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builds things

writes things

knows living organisms

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is ayekat

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collects links

is very picky

has a life


opposes the "modern web"

Today's Web has become an increasingly puzzling place. When Tim Berners-Lee originally developed what was intended to exchange documents between computers, no one would have imagined that it would one day evolve into one of the most complex things the IT world has to offer.

Today's Web is bloated. It has suffered the same way that software does when too many people want to do too many different things with it (also commonly known as feature creep). While initially using the HTTP protocol to exchange documents between clients, it nowadays dictates a various range of content support to web browsers, like images, video, 3D (WebGL), video conversation (WebRTC), plus an interface to other protocols and technology like FTP, SSL support and, lately, DRM. While it used to be games that dictated the performance of computers in the past, on business computers the capability of displaying the latest websites has taken over that job.

Today's Web is so complex that web browsers can't possibly implement all the standards 100% correctly. This leads to browser specific quirks, and web developers won't strive to build a standard compliant website anymore, but rather a web browser compliant one. This starts a feedback loop where browser developers will strive to support all the "exceptions" found in the modern Web, despite the fact that some of them are non-standard, adding complexity to web browsers. This leads to an accumulation of standard non-compliant websites, and buggy web browsers (see the IE6 disaster).

The accumulation of complexity leads to less people understanding what is going on, and it makes less new people want to start tinkering with a technology. Less people understanding a technology leads to technology-specific elites, which is almost as bad as closed-source, as people without insight are hardly able to tell what it does, and whether it works correctly. And given the recent events involving a certain intelligence community on the Northern American continent, I think it's fair to say that we need more people who understand how things work.

Today's Web is not green. On a "modern" website, even simple things like scrolling involves a shitload of Javascript, and thus client-side CPU usage. Useless interactive elements cause useless data exchange between servers and their peers, increasing network bandwidth and server resource usage. The time required for compiling WebKit is in the same range as compiling qemu, an x86 hardware emulator.
Yes, that's a fucking computer right there.

Today's Web is not sustainable. Stuffing tons of technology in one ecosystem and program will eventually make it collapse, as it becomes too big to be maintainable in a reasonable manner. People will start to implement only parts of the Web, to fit specific needs (businesses, or community projects). We will eventually end up with multiple, non-compatible versions of web browsers, and thus the Web.

Have fun maintaining this.

For all the others: read LiteWeb (or for the less extremist ones: The JavaScript-Dependency Backlash: Myth-Busting Progressive Enhancement).


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