Text is great. Civilization pretty much peaked when we figured out how to blast text from the other side of the planet to your screen in 150-200 milliseconds. It's been downhill from there.
I've used a variety of web browsers, but I've settled on Links as the best one. I can easily watch YouTube videos and in VLC, so no problem there with regards to video. The only thing I fire up Firefox for is my work-related activity which requires Flash and HTML5 to run.
But most of the time, it's
Stallman goes one stage further "I fetch web pages from other sites by sending mail to a program that fetches them, much like wget, and then mails them back to me". I like the 'one firehose' approach (mail, presumably in emacs, for everything). Could add RSS feed watching in I suppose.
I do wish it supported animated gifs. Most of the time when I see a gif these days, I don't mind it flashing.
"Many were increasingly of the opinion that they'd all made a big mistake in coming down from the trees in the first place. And some said that even the trees had been a bad move, and that no one should ever have left the oceans."
- Douglas Adams.
The web started as a digital version of books and newspapers. Now it's trending towards a replacement for TV? How awful.
The web started as hypermedia with support for very limited media forms. As it supports more media, it fills more roles; becoming hypermedia that includes in the kind of media it supports types which allow it to serve as a replacement for radio, TV, etc., doesn't stop it from having the book/newspaper like functionality.
The modern web is a much better platform for the book/newspaper-like functionality that the early web was used for than the early web was, as well as competing with radio and TV for that kind of functionality.
Awful? Why, because people who like things you don't can also get things they like from the web?
Really? Do you ever select a few words on a web page, then Ctrl-C it? You did not notice over the last 10 years as browsers have gotten more complex that you now have to use a lot more trial and error to get the words you wanted? How just a tiny movement of the mouse while dragging can have drastic effects on the selection? How text far away or in a different column sometimes gets selected for difficult-to-fathom reasons?
Never noticed how on Safari if the text is next to an image or in a title, it sometimes takes Safari a really long time to transfer the text to the clipboard, sometimes with beachballing involved?
Ever use Ctrl-F to search a web page? Never noticed how "mystery hits" are a lot more frequent than they were 10 years ago? (Where the search stops at some place where there is no visible occurance of the string you searched for.) Never noticed how Ctrl-F is not smart enough to make sure that the hit it is showing you is not obscured by one of those elements that respond to scrolling by remaining at a fixed position relative to the window?
Never noticed how even though links have a relatively short half life, hardly anyone bothers to make a local copy of the pages they have bookmarked because it is such a hard technical problem to write code that makes a local copy of all the "assets" that might be referenced by a page? (Contrast with Usenet, which, for all of its faults, made it easy to make a local copy of an article or a thread of articles.)
Never tried to bookmark a page or send someone a link to a page and notice that you cannot because it is one of those web sites where every "page" has the same URL?
Apparently Microsoft's designers agree, since emphasizing text via typography is one of the goals of Metro . I've been working with it lately and have come to appreciate it.
XNU does multitasking fine already; there's no need to screw it up. If you're sick of Safari's memory and CPU usage, just switch to a different browser, but to say something as absurd as wanting task-switching on a desktop OS just for the sake of CPU cycles is short-sighted and a prime reason for the fall of productivity and change for the sake of change.
You could remove the context switch from the equation, but then you'd end up with a setup similar to the current multitasking system, so it's all for nought.
Chrome settings > advanced > content > plugins > click to play
That'll fix most of your issues, aside from publishers using video instead of text when text is preferable
Edit: Also modal popup windows everywhere, even where they aren't really needed (Twitter and the Chrome Extension Web Store are 2 that are questionable) instead of those js popup windows we used to see as browsers tend to block those. Maybe it's just me, but when you get to the point of having to put an entire page's content into a modal window, maybe it should be a separate page.
alert() was, after all, a standard way to notify the user about something (overused, yes). Then we switched to pop-in alerts.
Accessibility-wise, I think it is a big loss. The appearance is no more standard, focus management and navigability suck, its semantics are lost, and you cannot block it any more ("prevent this page from opening more pop-ups").
Most of the time the content of a pop-in will be as irrelevant as the past pop-up's, but with full HTML available: welcome colours, pictures and videos!
DAMN KIDS, GET OFF MY LAWN.
Even at that time, there were always some form scripting or frames that killed the experience in one way or another.
and i usually needed lynx to browse sites like distro repositories and the likes.
Ghostery (https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/ghostery/mlomiejdf...) fixes most of the speed problems.
> Do we want to follow someone on Twitter just because they have 30,000 followers?
Yes. Social proof is not going away because it's part of human nature, not a technological gimmick.
> Modern-Day "Best Viewed With" Badges
It's also hard to blame designers for disliking IE, or pointing out that various experimental demo sites will work best with certain browsers, or may be a bit heavy on resources.
Technological gimmicks might be expected to tune better though. If the only people I've followed on twitter so far are artists and programmers, it seems to me that it would be a reasonable bet that I'm not going to be interested in superstars. It's odd that people would be expected to click through to follow just based on # of followers.
Why is this so odd? This is a fundamental aspect of human behavior. The # of twitter followers is in indication (not perfectly I might add) of the viability of credibility. This is no different than case stories, customer references, etc. which are all the cornerstones of successfully marketing entities.
If a superstar can get 30k people to follow them, it means less than some random artist getting all the 30k people who know about them to follow them. Because in the latter case you can guess that the weight pushing the hypothesis in the other direction's going to be quite small.
In semantic terms what you're really relying on in the former case to reduce the seize of the contrary hypothesis is the assumption that society is more or less uniform with respect to its interests along the relevant axis - which I find highly questionable.
Then think of where these stickers are going to turn up -you'd expect people to have better first hand evidence available.
So, I find it a bit odd. I'd have assumed it'd get discounted into irrelevance and people would just make up their own minds based on their knowledge of the person.
You give the human brain way too much credit.
 Google displays a get Chrome message every time I visit Google.com.
 Apple's product pages work best in Safari. How's that going to help win over the die-hard Windows users?
It's a step back in terms of usability as well. In flat UI, clickable and unclickable often look the same and several other problems.
I haven't spoke to him yet, but I'm guessing that the flat blue button with some text, in the email didn't seem "clickable" to him.
Flat UIs do indeed seem like a serious step backwards in usability.
In other words, gradients, shadows, rounded edges, etc were a form of credential.
Now that they're easy, they've lost that credentialing effect and (over)using them is akin to a 90's myspace page with an abundance of glitter and flashy clipart.
I personally would like to see a middle ground with tasteful use of gradients and shadows as opposed to the flat design. But then, there's a reason I'm NOT a designer (for example, I like skeuomorphic design, I think it's fun and playful)
By contrast, most modern sites that require a certain browser do so because they're flirting with an interesting technology that offers the user something new. For example the example the author cites was a demonstration, funded by Google, to promote a use of WebGL technology that allowed users to explore sprawling real 3D environments in their browsers.
Of course, restricting a user's choice of browser is never desirable and it limits your audience. Just saying I think the motivation for doing so and the payoffs we experience today aren't comparable to those of the 90s.
In those days a lot of the functionality that we take for granted as cross-browser was only available on the bleeding edge of one or another browser. I think for a mainstream audience, those badges were more appropriate then than they are now.
That said: sometimes a thing is terrible in its first incarnation, but a later incarnation works well.
Hit Counters: These served very little purpose. The social counters serve the purpose of encouraging the viewer to engage. Also, if a client makes a request and you refuse due to personal preference to the point of losing the client, that's not very professional.
Splash Page: So, CSS3 tech demos have replaced Flash intros? Where? I have failed to see any HTML5, CSS3, canvas, or whatever other new technologies have replaced the annoying Flash intros. The closest I've seen is creative gizmos in headers and footers that don't prevent me from doing what I'm there to do.
Best Viewed Badges: These originally served a purpose in that it was certainly possible that a website would not render correctly in one browser versus another during the browser wars. The modern equivalent of that is an effort to prevent that situation from happening again. Also, pointing to a technology showcase isn't exactly proof of the theory.
Although, I agree with the validation deal. In this day it's rather difficult to have a website that validates with all the third party people doing what they want in the space, I'm looking at you Microsoft. And others.
Cut and Paste Scripts: This one confused me, it seems there is praise and complaint at the same time. "Cleaner and easier to read than before." Too many HTTP requests but too much code not in an external file? Well, which is it then? Personally, I fail to see this as a big deal unless you are seriously abusing the head section of the document.
Marquees: The only difference between them, once you look at it, is design. Plus there is a bit of function difference there as well. As in modern equivalents often serve a purpose while the marquee element had little purpose because it was so limiting.
But I'll end the same way but expand on it, in no way are things as bad today as before. I made websites back then, things are much better today on a level that simply cannot be expressed.
The best viewed badge is also just people not wanting to build or test in IE. That sucks that people have to do their jobs. The equivalent in programming would be someone that doesn't want to recognize memory or processor limits. You work within constraints, so man up people.
But I seriously disagree with you on hit counters since they could be set by the website's owner to whatever arbitrary number desired, the counter essentially meant nothing. A social counter is easily verified, assuming you trust the third party social network doing the counting.
Encouraging people to upgrade to a better browser is a sign of laziness on the part of the developer? Sure you work within constraints, but sometimes when it comes to browsers your market demands features you can't deliver on the browser of their choice. Therefore, you suggest a better browser. Granted, some people are lazy so there is something to what you say, such as people who refuse to use any CSS prefixes other than -webkit.
However the essay design is awkward because it starts by comparing the music industry where about five rich old white male record company execs decide what everyone will be stuck listening to, with the much more democratic / organic / diverse process of web development styles and trends. Dropping the whole music industry analogy from the essay would have made it stronger.
Still a good essay, just saying an essay about style and good taste misses the mark if it doesn't optimize those traits in itself. Like a rant about misspelled words containing misspelled words or something.
ROFL at "the glam trend died". Tell that to Motley Crue, Def Leppard, Poison, Dokken, Slaughter, Cinderella and plenty of other 80's era glam-metal bands who have continued to experience success into the 2000's and 2010's, and the whole new generation of glam/sleaze bands which emerged (mostly) from Sweden: Hardcore Superstar, Vains of Jenna, Crashdiet, Babylon Bombs, Gemini Five, etc.
Glam metal will never die!
And as for the idea that grunge somehow represented "real rock"... LOL. Grunge was a completely manufactured phenomenon and should probably go down in history as the most artificial "movement" ever. There's a reason the grunge bands blew into town, had their 5 or 6 years in the limelight and then mostly faded away. I mean, sure, STP or Pearl Jam still have their fans (what band doesn't?) but nobody really gives two shits about grunge anymore.
Anyway, to keep this vaguely on-topic, I'd say this... "modern" web-design does include elements which have been re-purposed, borrowed, slightly-modified, and cribbed from "old" web-design. Just like "post grunge" bands borrow elements from "traditional" grunge (downtuned guitars, etc.) along with elements from old-school glam-metal: the occasional guitar solo, a more melodic sound, more optimistic vocals, etc.
It's the nature of things... everything goes in cycles, and "things" keep re-appearing over and over again, packaged slightly differently, or with a different polish or veneer applied, and maybe with a different name. This isn't necessarily bad per-se, it's just part of the way things evolve.
Sadly, I am pretty much tone-deaf and couldn't carry a tune with a wheel-barrow.
The claim that Motley Crue and Def Leppard are still relevant in modern music culture is pretty silly.
Elegant trolling, though, I guess, if we are allowed to say that on HN.
I have a tool for them too, called "Block Site". Once they "pass the test" ... gimickry over content ... I blacklist them (fool me once, shame on you...), and any links to those sites are removed from all pages.
Design gravitates toward what the masses respond to. Obviously, from that standpoint, Facebook is "well-designed". For the more discerning, there are bookmarks for sites worth revisiting.
Designers will always want control, but they seem to use that control to do things that I do not like.