April 6, 2001
6:43 AM   Subscribe

Is anyone else getting really irritated over the no right click java-scripts? The thing does mostly nothing, if you wanted to steal something, you could through the source code, and most of the sites that are tacky enough to place it in there have really crappy graphics anyway. What I use the right click for is opening a link in a new windows, if there's a list of links and you go through them one by one. *Sigh*
posted by tiaka (47 comments total)
 
In IE use shift+click to open links in a new window. It's even quicker than right clicking. I believe it works for Mozilla as well
posted by winterdrm at 6:47 AM on April 6, 2001


You can just do a screenshot, too, to save out any images and then crop them.
posted by Karl at 6:49 AM on April 6, 2001


Nix that, Mozilla on linux opens new windows using ctrl+click.
posted by winterdrm at 6:51 AM on April 6, 2001


Exactly, it's basically obnoxious. I can see why pr0n sites use it, to disguise the fact (typically) that you're being redirected to another domain. But it's easy as hell to point a web-archiver at the site and pull down the source, images, whatever. I imagine in that business it must happen a lot. But then again a lot of the people in that business are not professionally trained.

But in the real world, what's the point?
posted by dhartung at 7:00 AM on April 6, 2001


hehe - i just noticed an even easier way to make these scripts useless. right-click, and keep the right button held down while you dismiss the alert box with [enter] or [space]. then release it in the window, and you get your menu. :-)
posted by pnevares at 7:02 AM on April 6, 2001


There are utilities to fetch the source code for any page, plus linked files (such as stylesheets) that are more of a nuisance to extract for viewing.
posted by harmful at 7:11 AM on April 6, 2001


But in the real world, what's the point?

I had seen the technique used on a personal site I visited. A good year or so ago, someone was hijacking all of her images and trotting them on a GeoCities site as her own - this person had essentially made up a life based on someone else's pictures.

"I Took Your Name", indeed.

The site has since employed a no-right-click script. But as pointed out above, there are circumventions.
posted by hijinx at 7:17 AM on April 6, 2001


Speaking as a person without a middle, ring or pinkie finger, I really don't know what all the fuss is about.
posted by fleener at 7:23 AM on April 6, 2001


You don't know what the fuss is about? Try being a Mac user with only one button to click.
posted by aaron at 7:29 AM on April 6, 2001


Im missing out on this one, with my one button Mac mouse!
posted by monkeyJuice at 7:31 AM on April 6, 2001


Mac mice have multiple buttons, it's just that most of them are located on the keyboard.
posted by harmful at 7:38 AM on April 6, 2001


No, you're not: on the Mac, you simply click-and-hold on the link to get the popup menu in (I believe) both major browsers. In newer versions of the Mac OS, you can also control-click to get at the context menu. (BTW, Mac IE's shortcut for "Open in new window" is command-click).
posted by m.polo at 7:41 AM on April 6, 2001


Heh. Actually I get two button usb mice for the macs and keep the originals in the box. I think they cost about 15 bucks, right button is sometimes helpful.
posted by tiaka at 7:41 AM on April 6, 2001


I'm using Opera 5. Right clicking seems to work just fine on these pages.
posted by y6y6y6 at 7:59 AM on April 6, 2001


I tend to use the right mouse button for the "Back" functionality, which makes those scripts particularly annoying.

View Source: Alt-V-C in IE (or just access it from the menus).
posted by fil! at 8:00 AM on April 6, 2001


EVEN BETTTER... lol... has anyone seen this thing? It can read the page stuff right off -- CodeLifter ... geez, used to be, you had to work to rip off code... lol.
posted by alberta at 8:37 AM on April 6, 2001


Often, you don't even need special programs to view a source or save images if right-click is disabled. Most right-click features are also available through the drop-down menus (namely, view source). By default, browsers cache all the files you download as well, so you could open them with a text editor or an image editor locally.
posted by ktheory at 8:43 AM on April 6, 2001


And one last thing - in Win98, the shortcut for the context menus you get with a right click is Ctrl+Shift+F10. Give it a shot.
posted by pnevares at 8:59 AM on April 6, 2001


WebWasher allows you to turn off "disable right-click" code. (Sorry I've been pushing this so hard, but I love it. And it's relevant.)
posted by waxpancake at 9:04 AM on April 6, 2001


The reason I really hate norightclick is that I'm a spazz, and stay up nights end over end, and by about the third one or so, sometimes, my dexterity with the rodent is a bit off...I'll be reading a page and my finger will land on the button again and again, and each time it did that on one of those (pointing-fingered-digitaldiva "anh-anh-anh, no stealie our webby stuffies") damn pages I'd have to go and click the damn thing shut. Got really annoying. Thanks for the info on webwasher.
posted by monde at 9:12 AM on April 6, 2001


If you're using a windows variant that recognizes one of the "special" windows keyboards, you can just hit the context menu key. On my keyboard its on the bottom right, between the windows key and the control key. From the context menu, just run down to "view source" and you're good to go.
posted by bshort at 9:26 AM on April 6, 2001


I have an obsessive hatred of no-right-click scripts. I have the habit of deleting sites from my bookmarks when they add that script and never go back. I always open links in new windows and it seems like most of these ignorant fools like to put these scripts up on pages that are absolutely full of links and if you simply click on a link it does not open in a new window either. I visited a page the other day that did not have any images at all, it was just a page full of links, and it had a script that popped up a box saying "Don't steal my images, motherfu**er" despite the fact that there were no images. Naturally I closed the window. Evil, evil script.

And now, I must go try this WebWasher program. Yes indeedy.
posted by bargle at 10:35 AM on April 6, 2001


After going through all that the new window gives some error because the link was already was set to pop open a new box. I've always wondered why MS/NS/Opera never chose a different color for links that open other windows. Would be pretty handy.
posted by skallas at 10:41 AM on April 6, 2001


Such a script offers no benefit to the user. So why should the user be obliged to run it?

If I write a buffer-exploit program to take advantage of security holes in a web browser and thereby make the user's life difficult, it's called "cracking". But if some nimrod site designer over-impressed with the sanctity of their code writes a javascript to take advantage of security holes in a web browser and thereby make the user's life difficult, it's called "design".

Nielsenism is awfully appealing when contrasted with this kind of crap.

-Mars
posted by Mars Saxman at 11:09 AM on April 6, 2001


skallas: I've always wondered why MS/NS/Opera never chose a different color for links that open other windows.

What a boffo idea! I'll suggest that instead of having a different color, though, how about changing the hand to a hand with a window icon? It would be relatively easy to implement, methinks, and it wouldn't involve the designer.
posted by hijinx at 11:27 AM on April 6, 2001


Good idea, hijinx: we've prototyped an inhouse design standard that used cursor icons in WinIE to give a better indication of the type of link, and user feedback is very positive. We looked at color-coding, but there are two major issues: you're limited in the number of types you can encode that way to the number of clearly distinguishable color sets and it impacts existing designs by building meaning into particular colors that a design might already be using that wasn't intended. The cursor-icon solution addresses both of those, since artists can be pretty inventive in 16x16 depicting whatever concept you need to convey and existing sites continue to operate as they always have.
posted by m.polo at 12:05 PM on April 6, 2001


I've always wondered why MS/NS/Opera never chose a different color for links that open other windows

Well, for one thing, if the link uses JavaScript, you'd have to actually run the code to know if it actually opens a new window. TARGET="_blank" would be easy to detect but JavaScript links would be impossible. And the JavaScript ones are way more annoying anyhow.
posted by kindall at 12:12 PM on April 6, 2001


Plus, m.polo, the usage of color really impacts colorblind users. A window icon is something that'd be (hopefully) rather universal - or maybe taking a cue from the "New" icon in programs like MS Word would work. The dilemma with an icon, of course, would be that it'd have to be universal.

Maybe there should be different cursors differentiating mailto:'s (this one seems a natural), new window links, and JavaScript links. As kindall points out, running massive amounts of code through a browser before viewing it (or at run-time) would be very taxing. If it can be broken down into simple groups, I think it could work.

And I'd go so far as to say it shouldn't be up to the designer to render these icons - IMHO, it's a user agent feature; you run the risk of my window icon being substantially different than yours, and then Jakob Nielsen will come through and pooh-pooh it all. ;)

But man, skallas, what a good idea.

To tie in with the thread: perhaps the cursor should change to a "no click" icon when a page utilizes a silly no-right-click JS. Thoughts?
posted by hijinx at 12:26 PM on April 6, 2001


Also, the ability to colour-encode links depending on what they're going to do is a facet of the codeset available to designers.

Make youself an anchor class called "newWindow" or something, and assign all links that open a new window to that class. Hell, you can use Javascript to change the cursor, there are known scripts for both Netscape and IE.

Hijinx pre-empted me a bit here while my computer crashed, but I think it's a part of the site more than a part of the window chrome, and therefore it's up to designers to implement as they choose.

That doesn't take away from it being a great idea, either, it's just that it's a great idea that we can use. We may have just seen the genesis of a design truism. Kudos, skellas, it's a good one, and kidos hijinx for expanding on it with another great thought.
posted by cCranium at 12:30 PM on April 6, 2001


People spend a lot of time trying to come up with little gimmicks like the no right click thing, they should instead work on better content and better actual functionality for the web.
posted by me myself and i at 12:44 PM on April 6, 2001


cCranium:
I think it's a part of the site more than a part of the window chrome, and therefore it's up to designers to implement as they choose.

This, unfortunately, leaves it up to the designers to implement, and I think it's safe to say that nearly all of them will not do so. Since the web browser is (at least theoretically) the user's agent, it seems like a much better place to put this sort of user-convenience feature.

-Mars
posted by Mars Saxman at 12:53 PM on April 6, 2001


Mars, think about how quickly the javascript for "open in new window" made it's way around.

I would happily accept browser-level implementation if it were a user-settable fob though. The trick there though is convincing browser-makers it would be useful, and considering how long they're taking for standards, design-level implmentation is available to us now.
posted by cCranium at 2:01 PM on April 6, 2001


Am I the only person who uses the "title" function in my links to note when links will open in a new window or in a pop-up window? I can't be.
posted by Dreama at 2:04 PM on April 6, 2001


Another fun solution that works against many No Right Click scripts, no keyboard interaction required: Hold down the left mouse button. Now hold down the right mouse button as well. Release the left mouse button. Now release the right mouse button. Voila, a right click!
posted by youhas at 2:37 PM on April 6, 2001


youhas: That won't work in Opera, but I found a rather great forward/back shortcut that way a few months ago!

Dreama: You can't be, you're right, and it's certainly a nice usage of the title attribute. But the tooltip isn't immediate (at least not in the browsers I've used - please correct me if there's an instant popup one out there). I'd love to see the cursor offer immediate feedback.

cC: ...design-level implmentation is available to us now.

You know what? It's almost here already with Comet Cursor, one of the most intrusive, poorly designed programs in the history of humankind. While I admit it would be nice to leave the look of the cursor up to the designer, I feel it's something that would need a standard look to be really effective.

After all, if hand-with-letter becomes the standard for a mailto:, who's to stop me from designing a hand-with-letter cursor for "new window" links?

I was also going to suggest that this nonexistant cursor object have a color attribute, but thought it was a bad idea. Then I realized that I'm looking at color scrollbars right now. I'm undecided.
posted by hijinx at 3:19 PM on April 6, 2001


Before I'm accused of being one of the propagators of this evil meme, I want to jump in and kick the dead horse myself a few times.

By popular request, we included the no-right-click script in the 4th edition of our JavaScript book, but with a big honking "You're an idiot if you use this script" sidebar. There's absolutely nothing that you can do with any variant I've seen that doesn't have some fairly simple workaround (e.g., turn JavaScript off).

I have to say, I do like having a publisher that lets us get away with this kind of stuff.

Dori
Backup Brain
posted by Dori at 4:19 PM on April 6, 2001


What's Comet Cursor? Actually, I'm not sure I want to know.

But, more importantly,

After all, if hand-with-letter becomes the standard for a mailto:, who's to stop me from designing a hand-with-letter cursor for "new window" links?

Um, you are. Who's stopping you now from creating a microsoft-tags only web site, or NN4.x only javascript wizardry? You are, because you don't want to irritate your users.
posted by cCranium at 4:28 PM on April 6, 2001


"What's Comet Cursor?"

It's a program that infects your computer with spyware in exchange for having a cute-looking mouse pointer.
posted by CrayDrygu at 5:10 PM on April 6, 2001


Comet Cursor: just as good as Best Buy.

Also, cC: Who's stopping you now from creating a microsoft-tags only web site, or NN4.x only javascript wizardry? You are, because you don't want to irritate your users.

Indeed, but tons of people use silly add-ons such as Comet Cursor and irritate the heck out of their users. So, it's kind of out there now. (shrug)
posted by hijinx at 7:00 PM on April 6, 2001


Oh, were you citing prior art? I may have completely misunderstood your point, I'm sorry. Even if this thread isn't the true "discovery" of the design concept it's still a good idea, methinks.
posted by cCranium at 8:36 PM on April 6, 2001


It's a stupid script used by amateurs in a misguided attempt to "protect" their artwork. It has no effect on Macs, in part because Macs implement popup functionality by simply clicking and holding.
posted by Zeldman at 11:53 PM on April 6, 2001


Oh, were you citing prior art?

Naaah, just demonstrating that the ability to change cursors is out there... but the implementation is shoddy and, to my knowledge, you can't change cursors over links the way we've been discussing here.
posted by hijinx at 6:24 AM on April 7, 2001


I'm confused. I'll be okay though, probably.
posted by cCranium at 6:47 AM on April 7, 2001


As a "no-right click" user, I just gotta say, that about 75% of the people who frequent my graphic website don't have the 1st clue about any of the work-arounds that are mentioned here.
They can have the stuff, but it's the bandwidth thing that was killin' me.
"right-click" - save link - all over the freakin' place.
It was getting rather expensive, s'all.
posted by kam at 1:46 PM on April 7, 2001


Kam: a more effective way to prevent bandwidth theft is to put your images in a password-protected subdirectory, and put the password on the front page outside the subdirectory. That way your visitors can look at the images and save them to their own drive, but they can't link.
posted by frykitty at 4:33 PM on April 7, 2001


of coure you'd have to change the password every so often... otherwise you end up with this:

http://user:password@www.istealpeoplesbandwidth.com/image.gif
posted by benjh at 5:35 PM on April 7, 2001


Yes this is really annoying. The worst part is the finger-wagging messages that sometimes pop up in the javascript message boxes - you know -"no stealing!!!!!!" or "these images are copyrighted!"
A lot of times, I simply want the link or image to open in a new window, like everyone has said. Or maybe I want to save a graphic to zoom in and look at something. I'm not going to steal something and post it as my own. Also, all one has to do is turn off javascript. How hard is that to figure out? Anyone even remotely interested in looking at graphics and/or hoarding porn can figure this out. I suppose they think they'll thwart the casual clueless surfer. There are other ways to protect images (Flash comes to mind.)
posted by sixdifferentways at 12:41 PM on April 8, 2001


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