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Apple, Mozilla kill API to deplete W3C battery-snitching standard

Alert

Oi! Listen up web developers!

Better grab a seat; I'm about to suggest an idea so revolutionary that it will blow your minds:

Design your fscking websites decrufted and "low-power friendly" from the start

Novel, yes?

You know you have problems when a standards body is trying to work around problems caused by your bloat.

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Re: Oi! Listen up web developers!

If "lower power friendly" means fewer ads then I think Apple is making a mistake by killing this API. Instead, make a simple setting that allows us to lie to the sites and claim we always have <5% battery!

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Re: Cruft

I think we are misunderstanding the word "cruft". Let me explain, some years ago I was talking to some TV engineers not long after a transmitter breakdown. They said that it wasn't that big a problem because they only lost two minutes. I said I thought they were off air for a quarter of an hour at least. Yes, they said, but we only lost two minutes of adverts.

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It's one standard in a long row of idiotic web standards

I mean there's also the USB API or the Bluetooth one, both having even stronger security implications. Then there's HTTP/2 which doesn't actually solve any problems and at best tries to masquerade web developer idiocy, but makes the whole problem of web application and even simple web sites _much_ more complex. More complexity means more bugs and therefore more security critical bugs.

However the W3C was created to increase the number of features, and all players in the browser oligopoly want more features as it keeps the competition out.

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Re: It's one standard in a long row of idiotic web standards

You could always release your own stripped down browser.

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Re: It's one standard in a long row of idiotic web standards

"You could always release your own stripped down browser."

No you can't, that's the point. Web developers expect more and more stupid features because mainstream browsers have them. If mainstream browsers would only implement essential features, web developers wouldn't use all that cruft.

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Facepalm

Re: It's one standard in a long row of idiotic web standards

"You could always release your own stripped down browser."

And now you have N+1 problems.

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Re: It's one standard in a long row of idiotic web standards

If mainstream browsers would only implement essential features, web developers wouldn't use all that cruft.

They'd still use all the cruft. It'd just be implemented with proprietary plugins.

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Re: It's one standard in a long row of idiotic web standards

"They'd still use all the cruft. It'd just be implemented with proprietary plugins."

Yes plugins, one of the earliest browser misfeatures.

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Sigh...

Another "solution" to a problem that, well, isnt....

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Meh

Revolutionary low-power friendly website ideas

Thumbnail images which aren't full-screen images pulled down through 3G and then resized by the browser.

Stop running jquery bollocks in the background all the time.

Can I patent them?

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Besides...

Expected website behaviour:

- User is running low on battery, better stop pushing bloated ads at them to save some power.

What would actually happen:

- User is running low on battery, better push as many ads at them as possible while we still have the chance.

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Re: Besides...

Or push them ads for better batteries or external battery packs.

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And here in a nutshell is everything wrong with software development, especially when it pertains to security. Developers are fundamentally creatively-minded and simply cannot think the way a fundamentally destructively-minded hacker will. I also think that in spite of the cynical sense of humour a lot of software guys display, they are at heart too optimistic and assume that most people are basically not malicious. They will come up with what seem like good ideas, even great ideas that make things better for everybody, then some hacker comes along and realises that this great idea that makes things better for everybody can be re-purposed to run down your battery, or spam you with porn ads, or install a keylogger or anything else that ranges from mischief to full blown felony.

I think university courses on software development should contain at least one semester on how to think like a hacker so that developers are taught that no, not everybody out there is a good guy and anything you do with the best of intentions could potentially be used by somebody less noble to wreck mayhem. We did do some engineering ethics studies when I was at university, which is somewhat along those lines, but was more focused on how things done with the best of intentions could lead to accidents rather than how they could be abused.

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Well there is an important point

Everyone wants to create something even if they are bad at it. Creating a new feature and API is just an example for that. That's why you get so many bad new protocolls or things like systemd.

There are people who have neither achieved the maturity nor the laziness it takes to design a good system, and increasingly they have the ability to mess things up.

In the past we had a natural filter and that was productivity. If you wanted to make an operating system what was more complex than UNIX you had trouble getting enough people to do so. Today everyone wants to join an Open Source project to have something for their resume.

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> They will come up with what seem like good ideas, even great ideas that make things better for everybody

Journeyman developer mistakes. By age 30 or so, hopefully they've started thinking "ain't gonna need it, ain't nobody gonna use it, gonna be a maintenance headache, security hole, DoS vector... and frankly we're never gonna finish this damn project unless we do some ruthless feature cutting". Unfortunately the industry is full of 20-somethings.

Hacking courses (or labs) would be helpful for those following the university path. When I was in engineering school we did some (mostly legal) hacking during free time. The course on engineering disasters was good preparation as well. But I'm not hopeful about education - most of the competent programmers I know don't have any, and I can count the ones with CS degrees on one hand.

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Happy

Apple and Mozilla are leading the charge away

Good, this was a daft proposal.

I'm encouraged by the sudden breakout of common sense by those two, who haven't demonstrated much lately.

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Coat

Re: Apple and Mozilla are leading the charge away

Common sense? This is a start, but they're still working on stuff like FlyWeb. Read that link and weep.

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Vic
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Re: Apple and Mozilla are leading the charge away

they're still working on stuff like FlyWeb. Read that link and weep.

That's basically the same thing as HAVi. That, thankfully, went nowhere.

Disclosure: yes, I was part of HAVi. It's the reason I learnt Java in the first place. I'm so, so sorry...

Vic.

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Re: Apple and Mozilla are leading the charge away

First thing I spotted about FlyWeb was this "Program Status" table entry:

Platform Development 1/2016 ON TARGET

Can't imagine it'll be troubling us any time soon...

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Interesting - back in the day Ubersoft.net first used the .JPG format for bandwidth-optimized cartoons, then later switched over to the .PNG format in order to minimize bandwidth load on both sides.

And some web designers actually took the time to make sure their web site was optimized for a dial-up line. Nothing dampens enthusiasm like a web site trying to squeeze itself through a slow dial-up link...

But nowadays web designers actually ASSume that all users have a fat pipe to their house, one that can take their fat, bloated content without choking on it. And that world+dog actually want bloated web pages with snazzy content that pop. Or whatever.

And not everybody have the privilege (or money) to have cheap broadband let alone mobile broadband...

Of course you can use the VC or Opera browser to minimize your bandwidth usage, but this causes an incompatibility with some web sites...

All the fancy doodahs and gadgets is nice to have, but if just one critical server (upon which the website you're trying to load, depends) is down, it is slower than molasses and just slows everything down, making it an excercise in frustration for you.

On the other hand, if you go back to a "simple" website (pre-2000) then it is snappy and fast, but then people moan and groan as the features they've become dependent on, is no longer available.

Baaaaaah. Things will get worse, and with lots of more bloat.

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