All Blue links tagged as

Web development

HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and other tools of the craft


The Cost of JavaScript Frameworks

There is no faster (pun intended) way to slow down a site than to use a bunch of JavaScript.

Tim Kadlec, “The Cost of JavaScript Frameworks

Tim Kadlec is the author of several books about different aspects of modern web development. In this blog post he goes in details (and numbers) about the cost at which our reliance on the various JavaScript frameworks comes to our users, customers, website visitors. The data is from the year 2020 when this article was published, but the things have only got worse since then.


Retro-review of the Netscape Composer 4.8 WYSIWYG HTML editor

Netscape Communicator 4.8 was the latest (or better to say, the last) version of the Communicator software suit from the August 2002. Besides the web browser, Netscape Navigator, it contained email client, a calendar, and a very capable and well designed WYSIWYG HTML editor, Netscape Composer, that was producing surprisingly sane code comparing to its main competitors at that time: Microsoft Frontpage and Macromedia Dreamweaver.

Pier-Luc Brault, CS teacher from Qu├ębec, Canada, gives a great review to this piece of computer history:

“So, how was it to use a WYSIWYG web page editor from over 20 years ago? Quite pleasant, actually. That application has more than decent UX, and has not made me swear nearly as much as Microsoft Word does in a typical usage session.”


PHP ain’t dead

PHP is big. The trolls can proclaim its all-but-certain “death” until the cows come home, but no amount of heckling changes that the Internet runs on PHP.

Timo Tijhof “An Internet of PHP

A great compilation of statistical data about PHP use in the wild and a short link list that further proves that PHP as the back-end language of the internet is far from being in decline or even stagnation.


Single HTML file website

This is a really cool thing, that is not complex at all: the whole site packed in a single HTML file. Pages are wrapped into <section> HTML tag, each with its own ID and linked with inner links, anchors. By default, all sections are hidden, but they become visible with the help of CSS :target selector.

<section id="home">
...
</section>

<section id="page">
...
</section>

<section id="blog"> 
...        
</section>
HTML part

The whole “code” for the website to work fits into three CSS rules:

section {
	...
	display: none;
	position: absolute;
	top: 0;
	min-height: 100vh;
	width: 100%;
}

section:target { /* Show section */
	display: block;
}

section#home { /* Show #home by default */
	display: block;
}
CSS part

It will even work with a sane number of images when using loading="lazy" to instruct the browser not to load images unless they are to become visible. When such “website” is meant to be distributed via any kinds of file sharing and accessed locally, both CSS and images can be embedded into HTML to make it truly single HTML file easy to move around.


Why your website should work without JavaScript

Only 0.2% of people intentionally block JavaScript, concludes Nathaniel from endtimes.dev in his blog post “Why your website should work without JavaScript.

His analysis shows that roughly 1% are browsing internet without being able to run JavaScript. Of which around 0.8% are doing it because they don’t have other choice for various reasons.

The author argues that there are still plenty of benefits in catering to these people: it will help you to build sites that are faster, smaller, reliable, accessible both for humans and search engines, more secure and easier to develop.


A valid argument against hamburger menus

Hamburger menus, a common practice of compressing website’s main menu into a single icon displaying the said menu in a drop-down list on click, is a complete disregard for accessibility — argues Brad Taunt in his blog post “Stop Using Hamburger Menus.

His solution is to put all the links into the footer sitemap — a big text menu in the bottom of the page that is accessible on every device in every browser and even with JavaScript turned off.


You don’t need JavaScript for the websites that only deliver content

Another strong argument against using JavaScript on every website even if it is completely unnecessary.

The Web I Want by Chris James:

“Most websites are about delivering and exploring content. HTML is amazing for this, and you don’t need JavaScript.”