Profile picture for Pasadenan

What good does it do to have an Adertisement based revenue model if we have to block the ads?

Zillow delays the loading of the scripts for posting until last, after the advertisements are loaded.  Zillow has a defective script that cannot run on slow connections (dial up).

So, in order to load the script for posting, Zillow recommended I get the "ad blocker" add-on for FireFox and block the ads.

Why not just load the script for posting prior to loading the ads and advertisement scripts?

Really, what are the advertisers paying for if we never see any ads?  And for those of use that have to have images off???  Don't the advertisers think that Alt-Text is worthwhile rather than having a percentage of visitors never see any of their ad?
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December 20 2008 - Seattle
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Profile picture for Pasadenan
By the way, I did appreciate the information about the ad-blocker; not only does it allow me to selectively not load things I have no interest in, it also allows me to see a complete list of everything that was loaded and whether they are html, scripts, images...  It makes the browser much more useable.
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December 22 2008
Sunnyview: Thanks so much for the kind comment. It means a lot to me :) (and boy is it easier to read constructive feedback like yours, much appreciated!)

Mina: I'm responsible for the front end (HTML, CSS, JavaScript). More specifically, I am responsible for implementing the designs given to me, which I have input on, but ultimately a lot of decisions were made before I even joined the project. I am doing the best I can, and always try to put what's best for the user first.
That said, I'm not trying to absolve myself of any guilt whatsoever. Just this week, I've fixed two bugs that I broke _myself_, unwittingly, during the course of the horrendous hours I put in during November. We're all doing the best we can, I hope you can forgive us our mistakes. I am not alone among Zillowites listening to you and others' comments.

All: We did drop the ball on getting the community involved in the process, I won't dispute that. There are a number of headaches we could have avoided, in hindsight, had we involved more users / run more tests, etc, etc. I love hindsight, don't you?

Please don't hesitate to offer your constructive criticism! Together we can continue to make Zillow great.

(oof, that last line sounded cheesy, didn't it? forgive me, lack of sleep)

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December 23 2008
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I also should mention that Firefox is NOT my primary web-browser; Cscape Netscape 4.04 is.

It runs much faster than Firefox for most things, but it doesn't allow access to the Zillow maps and searches, so I use Firefox for Zillow.  Otherwise, it is mostly Netscape 4.04.

As they say, if it isn't broken, the programers will certainly try to break it.
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December 22 2008
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We don't want you to use a "magic wand" to make dial-up faster; we just want you to stop running unnecessary lengthy scripts that do nothing useful; or at least load the scripts we need prior to starting to run the useless scripts so that we can abort them.
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December 22 2008
Profile picture for Pasadenan
Now, regarding the posting script being "cached"; it isn't true; it will not run if it does not load a fresh copy; I have no idea why.
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December 22 2008
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I appreciate the forthright answer DanielS. We are a frustrated group of posters at the moment. If you met us under different circumstances, you would like us all better I swear :) Your efforts are appreciated. Like you, I want Zillow to be the #1 real estate site in the US. The place to go for information and real estate discussion. I think most folks here will accept changes as long as the format still works. Functionality has been a problem in this update so we are trying to hang in there while you adjust things as possible. This format change has not been as seamless as some of the others in the past. I really don't want to go somewhere else. Please keep up your hard work and listen to the comments of the people who use this site the most. Let us help you bring more people to the site and still bring more new users onboard to help the ZIllow format survive and thrive.
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December 22 2008
Profile picture for Pasadenan
Clarification: Mozilla 5.0; (Firefox 1.5.0.4) I just read it wrong being in a hurry to answer.

And the problem is not the time to "load" the script; it is that the some odd Zillow script takes way to long to RUN and I get the error message "unresponsive script"...  I used to select "stop"; but now I select "cancel".  So, if it is really "cached", I guess I should just edit it so that it stops wasting all that time doing nothing important.

And regarding the operating system, the fastest machine I have is a Pentinum II 166 MZ running DOS-6.  It performs everything I need 100 times faster than the 1.6 GZ machine.

That's what happens when programers forget how to write efficent code and are only concerned about cluttering things up.

And there are other reasons for turning images off.  My Braille Embosser certainly cannot do anything with the images, and the Screen readers and Braille Displays have no use for images either.

The problem with upgrading hardware is it makes drivers for older periferals difficult to obtain, and there is no replacement for the older periferals, even if I had 30 million dollars to replace it.

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December 22 2008
Profile picture for mina36
So Daniel, you are responsible for this ? Brave man to come on here and admit that. We hate this new format. In case you haven't noticed, it's a failure. The posters who made this place what it was are LEAVING. Many are going to your competition, like Trulia. Gotta make you feel good, right?
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December 21 2008
I'm the front end developer responsible for the Advice project. I was also the one who suggested you could use Adblock Plus to solve your issues. I am listening to your feedback, as well as everyone else. I am working as hard as I can to make it right.
First, a couple clarifications: We do not "delay" loading the script in any intentional way. Sequentially, it is behind some of the ad scripts, true. Any delay is ultimately a result of browser behavior, such as concurrent downloads per hostname, relative speed of the script engine, and so forth. There are ways to mitigate these conditions, and we do take several already.

I did not recommend an adblocker "in order to load the script for posting". I recommended it to avoid a multitude of extraneous HTTP requests that was prompting you to cancel script processing as soon as the middle column rendered, thereby allowing the script to finish itself. Your situation is a bit extreme, as I understood your email. Dialup is not fun, nor is Windows 98 (and the likely specs of a computer still running it). I'd be interested to know where you got a copy of "Firefox 5.0", too.

The commenting works fine in most cases. There are optimizations I am looking at, but I do not possess a magic wand capable of making dialup or a computer any faster. And they will not take effect as immediately as installing an adblocker will.

By being patient and allowing scripts to fully download, I would wager most issues disappear. The scripts get cached too, so the next time they are requested no actual data transfer occurs. If they never finish downloading, however, they never get cached.

Thank you for your feedback.
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December 20 2008
 
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