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Opera Proposes Switching Browser Scrolling For 'Pages'

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the what-is-this dept.

Opera 320

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.

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Sounds interesting (3, Insightful)

rhyder128k (1051042) | more than 2 years ago | (#37685630)

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.

Re:Sounds interesting (5, Insightful)

locopuyo (1433631) | more than 2 years ago | (#37685650)

Opera isn't that kind of company. If Opera patented all their ideas web browsers would be stuck in 1999.

Re:Sounds interesting (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37685838)

So, what you're saying is that we need to send someone back in time to 1999 and MAKE Opera patent their ideas so the other browsers will stop sucking so bad in 2011?

Re:Sounds interesting (4, Insightful)

Local ID10T (790134) | more than 2 years ago | (#37685664)

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.

Re:Sounds interesting (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Sounds interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37686334)

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.

It is nice to see credit where credit is do. Opera constantly innovates while other take with no recognition.

Re:Sounds interesting (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 2 years ago | (#37686352)

Yeah we're seeing a lot more of that now that FireFox isn't so fanboy'licious anymore.

Re:Sounds interesting (1)

tsa (15680) | more than 2 years ago | (#37685760)

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

Re:Sounds interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37685782)

They can still file in the next 12 months. It is also possible that they already filed for a patent and it'll be 18 months before the publication of the application publishes. (assuming US rules and not Norweigan or PCT for the app).

On the other hand, Opera has come up with a lot of innovations over the year that have been copied by the other browsers without patenting them so I wouldn't worry too much.

Re:Sounds interesting (4, Interesting)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#37685784)

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.

Re:Sounds interesting (1)

Forbman (794277) | more than 2 years ago | (#37685854)

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 platforms.

Re:Sounds interesting (1)

sodul (833177) | more than 2 years ago | (#37685902)

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.

No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37685638)

No.

Seconded. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37685824)

Sites do badly enough at splitting up content, I doubt this would improve the experience at all. I already use the Firefox Extension [mozilla.org] to undo all that.
Also, I'd not be able to utilise my time-honed skill of remembering where I want to get to visually on the scrollbar for really long pages [whyweprotest.net] .

Crappy websites already do this (5, Insightful)

LateArthurDent (1403947) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Crappy websites already do this (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#37685656)

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

Nobody even uses tablets. That's the problem. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37685734)

Tablets are purely a hype-based phenomenon. While many have been sold, their novelty wears out quickly and most users don't end up using them beyond a week. They aren't as portable as smartphones, and basically run the exact same software. Without an external keyboard and mouse, they're nowhere near as usable and practical as a netbook or a notebook computer. And, of course, they are much less powerful than even a typical consumer-grade desktop PC from 8 to 10 years ago.

By mid-2012, it's likely that the tablet hype will have worn off. With Jobs out of the picture, and smarter companies like HP bailing on tablets, the tablet fad is coming to a rapid end. Opera should focus on making practical improvements to their mobile and desktop browsers, rather than wasting time on "innovations" like this that won't have any use by next summer.

Re:Nobody even uses tablets. That's the problem. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37685886)

... I am just going to assume you don't know anyone who owns a tablet. They do have limited uses, but those uses exist. Personally, I would rather have a desktop, netbook, and smartphone... but if I had a tablet as well, I would probably use it (mostly for replacing some uses of my netbook, probably).

Re:Nobody even uses tablets. That's the problem. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37685918)

I use public transportation a lot, and the one thing that you can be sure of seeing on the train are tablets and ereaders. Laptops are not appropriate because they are clumsy to handle sitting down, never mind standing up.

Now I can't speak for tablets, but when it comes down to eink based devices, cleanly breaking up a web page into pages is a necessity because there is no such thing as scrolling. Ideally that division would be done client side though, because the parent post is right about it being done server side. But that is mostly because you are stuck scrolling anyway due to redundant information.

Re:Nobody even uses tablets. That's the problem. (2)

mattack2 (1165421) | more than 2 years ago | (#37685922)

and most users don't end up using them beyond a week

You seriously believe that OVER 50% of users do not end up using their MULTI-HUNDRED DOLLAR devices for more than a week? Why aren't droves of people returning them then?

What color is the sky in your world?

Re:Nobody even uses tablets. That's the problem. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37686364)

It's probably closer to 95% of tablet users who don't use it past the first few weeks, rather than the mere "over 50%" that you propose.

There are a few main reasons why people aren't returning them, and rather just letting them sit there:
1) They're too lazy to drive back to the Apple store to return the device.
2) They're too ashamed to admit that they wasted a lot of good money on a useless gadget.
3) They don't want to waste their time going back to the Apple store to return the device.
4) Their parents or trust fund paid for it, so it's not like they actually had to work to earn the money in the first place, and thus don't feel any urge to return the device to get the money back.
5) Some silly ass corporate manager drone bought into the hype and is forcing his subordinates to use the tablets he wasted a lot of money on, in a pathetic attempt to save face, even though it's a huge burden to the staff and actually decreases their productivity significantly.

Re:Nobody even uses tablets. That's the problem. (1)

Duradin (1261418) | more than 2 years ago | (#37685928)

More than four computers in the country was a hype-based phenomenon, then room sized computers were a hype based phenomenon, then furniture size, desktop, luggable, portable, laptop, notebook and even your precious netbook (which have laster longer than I thought they would, though they're now more sub-sub-notebooks then netbook) are hype-based phenomenon. Deal with it.

Re:Nobody even uses tablets. That's the problem. (2)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 2 years ago | (#37685974)

Tablets are purely a hype-based phenomenon. While many have been sold, their novelty wears out quickly and most users don't end up using them beyond a week.

The Google Analytics data that allows me to specifically look at iPad usage only goes back to March - but from March to the present day, iPad traffic as a percentage of the unique site visits (on a gardening site I run) has gradually and consistently trended upward. For the past week (October 2-8, 2011) a bit more than 3% of the 5700-odd visitors were using iPads. The iPhone and Android phones were each at about 2.8%, and over that same period they appear to be similarly trending upward.

You're certainly welcome to your own opinion, but I see no evidence that anything you say is tied to reality.

Re:Nobody even uses tablets. That's the problem. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37686158)

Your stats prove the GP's point perfectly. After the huge amount of hype that tablets have gotten since the release of the iPad, basically nobody is using them. 3% is negligible, and for all practical purposes is nonexistent. Even when you add in the similarly-hyped smart phones, together they still don't crack even a mere 10% of your site's total visitors. That means that the rest of your site's visitors, over 90% of them, are probably using netbooks, laptops and desktops. Even if the mobile device stats you're seeing are gradually trending upwards, the gradual nature itself likely indicates that for each new user you see, there is close to one other user who is not using his or her device any longer. If Apple loses its appeal due to the passing of Steve, the trend could very easily start moving downwards. I don't think we'll see a full collapse of the tablet market by summer 2012 like the GP says, but I don't see them being used much by 2014.

Re:Crappy websites already do this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37686312)

Right. Wasn't the entire point of smart phones and tablets their ability to render real websites and applications instead of viewing the stripped down mobile version?

Even at work we've now started dumbing down websites for mobile while mobile has finally caught up to the desktop, everyone should have been doing this when the blackberry was the best thing going for mobile internet, seems backwards.

Paging is fine but their is really no real way of determining and controlling pre-render what size a page can be if your criteria is a view port and font size. This is one of the areas the a webpage has been superior to a book as a reference with context and style. Let's not throw the baby out with the bath water!

Re:Crappy websites already do this (5, Informative)

TechLA (2482532) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Crappy websites already do this (2)

EdZ (755139) | more than 2 years ago | (#37685830)

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.

Re:Crappy websites already do this (1)

mcswell (1102107) | more than 2 years ago | (#37686006)

I for one hate trying to keep track of where I am when I have to scroll (page, really) down while reading a long article--particularly when the (or ) takes me to the end of the long page, and the line I was reading before I scrolled down may be anywhere from the top of the new page to the bottom. If this new method allowed me to break a long page into a number of screen-length pages (or pane-length pages), then when I page down the last time, the next line of text to read would be the first line on the final page. And I would be a happy camper.

PDFs can be viewed like this, but since the pagination is pre-defined, you have to tell the PDF reader to enlarge or decrease the page size to exactly fit the pane. Which means that the font may be unreadably small. What I'd prefer, is a page length that adapts to the pane size.

Re:Crappy websites already do this (1)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 2 years ago | (#37685896)

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 somehow constitutes unethical behavior at a minimum and outright theft at a maximum.

Category 3 is very small percentage. 1 & 2 make up 99.99% of all people on the planet.

Unfortunately, there are some very influential and strong people and companies in Category 3 that are always thinking of new ways to make 1 bigger and 2 smaller.

The last thing we need is a company like Opera actively enabling them to do it. The browser company that makes it part of their core functionality to increase Category 2 is the one I will be throwing my full support behind. Of course, naturally, Category 2 gravitates towards the browser that is the most effective at it.

All this article makes me want to do is support Opera a heck of lot less is that is their mentality.

P.S - That includes the one that makes it easiest to block other undesirable platforms like Flash, Javascript, etc. with as much granularity as possible.

Re:Crappy websites already do this (2)

rueger (210566) | more than 2 years ago | (#37685940)

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.

Re:Crappy websites already do this (4, Informative)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Crappy websites already do this (1)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 2 years ago | (#37686188)

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 sites. Even trusted sites should be blocked by default since they are not always capable, or even trying, to vet all advertisements for malware. They just let it through, and sometimes allow it be controlled wholly by third parties. Not every site serving malware was designed to do it, but hijacked to do it. Big difference.

Basically, it is a good security practice to block all advertising by default, and especially flash. I also recommend keeping an up to date hosts file to block most known malware and advertisement domains. It is not foolproof by any means, but just another tool in the tool box.

Interestingly enough (at least to me) the only way to block that annoying pop-under ad from Fandango is with the hosts file. Cannot figure out how to get any other piece of software to block it, which was part of my point that there is a constant battle to push the advertising in front of your face.

If you can deal with it.... believe me... you don't represent the average person. The average person finds it disruptive and annoying to the experience.

Re:Crappy websites already do this (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 2 years ago | (#37686194)

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.

Re:Crappy websites already do this (2)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37686264)

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 on the Internet), and Opera's system seems to am at formating it better.

CSS paged media (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37685920)

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

Doesn't CSS already have a paged media module?

Re:Crappy websites already do this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37686132)

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".

I must be living in the future. On my computer, all browsers show exactly the amount of content that fits the screen and a single tap on the lower part of the scrollbar scrolls exactly one visible page down. With the additional advantage over print-style pages that no arbitrary page breaks are introduced, so the reading flow is not interrupted. Some browsers even have smooth scrolling (ease-in/out).

Re:Crappy websites already do this (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37685728)

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 lot of things. Opera Mobile's column-text formatting is pretty good already. Wouldn't work on everything, such as /. comments, but for things like news articles, it could be extremely useful.

If you even glance at the examples on TFA you can see that this could be extremely nice. We are already used to the page-at-a-time system from books and newspapers, and scroll bars, while good on computers, nearly always tend to over/under shoot on tablets. This would eliminate that.

Re:Crappy websites already do this (1)

jbov (2202938) | more than 2 years ago | (#37685810)

TFA doesn't have any useful examples. I count 3 images on the first link, 1 on the second. I really wish they would have shown an example of paging through content, either with consecutive screetshots, or a video. I can't make a conclusion on whether I like it or not, because I haven't seen it in action. The concept should have been better demonstrated in the article, instead of leaving so much up to the imagination.

Then again, tablets serve no practical purpose IMHO.

Re:Crappy websites already do this (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37685964)

That's because those crappy websites pre- and postfix every page with loads of advertisements and hide the link to the next page somewhere between that jumble. But I've had a custom CSS stylesheet (for use in combination with Readability, when it was still a usable service) that automatically gave webpages a column layout, where the height is fixed to the height of the display area and you got as many columns as necessary to display the content. Bliss.

Re:Crappy websites already do this (3, Interesting)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Crappy websites already do this (1)

ToasterMonkey (467067) | more than 2 years ago | (#37686298)

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?

Re:Crappy websites already do this (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37686324)

Muslims are bitches and cunts. I hate their shit. There is no allah and Moohammad took it up the ass from goats.
 
Fuck Mohammad, Fuck Allah, FUCK ISLAM!!!!!!!!!!!! Fuck their corrupted koran. Fuck their sharia lies. Nothing but asshole bitches. Faggots, thieves and liars. Anyone who follows that shit should just go fuck themselves. No brain faggot cocksmokers all of them. Anyone who defends them is guilty of being an inhuman sack of shit.

Re:Crappy websites already do this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37686368)

It is definately for more ADs.... but kind of brilliant..

.

Interesting (1)

sltd (1182933) | more than 2 years ago | (#37685644)

It'll be interesting to see how they pull this off, and how it works with web standards.

Re:Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37685790)

It's just a rendering decision by the browser. Web standards offer suggestions about rendering, but don't make any binding statements. The main constraint on rendering is that the correct meaning has to be conveyed. Badly written HTML might break, but that's the fault of the author, not the browser.

'Pages' (1, Insightful)

fleeped (1945926) | more than 2 years ago | (#37685662)

You have to love how they specify 'pages' in quotes, like it's something new or has some overloaded meaning.

Re:'Pages' (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 2 years ago | (#37685754)

You have to love how they specify 'pages' in quotes, like it's something "new" or has some "overloaded meaning."

FTFY :)

Re:'Pages' (1)

TechLA (2482532) | more than 2 years ago | (#37685756)

That's because it has. It's not the usual kind of pages - it's single page with different 'pages' defined by CSS elements.

Re:'Pages' (2)

Jonner (189691) | more than 2 years ago | (#37686304)

You have to love how they specify 'pages' in quotes, like it's something new or has some overloaded meaning.

It is overloaded. An HTML document is called a page. What Opera is proposing would allow one HTML document (page) to be displayed as multiple "pages." But you were just being sarcastic, weren't you?

Sooooo stupid! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37685668)

Scrolling can be used to easily scan down through a vast amount of content, for rapid browsing or human-based searching for interesting parts.

compromise (1)

Ricken (797341) | more than 2 years ago | (#37685688)

Hmm, I like the "Pages" part, but I don't like the "ads" part. Lets compromise: No pages, no ads. Great!

Re:compromise (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 2 years ago | (#37685842)

Hmm, I like the "Pages" part, but I don't like the "ads" part. Lets compromise: No pages, no ads. Great!

No Deposit, No Return.

Someone has to pay the bills.

Re:compromise (2)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37685948)

Using an ad blocker? Enjoy your paywall.

Re:compromise (2)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 2 years ago | (#37686088)

Enjoy not having your site visited.

Re:compromise (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37686236)

Hmm... run a huge site, but don't earn any money because of ad blockers.

Or run a small site, but don't earn any money because of a paywall...

Think I'll choose the second one... The bills for the server are cheaper.

Enjoy your paywall.

Re:compromise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37685956)

Opera has an ad-blocking feature built into the browser, accessed at the bottom of the right-click menu.

So, you could also go in the direction of "Pages, no ads."

No. (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 2 years ago | (#37685692)

Would be a bitch to design and develop for.

Re:No. (4, Interesting)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#37685816)

Why? Pagination is a solved problem for most systems (desktop publishing, word processing, typesetting systems), there's no good reason why it should be any less solved for browsers. If worst comes to worst, develop a plugin for Opera (and other browsers) that supports one of the existing systems and therefore has known pagination rules.

Re:No. (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 2 years ago | (#37685888)

content is never easily pageable on the web. there is a lot of different kinds of stuff to present in a web page. contrary to what people conclude from big corp websites like google, apple etc, most of the web still has to stuff content onto websites. example below.

http://www.racinglab.com/ [racinglab.com]

Re:No. (3, Interesting)

Zancarius (414244) | more than 2 years ago | (#37685924)

Why? Pagination is a solved problem for most systems (desktop publishing, word processing, typesetting systems), there's no good reason why it should be any less solved for browsers. If worst comes to worst, develop a plugin for Opera (and other browsers) that supports one of the existing systems and therefore has known pagination rules.

This is a good point. I much prefer your plugin suggestion, because it circumvents the requirement that everyone adapt to paginated web sites. The plus side is that those who want pagination can go and get it, while the rest of us who feel that pagination is probably a tremendous step backward can continue doing what we're doing and finding ways to do it better, rather than having to work around yet another browser-specific oddity.

My argument is thus: Pagination is a somewhat archaic work-around for displaying content on a fixed-size media, like paper. It's no accident then that word processors and document exchange formats like PDFs are page-centric since they're typically designed to be printed. I don't have any comparative usability studies on hand, but I would argue that "flipping" a page on a screen-reading device rather than scrolling it is more likely to interrupt work flow--much like turning the page in a book.

Think about when you're reading a book before bed when you're quite tired. You flip the page, your mind wanders, then you have to turn back to reread the last three or four words on the previous page for the purpose of context, and then your entire mental flow is disrupted. Reading from the left page to the right page (in an LTR language) isn't as problematic as actively turning the page, because you're eyes can immediately scan to the top of the following text and continue reading. To this extent, I think scrolling is probably a reasonable compromise between active user actions and passive reading. With scrolling, it's feasible to keep the previous words on the screen for context, and you can continue reading from any point. The biggest disadvantage with scrolling, however, is that it's difficult with lengthy documents to flip back and forth between one section and another while keeping a finger propped between a few pages so you can compare material from an earlier chapter (hint: "flipping" pages on a screen-reading device doesn't have this specific advantage of a book).

I'd argue that flip gestures for turning pages on screen-based devices carries all of the disadvantages of a book while integrating few, if any, of the advantages. That said, Opera might surprise me and come up with an innovative solution that takes advantage of the screen, but the ultimate answer to this question shouldn't be solved by Opera but by a usability expert like Jakob Nielsen--someone who can do the studies to determine the relative advantages and disadvantages with real people.

Ads? (1)

Nethead (1563) | more than 2 years ago | (#37685700)

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

Re:Ads? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37686280)

They're these annoying and repetitive things meant to get people to do certain things.

Oh, wait, I was thinking about ad-blocking posts. Ads are like that, but with more variety.

Some Uses (1)

walkerp1 (523460) | more than 2 years ago | (#37685706)

This sounds great for E Ink, mobiles, and other interfaces not featuring a practical scroller. No doubt it also sounds great to advertisement purveyors. I won't be using it.

Zoom (2)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 2 years ago | (#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, but... (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 2 years ago | (#37685718)

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 generally hard to quickly flip a long ways back.

Garbage (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37685720)

Stop it with this change for the sake of change UI crap driven by marketers and graphic artists.

Pagination sucks, whether it's in a book, a news article, or those atrocious CPM-mining photo galleries.

One page load, one click, then scroll with the wheel. Get it?

Seriously? (2)

izomiac (815208) | more than 2 years ago | (#37685724)

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 variety of browsers, screens, font and color settings. It's lazy programming to design for a single machine, but apparently that's easier for novices and very widespread (e.g. Android VS iPhone apps).

Seeking to the next line (3, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37685996)

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".

Re:Seeking to the next line (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37686020)

On a device with a very small screen and a slow, expensive connection [twice]

The second one was a typo for "a much larger screen and a faster, cheaper connection", right?

Re:Seeking to the next line (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 2 years ago | (#37686200)

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.

Re:Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37686028)

Funny, some of the top web designers don't use liquid design. Moreover, I am somewhat convinced that it's the other way around: a lot of people who use liquid design do so because they think it's better than traditional design, of which they have zero clue.

Re:Seriously? (1)

izomiac (815208) | more than 2 years ago | (#37686244)

I'd argue that traditional design relies on the principles of traditional media. Much of that also applies to digital media, but much of it does not. Dynamic textual media has been mainstream for, what, 20 years? Nobody knows much about it, it's a new field. Heck, I'm certain sites like Facebook employ a great many "skilled" designers, but each new design is met with legitimate criticism. In established fields there are the rare masterpieces with the rest being "good" but not standing out enough to be great, which clearly does not describe the current state of web design.

The only real thing we understand is that a programmer with little artistic experience or an artist with little programming experience are both terrible at making webpages. From what I've seen of "professional web designers", their traditional design background makes them a bit too much of the latter, and static designs are an effect of that. OTOH, I don't design webpages for anyone else to use because I know I'm in the former camp, so I'm quite harsh when usability is compromised for "useless" aesthetics. A true master would be able to create something that avoids compromising either aesthetics or usability, and synergistically exploits both. Static designs are not a means to that end.

Refreshing ideas (1)

jones_supa (887896) | more than 2 years ago | (#37685730)

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.

Hey Muslims, Jews and Xtains! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37685740)

Fuck you all you low life bitches.
 
I fucked Moohammad in the ass. I shit on your Torahs. I shit on your bibles.

Why emulate paper? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37685744)

Why does there seem to be the need to emulate the constraints of paper in the environment of superior technology? One of my favorite things about reading on the computer is that I can scroll the text so that it is in the perfect location for easy reading. At least on real paper I can make micro adjustments to keep the reading comfortable, but I will definitely not be moving my monitor around to accomplish the same.

(Disclaimer - In true /. fashion I did not RTFA)

Dumb idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37685750)

The page paradigm is only applicable to paper form because it is cheaper to produce and makes the text easier to access. The web doesn't have any incentive to divide the content through multiple pages or to take under consideration manufacturing costs. In fact, reading a continuous piece of text, no matter how many pages long, is much more intuitive and easier to handle than absurd separators based on the size of a medium which isn't even used. Those of us who happen to read PDFs on an e-reader/smartphone know that having to scroll a couple of centimeters of text between "pages" is a pain in the ass. So, why does Opera want to impose a failed paradigm on a medium which only makes it worse than it is?

Re:Dumb idea (1)

Junta (36770) | more than 2 years ago | (#37686054)

But what about per-page advertising? Think of the advertisers!

jQuery Mobile (3, Informative)

bigsexyjoe (581721) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Continuous mode of PDF viewer is a reverse (1)

cjj (101291) | more than 2 years ago | (#37685776)

of this idea. The tricky part is how well the content can be "reflowed". And as noted, this can already be (and is being) done with JavaScript. The proposal is only to make it native to a browser.

another religious war? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37685812)

Define it so that people can look at the pages in either format, give them a choice and see what flies.

I like it (2)

spermleader (2465372) | more than 2 years ago | (#37685834)

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.

Re:I like it (1)

syockit (1480393) | more than 2 years ago | (#37686246)

I concur. When columns was first introduced to CSS, I was always toying with the idea of repaginating using JS to make wikipedia visually resemble a dead tree encyclopedia. Never managed to do it, I hope Opera will show the way

"Pages" huh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37685846)

Queue Apple Copyright Infringement Lawsuit in 3... 2....

"Quick, I'll post this before anyone else does!" (0)

paxcoder (1222556) | more than 2 years ago | (#37685912)

Early poster is early. See you in a week.

Pages? (0)

EnigmaticIndustries (606450) | more than 2 years ago | (#37685916)

Not everything that's on the internet can be divided up into page sized chunks of text.

Enough already (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37685952)

It's the Opera guys' fault we've been struggling with the busted box layout page model for the last decade+, could they just take their irrelevant browser and fuck off already? Hakon you already broke the whole web once, can't you leave it alone now?

Oprah Winfry may be on to something here. (1)

approachingZero (1365381) | more than 2 years ago | (#37686026)

Wait. Opera not Oprah. Long day.

pissed off (1)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | more than 2 years ago | (#37686030)

Queue the pissed off people in 3... 2...

Go for it (1)

FyberOptic (813904) | more than 2 years ago | (#37686032)

I used Opera for years before switching to Chrome, so I still have a fondness of the company and their innovations. More power to them if they want to try it. They always allow users to disable their new features, so it shouldn't be a problem. I know a guy who disables tabbed browsing and uses his browser old-fashioned, so Opera still lets him do it how he wants, too.

Whenever they implement this technique on Opera Mobile, it might even make me seriously reconsider using Dolphin if it works out as good as they think. There's still situations where scrolling a big page doesn't always work great on a phone.

Young whippersnappers (1)

soundguy (415780) | more than 2 years ago | (#37686062)

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.

Compatibility... (0)

QuietLagoon (813062) | more than 2 years ago | (#37686068)

I'd much rather the Opera people make their browser work with my bank's online banking system instead of telling me how I want to view the web.

.
Opera's priorities are all fouled up.

Every browser already has this (3, Interesting)

Solandri (704621) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Ummmmm.... (1)

digitsix (109525) | more than 2 years ago | (#37686138)

This is dumb. No.

Browsers taking a larger role in browsing experien (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37686250)

I like the idea of my browser having a bigger role into the experience of 'browsing' websites, not only because it gives users more power over how they read content. This idea could be stretched a little further if they could include support for parent pages, maybe with meta tags. Good for DIYers, one could theoretically upload some basic website structures without doing the work of building a navigation. Good for browsers, good for search engines, and good for developers, it promotes a standard way to build site structure.

the end of CSS as we know it (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37686278)

PCPro:

It's achieved with as little as a few lines of CSS, using the "overflow" tag or a new version of the "float" function

Goodbye CSS properties, hello "tags" and "functions"! Quite a bold move.

line printer (1)

Locutus (9039) | more than 2 years ago | (#37686286)

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

As an option (1)

yacwroy (1558349) | more than 2 years ago | (#37686316)

Force people to use this? No.
Allow this as an option? Absolutely.

Make it default - probably a bad idea.
Ensure continuing support for page-less mode? Mandatory.

One article, one ad (1)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 2 years ago | (#37686326)

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.

lame (1)

shadowrat (1069614) | more than 2 years ago | (#37686332)

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.

tablet with scroll wheel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37686390)

I think this is a terrible idea. But if the point of it is that scrolling on a tablet is a pain because you have to use annoying touch gestures instead of using a keyboard/mouse, how about just adding a physical scroll wheel to a tablet (similar to the mouse scroll wheel). Of course, Apple won't add this since they care more about the sleek look than useful functionality; maybe this is a chance for another tablet maker to make an iPad-killer.

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