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The Doom install image was 35x the size of the Apollo guidance computer.

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:

http://idlewords.com/talks/website_obesity.htm

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.




> Are web pages much heavier than they need to be? Yes

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


I think you are looking at the past through incredibly rose-tinted glasses. The web has been a mess for a long time, and we used to have to make sure our computer was set to 800x600 and we were using Internet Explorer 6 in order to even use it.


I'm pretty sure I had > 1024x768 graphics and have used nothing but Netscape/Seamonkey (because inertia) since the mid '90s.


Sadly, a lot of laptops come with only 1366x768 displays, 20 years later. What a lack of progress.


Laptops sit in a different corner ( as in corner solutions ).


>make sure our computer was set to 800x600

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.


Here's a message from 2003. (scroll up)

https://groups.google.com/forum/#!msg/uk.comp.os.linux/5c40N...

> http://www.argos.co.uk

> "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.


>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.


Even the first NeXT computer in 1990 was 1120×832...albeit greyscale...still...800x600 died in the mid-90s - especially for professionals.


Firefox was released in November 2004.


The initial release of Phoenix was in 2002. Many long-time Netscape/Mozilla users (myself included) switched very early on.


I remember even relatively computer un-savvy folk in '98 having 1024x768 monitors.


I know that. The date range was not exclusive. The point was that high resolution CRTs date quite a bit back even for consumer use. We had no problems browsing the web.


That was 1997, not 2007.


IE 6 was released with Windows XP in 2001 and IE 7 didn't come out until the end of 2006.


Opera was awesome even in 2000.


2007 I was working for a shop that only officially supported IE6. It was a health insurance company too. Your premiums at work!


This website itself is not far behind, weighing in at 937kb and 57 requests: http://www.webpagetest.org/result/160422_KJ_18KN/1/details/


network latency still fails to catch up to human awareness' time resolution.

client-side logic, done right is much improved over a server-side solution.


Which network and which latency? My local network runs audio way below the Haas limit - I can record over the network without incurring any latency penalty.


Comparing local-network performance with "random" cross-internet traffic IMHO isn't very useful, because there is a wide range for internet latency.

My wired desktop gets DNS responses from 8.8.8.8 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.


Perhaps I should have been more explicit - comparing local audio traffic to local web traffic, there's a heck of a lot of difference. That would be the stacks.


[flagged]


English much?

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.


Reading comprehension much?

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.


> Apollo software got us to the moon. Doom wasted millions of man-hours on a video game.

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 :)


Since 2.1 megs is only the compressed size of the shareware distribution[1], we are not going any further than Phobos. Since this is only for v1.0, it is going to be a buggy Phobos.

[1] http://www.doomarchive.com/ListFiles.asp?FolderId=216&Conten...


That link inspires me to print and bind the code of a webpage into a book, and put it on a shelf next to other literature masterpieces.

One Hundred Years of Solitude

The Count of Monte Cristo

Anna Karenina

Don Quixote

Amazon.com: Online Shopping for Electronics, Apparel, Computers, Books, DVDs & more


I want the audio version, narrated by Malcolm McDowell.


Less than head question mark, doctype html, greater than less than html class equals opening quote a dash no dash js closing quote. Data dash nineteen a x five a nine j f equals opening quote dingo closing quote greater than less than head greater than.


> The Doom install image was 35x the size of the Apollo guidance computer.

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.


Apollo era space navigation is not that complex, mainly a matter of (i) pointing the ship in the right direction, (ii) firing the engines until a certain velocity change had happened, and (iii) assessing the result. (ii) in particular is a one-dimensional problem, and (iii) can be done by the guys on the ground via radar.

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.

Back around 2006 or so I wrote a simple software 3-d rendering engine in Javascript that was 8k in size without much effort towards minimizing size other being (a) maybe the only AJAX application that actually used XML (to represent 3d models) and (b) using XML element and attribute names that were just one character long.

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.


To be fair, Doom wasn't a waste by any metric. Doom has had an history altering impact on 3D engines. The huge advancements that came from the Doom and Quake engines have found their way into software that benefits society as a whole.


Doom was delivering an experience far more complex than the Apollo guidance computer was. The average webpage is not. It's delivering an experience as complex as a pamphlet with a few phone numbers on it.


The experience may not be complex, but the software that builds and displays the experience is way more complex than the Apollo guidance computer.


The software that builds and displays the experience is the browser. Most webpages could be cut by 90% and be visually and functionally indistinguishable. For 90% of the last 10%, the functionality cut out would improve the user experience, especially on mobile.


..and the server, protocols, and language used to build that web page. It's not like a powerpoint presentation.


Which only highlights the point of how overengineered it is. You shouldn't need (and in fact you don't need) several-layer tall stacks of programming languages and support equipment to render something that's less functional than a PowerPoint presentation.


Doom was created for entertainment. Web pages are (typically) created for entertainment. The guidance computer was created for calculating trajectories.

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...


Remember: It's not a waste if you (and millions of other people) have fun!


That's what NASA wants you to believe...


The Web is heavy because there's no negative feedback for the weight factor. And in people's minds, it nearly seems that the difference between a video game and history-altering exploration diminishes day by day.


Pretty sure he was just being funny about the doom bit.


that's because the moon landing was staged! wake up sheeple!!!!!!


Yes, it was recorded in a sound stage on Mars.


Honestly if a native Android or iOS app can be several Gb in size then a webapp can be a few Mb. That said there are lots of optimizations that we're missing out on. I hope http2 and other advances in server side render + tree shaking help reduce the size of payloads further.


>Apollo software got us to the moon. Doom wasted millions of man-hours on a video game.

How many millions of man-hours Apollo project wasted for a PR stunt?



This argument proves too much. If we wanted better sneaker materials or retractable football stadium roofs surely we could have accomplished those tasks for far less money. The opportunity cost of the Apollo missions were enormous, even if there were positive outcomes that spun out of it.

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."


> The opportunity cost of the Apollo missions were enormous, even if there were positive outcomes that spun out of it.

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.


Reached Moon vs Had planet-destroying nuclear war.

Sounds like a bargain to me.


>If we wanted better sneaker materials or retractable football stadium roofs surely we could have accomplished those tasks for far less money.

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.


Going to the moon wasn't pure science research. Such research could have been an alternative use of those millions of man-hours of effort.

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.


I somewhat agree with what you're saying, but eventually it's hard to prove if one way benefits us more than the other, because the benefits of the Apollo program perhaps influenced the space endeavors that improve our life today.

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.


My rule of thumb is that if a goal is thought to be technically possible (although it may have not been done before) and there are people who can execute and have the resources to execute it to any degree, it will probably be done. Especially regardless of anyone else opinion if they are not intimately involved in such processes.


Principal benefit from Apollo: a sense of shared purpose that does not depend on human savagery.


Even if you could argue that Apollo was nothing more than a "PR Stunt", what is the issue with it being that? From a nationalism perspective, there's a tremendous advantage to be gained from plugging an entire generation with patriotism from a moon landing.


And from an individual perspective, there is a lot pleasure to be gained from playing Doom. :-)




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