Oct 26, 2007

[Web] I Hate Snap

snapI really Snap shots, those annoying flash-based previews that a lot of bloggers and website owners seem to cater to these days as some cheap way to make their site look more technical. Sorry if I'm coming off a bit strong here, but it's a personal opinion that I can't quite shake off right now.

The purpose behind such preview panes is simple - to give readers a glimpse of where the external link leads to in a small pop-up window that appears the moment you hover over the link. The previews can also help provide contextual information about the item such as references in Wikipedia and other sites. In theory, it all sounds peachy keen.

But they're not. Allow me to get into this somewhat briefly.

However, the buggers slow sites down. A LOT. Where it not for the fact that I now surf behind the screen of Firefox extension NoScript, I'd be bugged by them even more. With each external link turning into a flash hotbed, sites that link extensively, like say the Geeky Guide will be even more of a nightmare to surf when I'm not going video-embed-crazy!

But more importantly, it's just darned inconvenient. Sure, call me old school for thinking this way but when I move my mouse purposely towards a link, I want to go to the site the link leads me to. I don't want to trigger all these pop-ups along the way and have to deal with a needless graphic before getting to click efficiently. Plus as a Firefox user, I'm a middle-clicker, since I like loading external pages in new tabs. It's tricky enough to do that with a scroll wheel in place but with dealing with a flash-triggered Snap Shot too? Come on!

If you like Snap, that's fine. Get the Snap add-on for your browser so all external links on all websites you visit get the Snap treatment. But as a website owner or blogger, don't force these things on all of your readers. Believe it or not, a lot of us hate dealing with them!

Why the Snap-rant all of a sudden? Well it's simple really. LiveJournal, my personal blog host, has just enabled Snap previews for all basic and plus accounts by default. Urk. So I had to go to the rarely-visited Viewing Options page just to turn the darned things off. Good riddance to bad rubbish!

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