Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 2nd Jan 2016 19:09 UTC
Internet & Networking

Let me start by saying that beautiful websites come in all sizes and page weights. I love big websites packed with images. I love high-resolution video. I love sprawling Javascript experiments or well-designed web apps.

This talk isn't about any of those. It's about mostly-text sites that, for unfathomable reasons, are growing bigger with every passing year.

While I'll be using examples to keep the talk from getting too abstract, I'm not here to shame anyone, except some companies (Medium) that should know better and are intentionally breaking the web.

This is an amazing and hilarious read we can all agree with it. I doubt there's going to be any pointless bickering over this one.

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Comment by smashIt
by smashIt on Sat 2nd Jan 2016 19:34 UTC
smashIt
Member since:
2005-07-06

don't read the article, watch the talk:
https://vimeo.com/147806338

it's hilarious ;)

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by smashIt
by Carewolf on Sat 2nd Jan 2016 22:48 UTC in reply to "Comment by smashIt"
Carewolf Member since:
2005-09-08

don't read the article, watch the talk:
https://vimeo.com/147806338

it's hilarious ;)

But using a video when text would do is one of the problems ;)

Reply Score: 9

RE[2]: Comment by smashIt
by Kochise on Sun 3rd Jan 2016 10:39 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by smashIt"
Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03
Comment by Morgan
by Morgan on Sat 2nd Jan 2016 19:43 UTC
Morgan
Member since:
2005-06-29

I wrote a similar piece a while back (though not as humorous), focusing on search engines rather than the web as a whole.

https://mojowebhosting.net/blog/simplicity-in-search-engine-design/

Reply Score: 3

Slow clap
by leos on Sat 2nd Jan 2016 21:57 UTC
leos
Member since:
2005-09-21

Wow. that article is just brilliant and spot on. Rare to see a design critique that has real objective points and funny too.

Reply Score: 8

RE: Slow clap
by mdsama on Sun 3rd Jan 2016 03:08 UTC in reply to "Slow clap"
mdsama Member since:
2005-07-08

Completely agree! I think... Why "slow clap"? That usually connotes sarcasm right?

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Slow clap
by Morgan on Sun 3rd Jan 2016 05:13 UTC in reply to "RE: Slow clap"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Why "slow clap"? That usually connotes sarcasm right?


Not originally. The sarcastic connotation is a modern thing, and like many "internet memes" it actually originated on Saturday Night Live[1].

[1] http://snltranscripts.jt.org/90/90lclapping.phtml

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Slow clap
by BeamishBoy on Mon 4th Jan 2016 05:03 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Slow clap"
BeamishBoy Member since:
2010-10-27

Not originally. The sarcastic connotation is a modern thing, and like many "internet memes" it actually originated on Saturday Night Live[1].


Completely untrue. Slow handclaps have been used, for example, to devastating effect for decades in the UK any time a trade union wishes to humiliate a government minister who happens to be giving a speech. The Women's Institute have been doing it for a long, long time and supporters of David Lloyd George used it as a device at political gatherings at least as far back as the early 1900s. It's also been a common occurrence at test cricket since at least the early 1930s.

Edited 2016-01-04 05:08 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Slow clap
by Alfman on Mon 4th Jan 2016 07:00 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Slow clap"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

BeamishBoy,

Completely untrue. Slow handclaps have been used, for example, to devastating effect for decades in the UK any time a trade union wishes to humiliate a government minister who happens to be giving a speech.


CLAP...CLAP...CLAP...

Nice speech, BeamishBoy. Very nice.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Slow clap
by Morgan on Mon 4th Jan 2016 18:34 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Slow clap"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Thank you for the education, but I was referring to its sarcastic use on the Internet, which I believe did not exist back then. But if you have a citation proving the Internet was a thing in 1900, please by all means enlighten us!

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Slow clap
by Carewolf on Mon 4th Jan 2016 18:10 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Slow clap"
Carewolf Member since:
2005-09-08

It can be both. There are at least two common ways to do slow clap. The sarcastic slow clap, which is like a normal claping except slower, and mockingly polite but unimpressed, and the "OMG I can't believe this" slow clap, where you clap slower only because you are putting so much more force into each clap, the latter is sometimes also illustrated with a GIF from Citizen Kane.

Reply Score: 3

Hilarious?
by grat on Sun 3rd Jan 2016 06:42 UTC
grat
Member since:
2006-02-02

... no, that's the last word I would use.

It's too damned sad. HTML5 started as a decent idea, but it's turned out to be an answer to a question no one was asking.

Any web site that breaks the "scroll" paradigm, I stop visiting.

I have a reasonably fast internet connection at both home and work, but many of these sites completely break my tablet (Nexus 9), and on my desktop machine, I feel like I'm trying to surf the web on an IMAX screen.

Reply Score: 5

Message I've been saying...
by deathshadow on Mon 4th Jan 2016 05:11 UTC
deathshadow
Member since:
2005-07-12

For nearly a decade... and it's reaching absurd proportions where to deliver 6k of plaintext and four or five content images people are sleazing out two megabytes in 100 files BEFORE they even put the bloated social media plugins or advertiser code on a site.

Those latter two alone being so ineptly written they've hundreds of K of scripttardery doing tens of K's job... and most people putting them into sites not knowing enough about how they work to realize the difference between "blocking" and "non-blocking", much less when the former is acceptable or the latter is possible!

Though really most of the blame lays squarely at the feet of people who don't know enough about HTML, CSS, JavaScript or accessibility to be building websites in the first place... much less disastrously BAD advice coming from what people are treating as legitimate sources; see W3Schools, CSSLint and now Google PageSpeed hopping on that bandwagon; since PageSpeed has gone from being about making fast websites to trying to dupe people into using their "service" (that makes crappy sites mediocre and good sites slower) or shelling out for a CDN.

You'd think one of their major markets of revenue was advertisements for CDN's.

Or how both PageSpeed and CSSLint have started saying "don't use tags as selectors" and suggesting you throw extra classes on everything to "speed up rendering" -- since I'm so sure bloating it out with extra markup is going to make the page load faster. NOT. It reminds me of the anti-table idiots who turned "don't use tables for layout" into "never use tables"; completely missing the message. They'd start making up outright BS about how tables "render slowly" -- if a 386/40 running win 3.1 and IE4 could handle a table, that's a halfwit unfounded claim in the age of multi-ghz multi-core handhelds. In that same way, if the "painfully slow" IE5 could handle all sorts of tag based complex selectors on a P133, I have to call bull on the tag selector nonsense too. You know what makes pages slower? MORE CODE!!! - which throwing multiple classes at EVERYTHING does. Just look at the average turdpress template or what those OOCSS nutjobs are doing for stunning exemplars of that.


This is why I've made a website (just launched last month) all about gutting out the bloat.

http://www.cutcodedown.com

Where I'm pretty much going on the attack against these practices. From HTML 5 being a empty shell of false promises, ignorance, and folly -- created by people who didn't know enough about HTML to even be creating its successor:
http://www.cutcodedown.com/article/whats_wrong_with_HTML_5

To common mistakes the ignorant PSD jockeys who've deluded themselves into thinking their "art" is web design, and the front end coders that blindly slap HTML together any old way:
http://www.cutcodedown.com/article/whats_wrong_with_YOUR_website_in...

To outlining some of the good practices and methodologies they spent nearly a decade telling us to do that people just flat out ignored.
http://www.cutcodedown.com/article/progressive_enhancement

I even take it to the ignorant mouth-breathing dumbass nonsense known as "frameworks" -- since they make more work, not less. I'll never understand how starting out with more code that makes you write two to three times the markup needed before you even write your own CSS, that quite often uses markup to do CSS' job, JavaScript to do CSS' job, and pisses all over the simplest of accessibility norms is "easier" or "better".
http://www.cutcodedown.com/article/HTML_CSS_and_JS_frameworks

Plainly put, way too many people who can't be bothered to learn the underlying languages and instead are diving for tools that result in fat bloated slow loading messes that are little more than a giant middle finger to users.

You can plainly see that if you grill one of these artists under the delusion they are "designers" about things like emissive colourspace, the WCAG, or JOE FORBID actual usability studies like those made by NNGroup. The typical response ranging from "what's that?!?" to a tirade of hate that makes this post and the contents of my site look like a romantic love letter to Bootstrap.

Which I call bootcrap for a reason; find a stick to scrape that off with before you track it all over the carpets.

Even my site complining about this bloat suffers from some it due to things like the social media plugins and adsense code. Without those a normal page on the site with 16k of plaintext and two content images rarely busts past the 96k mark in 8 files... that's a single handshake block! Add just a button for Google plus, a like/share for facebook, and a disqus box, and boom, that same lean and fast page becomes 3.1 megabytes in 56 files!!! HERPAFREAKINGDERP!!! (I almost shit a brick when I saw that the first time).

I've only alleviated that on the speed of the page loads by making sure that all the non-blocking scripts are set to async, loading all scripts right before </body> instead of inside <head></head> or before the DOM is complete, and dynamically adding some of the scripts AFTER the DOM is built... so you still get the meat and content of the page fully working and styled BEFORE the extra crap wastes a year and a half loading. (thankfully MOST of the bloated scripts like adsense and disqus are so common on websites, they're usually already in folks cache)

I'm just glad I don't have the overhead of bloated ineptly developed insecure rubbish like Turdpress under the hood, bloated frameworks like bootcrap or jQuery involved, and generally manage to avoid most of the gibberish time wasting bloat inducing nonsense like LESS, SASS, OOCSS, or have the outright idiotic BS like WYSIWYG editors involved. It's bad enough that some things you pretty much "need" to generate traffic or have a revenue stream are overstuffed hogs, without the site itself pissing it's own bed.

I often wonder just how much ignorance, apathy, and wishful thinking it takes to believe that half the nonsense people delude themselves into using in building websites does anything but make matters worse.

Reply Score: 5

justanothersysadmin Member since:
2011-06-09

I might be reading into this a bit too much, but I'm getting a vague sense that there might be some things about "modern web development" that could possibly be upsetting you.

Don't hold back, man. Tell us how you really feel!

;)

P.S. I'm not against you here; there's a reason your comment has a pretty solid set of upvotes. Well raged, sir.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Message I've been saying...
by tpchur on Tue 5th Jan 2016 07:14 UTC in reply to "Message I've been saying..."
tpchur Member since:
2007-02-12

Hey I think you make some solid points. But seriously, the design of your website leaves much to be desired... I mean a cloud background?

Reply Score: 1

deathshadow Member since:
2005-07-12

the design of your website leaves much to be desired... I mean a cloud background?

The responses to the layout and style of the site (I consider them two separate things) has been a bit of comedy. But after a decade and a half of dealing with websites none of it is unexpected.

Some people love the simple background, others complain about it. Some people love that it's right to the point putting content FIRST on every page, other people ask why I don't have some sort of giant animated "banner" to draw people in. (when those in fact drive me and most people I know AWAY from sites)

Some people praise it for being "flat design", others complain it's skeuomorphic and not flat enough. Some people said great job following Google Materiels (I didn't), others tell me I should use that.

The funniest comment is it looks "'90's style" to some people... where I can only assume the people saying that weren't using the web in the 1990's (hell at this point there's a good chance most of the people saying that probably weren't even alive in 1990). I actually put up a whole news item JUST about that.

http://www.cutcodedown.com/blog/20151223.good_laughs

Even joked in the comments I should make a site skin '90's style just for laughs, but why bother when the default skin for most if not all forum softwares do a fine and dandy job of being decades out of date. Well, that and I suck at making animated GIF files

But that's style for you -- you can't please everyone.

Most of the "style" stuff you hear from the design crowd being the antithesis of what the WCAG and usability studies at NNGRoup say... by now you probably have a pretty good idea which side of my trousers I stick my opinion down.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Message I've been saying...
by tidux on Tue 5th Jan 2016 15:45 UTC in reply to "Message I've been saying..."
tidux Member since:
2011-08-13

> It's bad enough that some things you pretty much "need" to generate traffic or have a revenue stream are overstuffed hogs,

Most websites that provide a revenue stream probably shouldn't. This is just an economic bubble making people do things that are pants on head retarded for a quick cash out, and the web will be a much nicer place when the advertising bubble finally bursts.

Reply Score: 4

deathshadow Member since:
2005-07-12

Most websites that provide a revenue stream probably shouldn't.
Eh, some things are a must have for modern promotion. Social media for example.

At minimum FB and G+ are must haves, and if you want the mouth-breathing TLDR crowd that means tying into twitter as well... and the off the shelf scripts for those are RUBBISH. While you can do simpler flat links to those, you don't get count feedbacks or slick UI and increasingly people expect that -- rubbish or not. ;) Thankfully since those things are on more and more and more and more sites you can at least leverage that the scripts for the big ones are probably already in people's cache, and if you place them properly so they are non-blocking, their "bloat" becomes far less obtrusive.

Advertising though, well, that's Russian roulette depending on the site. If it's a sale or product oriented site -- and I say this a lot -- Why the **** would you put other peoples advertising on it?!? -- if you have a marketable product people are buying, you have no business putting ads for other people's stuff on the site.

Informational sites (take OSNews or my site for example) on the other hand, there's no product other than the content, people are WAY more likely to bounce to some competitor than pay a subscription... so much like newspaper or TV advertising is the only practical revenue option.

But that comes with that you have to accept some people (like myself) will NEVER see ads as they're not DUMB ENOUGH to browse without an adblock. Even so I've been letting Adsense through of late just because Google does a really good job of keeping their advertisers... less scummy? I recognize that with a LOT of content oriented sites, advertising is the only way that content gets generated and distributed. Adsense has become the "big dog" for a reason and honestly, one of the few right now that could weather the oncoming storm.

Honestly, so long as I'm pulling in enough traffic and getting JUST enough impressions to pay the hosting costs, the rest is gravy.

I mostly put the advertising in there as an experiment after some 15 years of ragging on advertisers for being a bunch of sleazy dirtbags I wouldn't trust as far as I could throw The Big Stick. So far with just adsense it's ... less scummy than pre-dotcom burst, which is the last time I even looked at it seriously.

For those of you who don't know what The Big Stick is:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Iowa_(BB-61)

when the advertising bubble finally bursts.

THANK YOU!!! -- It's so nice to hear someone other than myself or Mark Cuban dare to even mention that this is another bubble and that a burst is coming! It will be interesting to see how dotcom burst 2.0 will change the landscape, particularly since this time around most of the players have little if any liquidity to hide behind as a safe harbor until it's over.

Since as they say, any port in a storm...

Edited 2016-01-05 22:14 UTC

Reply Score: 2

tidux Member since:
2011-08-13

I think the bubble bursting will be the death of a lot of centralized stuff we have on the web today. Serving a lot of HTTP to a lot of people all over the world gets REALLY freaking expensive after a while, so I think we'll see a move towards more decentralized systems like IPFS (https://ipfs.io) that don't need "a webserver" and that actually get faster as more people access a piece of content. Existing tools like static blog generators and anything that's purely client-side will continue to work, and of course HTTP and WebSockets will still exist for streamed data and real interactivity, but the awful old "just stick everything in a MySQL database and use PHP lol" paradigm would no longer be the path of least resistance.

Reply Score: 2

Pretty good article
by jbrader on Tue 5th Jan 2016 15:57 UTC
jbrader
Member since:
2005-11-12

But Dostoevsky probably wrote Crime and Punishment by gaslight with a steel pen.

Reply Score: 1

Nice
by Ressev on Tue 5th Jan 2016 23:08 UTC
Ressev
Member since:
2005-07-18

Good article and spot on.

Reply Score: 1