Space Budokan


Space Budokan is a budokan in space.

Home | Tags | Archive | About | Licenses | Site RSS


More About This Site's Design Philosophy

Sat, Apr 15, 2017

I discuss the design of this site briefly in the About page. My two biggest influences were http://idlewords.com/talks/website_obesity.htm and https://motherfuckingwebsite.com.

Maciej Ceglowski’s The Website Obesity Crisis does a great job of pointing out just how bloated modern text based websites can be. This is for text based websites such as news and other informational sites. There’s no way even a relatively minimal image hosting site will have light trim pages. Images are big. Video is bigger. I spend way too much time watching videos on sites like YouTube. Honestly, its probably the majority of how I spend my time on the web. I also fully intend to use images on this website when appropriate, but when it comes to displaying text, which is the main purpose of the vast majority of websites, there is no need to use anything other than HTML, and some CSS to make it look pretty. I think a lot of people forget that the world wide web (which is not the same thing as “the internet”) is primarily for transferring information. It was not meant to be an art project. It is much like making films in Hollywood. If you want to make deep meaningful art, you don’t go pitching your film to a Hollywood executive. Hollywood wants to make money. They don’t give a shit if the movie will be a true and sincere expression of your innermost soul. If you want to make art, you become an independent film maker. The web is the same way. When you make a website, you should be focused on sharing information effectively. This almost always means simpler is better. If you make an arty bloated page, it will be like an art film. Few people will hear about it, and even fewer will enjoy it. Arty personal passion projects are rarely runaway smash hits.

This brings me to another related point. The medium is NOT the message. Marshall McLuhan was full of shit. At best, the medium enhances the message. You can have the fanciest interface in the world, but if people can’t find the information they are looking for, there is no point. It’s like the old Zombo.com website, which is an ancient parody of flash intros. It’s still there, but of course requires flash, and uBlock screams at me when I try to open it. You can find it on YouTube (https://youtube.com/watch?v=qxWwEPeUuAg). It’s all medium and no message. If you’re using a website to sell a good or service, and people can’t even figure out what your good or service is then it doesn’t matter how good it looks. You’ve already failed.

This brings me to http://motherfuckingwebsite.com . Its glorious in its simplicity. There are websites that try to claim they are better, but they are full of shit. The only thing from one of those other websites I might employ is setting a maximum width. This site might be a little hard to read on a very wide screen. The complaints of high contrast are stupid. High contrast makes it easier to read, especially for the vision impaired,but that’s a minor issue. Its a bit of a slippery slope when it comes to making your site look better. Some CSS here, some JavaScript there, and before long, your page is megabytes in size.

Let’s talk about JavaScript. Fuck JavaScript. Doublefuck obfuscated JavaScript. For those of you that don’t know, JavaScript is a programming language that is embedded in web pages. HTML and CSS just tell your browser how to display the page, but JavaScript is actual programming. Many operating systems and browsers warn users about the dangers of running random programs they’ve downloaded. They should. Running a program you know nothing about it like taking a random package on a plane for a stranger. It’s a bad idea and things could escalate quickly. The thing is, these same browsers and operating systems have no problem running strange code if it’s embedded in a web page. Not only can (and does) JavaScript deliver malicious code, that code has to be shuffled across the web as part of the web page. So not only is the web page larger, it also runs code on your computer, wasting your CPU cycles. They have JavaScript cryptocoin miners you can insert into web page code. It’ll spike your CPU worse than those 50 tabs you have open in Chrome. This of course, is rare, and a dick move, but it makes the point. JavaScript can also be obfuscated. They take some JavaScript code, then remove comments, white space, and change names to random single characters. This is just the beginning, and the code has already become unreadable by humans. Google loves to do this to make their bloated JavaScript smaller, which it does. Now you can’t even find out what this arbitrary code you’re running even does. If you’re JavaScript is so huge that you need to rename everything to make it a more agreeable size, its probably bloated.

This site is meant to be a return to the old web free from such things.

Tags for this post:UX web development bloat javascript scripting

| Next

https://spacebudokan.com/post/sitephilosphy/
Creative Commons License
XML Sitemap