Web page bloat

A rant about (the lack of) slim web pages.

Good, fast, cheap - pick two.

Or so the old adage used to go. These days, given the choice between quality, quantity, and cost, we're lucky if we even get to choose one, as companies always choose to cut cost but never price.

We can see this effect in software bloat. Have you seen the state of websites these days? A single tweet on twitter with a few comments loaded, just the html source alone is a bloated 380kb.

It's 385kb!

If we include code libraries, that number rapidly shoots to over 4mb with several megabytes of obfuscated javascript. It looks like this:

Hot steaming garbage code!

Inflated, obscured, and for what? To hide the simple fact of how little of a service they actually provide - and worse, that they're also just plain bad at it. If we snoop on the actual network traffic, we find that it sends over 11mb across more than 100 requests, compressed down to just under 7mb. Some of it may be assets, but zipping and minifying can only do so much.

A gross misuse of resources.

For comparison, this entire blog post page load minus image assets is 75kb, and the entire Windows 1.0 operating system was under 1mb. Compared to 7mb for a tweet.

A lot slimmer!

It's fucking embarrassing.

- Leo D., October, 2022