Design philosophy

Design philosophy

I know all big tech companies that spy on you and don't respect your privacy say this, but your privacy is my number one priority. As such, this site does not use any JavaScript, but your privacy is not the only reason for that, because solutions like LibreJS exist.

I believe the web was better in the early 2000s when excessive JavaScript usage wasn't rampant like it is today. A simple web browser could be written, and the web was simple. This meant you didn't need to use up all your resources to load a simple page. Nowadays, developers are far too lazy to put effort into optimizing their websites, and instead resort to using many lines of JavaScript to accomplish a task which doesn't require JavaScript, and this JavaScript almost always requires a bloated web browser to function, which also requires a powerful computer as a result. I think this is unacceptable, and most people having modern computers does not justify having layers on top of layers of bloatware. A simple test, one that all websites should pass is what I call the "links test". The page must be usable in the command line browser links. If it is not, and it's possible to fix the issue then your website sucks.

Using JavaScript also adds significant complexity to what should just be a simple static website. JavaScript is a much more complex language than a simple document or even PHP. JavaScript can also be a major security risk. The only time using JavaScript is justified is when a task cannot reliably be done on the backend using PHP, or simple HTML/CSS. The only service on my site where this is the case is my Forgejo instance. But despite this, developers now use it as a replacement for what PHP used to do, because apparently PHP is just too hard. So now you're moving your bloat from the backend to the user who has to download an execute your possibly malicious script. Not cool.

For some, JavaScript just isn't bloated enough, so to make matters worse a JavaScript toolkit is used on top, which sometimes makes JavaScript easier for the developer, but more painful for the user, who has to download that toolkit along with the script itself and execute it. All this for what, aesthetics? Are you fucking serious?

Beyond JavaScript being bloated by design, it is often obfuscated to save disk space and bandwidth, but as a result it is possible to hide malicious features in the script, knowing that most people are not going to understand it, and even experienced JavaScript developers will find it difficult to read because it's obfuscated. This is not just a theory either, companies like Google, Microsoft, Amazon and Apple all do this to spy on you. With no JavaScript, this just isn't possible and the only real information one can use to track you is your IP address and your user agent string, which only really tell you what operating system and browser version is used.

As for the philosophy for the website itself, the website should be clean, minimal and easy to navigate. No ads, no trackers, no spyware, nothing. Just text and occasionally images transmitted through the internet. The website should also work nicely with extensions such as Vim Vixen and Vimium, or web browsers like Qutebrowser. For simplicity, PHP is used to insert the header and footer into every page, allowing changes to be made to the header and footer that appear everywhere. For collaboration, a simple Git repository is used, where people can create issues and submit pull requests.

External fonts have also been thrown in the trash. Having to load the same old fonts from an external source every time is a massive waste, and actually gives the user less freedom over his or her websites should look. You should be able to style my website client side however you wish. Therefore your web browser's default Monospace font is used to display the site.

A minimal look is also used almost everywhere. A good example of this is the menu/bar at the top. It just has some links to pages you might want to see, and that's it. A gray, dark colorscheme is also used, with some minimal blue accent here and there. I think this design does a good job at representing the minimal philosophy and anti bloat stance.