Kawa's HTML Manifesto
Let's get real. Webpages these days are way too large. Even a page specifically about making them smaller so those not burdened with phat tubes can load them has, for no good reason, a full-size video running in the background for style. How does that make sense? It doesn't.
We now have web browsers so complicated they can be considered operating systems in their own right. One of them is in fact used as an application framework, disguising its nature as a browser. We have relatively content-simple pages that come with huge payloads just to see a handful of words. And so, the average page on a broadband connection feels as slow to load (if not slower still!) as the average page in the mid 90s, early 00s on dial-up.
Surely we can do better? And yes, we can. This page is roughly two kilobytes, give or take, with another 1.6 kilobytes for the badge image. It takes about half a second to load on a simulated 56k connection, a mere 20-something milliseconds on an average broadband. It works absolutely the same on modern browsers both desktop and mobile, and old browsers like Netscape Navigator 4.04. And all this because it's written like it's made in 1994. Even the modern
meta tags don't matter -- Chrome on Android will turn its address bar black to match the page, but Netscape will just shrug and ignore it.
The Sane and Simple HTML badge depicts a diskette for one simple reason: the entire page fits on a plain floppy diskette with room to spare. If you want to proudly display this on your page, you may. It doesn't even have to be as mind-numbingly simple as this one. I only have the following rules:
- Use as little CSS as you can. CSS 3 or later is right out. Try to use old-school attributes, all modern browsers still support them.
- Keep your HTML markup simple. This page you might notice is auto-converted from Markdown but consider for a moment something like Twitter.
- If despite the above rules something like Google Lighthouse gives you 100 points on all but maybe Best Practices (because HTTP/2), triple your score.
- If the whole site minus any big file downloads fits on a single diskette, you win automatically.