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RE: Ads masquerading as OS messages [was: usemap in XHTML 1.1 no longer a URI?!]

From: Jon Haworth <jhaworth@witanjardine.co.uk>
Date: Thu, 28 Feb 2002 15:41:10 -0000
Message-ID: <67DF9B67CEFAD4119E4200D0B720FA3F010C3CDB@BOOTROS>
To: www-html@w3.org
Monostory Miklos wrote:

>>> Pop-up ads which mimic the look of operating system's error messages.
>>> if the browser lets a web app mimic the os, it's a bug.
>> Wait, that's silly. Browsers are supposed to parse HTML and images and
>> assess whether the end result looks like an OS message?
> Not so silly.
> I think, you misunderstood.
> I met lot of ad-banners, with:
> 'Your internet connection is too slow', or similary.

No, I understood totally. I agree these adverts are very annoying - I've
seen many novice users click on them. 

My objection is that one can't make a requirement for UA developers to
include functionality that would:
  - parse an HTML file, and all its associated images
  - make a guess as to what the rendered page would look like
  - establish whether this falls into "looks like an OS message" or not
  - handle trapped pages in some sort of elegant manner

This would not be an OS-agnostic routine, nor would it be a quick job, and
it's quite an overhead to expect UA developers to swallow (although the Lynx
crew will no doubt be happy with it :-)

As a long-term - albeit somewhat idealistic - solution, we should be trying
to educate the users that are deceived by these practices. It's a viral
process - you explain it to bunch of users, they all explain it to a few of
their friends, etc.

I'm getting way [OT] now so I'll shut up. I just felt it was worth speaking
up for the browser developers - they take enough flak as it is, and IMHO
it's a bit daft to say that their software is "buggy" because it displays
pages that have been put together by advertisers in such a way as to mislead
users.


Cheers
Jon
Received on Thursday, 28 February 2002 10:44:33 GMT

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