The web sucks.

Why it sucks

The internet really had a good chance to be something awesome. The internet in its early stages was very open, and offered to it's users exactly what it was designed to do, information and connections with others. Most pages were pure HTML and CSS, and you could actually find what you were looking for. A stark contrast to today's modals, drop-down menus, and pop-ups. This is exactly as far as the internet needed to go in terms of web pages. Easily accessible information for anyone with an internet connection. Unfortunately, businesses and large centralized organizations saw the rate at which the internet was gaining popularity and the focus from communities and information quickly shifted to profits and greed. We all know that if money can be extracted from something, people can and will find a way to replace awesome with profit. Now, we are left with a disaster of a system that not only draws a shitload of electricity (which wouldn't be such a problem if we had more green energy), but also is blatantly abused by large corporations and governments, which siphon copious amounts of data from their users. This data is often taken without most peoples knowledge, and you are almost always opted-in to the data collection by default (though their lawyers will argue, that the single line in their terms of service is good enough).

If you think I'm lying about the 50 requests per page load, press the F12 key (the default key for most browsers development mode), make sure your ad blockers are turned off, open the networking tab in the development tools.Click this link to go to dictionary.com (which in reality should just be pure HTML), watch as your computer loads a bunch of garbage JavaScript that you don't need! Very cool!

JavaScript sucks

Years ago, creating a website involved knowledge of important things like web servers, HTML (and the http protocol), and operating systems. You could build fast and lean websites(and web apps to an extent) that could fulfill the purpose of the internet, connecting people with people, and people with information. Throwing 15KB worth of HTML and CSS into a folder and hosting it with httpd is exactly how people and businesses should be approach web development. Instead today, we are stuck in an ugly limbo. JavaScript frameworks have stormed the tech world, leaving nothing in their path. If you're a developer, or someone who keeps up with technology trends you know exactly how large JavaScript is today, and how much of the internet has bent to its murderous reign. Now, we have competing JavaScript frameworks like React, Angular, Vue and Svelte (just to name a few) that all basically do the same thing: render HTML in the least efficient way possible.

Businesses compete with each other over who can produce the most 'modern' looking UI, recruiting more and more web developers. The bundle size of the website inflates, and you eventually end up with a 3.5 second load time for features the end user will never use. Small businesses and startups see these large companies creating over featured websites and think they need to do it as well. Now your grandmother's bakery want's a SPA built in React with Redux state management, because "everyone else has a super over developed website, how will I compete?" - some bakery owning 88 year old woman in Utah. For gods sake, I just want to read today's news, or read some documentation! Sites like Stack Overflow wouldn't be nearly as popular in terms of clicks if sites on the internet returned to the simple and accessible ways of the past.

Since the internet is so large, and people make so much money off of it, web developer jobs are very abundant. That sounds great if you look from the outside in. However, looking at a deeper level reveals the real issues with the web developer job market. There is a torrent of talented developers who could change the world of computer science, and subsequently the world around us, but instead they look at the job market and end up in enterprise or corporate JavaScript jobs spending years writing forms and looping over API results. Front-end technologies in particular are the worst offenders, since the frameworks all produce roughly the same results with a few differences here and there, the developers learning the technology never need to step outside there own bubble. Frameworks become the prison and JavaScript the jailer, entitling the developer to never really step out of there comfort zone.

How we can fix it

The internet is steaming pile at the moment, which we've established already. Most users are funneled through a few domains (Twitter, Instagram, Tik Tok, etc). Which is exactly why solution to the problem is for everyone to construct their own platform instead of relying on the platforms of large centralized organizations. It doesn't take much to setup your own site, and you can do absolutely anything with it. Blog, git, portfolio, resume, the list goes on. Do your part in reclaiming the internet for the average person. Stop greedy businesses and power hungry governments from abusing your rights, make your platform.

If you're not too sure you want to front the learning and monetary costs of a website, you can always choose to use a free and open source(FOSS) alternative to sites and applications you use. Since FOSS software can be audited, you as a consumer of the software can 100% make sure that the software is not in any violations of your rights. Most FOSS software is maintained by communities which makes it a triumphant move for people who are interested in breaking away from the centralized software world.

tl;dr

The internet had a chance to be something awesome. It was ruined by greedy people and JavaScript frameworks. You can take back the internet by building your own platforms, and using FOSS software.

Make your own website

What you don't need in your website

Simplicity is beauty. Keep it simple, especially if you're planning to be the only maintainer of the site. Remember, the closer to plain HTML you get, the leaner and meaner your site will be.

Other reading



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All opinions expressed on this website are that of my own, they do not reflect those of my employer(s); future, past, or present.