Why is Amazon.com stealing my browser focus?
March 10, 2004 9:10 AM   Subscribe

BrowserFilter: Sometime during the past week, Amazon pages developed an annoying habit. When they're finished loading, they take the focus away from whatever page I'm reading. For example, if I'm typing a question in AskMe and an Amazon page completes its load, IE switches to the Amazon page while I'm typing. This sucks. How do I stop this? It's driving me crazy!
posted by jdroth to Computers & Internet (14 answers total)
 
Install Microsoft's TweakUI (Windows 2000, XP), go to the General tab and check Prevent applications from stealing focus. Hit OK. Done.
posted by Danelope at 9:27 AM on March 10, 2004


And, as a bonus, once you've installed TweakUI you can do all sorts of other cool tricks.

Why it doesn't come automatically as a part of Windows I'll never know.
posted by Coffeemate at 9:30 AM on March 10, 2004


TweakUI isn't a standard feature because many of the features that it enables don't undergo QA by Microsoft. They're untested, to a large degree.

Having said that, I've never had a problem using the focus stealing prevention setting, and it's one of the first things I set on any Windows box I'm going to use.

Now as to why this started happening "some time last week," I suspect because Amazon could have added some JavaScript to focus a text input field on page load. IE, unfortunately, takes this as an invitation to focus the window as well. That's the most absurd behavior I can think of -- you don't need window focus to set carat focus -- but in my experience IE has always had a lot of obnoxious focus behavior.
posted by majick at 9:42 AM on March 10, 2004


Thanks for the info, majick.
posted by Coffeemate at 10:02 AM on March 10, 2004


Danelope,
I'm not certain that Tweak UI would resolve that problem as it's geared towards inter-application (as opposed to intra-application) focus-stealing. Chances are good that you're right, but as a frequent multiple-windower myself, I suggest jdroth take this opportunity to try a different browser (I'm thinking of Mozilla, especially with multizilla installed), if he hasn't already, for the wonder that is tabbed browsing. Periodically, I find myself slipping back into steady IE usage and then remember how great tabs are and switch back immediately.
posted by Sinner at 10:27 AM on March 10, 2004


Thanks for the help, everyone. I'll be fixing this later today.
posted by jdroth at 10:28 AM on March 10, 2004


Yeah, sinner, the setting looks like it prevents inter-application focus stealing.

I'm well aware of the wonder that is tabbed browsing. At home I use Safari on my 1.8ghz g5. Here at work I use IE on my 300mhz Celeron. :)

Any recommendations for a nice Safari-like browser for a 300mhz Celeron?
posted by jdroth at 11:00 AM on March 10, 2004


Yeah, sinner, the setting looks like it prevents inter-application focus stealing.

But it works nonetheless. Thanks!
posted by jdroth at 11:05 AM on March 10, 2004


I'm not certain that Tweak UI would resolve that problem as it's geared towards inter-application (as opposed to intra-application) focus-stealing.

Every machine on which I've employed the TweakUI fix in the past has blocked focus stealing of any kind, regardless of configuration. As far as I know, window focus and carat focus are functions governed by the windowing API itself, and TweakUI effectively swaps that event for the taskbar blink. The windows inside MDI applications (i.e. documents open inside of Word, images inside of Photoshop) may follow a different set of rules, but distinct IE windows operate on the base window class.

At least, this was true a decade ago when I was a Windows application developer.
posted by Danelope at 11:31 AM on March 10, 2004


D and J - Sounds like Danelope had a hell of a lot more of a leg to stand on than me... Hopefully, suggesting "The Mozilla Solution" remains within the Ask.Me acceptable-response parameters. Either way, glad it's working for you.
posted by Sinner at 2:14 PM on March 10, 2004


Maybe not that helpful, but I should point out that Opera has a user preference option for this, if your willing to install a new browser. I've been told Opera tends to work well on older computers, too.
posted by kickingtheground at 3:27 PM on March 10, 2004


kickingtheground - where is the preference in Opera? I'm not seeing it.
posted by modofo at 3:51 PM on March 10, 2004


File -> Preferences -> Multimedia -> JavaScript options
posted by kickingtheground at 4:40 PM on March 10, 2004


Suggestions? I find Firefox very speedy on this 300MHz laptop. It's MUCH lighter weight than Mozilla.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 5:27 PM on March 10, 2004


« Older Excel Charts   |   Sharing Firefox and Mozilla bookmarks Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.