Linked List: April 11, 2009


DiggBar blocking middleware for Rack by Markus Prinz — should work for any Ruby-based framework using Rack.

DiggBar Is a Howl of Desperation 

Ted Dziuba speculates on the thinking behind the DiggBar:

This move shows that not only is Digg willing to pull some sleazy shit to increase their unique visitors, but that they also need to pull this sleazy shit, because they need more unique visitors.

If you don’t see this as a gimmick to artificially inflate Digg’s traffic, I’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.

More From Faruk Ateş on the DiggBar 

From Faruk Ateş’s thoughtful follow-up regarding the DiggBar, his suggested solution for Digg:

It must be an opt-in choice which, if not opted into, makes the short URL perform a 301 Redirect to the original page. This would then also be the behavior for non-members.

Best would be for Digg to simply outright scrap it. But if they changed it to an opt-in feature that only worked via page-framing for registered Digg users who turned it on, and acted as a regular HTTP 301 redirection service (like every other URL shortener) for everyone else, I’d still think it was douchey but I wouldn’t oppose it.

(That’s why I’m not up in arms about Facebook’s or StumbleUpon’s douchey page-framing dinguses.)

An Event Apart 

An Event Apart describes itself as an “intensely educational two-day learning session for passionate practitioners of standards-based web design”. I’ve attended twice, and that’s a perfect description. My thanks to them for sponsoring this week’s DF RSS feed.

Two full days of sessions on code, content, usability, and design, from some of the brightest minds and best speakers in the industry. An Event Apart is coming to Seattle in May and Boston in June. Use code “AEADARE” during checkout to save $100 off any registration.

Why Engadget Is Blocking the DiggBar 

Engadget is using JavaScript (more or less along the lines of Faruk Ateş’s aforelinked solution) to prevent its pages from being wrapped in Digg’s frame. Joshua Topolsky writes:

In Digg’s efforts to keep you swimming in their stream, they completely obscure the original URL you’re supposed to be looking at. And no, not just the URL you follow from a particular Digg on their site — all the URLs you visit (via clicks) until you kill the bar. Additionally, if you’re browsing around a site under the bar itself and you kill it, it transports you back to the original URL you landed on, thus completely breaking continuity and making it almost impossible to know where you’ve actually browsed to.

I’m happy to see anyone block or redirect around the DiggBar, but I still think it’s worthwhile to make a stink about it rather than simply redirect DiggBar links to the actual URL. It’s not individual web site publishers’ job to make Digg work like a civil non-bullshitty web site, and the best way I can think of to get Digg to change this is to get Digg users to demand it.

Danny Sullivan on Frame Bars 

Danny Sullivan:

Also, if Google were ever to frame web sites when you click to them from search results in the way Ask does, the web would almost certainly erupt in anger. I don’t think this will happen, of course — but if it’s not something we’d allow Google to do, it’s not something we should be allowing any sites to do.

Faruk Ateş’s JavaScript DiggBar Redirection Script 

Rather than blocking incoming DiggBar traffic, Faruk’s simple JavaScript will redirect such requests to the actual URL of your page. This is far friendlier to Digg users than my solution, but I’m not trying to be friendly about this.