The Website Obesity Crisis

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Albert Wiersch
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The Website Obesity Crisis

Post by Albert Wiersch » Fri Jan 08, 2016 9:29 am

I posted this in CSE HTML Validator's Facebook Group and thought I would post it here as well. It's a good (but long) read.

The Website Obesity Crisis

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MikeGale
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Re: The Website Obesity Crisis

Post by MikeGale » Tue Jan 26, 2016 3:55 pm

As you say a great read.

The browsers forgiving bad markup and CMS systems are, in my view, major contributors. It's given us a lot of "developers" who have little understanding of what they're doing. If the general public were more aware of it, that would be one way to change it.

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Re: The Website Obesity Crisis

Post by RSteinwand » Tue Apr 05, 2016 8:17 am

I'm guilty of the opposite. Small pages with only 16 items to download. Most don't even have an image on them. My pages need to gain a little weight (in all the right places tho).
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Re: The Website Obesity Crisis

Post by MikeGale » Tue Apr 05, 2016 4:06 pm

It's quite liberating to dump of a lot of the baggage. Dumping the visual garbage, for example, can make a page much easier to read and appreciate. A simple way to explore that effect is to try out pocket, http://getpocket.com/.

There are other ways to achieve that.

(What we really need is a way to pay content creators for what they have done while or after reading their work. Direct feedback and a way to express appreciation, where it's been earned!) That idea combined with rubbish free content could be part of an improved personal Internet.

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Re: The Website Obesity Crisis

Post by Albert Wiersch » Tue Apr 05, 2016 4:32 pm

MikeGale wrote:(What we really need is a way to pay content creators for what they have done while or after reading their work. Direct feedback and a way to express appreciation, where it's been earned!) That idea combined with rubbish free content could be part of an improved personal Internet.
That's a great thought, but even if made super-easy, I don't think there are many people left who would want to pay for anything anymore... they'd rather get all that rubbish than fork over 25 cents or any amount of money. At least that is the impression I get.

But it would be interesting to try such a thing. A clean, no-rubbish site with great content and buttons at the button where you could easily click to donate what you thought the page was worth (like $.25, $.50, $1, Other). Just one click and done, and another click to undo if you hit it by accident). Hmmmmmm..... I wonder if that would work. Some company would have to start the system. PayPal would be a good option to create such a feature. PayPal users could enable and set-up the feature in their account.
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Re: The Website Obesity Crisis

Post by MikeGale » Thu Apr 07, 2016 4:51 am

There have been attempts at that, but so far, too cumbersome.

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Re: The Website Obesity Crisis

Post by Albert Wiersch » Thu Apr 07, 2016 8:37 am

MikeGale wrote:There have been attempts at that, but so far, too cumbersome.
Do you know if PayPal has tried? If anyone can do it then I would think PayPal would be able to because so many people already have PayPal accounts... and of course it would have to be super-easy (not cumbersome at all).
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Re: The Website Obesity Crisis

Post by Lou » Thu Apr 07, 2016 6:08 pm

Just played with PayPal. You can create a "Pay Now" button. That takes One Click to get to PayPal with a fixed amount I tried $0.50

You can also Put a drop down list to go with the "Pay Now" button. I set one up for "article was OK $0.25" "I liked it $0.50" and "It was Great $1" What ever you setup at the 1st option is the default.

A drawback is the fees, 2.9% + 0.30/transaction So it cost 0.31-0.32 cents to process 0.50 But the idea would work.

But sounds easy: One click on your site, login to PayPal account (depending on browser) one click, then click "pay Now" and done. Could bring buyer back to your site.

On a Non-profit site I run, I have a similar thing with a "donate now" button that I refer to as a "one-click-donation"
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Re: The Website Obesity Crisis

Post by MikeGale » Thu Apr 07, 2016 8:56 pm

There was a system that paid producers for their web pages. Even if you weren't registered you got a "kitty". I think they managed a garbage free version of the page and users voluntarily paid for the privilege.

If you look at Ted Nelson's Project Xanandu, you'll see that a payment system was at it's heart. If that project had come to pass we might not have these issues.

(Project Xanandu was an ambitious (overambitious?) project to create a Hypertext system. It explicitly wanted to prevent simplified systems with the problems that they would inevitably cause. We ended up with such a simplified system, HTML, and are seeing problems, that may have been forseen by Xanandu in 1960, or whenever.)

Cyber currencies can be seen as one attempt to make micro payments feasible.

I think (although I haven't worked out details) that this is currently practical.

It could be argued that we currently have an abominated version of such a system. Paid for by advertising, uncontrolled by you and adding 10% (or whatever) to the cost of most things you buy.

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Re: The Website Obesity Crisis

Post by roedygr » Thu Jul 28, 2016 12:54 pm

I do a lot of screen scraping. It makes me aware that most pages nowadays are mostly JavaScript and REDUNDANCY. I hope search engines are smart enough to filter it out. JavaScript merely ensures some browsers will not work. It ensures the UI will be confusing and require rapid hand eye co-ordination.

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Re: The Website Obesity Crisis

Post by MikeGale » Thu Jul 28, 2016 5:18 pm

You're right about the odd ways pages are often made.

My experience when I view source, is like yours. I see huge amounts of cruft, including more third party code to spy on users than page content. Often the "stasi code" is included rather than inline. With newspapers and "main stream media" it's not uncommon to see between 15 and 20 different spy organisations looking at you from every page. At least those who do it in house don't have such chaotic content!

I recently saw something that you wouldn't notice as a regular web site visitor. A web site that used to be reasonable quality html was "refreshed" by a developer. He converted page content (somewhat chaotically) to be generated by code instead of markup. (In this case using PHP.) These are static pages, no need for anything fancy.

I presume this is a symptom of not knowing how html etc. work. I fear that many "web professionals" are now like that. They don't actually understand the basics. Instead of spending a few hours to get the basics, they spend days learning how to make pages with some tool that isn't very good, then another tool (as fashions change)... They lock themselves into a form of ignorance.

What browser design features could make this, which is so obvious to us, obvious to the average user?

Would be good to see average people aware of this mess.

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