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#1 2019-09-02 12:24:43

jakob
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From: Germany
Registered: 2005-01-20
Posts: 3,503
Website

Reassuring words

Chris Ferdinandi, the Vanilla JS guy, offers some reassuring words to those dinosaurs like me who haven’t yet got to grips with the newest UI frameworks in his short ebook The Lean Web. Read it online at leanweb.dev.


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#2 2019-09-02 16:28:49

bici
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From: vancouver
Registered: 2004-02-24
Posts: 1,494
Website

Re: Reassuring words

I may or may not be yelling “Amen!” at the screen.
– Trey Piepmeier

Jumping wildly about

…. texted postive

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#3 2019-09-03 09:35:22

Bloke
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From: Leeds, UK
Registered: 2006-01-29
Posts: 8,749
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Re: Reassuring words

Ooooh, I like this. Read it last night, thank you. This has always been my experience when trying to get my head round these frameworks: my underlying thought process has always been why?

I can see the benefit from a code standpoint, but my general feeling from trying various apps written in Angular, React and so forth is that, as a user, they’re sluggish and bloated.

And yes, I’m a dinosaur and proud of it. Need a badge for that.


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#4 2019-09-03 11:30:59

gaekwad
Admin
From: People's Republic of Cornwall
Registered: 2005-11-19
Posts: 2,572

Re: Reassuring words

Bloke wrote #319217:

And yes, I’m a dinosaur and proud of it. Need a badge for that.

Take your pick:

🦕 🦖

(In my travels, I discovered www.dinosauremoji.com — bonus points for the sheer niche-ness of that.)

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#5 2019-09-03 11:46:07

phiw13
Plugin Author
From: Japan
Registered: 2004-02-27
Posts: 1,691
Website

Re: Reassuring words

Bloke wrote #319217:

Ooooh, I like this.

Me too. I briefly scanned through it yesterday, will come back for a closer look. I‘m no fan ops frameworks either, CSS or JS. Hate Bootstrap.

And yes, I’m a dinosaur and proud of it. Need a badge for that.

May I have a badge as well ? with a big old fashioned dino. Remembering the Mozilla logo of days gone?

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#6 2019-09-03 13:56:27

Algaris
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From: England
Registered: 2006-01-27
Posts: 443

Re: Reassuring words

I like the look of this.

I’ve always struggled with frameworks. I have to use Bootstrap at work because that’s what some of the web apps we use are based on. I always feel I’m fighting against it when it comes to overriding styles and adding in my own CSS though.

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#7 2019-09-03 15:35:51

bici
Member
From: vancouver
Registered: 2004-02-24
Posts: 1,494
Website

Re: Reassuring words

My laptop – which is a a dinosaur by any definition – groans and strains when i visit certain sites.
It then slowly lumbers to a snail’s pace and eventually goes extinct.

I now have learned to avoid many sites whenI am on my classic ol laptop.

I wish there was an app that would warn us when we are about to visit a site that will cause laptop to overheat due to heavy loading webpages.

And so -– with Textpattern there is hope for the future!


…. texted postive

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#8 2019-09-03 16:13:18

gaekwad
Admin
From: People's Republic of Cornwall
Registered: 2005-11-19
Posts: 2,572

Re: Reassuring words

The latest Firefox nightly for macOS has reportedly much lower power usage in some circumstances.

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#9 2019-09-04 09:43:56

jakob
Admin
From: Germany
Registered: 2005-01-20
Posts: 3,503
Website

Re: Reassuring words

Bloke wrote #319217:

I can see the benefit from a code standpoint, but my general feeling from trying various apps written in Angular, React and so forth is that, as a user, they’re sluggish and bloated.

I think Chris Ferdinandi had been fairly even-handed about it, saying there’s a place and a purpose for them (i.e. for Progressive Web Apps, large quantities of data, etc. …), but that it’s not for every regular website just because it happens to be the current trend. For a small site, you get a lot of baggage, for a large site where you may be making more use of the plethora of possibilities they offer, it could make sense.

Algaris wrote #319222:

I’ve always struggled with frameworks. I have to use Bootstrap at work because that’s what some of the web apps we use are based on. I always feel I’m fighting against it when it comes to overriding styles and adding in my own CSS though.

While he was mostly talking about js-based UI-replicating frameworks and complex build systems, you’re right that the same basic principle of “what you need to achieve the respective purpose” also applies and Bootstrap and co often exceed that. Where it gets tricky / interesting is what (or how much) to include for what might conceivably come up in future on the site. A framework will have you covered for a plethora of purposes. On the one hand you can respond quite quickly to changing requirements, on the other you may never ever use the possibilities it provides.

This is the problem one faces when making themes because the scope is not clear from the outset. How much do you want to support? How specific do you make it without becoming too limiting for the potential user? The WP market started off with lots of more focussed themes, but has grown so huge that hunting for “the right” theme has become laborious. The response of some in that market was to develop huge all-singing all-dancing theme frameworks that cover almost everything. They are now correspondingly popular but at the same incredibly wasteful, sending truckloads of unneeded scripts and fonts and iconsets for pages that don’t even use them.
Of course, some “webdesigners” simply purchase one or two of these mega-themes and then churn out websites for good money with little thought and (comparatively) little outlay. And they’re probably more lucrative as business ventures too…

bici wrote #319223:

I wish there was an app that would warn us when we are about to visit a site that will cause laptop to overheat due to heavy loading webpages.

I think (like with mobile phones) you can make some browsers not execute certain processor-heavy animations, methods etc. Otherwise, though, the browser can’t really know what it’ll be faced with until it starts downloading stuff.

– – –

Overall, though, meant “reassuring” in a slightly tongue-in-cheek way. On the one hand it lets “us dinosaurs” off the hook from that lingering sense of “when I get time, I should really familiarise myself with …” feeling. At the same time, it’s a rather convenient excuse ;-)

But really it resonated with me in a more general sense that basic principles still apply regardless of the means used and that one’s choices should be informed by what’s needed rather than what’s there or what’s possible. Just because Textpattern is not “at the forefront” along with the most recent frameworks out there, it doesn’t mean it’s outdated. In many cases, it’s more appropriate for the smaller scale sites many of us make.

The other aspect that I found myself nodding to was the more general aspect of a “lean ideology”. While I admire some of the initiatives like the self-hosted solar-powered low-footprint site with dithered gif images that there was a post about earlier in the year, you can’t really sell that idea to a client. Likewise, Destry posted earlier about the Global Climate Strike (https://globalclimatestrike.net/) but then removed it again (I think due to the fact that it hooks up with a lot of trackers). While switching off your internet services for a day raises awareness, taking a more considered and considerate approach in general would be more effective in the long term. If you have the time and inclination, by all means perfect your page speed score to the best you can, but making better choices to begin with already gets you (and all of us) a long way (the old 80-20 Pareto principle). I’m thinking of simple things like do you need jQuery just for a pagetop scroller? Do you need to load the carousel script on pages without a slider? Do you need 1535 icons (fontawesome) or 840 emoticons (WP emojis) on your site? Do you need CDN servers across the world consuming electricity to ensure quick load speeds in Australia when your target readership is German?

I’ll stop preaching now – not least because I suspect you’re already the converted –, but that was what I found most reassuring about Chris Ferdinandi’s short ebook.


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