I disable javascript and third-party cookies and turn them on selectively as needed.

Most sites work without them, some work really well without them (github.com uses the <details> tag, amazing), and it eliminates all manner of jank & crud:

  • spectre / intel holes were for a while vulnerable on the web and who knows if they’re patched
  • remember scroll jank? powered by JS
  • paywalls often rely on JS (I love to pay for content – see below)
  • 3rd-party cookies are only useful for tracking and some dubious tracking-powered shopping cart embeds; oauth works fine without them
  • CPU / battery jank – I honestly don’t know if this is still a problem for people. I have a zillion tabs open, don’t run super-current hardware, and haven’t had trouble since I disabled JS in my browsers

Most likely someone sent me the link to your site via work chat and I was looking for an excuse not to read it, so thanks for making it unusable in my browser.

Modern jank techniques

Someone should put together a jank hall of fame. Fun tricks like:

  • Overlay div on your main content that requires JS to disable
  • Use CSS to blur your text (looking at you bloomberg quint)
  • Render content from a rest call in the browser when your content is mostly static
  • Run logins through a special domain (identity.domain.com) when you’re logging me into something else (www.domain.com) so that I need to enable 3rd-party cookies

I don’t know why people do these things. Unless it’s some combination of laziness, malice and incompetence, in which case I do know why.

Adults, test your stuff

Two big things broke in the last few weeks:

  • my gmail broke first on chromium (my fault for using chromium?) and then on chrome – the fix is easy (delete all cookies, enable 3rd-party cookies, and log back in) but WTF google
  • cloudflare DDOS protection requires JS – I couldn’t hit some site

These are serious companies, so if anyone there is reading, please test your stuff on browsers with stuff disabled.

Janky DRM

Don’t make me run your closed source software to read your content unless said content is a video game that can make a case for needing to be interactive.

I love to pay for content, seriously. I hate free business models, I think free content drives down the average and dries up resources for social goods like journalism and art. Paid products come with more protection for consumers and better quality.

That said, if I have to run your software on my precious laptop with private keys and stuff, YOU need to pay ME.

Software is dangerous. Content mostly sucks. I’d like to buy your content even though it probably sucks, but throw me a bone please and don’t ask me to run your software.