Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Opera Software The Internet Technology

Opera Proposes Switching Browser Scrolling For 'Pages' 320

Posted by Soulskill
from the what-is-this dept.
Barence writes "Opera has proposed a new browsing system that swaps scrolling on websites for flippable pages. The Norwegian browser maker is looking to remove the side scroll bar for documents or articles in favor of 'pages' of a set-size, similar to an ebook. Text can be reflowed into a column layout, and ads will be moved into the right spot in the text, with different ones displayed depending on the orientation of the device. Pages are flipped with gestures on tablets or with mouse clicks on the desktop. It's an 'opportunity to rethink the ads on the web and the user interface,' said Hakon Wium Lie, Opera's CTO." Their main focus for this is browsing on tablets.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Opera Proposes Switching Browser Scrolling For 'Pages'

Comments Filter:
  • Sounds interesting (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rhyder128k (1051042) on Tuesday October 11, 2011 @08:31PM (#37685630) Homepage

    The only problem with Opera innovating is that, if an new idea works out, the other browsers will add it. The only alternative is if Opera can patent the ideas. Not something that would prove very popular 'round here.

    • by locopuyo (1433631) on Tuesday October 11, 2011 @08:34PM (#37685650) Homepage
      Opera isn't that kind of company. If Opera patented all their ideas web browsers would be stuck in 1999.
      • Opera does hold patents and does sometimes patent new inventions. (As an employee, I am forbidden from discussing specifics and I don't know if a patent application was even filed for this particular feature). However, for specifications developed within or submitted to the W3C, Opera is subject to the W3C patent policy.

      • by cgenman (325138) on Wednesday October 12, 2011 @10:47AM (#37690264) Homepage

        So that people know what they're talking about, Opera was the first (or one of the first) browsers to offer:

        Tabbed interface (and MDI before tabs)
        Saved Sessions
        Previous windows re-opening when you launch the browser
        Mouse Gestures
        Virtual folders in Mail
        RAM Cache
        Zooming
        Integrated search
        Speed dial
        Undo of closing tabs
        Using the user's CSS and Javascript instead of the site's

        A lot of others that failed because they were shots in the dark (integrated web server? voice control?)
        Others that succeeded that I'm probably forgetting.

        Really, if you follow the development of the browser for the past 10 years or so, Opera has basically been the experimental branch of the tree. Features are created by opera, then integrated into other browsers. Recently, Chrome has done some nice experimentations, and Firefox's extensions saw a burst of weird creativity. But for day-in, day-out browsing, Opera has really defined a lot of the features we now take for granted.

    • by Local ID10T (790134) <ID10T.L.USER@gmail.com> on Tuesday October 11, 2011 @08:35PM (#37685664) Homepage

      The only problem with Opera innovating is that, if an new idea works out, the other browsers will add it..

      That is not a problem, that is a GOOD THING.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 11, 2011 @09:46PM (#37686096)

        It's a good thing to have everybody copying Opera even though we don't use Opera because we don't like it?

        Firefox already suffers from an inferiority complex with regards to Chrome, and feels as though it must copy every annoying aspect of Chrome until there's nothing to differentiate the two. Once functionality of my favorite extensions is available in another browser I'm going to ditch FF like nobody's business. It's like IE vs. Netscape all over again, but now it's FF that's got people itching to leave.

        • Ahemmmmmm.... (Score:3, Interesting)

          by justforgetme (1814588)

          You don't like it. We do like it very much. Sure if you are a web developer you need to work much on FF and CR but nonetheless a lot of power users are die hard Opera fans and you know what? They are rightfully so. Also most of the devs I know and respect use Opera and the ones that don't use it are GPL advocates so it's a religious thing...
          Opera is the only browser I have been using the past decade that hasn't screwed up big at one point or another. and yes, all the other browsers are copying them because

      • by MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) on Tuesday October 11, 2011 @10:38PM (#37686406)

        Not necessarily. They'd either have to license it (bonus to the inventors, that'll get them to spend even more time on R&D ) or they'd have to come up with their own alternatives. Those alternatives are how innovation starts. Maybe Pages aren't good enough, maybe auto-scrolling is even better. In that effort to get around that patent, we'd find out, instead of becoming complacent and settling for poor carbon copies of features.

        Nobody here is going to like what I'm saying, and I'm cool with that. All I can say to that is at least with the patent approach they'd have to detail every little aspect that makes it work. If software patents only lasted a year or so, that'd be pretty bad ass all around.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          bonus to the inventors, that'll get them to spend even more time on R&D

          No, bonus to the middlemen (e.g. lawyers) and managers. The reality, not the fiction that you're spouting, is that inventors are rarely rewarded. Look it up. Not tp mention the enormous financial load to society that are patents.

          In that effort to get around that patent, we'd find out, instead of becoming complacent and settling for poor carbon copies of features.

          No, people still compete. Removing patents doesn't stop that. On the

    • by tsa (15680)

      I don't see your problem. Luckily Opera can not patent their brilliant idea anymore because they threw it out in the open already. So bring it on everybodyl

    • by jd (1658) <imipak AT yahoo DOT com> on Tuesday October 11, 2011 @08:56PM (#37685784) Homepage Journal

      There's prior art. Page-based documents created via a markup language which supports hypertext linking have been around for a while.

      But, then, I like the hyperref package for LaTeX.

      Frankly, I'd rather see LaTeX as a language extension. That way, you could have the page itself specify if it's to be paginated or scrolled, and if paginated how those pages should be constructed. The syntax already exists, the parser is nearly bullet-proof (more than could be said of most browsers) and those who actually want such a format (ie: people writing books, papers, etc) are likely the ones who already know the LaTeX language.

      • by dgatwood (11270) on Wednesday October 12, 2011 @01:17AM (#37687110) Journal

        Speaking as someone who has spent countless hours writing custom LaTeX macros, bulletproof is exactly the opposite of the word I'd use for LaTeX. As soon as you stray very far at all from academic papers, it suddenly becomes just about the most fragile piece of code I've ever worked with. It's great as long as you never have to do anything custom. As soon as you say the words, "I know. I'll write a custom macro to [...]," you've just crossed the line into despair territory.

        To put it in perspective, my novel formatting code is 1545 lines, about half of which are insanely complex TeX macros, versus under 500 lines of CSS that does about 90% of the same stuff (minus the crop marks and page margin bits).

        In fact, given what modern browsers are capable of in terms of typesetting, I'd imagine it would be just a few thousand lines of JavaScript to produce a much more fully capable typesetting engine than all of LaTeX put together, but with a lot fewer limitations. For example:

        • It took 28 lines of LaTeX code to emulate the interaction between the CSS min-width and width properties on a div. (The min-height property, by contrast, took only one line of TeX, which may explain why I found a dozen sites that explained min-height, but no ready-made solutions for min-width.)
        • LaTeX is really, really bad at math. You have to know how to write your own macros just to subtract one length from another. I'd estimate 75% of the macros I've written have required getting the floating point package involved, which is just a royal pain.
        • There are three different ways to center. Not all of them ignore the first paragraph indent like you'd expect. So if you're wondering why your centered text is shifted off to the right....
        • LaTeX mixes code (macros) with text freely (without any delimiters), which means it is often difficult to write macros that are easily readable without adding extraneous whitespace in the output.
        • LaTeX doesn't have any real notion of floating content on its own, so if you add a drop cap and the paragraph in one chapter happens to be only a single line long, you get to fix it by hand or write some insane code using the FP package calculating the vertical distance between the drop cap marker and the first line of the next paragraph to see if it is greater than one line long. That's almost a hundred lines of code right there, versus something like three lines of CSS.
        • LaTeX really doesn't have a very good way to say that the end-of-section marker must be on the same page as at least two lines of the previous paragraph, but that it need not be on the same page as the entire paragraph. In HTML, it's just style="page-break-before: never;" and you're done.
        • There seem to be a thousand different ways to tweak page margins, none of which are universally compatible with various other packages (headers, footers, and other stuff done during the AddToShipoutPicture phase, in particular, if memory serves).
        • The user community has all sorts of hacks to work around various aspects of LaTeX's design, but these often interact in strange and almost inexplicable ways when you combine them. What makes this particularly problematic is that most of the maintained macro packages aren't much better in this regard. This is actually fairly fundamental in the design; macros are inherently much harder to write than normal procedural code that operates on attributed data like the DOM.
        • There's something fundamentally bizarre about a typesetter that doesn't know where it just put content, forcing you to add a bookmark and write it into a file, then find out the value on the next pass. Compared with the JavaScript DOM, that's amazingly clumsy.
        • God help you if you want to do something simple like programmatically redefine boldface to a squiggly underline in a way that is actually robust. In particular, I had endless trouble with the interaction of uwave and/or textbf and other macros causing all sorts of errors whose explanations had absolutely nothi
        • I agree with what you say, but only uup to a point. TeX itself is a very low level system as you probablyu know having programmed it. I agree that the programming language is nasty and has some astonishing warts, and there are problems with package compatibility.

          However, what you are claiming is not entirely fair. If it's built into CSS then it is almost certainly easier in CSS than in TeX. The point is that due to the capabilities of TeX, you can do things that the CSS designers never thought of (like thos

        • by kiwix (1810960) on Wednesday October 12, 2011 @09:24AM (#37689294)

          In fact, given what modern browsers are capable of in terms of typesetting

          What browser are you using?

          My browser doesn't do hyphenation or ligatures, the kerning is probably rather bad, and I don't think that the line breaking algorithm is as good as the one in TeX. Moreover, there is no reasonable way to set the line length (half of the websites use a very small column, and the other half use the full window width which is generally too wide), and making a table of content is a pain in the ass.

          And to answer a specific claims:

          LaTeX really doesn't have a very good way to say that the end-of-section marker must be on the same page as at least two lines of the previous paragraph

          I't called a widow, and you can prevent them with \widowpenalty=10000. By default, they are only discouraged because sometimes they look less ugly that the other alternatives.

      • by ultranova (717540) on Wednesday October 12, 2011 @03:32AM (#37687598)

        Frankly, I'd rather see LaTeX as a language extension. That way, you could have the page itself specify if it's to be paginated or scrolled, and if paginated how those pages should be constructed. The syntax already exists, the parser is nearly bullet-proof (more than could be said of most browsers) and those who actually want such a format (ie: people writing books, papers, etc) are likely the ones who already know the LaTeX language.

        The problem with this is... Web is not paper. You are not printing out A4s, you are rendering to my display. I always want everything in a single scrolled page with no margins. If I see something that's broken into 20+ pages, I'll just close the browser window/tab.

        Content and presentation both matter, but the user should always be the final arbiter in representation.

    • by Forbman (794277)

      Actually, it's not. Go to a web site (tom's hardware, Wired, etc), where their long-content articles are broken up into "pages".

      And then read the comments, at least on Wired, where 90% of them are bitching about how there's not a "view all" option.

      maybe a different gesture to scroll one page at a time is what is really needed on tablets/smartphones, but that should really be the milleau of the tablet OS, not HTML 5 or the browser, because it would probably be useful in more than just a web browser on these

      • by Rary (566291) on Tuesday October 11, 2011 @10:41PM (#37686416)

        Actually, what you're describing about Tom's or Wired is exactly why this would be a good idea.

        A website can split a document across multiple pages if they want to. But to do that, they're actually creating multiple documents. What Opera seems to be proposing is the idea that a single document could be rendered as a multi-page document. In other words, it's up to the browser to render it as multiple pages.

        So, why is that a good idea? Because, if it's up to the browser to render a single document in multiple pages, then the browser could also choose not to render that document in multiple pages. The decision of how to view the document lies on the client side, not the server side.

        So, instead of complaining about not having a "view all" option, those commenters would simply select the "view as single page" option in their browser and be happy.

        • by beelsebob (529313)

          You mean like Safari has in "reader"? Damn, wish someone thought of that.

          In the mean time – I don't see why anyone thinks this is a good thing, multitouch on a tablet showed us one thing... how awesome scrolling is if you can throw the document and tap to stop it. Why would you break that by making the user repeatedly make a gesture?

      • Exactly. I know when I have to read PDF documents, I always switch to 'scroll pages' rather than have them pop through page by page, almost exactly the same way that flipping pages would be. Scrolling through content is a more natural way to read it, in my opinion.
      • I was a surprised to see this article, since I also dislike page flipping.

        I read a lot of books on my tablet, but one of the first things I looked for was an e-book reader that would allow me to just seamlessly scroll through the book instead of emulating page-turns.

        To me having to turn pages was an artifact of paper books... a useful one because it allowed for fast indexing, but since e-books are searchable and support links it's no longer needed. I find it's less straining to my eyes if I don't have to ke

      • by xaxa (988988)

        Opera already supports a full-screen presentation/projection mode, as defined by CSS (2?). See this example [myopera.com], then press F11 to go full-screen. The content is split into screens/pages, use Page Down to go to the next one.

        Except in demonstrations of CSS, I've only once seen this used.

        (more details [opera.com])

    • by sodul (833177)

      I'm not seeing a huge improvement over the Reader button in Safari ... which hides all the non article content btw (including ads). Scroll by page ? I would not like it personally since this is an artificial constraint from the legacy paper based medium. Having a maximum number of word letters for the width of the text is a natural constraint: your brain is more efficient than with very very large lines of text. This is why I keep my code under 100 chars width btw.

      • by gandhi_2 (1108023)

        Having paper rolled up in a "scroll" is an even older paper-based medium.

        Personally, I don't know what the problem here is. There are "page"-down buttons, and web "pages" have always had the ability to break content into multiple pages with links.

        • by dgatwood (11270)

          The book replaced the scroll because you could pack a lot more density into something when you have sheets stacked on top of one another instead of wrapped into a tube. That benefit outweighed the inconvenience of having to reset your brain every time you turned the page. However, the point still remains that when you are actually reading the content, it's much easier to read a continuous scroll because you never have to think, "Oh, crap, how did the last page end again?" and flip back.

          With software, you

        • by beelsebob (529313)

          Notably, Safari's reader feature deals with this, and loads up all the pages into one.

    • by mattr (78516)

      You mean like Vadim Lopatin's GPL Cool Reader [coolreader.org] does for RTF files on Android? Extremely useful app. Market link [android.com]. It even keeps track of what page you were on last time you read the file. By the way I downloaded Opera for Android but Android's built in browser also adjusts the divs to make one column. Reflowing layout is what HTML is supposed to be about. I don't get where there is a need to patent this at all. Obvious software is obvious.

    • by beelsebob (529313)

      Yeh... Because people round here don't think software patents are bad because they stop other people from using the cool idea.

      Don't be so hypocritical, stopping other people using the cool idea doesn't suddenly become good because you like the company.

  • by LateArthurDent (1403947) on Tuesday October 11, 2011 @08:33PM (#37685642)

    A lot of ad-supported sites will do this. They'll release an article and split it up into multiple pages so they can display more ads. What happens when an article like that gets posted to slashdot? Everyone understandably complains that it's harder to read the article, and somebody posts a link to the printer-friendly version.

    Multiple pages are not easier to navigate. Not even on tablets.

    • by Hatta (162192)

      No kidding. If tablets have a problem with scrolling, fix the tablets.

      • It's a tradeoff when "fixing" the scrolling means giving up on e-ink. I've only got to play with such devices for an hour or so but I still think it's better to have a software fix of paging instead of even an IPS LCD screen. The pointer mouse in scrollbar model would really suck on a tablet anyway and scrolling by finger in the middle of a screen is annoying when you want to see an entire new screenful instead of just the next line.
        There's also a much bigger computational cost to scrolling versus paging
    • by TechLA (2482532) on Tuesday October 11, 2011 @08:39PM (#37685682)
      Note that they aren't proposing replacing scroll bars, they're proposing adding "pages" as CSS element. They also say this lets user decide if they want to have pages (great for tablets) or the old style scroll bars.

      Frankly, I think their idea is great, especially considering how many news sites have switched to using pages made with actual different pages. What Opera is proposing would fix that and would let you choose what style you want, directly in your browser. Personally I enjoy pages if the content is long, but I know many here on Slashdot like to read the print version just because it doesn't have paging.

      As Opera's focus with this seems to be tablets, it also makes lots of sense. It actually sucks trying to scroll the web browser with your finger. It works better with a mouse and mousewheel, but tablets would be greatly improved if the browser could do the paging itself and show exactly the amount of content that fits the screen. With a single tap you could go to next "page".

      This way everyone would be happy, but with tablets and computers, because it actually allows the user choose their preferred way.
      • by EdZ (755139)

        Note that they aren't proposing replacing scroll bars, they're proposing adding "pages" as CSS element. They also say this lets user decide if they want to have pages (great for tablets) or the old style scroll bars.

        I'm not sure how that differs from the current method of having a multi-page view and a 'print' view with everything on one page, other than renaming the 'print' view to a 'tablet' view.

      • by EdIII (1114411)

        That's great and all, but I laugh at the emphasis on supporting advertisements. Seriously, why waste your time on that kind of development?

        The only reason there are still advertisements is because there are 3 types of people in the world:

        1) People who don't know how to stop it. Getting smaller all the time.
        2) People who do know how to stop it. Getting bigger all the time.
        3) People who have constructed a logical argument that advertisements are required and/or necessary, and that the act of bypassing them s

        • by rueger (210566) *
          Category 3 is very small percentage. 1 & 2 make up 99.99% of all people on the planet.

          Nonsense.

          Category 4: people who have more important things to do with their lives than worry about ads in web pages probably comprise 98% of the population.

          I could mess around with ad-blockers and flash blockers etc, but frankly it just ain't that big a deal to me.
          • by IANAAC (692242) on Tuesday October 11, 2011 @09:46PM (#37686098)

            I could mess around with ad-blockers and flash blockers etc, but frankly it just ain't that big a deal to me.

            I'll offer up my own experience with ads. I've used some form of Linux and Firefox to browse websites for a few years now almost exclusively. When My last netbook died, I went out and bought another with W7 installed. I decided to just try W7 and IE for a couple days as it was installed - no ad blockers.

            I have to say, it was an absolutely horrible experience. The ads weren't flashy/blinky as I had remembered them from long ago, but they were really distracting, interspersed throughout any web page I was viewing. I probably wouldn't have had such a problem with the ads had they been either consistently at the top or bottom of the page, or along the side where they wouldn't get in the way. Unfortunately, that's not how most websites are designed.

            Once you've gotten used to not seeing obnoxiousness on a web page, it's really hard to accept it again. I've shown a few people how to add an ad blocker to their web browser and I've never heard a single complaint from any of them regarding any missing ads. On the other hand, I have heard complaints from some of these people regarding ads on their work computers after experiencing no ads on their home computers.

            • I've used a text browser (w3m) for a decade now, and I have a similar experience whenever I have to use firefox. Any form of advertising makes a webpage unusable as far as I'm concerned. The other nice thing about text browsers is that they'll usually ignore the website's graphical layout. That's a more subtle point, but even without ads on the page, most "webdesigners" have appalling graphical layout skills. The funny thing is the first time I tried text browsing, the experience seemed amateurish and media
              • you do realise that firefox has a really great add-on called adblock plus... that along with no-script and flashblock make browsing the web a very enjoyable experience...
          • by EdIII (1114411)

            You're wrong about the 98%. However, we can add another category... apathy. You fall into that category. Maybe your category is 15-20%. I doubt it. Most people I run into either don't know how to do it, or are already blocking. You are the first person I ever run into that just does not care.

            Why it should be a bigger deal to you is that advertisements are one way that malware is spread. You present a much smaller target if you are not automatically running flash and rendering advertisements on all si

            • by mooingyak (720677)

              You are the first person I ever run into that just does not care.

              I'm in that category (ish). I have flashblock installed, and that's about it. It doesn't remove all the ads, but it tends to stop the most irritating ones. The rest... I just don't care about.

          • by TubeSteak (669689)

            I could mess around with ad-blockers and flash blockers etc, but frankly it just ain't that big a deal to me.

            It's one of those things many people don't realize is annoying until it is gone.

            I've set up ad-blocking for people and, when a browser update breaks it, they let me know right away.
            Try it sometime. Ghostery [ghostery.com] is a good one to start with, since it won't accidentally block anything that's not an ad.

        • by Baloroth (2370816)

          Ah, you mean the same Opera that is the only browser maker that supports ad blocking out of the box and has since well before AdBlock for Firefox? In fact, since before Firefox existed, although it's hard to find an exact date (early support was a bit crude, I suppose).

          My impression after skimming the articles was that Opera wanted to position the ads better and less obtrusively. Many sites have ads that completely destroy the flow of text around them (or so I remember: I like many /.'ers no longer see ads

      • they're proposing adding "pages" as CSS element.

        Doesn't CSS already have a paged media module?

      • by msobkow (48369)

        So what's wrong with letting people use the PageUp/PageDown buttons and clicking off the scroll-thumb for the same behaviour from a scroll bar?

        Before you add page tags, you'd need to add flow-control tags to CSS, similar to what virtually every document processing program supports. Anyone with a functioning brain cell that works with large documents relies on flow-control configuration to break up pages, rather than manually inserting start-page breaks.

        Then there's the issue of page size, which obviou

        • by msobkow (48369)

          I'm trying to think the motivation behind this through, and all I can think of is that they don't want to use PDF documents for paginated information because PDF doesn't let you embed ads.

    • by Baloroth (2370816)

      It isn't 'pages' in the same way those ad-ridden sites are. What they mean is that the whole thing is loaded, and displayed in discrete junks. No additional ads, loading times, or clicks. So, it would be a bit like using the Page Up/ Down keys (in a program where those actually go whole pages) or setting your scroll-wheel to jump whole pages, and formating the results nicely to fit into those junks. I have to say, as someone who uses a small (3.7") tablet nearly every day, this would be damn useful for a lo

    • by artor3 (1344997) on Tuesday October 11, 2011 @09:57PM (#37686164)

      I'm with you up to the last sentence. There are three main reasons why scrolling is superior for PCs:

      • Easy navigation - I can just use the arrow keys or mousewheel to scroll, instead of needing to click a tiny link at the end of each page.
      • Condensed load times - By loading the entire page in one go, I can start reading while my computer loads the later sections. A paged article doesn't allow this, forcing a delay at the start of each page.
      • Fewer ads - The reason websites do this right now is to get more ad impressions, causing you to have to spend time loading ads over and over (especially annoying with flyover or pop-up ads). Yes, they can be blocked, but you still have lots of wasted screen real estate.

      On a tablet, these reasons are reduced or even reversed. Paging is easier than scrolling, since both are swiping gestures, but scrolling requires a controlled swipe. Condensed load times doesn't apply, since the idea here is to load the webpage all at once, and display it one page at a time using CSS elements. Ads would only be loaded once, and the really obnoxious types haven't yet infiltrated tablets (AFAIK).

      Tablets have some fundamental differences from their keyboard-bearing cousins. Just because pages are an abomination on PCs doesn't necessarily mean they'd be bad on tablets. I'm glad at least one company is looking into making the browser fit the platform, instead of just porting their code over.

    • A lot of ad-supported sites will do this. They'll release an article and split it up into multiple pages so they can display more ads. What happens when an article like that gets posted to slashdot? Everyone understandably complains that it's harder to read the article, and somebody posts a link to the printer-friendly version.

      Multiple pages are not easier to navigate. Not even on tablets.

      rabble rabble rabble prefer scrolls to codex rabble rabble

      It's harder to read paginated text... really?

  • by Nethead (1563)

    What are these ads on webpages that people keep talking about? I don't see any.

  • by exomondo (1725132) on Tuesday October 11, 2011 @08:43PM (#37685710)
    So what happens when you want to zoom in? Do you scroll around that 'page'? If so what's the point of having it as a page? And if not then how do you manage the content that is to the left and right when you're zoomed in? I'm assuming the stuff below and above what you're looking at would be reflowed into next and previous pages.
  • I like opera, and prefer it on my tablet, actually. I run Firefox, Chrome, and Opera on my "real" computers (and IE on Windows), though I usually use Chrome.

    The problem I have with this is that, in my experience, non-scrolling (whether it's a page flip or some sort of click-to-advance) alternatives to scrolling tend to be really, really slow if you want to zoom, like, half-way down. Or even worse, all the way down. I know, you could add quick little buttons to go-to-top and go-to-bottom ... but it's just

  • Reflowing text is the default. Open any plain HTML page and resize the window. Developers have been intentionally overriding this so their page looks the same on every device, whether it has a width of 200 px or 1920 px (methinks most didn't think that one through). I'm not quite sure why this is the favored approach, but I suppose it might be because people like to make webpages like magazine pages, where everything is statically positioned, rather than coming up with something that looks good on a vari
    • by tepples (727027) <tepples@gmaiBLUEl.com minus berry> on Tuesday October 11, 2011 @09:29PM (#37685996) Homepage Journal

      Open any plain HTML page and resize the window. Developers have been intentionally overriding this so their page looks the same on every device, whether it has a width of 200 px or 1920 px (methinks most didn't think that one through). I'm not quite sure why this is the favored approach

      If lines are more than about 30 ems (60 to 70 characters) wide, it becomes harder for the eye to seek from the end of one line to the start of the next line without skipping a line or rereading a line. That's why so many sites put things like max-width: 30em on an article.

      but I suppose it might be because people like to make webpages like magazine pages, where everything is statically positioned, rather than coming up with something that looks good on a variety of browsers, screens, font and color settings.

      On a device with a very small screen and a slow, expensive connection, such as a smartphone using EDGE or 3G, your documents are more usable if you transmit and show smaller chunks of information at once. On a device with a very small screen and a slow, expensive connection, such as a desktop or laptop PC using a high-speed wired connection, your documents are more usable if you transmit and show larger chunks of information at once. CSS can help with the "show" but not with the "transmit".

      • I'm seeing a regression of webpage, that is once again optimized for less data needed to display content worth viewing, due to Mobile Markets. However to view those pages you must be displaying the proper User Agent String, which strips things like "FLASH" (iPhones, iPads) and Java applets (which don't run very well on Phones). giving you just the meat. Which is wonderful, IMHO.

  • Text can be reflowed into a column layout

    Especially this might be a quite good idea. Reading screen-wide lines of text can sometimes be a bit of a PITA.

  • jQuery Mobile (Score:4, Informative)

    by bigsexyjoe (581721) on Tuesday October 11, 2011 @08:51PM (#37685770)
    Wium Lie noted it takes “enormous amounts of JavaScript to achieve what is a reasonable experience but we believe we can make it better with native support for pages”. -And that enormous amount of JavaScript is called jQueryMobile. In jQuery Mobile, pages are div's with the data-role=page. From there you, can use HTML5 media queries to calculate your page. To be fair, RC1 just came out like two weeks ago, so it's understandable if this info didn't come to them.
  • Web layout doesn't yet have a proper 2 column layout mode. Much needed. And Yes, the concept implies "pages". Opera has seen the light. Once again.
  • Queue the pissed off people in 3... 2...
  • Clearly no one in the "pro pagination" camp is over the age of 30. I look forward to the day these people get fitted with their first pair of bifocals or trifocals and realize that paginated information is inconvenient as hell when you have to move your entire head to "scroll" a page instead of being able to bring the current line of text to the optimum viewing position with a mouse wheel or similar device.
    • by Rary (566291)

      39 year old "pro pagination" camper here. Well, at least "pro this pagination idea". The beauty of it is that it's up to the browser to handle the pagination, which means the browser user can choose to paginate or not. So, you get your scrolling, and the "pro pagination" campers get their pages. Everybody wins.

  • by Solandri (704621) on Tuesday October 11, 2011 @09:50PM (#37686118)
    See the scrollbar on the right as you browse slashdot? Click above or below it, not on it. Will you look at that, it scrolls up or down a page at a time. You'll find that the aptly-named page-up and page-down keys do the same thing.

    A dedicated gesture for this would be handy. But that really belongs in the OS, not the browser. We still need the scroll bar (whether it's visible, or hidden and you can scroll by dragging your finger up/down) so you can position text and pictures just the way you want on a page.
    • But that really belongs in the OS, not the browser.

      NO!
      If you want it to be universal it belongs in whatever app handles general keyboard shortcuts - so in linux that is your window manager application and in MS Windows that's your Logitech helper app or similar, or a little config thing for explorer.exe in the MS Windows control panel. That way you can change it if you want without a system restart.
      The operating system is the thing that sits between the hardware and userspace and does not mean Internet Exp

  • so how will that work on my Panasonic P1121 dot matrix printer? Stop trying to change what has worked for years!
    Sorry, I just couldn't resist posting that kind of thinking. About time we started thinking of getting rid of a design which is there because we used to use line printers.

    Don't even get me started on where 0,0 is.

    LoB
  • Or one set of ads. Browsers are not for _advertisers_, they are for _viewers_. We can work with advertising to pay for content we want, such as on Slashdot, but forcing additional paging and scrolling for screens of variable sizes and user layouts is simply selling out to advertisers.

  • This idea is lame. Content is on pages in books because of a limitation of the media. Digital content doesn't have the same limitation, why enforce it? I really wish kindle and ibooks would dispense with this page notion. Well ibooks anyway. eink has certain limitations or at least things it's bad at.
    • by c0d3g33k (102699)

      The fact that scrolls (content on a single scrolling medium) predate books (content in paginated format) suggests you might be wrong.

      • by k8to (9046)

        Not really, books are more convenient for:

          - mass production
          - structural integrity
          - a larger amount of surface area possible without becoming unweildy
          - comparatively fast access to any point in the text

        None of these problems apply to continuous computer documents.

  • In many cases, normal scroll bars are better.
    If you are going through a long document, instead of reading from top to bottom, then going back to the top in the next page, you can keep your eyes fixed on the area of the screen (covering 2-3 lines), and scroll the document so that the current text always matches with that area
  • One Problem... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by multimediavt (965608) on Tuesday October 11, 2011 @11:10PM (#37686554)
    Define a "page". The whole point of a browser was to get us away from the confines of a page-based medium, like a book or magazine, so information could be presented without the interruption caused by the finite amount of space a "page" presents. Sure, we still call them web "pages", but that's an analogy used for cognitive purposes. If we go back to the finite page model, who's defining what a "page" is? Is it A4, U.S. letter, U.S. legal or what? Sounds like a step backwards to me rather than an innovation. I'm sorry, but in a digital world scrolling is better than flipping pages, IMHO. Don't get me wrong. I love real paper books for what they are (I own many books), but flipping pages digitally is annoying to me and trying to revert back to that model for digital content seems completely backwards-thinking and wrong.
    • by Jahava (946858)

      Define a "page". The whole point of a browser was to get us away from the confines of a page-based medium, like a book or magazine, so information could be presented without the interruption caused by the finite amount of space a "page" presents. Sure, we still call them web "pages", but that's an analogy used for cognitive purposes. If we go back to the finite page model, who's defining what a "page" is? Is it A4, U.S. letter, U.S. legal or what? Sounds like a step backwards to me rather than an innovation. I'm sorry, but in a digital world scrolling is better than flipping pages, IMHO. Don't get me wrong. I love real paper books for what they are (I own many books), but flipping pages digitally is annoying to me and trying to revert back to that model for digital content seems completely backwards-thinking and wrong.

      A page on a medium is a medium-full of information. In print, that medium is paper, so a page is a piece of paper. In the tablet world, a page is a screen-ful of information.

      Continuous scrolling is good in some cases, but Opera isn't proposing to replace continuous scrolling with pages; they're proposing to add the option and let sites formally choose to do that.

    • by vlueboy (1799360)

      I would enjoy Page numbering a-la lynx. After all, some of us WANT to print content out of our screens without guessing how many pages of headers AND footers to "skip" in the manual page printing dialog.

      With so much stuff on the web now, and so many printers at home, I see a problem in that you must either print preview, scroll down 13.5 pages AND count them by hand, and then do math so you can place "13" and "19" on the dialog's start and end page #s. "Print selection" gives no estimate of how much paper y

  • by Americium (1343605) on Tuesday October 11, 2011 @11:52PM (#37686738)

    Considering the plethora of screen sizes and resolutions across smartphones, tablets, netbooks, laptops and pcs, this seems like an absurd idea. I'm sure I'm not the only one, but I want the text I'm reading to be at a certain location on the screen. This location covers perhaps 1/4-1/2 of the vertical space depending on the screen. I scroll pdfs all the time, especially textbooks with mathematical equations.

    I also enjoy the dynamic rendering of html that changes as I make the window wider or thinner on a wide screen monitor. Depending on the size and resolution I will find a perfect width and zoom level.

    This standardization, at it's best, would render pages based on both the screen size and resolution which the browser is running on. However many problems would occur, the simplest would be merely sitting closer or further from a large 1080p screen. I'm assuming if this was implemented by someone other than apple with a new revolutionary device, the result would be chaotic where most pages wouldn't play across all devices well at all. Perhaps apple products would work well since they have a larger enough user base for those standards to work well.

    However, this missed the already dynamic nature of the web. As in one of the other posts, badly designed and spammy type websites employ this already. The only site I came across that used it was the IFW, Maine's government agency overseeing fishing and hunting. They post their yearly informative newletter, magazine, which is printed, in a horrible flash 'book' where the page flips are animated. No high resolution pdf, which would be great, where I can control the zoom, think of it, you could just load pdfs if you wanted pages.

    Pages that I can scroll down are nicer anyway, like high quality search engines and all the porn sites.

    So clearly, if this was something useful, it would have taken off. Unless there are thousands of website developers, catering to tablets, that are begging for this feature, it seems like another mistake from Opera.

  • Opera changed the browser for the better, but they screwed up and allowed others to take their ideas and make everything else better.

    I was an Opera user. They made huge strides pushing the browsers forward, but they allowed others to adopt their ideas which prevented them from growing. (that and sticking to standards that the world didn't abide by) Soon they had to innovate again and their new ideas weren't up to par. Just like this one.

    Thank you Opera. You did wonders for the web browser. Though I'm s

  • What this is really about:

    The technology ... is adapted to publishers' needs such as full-page "interstitial" ads placed between different pages. "We think there's an opportunity to rethink the ads on the Web," Lie said.

    You've all seen those awful sites where each article is spread across many pages. There's a tiny block of text, flanked by ads to the left, ads to the right, ads above, and ads below. There's a whole industry turning out "Top 10 ways to ..." ad farms, and "reviews" that take six screens to deliver one page of content.

    Now imagine those with inter-page ads you can't skip.

  • There is nothing stopping web developers from doing this now using CSS and a tiny bit of javascript. You don't need to change the browser or re-imagine how html in rendered.

  • Flipping pages would be the end of Slashdot.

    No way I would flip 150 pages to see all comments.

    NO WAY.

    That idea must die painfully in a warm place.

  • Any website that wants to do this can already do it with some simple javascripting.
    There's probably a good reason why most sites don't.

  • by Snaller (147050) on Wednesday October 12, 2011 @08:10AM (#37688696) Journal

    The whole point of the WWW was that it was supposed to be resolution independent - I know a lot of people have forgotten that, alas, since it makes the web more accessible for everybody if you can adjust font sizes.

    My eyes aren't what they used to be and I would like a bigger font (and even if you can't imagine it YOU will also be in that situation sooner than you think) - if they lock down font size to get pages that would be bad for accessibility.

    But you say, they could reflow and recalculate it. Yes, the could, but then what is the point of "pages" it would still be a long page with artificial breaks.

    Plus there is nothing more annoying on the new 'generate as we fly using javascript' pages that you can't search for content.

    This is a bad idea.

There are running jobs. Why don't you go chase them?

Working...