there is a simple (complex? Any?) solution to viewing
> > certain websites which rely way too much on absolute positioning code?
> > Most sites on www.homestead.com are quite un-viewable on my system with
> > Firefox. They render somewhat better with Opera.
> If the problem is broken absolute positioning code, the quick answer is
> to use a browser which ignores absolute positioning code.
There's a large number of pages on the Net that are badly broken WRT
layout; however, over time, I've discovered (much to my surprise) that
*other*, less- (or even un) broken pages exist as well. Based on this
amazing fact, I've developed a strategy: as soon as I encounter the
former, I do a bit of clicking, or even typing, and I'm soon looking at
the latter. :)
Seriously - truly bad layout can make a page nearly unusable, which is
much like not having the info in the first place. Given that much of the
data on the Net is available in multiple places, I consider finding an
alternate site - rather than trying to curse my way through
font: 3px bold italic "Bloody Unreadable";
that's half-hidden behind a blinking yellow "THIS SITE UNDER
CONSTRUCTION!!!" GIF - to be a perfectly valid strategy, unless the info
on that specific site is truly unique. For me, it saves lots of wear and
tear - and time.
The above may seem obvious as hell to some, but lots and lots of people
tend to get hyperfocused on Must Fix This Problem instead of looking at
alternatives - I've done it myself, lots of times, and still catch
myself doing it on occasion. Larger context is something that usually
My own default browsing technique consists of firing off my "google"
script, which invokes "w3m" and points it at Google.com with a
properly-constructed query. I page through the hits that Google
provides, search until I find what I want, and - if I really need a
graphical browser to examine the content, which is only true in about 5%
of the cases - I hit '2-shift-m', which fires up Mozilla and feeds it
the current URL (since I've set "Second External Browser" in 'w3m' to
'mozilla'.) I very, *very* rarely have to deal with really bad layout
since text mode prevents many problems by its very nature.
(If the page really *is* unique, _and_ is badly broken, _and_ you really
need to view it in a graphical browser, _and_ you have to keep going
back there, Mozilla and Firefox have a plugin that allows you to "edit"
the HTML of a given site and remembers your edits locally. Whenever you
go to that page, your edits are auto-applied. Unfortunately, I don't
recall the name of the plugin... Jimmy, I think I learned about it from
you. Do you recall the name?)
> > I think the problem is one of expected font and font size. I use a
> > fairly large min. size ... but don't know if this is the problem or not.
It would often be a problem, yes. Many sites are laid out so that
there's no room for the expansion necessary to accomodate larger text.
> > Here's an example of something completely impossible to read:
> > http://www.yahkkingsgate.homestead.com/ using Firefox. Again, it fares
> > better (but still pretty ugly) in Opera. I don't have a windows box
> > handy, but am assuming that it renders okay using IE.
Looks totally fine in 'w3m'. Oh, and if I want to view it in a larger
font, I simply Ctrl-right-click my xterm and set the fontsize to
'Large', or even 'Huge'.
> w3m -- the content seems all there, but the links are a bit tough to follow
> (because of the design choices they made: <a href=link><img alt=""
> src=img></a> doesn't leave much clickable space for the link).
This is why I prefer to use the 'Tab' key in 'w3m' rather than clicking
the links: it never misses, no matter how small the link. :)
* Ben Okopnik * Editor-in-Chief, Linux Gazette * http://linuxgazette.net *
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