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Ask HN: Why is there no way to prevent scroll-jacking on a webpage?
44 points by ValentineC 47 days ago | hide | past | web | 15 comments | favorite

Fortunately, most sites don't do this. I don't understand why it's done in the first place, though.

It's mentally agitating when I go to scroll on a webpage and it doesn't do what I expect.

And what content authors should be most concerned about: it distracts viewers from the site's content, because I'm thinking "what just happened to my mouse". And that reaction is the antithesis of what content creators should want: they should want to engage me, and explore the site more deeply.

My best guess has been changes they've made to slow down scrolling on ipads and similar.

My follow-on guess is that management figures you're scrolling past the adds too quickly.

A general-purpose scripting language and general-purpose elements, where it isn’t easy to see what the high-level impact of low-level actions will be.

Though we’re at the point where browsers really need to clearly separate what requires advanced capabilities from what really doesn’t. For example, a browser could always display exactly two tabs per page: “Read” and “Interact”, where ONLY the Interact view can access scripting capabilities and dynamic content and the Read view may only display trivial things like images and text. If you’ve ever installed something like uMatrix on the desktop (and you should), it is astounding how much crap from how many entirely different domains is loaded and executed just by loading a “simple” page now. It has to stop.

Oh man, if there was a way to find sites that use that new mobile pattern where the ad slides up as you scroll down, I would nuke all of those sites from orbit.

Stop visiting those sites -> ad revenue dries up -> problem resolves itself. But my approach is woefully idealistic.

Besides ad-based sites, some of the sites that I've seen scroll-jack the worst are small hip restaurants. To some degree Facebook and Yelp have started to make restaurant sites irrelevant but I still end up clicking through frequently for the most up-to-date menu.

They install more analytics, A/B testing scripts and survey popups to figure out why.

It also assumes that the owners will know WHY the ad revenue is drying up. They may assume it has something to do with the content.

Because, in most cases, it wouldn't work. Most pages using scroll-jacking create and/or show certain layers upon scroll. The content isn't there before.

There are some, like I believe most Apple product pages, where scroll-jacking is used to create a one-slide-at-a-time-effect where it may work. But even on those, individual slides often undergo transformations upon scroll revealing information you'd otherwise not see.

Here is a Chrome extension that claims to be able to prevent it: https://joshbalfour.github.io/disable-scroll-jacking/

That extension is no longer installable.

Looks like the author only recently submitted it to the store for review: https://github.com/joshbalfour/disable-scroll-jacking#update

The most recent commit is 4 hours ago so it looks like the guy is still working on it. I tried installing the thing under developer mode and it installed but didn't stop the hijacking on the page I tried it on.

Because all major browsers support creating `onscroll` event handlers and some people offer money to javascript developers if they will do annoying and mildly evil stuff and a large number of those javascript developers say "Sure boss, whatever you want".

The browser creators, people paying for websites, and (many) javascript developers all seem happy with this, unfortunately.

Problem is, `onscroll` is not bad per se. I really like those progress indicators that some sites implement, esp. on mobile where the scrollbar is not permanently visible. That's the (IMO) legitimate use-case for `onscroll`.

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