Sunday, August 08, 2010

Nerd Fantasy

Somehow, browsers or web standards will soon evolve so that a link like this:

example.com/page.html?highlight="the phrase I wanted to call your attention to"

will make the page at the link look like this:

Dummy block of text to show highlighting example

The forum software package vBulletin does this (it changes the text color, not the background, but either works for me). Some websites create a special link if you copy a block of text from one of their pages (it's usually the URL with an appended octothorpe and code number) that does this, as well. It's very handy when referring to long posts, and I think the concept should be generalized. Who's with me?

__________


Also: can I file this post under Web 3.0 Teh Semantic Web!!!1!, just to inflate my Web Evangelist™ cred?

6 comments:

Twin said...

Some websites create a special link if you copy a block of text from one of their pages (it's usually the URL with an appended octothorpe and code number) that does this, as well.

I don't believe I've seen this before. Do you have any examples handy? I'm curious how they are doing it.

Brendan said...

I tried to come up with an example when I was composing the original post, but I couldn't remember a specific site other than Politico, and though doing a copy and paste from them still gets you a URL like this ...

--- copy and paste begins ---

The Republican nominee challenging first-term Michigan Rep. Gary Peters is quickly backing away from comments he made questioning President Barack Obama’s citizenship.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0810/40762.html#ixzz0w9QqaEfZ

--- copy and paste ends ---

... along with the annoying "Read more" message, automatically as part of your paste, going to that custom link doesn't produce the same highlighting behavior as it used to. Maybe they were taking advantage of some undocumented "feature" in Firefox earlier? Who knows.

I've noticed Wonkette and the Daily Caller display this same paste behavior. HuffPo used to, I'm almost positive, but it didn't from the most recent post (which you might have seen) that I copied and pasted from. (Maybe they only implement this for a certain type of article?)

I don't know how it's implemented, but I'd imagine it's some sort of Javascript trickery, along the lines that the NYT and especially Snopes use to keep you from easily copying some of their text.

In any case, I wonder why that #nnnnn... business is still there. I wonder if it's something left in place because of inertia, something there that later browsers will support (my highlighting hope), or some sort of trackback system to see who's copying what.

Brendan said...

I tried to come up with an example when I was composing the original post, but I couldn't remember a specific site other than Politico, and though doing a copy and paste from them still gets you a URL like this …

--- copy and paste begins ---

The Republican nominee challenging first-term Michigan Rep. Gary Peters is quickly backing away from comments he made questioning President Barack Obama’s citizenship.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0810/40762.html#ixzz0w9QqaEfZ

--- copy and paste ends ---

... along with the annoying "Read more" message, automatically as part of your paste, going to that custom link doesn't produce the same highlighting behavior as it used to. Maybe they were taking advantage of some undocumented "feature" in Firefox earlier? Who knows.

I've noticed Wonkette and the Daily Caller display this same paste behavior. HuffPo used to, I'm almost positive, but it didn't from the most recent post (which you might have seen) that I copied and pasted from. (Maybe they only implement this for a certain type of article?)

I don't know how it's implemented, but I'd imagine it's some sort of Javascript trickery, along the lines that the NYT and especially Snopes use to keep you from easily copying some of their text.

In any case, I wonder why that #nnnnn... business is still there. I wonder if it's something left in place because of inertia, something there that later browsers will support (my highlighting hope), or some sort of trackback system to see who's copying what.

Brendan said...

I've tried posting a comment in reply twice, and both have been eated. I'll email it to you.

(The comments even came through the automatic emailing-of-posted-comments system. Go figure.)

Brendan said...

(Third try at posting the earlier reply, already emailed, just to see if Blogger has fixt itself.)

I tried to come up with an example when I was composing the original post, but I couldn't remember a specific site other than Politico, and though doing a copy and paste from them still gets you a URL like this …

--- copy and paste begins ---

The Republican nominee challenging first-term Michigan Rep. Gary Peters is quickly backing away from comments he made questioning President Barack Obama’s citizenship.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0810/40762.html#ixzz0w9QqaEfZ

--- copy and paste ends ---

... along with the annoying "Read more" message, automatically as part of your paste, going to that custom link doesn't produce the same highlighting behavior as it used to. Maybe they were taking advantage of some undocumented "feature" in Firefox earlier? Who knows.

I've noticed Wonkette and the Daily Caller display this same paste behavior. HuffPo used to, I'm almost positive, but it didn't from the most recent post (which you might have seen) that I copied and pasted from. (Maybe they only implement this for a certain type of article?)

I don't know how it's implemented, but I'd imagine it's some sort of Javascript trickery, along the lines that the NYT and especially Snopes use to keep you from easily copying some of their text.

In any case, I wonder why that #nnnnn... business is still there. I wonder if it's something left in place because of inertia, something there that later browsers will support (my highlighting hope), or some sort of trackback system to see who's copying what.

Brendan said...

Turns out that my original comments were flagged as spam, even though they were posted by me, while I was logged into my own blog!

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