Please, publishers, I beg you: walk away from medium.
It's terrible for us, your readers.
For me, Medium provides a very readable experience that is much better than the average static blog. And I don't have to fear a malware ridden page like an old Wordpress installation.
Sticky header/footer, cookie consent covering the menu, not a single line of the content visible. You consider this design good?
WordPress nowadays upgrades itself to minor version - security patches - without touching it, and they release security patches for ancient versions as well. I'm aware there are unpatched sites out there, but they are either ancient - 5+ years - and untouched since, or deliberately crippled.
Average static blog has a very decent default theme.
But hey, different people, different opinions.
I also don't think the JS is that bad here, the site loaded pretty fast for me even when I tested with a slow 3G network. But yeah that UI doesn't give a good reading experience.
An on the other other side Firefox's reading mode makes this whole discussion irrelevant.
It really doesn't. It doesn't fix it for non-firefox and non-power users.
The "Shitty design is fine because I personally know a way to get around it" school of thought never made sense to me.
And enabling reader mode doesn’t need any power user skills, does it?
It "only" has 70%+ of the browser market share, and growing.
On the other hand, reader view, which removes all that, works well on the page.
I barely see anything at all. I managed to take a peek at the title between two large bars of some other stuff I don't care about.
A pro will notice things about implementation that interfere with the content, while the layperson often can’t articulate it even if they sense it’s not quite right.
I especially hate it because the best alternative I can suggest to someone who doesn't understand tech well enough to manage such a thing is to just keep on trying to keep up with whatever fancy kit Web developers are working with these days. Which invariably means sending ever more money to Comcast. And regularly giving money to Best Buy to replace a computer that isn't really broken; it just can't keep up with the latest fashions among ad networks and reactjs developers.
Wait, how often are people peering over your shoulder to even notice? Have been a programmer for 30+ years and no one has ever made an observation either way about my screen responsiveness...
For those unaware, an empty house can go untouched for decades in NYC, but once it develops a broken window, it is ransacked and squatted within hours. Small failures invite large failures.
I'm not saying we should all code in assembly and c and make sure our arrays are memory aligned and pointers efficiently used, etc. etc., but we should also not just stop caring about code quality for "productivity" sake.
Then realize that level of a connection is more common than you think. You never hear it elsewhere because those users just don't use your site, because they can't.
That's not a particularly uncommon speed, either. If you pay too much attention to statistics about "average" home internet speed, you're likely to be optimizing for only the top quartile, because the distribution of home Internet speeds is highly skewed.
The modern interwebs is a bloated mess...1 minute plus loading times is more common than not.
Super Mario for NES, a full commercial video-game, weighs in at 32KB.
Half of humanity has intermittent and very slow Internet access and old hardware.
That doesn't concern non-monetized posts/blogs like the above.
What's the actual money flow from that, less, or more, than 1cent/reader? Does it actually worth it?
For deeper, general purpose pieces, I also just cross-post to Medium from my own blog as that seems to drive some incremental traffic.
But beyond that I don't think it's an unreasonable publishing medium. It's convenient for authors and scales to most platforms.
Part of the problem is that HTML and CSS alone are horribly outdated in terms of being able to provide a modern-looking UI outside the box.
Want a slider? Unfortunately the gods at W3C/Google/etc. don't believe in a <input type="slider"> tag. Want a toggle switch? No <input type="toggle">. Want a tabbed interface? No <tabs><tab></tab></tabs> infrastructure. Want a login button that doesn't look like it came out of an 80's discotheque? You're probably going to need Angular, Polymer, MDL or one of those frameworks, and then jQuery to deal with the framework itself. You're already looking at 70-80kb for most of this stuff alone.
Want your website to be mobile-friendly? Swipe gestures? Pull to refresh? Add another 30-40kb.
Commenting with "reactive design" just to make your users feel like their comments went through before they actually went through? 50kb.
Want to gather basic statistics about your users? Add another 10kb of analytics code.
Why would a static content need pull-to-refresh? Or comments? Or a slider?
Mobile-friendly is perfectly fine with CSS resolution rules. Or with sticking to the basics and letting content flow within boundaries.
Basic analytics can be done on server side, or, by sending a single request with resolution, etc. as POST or GET params, or even by parsing web server logs. It won't give you that much, but it will give you basics for certain. (See awstats and webalizer from the old days.)
Don't overcomplicate things, none of what you're talking about is needed for an article.
I took such a sharp intake of breath in readiness to fire back a flappy-jowled response that I almost sucked my computer screen onto my face.
However, some of your following points are valid and it would be nice if things were a little simpler without resorting to lots of JS.
There are a few available as Web Components.
Not sure what you mean. The distribution problem is solved by the internet. Discoverability (probably what you meant) is solved redundantly by Medium, since it is already solved by Google, and by social news websites such as HN and Reddit, etc.
Medium = YouTube for textual content. The only way we "need" it is if we want a feed of algorithmically chosen content based on previous/popular preferences, but that obviously comes with a bunch of problems of its own.
Are you saying this is a bad thing in and of itself? Ok, sometimes I binge on videos needlessly, but to say the distribution/discoverability is already solved by the internet and Google is probably not how most people see it. Being recommended new content to consume based on previous preferences is a huge plus imo.
Also, social news websites require effort to post on, and often the content that gets upvoted is the lowest common denominator of the interests of the people who currently happen to be staring at the site, rather than each person getting their own set of new content.
Medium literally does feel like YouTube, in that unless you've got an established audience already finding readers is kind of tricky. Read the Daily Digest they have and note down how many people there are 'average joes' without a large following compared to internet 'influencers' and 'social media celebrities'.
And now they've got the paid content thing, it's only gotten even worse from there. Now it feels like the site's trying to force paid content down everyone's throat, and completely ignores the free stuff when deciding what to feature or promote. Hell, sometimes I've had them said emails almost entirely consisting of links to paid articles from publications I don't read.
It's definitely like YouTube, but it's less like the YouTube of yore and more like the YouTube of today, a wannabe broadcast TV esque network that pushes celebrities front and centre and does very little to promote lesser known creators.
In this case though, this is a branded tech blog, posted to HN (and maybe to Reddit?). It doesn't make a difference, if the endpoint is medium, or a self hosted blog, or a hand written HTML on an FTP server.
What I can't believe is how poor the experience is reading comments.
(not disagreeing with your statement at all, just pointing out something that may increase your QoL in the interim if you haven't yet given it a try)
Imagine if you start having extensions for every third site out there. It's a never ending problem.
This statements needs data. "Fine" with it and "accepted defeat" or "isn't aware it could be different" are not synonyms.
EDIT: ...and you can use reader mode in FF to get rid of the header.
Aside from their bs paywall (which is not a case with HN submissions, those are specific siloed posts) I like Medium -- and surely more than the accessional Blogger relic or badly done personal blogs.
Hiri at least used a custom domain. It's incredible how many authors just hang off the medium domain, committing the sharecropping mistake that has happened so many times before.
Once, it's fine, but this is a singe page with 121KB. Forget the in-browser cache myth: it may have been true the jquery got included directly from a cdn, but in the era of compiled JS apps, it's long gone, meaning it's 121KB JS for every medium page you visit. It climbs quickly, especially on capped smartphone data plans.