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I've run into an annoying type of pop-up and can't figure out how to suppress it. The problem is links at certain sites related to web site navigation that activate when you hover on them. It happens with all browsers. I don't recall this behavior previously, but I'm suddenly running into it with multiple browsers and multiple sites.

The amazon.com and walmart.com sites are at least two where I'm running into this. On both, there is a row of shopping "helper" links (circled in the pictures below), near the top of product pages. These are site navigation menus. If you click on one of those links, it takes you to a dedicated page.

But there's a hover "feature". If you hover the mouse over most of these links, it pops up a window with a menu of links, an abbreviated version of the "click-on" page. That window covers a large portion of the screen, and remains displayed as long as the mouse is over any portion of the pop-up window. There are other similar "hover booby traps" scattered throughout the page.

The Problem

The problem is that there is no hover delay, so merely passing over one of these links is treated as a hover. Accidentally passing over anything in this mine field suddenly obscures the page with a giant navigation menu (or other content), that continues to block the page until the mouse cursor is moved outside of that window. Even worse, I sometimes find myself on a new page related to some garbage in the pop-up window.

My main browser is Firefox (V62), but I've replicated it with Chromium and Vivaldi, in both Windows 7 and Linux, as well as Internet Explorer in Windows. Daniel B commented that he also replicated it with Edge. (Earlier, it appeared that the Microsoft browsers behaved differently, but that turns out not to be the case.)

Questions:

  • Can the pop-up mechanism that is employed be easily determined from the web page source code for the example links provided below?
  • Is there a way to suppress this action in Firefox or a Chromium-based browser?

Update

@Kinnectus commented that Javascript is likely used to show/hide the "pop-up" content. I disabled Javascript on those pages and that is the mechanism. Unfortunately disabling Javascript also kills other important functionality on the page. So the mechanism has been confirmed, but any solution would need to be more surgical than disabling Javascript.



How to reproduce

I've discovered that reproducing the problem isn't as straightforward as I thought. The web sites appear to tailor the content based on your prior history on the site, whether you're logged into the site, and even the route used to navigate to the product page (likely the source of earlier confusion in replicating the symptoms).

I'll provide a specific link for each site as an example, but the variation may limit some reader's ability to answer. For example, I tested the direct links below on my wife's computer and got different page features before noticing that the site had "remembered" her, and automatically logged her in. The screens changed when I logged her out.

Here is a product page at walmart.com, with the shopping helper row circled:

enter image description here

Hovering or passing over one of the circled links:

enter image description here

Here is a product page at amazon.com with the shopping helper row circled:

enter image description here

Hovering or passing over one of the circled links:

enter image description here

On all product pages at Amazon, regardless of route, the Account & Lists link in the upper right exhibits the hover action, but I can't be sure it is the same mechanism.



Research

Researching this, I haven't found online discussion about this problem with navigation menus (but it does seem to be very recent, which may also be indicated by the fact that going to a product page via an old bookmark or history link often doesn't exhibit the symptom, but getting to the same page via a fresh search does). There is, however, discussion related to pop-ups of other kinds, with solutions such as:

  • Changing the mouse characteristics, like MouseHoverTime. However, I don't want to degrade performance on legitimate hover options, like tooltips. Even if that is actually a solution, MouseHoverTime is a Windows registry setting, and I'm not aware of an equivalent setting in Linux.
  • Blocking pop-ups. These are part of the site navigation, and not the kind of thing blockers focus on. I have the highest-rated pop-up and ad blockers installed and they don't affect it.

    I installed Poper Blocker, which can also block overlays. It didn't detect these on its own, and navigating to the context menu was treated as navigating off the window, so there wasn't a way to get Poper Blocker to check while the window was present. This doesn't definitively rule out overlays, but Poper Blocker is the only add-on I'm aware of that blocks them, so either way, this doesn't lead to a solution.

  • Blocking specific URLs. These pop-ups aren't URLs.
  • This question on the Mozilla support forum is about URL pop-ups, but the accepted answer discusses some changes in Firefox V61 that can be fixed by modifying userChrome.css. I have no idea whether that's related, and it wouldn't explain the similar problem with Chromium-based and Microsoft browsers. I'm also not a programmer, so even if that is a solution, it wasn't helpful to me.
  • I've verified that triggering by passing over is not a browser malfunction due to add-ons.
  • I went to a product page, hovered over the links, and nothing happened. – Ramhound Oct 21 '18 at 2:37
  • @Ramhound, I tested it with several browsers (Firefox & Vivaldi) in Windows 7 (the only version I have), and get the same thing, although I found that not every one of the links in that bar trigger on hover. It would be interesting to figure out what the differences are between our systems because it sounds like something in your setup is the "solution". – fixer1234 Oct 21 '18 at 3:47
  • Didn't I mention I was using Edge? However, I use Chromium at work, and at times have looked at Amazon, never had the problems you describe. – Ramhound Oct 21 '18 at 5:06
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    Nothing different for me with IE or Edge, pages behave exactly the same compared to Firefox. The Amazon hover effect has a short delay (100-200ms I guess) while Walmart’s happens instantly. Walmart’s hover effect is broken though and it disappears frequently when trying to move the mouse into the popup. // You can always block these popups—or better yet, the trigger elements—yourself using an advanced ad blocker. – Daniel B Oct 22 '18 at 7:03
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    The feature you are referring to - that enables a "delay" to display the content only if the mouses hovers over for longer than a defined period - is called "hover intent". The name says it all. It is a JavaScript solution within a webpage source. Without using a browser plugin to either target specific tags and sites/domains, there's very little one can do... disable Javascript for the domain? Is there a plugin that can do that?! P.s. They're not popups. they're usually hidden HTML (already loaded or via AJAX) that is shown/hidden using JavaScript. – Kinnectus Oct 22 '18 at 7:26
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What you describe appears to be a natural design of website navigation/design and the browser simply following what your mouse is asking of it - to show a navigation menu when your mouse hovers over an element designed to fire the showing of the element, and when the mouse leaves the trigger element(s) the content disappears (or hides).

Having content flash open/closed whenever the user did not intend for this action - e.g. when simply moving their mouse about the screen for any reason than not wanting to navigate the site - prompted a solution. From as early as I can remember, it is called hoverIntent (demo: https://briancherne.github.io/jquery-hoverIntent/). A jQuery plugin that developers can include into their source code that can target elements and, when the target element is hovered over for a defined minimum amount of time, fire the hover effect desired by the developer - for example, show a navigation menu.

A demonstration of the problem, although specifically not using the original hoverIntent plugin, can be demonstrated here (source: http://www.csslab.cl/2015/05/07/hover-intent-moderno-en-menues-dropdown/)

Problem

enter image description here

Result

enter image description here

Fix

Unfortunately, as the functionality of the website is entirely at the mercy of the developer(s), it is very difficult to override intended functionality without the use of browser plugins. One such plugin, which seems to offer the ability to selectively override JavaScript and CSS for individual sites, is Kyle Paulsen's Resource Override, at least, for Chrome (https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/resource-override/pkoacgokdfckfpndoffpifphamojphii?hl=en).

Kyle Paulsen provides a YouTube tutorial which goes through all the possible capabilities - looks a very promising solution and looks like it could be fairly easy to pick up: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=62QIWAP9mMM.

  • It looks like you were right about the Javascript. This identifies the source of the problem, but not being a programmer, I don't know enough to implement this suggested solution. +1 for identifying the nature of the problem and getting me closer to a solution. – fixer1234 Oct 23 '18 at 7:52
  • The last video link sounded like English, but I couldn't understand any of it. I tried plugging it into Google Translate, but that didn't have a target language of "not a programmer". :-) This looks like potentially good stuff, though, for someone with some programming and web site background. – fixer1234 Oct 23 '18 at 8:18

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