Sail Argyll

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Nick
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Re: Sail Argyll

Postby Nick » Fri Aug 17, 2012 1:38 pm

Shard wrote:
Nick wrote:If I gave every element a fixed width it would stop the text breaking up in the same way, but would leave white spaces instead. Easiest solution is to put the Iframe inside a fixed width/height left-floated div, which would just leave white space where the ad is. Been a while since you did any web design I guess.


My brain hurts.....


Never mind your brain, does the site layout look OK now even with antisocial Adblocker installed?
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Silkie
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Re: Sail Argyll

Postby Silkie » Fri Aug 17, 2012 1:49 pm

Still looks fine to me but I never had a problem in the first place.
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Nick
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Re: Sail Argyll

Postby Nick » Fri Aug 17, 2012 2:15 pm

Silkie wrote:Still looks fine to me but I never had a problem in the first place.


Yes, but you don't have adblocking software installed . . .
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Re: Sail Argyll

Postby DaveS » Fri Aug 17, 2012 2:37 pm

Nick,

1. I don't know whether or not this is your content (I suspect not) but if you click on the ad for Sail Swallow and follow the trail: The Yacht / Documents / Operating Instructions / Berthing you will find reference to Craobh rather than Oban Marina.

2. I think there should maybe be a link to Craobh in the chandlers list. While it's not as good as Ardfern's it does exist.
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Nick
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Re: Sail Argyll

Postby Nick » Fri Aug 17, 2012 3:31 pm

DaveS wrote:Nick,

1. I don't know whether or not this is your content (I suspect not) but if you click on the ad for Sail Swallow and follow the trail: The Yacht / Documents / Operating Instructions / Berthing you will find reference to Craobh rather than Oban Marina.

2. I think there should maybe be a link to Craobh in the chandlers list. While it's not as good as Ardfern's it does exist.


I did the Sail Swallow site but not the PDF files. When Charlie moved the boat to Kerrera I went through it and changed all the references I could. Charlie then looked through it and found any missed ones - but not all of them apparently. I've emailed him to let him know, and no doubt he will in due course send me an amended version of the document.

I have added a link to Craobh in the chandlery section on Sail Argyll.

Thanks.
- Nick 8)

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Re: Sail Argyll

Postby SteveN » Fri Aug 17, 2012 3:33 pm

Nick wrote:Never mind your brain, does the site layout look OK now even with antisocial Adblocker installed?


Please don't shoot the messenger.

Yes it works fine with Firefox and a standard Adblock+ filter subscription.
But it is upset by those who choose to block individual adverts. An extreme example:
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BTW Adblock+ has lots of uses other than blocking adverts. It's great for removing feckin' snowflakes and bubbles for example, plus 'Trending articles' from Facebook and avatars from forums. Plus it can speed up the browsing experience considerably by elimanting all those annoying calls to apis.google and google.analytics etc.
It's here to stay.

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Nick
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Re: Sail Argyll

Postby Nick » Fri Aug 17, 2012 3:52 pm

SteveN wrote:
Nick wrote:Never mind your brain, does the site layout look OK now even with antisocial Adblocker installed?


Please don't shoot the messenger.

Yes it works fine with Firefox and a standard Adblock+ filter subscription.
But it is upset by those who choose to block individual adverts. An extreme example:
Image

BTW Adblock+ has lots of uses other than blocking adverts. It's great for removing feckin' snowflakes and bubbles for example, plus 'Trending articles' from Facebook and avatars from forums. Plus it can speed up the browsing experience considerably by elimanting all those annoying calls to apis.google and google.analytics etc.
It's here to stay.

Yes but - you have carefully gone through the site and chosen to block all the ads specific to that site. As a result the site is pretty much unuesable. That is of course your perogative, but if you actually wanted to use the site you would have to be quite mad to do that, and why you imagine I would be even slightly interested in how it looks to someone who does that I can't imagine. :lol:

I enjoyed getting round adblocker on Sail Argyll, but am not even going to fix my other sites (such as http://www.oban.ws) which feature Adsense ads, as the percentage of people using Firefox with Adblocker is not high enough to warrant it. As I said before, it is hard enough just making sure sites work in all browsers, without worrying about this sort of nonsense - life is just too short.

Firefox has IMO become particularly annoying recently with its endless updates and clashes between add-ons and other software. It started well, but has descended rapidly into geeky bloatware. I use IE9 as standard because more of my clients use that than any other single browser and it is (at last) pretty standards compliant. Howver, if I had to choose another browser I would choose Chrome, which is clean and fast if you don't mess with it. It is however just another attempt by another mega corporation to rule the world through software. I hear all the time from people that this browser or that browser is the best and all then others are rubbish, and that this tweak or that tweak is the dogs bollox, but I am on the web twelve hours plus a day when I am working, using all browsers and often different versions of them, and they're all just web browsers mate.

You do what you want, but don't come moaning to me if my sites don't appear correctly in your messed with browser :tiphat:
- Nick 8)

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Re: Sail Argyll

Postby SteveN » Fri Aug 17, 2012 4:07 pm

Nick wrote:and why you imagine I would be even slightly interested in how it looks to someone who does that I can't imagine. :lol:


Err... because you asked and I was trying to be helpful. You said 'Fifrefox and Adblocker' (whatever that is) and didn't specify any further parameters.

Anyway, that's me through with helping you. Toodlepip.
Steve (arrogant, mad and antisocial - apparently).

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Re: Sail Argyll

Postby Nick » Fri Aug 17, 2012 4:20 pm

SteveN wrote:
Nick wrote:and why you imagine I would be even slightly interested in how it looks to someone who does that I can't imagine. :lol:


Err... because you asked and I was trying to be helpful. You said 'Fifrefox and Adblocker' (whatever that is) and didn't specify any further parameters.

Anyway, that's me through with helping you. Toodlepip.
Steve (arrogant, mad and antisocial - apparently).


But Steve, I can't understand why you thought that was being helpful. It wasn't even remotely helpful, and came across more like a deliberate attempt to irritate. I have gone to some considerable trouble to explain why it wasn't helpful and doesn't seem relevant to me, but like another poster recently you are uninterested in my opinions and have decided in response to throw your toys out of the pram. That is your perogative, but I can't claim to understand your attitude.

I don't see the words 'arrogant' or 'antisocial' in my reply to you btw. Are you in the habit of putting words in peoples' mouths?
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Re: Sail Argyll

Postby SteveN » Fri Aug 17, 2012 5:23 pm

No.
Here's your labelling of me as 'arrogant'. I can't be ar$ed looking for the others:
"I just can't believe the arrogance of people who think I should attempt to configure a website to cope with software they have installed"
Yes, I think you should 'configure' it to work with popular browsing software and popular add-ons - everyone else, me included, does.

No pram and no toys here - just not contributing to this dreadful thread again.
See you elsewhere on the site.

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Nick
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Re: Sail Argyll

Postby Nick » Fri Aug 17, 2012 5:32 pm

SteveN wrote:Yes, I think you should 'configure' it to work with popular browsing software and popular add-ons - everyone else, me included, does.


Erm no, you think apparently think I should remove all advertising, Google analytics and anything else that you don't approve of from any site I create. Now that could be construed as arrogant by a less tolerant person than myself. How do you know everyone else agrees with you btw? Seems a bit of an unevidenced assumption.

Anyway, delighted that you aren't going off in a complete huff. See you around, maybe on a more sailing related thread.
- Nick 8)

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Re: Sail Argyll

Postby ubergeekian » Sat Aug 18, 2012 10:42 pm

Nick wrote:
ubergeekian wrote:Ad blockers are a fact of life, and there is no point in anyone (not you in particular, Nick) getting hoity-toity about them.

I'm not getting hoity toity. I just can't believe the arrogance of people who think I should attempt to configure a website to cope with software they have installed that is specifically designed to remove integral elements of that site.


And I in turn think it's a bit arrogant for someone who is trying to sell something to try to dictate to website visitors what software they should have installed. It's as bad as flash-only websites.

Tell me UG, why excactly you think I should care what the site looks like to people with adblocker installed? What exactly is my motivation?


Commercial sense. You are deliberately screwing up adverts which someone has paid you to present in an attempt to force viewers to see other adverts, which may well compete with the ones you have taken money for. (The "you" in this case is generic).

I spend a fair bit on advertising each year. I would be most dischuffed if the people I pay the money to distorted my adverts unless people reading them also saw my competitors'.
Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity - Hanlon's Razor
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Re: Sail Argyll

Postby Nick » Sun Aug 19, 2012 2:40 am

ubergeekian wrote: You are deliberately screwing up adverts which someone has paid you to present in an attempt to force viewers to see other adverts, which may well compete with the ones you have taken money for.

This is not only completely untrue, it is also defamatory and libellous.

I have sent you a PM and an e-mail.
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And now in words of one syllable . . .

Postby Nick » Sun Aug 19, 2012 10:50 am

.
Web users by and large use Adblock because they are tired of being bombarded with intrusive advertising, flashy banners and pop-ups that ruin their browsing experience. They don’t need to be congratulated on being the millionth visitor to your website, they don’t want to shoot five iphones, their only wish is to view the site content. As it is much easier for users to hide ads than for the entire industry to develop advertising ethics, a simple solution quickly emerged. Of course, this has implications for people who use advertising in an ethical way as support for or as an integral part of their websites.

It is only the person using adblockwho sees a website in a way the designer does not intend. Everyone else sees the adverts and the correct site layout. People buying adverts from me would of course expect me to do anything I can to make sure their ads appear as often as possible, which I do - as explained in paragraph 6 - but if in spite of that you make them vanish then why should they - or the website owner who depends on advertising revenue - care what it looks like in your personally modified browser? If you are determined not to see their ad then the advertisers certainly don't care if your text is all over the place -and neither do most web designers who depend on ads for their income.

Some web designers actually use scripts to block adblock users from their sites. Very few would go to the effort I have gone to after requests from adblock users on here to ensure that the removal of Adsense ads by adblock does not disturb the structure of the site (see paragraph 5). In fact most web developers would regard this as ridculous pandering and be utterly unable to see why I was motivated to do this.

When Adblock+ removes advertisements it either leaves a blank space or - depending on what CSS styles are used by the author to format the page - the remaining content is shifted around. Inevitably the page will not look as the designer intended but - if they are suficiently concerned - there are things they can do to mitigatge that, both in terms of formatting and in terms of making sure that content escapes the standard Adblock+ filters.

Adblock+ with the standard filters automatically removes Google Adsense ads. I reformatted those so that the text was not shifted. Instead of leaving a blank space I used the {background} CSS property to include an image in the form of an ad for Webcraft. This avoids having a large stup[id-looking blank space on the left hand side of the page. The extra loading time involved on a 2MB connection is an utterly undetectable fraction of a second, and of course with the same image on every page it is cached after the first page and even that tiny load 'penalty' is abolished. (Most page loading delays are not caused by things like adverts, they are caused by server ping times and latency - which may be a routing issue at your end or may be at the server end. It is by and large not in the control of the web developer, except by changing hosts if the issues are severe)

The right-hand advertisements are unaffected by a standard installation of Adblock+ because I have taken care to ensure that they are. This seems only fair as I do hope in time to generate some revenue from these and I want as many people as possible to see them. It would most certainly not be fair to advertising purchasers (many of whom are innocently unaware of things like Adblock+) to not make this effort. I have (for example) made sure that the folder the ads are contained in is not called /ads or /advertisements, as this is the sort of thing the Adblock+ filter rules pick up on. (These ads are all free at the moment btw - and of course they are just inoffensive pretty pictures that link to sites that already have existing text entries, complementing the rest of page - which as a directory is in itself no more than a series of advertisements. It makes no more sense to deliberately go out of your way to delete these - as SteveN has done - than to delete the entire page).

If you want to make sure that the ads on the right hand side of Sail Argyll's pages do not appear then you have to make a special and reasonably complex attempt to do so. It only affects your own personal experience of the site (unless you share or make public your filter rules) and is therefore entirely self-inflicted and outwith the normal operation of Adblock+. It would conceivably be possible for me to restructure the stylesheet for a second time to make sure that the right hand column remained a blank block if someone chose (bizarrely) to remove it - adn in fact I did have a half-hearted attempt at it before I realised the stupidity of it. In fact my first attempt - which for the technically minded among you involved trying Jimi's suggestion of giving the blocks with the class {linktext} a fixed width - caused conflicts with the basic paragraph definition and the page looked even worse.

When creating a new custom site (i.e. not using templates or a CMS) it can take days just to resolve different stylesheet issues between browsers. Accounting for all the possible browser add-ons people may ahve installed is a whole different ball game. Making sure that the removal of Google adsense ads by adblock does not wreck the page structure makes some sense, and that has now been done. There is however no point at all in spending hours looking for a way to make sure your web page looks better even if some geek decides to completely wreck it by editing a browser add-on with the specific aim of removing an integral part of that page. It makes even less sense than someone complaining to a newspaper because they have cut all the ads out with scissors and now some of the stories that were printed on the back have holes in them. It would be theoretically possible for a newspaper to ensure that no ads had any part of a story on the back, but it would take the compositors a long time and woujld result in a strange looklikng newspaper.

I realise that there are some on here who may regard my 16 years of experience in the web development business as insignificant compared to their own knowledge, but frankly in most cases they are kidding themselves. This is not what galls me most though.

My very modest business of some 16 years is based entirely on my own integrity and very high standards of service. The majority of people reading this forum have a slim grasp of the technical issues underlying the topic at best. What will slap them in the face and stick in their memory on reading this thread is the accusation that I am in some way ripping people off and/or defrauding paying customers. This attacks the fundamental principles Webcraft UK is built on and is doubly unacceptable on a forum I have provided at some cost to myself for momre than ten years.

While my height, general appearance, intelligence and skills at interpersonal relationships are all fair game my business integrity is, I am afraid, not up for discussion on here and any further attacks on my business principles or ethics will be deleted and the poster will be removed permanently from the forum.

The editing window for his original post is now closed, so I am expecting UG to indicate he understands and to issue a genuine public apology for his comments in response to this post.
- Nick 8)

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ubergeekian
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Re: Sail Argyll

Postby ubergeekian » Sun Aug 19, 2012 2:02 pm

I absolutely do not think that Nick has been engaging in any dishonesty, skullduggery or underhand behaviour and I deeply regret any impression to that effect which I may have given. Nick is more than welcome to remove my previous post on the subject, and indeed I hereby request him to do so.

Sorry, Nick.

He has asked me to clarify my point, and I am happy to do so. He asked (I paraphrase) why he, as a web designer, should bother about the browsing experience of people who use adblocker software. I believe that he should, for several reasons. As should all web designers, so what follows is intended to be generic and emphatically not personal.

It's about graceful degradation. A website which looks at its best under Internet Explorer 8 with Flash installed (to take an example at random) should either be useable when someone visits using Firefox 4 without Flash or explain why it is not useable.

While it would not be possible to create a website which worked with every possible plugin, I think that Adblocker is now sufficiently common, under both FF and Chrome, that a web designer should consider its effects. Possible responses I have seen include

  • Denying access to the website without explanation. This does not seem like a good idea to me, because the visitor will simply assume that the website is dead. (Some admin web applications at work do this to me if I am not on the VPN, and it's a pain.)
  • Denying access to the website with an explanation that it's funded by adverts and that access is therefore dependent on viewing the adverts. I don't mind that - it lets me know what's happening and gives me the chance to make an informed choice. (Some admin web applications at work tell me I need to use the VPN, which is much better.)
  • Putting something else behind the adverts to appear if they don't. That's fine, though of course it carries the risk that users may block the thing behind or even, if the site is popular enough, that the thing gets onto Adblock blacklists.
  • Allowing the appearance of the website to be significantly degraded if the adverts aren't there.

The last is not, I think, a good solution. The adblocking user won't know why the page looks poor, and may be deterred sufficiently to move on elsewhere. That's not a good outcome if the page has been designed under contract for someone else - unless, of course, it has been agreed in the contract for the design. It's not a good outcome if other material in the page has been paid for (advertorial) unless it has been made clear to those clients that the page on which they are paying to have stuff displayed won't render as intended unless other adverts are displayed as well. If they know that and are happy with it then of course it's perfectly legitimate.

Except for one final ill-effect of any non-graceful degradation, which is the potential effect on the designer's reputation. If I visit a website produced by Bloggs' Websites Ltd and it looks bad without explanation ("To see this site properly, please disable ad-blocking software. Adverts pay for the content here.") I might fall into the trap of thinking that Bloggs' Websites Ltd are not very good at web design and pass them over when looking for a designer.

So that's why I think Nick should care what websites look like when adblockers are used. I think it's in his interests, his clients' interests and his clients' clients' interests to do so.
Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity - Hanlon's Razor
But don't rule out malice - First Corollary to Hanlon's Razor


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