"Front-end" developer, Pete Lambert, writes about why front-end "web" developers should start to learn HTML. More and more developers are using only pre-made frameworks and quite unfamiliar with the fundmentals of the technology they are using, such as semantic markup. He notes that the continued failure to pay attention to the basics of semantics is slowly breaking what's left of the World Wide Web and suggests reasons to correct that and has some pointers to learning resources.
I’m a ‘frontend of the frontend’ kind of guy. My expertise is in HTML and CSS, so it’s easy for me to wax lyrical about why everybody should learn what I already know (for the record, I don’t know it all - we still have heated debates in the office about what the best way to mark up a certain component might be). This isn’t about ‘my job’s more important than yours. If you’re writing code that renders things in a browser, this is your job.
Earlier on SN:
How to Build and Host an Energy Efficient Web Site (2018)
Conservative Web Development (2018)
Dodgy Survey Shows 1 in 10 Believe HTML is an STD? (2014)
"Coupon code website VoucherCloud.net's publicity firm, 10 Yetis PR, recently released a press release on VoucherCloud's behalf. The release stated that of 2,392 American adults polled, 11% thought 'HTML [is a] Sexually-transmitted disease,' and 23% thought 'MP3 [is a] Star Wars Robot. The media, beginning with the LA Times ran with the story seemingly without digging into the facts and other sites echoed the story. 10 Yetis PR has a page showing screenshots of much of the coverage. iMediaEthics noted the survey results were not available at the time, and that 'Vouchercloud's publicity firm, 10 Yetis PR, lists its work in viral marketing and stunts on its website.' 10 Yetis PR provided similar poll results late last year that one in six UK residents have never visited their local bank branch.
Is this good publicity seeking by 10 Yetis for VoucherCloud, or simply poor journalism on behalf of the media who uncritically ran the story?"
Programmer Drew DeVault writes a blog post about conservative web development after poking at a few popular sites and finding that only 8% of the data downloaded among the megabytes of advertisements, scripts, and third-party scripts is actually related to content. This represents several usability problems. After walking through some of the more problematic symptoms he proposes several steps which can remediate the state of the web.
Web cache poisoning just got real: How to fling evil code at victims
Rowhammer.js Is the Most Ingenious Hack I've Ever Seen and
Oh, great, now there's a SECOND remote Rowhammer exploit
[TMB note: Except the "collapse/expand this whole damned thread" button.]
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Software developer Drew DeVault has written a post at his blog about the reckless, infinite scope of today's web browsers. His conclusion is that, given decades of feature creep, it is now impossible to build a new web browser due to the obscene complexity of the web.
I conclude that it is impossible to build a new web browser. The complexity of the web is obscene. The creation of a new web browser would be comparable in effort to the Apollo program or the Manhattan project.
It is impossible to:
- Implement the web correctly
- Implement the web securely
- Implement the web at all
Starting a bespoke browser engine with the intention of competing with Google or Mozilla is a fool's errand. The last serious attempt to make a new browser, Servo, has become one part incubator for Firefox refactoring, one part playground for bored Mozilla engineers to mess with technology no one wants, and zero parts viable modern web browser. But WebVR is cool, right? Right?
The consequences of this are obvious. Browsers are the most expensive piece of software a typical consumer computer runs. They're infamous for using all of your RAM, pinning CPU and I/O, draining your battery, etc. Web browsers are responsible for more than 8,000 CVEs.3
The browser duopoly of Firefox and Chrome/Chromium has clearly harmed the World-Wide Web. However, a closer look at the membership of the W3C committes also reveals representation by classic villains which, perhaps coincidentally, showed up around the time the problems noted by Drew began to grow.
An Open Letter to Web Developers (2020)
Google Now Bans Some Linux Web Browsers from their Services (2019)
HTML is the Web (2019)
The Future of Browsers (2019)
One Year Since the W3C Sold Out the Web with EME (2018)