12.03.2019

The content has priority over anything else

I have always believed that the web was a nice place where everyone could roam freely, with any tool (browser) available, from every corner of the planet. A place that we all have found ourselves to attend, someone to look for the recipe of the grandmother's cake, someone to consult some university courses or to play an online video game. Loving the web I thought I would have loved the web's languages, that is HTML, CSS and JavaScript (I'm speaking about the front-end side, which is what I love). And I do. But during the process of deepening my knowledge in the web field I'm increasingly bumping into articles and interviews of people that support, in certain specific areas, it's not all peaches and cream. A first example is given by the work of Douglas Crockford, a character well known to the JavaScript community especially for his JavaScript: The Good Parts and How JavaScript Works, in which he says the language is “sprinkled” here and there with defects. Thinking that this language was going to become my favorite (not because I particularly loved its syntax which, in fact, sometimes create headaches but as a simple consequence of a fact: I loved the web and JavaScript has always been its lingua franca) almost embarrassed me. So I came up with an idea: my love for this language was completely random, nothing more. If the web was “written” in C, then C would have become my favorite language. Summarizing, the ideas of Crockford are simple:

  1. JavaScript is flawed by design;
  2. you better use only its “good parts”.

This question has been made more complex by the thought of other characters in the web world, such as Kyle Simpson who, with his series You Don't Know JS, suggests not to judge JavaScript in such a negative manner, as everything in it has a reason to exist. Actually a serious JavaScript developer must roll up his sleeves and learn all the aspects of the language, “good” or not. The confusion is even more accentuated when, in response to this thought, Crockford says it's not true that a develoepr must use all the parts of a language, since it would not be reasonable. It's necessary to use a specific functionality only if it works well, in a clear manner, doesn't cause bugs and is predictable.

I can say JavaScript is the programming language that interests me the most, because with it I can develop for the web.

Codice JavaScript
Snippet of JavaScript code
Photo by Pankaj Patel on Unsplash

A very similar discussion regards the subject of privacy. It never interested me and I have only recently questioned my beliefs, previously built around the general thought “I do not care because I have nothing to hide”. In a short time it has been completely overturned: now I care about my data and not by chance I started using tools (browsers, plugins and so on) that work to ensure greater protection while surfing the net.

Why did I made this introduction? Because, illuminated by Brad Frost's Death to Bullshit, I'm now aware that the web is largely composed of sites that drown in a sea of ​​crap:

and much, much more junk. In this sea of ​​excesses it's unfortunately easy to get lost and lose the point where the information you need is. Is all that advertising to make some money really necessary? Are all those invasive windows so damn essential? The answer in many cases is no! Why should a simple site like a personal blog be stuffed with so many superfluous and hateful elements (because yes, they just annoy)? The sites seem to scream at us when we visit them, while we would like instead a quiet navigation through their contents, without feeling oppressed by the suggestions of continuous pop-ups and advertisements. The web is a means of communication, a site is a collection of information. When creating a site, we must think first to the content, its real protagonist. A site serves precisely to communicate, and the recipient of this communication is the user who reaches us. Our task is to allow him to find what he needs in the simplest and most peaceful way possible.

Ads everywhere. Should they also be on the web?
Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash

If you have any other question, idea, advice, suggestion or if you want to simply say me something or get in touch with me, please: do it! You can find me on Twitter or you can e-mail me.