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

Paul sutton zleap at
Mon Apr 25 06:58:49 UTC 2016

I agree,   in fact,  I am getting e-mails with scripts in,  if I try and
delete a lot of e-mails during a clear out it sometimes stalls saying
something is wrong due to some java script running.

So e-mails are now mini web sites   thunderbird blocks most of the
content,  unless i unblock it per e-mail but it is just a pain generally.

What is wrong with simple plain text e-mail.


> 1. Web pages used to be documents.
> 2. Then interactive documents.
> 3. Now often programs that create interactive documents in the browser.
> 4. And sometimes just programs that fetch and display data.
> 5. And sometimes a program that is a sort of web browser in a web browser.
> I think that 3 and beyond are only suitable for control interfaces.
> My moment of realisation came 14-15 years ago working for a media company
> whose href were: javascript:window.navigate("/URL/...")
> Absolute idiocy!
> Sam
> On 24 Apr 2016 7:56 p.m., "Paul Boddie" <paul at> wrote:
>> 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.
>> Paul
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