Too much web content

I’m not much of a web development person. I try to keep my fiddling with my site to a minimum and I focus most of my writing on this blog so that it’s all kept at the same place. I also try not to customise my blog too much beside not having it appear like any other Typo-based blog (the theme is actually mostly custom). For the design of both the site and the blog I relied on OSWD and adapted the designs found there.

I also tend to not care about webservices, webapplications and all that related stuff, it’s out of my sphere, I also try not to comment about web-centric news since I sincerely don’t care. But unfortunately, like most developers out there, I often get inquired about possibilities with webapplications and sites development and so on so forth.

For this reason, I came to be quite opinionated, and probably against the majority of the components who “shape” the net as it is now.

One of my opinions is that you shouldn’t use on-request geneated pages for static content which is what most sites do, with CMSs, Wikis, no-comment blogs and stuff like that. The only reasons why I’m using a web application for my blog is that first of all I happen to write entries while I’m on the go, and second I allow user comments, which is what makes it a blog rather than a crappy website. If I didn’t allow comments, I would have no reason to use a webapplication and could probably just do with a system fetching the entries from an email account.

Another opinion is that you shouldn’t reinvent the wheel because it’s cool. I’m sincerely tired of the amount of sites that include social networking features like friendship and similar. I can understand it when it’s the whole idea of the site (Facebook, FriendFeed) but do I care on sites like Anobii ? (on the other hand I’m glad that Ohloh does not have such a feature).

I’ve been asked at least three times about developing a website with social networking features, with friendship and the stuff, and two out of three times, the target of the projects were “making money”. Sure, okay, keep on trying.

Every other site out there has a CMS to manage the news entries, which could also be acceptable when you have a huge archive and the ability to search through it, but do I need to know which hour it is right now? I have a computer in front of me, I can check it on that (unless of couse I’m looking to find out if it’s actually correctly synchronised). Does every news or group site have to have a photo gallery with its own software on it? There are things like Picasa and Flickr too.

But one thing I sincerely loathe is all the sites that are up with Trac or MediaWiki to provide some bit of content that rarely needs to be edited. Even FreeDesktop.org site is basically a big huge wiki with the developers having write access. Why, I don’t know since you can easily make the thing use DocBook and process the files with a custom stylesheet to produce the pages shown to the user. It’s not like this is overly complex. Especially when just a subset of the people browsing the site have access to edit it.

Similarly, I still wonder why every other WordPress blog requires me to register to the main WordPress site to leave comments. I can understand Blogger and LiveJournal requiring a login either with them or OpenID (and I use my Flickr/Yahoo OpenID for that) but why should I do that on a per-site basis, repeatedly?

But even counting that in, I’m tired of the amount of sites that just duplicate information. Why was xine’s site having its own “security advisory” kind of thing? It’s not like we’re a distribution. Thankfully, Darren started just using the assigned CVE numbers since a few years ago so there is no further explosion of pages. Hopefully, I can cut out some of the pointless content of the site to reduce it.

In the day of I-do-everything sites, I’m really looking forward for smaller, tighter sites that only provides the information they have to instead of duplicating it over and over again. The good web is the light web.

4 thoughts on “Too much web content

  1. I suppose you don’t see a need for rss aggregators then either? Just remove yourself from planet gentoo. ;)(Meant as a joke)

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  2. I have no problem with aggregators per-se, since they don’t _create_ new content or new duplication.I do have problems with the few of them who also duplicate comment facilities, which then take away the comments from the original blog.If Planet Gentoo was that kind of an aggregator I wouldn’t have joined in the first place.P.S.: I’m not sure about Venus but I’m ready to bet that it’s using static HTML to serve, since it only updates once an hour and the rest is easily served from static pages.

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  3. A lot of people have things they would rather do than write website code. So they install a CMS or something like WordPress and move on with their lives.For correctness’ sake, nearly all freedesktop.org pages are editable by anyone registered and logged in.

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  4. I know that Donnie, I just mean that we lack the right tool to do that most of the time, and a lot of people misuse what is already there. I’m afraid I have no solution just yet to that, but I think being able to say that it’s a problem and doing that is just a silly hack is at least something.As for FreeDesktop, sorry I misphrased it, thanks for correcting me!

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