Blog Update: Simplicity

Published: 2021-04-17
Tagged: hacking news thoughts

I just finished reworking the front-end of my blog. The generator behind it is still the same–wintersun.

The previous front-end was already pretty simple and lightweight. Just some hand-written HTML and CSS and a dash of javascript. But looking at how massive other websites have become pushed me to simplify even more. I admit, I feel a little frustrated and distraught when I see how crowded a lot of websites are. That, and how many megabytes of javascript they download.

So I asked myself, What is the function of my blog? How well does it perform that function? Can I make it better and is there some prior art in this domain?

I want my blog to present my writing. It needs to be readable. It looks alright, but looking at prior art, it can be better.

Prior art that inspired me: - Firefox's "reader mode": dark text on bright background. - Pocket: dark text on bright background. - Dead-tree and electronic books: dark text on bright background.

It's as if there's a pattern there ;).

So I: - chucked highlight.js. The few short snippets of code I share on my blog don't benefit much from the 44kb (!) of js. - chucked the fancier css effects like hover-animations and text-shadows. Now it's just #222 text on a #fffafa background. - chucked the orange-gray colorscheme. I can always add it back in later. - chucked columns. Can't get simpler than one column (oh, and it looks great on mobile browsers now).

What's left is a collection of documents with hyperlinks. There's almost no cruft getting in the reader's way now, I hope.

While someone might object that an extra 44kb of javascript aren't a dealbreaker for today's octo-core, nvme-drive powered machines, I see it as a tiny act of kindess toward the reader. "Look, I respect you, I'm not telling your browser to download 44kb of js to highlight 100 bytes of text." I think of it as guerrilla kindness.


There aren't any comments here.

Add new comment