Paul Roub

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Firefox Extensions as Usability Fixes

Simon Willison points out a Firefox extension to fix some of the many, many problems with the new Allmusic site.

A cool idea, and some good points made in the comments:

  • Sil suggests:
    I think that the best way to handle this might not be specific extensions for each broken site. Instead, have one extension, and an online database of JS files, one per broken site.
  • But later, John Roberts says:
    1. Few people will know about/use such extensions, especially if they are browser specific. Even if, however unlikely, the extensions were for IE.
    2. If such a problem exists, the site should know about it and fix it. I think Jeffrey Veen’s idea of “working around the damage” (paraphrased) is more a social phenomenon than a technical issue.

I really like Sil’s idea. I’d be happy to contribute code to help shore up Audible.com usage. I’d already written some experimental XUL code to do just that.

Which leads me to John’s comments – what do we do when a site (I’m very much thinking of Audible here) won’t even respond to / acknowledge complaints or suggestions about their site? Every damn link on Audible is Javascript-only. Good luck opening anything in a tab or new window, and have fun in locked-down or non-Javascript browser.

And hey, the existence of extensions to make sites like Audible and Allmusic less painful would be a major switch incentive for some.