Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Old Internet Will Make a Comeback

You heard it here first! (Maybe not.) Old Internet activities like Blogger and LiveJournal are going to be hot again. Longform soliloquies like this one will become popular forms of expression again as we tire of our uncles having something to say about everything on social media platforms. Widely-supported, probably-already-installed, instant-loading fonts like Verdana will make a comeback, and expensive fonts like Circular which have to be downloaded and slow down page loads will fall out of favor. Maybe this time these newly-hot old platforms will benefit from wide support for emoji. 🔥 (Maybe not.) I betcha there will be some "new" site that replicates the experiences of these classic platforms.

How refreshing that Old Internet sites load pretty much instantly. The Servo or V8 or WebKit engine in your browser is overengineered to load and execute poorly-written JavaScript faster than it really should run. It's not just the web developers' faults though; basically all software is enormous and slow these days. If you keep your site simple and low-tech, it's like driving to the corner store to get some milk with a souped-up Ferrari, which is a funny image. (But did we really need the Ferrari in the first place?) Maybe just keep it simple and low-tech because all computers require energy to run and we ought to be responsible about energy consumption. "Call 4-H to find out how you can do your part."

(My favorite part of Old Internet? Hyperlinks! Maybe I just wish web pages thought of themselves as simple documents on the greater World Wide Web instead of be-all, end-all experiences. You might have already guessed that I don't think Facebook is the bee's knees.)

Go grab a stopwatch, click this link, and start the stopwatch. You can stop the stopwatch when the page finishes loading. How long did it take to load?