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Popups aren’t dead (alas)

Is there really a good excuse to to interrupt —no, really, impede the user’s experience with an involuntary, uninvited popup window blipping in front of what she’s trying to view? No, I can’t say there is.

Fortunately, web browsers like the Mozilla-based ones and Safari allow us to block the ones generated via the JavaScript method, among other things. Unfortunately, there are still nasty items like advert links which display popups when you move the mouse over them. Talk about spoiling the behavior of title tips. (Example: The double underlined links at Blocking would require manual tweaking of your hostperm file, AFAIK.) Vile, vile, vile.

Then a month or two ago I noticed that some blogs have implemented another, similar horror: Snap Preview, which displays a mini-screenshot of the target link when you mouse over it. Perhaps this might be useful in very limited situations (e.g., inform the users of an online gallery that specific links will display previews). But every link? Yowch. No thanks.

Lorelle VanFossen has written an excellent article on why this feature is bad, and how to turn it off if you have a hosted blog. Thanks, Lorelle!

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