It seems like a great time to reiterate: I hate clientside JavaScript, and the feature bloat it has brought to The Web and mainstream browser engines (Gecko, WebKit, & Blink). This can't and shouldn't last!

I want The Web to focus on hypertext (without JavaScript turning every feature into an attack vector on privacy) that can be rendered nicely in more form factors than just a laptop or tablet.

Everything else should be shoved off onto other MIMEtypes or URI schemes.

@alcinnz A huge amount of JS could be eliminated if basic HTML had some notion of a post/comment response tree, relation, and interactions (scoring, filtering, replying, muting, blocking). That should be a fundamental part of the epistemic (content-based) Web.

I've also argued that the Web should be divided into four roles:

- Text/content and interactions.
- Commerce, including payment and trust mechanisms.
- Multimedia: video/audio playback.
- Apps beyond these.

@alcinnz The Web *began* as a content delivery / publication systems (though lacking Critical Bits such as Search and Archival).

Media got bolted on via the <img> tag (later audio and video), and commerce was later added. Both remain problematic.

The absence of sane defaults for styling, a recognised set of standard page formats (index, article, gallery/catalogue, discussion, stream, etc.) and uniform formatting, is a huge part of the problem -> CSS and JS paper that over.

@dredmorbius Wow! That's plenty to think about!

After next week I'll start exploring tag-based bookmark management, and I'll be keen to get your feedback on my take.

I can't say I'm 100% against CSS (I prefer webdevs to apply style that way rather than using HTML), but at the very least userstyles need to significantly more prominant. Whether or not we want to block author styles.

@alcinnz CSS isn't *necessarily* bad, but it *often* is. It's a near-necessity because browser defaults are so poor AND there's no reasonable set of default templates.

As the article says: "Web design isn't the solution, Web design is the problem."

What I often resort to is using some sort of "reader-mode" tool *and then restyling that to my preferences* for an optimal reading experience. The Reader Mode at least creates a consistent base state I can work from.

When you distribute design...

@alcinnz ... you end up with a bunch of different sources all reinventing the wheel, poorly and with a limited or nonexistent grasp of end-user needs, experiences, and interests.

If the default appearance of an unstyled Web page were closer to a Reader Mode page (margins, limited line length, decent fonts, images generally fitting to display width), we'd be a lot better off.

A catalogue of standard layouts which could have standard client-side stylings or optional site-supplied CSS would help.

@alcinnz Note that that last _still_ allows sites to choose their own style *if they want*, but makes it far easier (and more uniform) for users to override that.

Leaving some stock styling options (header/footer colour schemes, logo and art) would allow personality and "branding" to be applied, but within sane limits.

Then you've got idiots (and tools) with absolutely no grasp of what HTML is or how it should be used, and ... I have seen things. Things you wouldn't believe. Ships on fire...


@alcinnz Examples:

An old newspaper columnist who wraps everything in <h4> tags. Presumably because <p> is too small for their old eyes.

A site where *every motherloving paragraph* had explicit pixel-precise location placement.

Another old writer who manually inserts leading whitespace to indent paragraphs.

And don't get me started on the crap in RSS feeds.

Obfuscated "minified" Cloture JS and CSS from Google and others. Utterly nonsemantic crap.

NYTimes' homebrewed JS <table> alternate.

@alcinnz There's the fact that stock HTML lacks equation support.

(One of my dreams is to scrap HTML for LaTeX and call it a day.)

Or reasonable endnote / citations / footnote support (also in LaTeX.)

I know a lot of this because I restyle a ton of sites *for my own use and ability to even motherloving tolerate them* through Stylus. Pretty damned much learned CSS by fixing Google+'s craptacular shit.

Again: sane defaults would make much of this go away. But we don't have those.

@dredmorbius There's MathML, but everyone other than WebKit and Igalia apparantly had better things to maintain than that. Yuck!

@dredmorbius Except if you exclusively target WebKit browsers. That was comment about browsers apparantly having better things to maintain was referring to.

@alcinnz Ah, I didn't know that. So it's an independent XML spec which at least some browsers implement directly:

@alcinnz There've been some attempts. The hNews Microformats are one. I think that's languished if not dead, but also somewhat exemplifies the problem: it's *way* possible to go overboard with specifications.

I think we might need to front schema specs something like 16 elements, and then charge them $100 for the next, doubling the charge for each additional element specified. Want 10 elements? That's $102,400, please!

Want 100 elements? $1.27 * 10^32.

Keep. It. Fucking. Simple.

@dredmorbius Certainly, I've seen plenty of that.

I'll look into hNews...

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