CoolChaser Blog

Archive for December 2006

Yes, you heard me right, Wikipedia removed frame busting javascript!

For those who just visited our site, this is the story. When we thought of the concept of “voting on a search result,” we concluded that people will be able to see if the result was relevant or not only by actually visiting the site. The other method was to allow people to vote on the search result page itself – but is this going to be accurate data?

The use of frame was (and still is) controversial, and I was one of those who went “against” using frames in the beginning. The reason was because I didn’t have good experience with sites who tried to trap me inside their sites against my will. For example, I remember the old Hotmail would use frames when I click an external link and trapped me with their frames saying “click here to go back to hotmail” or something like that. (does anyone remember?) I think their intention was good… they thought people would want to have a way to go back to hotmail and check their other emails, right? However, it was just BAD usability, because I was eternally trapped inside Hotmail if I didn’t go back to Hotmail and  sign out.

But in our context to evaluate if the site is relevant or not, I agreed that using the frame was the best method in doing that, even if it could cause bad usability. I was really happy when I read John, one of the author of Fresh Blog nailing what our frame was for, which none of us really documented at the time he wrote it. He wrote “The frame makes sure that you visit the page that you’re evaluating, rather than expressing an opinion on the list of results page. ” Expressing an opinion.. what a clever way to put it!
OK, so that’s the story of why we use frames. What’s the story with Wikipedia? Well, not only Wikipedia, but some other sites use “busting frame javascripts” which tries to free themselves from being trapped inside someone else’s sites. “Let my people go!” said the Prince of Egypt, and so did those sites. But that made the users of not being able to vote on Wikipedia results and some of our users said “I wish I can vote on Wikipedia because it is often one of the best (or better) results.”

I wonder why Wikipedia decided to take that javascript off, but it is good news for active users! Now you don’t have to give a “thumbs up” to some other site just because you couldn’t vote on Wikipedia. In other words, we now are free to vote on the sites we REALLY want to 🙂



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December 2006
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