So now Google is on the "to hell with accessibility" bandwagon?

I mean, sure they’ve been there for a bit – but really? Dark gray text on darker gray for the menu bar? px metric fonts on damned near everything including except the input box and search results? Giant bandwidth hogging and annoying as hell AJAX for nothing “as you type” crap (They must be loving using five to six times their previous bandwidth on that one)…

It’s like Google is slowly forgetting what made them great in the first place, and instead want to adopt everything that made EVERY incarnation of “ask” over the past decade and a half an “also ran”.

This current incarnation being one step removed from “Ask Jeeves” results from eight years ago.

So… anybody know of a GOOD alternative? The time is ripe for someone to take a stab at them.

Of course with 43k of html and 240k of javascript for a page that consists of three menus, one input, and a submit… The ineptitude of their current front end coding staff knows no bounds. Of course, all you have to do is look at the contents of their HEAD tag to realize that; Sad when ANYONE who knows the first blasted thing about making HTML/CSS could cut their current site bandwidth in half or more in ten minutes. You get to the serp page and it’s even worse with 96k of markup over half of which is STATIC scripting and CSS inlined in the HEAD?

Bye Google, it was nice knowing you.

I’ve heard people (and by people I mean Stomme Poes) talk about Duck Duck Go as alternative. I’m not using it myself, but it looks pretty okay.

On my screen the contrast of that bar is pretty okay BTW, but I can imagine people with poor sight have a problem with it (white text would have been so much better for them).
But I like the complete new style of google, except for gmail; that big red (we’re talking very bright #ff0000 red here) compose button burns my eyes.

At least they don’t have an ever-changing (i.e. non-cacheable) full-screen background image (I’m looking at you, Bing!).

But yes, I miss the good old days of Google, where an input field was an input field, a link was a link and where the search results didn’t change if I accidentally his a letter on the keyboard while looking at them.

Auto-complete functions are just one of the pointless and annoying reasons why I use NoScript (which in turn is one reason why I’m stuck with Firefox, but that’s another topic). I think that Google might be A-B testing the banner colour because I sometimes see a white version, then a refresh loads the black version.

DuckDuckGo was featured in a PC magazine this month, but I have yet to try it. Their interest was in its promise of privacy (another thing with which Google struggles these days).

Deathshadow; the more of your comments that I read, the more I like you!

Unlikely to happen because the people who have problems with the way things are being done or the experience itself is nothing in comparison to those who could care less. When mere mortals refer to the internet normally the first word out of their mouth is the search engine they use and in most cases that is Google. That said with a code base as large as Googles certainly there is more two writing web pages then merely HTML and CSS. The end result may be HTML and CSS but behind the scenes normally there are many other limitations based on the infastructure. More likely though it was some big wig making the decisions and developers just carrying them through.

The new Google layout (that applies to Gmail, Google+, etc.) is horrendous -_-

Cons of DuckDuckGo:
Because many of the places it links to are SSL, it’s slower. Sometimes also loading DDG itself is slow, though it’s definitely not like people are just sitting on their butts about this: a small dedicated group of developers are constantly trying out new things and improving old ones.

It finds less. Not much of a con though since you can get results through it from all the other search engines anyway.

For best results, make it the default search engine in your address bar.

This allows you to type the shortcuts directly into your search bar.

So I know I want a wikipedia page on Apple Computer:
!w Apple Computer
takes me to

I like that the specs of languages show up with !perl, !javascript, whatever. I like I can type in an ISDN without getting results about ISDN or other spam, but just that book… that I can do like urlencode someurlwithfunkychars or whatever and get an encoded URL.

I want whatever the first result would be for some given search (maybe I’ve searched it before and it’s always the same?)
takes me to

It has partnerships with other sites, like Wolfram|Alpha for computational stuff (I type in !wa weather sliedrecht for current temps etc), Punchfork for recipes, tagdef if you want to search Twot hashtags (still haven’t found what’s useful about those tho), etc.

I like that if I type in something that does bring me to the duckduckgo page, I can keyboard navigate whatever… the zero-click info box is awesome (and often StackOverflow threads show up there… where instead of going to StackOverflow, I can hit the + sign at the top and just read the answer).

I like the little icons that show up on the right… it was strange how quickly I started relying on them to find sites fast.

You can either allow JS and cookies to set preferences, or just set them in the url as params instead.

Yes, it’s one of the few sites I have whitelisted for Javascript on.

And when I think it’s not likely to have useful results (because let’s say I’m searching something in Dutch which I expect google to have more of) I do !gnl (for before my search. Google knows that DuckDuckGo typed in those search terms, but not that myIP/myBrowser/mySettings/myOS/myLocation did.

“to hell with accessibility bandwagon”

In answer to that I do like how Google makes transfer of web site ownership so easy. Just basic sites in their free builder, but all the new owner needs is a Google / Gmail account. Pretty slick I thought.

As far as the home page goes, I do not hang around much there.

Can you explain why ems are necessary? My understanding is that it was because Internet Explorer could only zoom percentage based fonts.
Though, I believe this is only a problem with IE6 and below. Could the decision to use PX fonts be related to dropping IE6 support?

  • E

IE has little to do with it. EM fonts automagically enlarge on systems or browsers that support a different default size… Like my computer which is set to 120dpi/“Windows Large fonts” / “windows 7 medium fonts” – WITHOUT diving for the zoom every page I land on.

Some devices default to 72dpi… some 75… Some 120… some 144! … and on windows you can customize the default size, and you can change the default size in pretty much every browser. %/EM inherits off the base size… px stays it’s crappy little size.

The entire idea is to make a page that people DON’T have to dive for the zoom just to try and use – ESPECIALLY when you have the ****tarded fixed width layouts that are either uselessly small, or don’t fit the screen when you do zoom to make it usable.

px fonts should be restricted to the handful of cases where you have an image interaction involved (like say, underneath gilder-levin image replacement) – CRAPPING out an entire website in 12px or smaller == /FAIL/ at web design so hard the nimrods who do such need to do the world a favor, back the devil away from the keyboard, and take up something a bit less detail oriented like bocce or horseshoes.

Though, I believe this is only a problem with IE6 and below. Could the decision to use PX fonts be related to dropping IE6 support?

Actually, this is still present in IE9, so IE10 wouldn’t surprise me. IE Team believes a pixel is a set (not relative) unit and so don’t adjust with text-enlarge.

Also, certain browsers coughChromecough don’t let users set a default font size of the browser itself. This means those users are always diving for the zoom no matter what. Another example of Google waving the bird around at certain people (mentioned also in the recent “rant” by a Google employee about… it’s rambling, something about Google should be building platforms like Amazon or whatever).

Nor do these browsers give you a “Zoom text” option like Firefox does, preferring instead to make you zoom the whole darned thing and then scroll horizontally. :bouncy3: Accessibility? What language is that? :unhappy:


This is probably what goes through their [browser vendors] heads when design such things:

<mindless>All accessibility advocates are nothing but a pain in the neck; so why on earth would anyone want to zoom out or zoom in or change settings that’s far too sensible! And who ever heard of a person that surfed with JS disabled surely they are like suffering from crazy delusions and living in their own little wacky world, where they believe they are human. We want more silly pizazz…</mindless>[/ot]

Even More Off Topic

Me? Not at all. I’m firmly convinced I’m half-bear, half-Vulcan - and the more I see of that kind of human, the less likely I am to want to be one. :cool:

DeathShadow, thank for the clarification on EMs. I was misinformed from a usually reliable source. -E