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    Images (in the modern web) are uninformative, but are simply advertisements of content.

    This is straight-up clickbait nonsense. Images are a vital part of conveying useful information and have been since humans started communicating. Try reading a math text without figures or describing anatomy purely with words. They do much more than advertise.

    I think the dig at the “modern web” may be at posts that throw in gratuitous images, especially the kind of thing you see on Medium. Such images often are pointless, but then again, so is the text.

    There is a good point in the post about subtracting content to get at the core of a good UX. This is well known. (“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”) If you can express your work simply with text then that is great. But it does not follow that you should start from a position where you reject things like CSS, images, and JS simply because text is “simpler”. This strikes me as the fatal conceit of modern web minimalists.

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      I think most of the people on this site would agree with the sentiment that bloat is an issue, but I just don’t agree with this:

      CSS causes the internet to become a baroque set of arbitrary design decisions, and does not contribute positively to the general experience.

      I get the argument that you are able to choose your own fonts, etc, but I, and I suspect most people, don’t devote much thought to that. More power to you. I’m perfectly happy to let the designers choose fonts, colors, etc that fit their brand in exchange for a few kB of bandwidth.

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        Imagine all books, magazines, and newspapers would use the same font and no images; how boring would that be! This post is seems very much an engineer’s perspective; “I pity you with your inefficient nostrils”.

        The biggest problem is when people choose fonts that don’t work very well. Luckily, browsers already give you plenty of power to fix that.

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          Imagine all books, magazines, and newspapers would use the same font and no images; how boring would that be!

          I read most books* on an e-reader these days, and pretty much always have it set to override the publisher’s fonts with a specific font which I like and find easy to read. The use of fonts in a book for a creative purpose (as opposed to just using whichever font that specific publishing house usually uses) is so vanishingly rare that I don’t feel I’m missing out on anything.

          *I’m talking mainly about small books which are predominantly-text: For large-format books where the graphic design is an important part of the book, having the right fonts is, of course, an important part of the design. I tend to get physical copies of such books, as the relatively small size of e-reader screens, and the lack of colour, make them less than ideal for such content.

          I think a similar split applies to websites. If your website is a masterpiece of graphic design, the right CSS and fonts are important. If you’re basically just serving text, I’d rather take the content and render it in a style that’s comfortable for me.

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            Imagine all books, magazines, and newspapers would use the same font and no images; how boring would that be!

            That sounds wonderful. Formatting should be boring; it’s the content that matters.

            This is the biggest advantage to doing everything in the terminal, including reading articles: everything is uniform and consistent, allowing me to focus on the content rather than the form.

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            in exchange for a few kB of bandwidth.

            And somewhere else along the spectrum, there are those like me who see CSS as a value add that should be, where reasonable, excersized in under a few kB of bandwidth. It’s all about the user experience first and foremost, and CSS can help us get there. The trick is then to avoid bloat.

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            I went to the Links website with Chrome. I could only say “My eyes! My eyes!”. It took me back to the late 90s and not in a good way.

            My quibble with the modern web is the diarrhea of Javascript, not with good layout and images. Not everything has to be talking live to an artificially intelligent server.

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              I kind of agree with the sentiment - most of what’s out there is littered with extraneous stuff that consume a lot of brain cycles. This explains the proliferation of tools like ad blockers, readability enhancement plugins and the like. That’s why RSS was brilliant. It provided information and let the client/user pick how it has to be rendered.

              That said, links is probably an extreme way to look at this. However, when you’re developing a website, it’s an interesting tool to check if your site is accessible enough, especially for someone who prefers using the keyboard.

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                I’m not even sure what the point of this blog is. Websites all looked and acted differently from the mid-90s (at the least) on, when people used decoration tags (like font), structural tags for layout (tables), and image maps to really make the experience odd. Images have pretty much always been a big part of the experience and the uniqueness of different sites was part of the allure of the internet.

                If you hate JS and CSS, that’s fine, but none of this makes sense from a logical point of view, it’s just one person’s opinion on what I would say is an idealized and romanticized time that never really existed.

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                  I found that generally, w3m was a much better and more compatible experience than whatever links provides.

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                    For me the problem isn’t so much that designers and authors use custom fonts and CSS-styling. Form has function too. It’s just very unfortunate that all that takes megabytes of data and gigabytes of RAM to handle.

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                      This article led me to discover that it’s powered by the same technology behind Firefox’s Reader Mode: https://github.com/mozilla/readability

                      It seems like that could be a really interesting base to build off of for an archival/research/read-it-later app.

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                        … discover that it’s powered by…

                        What’s the ‘it’ in this context?

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                          Ah, I must have gotten my discussions mixed up. It looks like my brain confused the actual article with the discussion on HN, where someone mentioned that https://gitlab.com/gardenappl/readability-cli can be used to achieve a similar effect.

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                        I receive a PR_END_OF_FILE_ERROR when attempting to access this link or the root of dataswamp.org.

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                          Heroes walk among us. This is awesome. Imagine if the only thing that mattered on the web was words and meaning. It would be like we would have to read things and then think about them.

                          I also like CSS, but a page should make sense without it. I think that’s the point here.