For all those who dislike the shouty nature of the new BBC News website, here’s a short guide on how to calm it down. Don’t give up at the first mention of Greasemonkey — it’s actually quite easy.
The calming down is based on the Greasemonkey script written by Tom Veil. I've enhanced it and the current version (1.86) dated 1 August 2010...
NB: The new layout is optimised for screens of 1280px width. It will work on screens which aren’t as wide, including 1024px, but the right-hand sidebar hangs off the edge. I judged that this was less important than retaining the left-hand menu and shortening the main article text. Ideally the design should not depend on a fixed width, but I don't plan to change this.
* These faults appear to be have been rectified by the BBC’s design team now, too
The script is a Greasemonkey script. This means it only works in browsers which support Greasemonkey scripts, and that means that you need Firefox or Chrome. There may be other eligible browsers too, but I've tested those two. An error in the BBC’s news-ticker code prevents it working correctly in IE (with Greasemonkey for IE).
When you install the script, it’s triggered when a BBC News page is loaded, and it moves all the content around. This means that the BBC don’t know you’re using it: you have downloaded their page before getting down to work on it. It also means that you see the page as they intended, in all its glory, before the script kicks in and calms it down.
All the links here will open in a new window or tab so you can keep this one open.
That’s all there is to it! Any time you visit a page whose address starts www.bbc.co.uk/news/, the script will kick in and do its stuff.
My script is called BBC News cleaner WIDE because it’s derived from Tom’s which he called BBC News cleaner, but mine handled screen widths better. You can have both installed, but it's probably not a good idea to have both acting at once, and you will need to disable one or the other. See below for information about disabling.
If you don’t have Candara or want a different font, then you can change it. When choosing a font, you may need to experiment: some fonts will be too wide and it will mess up the “Share/Read/Watch/Listen” box in the sidebar. Unfortunately Verdana is too wide; Tahoma and Cambria both work, but their bold versions may be too bold for some.
In the unlikely event that you want to stop using the script, there are a number of methods:
The script hides the sharing icons, but if you’re affected by adverts and want to disable the Facebook script completely (remember, the Greasemonkey script only runs once everything has reached your computer) then you can install another add-in for Firefox called AdBlock Plus from https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/search/?q=adblock+plus&cat=all. There’s a video at that link too, explaining how it works.
You can also amend the script yourself if you want it to do something different. The script is open-source, after all. But do keep the original acknowledgements at the top and add to them.
Please use the discussion forum on my userscript page at http://userscripts.org/scripts/discuss/82319: click “New topic” if there isn’t already a relevant one.
Add a review or become a fan at http://userscripts.org/scripts/show/82319
Versions of the script from Version 1.81 (30 July 2010) check for updates by querying a file on my server here. That means that I can tell how many pages have been viewed using this script. Included in that data is your IP address as that makes the internet work. The IP address per se doesn't personally identify you and (in the UK anyway, where I am) it requires a court order to do that. I don’t collect information about which pages you are viewing.