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Sometimes I like to share interesting links from StackExchange with Reddit. This has many benefits:

  • Some Reddit users discover the site
  • It can improve ranking of the site in Google
  • It helps share content with interested users

I seem to remember in the past that when users with the Reddit toolbar landed on a StackExchange page, StackExchange would break out of the toolbar. This is fine.

However, now all that I see on Chrome, Firefox, and Safari browsers is an empty page. There's no indication that there is even content present. I've put a screenshot below.

To reproduce:

  1. Log into Reddit
  2. Go to preferences "clicking options: display links with a reddit toolbar"
  3. Go to http://www.reddit.com/tb/1lao2s

Questions

  • What caused this change in behaviour?
  • Is it possible to give users of the Reddit toolbar some indication that there is content on the page either by breaking the frame, showing the content, or really anything but just showing an empty frame?

reddit toolbar with no stack exchange page view

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  • It's probably a failing of the browsers that they don't give you a better indication of when content is blocked by X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN...hrm. </sidebar>
    – Tim Stone
    Aug 29, 2013 at 0:22
  • I wonder given that it fails ungracefully in every browser that I've tried, whether the HTML could be modified in such a way so that is breaks more gracefully. Aug 29, 2013 at 0:25
  • 2
    I've found the problem. It is happening in step 1, when you "log into Reddit". </snark> Aug 29, 2013 at 3:08
  • That's not a bug on "our" side, that's for sure. Aug 29, 2013 at 7:32
  • @Cody I've actually found reddit to be fairly good for growing some the newer beta stackexchange sites like cogsci.SE. Aug 29, 2013 at 10:34

1 Answer 1

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Check the Error Console of the browser to see what happened.

Chrome:

Firefox:

Maybe once upon a time there was code trying to "break out" of frames, but they replaced it with that header at some point.

Test case.

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  • 2
    Indeed - it used to display an alert warning that it would break out of frames, before actually breaking out. Now it just does nothing. Aug 29, 2013 at 7:40
  • @Bolt you remember when it was changed? Was it announced anywhere? Aug 29, 2013 at 7:41
  • No I don't :( I only noticed the new behavior a few weeks or months ago. Aug 29, 2013 at 7:42
  • It's been in for quite a while, as soon as major browser started supported the header for the majority of users, we started adding it. JavaScript breaking is just an endless was with the breaker-breakers, this isn't. Also, it prevents some security issues, see clickjacking and such for examples. Aug 29, 2013 at 10:02
  • So the reddit toolbar is a form of collateral damage in the war with sites that want to frame stackexchange? I wonder whether anyone has compared the traffic generated by reddit before and after the change. Aug 29, 2013 at 10:28
  • Thanks @Nick for the details explanation! :) Aug 29, 2013 at 11:13
  • @Jeromy that toolbar is just using ordinary <iframe> as far as I can see. Nowadays with more and more sites blocking the option to get framed using that header, the toolbar is pretty much useless. Aug 29, 2013 at 11:14

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