Thirty-five times! Apollo software got us to the moon. Doom wasted millions of man-hours on a video game.
My point of course is that these comparisons are not actually that illuminating.
Are web pages much heavier than they need to be? Yes. This presentation very capably talks about that problem:
Does comparing web pages to Doom help understand or improve the situation? No, not any more than comparing Doom to Apollo memory size helps us understand the difference between a video game and a history-altering exploration.
What about the question "do web pages work any better than they did in 2007?" when we were using full page reloads and server side logic instead of Javascipt tricks.
I see so much basic brokenness on the web today from the back button not working to horribly overloaded news websites with mystery-meat mobile navigation I find myself wondering what have we really achieved in the last 9 years? This stuff used to work
Thaaaaaaaat's nonsense. I had relatively high-res CRTs (1600x1200) in the late 90s and early 2000s.
My father and I were able to get by with Netscape Navigator and Firefox for quite awhile as well.
> "Sorry, the Argos Internet site cannot currently be viewed using
Netscape 6 or other browsers with the same rendering engine.
> In the meantime, please use a different web browser or call
0870 600 2020 to order items from the Argos catalogue."
> Sorry, I think I'll shop elsewhere until you get it fixed...
Argos was sniffing the useragent. I think people tried changing the useragent, and it worked fine.
This kind of thing wasn't rare, even in 2003.
And it is not rare now either. Nothing has changed in that regard. Things have just gotten massively slower, use insane amounts of CPU, and are less functional.
client-side logic, done right is much improved over a server-side solution.
My wired desktop gets DNS responses from 18.104.22.168 nearly as if it were in my network, in way under 10 ms, ping responses in 2 ms or so. Accessing websites hosted in e.g. Korea takes >100 ms.
Add a congested wireless connection somewhere (WLAN or mobile network) and you can add another few hundred ms. And neither cross-continent nor congested wireless latency is going to go away.
I said audio. I provided this as a counterexample to the stated thesis of your post. There exist things that can be done over a network such that latency is not an issue. I am obviously not pulling data over a cross-continental link.
FWIW, the protocols I write at work can do a full data pull - a couple thousand elements and growing - in under a half second end to end. I don't know of any HTML/Web based protocols that can even get close to that over localhost.
So yeah - we know the Web is an utter pig. My point is that it probably doesn't have to be.
The article was specifically about web page payload size. My comment was comparing UX of dynamic client-side logic vs full round trips.
You must replied to the wrong comment, I would hope.
Well, to be honest, Episode 1 and Episode 2 of Doom takes place on Phobos and Deimos, so you could say Apollo software got us to the moon but Doom got us to Mars :)
One Hundred Years of Solitude
The Count of Monte Cristo
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Keep in mind that the AGC was a necessary but not sufficient piece of hardware for navigating to the moon, and was extremely special-purpose. NASA had several big (for the time) mainframes that
1) calculated the approximation tables that were stored in AGC ROM (each mission required a new table because the relative positions of the earth, sun and moon was different)
2) reduced soundings from earth-based radars to periodically update the AGC's concept of its position.
3) other things that I've forgotten
In other words, the AGC required the assistance of a ground-based computer with dozens of megabytes of RAM and hundreds of megabytes of storage. That will fit on your phone quite easily, but let's not minimize the requirements for celestial navigation.
What the shuttle did was much more complex because it was an unstable aircraft that required many "frames per second" applied to the control surfaces to keep it stable during reentry and landing.
Not long after that, libraries such as Prototype and JQuery were becoming popular and these were all many times bigger than my 3d engine before you even started coding the app.
IMO, Doom and Web pages are remarkably close in terms of purpose and required assets, and the comparison is apt. Especially when you can play Doom on a web page...
How many millions of man-hours Apollo project wasted for a PR stunt?
Or to put it more elegantly: "Stop there! Your theory is confined to that which is seen; it takes no account of that which is not seen."
True, but if you're talking opportunity costs then I see Apollo, and the space race in general, as a great success story. They took the polotical atmosphere of nationalism, paranoia, one-upmanship, costly signalling, etc. and funnelled some of it into exploration, science and engineering at otherwise unthinkable levels.
It it weren't for the space race, it's likely the majority of those resources would be poured into armaments, military-industrial churn, espionage, corruption/lobbying, (proxy) wars, etc.
Sounds like a bargain to me.
The problem with this type of attitude is that discovery doesn't work like this. Incremental improvements can sometimes work this way, but big discoveries do not. If there had been a mandate to "find a way to communicate without wires" I'm going to guess that it would not have gotten very far. Instead, this came about as a side effect of pure science research.
That said, I do take chriswarbo's point that it could have easily instead been even more baroque weapons or proxy wars, as well as yours and manaskarekar's about the uncertainty inherent in counterfactuals. I just wanted to make the point just finding some positives is not enough, you need to look at opportunity costs. If we both look at them and come to different conclusions, that's life, but at least we agree on the basis of measurement.
It's definitely debatable and hard to gauge. I just thought I'd throw in the link to show the other side of the argument.