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Advanced Internet Usage (Experts ONLY!)

Here is an advanced internet usage tip for extreme internet experts.

If you aren't an internet expert, close this page immediately! This tip is too intense for you!

This tip is my single best-kept secret for achieving extreme productivity on and off the internet.


Part I: Javascript, the Divine Panacea

Have you ever had some sort of page that you want to open several links from? For example, maybe you have a list of tasks and you'd like to go through four or five of them and possibly make comments on a couple.

Pretty common, right? If you're anything like me, you probably do this literally hundreds of times a day, whether the page with a list of links is on Reddit, or on Hacker News, or on Google, or occasionally something work-related. But browsers are basically terrible at this!

  • You can't really use the "Back" button to do this because it doesn't work right if you did something like submit a form on the page you clicked, or followed another link deeper.
  • You could use "History" to go back several steps, but that's incredibly inefficient from a command input perspective. Your time is valuable! You can't waste it opening menus!
  • The navigation action itself and page re-rendering is also slow...
  • ...and you frequently lose state after the navigation completes!

One excellent way to fix this is for every web page on the internet to implement a web browser in Javascript inside the web page. All it would take is for thousands and thousands of sites to each write tens of thousands of lines of Javascript duplicating the features already present in your browser so that links pop up inline when you click them, and then you'd sort of be able to do this a little better, some of the time, although other behaviors would break, and it wouldn't work if the link pointed across domains.

This is certainly a noble goal, and many users have requested that we, too, implement a browser within the browser using Javascript (see T1960 and T10469 for two examples). Fear not! We have already begun implementing a browser inside the browser and will pursue this goal relentlessly until everyone using this particular web application has access to a sub-browser within their browser when clicking links!

However, this will take some time, and other sites will be even slower than us, because they don't know this great productivity tip. While we're waiting for every site on the internet to implement a browser inside the browser, what if there was a clever hack we could apply to let the browser solve this problem? You might reasonably imagine that browsers probably aren't very good at opening web pages and I'm well aware this sounds ridiculous, but bear with me. This daring, filthy hack is my ultimate internet productivity tip.


Part II: A Grotesque Abuse

Here's the ugly, jury-rigged hack you can use as a temporary stopgap until every web page implements a sub-browser in Javascript. It starts with this:

  • Get a mouse with at least four buttons, like the one shown above. For best results, get the exact mouse shown above. The Kensington Optical Elite is absolutely the most elite mouse ever manufactured.
  • Get some software that lets you remap the mouse buttons based on which application is in the foreground. On Mac OS X, USB Overdrive works great.
  • Configure things so the mouse works like this when your browser is the foreground application:
    • Right Click means Open Link in New Tab. On Mac OS X, this is Command-Click.
    • Mouse 3 (under your thumb) means Close Current Tab. On Mac OS X, this is Command-W.
    • Mouse 4 (opposite your thumb) means Next Tab. On Mac OS X in Safari, this is Command-Shift-Right Arrow.

Now, forget your outmoded way of using the internet. That life is behind you. From this day forward, you use the internet like this:

  • To follow a link from a context you want to return to, Right Click it into a new tab, then press Mouse 4 to switch to it.
  • When you're done with the link, press Mouse 3 to close the tab and go back to wherever you were, without losing state, instantly!

If you have a list of links, like several tasks you want to follow up on:

  • Right Click each link in rapid succession to open them in tabs.
  • In one smooth, uninterrupted motion, use Mouse 4 to switch to the first link.
  • When you're done with it, press Mouse 3 to close it.
  • The browser will immediately switch to the next tab. Deal with that one. When done, press Mouse 3 again.
  • Keep going. Nothing can stop you. You have never been this productive before.
  • After you've dealt with everything, you're left back on the original tab, in the exact context you started in.

Even though it's relying on the browser to provide browsing features, this is objectively and unquestionably the most efficient, most productive way to use the internet.

Written by epriestley on Feb 29 2016, 1:35 AM.
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Finally, I can internet at 100% efficiency.

I look forward to this post surviving a thousand years and being the only cultural reference future humans have post apocalyptic calamity for 21st century human ingenuity.

To those future "humans" looking back on us with an amusement reserved for children and fools dare I say: heed this warning

internet expert, close this page immediately! This tip is too intense for you!

If you haven't done levels 1-9 of Internet then the facts revealed in this level (10 I presume) can literally kill you.

Also, this comment is copyright protected and you all owe me money for this enlightment.

This is almost exactly how I use the internets. Did I win at interneting?

But for even more elite productivity, all web pages should implement command interpreters so we can have CLIs in our web pages.

New tab?

$('link').open()

Form submit?

cat /dev/random | $('#order-form).submit()

Download? see curl

oh wait... someone already did. Oh yeah and I forgot that the browser developers thought of that too... I guess I better order an elite mouse now.

chad added a comment.Aug 25 2017, 1:39 AM

I presume people aren't editing this?

not editing, just got here from email + clicked "view history".

chad added a comment.Aug 25 2017, 1:46 AM

it's cascading. I'll fix