Valentine's Day Massacre
Issue № 212

Valentine’s Day Massacre

Roses are red, violets are blue, sometimes dear web, we sure hate you.

Article Continues Below

Daniel Aitken, web designer, proprietor #section2

What angers me in today’s web, is the term “Web 2.0.”  It’s the “2.0” specifically—the idea that the entire web is in for an upgrade, a change for the better to version two.

The web is not a singular application, it is a fluid interface. A means of information distribution, of functionality, of user-interoperability. It does not constrain to any idea of what an application is, because it is the combination of individual applications that make it so fluid.  New coding techniques are constantly created, new hacks and workarounds for non-standards-compliant browsers. New ways of putting together existing code are being thought of and put into use every day somewhere on the millions of web pages the internet is home to. We aren’t yet on web 2.0, or internet 2.0, or computing 2.0. This is a dynamic change that will continue to happen whether or not we apply version numbers. The mass of netizens has triggered the implementation of web based applications, not a developer meeting that decided on the version change.

Greg Altuna, web designer #section3

So, we get down to what I really hate about the web. Browser display issues. I know that browser capabilities have always varied. In my 8 years in this industry, I’ve always understood that 95% of my designs would work without having to do something special for one browser or the other. What I hate, though, is that semantics haven’t flourished and all the companies haven’t taken lessons from the symbolic VHS/Betamax war of the early ’80s. We should all strive for one language, with all browsers being equal. Alas, we cannot seem to get there. All the hub-bub about IE7 coming out with the “fixes” to their display problems still doesn’t take care of the fact that my design will probably still have issues with Opera or IE5.x for Mac for those 8 people out there still using it. It’s frustrating!

Faruk Ates, Web Kaizen specialist #section4

The thing I “hate” (it’s too strong a word, really) about the Web right now is the increase in analysis for the sake of analyzing. There’s enough buzz being created about the state of the web thanks to a plethora of buzzwords becoming increasingly popular and over-used (and over-hyped), and more such things. A magazine like ALA should be the beacon of light in times like these, and focus on nothing but improving the state of the web through offering insightful articles and high-quality techniques that will aid people in creating the best websites found online.

Ryan Ballantyne, student / web developer #section5

CSS is in dire need of an “expand to fit” dimension property. Getting a box to take up all available space but no more is an exercise in hair-pulling frustration under CSS. I can’t count the number of times I’ve wanted to be able to just say “height: expand;” and have it work.

I also hate IE6, and browser bugs in general, but particularly IE6.

Andrew Banks, information architect #section6

What I hate: Microsoft Internet Explorer (even version 7). If another
company was in Microsoft’s place, would it have done the same? I don’t
know, but Microsoft’s inelegant user interfaces, anti-standards, and,
yet, suffocating ubiquitousness make it one of the longest-running
pain-in-the-necks in my computing history.

Chris Batchelor, web developer #section7

Very long, stupidly-complex, user-unfriendly URLs—this issue has got to be addressed!

Thomas Bleijendaal, student #section8

…all the differences between the browsers.

Seeking real good information on the internet (school stuff for example) is still very hard. If you try to find some good information about aerodynamics, it’s your day-job. I have been searching for hours, and the only things I found were things I already knew. The idea of the internet being one big library maybe there, but finding scientific information is a pain in the ass.
Luckily there’s still an old-fashioned library with books and stuff, so I have been able to find what I was looking for. The internet really needs to grow a lot before it can take the role of being a really good “info-dealer.”

Nathan Brown, technical director #section9

Blogs: Great idea, bad in realization. A great way for ego-trippers with too much time to fill the web with useless content. Granted, some blogs are great resources, but the majority are a load of papp. There should be a blog rating system included in search engines to weed out the real time-wasters.

Spam: Umm… no explanation needed.

Invasive in-page popup ads: There you are following a link to a page. You can see it loading, you can even start reading the article you were after, then all of a sudden some mingingly bright and loud ad pops up from within the page and covers what you were reading.

Thomas J. Brown, web designer and TV producer/director #section10

I hate Mac/IE.

Niklas Brunberg, freelance designer and interaction designer #section11

I’d guess you will and won’t be surprised by my “most hated of today
day” choice: AJAX.

Tommy Gun and Fedora

Well, it’s rather the implementation of it that gets my eyes twitching and boggles my mind. There is a simple reason behind this and the reason is spelled “browser back button.” Anything that has to do with an AJAX application isn’t bad, in fact I find it wonderful and plan to use it in upcoming projects. However, as a person surfing the web I’m baffled by the normal text fields “powered by AJAX” that suddenly empty themselves when the back button is used.

Many more casual users will find this even more irritating, not knowing what to blame when their back button is no longer working as they expect it to.

Kevin Callender, web developer #section12

Trying to find enough time to catch up on new blogs, trends and learn about new APIs/widgets.

Robin Cawser, student #section13

MySpace. I absolutely hate everything about it. From the concept of it, to the people at my college who use it, to the fact that the design is made from nothing but tables and iframes. It’s something the internet could do without: a website that promotes use of table layouts, spacer GIFs, CSS generators. (A typical MySpace profile put through the validator on

I hate domains that I really want to buy, but have been taken by “search” companies.

Ian Corey, filmmaker / designer #section14

Pay-per-clicks. Google ads on blogs, etc. I don’t mind so much. It’s the results that appear above the natural listings that piss me off. Most of the time they aren’t even approaching accurate and just get in the way. Go ahead, search for “tsunami victim” on Yahoo!. The first listing on the page will offer you “The best deals on tsunami vicitims.” Sometimes I like to just click away on those things and pretend I hear quarters dropping out of the sky someplace.

Cindy Couldwell, website designer and photographer #section15

Mega corporations that rail against the open-sourceness of the web. For example, all these pirating and copyright law disputes. Songs, movies and TV shows can move about Internet at light speed. These companies have to come up with distribution plans that give the users what they want. Instead of throwing up laws and walls, why not make things accessible. iTunes manages to have a pretty good method of distribution (not perfect, but better than most).

Friendster: Stop emailing, I dropped you already.

Sean Curtis, web developer #section16

I hate how many websites are still absolutely covered with adverts (smileycentral adverts are everywhere!). I hate spyware/malware of any kind. I hate the lack of CSS support in Internet Explorer. I hate the amount of trolling happening on blogs/forums.

Nicola D’Agostino, journalist, translator, occasional print and web designer and musician #section17

What I hate: the cult of personality on the web
and the misuse of technology. Things like Flash,
PHP, or CSS, abused and improperly used to 1% of their potential that become a technical or fashion statement, a victory of means over goal, and a way to make Tim Berners Lee’s dream a bit more difficult to achieve.

Todd Dominey, designer 1 #section18

The short attention spans and unnecessary urge to criticize, accuse and ridicule.

Brandy (bran) Fox, illustrator #section19

What I loathe about the web are design decisions that affect user experience. Chief on my list are overly-complicated Flash sites or graphical interfaces that make navigating or even understanding what the site is about difficult or ambiguous.  Also, sites that automatically launch in a new frame or browser window leave me (the user) feeling out of control. I really, really hate that. Pop-ups are pop-ups, no matter how they’re applied.

Enrico Francese #section20

One thing I hate in the web sites I happen to visit is the linking to e-mail addresses through the mailto: protocol. When I click on an e-mail address a client application starts up. That’s ok if I am working on my pc and I have my e-mail accounts set on it, but I wonder: how can I post an e-mail if I don’t have a client account on that PC? Websites who wish
to get contacts should use a form instead.

Henry Francis, musician #section21

I find most Flash presentations to be tawdry eye candy—visibly and
audibly offensive—with little or no informative content (a.k.a. information).  Furthermore, when a Flash animation does present information, it inevitably does so at an idiot’s comprehension speed—that is, although the image may be changing rapidly and dramatically, the actual rate of information transfer is painfully slow.  Also annoying is the fact that after the information (if any) is purveyed, there is nothing that can be cut and pasted.  I don’t have the time or patience to sit and watch dumb Flash presentations.  In short: we are not amused.

Charles Gordon, web consultant #section22

Ads are now officially out of control on most media pages.

Basically anything with Flash. It is hard to believe how many years worth of studies have indicated that site visitors hate “intro” screens—and yet how common they still are.

Those sites that launch a small browser “application”.

Just about any car manufacturer’s web site, see the two points above.

Companies that throw tons of money into their web pages and come up with crap; see all three points above.

Carole Guevin, editor #section23

Having to deal with pop-ups!!! And still be wowed by the portfolio quality…

Huw Gwilliam, interface designer #section24

Legacy browsers stemming the creativity next gen browsers are happy to convey.

Disparate fonts on different OSs—there must be a way of improving things so there is more flexibility. Maybe the designers as a community could be canvassed as to what would be good fonts to include.

Accessibility. Not making things accessible, but clients asking the impossible and not understanding the issues. So time and budget is wasted, and designs are compromised to the lowest denominator.

Anthony Ina, application designer #section25

It’s the scourge of the internet. I have to hear about it everyday. Entire projects are based on it. It is the first bandwagon that the business types jump on. It’s responsible for ruining the aesthetics of every project I’ve done. Its name is “Search Engine Optimization.”

Car and Violin Case

Yes, I am fully aware of why it is important to you, Mr MBA. Yes, I understand that organic traffic basically means free revenue, and of course I realize that direct deposit on the 15th and 30th aren’t divine intervention. Yes, I get it, you want to block out the competition. Ok, ok, I understand we’re helping the user by movin’ our site up. I get it!

What if we focused on deploying quality content, instead? What would the result be if instead of this SEO mania, we rolled a out a truly useful product?  You know, maybe people would come back, not because of how we rank, but because we offered them value. Isn’t that your prized word, Mr MBA? Ever heard of CraigsList?

As a designer, I am offended by all of this junk I now have to accommodate. It serves no human purpose and does nothing for the user. It ruins my aesthetics. Everything has to be “real text” because it weights higher. I now have people that don’t even know how to view source asking if the alt “tags” have keywords in them.

Frederikke Jensen, marketing assistant #section26

I just hate when the text and menus keep expanding to the right when you are on a large monitor—the text is so hard to read.

Katie Keenan, web designer #section27

I hate cross-browser issues!

Amanda Kern, professor, graphics technology #section28

It’d be nice if the browser creators would stop being stubborn and just make one internet browser so us web designers didn’t have to spend 25% of our time constantly testing, especially testing across multiple browsers. I think all web designers agree that if there was less time spent testing and developing work arounds there’d be more time for us to spend designing and less time losing our mind.

WYSIWYGs. Although I love them, they save time (sometimes), they often make things so simple that someone with little or no clue about the web can produce a mediocre web site. And it’s even harder to convince web design students why they need to learn to program by hand as well.

James King, software engineering student / bar supervisor #section29

Adverts, I know they’re necessary for some websites to exist, but I much prefer a “don’t call us, we’ll call you” approach.

Overuse of Flash. have got it right, most Flash websites have not.

Crap content, no matter how much it is dressed up.

“No right click” scripts.

Matti Laakso, art director #section30

“There are four kinds of murder: Despicable, loathsome, condonable and
praiseworthy.” As for web’06, the despicable category includes the following:

  • web “services” designed purely for IE users;
  • baroque build-tables-like-it’s-1998 websites—and the practice of building such sites even today;
  • the hype that’s never gone away—now it’s just focused on “blogs” instead of “homepages”;
  • required support for browsers published half a decade ago;
  • pay sites that don’t clearly identify as such when Googled;
  • violent overreaction from various copyright holders extending to sillyness (such as trying to patent the “shopping cart” concept);
  • hype about “web 2.0” as if anything’s radically changed for nearly a decade. Maybe for the investors, but not for builders/users;
  • blurring of the line between editorial and advertising content;
  • the US still declining to adhere to a logical TLD naming convention (e.g. .mil, .gov and .edu still being US TLDs, whereas they should be, etc. … as if the ’net were just a southern-half-of-North-America thing—measly 5% of the planet’s population)

Various other things would come to mind as well but I should be cutting my rant short and not steal any more company time… 🙂

Richard Lawson, web and intranet application developer #section31

The current lack of Accessibility and the inability of content to be accessed in a consistent and friendly manner by all individuals using all manner of different tools.

AJAX (It’s not ready yet & it will turn off a lot of good coders)

The lack of mature content layout technology really irritates me. CSS is good as a start, but we need to leap beyond that. We need smart Layout Managers like Java’s GUI Layout Managers; tools that can be given hints and rules and will do sensible jobs of presenting and adapting the content for the current presentation format. All browsers currently contain a layout manager of some sort. What we need is a standard allowing alternates to be invoked and parameterised. I am pleading for this. Can we have it soon? I’m willing to work on this endeavour.

Victor Lombardi, information architect #section32

While the W3C has nurtured many noble technology efforts, they don’t seem to understand what fueled the success of Tim Berner Lee’s original creation: simplicity. The HTML that originally enabled the web’s popularity is now so complicated that merely creating an attractive, standards-compliant page is too difficult for most pioneering web authors. My box of chocolates goes instead to software that will succeed with simplicity where the W3C failed (Apple’s iWeb?).

Michael Lovett, digital media developer #section33

Some things never change.  A few years ago, everyone wanted a Flash site. Now, everyone wants AJAX. Nevermind that everyone asking for it has no idea what it is and how it should be used.  I’m just waiting for the Adobe/Macromedia team to include an AJAX template into Dreamweaver and watch it all blow up. (I love AJAX for its appropriate uses, just not everything.)

Aaron Robert Martone, web developer / graphic artist #section34

…it’s sad to see so many websites on the ’net—both from self-touted professionals, as well as major brand name companys—whose sites are visually unappealing, broken, and using antiquated code/standards. The freedoms the web provides are a double edged sword which also allow for many low production-value sites, which can ultimately take away from a user’s online experience.

Alex K. Molteni, information architect #section35

The lack of a personal web space. Today people will have a weblog without a personal domain name, images on flickr, links on delicious, files on yahoo, myspace accounts, chat, video, skype, etc. If I want to learn about Joe Smith, I have to go everywhere but their own web site.

Having to log in to everything. I have too many profiles across mulitple computers, services, and accounts. I’m thinking of dumping them all for a Palm with a 2GB memory card.

Create “on” dates for webpages. When was this information published? This year, four years ago, yesterday? How applicable is it to us?

Too much chatter about technologies and not enough chatter about responsible/appropriate applications of said technologies.

Nick Ohrn, student, web designer #section36

With my focus being on standards-compliant web design—integrating proper XHTML and CSS components—I find it particularly frustrating when “web designers” do not use the full range of tools at their disposal to create web sites and pages that are cross-browser compatible and semantically logical. I’m not even talking about scripting languages or dynamic elements. I mean plain old, bread-and-butter XHTML and CSS.  The site that I visited today that gave me the most frustration was The Amazing Message Plant. Viewing the site in Firefox, elements are completely out of sync with their surroundings.  In Internet Explorer, the website is quite attractive.

Michelle O’Reilly, web designer #section37

Number 1: Clicking on a link which is actually a link
to a PDF file—and I have not been warned or told anywhere on the page! That drives me absolutely bonkers!

Number 2: In most cases, horizontal and vertical
navigation systems used together are confusing and drive me nuts as well.

Justin Pegram, web designer/developer #section38

I’m really tired of the limitations imposed on web designers/developers by companies like Microsoft, Mozilla, Opera, etc. When are these companies going to stop reserving browser updates for major revisions and start granting web users—and as a result developers—access to a browser that is actually up to date with current standards?

  • When can I use a transparent .png without having to worry that Internet Explorer isn’t going to render it properly?
  • When can I use text-shadow?  Safari has had this for ages and you’re telling me that no other browser (WebCore-based alternatives aside) has managed to implement this yet?
  • When can I use data URLs?
  • When can I use display: table;?
  • When can I use advanced CSS selectors?

When is Microsoft going to realize that they have created the mess that the web is in today with their “de facto” standard browser and actually take the time to create a browser that works (and keep it updated)? This isn’t just an issue for Microsoft alone, though. While Mozilla and Opera make valiant efforts trying to create browsers that adhere to standards, they still fall short despite the fact that they fall short far ahead of Internet Explorer. As the company with the largest stake in the browsing community it is Microsoft’s responsibility to do these things.  As for the smaller-stake companies competing against Internet Explorer, they need to be doing this as standard practice.

Tom (’Mas) Pickering, webmaster / web designer #section39

Internet Crime & Junk: it’s so prevalent that most people still fear connecting, let alone
conducting business there. A new machine, connected to broadband, is subject to infestation within minutes and causes no end of frustration for consumers and the technical people like me that they turn to.

Browser Incompatibilities: as a developer, I spend too much time and effort on accommodating the Spawn of Gates and others at the expense of the straight markup and CSS that’s supposed to be our standards.

Luuk Platschorre, web designer and art director #section40

Pages which are up one year, and missing the next. People disappearing behind ever-changing nicknames. Critical data getting lost by non-secure connections, servers, organisations, local laws, methods. The degradation of information-value.

Content seems to be not as important as the time you need to publish it on the web. Try to find great information you’re sure was on the web 5 years ago—not there anymore.

“Citius, altius, fortius”—the olympic motto: faster, higher, stronger. Seems to apply to the web, with one addition—”brevius”: shorter.

Jake Rayson, web builder #section41

There’s no easy way to write typographically correct content. 🙁

That pretty much sums it up really. I can use … ’ ” ©, etc. But this is beyond the capabilities of the most popular word processors out there—bring back easy apostrophes and em dashes!!

Louis Rosenfeld, publisher #section42

Like a lot of old farts, I miss the days when the Internet had the feel of a small town where everyone seemed to know each other.  But my sense of loss is nothing new; those good old days—say, 1988—really pre-date the web era.

Nicolas Schudel, digital media designer #section43

That the dominating browser is the least standards compliant. I am sure you have heard this a zillion times before.

That we cannot use full PNG transparency yet.

That somebody can still reserve a domain name, not use it, and wait until somebody coughs up enough money to buy it from them.

Prasanna Srivatsav, student #section44

Unsolicited content including child pornography and spam. This is something that needs to be curbed ASAP. I applaud the work of the IWF in working towards a safer web. But a similar community is missing from countries that most need it: the developing ones.

Mike Stone, semi-retired #section45

The thing that most annoys me on web pages is poor hyperlink text. I remember reading articles published in the last century advising against the use of “click here” or “You can find more information here”, etc. However, this practice is still far too prevalent and there is no excuse for it. Not even laziness! For instance, in my second example above there is no more work involved in putting the opening anchor tag before “find” making the much more user-friendly link “find more information here.” In fact, many times the sloppy approach involves more work as in; “[Such-and-Such] has more information on [the subject]. Click here.” instead of “[Such-and-Such] has more information on [the subject].” Most of the time this sloppiness is also exhibited in the content of the web page, I find.

Jeff Wilkinson, engineer / part-time web developer #section46

What drives me most nuts is how the promise of CSS is crippled by all the hacks needed to do anything really useful with it. Many designers are very clever in finding all these ways to do what-should-be-ordinary things that will mostly work over a variety of browsers and browser versions, but all those hacks shouldn’t be necessary. And the legacy of junk they’ll leave in our sites is horrible to think about.  Who really wants to come back in 2 years and try to maintain or clean up all those hacks when there is a new set of (probably equally buggy) browsers to code for.

Paul Williams
, web consultant / senior developer

…the fact that the major telecoms in the US are trying to “own” the ’net. That will only rub off onto the telecoms in UK and Australia, where I alternate between. Also not liking that people still don’t seem to care about the use of their sites in other browsers. All I’m asking is that they at least look at it in Firefox or Safari to see what crap they are putting out. 🙂

Jonathan Wiznuk, web designer and developer #section47

Sites whose sole purpose is to dazzle and impress yet lack meaningful and useful content. I’m beginning to dislike the use of Flash when the same content could be presented much better in XHTML/CSS and reach a wider audience on a broader range of devices. After graduating from a College Multimedia Course I specialized as “the flash guy” at various web companies, yet now I’m avoiding it’s use where possible and convincing clients to go with non-Flash XHTML/CSS for growingly obvious reasons.

I don’t particularily enjoy sites that immediately pop-up fullscreen, as if to say “We deserve your whole screen, get ready for something important.”

Jamey Wright, web developer #section48

It’s annoying how the Microsoft ASP.NET platform is completely ignored by the “standards” gurus, blogs, and article authors. ASP.NET 2.0 is a completely viable and affordable alternative to open source. In my particular case I needed a server to host the numerous websites I wanted to build. My box runs Windows Server 2003 Web Edition & SQL Server 2005 Express. For coding my sites I used free MS Visual Studio tools. The total amount of money that went from my wallet to Microsoft was $399. That’s all. Now I have a box that I can launch as many sites as I want to dream up. In addition, all versions of the new product generate clean XHTML 1.1 if you like and check for accessibility. It is time for the “standards” community to take an honest look at the new MS tools instead of pretending they don’t exist or are unaffordable.

86 Reader Comments

  1. I would say IE, but that’ s not right, if it weren’ t for IE coding would be so simple that everybody could do it and we all would have a lot less work. Think about it. What we got here is a pure love/hate relation.

  2. I really dislike flash website with sound. As I listen music most of the time while I’m seing websites, I hate flash animation with sound. Sometimes there is a button to turn off the sound and it’s OK, but when there is no way to stop the music, I quit the website. Oh, of course this is the same for flash ads with sound !

  3. All you need is to hate:

    – MSN search that indexes pages absolutely unlogicaly.
    – Page registrations, that asks your street address and keeps your number of credit card for later use.
    – SEO companies that fools clients.
    – Graphic web designers who think that html coders are stupid slaves.
    – W3C banners on non-valid pages.
    – W3C banners.
    – Smileys.
    – CSS hacks.
    – Comments before DOCTYPE.
    – Padding.

  4. There are three which really get my goat…

    1. Graphic designers who suddenly decide they are ‘web designers’, and create a “website” which is nothing but a stack of .jpgs with no actual content whatsoever. Accessibility? Who cares? It looks pretty….

    2. People who insist that tables are the answer to everything, and absolutely refuse to use CSS (or DTDs) because they ‘can’t centre things like you can with tables’ (read ‘can’t be bothered finding out how’).

    3. Browser incompatibilities and the evil that is IE. No need to say more.

    Nice to read that these things which make me furious make most other people just as irritated!

  5. There are millions of sky channels on my television, doesn’t mean i’m going to go and buy a DV Camera and record my own brand of crap. So why do amateurs feel the need to be web designers.

    Don’t get me started on the whole table v css layout debate, if I had an AK-47, that would end the argument right there, or you can just accept that there is no argument.

  6. 1. The all Flash singing & dancing website: completely opposed to the fundamental nature of the web, therefore obsolete by default.

    2. The crudeness of HTML – CSS: I keep getting flashbacks to 1988 when I learned to set type on a Laser Photo Typesetting System.

    3. Total lack of typographic control in HTML – CSS: don’t even get me started on this one.

    4. Browser wars / browser incompatiblities.

  7. Mr. Aitken’s comments are a breath of fresh air! While I appreciate much of what (now) falls under the umbrella of “Web 2.0”, the term bothers me. The internet is a living, breathing animal; not a quantifiable machine. One cannot label a site or an application as 1.0 or 2.0. There is no black and white. There are trends but there are no versions!

  8. *Frederikke Jensen*: _”I just hate when the text and menus keep expanding to the right when you are on a large monitor—the text is so hard to read.”_

    I haven’t tried it but maybe a user stylesheet could set the html/body width to a smaller size for you. Or just reduce the width of the browser window. Install a program like Sizer ( “”: ) to give you a set window size and position.

    *Michelle O’Reilly*: _”Clicking on a link which is actually a link to a PDF file—and I have not been warned or told anywhere on the page!”_

    I try to show an icon for the main file types after each link on our work website. But on plain links, all you have to do is hover over them and the address appears at the bottom in the browser. (In Opera, make sure the status toolbar is turned on.) So you will know if the link is a PDF or not. Simple!

    Things I dislike:

    * lists not marked up as lists. A lot of the text in this ALA article falls into this category!

    * spelingk mistikes and tyypos.

    * language errors. The one that gets me foaming at the mouth is when people mix up “lose” and “loose”. I see it all the time! It’s not as if the words even sound the same. I’ve even seen it in magazines. I’m thinking now that the English language has been permanently changed. For the worse.

    * browser inconsistencies. Musicians don’t have to remix their songs to work with multiple versions of music playing devices. Nor do painters have to repaint their pictures to fit different frame sizes. I guess it’s the price we pay for the dynamic nature of the web.

    * Microsoft’s browsers

    * Netscape’s browsers

    * Endless browser bugs

    * Flash sites where you press the back button and lose all the steps you just took to get to a piece of information.

    * Poor typography on the web.

    * Poor layout possibilities with current HTML and CSS. It’s a nightmare to code a decent, yet simple, multi-column layout, unlike in a desktop graphic design program.

  9. “The problem with the web, as it is today, is not only that it’s too much of a democracy, but that it’s a very corrupted one. There are a very small number of leaders, who represent the so-called majority of the web citizens. But those are not the citizens who consume the web, but the citizens who make it. In other words, you will be led by the search engines, according to the preferences of website owners, not according to the preferences of website users like you!”

    You can read more here “There’s something very wrong with today’s internet”:

  10. Mostly everything has been said right now, but I really hate another thing: standard UTF-8 url encoding.

    Try passing some standard iso 5589-1 text through it in an AJAX context (try french, with é’s, ç’s and ê’s); even multipart can’t do it right. You just have to hack your way through it…(good ‘ol UTF8-decode)

    It would be so gracious, nice latin-1 url’s, no & frustrations anymore… what a nice web it would be (besides everything else).

  11. * Microsoft, for IE6 (being an utter and unmitigated abomination), IE7 (for being much too little, much too late) and Frontpage (produces some of the ugliest sites on the web)
    * Cyber-squatters, who register every possible domain out there – making it difficult for legitimate web authors, and ruining the auto-suffix features of Opera and Lynx
    * Web deezyners who use Flash for no good reason, with no backup
    * Illiterate web authors who can’t write coherent English (or whatever their native language is)
    * People who build CMS with non-human-parseable URLs and no visible site structure
    * People who build inaccessible sites that only work with their version of IE and all the latest plug-ins
    * Link farms, especially those that appear in Google above genuine websites

  12. There are sooooo many things wrong with the web. Cross browser compatibility issues has to be at the top of my list though. I hate spending a ton of time working on a website just to have to go back and rewrite portions of the CSS for another browser. It almost makes me want to go back to tables, but no, CSS is the language that keeps on giving.

    I also hate the use of buzzwords. They’re fine if you mentiont hem once in a while, but when an article about a barney fan club site uses the term “web 2.0” 20 times it just seems plain ridiculous.

  13. “[…] my design will probably still have issues with Opera or IE5.x for Mac for those 8 people out there still using it.”?

    First of all, I’m sick and tired of people addressing the Opera browser as a browser full of bugs, a browser that’s difficult to design for. I hate that more than anything. It’s false. It’s wrong. It’s a lie!

    Secondly, I hate Firefox. No, as a matter of fact, I hate Firefox’s users. All of them. All of the “Firefox is so fast and so standards compliant and so secure and so great.”? Rant, rant, lie, rant. Firefox isn’t a great browser, it’s a a great marketing campaign.

    Lastly, but not least, I hate the fact that instead of spending the day of love with my girlfriend, as it should be, I’m stuck here whining about Opera, Firefox, hate and love. I hate it!

  14. * “web designers” that are stuck in the past and refuse to learn CSS for layout (Steve I’m looking at you 😉 )
    * spam/adverts/etc – adblock in Firefox has curbed most of the adverts though, it’s the most useful plugin ever
    * having to hack sites for different browsers
    * the fact that so many people believe everything they read on the web instead of going further and researching more about a subject

  15. People continually going on about how this and that is wrong with the web.

    Are you sure you really hate IE7 or AJAX already or is it because “experts” in the field have told you that you should.

  16. Why don’t we all just stop supporting MSIE? People keep using this trashy antique browser because things are bodged to work in it. Perhaps we should just develop for Firefox and let all the other browsers catch up when they realise that everyone is moving to Firefox.

    Why on earth does Safari exist? What a terrible pain! Bin it and use Firefox then at least that’s one less browser we have to worry about. Same for Konqueror – nice try, but let’s face it, pants compared to Firefox. Bin Konqueror too!

    As for the bloke on the main page who wrote about .Net being great, oh dear god what has that man been taking? He might as well say “All my sites look great in MSIE running on Windows!” and leave it at that. The day Microsoft make something that adheres to open standards, I’ll show my ass in Burton’s window!

    Opera, although now free, is still waaaay behind Firefox. They seriously need to pull their finger out and sort all the layout glitches, CSS problems and other painful traits their browser currently has.

    Oh, and just one more thing…


    Did I say that already? Well, it’s such an important point I thought it needed to be stated twice. How many of your clients have you converted to Firefox today? None? You’re in the wrong job mate. Show them the light and find out how refreshing it is to get projects finished on time and on budget.

  17. Most people on this discussion say they hate IE6.. I do too…IE7 will solve some problems and simply create more…I find myself quite frustrated with educating people about the importance of clean CSS based designs with a sense of fluidity to them…I detest table based layouts…and finally I simply cannot stand a “designer” who lacks openness when it comes to web site design and creation…The web is for people who belong to a new age and people with stuck up ideas, like it has always been with the computer sciences, make it harder for others by not adopting newer standards by staying rooted to the older methods of doing things

  18. Passing a W3C validation and writing good code are two completely different practices. Just because ASP.NET can spit-out “valid” XHTML, doesn’t mean the layout isn’t riddled with nested tables and confusing class/ID assignments. The reason the suite is ignored by “standards gurus” is because those same gurus oppose almost any program-generated markup, because it is usually some of the worst markup on the web—validation or not.

    Using Apache, PHP/Perl, mySQL, and perhaps a dash of Javascript you could do ANYTHING you’d ever be able to do using any of the Microsoft products you listed (had to resist an urge to put the cliche dollar-sign in the company name). You might have to get your hands dirty with the markup, but you could’ve saved yourself ~$400.


    (Viva la [g]Vim!)

  19. Regarding Ian Corey’s entry: “The best deals on tsunami victims”? has to be the darkest (unintentional) joke I have heard in quite a while, and it is revealing of some unfortunate traits of this medium. Good catch.

  20. Every hour I spend understanding and perfecting my use of CSS, for example, is an hour I don’t spend learning PHP. And no sooner do I learn enough PHP to impress my boss, than there’s a new kid on the block (Ruby on Rails, I’m looking your way) that offers a better way. I know what I’m going to do when I retire!

  21. I definitely can’t stand browser/technology zealots that rant about anything that’s not like the browser/technology they use.

    I aim specifically to Opera/Firefox zealots:
    * Opera zealots not assuming they have a buggy browser and ranting about FF instead of ranting about IE.
    * FF zealots for thinking they are the *only* alternative to IE and all should switch to FF instead of promoting users to use _anything_ but IE

    Then, there’s the PHP zealots, that would simply say anything in Perl is cryptic and useless, and say RoR is the n00bie platform instead of assuming the power it has and trying to compete (say, CakePHP for example).

    Let’s just be more tolerant and don’t fight between the well developed and updated platforms, let’s just fight against those who try to keep us stuck in 1998.

  22. I hate spotty teenagers on chat forums with their silly avatars. When some bit of software has yet another bug and you try to use Google to find some sort of solution, you always hit on chat forums populated by teenagers filling pages and pages with rubbish. I also hate “The page you are trying to view contains POSTDATA”¦”?. I also hate it when your website works in (what you think is) every conceivable browser and somebody asks, “did you try it in IE/Mac?”? I also hate the 256-colour web palette that some people still go on about. (What century do you live in, mate?)

  23. I hate reminding firefox groupies that Netscape 2 thru 4 was the first truly widespread browser, how do you think spyware got it’s start? Now hackers are being educated by lamebrains that write and comment here to use the dom which is immensely hypocritical to allow validation, yet parse crappy code unwittingly to the end user, the dom also allows more ways to entrap cpu cycles while the user wonders what’s going on. oh forget it!

  24. Here is my short list of things I hate on the web:

    1) Page breaks in articles. I’ve yet to hear a valid explanation for this. Total waste of time (and bandwidth).
    2) Websites that don’t work in Safari. WTF?
    3) Poor site navigation. It still exists in droves.
    4) Gratuitous Flash. Ever band site I’ve ever been to, I’m looking in your direction.
    5) The “Web 2.0” buzz phrase. Shut up, already.

  25. I hate the following:

    # Javascript menus.
    # AJAX — It’s not revolutionizing anything. They tried it like 10 years ago. It failed. It still fails. There are so very few instances where it’s useful.
    # Design over standards.
    # Large static sites with inconsistent markup and the clients that insist you maintain them the way they are.
    # _”Web designers”_ — If you don’t know what markup or CSS is, you’re not designing for the web.
    # _”Web 2.0″_ — eat me.

  26. I hate that Firefox, for all its other goodness, can’t render ♥ whether it’s written as “&amp9829;” or “♥”. Not even unicode escapes will take care of it. I guess it’s the XUL one-size fits all platforms (not!) reason that it’s not accessing OS X’s built-in use of unicode.

    To note: putting the heart in something that is styled with monospaced fonts seems to work (but why should I work-around?).

  27. PS to that above: There’s no little heart symbol showing up in FF on the Mac for these articles. Fine with _every_ other browser-platform combo in which I’ve looked.

  28. PPS to that above: It doesn’t work in any gecko-based browser. Here’s the extra bit of oddity: add “monospace” to the last font declaration in ALA’s /css/base.css file (replacing “sans-serif”) and it works. Wha?

  29. In today’s world of tabbed browsing, there’s a feature that HTML _doesn’t_ provide that really annoys me. I wish that using or would open in new tabs first if they’re enabled, _then_ open the link in a new window. Theoretically, it would degrade kindly. That would make me happy — as a tabbed browsing junkie, nothing annoys me more than clicking on a link that opens in a new window.

  30. * I hate poorly-designed forms!
    There are enough tutorials and articles on the web now explaining what makes a form good or bad, so I won’t list everything here. Accessibility issues aside, there is no reason why every single company absolutely *needs* to know my phone number, where I live, what I do, what my mother’s maiden name was, etc. The amount of information demanded of users becomes more than the amount of content that is being denied to them in the first place.
    * I hate Internet Explorer.
    IE _could_ be the most amazing browser in all existance. Microsoft has shown their commitment to web standards with such products as Visual Sudio’s Visual Web Developer. Yet we, as web developers, are expect to not only put up with but actually _applaud_ the next version 7.0, which fixes *bugs* we have been fighting with for the last 5 years? It’s just gross.
    * I hate the lack of documentation Opera has.
    Maybe I’ve just haven’t found it yet, but I can’t seem to find any decent web-dev documentation about Opera. Although I can’t say I would ever use Opera as my default browser, I _like_ what the company is trying to do.
    * I hate the terms “AJAX” and “Web 2.0”
    I hate how the terms imply segregation of technology, and how that implication has segregated the web community.
    * I hate rant-based blogs where nothing is ever good enough.
    You know these people – the ones that rant about CSS layouts being just as syntactically ill-formed as table ones. Some of these people complain about those who complain about IE. Some just complain about those who complain about them. Stop ranting about inane things we can’t change and do something productive!
    * I hate the lack of a newbie resource.
    Waaaaay back in the day there was Webmonkey, where newbies could go and learn many things about making ugly-geocities-esque web pages. It was good because at the time that was what the web was. But now, _some_ of us know better because we’re doing better compared to what we were doing years ago. I don’t see a lot of anyone teaching the basics in a way that prepares people for (what should be) their future – “standards based” design. Why reinvent the wheel with every developer, making them go through the same hoops we did?
    * I hate over-used layouts.
    I’m guilty of this as much as the next person. Imitation is the highest form of flattery, after all. The CSS Zen Garden is a fantastic site – each entry’s visual style is different from the last. Yet, out of however many hundred have been submitted, there are only about four or five different layouts. Most are single-column, a few double-column, and some are one big horizontal row. The visual styles are superb and show great creativity – can we not be as creative when it comes to placing and positioning content?
    * I hate the lack of XPath-based functions in the DOM.
    At first all I wanted was _getElementsByClassName_. Then I wanted a built in _CSSQuery_. But after discovering XPath, lets just go all the way and get that in there.

  31. What I hate about the web is not what we’ve lost, but what we _haven’t_ lost. I hate that we haven’t lost IE, despite the best efforts of many browser makers. I hate that people still make their links open in a new window. I hate complex dynamic URLs. I hate that people still force the “precision” cursor when you hover over their links. I hate the cybersquatters who just have domains without ever having any plans on doing something with them. I hate compulsory website registration. I hate the www. prefix. I hate that people are even today, in the year 2006, making sites with presentational tables, or indeed presentation markup at all. I hate all the stupid, immature people who can’t find anything better to do with their time than to troll. And I really hate the people who can’t be bothered to–if they’re not going to learn proper English–at least run what they write through a spell-checker. I hate comment and referrer spam. Hell, I hate spam of all kinds. Spammers are some of the most despicable people on the planet.

    But most of all, I think I just hate IE. Even IE7, with which I work on a regular basis. I know, I know, even the proprietors of this site say “Don’t be hatin’ on IE7 just yet,” but the simple fact of the matter is that it’s not going to be better. It’s going to be just as “good enough” as they can get away with. We’re still going to have to wrestle with IE being the browser that rides the short bus, holding back the web. I hate the fact that I just won’t be able to make a website without thinking about “oh, but will this work in IE?” IE just makes me angry. So… very… angry…

    I have to disagree with “CoMagz” (comment 11). It seems to me that the writer of that article has somehow missed a whole lot of what’s out there on the Web these days. I think that his misunderstanding of the Web can be summed up with his own sentence: “The web is totally different from any other industry I can think of.” The Web isn’t an industry, though. Sure, there is industry built up around the Web, but it itself is not an industry. It’s not something that exists to make money; that’s just one of the many things that does happen on the Web. The problem is that the Web is being run by the webmasters and not the users? Hardly! If it actually were being run by the webmasters, then nobody would be using IE! Either way, I just disagree with him.

    Oh, and I hate ALA! … wait, no, that’s not right, I love ALA! 🙂

  32. It’s been said before, but laying out pages with HTML/CSS is so very, very complicated and needlessly so.

    More times than I care to admit I have just dumped out a site with a HTML table layout because I don’t have the time or patience for the hours of trial and error required for an appropriate CSS layout that works in the majority of browsers.

    Tables are still so widely used because they work and work quickly.

  33. yes, what Adrian says is true for a lot of guys. Some needs are very dificult to reach only with divs an css (like two blocks with the same height). Tables are a real option, but i try to use them the minumum.

  34. *Dan Boland*: _”Page breaks in articles. I’ve yet to hear a valid explanation for this. Total waste of time (and bandwidth).”_

    I take the opposite view. There’s nothing worse than waiting for an enormous one-page document to fully load. HTML specs come to mind. Especially when all I want to read is a fraction of the page. Why waste bandwidth by forcing me to load the whole document? Magazines don’t come on a continuous single sheet of paper. People can only take in so much at a time. Page breaks are a natural solution.

  35. I agree with the person who said is their biggest hatred of the web. God, it’s so bad when you compare it to something like flickr and it could be so good. So REALLY REALY good. It’s badly designed usability-wise, it’s interface is gruesome and it’s clunky/loads slow/very bad at image handling.

    It’s such a popular site and such a great idea that is let down by a complete lack of thought when it comes to the account holder and user…

  36. bq. Why don’t we all just stop supporting MSIE? People keep using this trashy antique browser because things are bodged to work in it. Perhaps we should just develop for Firefox and let all the other browsers catch up when they realise that everyone is moving to Firefox.

    The problem I have, I don’t know about you, is that I haven’t yet managed to design a killer website that ordinary surfing plebs are so desperate to use to full effect that they will download a new browser for it. If they can’t use my website, they’ll go elsewhere, and take their money elsewhere.

    And sadly, there will be no shortage of people peddling IE-only websites to those clients who care more about cash than quality (and who can blame them!) – so all that happens is that the standardistas are left out in the cold with no work.

  37. I read through the Valentine’s Massacre, and I didn’t see any comments regarding e-Mail portability.

    One thing that I hate about e-Mail nowadays is that it is not portable… or transferrable… I cannot understand why Postal Service (at least in the US) offers free forwarding of all your mail for one year after you moved, if you lived in California, but moved to Maine, no matter what, you’ll still get mail sent to California at your new address in Maine.

    You just can’t do that… or please, if anyone knows how to… let me know, and I’ll shut up!

    I know… Yahoo! and Hotmail can do it if you pay X amount of dollars… But that’s about it…

    I am glad that mr. Google is breaking such trend by GIVING AWAY pop and forwarding services. So if you decide to change your e-Mail address, you don’t have to have a comprehensive list of contacts, so if one of your friends that you haven’t heard from in a while, can still send you a message and it will still make it to your new e-Mail inbox.

    Now, all they need is IMAP. But that’s another topic. =)

  38. The big 5 recurring areas for me, in no particulat order:

    1) Browser compatibility. Something almost universally despised with no easy solution. As a side note, sure, we can stop supporting pages for IE. But the unfortunate reality is: a] Older versions of IE will be in use for a long time and b] a large number of users simply don’t care what browser they use. Meaning they don’t want to download a different browser, and just fire up the one that shipped with the OS.

    2) CSS compatibility. Related to 1, but it makes me crazy that CSS has so much potential – even aside from the power it already makes available – but often ends up requiring a few dozen hacks to support different browsers. Using a lot of hacks gives my striving for lean, clean code the heebie jeebies.

    3) ASP.NET. That may change, but so far my encoutners with it have left me tired and annoyed. Perhaps I need more time with it. But I have to agree PHP, and even ASP, seem much easier to work with.

    4) Frontpage. With a passion I hate this software and the “websites” it produces. Particularly making changes to an existing site for a new client, to discover mountains of FP junk code I have to tiptoe through, lest you bump the wrong webbot and send the page into spastic error filled fits, searching and searching for the area I need to work on.

    5) People who sit on domain names. Not just squatters wringing a buck from a site name, but people who have them…and never use them. For years. Maybe domain names need a system similar to that for real estate. If it sits neglected and empty for too long, someone needs to step in. Use it or lose it. Or not. I don’t know. Look, it’s frustrating, ok? I’ve venting here.

  39. *Chris Hester*: _”I take the opposite view. There’s nothing worse than waiting for an enormous one-page document to fully load. HTML specs come to mind. Especially when all I want to read is a fraction of the page. Why waste bandwidth by forcing me to load the whole document? Magazines don’t come on a continuous single sheet of paper. People can only take in so much at a time. Page breaks are a natural solution.”_

    Thanks for the response, it’s nice to hear other people’s perspective on this.

    It’s funny you mention the waste of bandwidth, because I think splitting an article into multiple pages is an even bigger waste. The host server is sending the same overhead once per page, whereas sending an entire article as one page only sends everything… once.

    I’ve been told that the main reason this happens is advertising — one ad per page. But what’s preventing sites from simply putting all of the ads throughout the length of the article?

    As far as what the user wants, you want page breaks. I don’t. And most sites accommodate both of us by having “single-page view” links to click. But even that leads to problems; there have been several occasions when I click the single-view link and get a 404. Why introduce the possibility of errors when you don’t have to?

    And why should I be penalized for wanting all of the information at once? Every page that has to load unnecessarily is a waste of time, considering I’ve already invested to reading the article.

    And I guess the crux of my argument against page breaks is this — you mention that magazines don’t come in one long page. That’s true, but the web is an entirely different medium. The web doesn’t have vertical limitations the way every other medium has. Now that doesn’t mean that I want to read _The Shining_ all on one page, but for a three page article, give me a break!

  40. There are idiots who think they know VBscript but can not write HTML or CSS. What is this world coming to?

  41. I truly despise some of the people who say that they are sick of crappy web sites and amateur designers but when you visit their website, it looks like a 10 yr old designed it.

    I’m an experienced designer, developer and artist and have been doing this for almost 10 yrs now. I have come to realize, there are 2 types of designers/developers: editorial critics and inspirational types.

    Editorial types tend to degrade everything that is wrong (and sometimes not but is based on their “infinite” expertise) while Inspirational types, offer objective criticism and support in an attempt to solidfy the online community of designers, developers and code “artists.”

    Other than that: IE SUCKS BALLZ and either needs to step up or step out. Your game, Bill.

  42. About 2 years ago, the CSS consortium was going full-steam with a way to include specific fonts into stylesheets. then they did an about-face and stopped supporting this process. In the meantime – all websites have to be built with horrid typefaces like arial, times. If you’re lucky a PC user may have a Verdana or Helvetica.

    I mean, it’s 2006, and i’m still having to decide on serif or sans for an html-based website layout.

    Web and online design will always be considered a red-headed step-child of design as long as the fonts are held back.



    p.s. if anyone knows a way of including fonts, please share!

  43. Todd: You can try for headings and small sections.

    Things I hate: Every single website that doesn’t validate to it’s Doctype, especially the sites that proudly advertise the fact they are valid xhtml/css and don’t bother to ensure they actually are.

  44. *Dan Boland* – I’m not sure I understand your argument against bandwidth. If I read the first page of an article, then decide it’s not for me, doesn’t this use less bandwidth than downloading the entire thing? What if it is the equivalent of 10 pages long?

    The bugbear is when the article contains illustrations. I’m having to load all of these in one go. But I think we’re talking about two different types of thing here. You – an interesting article. Me – an HTML spec. (Should be the same thing. 🙂 ) Now a while ago I wanted to check something in a draft produced by the WHATWG. I was appalled by the sheer length of the page, when all I wanted was a tiny fraction of the text.

    Consider people are still on 56K as well. Even on broadband, I was waiting maybe up to a minute for the damn page to finish loading. Why not give the user content in sections instead? It makes so much more sense to me. Don’t load content I don’t want to read!

    Now going back a few years, I was on 56K myself, and came across a personal site where the user had dumped _everything_ on one page. The problem was, that included masses of images and photographs. What a pain to load! I felt then there was no need for this. The page should have been cut up into separate pages.

    *todd musgrove*: _”Web and online design will always be considered a red-headed step-child of design as long as the fonts are held back.”_

    I hear ya on the fonts thing. Microsoft had a great working demo years back that allowed any font, but no-one expanded on it. But Todd, please don’t hate on the red-heads!

  45. We’ve already gone through 2.0 with server side scripting. More Accurately the term would be Web 2.1 or Web 3.0 using the client/server analogy for technologies behind webpage presentation.

    1.0 HTML/CGI
    1.1 HTML/CGI/Javascript
    2.0 HTML/Javascript/Server Side Scripting
    2.1 HTML/Javascript/CSS/Server Side Scripting
    3.0 Server Side Scripting/DHTML (the web is here)

    I’m sure this has been said before, but it can’t be said enough. Others would want to break it out further (whaa, you forgot XHTML… I think not). I feel these are the core stages.

  46. We’ve already gone through 2.0 with server side scripting. More Accurately the term would be Web 2.1 or Web 3.0 using the client/server analogy for technologies behind webpage presentation.

    1.0 HTML/CGI
    1.1 HTML/CGI/Javascript
    2.0 HTML/Javascript/Server Side Scripting
    2.1 HTML/Javascript/CSS/Server Side Scripting
    3.0 Server Side Scripting/DHTML (the web is here)

    I’m sure this has been said before, but it can’t be said enough. Others would want to break it out further (whaa, you forgot XHTML”¦ I think not). I feel these are the core stages.

  47. What I hate is that people use the anonymity of the web to abuse peoples comments or waffle on when most people probably couldn’t care less about their drivel. For example I once posted a question on a site about a coding issue using the standards-strict dtd only to get the reply:
    “Why are you using strict you idiot. You should be using transitional. Everybody knows that!(more waffle followed)”

  48. Anonymity can free people from so many inhabitions and allow them to express feelings in ways they never felt possible.

    But it also allows people to give in too easily to the darker sides of human nature. And that I don’t like.

    But we take the good with the bad.

  49. I’m _really_ getting tired of the practice of “Search Engine Optimization”. The more I work at a company that does nothing but use outdated keyword spamming tactics to appease *The Mighty Google*, the more I notice other companies stuck in similar ruts. Would you people like to know how to optimize your site?

    Write good content.

    Affiliate yourself with sites that share similar interests or promote your (site | company)’s ideal. If it just so happens that your kind of site is more popular on Yahoo than Google, so be it. Market towards that instead of worrying about Big Homey-G and stop filling the internet with

    . It’s about time companies started using more


  50. …the way web design is taught, when it is taught, in higher education institutions. I’ve had to teach myself everything I know because the most advanced web course offered at my university involves Frontpage.

  51. When I first heard the term web2.0 I thought it will be something totally unique something more dramatic rather than just AJAX and others. I thought of Minority report where people browse the internet using their hands.

    The first thing I learned about web2.0 is that it doesnot have a proper definition yet then why is it called web 2.0. From what I have understood its just same old things with a new cover. So when can we expect to see the real web 2.0 is still unanswered!

  52. To me Web 2.0 is more of an ethos. It’s about getting it right, drawing a line in the sand and saying “It ends here!”. It’s about the proper use of structured semantic mark-up, the separation of content, structure, presentation and behaviour. Designing, not simply prettifying, pages that degrade nicely using techniques that offer accessible and usable interfaces. Clever use of interaction models to give the user the best possible web experience.

    Some things will be brand new or at least unobtainable ideas finally made realizable. Others will be the same old stuff done better. For the past 10+ years the industry has been stumbling along but now things are getting better. For me anyway, after stripping away all the hype, Web 2.0 is about a new start, a chance to turn over a new leaf and build the web anew.

  53. dark side of the web: spam, malware, spyware ,adware noware. link farms and other dark SEO deeds.

    wishlist 1: true UTF-8 support, let the sign on the keyboard’s key show thru, be it croatian, ukrainian, chinese or martian.

    wishlist 2: height:expand

    wishlist 3: more variety and openmindedness in the web designers and developers’ community. to many sheep following, instead of proposing new ways.

    wishlist 4: online forums used to be a good source for help and fun. it seems that nowadays everybody asks question, nobody takes the time to reply. LOOK BEYOND YOURSELF !

    all the best,


  54. Spammers. Guestbook spammers. Comment spammers. The “table layouts are evil” fanatics. Flash. Java. IE. Snobby professional web designers who sneer at the efforts of lesser mortals.

  55. Randall,
    if you have set up a personal web site you’re correct. If you’re speaking about a business web site, maybe you forgot to pay for MySql License as you should (and that’s not so cheap).

  56. Michael, I’ve seen a lot of really horrible Apache/MYSQL/Php sites full of tables and absolutely non-standard markup (the same that can happen for IIS/SQL Server/ASp.NET).

    What I want to say is that you can (and should) produce standards compliant markup independently from the platform/tools you use. No set of tools can magically make you a “web star”.

    What I really hate is this aprioristic judgement: if you write in ASP.NET/C# probably you’re an idiot, if you write a lot of rubbish in Php/MySQL it doesn’t matter, “YOU ARE A GURU”.

  57. Reading through this long list of rants (Including the article itself.) is very depressing. I’ve been a web technician since Spring of 1997 and I think a lot of people have forgotten how bad things were back then.

    Look, it’s a heterogeneous computing environment and, interoperability is hard but, if you keep your head, it’s possible.

    If you don’t push the envelope and don’t bother to give any style to versions of IE earlier than 6, if you don’t need PNG transparency, CSS has made things *vastly* better. Aside from one or two hiding tricks, you can pretty much use the same stylesheet for most browsers from version 6 onwards. If you keep things pretty bland, that really *is* progress.

    But there is still a fraction of people out there that think CSS has somehow magically rendered the Web a safe place for concepts that really only work in the design of printed, hardcopy media. This just isn’t true.

    CSS gives you, the designer, only a limited degree of control over how something is rendered. This control is staggeringly simpleminded in comparision to the kind of control Adobe PhotoShop or professional, industrial-grade publishing software gives you.

    You can hand out a printed media stylesheet that isn’t too horrible. You can make the world a little safer for mobile phones with a handheld stylesheet. You can build a pretty nice presentation with a projection media stylesheet. You can make your page render pretty much the same on most browsers after IE6, if you keep it simple.

    The Web is not print. It’s either hacks like sFIR or the Web safe fonts. Just accept it.

  58. It seems to be realistic to use 30% of the budget in webdesign to hacks and fixes to get the pages OK. Thats too much compared to print and TV. If you listen to the big bosses in marketing and content they think like that and concludes that the web matures as a medium, but the deliveryplatform is beta quality. I agree. I think the W3 and Microsoft are still not working good enough together. MS sayes to bee customer driven. How can they not get the signals from all the people bying websites that their bad browsers makes our pages bad OR more expensive !

  59. I don’t think I’ve seen anyone mention this yet…

    Links that have no real URL in their HREF attribute, and break the fundamental underpinnings of the web.

    Obviously bad for accessibility, and _always_ a problem if you have script disabled, or don’t have a script enabled browser.

    It’s still bad in that respect but these days the problem affects more people, even if they have modern common multimedia browsers on high powered desktop computers. For just a few examples:
    * people using handheld devices with less power or lower support for scripts;
    * people who like to see where a link would take them (by looking at the status bar with their mouse over the link);
    * people who want to open a link in a new tab;
    * people who want to copy the link address for sending to other people or just to bookmark it!

    One prime offender that I use is “MSN Hotmailâ„¢”. Maybe they have the right to use convoluted methods and code to do reletavly simple things like email, but that doesn’t mean they should just make it all work their way and sod the individual people that actually have to use it.

    *It’s not like there’s no alternative!*
    Every link should always have a valid standard HREF, event handlers can overide this if you must use your scripts and when done properly will not get in the way of the indivudual users’ wishes like middle-click for new tab in Firefox.

    If there’s no non-script alternative content then the href can send the user to a page that simply says a browser supporting script is required!

    I think there was an article on ALA about this… yeah here we go “”Accessible Pop-up Links”:“.

  60. I hate the asynchronous javascript and xml that rarely makes use of the asynchronousness and xml. Can’t we just call it dhtml and return to 1998? Or better yet use flash (gasp shock horror) – a FAR more mature platform for rich media and asynchronous data transfer applications. And don’t start about the plugin issue, you css misers expect people to download a completely different browser than what they are used to (firefox) to get your nifty hacks to work to css spec. I fart in your general direction!

    I hate standards and the slew of rubish that people spout about the so called goodness of them. Place all the tacky compliance gifs and technocratic rubish you want, the 95% of people who use the net DON’T CARE. We are become slaves to the search engine, and creativity is in steep decline.

    I hate css, recently minted developers are digg’ing this stuff as if moses himself chairs the w3c. Where have we moved from 2000? – we can now implement media styles and throw out the spacer gifs. BIG DEAL. News Flash: Absolute positioning has been around for years.

    We are taking a media (yes thats right a MEDIA) not a giant technical resource as some would like the net to go back to circa arpanet, not a semantic machine readable database, a media to enable human communication, and taking the soul right out.

    When skynet is born of the remains of google, I will blame all of YOU.

  61. Things I hate about the interweb

    * Design over standards
    * Standards over design
    * People missing the point of CSS, W3C, Standards e.t.c resulting in pages with hundreds of classes and hundreds of div’s for no real reason. You might as well of stuck with your tables.
    * Popups
    * Googles targeted ads, although generally unobtrusive, are often irrelevant and link to terrible websites. Quite often I get one saying “Guitar playing Suck? – Learning to master guitar in 60 minutes”. I dont think so pal.
    * Although it has been mentioned 342342 times, browser rendering incosistencies is a real pain.

  62. One thing I’ve grown to hate lately is having to defend the practice of Search engine Optimization from people that don’t understand that SEO isn’t synonymous with keyword spamming, or a multitude of other unethical black hat SEO abuses.

    There are many companies out there these days using shady techniques in an effort to bolster the pagerank of their clients’ sites, resulting in SEO turning into a dirty word for some.

    White hat SEO, a term that others might dismiss as just another buzzword, encompasses everything from adhering to web standards/validation, semantic markup and accessibility, to well researched content.

    Those that *do* consider SEO an empty buzzword, should remember that on top of adhering to standards compliant authoring practices, white hat SEO involves many other ethical practices that produce higher ranking for functional, trusted content rich sites. Definitely a step in the right direction.

  63. I hate all so-called standard “gurus”. I can design a site with valid HTML 4.01 & CSS using tables that is consistent across all browsers far faster than you can hack up some valid XHTML & CSS site that might be consistent. Don’t get me wrong, XHTML & CSS are nice but they make me feel extremely limited and often frustrated. The browser companies need to get it together.

    Web designers who hate Flash yet don’t know the first thing about it other than you need a pluggin to view it. Flash can be a great addition/accent to an HTML based site. It can also create the most amazing Web-sites and applications to grace the internet when used properly and intelligently. Flash can engage your audience in ways that HTML,XHTML, and CSS never will be able to.

    No support for transparent .pngs. It’s been on the scene since around 1995. Can we get some $%#@#! support?

    Pop-ups. Who doesn’t hate pop-ups?

    When a link is actually a link to a pdf and doesn’t tell me and also doesn’t open in a new window. I absolutely hate that.

  64. What I can’t stand is the rampant self-feeding, inward-looking, dare-I-say-it plagiarism that creates transitory schools of design thought pervading the net until the next site redesign? How many sites during 2004 did you see that used white-on-white, slight gradiented lozenges, and another, almost imperceptible top-of-page blue-grey gradient? Not to mention the little Web 2.0 style ‘beta’ starburst?

    Either ponce around with self-aggrandising cyberpunk web-designer sneer, or have the humility that goes with being unoriginal. You can’t have both.

  65. I despise pages and “ads that make sounds”: or talk without any request or warning. Remember those annoying “Vonage ads”:”” ? I sometimes achieve a zen-like state of mind and concentration when randomly surfing the web, only to be shattered by some random, unexpected, unsolicited noise.

  66. I dislike flash websites, esp. complete flash based sites. And those with sounds that blast my speakers when i enter a site.
    I would love to see sites that are tableless although i had did tabled sites before.
    I would also be happy if IE and FF could pass the acid2 test.

  67. The interweb was a valuable resource for research and discussion now its a glue ball of paid for links and SEO, any google search brings back an ebay listing. Who is selling ‘Physics’ on ebay and how did they come to own it ?

  68. The use of JavaScript for hyperlinks! It annoys me when I hit my middle mouse button on a link, only to find that the new tab is blank, with JavaScript in the address bar.

    And while we’re on the subject, what about right-click disabling? Another JavaScript bane – for goodness’ sake, if anyone’s wants to copy your code, chances are they’ll know how to bypass the intrusive “security” measure.

  69. I hate Google. Actually, I don’t hate Google at all. I actually use it from time to time. What I hate is The Cult of Google, the idea that Google is the only search engine/directory out there and that you have to be saying “Google” all the time to be cool.

    I also hate that web people gave in to Microsoft’s forcing Netscape out of the market. At first people complained about it but then everybody gave in and sucked up IE and forgot that Netscape had never gone away. Netscape 6 wasn’t that great but it wasn’t out that long before the much better version 7 (especially 7.2) came along. Then Firefox comes along and all the web gurus are like, “No way! Finally a cool browser! Had to put up with that sucky IE for the past seven years.”

  70. “Now I have a box that I can launch as many sites as I want to dream up.”

    As many sites? Don’t think so. Better read that SLA again. Better not be wanting that server to be performant under heavy load either.

    Unlike M$FT, open-source web technologies like Apache, PHP, and MySQL are FREE. Not $400, but free. And because they don’t require a top-heavy GUI-based OS to run, they can handle many more visitors on the same amount of hardware.

    Of all the annoyances plaguing the web, many of them are thanks to M$FT. Down with the Beast of Redmond.

  71. You’d think by now most people get it – the web is about content content content and not about graphics by the pound, gradient backgrounds, 90% unclickable pages, meaningless flash, and “everybody has a fast connection now, it’s not a problem”….grrrr…

  72. Catching different browser bugs to maintain my design instead of simply display the line “˜you are using substandard and defected software; if it can’t display this page properly do you really want to try a secure credit card transaction’.

    Browser reviews that promote ActiveX Opt-in and Phishing Filter while failing to mention that it cannot render HTML, XHTML, CSS 1 or 2 and really; Advanced Printing? lets hope it can render a printed page better than the one on screen.

    U.K web page accessibility; doesn’t apply to printed pages but on a terminal it does? I guess printed page is so last year to the visually impaired.

    The guys from the oversubscribed LAW courses who couldn’t get work due to there being too many lawyers by a factor of ten, producing legislation that I have to give them half my income to interpret the aforementioned legislation so I can continue to work without sued by them for failing to meet the aforementioned legislation.

    Explaining to client that they will have pay an annual free to AOL to send email to their customers who have already paid to receive email and also an annual free to an internet security to prevent denial of service attacks on them. (Wasn’t the mobile phone industry found to be acting illegally when they billed both parties for one call?)

    People who try to deny the fundament truth that the “˜customer is always right’ and then blame competitors for unfair codes of practice when the customer goes with the guy that didn’t restrict or deny them the product they wanted.

    People crying over having to validate against W3C when it keeps out the hobbyists, W3C=Worth Free Cash.

    Graphic Designers with proven web history who ask “˜Why can’t you up the image quality and reduce the page loading time’

  73. Big companies paying presumably vast amounts of money to produce websites that:

    i) are hard to use
    ii) look convoluted and as if they were designed in 2000
    iii) use vast amounts of bandwidth for zero reason
    iv) don’t work in Firefox
    v) and therefore ask you to ‘upgrade’ your browser to IE

  74. When doing a search for certain types of information, a large proportion of the results are simply mirrors of what would be considered to be the master reference, causing the already large result list to be bloated even further.
    Javadoc sites are particularly bad for this.
    For example, do a search on ‘HttpServletRequest’ and the first 2 pages of results probably only contain 3 unique hits.
    Maybe it’s time for some meta tag that can be added to a site to indicate that it is a mirror (and which site it is a mirror of) so that search engines can simply show the mirror sites, next to the master, as ‘Mirrors of this site’ (With a link, of course)

    Having said that, having the facility to search the web, like we do, should not be sneezed at – I really don’t know how we got by before.

  75. a) the use of animated gifs like smileys and “under construction”
    b) MySpace
    c) When you think it’s new and exciting, it’s like, 2 years old. It’s hard to keep up
    d) that everything starts to be a fad.
    e) Dooce and every other person who got canned for blogging and then was suddenly cast on a throne. How DO these people still hold on to the fame?
    f) Mommy and infertility bloggers. Cripes the psychotic nature in all of them!

    But all in all, I LOVE the internet. Best. Invention. Ever.

  76. 1) Newspapers that make you “sign up” to read articles.
    2) Sites that demand high security passwords to access low security content. Like this site, for example. Why must my password here be at least 6 characters, when I prefer an easy to remember 5 character password?

  77. What I have hated over the past few years:

    1) The sheer amount of catchup work I’ve had to do in web development. I spent too long using tables in my designs, and finally saw the light with CSS only recently. However, knowing where to start, and know for certain that I’m using the right hacks and/or techniques has been one of my headaches. At least, ALA is one safe haven!

    2) Blogs – only because having a blog has confirmed that I have nothing much to write about, and has made me think about my life in general, and where my priorities are. Well, I guess that’s a good thing really.

    3) Buggy multi-page forms – getting 90% through a multi page form registration (typically anything to do with insurance, banking or mortgages), then getting stuck on some dynamic dropdown which only works in IE, and not any other browser.

    4) Websites which don’t tell you when they go down for maintenance. My wife spent ages filling in an online application form, only to press Submit, and it went to a blank screen (which had a maintenance message hidden in its source code!). Her form couldn’t be recovered. She was angry. Real angry. And I couldn’t do anything about it.

  78. I have several. Since I’m chiefly an Intranet guy, I’m only slightly plagued by, but still dislike browser incompatibility. Where I get downright hostile is when it’s “intentional” or intentionally not fixed for the advantage it might bring.

    “The programmer with an idea.”
    About 4 months ago I did a search on the words “Senate ethics”, and sure enough on page one I came up with “Click here for great prices on Senate enthics!” and “Ethics? Buy them on eBay!” Can’t we just shoot these people?

    “Search Degradation”
    Time was you could simply enter the name of a questionable .EXE or .DLL you found lurking on your computer, and find out it’s bona fides. Try it nowdays and the first page of Google hits are practically worthless ads without any genuine info. There are several more examples, but that one is characteristic.

    I have never spent one cent on anything in a pop-up, pop-under, slide-out (you too, flash guys), or onunload(Buy_This(now)) and never will. Why would I hand money to anyone this inconsiderate of my time?

    “Focus People!”
    This whole notion of standards is getting a bit much, methinks. Obsessing on sites, and writing pages compliant to a standard is a bit much, considering that roughly 80% of the folk are browsing with a program intentionally non-compliant. Micro$not knows it and snickers, most users wouldn’t know either way. If the tables were turned and Redmond only had 20% of the users, don’t you think they’d change their ways over the weekend?

    Banging on developer’s heads is not really helpfull. It’s the people doing browsers that have to comply or it’s an airball. I mean, if a page I write isn’t standards compliant, how does this hurt you? If done commercially producing a page unusable, the natural order of things will lead to users going elsewhere, or you having my job. In the end all are served.

    The W3C has done a good job, up to a point, but hundreds of pages defining simple things is a bit out of hand. Kinda like NASA writing specs on a bottle rocket launch.

    Last Thing.
    The idea that it takes and understanding of 5 languages, and their interaction, how as many browsers react to this witches brew, AND the coding standards of each language is just nuts.

    Know what I’d like to see? A genuine breakthrough. A CSS grouping that would, for instance, let me define H1, H2, H3, P, LI, fonts, weights, padding, and colors into one class. Then a page body you could do with something simple like:

    A page worth of text

    Too simple, huh?

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