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May 26, 2006 8:14pm

a pox on javascript

Update, Friday: Ray recommends Safari Stand, whose site alteration feature does exactly what I hoped for.

Rant on.

I like javascript, but its use by a few big sites (looking at you, nytimes.com and wired.com) makes me break out in hives. When I turn off javascript in Safari, both of these sites are screaming fast as I'd expect. When I have it turned on, both are excruciatingly slow, and simple actions (selecting text, clicking links) lead to baffling delays and beach balls. I haven't yet spent the time with Venkman to figure out why this is, but I have my suspicions. A lot of the scripts are coming from Google, Doubleclick, and other "strategic partners" checking in on my activity. Wired seems interested in where I'm from (see the "GeoIP" section of headerLayer.js), and The New York Times likes to know what text I'm selecting, and which links I'm following.

It would be ideal if sites like this put the Ajax crack pipe aside for five minutes and erred on the side of usability. It would also be nice if Safari's javascript implementation were faster, or threaded, or whatever.

Barring that, I have a feature request: per-domain javascript disabling. Javascript is now too useful and pervasive to be turned off entirely, but certain domains abuse the privilege and ought to be denied. Even a javscript on/off switch in the Safari browser chrome would go a long way towards helping.

Rant off.


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