Does anyone use a homepage for their browser anymore?
The homepage seemed like all the rage back in the beginning of the web. Until IE 7 there was a function in JavasScript you could use, this never worked in Firefox but still lots of sites used it trying to get people to set their site as the browser homepage.
document.setHomePage("http://clarkbw.net/blog/"); /* score! */
I have been using about:blank as my homepage for so long now that homepages could have come back in style and I would have no idea. Even if they were cool again, I still have a number of issues with most homepage designs / implementations.
Slow. Even though google.com/ig is pretty fast to load, I still hate waiting for it to load. The blank page is almost instantaneous. A local page could be very fast as well. Maybe something could be done to get the browser to a usable state (non-blocking) if it knew it was loading a homepage?
Distracting. When I start the browser up I’m often headed somewhere, I have a goal in mind. Either I’m looking to find something new or I’m looking to go back to someplace I’ve been before. Almost never do I open up my browser and hope it will have things ready for me to do. And if I do see something of interest on my homepage odds are my ADD will kick in and I won’t have a clue what I was originally looking for; that’s the last thing I need.
Static. Ok it’s probably not a actual static page (do people do that?), the homepage could be one of those “awesome portals” of circa 1990s technology. From there I can collect lots of little widgets and attempt to arrange them all on my screen. Then those widgets could light up with lots of different information that isn’t static. Of course I’m still responsible for managing the widgets, finding new ones, removing old ones, and ordering them all so they fit nicely. Wheee!!
Pushing the Envelope with technology from 1980
It had some great effects because it was local and fast, you could search it fairly effectively with the browser search, and it had all the places you go to often (assuming you bookmark them). The only problem I saw was that it moved the problem of a static nature over to something else, your bookmarks manager; from there you now had to manage things on your homepage. And you had to bookmark everything you wanted to go back to.
That seemed close, except that I don’t like to manage my bookmarks, it’s about as fun as cleaning my room. Zero Management? Is that possible? I’m not sure it’s possible to have a useful homepage with zero management required, but I really want it.
What are people using?
What are people using for their current homepage and why? Is everyone using the about:blank like me? My mom uses whatever page ATT&T (her ISP) happened to set as the default for her homepage. Most of my friends haven’t changed their homepage from whatever the default was, when asked none of them really thought about the difference it might make.