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Web 2.0 was a mistake

Submitted by heckthepolice in freeAsInFreedom

I'm so sick of websites requiring javascript to function for literally no good reason. We've just reached a point it's assumed that every website will use javascript, even when the vast majority of them have no need for it. Like, there is no reason why your website should require javascript to display an article. Articles consist of text, images and links. Those are the 3 main things html is built for. I can understand requiring javascript for more complex interactions (although most of these are for purposes that themselves are bad, like "cloud service" bullshit and social media spyware. Not to mention, as raddle shows, it's possible to make a highly interactive site where javascript is completely optional), but I should be able to navigate your site and read articles without enabling javascript.

TBH, I think it's kind of a microcosm of our society's unhealthy relationship with technology in which we view increasing technological complexity as good in itself rather than viewing technologies as tools and selecting those that best fit our needs. We fetishize technological "progress" and thus assume that, since we can use javascript, we should even when it doesn't make any sense. And we do that with a lot of other technologies too (see: all of modern society).

Anyway, it just pisses me off when I have to do a bunch of archive.is shenanigans to read a goddamn static article.

</rant>

Comments

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10

noordinaryspider wrote

Yes.

I am bored with computers atm. The question isn't whether I want to try to run Hyperbola LTS without systemd or Free-Dora cutting (not bleeding) edge with systemd, it is whether I want to waste any of the limited number of fucks I have to give on whack-a-mole with web 2.0 any more.

The web I felt dragged onto kicking and screaming during the barely remembered "Anthrax in the postal mail" scare following 9/11/01, however, was sweet and funny and helpful and amazing and brave and silly and ridiculous and heroic in its own way and will always be one of my favourite "back in the days when I was in my 30s and dinosaurs roamed the earth" bedtimestorymemorytales.

Nice to know we agree on this, heckthepolice. Great username. I was momentarily afraid you were my underaged child because he has a similar sense of humour, but he would never have used the term "Web 2.0" or walked this earth long enough to see javashit as a symptom rather than an isolated problem in itself.

5

Volt wrote

Agree and disagree. I think there's a lot about the tech that I like, but the big problem is that we have a handful of corporations steering the direction of the Web. There's a lot of good things that Web 2.0 could enable, but the surveillance-driven engagement-obsessed tech companies make the experience of actually using the Web less than pleasant.

I'm actually nostalgic for the early days of Web 2.0, where we just got wikis, AJAX, RSS, Dublin Core, and microformats. It felt like we were all heading towards a glorious renaissance of information sharing. Instead we got tracked, clickbaited, and advertised to on a massive scale. Capitalism ruins everything in the end.

2

dark wrote

strong agree.

I trace the issue less to JS and more to defederation. Community controlled, distributed applications can have snazzy JS interfaces - Matrix(Synapse), Mastodon,...

4

jorgesumle wrote

You cannot track people easily using static sites.

I think it's kind of a microcosm of our society's unhealthy relationship with technology in which we view increasing technological complexity as good in itself rather than viewing technologies as tools and selecting those that best fit our needs. We fetishize technological "progress" and thus assume that, since we can use javascript, we should even when it doesn't make any sense. And we do that with a lot of other technologies too (see: all of modern society).

Things are getting more complex and interdependent.

Personally, I surf the web with JavaScript disabled. When I code a website I write it to be compatible with LibreJS and always offer the same functionality using a <noscript> tag anyway. I almost always see a lack of care for disabled people as well; JavaScript makes things way more complicated for them, and bad web developers (most of them) don't bother to make websites accessible.

7

emma wrote

JavaScript doesn't hinder accessibility, the website owner does. Modern screen readers interface with your browser to access the DOM tree (meaning web pages with scripts work just fine), and ARIA makes even complex web applications accessible. I'd say the average web page is probably more accessible than your average desktop application, but I don't use screen readers in my daily life so don't quote me on that.

2

jorgesumle wrote

JavaScript doesn't hinder accessibility, the website owner does.

You're right. But I've almost never seen an average website which uses JavaScript caring about the WAI-ARIA recommendation. Interactive elements should have the appropriate aria attributes, but most of the time they don't. With static sites, even if you don't care about the WAI-ARAI, it will be easier for disabled people to understand and they don't have to wonder if something is collapsed or not.

2

noordinaryspider wrote

I don't use screenreaders either.

I hate to self-identify as legally blind. I'm not. I can't access reading glasses or bifocals and I prefer not to be illiterate and in pain all the time.

I am capitalistically blind or sociologically blind but the definition of "legally blind" is somebody who cannot, with any amount of money or social privilege, access artifical augmentation products in order to see as well as i see.

I can turn on Orca Screen Reader any time I choose to.

3

heckthepolice wrote (edited )

That's a really good point about Javascript making things more difficult for disable people. Our society's entire discourse surrounding technology always comes from a really privileged position where we pretty much assume that everyone can afford multiple internet-enabled devices (computer, smartphone, and often others), has reliable internet access in the first place, and is able-bodied and neurotypical, and I myself am guilty of that (I think it's telling that I hadn't even considered the ableist implications of ubiquitous javascript until you mentioned it), and so our technology tends to be really bad at accessibility.

edit: u/emma pointed out that screenreaders actually can handle JavaScript quite well, so it's not necessarily bad for accessibility. They know a lot more about screenreaders and web design than I do, so I'm gonna trust them on this one

You cannot track people easily using static sites.

Yeah, I think you solved it. Though I do still think there's something to the "having javascript is now just assumed" aspect of it as well, since even websites that aren't run by corporations trying to spy on us often include unnecessary javascript.

3

Volt wrote (edited )

You cannot track people easily using static sites.

But you can. DoubleClick was able to do this before Web 2.0 happened with tracking pixels. Where there's a will there's a way.

My point here is – blame capitalism.

3

2145 wrote

You can to some degree, but Javascript allows you to tell how long someone stays on a page, how far they scroll, and all kinds of other invasive details.

3

autonomous_hippopotamus wrote

We need to have Web 3.0 which is the mass acceptance of radically decentralized f free and open source social networking, utilizing the latest forms of encryption and anonymity.

2

2145 wrote

Even before their redesign, reddit's old site semi-recently started making you run scripts just to view the text of a self post. Shit has really gotten out of hand.

1

xxi wrote (edited )

Couldn't agree more. The suckless community is very right on this point and others. Then there's the semi-elitism surrounding it, but they're right in relation to this and other things.

Why use a sledgehammer where a plain ol' hammer would do?

Regarding this subject the sentiment expressed here is pretty much on point.

Example one: http://motherfuckingwebsite.com/ Example two: http://bettermotherfuckingwebsite.com/

You can do wonderful plain 'ol HTML/CSS.