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Chrome Now Uses Scroll Anchoring To Prevent Those Annoying Page Jumps (techcrunch.com) 113

Google has updated its Chrome browser to fix the annoying page jumps that occur when pages are loading. While developers want pages to load the actual content of a page before additional ads and images appear, "the problem is that if you've already scrolled down, your page resets when some off-screen ad loads and you're suddenly looking at a completely different part of the page," reports TechCrunch. From the report: The latest versions of Chrome (56+) do their best to prevent these jumps with the help of a feature called scroll anchoring. Google tested scroll anchoring in the Chrome beta versions for the last year and now it's on by default. Google says the feature currently prevents almost three jumps per page view -- and, over time, that number will likely increase.
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Chrome Now Uses Scroll Anchoring To Prevent Those Annoying Page Jumps

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 11, 2017 @07:29PM (#54218361)

    Does it prevent those incredibly annoying jumps that happen when a website suddenly inserts a header at the top of the page after you scroll down a few lines? Because when I see those, I usually just close the page and make a mental note to not visit that site again.

  • Just Slashdot (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Garfong ( 1815272 ) on Tuesday April 11, 2017 @07:30PM (#54218365)

    The only website I have this problem with is Slashdot, which wants to cover the top 3rd of my web browser with an ad.

    • Nice to know Google has slashdot's back.

    • The only website I have this problem with is Slashdot, which wants to cover the top 3rd of my web browser with an ad.

      It happens to me all the time on Ars when viewed with Chrome on an Android. The cause is not the initial load; it's the carousel advertisements "above" the current view. When they change size everything adjusts it's position. I get completely lost. Which, in my case, is like selling coal to Newcastle.

      And don't get me started on the CPU cycles needed by all the advert videos playing somewhere "off screen". My S7 starts to feel more like an S zero point five. The does not help my browsing experience nor does it entice me to support the advertisers -- the opposite in fact.

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        Try DNS66 for Android. Block 99% of adverts. No root or anything like that required, and it's open source. Get it from the F-Droid app store.

        Saves a lot of battery, as well as making browsing more pleasant. Works in most apps too.

        • by cdrudge ( 68377 )

          Hadn't heard of that app before. Is it using an actual external VPN service, as in all your traffic goes through some 3rd party? Or is it hooking into the network stack as a sort of virtual local VPN where everything is local, intercepting traffic getting around the normal restriction of writing to the hosts file requiring root?

          • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

            It creates a local VPN connection, nothing leaves your phone. It only intercepts DNS requests and blocks via a hosts list.

        • Try DNS66 for Android. Block 99% of adverts. No root or anything like that required, and it's open source. Get it from the F-Droid app store.

          Saves a lot of battery, as well as making browsing more pleasant. Works in most apps too.

          I don't know how regular non-technical people can even use the internet any more. There have been rare occasions when I've had to turn off my protection, and the screen jumps around like it's having a seizure. I've said it before and stand by it, but if ad and script blockers are outlawed, I'll find something else to do with my time.

          • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

            The web without an ad blocker reminds me of that scene in The Simpsons... "The goggles, they do nothing!"

          • by Gr8Apes ( 679165 )

            I don't know how regular non-technical people can even use the internet any more. There have been rare occasions when I've had to turn off my protection, and the screen jumps around like it's having a seizure. I've said it before and stand by it, but if ad and script blockers are outlawed, I'll find something else to do with my time.

            There'll be a plugin with an offline mode that accidentally *wink* rewrites all URLs to local and only goes 1 deep and doesn't download anything but 1st level javascript. Eventually someone will figure that out and the workaround, but for now it works well if you want to browse an entire site.

            • I don't know how regular non-technical people can even use the internet any more. There have been rare occasions when I've had to turn off my protection, and the screen jumps around like it's having a seizure. I've said it before and stand by it, but if ad and script blockers are outlawed, I'll find something else to do with my time.

              There'll be a plugin with an offline mode that accidentally *wink* rewrites all URLs to local and only goes 1 deep and doesn't download anything but 1st level javascript. Eventually someone will figure that out and the workaround, but for now it works well if you want to browse an entire site.

              I'm wondering when the first history poisoner is coming out?

    • Is this chrome feature going to fix Slashdot's horrible top banner ??
    • by antdude ( 79039 )

      With an ad blocker?

    • Haha I'm glad to hear someone else is annoyed with Slashdot's annoying jumbo ad. I installed ad-blockers specifically because of Slashdot, it's the most annoying invasive ad that blocks the text while I scroll.
    • by ryen ( 684684 )
      I think Google is also updating their search rank algos to reduce scores for pages that don't show much content above-the-fold shortly after page load.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      I don't see ads on Slashdot (probably for geographic reasons), but Slashdot makes an article jump around on Chrome at least three times. First it jump to below the summary to the first comment, then loads something into the top banner which causes a jump to the top, then it jumps again back to the first comment.
      I'm pretty sure this is Slashdot's fault, since they recently added the entirely unhelpful scripting to skip the summary and jump to the first comment when it used to just open an article at the top

    • by solios ( 53048 )

      I don't have this problem at all on the desktop. On my phone, on the other hand, it happens with every single website on the commercial web. The damned things spend more time loading than they do displaying content, and it seems like pages are constantly refreshing, only to add nag-boxes for some mobile app I don't want, then to bug me to "subscribe." etc. End result is I don't feel compelled to upgrade my phone, I just don't use the web on it anymore. I can't, it's crap.

    • by NoSalt ( 801989 )
      Try CNN.com sometime.
  • by jareth-0205 ( 525594 ) on Tuesday April 11, 2017 @07:31PM (#54218371) Homepage

    It didn't work very well when I enables it in testing a few months ago, but we'll see.

    Page jumps make me actually angry. It's like a book snapping shut on you mid-sentence.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Scrolling on certain websites (i.e. Twitter) has been totally broken for me since the last Chrome update and now I'm suspecting this is the cause.

    • About the only time I ever click on an advert is because the page jumped and moved the advert to where the link I was just clicking on was. This will be a good fix if it works.
  • I'll never understand the rationality behind the google image search features. Or some of the "advanced" features on their text search.

    Search for images and the page initially shows a fair number. Scroll down looking for the thing you want, and suddenly you trigger a 2nd pack of images to be loaded, scroll down some more and you trigger a 3rd set.

    This means that if you *don't* find the image you want, you have to wait while the 2nd pack loads... except that it could have been loading while you were looking

    • by kekx ( 2828765 )
      I'm pretty sure, that the rationality is that it saves google a lot of money. Most of the time people will only look at the first couple of images anyways, so not loading preemptively saves a ton of bandwidth.
    • Same with YouTube. The "related" videos on the side are only getting loaded as far as you can see them, only when you scroll down, more preview pics get fetched.

      The reason is the same: Most people will not even scroll down, and bandwidths are good enough by now that loading them takes only a second or maybe two. That actually saves a LOT of money on bandwidth for content providers.

  • This wouldn't be that big of a problem if web designers would properly declare the size attributes on images.

    • by SirSlud ( 67381 )

      Dynamic content - often the page doesn't know the size of the content until it's been served.

      • An example: I was a front-end developer for the Wall Street Journal five years ago. The home page was a shifting multi-column stack of dozens of internal content modules (developed by different programmers) that had no awareness of each other (also often the case with the programmers), along with dynamic ads and an astounding amount of additional crud that included externally-sourced content like spammy Taboola and Outbrain links. To conserve bandwidth, the module containers triggered just-in-time content l
      • Dynamic content - often the page doesn't know the size of the content until it's been served.

        Often the page doesn't know the content at all because it is served by a different third-party that may resize it at any point, or overlay normal content. The only thing stopping them is usually that they promised not to.

  • Our website has a bootstrap drop-down menu an each item in a list on a page. When the mouse hovered over an item that opened a submenu, the submenu would make the page grow, Chrome scrolled to the bottom, the mouse was no longer over the menu item and the submenu closed, shrinking the page and Chrome scrolled and the mouse was hovering over the menu again.

    Rapid cycling of screen position and menu state was Not Good. At least you can turn off the anchoring...

  • by tempest69 ( 572798 ) on Tuesday April 11, 2017 @07:53PM (#54218475) Journal
    I've gotten so irritated at the damn next button being replaced with some damn link to crap. I've just started blacklisting every damn site I get sent to unfairly. But they keep changing the names of the same basic garbage.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    why did this take so long for someone to do?

  • I rarely notice this on Desktop (probably due to ad blocking), but man, I sure could use this on Mobile.
  • really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by superwiz ( 655733 ) on Tuesday April 11, 2017 @10:54PM (#54219287) Journal
    I am on Chrome 57 and I still the jumps on Slashdot whenever the IBM ad loads. I can see why Google would be concerned. I blacklisted a lot of the ad sites just because of what they did to the screen. I am sure a lot of others did the same. If people blacklist ads, this hits Google's bottom line directly.
  • by Actually, I do RTFA ( 1058596 ) on Wednesday April 12, 2017 @12:39AM (#54219671)

    This jumping is because of how Google uses "first render" timing to affect pagerank. They forced developers to use stupid workarounds, and now they are solving the problem caused by the stupid workaround.

    • Google does this to at least make the page readable quickly. On the other hand, they didn't count on developers just making worse lazy-load ads.

      • If they want the page to load quickly, they could stop trying to get everyone to install trackers on their site.

        • Google Analytics added 70ms to the loading time for this page when I went to view your comment. And with it loading post-render and not modifying the DOM, there's a lot less impact. Slashdot Media's own analytics script also loaded on this page. It took over 400ms.

  • that cause the jumpiness. hell, adblock is telling me it blocked 34 ads right now.

  • They've had the width and height attributes on HTML tags since the 90s.
  • by Artem Tashkinov ( 764309 ) on Wednesday April 12, 2017 @03:05AM (#54220051)

    uBlock Origin.

    I stopped using Adblock+ long ago, because it makes all my web browsers consume more RAM, than when running without it.

    • It's not just ads that jerk the page around while you're trying to read it. Newegg's web site, for example, seems to lazy-load a lot of dynamically-sized content. Yeah, that's their fault for using lots of crappy scripting, but browsers could handle it more gracefully.

  • Lel mismod

  • This was solved a long time ago with Noscript. Pages load fast and don't jump, not to mention the security benefits.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Why don't web pages just preallocate the space that will later be filled with content? Seems like this problem never should happen if that were done from the beginning.

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