Searching the web – without the annoyances

I just did a search on Google for “javascript open new tab”.

3rd result (2nd, if you don’t count the indented sub-result below the first result) was a page on experts-exchange.com – no linklove for you.

I *hate* experts-exchange.com. The page – www.experts-exchange.com/Programming/Languages/Scripting/JavaScript/Q_21558829.html (check it out if you want, but I’m not giving it even the smallest bit of pagerank on any engine) appears to address exactly my question. The snippet Google gives me is:

Title: open new tab in firefox. Question: I want to create a link that triggers opening a new tab (not a new window) in firefox. i do NOT want the user to …

Go to the link.. and I get nothing. I see the question, and a lovely exhortation that in order to see the answer, which may or may not be helpful to me (all the other answers I’ve found in other places on the web have been along the lines of “Can’t be done”), I should “Sign up for Experts Exchange and receive instant access to this solution and others.”[1][3].

That rankles. If you have useful answers, show them to me, and maybe I’ll join your community. I’m not going to waste time joining up when I don’t think you have answers.

Experts-exchange have pissed me off for years, and a lot of other people too. I’ve been aware of solutions such as the experts-exchange remover Greasemonkey script, but I’ve never felt like toying with such – they’re a solution that only work on the firefox instance where it’s installed, and they’re a solution that have to be reinstalled if you reinstall firefox[2].

However, I just thought of a More Perfect solution: create a custom search engine that excludes experts-exchange! So, I present you with: the Without Annoyances search engine. I can use it from anywhere, I can add to it other sites that annoy me… sounds perfect to me.

You could Add to Google yourself if you wanted to… I’ve just hacked up my site to use this as the default search engine for the site search.

[1] Yes, I know. I can find my answers in other ways as well. For instance, view source of that page shows the following ‘solution’ to my question:

Abg jvgubhg punatvat frggvatf naq gura jvaqbj.bcra naq _oynax ohg gurl pnaabg unir cnenzrgref.

An 8-year olds knowledge of ciphers (or, alternatively, a handy copy of caesar(6), reveals this to mean:

Not without changing settings and then window.open and _blank but they cannot have parameters.

I see.

A more promising (at least, by reason of it being longer) snippet reads:

Ab pbzzrag unf orra nqqrq gb guvf dhrfgvba va zber guna 21 qnlf, fb vg vf abj pynffvsvrq nf nonaqbarq.V jvyy yrnir gur sbyybjvat erpbzzraqngvba sbe guvf dhrfgvba va gur Pyrnahc gbcvp nern:   Fcyvg: urer4h247 {uggc:#14870456} & xvqqnatre {uggc:#14879882}Nal bowrpgvbaf fubhyq or cbfgrq urer va gur arkg 4 qnlf. Nsgre gung gvzr, gur dhrfgvba jvyy or pybfrq. prz_ghexRR Pyrnahc Ibyhagrre

Unforunately, that translates as:

No comment has been added to this question in more than 21 days, so it is now classified as abandoned.I will leave the following recommendation for this question in the Cleanup topic area:&aofc; &aofc;Split: here4u247 {http:#14870456} &nzc; kiddanger {http:#14879882}Any objections should be posted here in the next 4 days. After that time, the question will be closed. cem_turk EE Cleanup Volunteer

So, in short. Experts Exchange (A) taunts me by pretending that its notices to the effect that the question is dead are in fact answers to my question, (B) can’t hide said information from said 8 year old, (C) can’t give me a better answer than the rest of the internet, and (D) hides the fact that its answers are bunkus behind requests for me to sign up. No thanks, I don’t think I will.

Anyone want to write a greasemonkey script that does this unbreaking of Experts-Exchange inline? I wouldn’t use it, but others might..

[2] Or if you copy your profile folder into the new installation, as I did last time I upgraded. This is good in a planned upgrade situation, less good in an emergency reinstall where you don’t have time. Although.. I guess maybe my firefox profile is worthy of being backed up…

[3] Update: A colleague has just pointed me to an even easier solution than using caesar: Google’s cached copy doesn’t have the obfuscation. I’ve also been told that using a browser that doesn’t support javascript/CSS will give the same result as that in Google’s cache – ie, Experts-Exchange serve you a perfectly useful page, then use javascript/css to break it and make it unreadable. Good job!

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