TITLE: Parsimony and Obesity on the Web AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford DATE: January 07, 2016 1:52 PM DESC: ----- BODY: Maciej Cegłowski is in fine form in his talk The Website Obesity Crisis. In it, he mentions recent projects from Facebook and Google to help people create web pages that load quickly, especially for users of mobile devices. Then he notes that their announcements do not practice what the projects preach:
These comically huge homepages for projects designed to make the web faster are the equivalent of watching a fitness video where the presenter is just standing there, eating pizza and cookies.
There is even more irony in creating special subsets of HTML "designed to be fast on mobile devices".
Why not just serve regular HTML without stuffing it full of useless crap?
William Howard Taft, a president of girth
Wikipedia photo
(photographer not credited)
Indeed. Cegłowski offers a simple way to determine whether the non-text elements of your page are useless, which he dubs the Taft Test:
Does your page design improve when you replace every image with William Howard Taft?
(Taft was an American president and chief justice widely known for his girth.) My blog is mostly text. I should probably use more images, to spice up the visual appearance and to augment what the text says, but doing so takes more time and skill than I often have at the ready. When I do use images, they tend to be small. I am almost certainly more parsimonious than I need to be for most Internet connections in the 2010s, even wifi. You will notice that I never embed video, though. I dug into the documentation for HTML and found a handy alternative to use in its place: the web link. It is small and loads fast. -----