How to combat modern crappy websites? [was: Re: Uncorrectable freedom and security issues on x86 platforms]

Paul Boddie paul at
Sun Apr 24 18:55:31 UTC 2016

On Sunday 24. April 2016 20.09.20 Theo Schmidt wrote:
> Am 23.04.2016 um 16:07 schrieb Paul Boddie:
> ...
> > ... albeit in a world where every Web page wants to run scripts
> > from a hundred sites, show ten videos or animations, and lay itself out
> > over and over again.
> This is becoming more and more of a problem for me. Many "modern" sites
> are unusable without scripting and with older browsers or hardware which
> don't provide up-to-date Javascript and enough speed to cope with the
> often crappy programming. An example is the site of Bern University
> which used to be really nice and usable but now
> won't run on any of my mobile phones (Nokia N900, an older
> Samsung-Android and a friend's older iPhone). On my PC it doesn't look
> nice and navigation isn't possible without Javascript. Ironically the
> relaunch is justified by the need to be usable with mobile phones.

What do they call that again? Adaptive layout? Usually involving pieces of the 
page appearing jumbled in the browser before things suddenly jump into place, 
often just as one is about to click on something, thanks to some JavaScript 
element-decoration technique being all the rage amongst Web designers a few 
years ago. After all that effort, the result is often very familiar: layers of 
boxes upon boxes on a white background. I guess the consensus is that this 
looks good on an iPad.

And, of course, Twitter, Facebook and numerous "content delivery networks" and 
analytics sites all have to serve up content onto the megapage (links to other 
pages also being unfashionable on some sites). I actually don't run NoScript, 
but I do block certain sites and domains, but one disables things at one's own 
peril because the site may have decided that some random "asset" needs to be 
loaded or the site's core functionality won't work. Even if one's browser has 
to join a long queue of browsers needing to download, say, the jQuery 
libraries (for the hundredth time today) or some Web fonts.

> Unfortunately ever more companies and organisations are "relauching"
> their websites in this manner. Is there any campaign be FSFE, FSF or
> other organisations protesting against this developement?
> Or am I just an old fogey who isn't "with it"?

I fear that we are part of a small club whose opinion can't be heard above the 
chorus of squealing influencers and those without the long-term perspectives 
to realise just how absurd and wasteful this all is.


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