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Javascript, and Other Considerations

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~2 minutes.

1 Diet-WWW

The World Wide Web needs to go on a diet. The allure of marketing and sensational consumerism has shown us the contradictory pith of technology, networking, and the infrastructure of browsing webpages. I have received numerous compliments on my website’s design for being featureful, while also being considerate in resource consumption. While these compliments are kind, and do brighten my day, what lessons can be learned from such commentary?

While not inherent evils, Javascript and media on webpages account for a significant reduction in performance and satisfaction for web users. Not only has Javascript been tangled into the architecture of most dynamically-generated websites, such that disabling Javascript breaks the functionality entirely, but there are significant concerns of security surrounding non-trivial use of Javascript. If you are using Javascript on your websites, consider the following: 1) Do you need it? 2) Does it enhance user experience? 3) Does your website work without it?

If any of the answers to the above three questions are “NO”, you should probably reconsider how your website is designed. On the second point, “Does it enhance user experience?”, think conceptually. While you may appreciate what it does for your website, chances are there are numerous people who are heavily bothered by the sluggishness of their computer after loading your sparkly and animated banner with those slick color changes.

The fact is, internet speed is NOT universal, and neither is processing power. When you are serving a website, you need to take account the lowest common denominator. Serve what is necessary, and make fallbacks for those who need to preserve their computing power. I, personally, spend a lot of time in a text-based web browser and it is a considerable burden when I am not able to read your documentation because somebody in the <insert popular web framework> chain felt it was necessary to tie Javascript into every conceivable component of your webpage.

2 Well-Designed Websites

Your website may be included here upon request if it is completely devoid of trackers, limited to trivial (non-essential, no third-party) Javascript, and is not bloated with unnecessary media. I would prefer if it is not hosted on GitHub or GitLab. Send me an email.


Have a response?

Responses and discussion pertaining to any of the blog entries on my website are welcome! Start a discussion on the mailing list by sending an email to ~brettgilio/blog-discussion@lists.sr.ht.

Errata:

  • <2020-10-18 Sun 18:58> Add some URLs.