Breaking the bad, pushing a worse internet (part II)

June 21st, 2015

In an earlier post we lamented the behavior of multinationals by dropping noble classic Internet principles like Graceful degradation and progressive enhancement to strengthen their business model at a high security and privacy cost for users.

Go to a site with JS disabled and you see Nada. Zilch. On Google, on Twitter, Facebook tells us it can do much without JS. Nonsense, that is their policy, it’s not your fault.

If a user disables JS for privacy, security or other reasons, websites should at least show content. OK, we’re talking about informational websites, but that is the way internet is build. Around uniform resource locator (URLs) so you expect content, a resource (=HTML) on that URL. And different content on a different URL. Web-apps show different content on one URL.

Is JS bad, no, no it’s powerful, and all what is powerful can be used for good and bad cases. And honestly on mobile devices, I don’t like JS at all. Opera Mini is my favourite browser or Firefox with JS disabled. Even reading on sites about the new developments of JS. A little added functionality is nice. The problem of JS, you can’t separate the good from the bad. And JS scripts have access to everything you type or click.

Be aware, were talking about informational websites, not web-apps. Hiding content in web-apps is a bad idea. Don’t try to mimic native apps. Web-apps gain from a clever underlying RESTFULL approach. every GUI has an underlying CLI, and the Internet of things will never use a GUI. Bluntly stated: A JS driven GUI is a facade to lure humans and force JS on them.. Yes, preloading can help usability, but why not add a preload attribute to every next or previous link in your content. JS is not needed for that.

Why?

Javascript is the money maker on the Internet. Multinationals need to run programs (scripts) on your computer/device otherwise their business model is broken. Forget cookies, it’s about programs they’re running on your devices with or without your consent. They want to run on your device to collect your data. All the aggregated data collected from all our phones, gives a pretty damn good estimation what mankind does these days? Don’t you think that is worth billions? Yes, that is the strategical asset of tomorrow and big Internet-companies gulp that down as fast as they can.

What about HTML5. Of course it adds functionality and useful stuff, but they are also shaping the Internet to improve their business model, not necessarily to improve Internet. Ever seen  a place where you can play an HTML video without JS. Wikipedia maybe, but not on any Google, Twitter, Facebook or Microsoft site.

According to Google HTML5 is HTML + CSS + JS, maybe. Does that rule out proprietary standards? I think so; what’s not in the equation is out. Great, flash/silverlight/activeX are out. Really great so far. It doesn’t mean, at least I’m arguing it should not mean that HTML without CSS or JS is not HTML5.

Internet has been democratic, and it starting to be less democratic nowadays. Look for yourself. Proprietary standards have returned in video.

CSS2

In ascending order of precedence:

  1. user agent declarations
  2. user normal declarations
  3. author normal declarations
  4. author important declarations
  5. user important declarations

http://www.w3.org/TR/CSS21/cascade.html#specificity

CSS3 less democratic

In descending order of precedence:

  1. Transition declarations [CSS3-TRANSITIONS]
  2. Important user agent declarations
  3. Important user declarations
  4. Important override declarations [DOM-LEVEL-2-STYLE]
  5. Important author declarations
  6. Animation declarations [CSS3-ANIMATIONS]
  7. Normal override declarations [DOM-LEVEL-2-STYLE]
  8. Normal author declarations
  9. Normal user declarations
  10. Normal user agent declarations

http://www.w3.org/TR/css-cascade-3/#cascading

I dunno if they changed the order to muffle things, but you can see clearly that important UA-declarations precede important user declarations nowadays.

The User was the most important decider, now it’s the User Agent. (BTW I don’t know why we can’t have User Transition declarations.). Also note that on Google Chrome settings for user declarations are not available.

What is the use of user-declarations you could ask?

Well, visual impaired or colorblind people can override colors or force different bigger fonts. Great you would say. Some advanced clients (Opera historically, Firefox) could also drop the author declaration completely and show only user declarations, something like Firefox Reader / Apple Safari Reader mode on mobile devices avant la lettre.

I’m not entirely sure why UA-declarations precede user-declarations and whether or not they should be configurable, but if they’re not. Voila, Google, Apple and Microsoft decide how we look to the world. Let alone that User CSS settings are mostly gone.

CSS turned from a democracy into a dictatorship.

Back to a hot topic, responsive sites.

Remember browser venodrs ruled out User-CSS, and that they are forcing JS. And now Google is pushing us all to responsive site.

But wait a minute? What is the fastest way to make a responsive site?

The fastest way to make a site responsive

How can we make a site responsive, it is simple. Add this to the HTML, actually mobile browsers could/should inject it, if absent.

<code><meta name=”viewport” content=”width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0″></code>

And disable CSS.

Yes, plain HTML is responsive.

So if we had a proper client with some proper CSS options we could have usable and accessible websites on any device, without any one changing or updating any code. Saving millions. But Google  doesn’t like simple solutions, it pushes JS driven frameworks, that mixes up functionality with styling, and denies basic CSS options to the user. It denies the user options, and it forces their own wishes.

Remember, without JS most companies do not earn a penny:

  • No tracking ,
  • No advertisements,
  • No widget, or any script running
  • No like/share buttons

A little about social media buttons

Share buttons are not about them sharing something. If you wanna to share a link with your friends, message them an url. And if you want to share a resource like music or movies, we all know a more efficient way to do that, even globally and economically. And they don’t like it at all. BTW they could have used that in the first place.

What social media buttons really mean is: please share your social network, tell us the names of all your friends and please share your online presence with us.

Don’t let you be fooled, it’s business outside, no matter how the PR-departments claiming it’s all about fun. Maybe the look friendly, but they are cannibals in disguise. They don’t feed on your blood or flesh but on the things you do, by logging them all.

Disable JS, and if a site is not accessible, the authors broke the Internet.

One Response to “Breaking the bad, pushing a worse internet (part II)”

  1. greenie Says:

    Some people probably think disable your computer, and if a site is not accessible, read a book. 😀