So @maxlynch hit me right in the feels with this one:

I have deep, deep regrets that I have not been able to convince browser makers to refuse to load 2.7MB of JS, critical path, served uncompressed.
Browser teams (the folks who work on UI) don't think of content as "their problem". For historical reasons, they care about TLS and that has helped them make common cause with security interests.
But no such enlightenment has occurred around performance...and in particular, perf so bad that it endangers accessibility.

Platform teams, meanwhile, focus on making the runtime faster, rather than building common cause between users on high-end and low-end devices.
At the extreme, platform managers can be convinced to invest in dealing with some of the squeakiest wheels, but not in effective ways.

Using browser UI and platform/devtools pressure to push back on behavior that will predictably suck for users is ~~controversial~~
Nevermind that this is the *EXACT* playbook that has worked so effectively in the security domain.

Interlocking platform, browser, and devtools changes have migrated a RIDICULOUS amount of traffic to be encrypted on the wire.….
This involved potential breakage of HUGE amounts of content!

But we did it.

How? By pre-committing URL bar pixels to the cause:…

What browser makers put in ever-present UI is what they *actually* care about.
Browser makers, as a class, DO NOT CARE about sites that are so slow as to be functionally inaccessible by a huge majority of users.

BUT -- they will say -- look at all the features we added! Lite modes! Reader modes! Slow-link detection!
The common thread between these features is that, like the platform performance optimisation work that toils on endlessly, they must attempt to make change without ever confronting the wealthy and the enfranchised with the reality that these websites are failures.
So decision makers -- CEOs, CTOs, marketing leads, etc. -- are never perturbed with the reality that their own websites are failing everyone.

But they'll sure as hell know if there is stray mixed content.

Into this voide a disturbing, now-perennial denial has emerged.
Web developers do not *have* to fix performance for the least of these, our users, and so they do not.

Instead, they lean into the most "modern" tools.

Are they good?

No. Not in terms of results.

Let me say that again: modern web development is a failure.
This is not even the dozenth public-sector, critical infrastructure that I've seen sunk by Modern Webdev.

Are there lots of things going on here?

Yes! And that's the failure.

The systems developers are encouraged to use are so complex they *TEND* to fail.
*CAN* they be good? Of course.

But the reduction to a single example is, like all discussions of performance, an epistemic failure.

You have to look at the distributions.
...and the distribution of web pages that do OK by most users most of the time that are primarily HTML and CSS vs. those that are mostly JS is shockingly different.
RIP my notifications as everyone piles into "ok, but doesn't Core Web Vitals cause people to care?"

And the answer is: at the margin.

Do we need that margin of improvement? Yes, but others too.

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More from @slightlylate

7 Oct

Might need to be off Twitter while @fugueish and @justinschuh *ahem* digest this press release.
Big reveal: it's Chromium!

But secure?
/me checks their website

*surely* they must be a description of how this thing improves sandboxing, allocators, control-flow hardening...something?

Read 7 tweets
11 Aug
F: is he saying "super moms"?
me: I think he is?
I don't know how @ErrataRob is dealing with this...the stuff on the live stream is *UNHINGED*.
@ErrataRob The sincere stupidity is arresting and terrifying in equal measure.
Read 7 tweets
10 Aug
Your shopping website is not an SPA.

I repeat: your shopping website is not an SPA.

Stop trying to sculpt David with a JS chainsaw and get yourself an HTML/CSS chisel.
Like, it *could* be an SPA, in the same sense that one *could* use a solid rocket booster to power one's car.
How do I know it's ridiculous to apply this much JS to the problem?

Because I helped build e-commerce sites with similar features (filtering, carts, etc.) that had to work on 4.0 browsers over 33.6 modems to WebTV boxes in 1999.
Read 6 tweets
16 Jul
"$120 smartphone being sold for $500" you say? Why yes, cheap Androids *are* my beat.

A quick 🧵 on the technical specs of the UMIDIGI A9 Pro (a.k.a. "Freedom Phone") and how it stacks up against vs. legit $500USD devices.
The chip inside is the 8-core MediaTek Helio P60 (a.k.a., MT6771). It was initially released in early *2018* and was not a competitive part even then:…

By modern standards it's a pile of 💩; no device above ~$200 should use it.
Looking at the headline specs, this thing's a dog. There are 8 cores, but as with most Android devices, that's less than half the picture.

The *fast* cores (4 x A73's) are a design from *2016*:…

The slow cores are 2012's A53:…
Read 19 tweets
8 Jul
There's a lot of cultural rot packed into this and, per usual, California's *messed up* land use and tax policies are the backdrop.

To recap: Prop 13 means housing gets cheaper the longer you hold, not just 'cuz feds subsidize mortgages, but also property taxes.
Combined with now-rampant NIMBY-ism from the last generation to enjoy tax-funded higher ed, spiraling property costs mean the dream of owning a reasonable home and starting a family is a receding vision.

How bad is it?……
The "way up" is "supposed to be" tech -- one of the few industries often paying enough to get you a slice of California. And for the lucky few, it absolutely is.

But the path to that is brutal.
Read 12 tweets
8 Jul
I take this blog post to mean that Play will provide WebAPKs to competing browsers and that I'll be able to install other stores on my Pixel.

Do I have that right?
My contention for something like a decade has been that if your tree is closed for half the year, you're "kept source", regardless of the license code eventually drops with:

One quick point and then a longer one.

Quickly, the distance between Play's mission and Google's mission has always been both obvious and disappointing.

So why does it persist? To grok that, we have to understand the origin stories.

Read 15 tweets

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