01 Jan 2016 Read article
You can watch this talk as well.
Jeremy Keith pointed out to me that the page describing AMP is technically infinite in size. If you open it in Chrome, it will keep downloading the same 3.4 megabyte carousel video forever.
If you open it in Safari, where the carousel is broken, the page still manages to fill 4 megabytes.
This is a screenshot from an NPR article discussing the rising use of ad blockers. The page is 12 megabytes in size in a stock web browser.
The same article with basic ad blocking turned on is one megabyte.
Advertisers will tell you it has to be this way, but in dealing with advertisers you must remember they are professional liars.
I don't mean this to offend. I mean it as a job description.
This is part of a regrettable trend, made possible by faster networks, of having 'hero images' whose only purpose is for people to have something to scroll past.
Let's take a look at the Apple page that explains iOS on the iPad Pro. How big do you think this page is?
Would you believe that it's bigger than the entire memory capacity of the iconic iMac? (32 MB)
In fact, you could also fit the contents of the Space Shuttle Main Computer. Not just for one Shuttle, but the entire fleet (5 MB).
And you would still have room for a tricked out Macintosh SE... (5MB).
...and the collected works of Shakespeare... (5 MB)
With lots of room to spare. The page is 51 megabytes big.
Here's the PayPal website as it looks today.
The biggest element on the page is an icon chastising me that I haven't told PayPal what I look like. Next to that is a useless offer to 'download the app', and then an offer for a credit card.
I can no longer control the sort order, there are no filter tools, and you see there are far fewer entries visible without scrolling.
Sites target novice users on touchscreens at everyone else's expense.
The upshot is, much of the web is horribly overbuilt.
Technologies for operating at scale developed by companies that need them end up in the hands of people who aspire to work at those scales.
And there's no one to say "no".
Let's commit to the idea that as computers get faster, and as networks get faster, the web should also get faster.