re: 8 Things I Hate About The Web

Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten writes about 8 things he hates about the web. I tried commenting under his post, but failed (which is somewhat common when replying using OpenID) so here are my comments:

Boris’ points:

  1. Too Cheap. He asks “How much longer will it take until we will have a healthy online economy for start-ups?”. Well, Geoff Huston answered this in one of his brilliant presentations in RIPE-54. In his own words: “You people are cheap! No matter what scientists and engineers do your users will always be looking for the cheapest provider”. This was said while explaining the implications of an earthquake in southeast Asia on the Pacific cables and the Internet connectivity.
  2. Too Many Bugs. I am reading “The New School of Information Security” these days. In its pages it is clearly explained that today, security is not a priority when building a product. And yes, although this covers a fraction of the bugs, getting the product out seems more important than getting the product out bugless. The first part of the “Unifinished Revolution” deals with the subject in depth. Boris asks: “How hard is it exactly to build a browser that works?” You cannot begin to imagine.
  3. Too Many Choices. While I am not a friend of too many choices either, given enough time, the fittest choices will survive. I understand that the problem exists when you are at the start of the timeline, when all choices seem viable (or equally crappy). No we cannot do something about it.
  4. Too Many Browsers. IMHO, this is equal to Too Many Choices (the choice being the browser to use). Standardization is an issue, but we all know that incompatibility with standards occurs when certain groups want to impose their options as default standards for others. When critical mass is gathered, they become de-facto standards. You cannot really hate the web for that. It is a common human / corporate behavior and it is expected.
  5. Too Many Search Results. Well, I believe that one can develop systems that return few and important results as Boris wants. The drawback is that you have to feed such systems with so many details on what is important to you, that in the end you might not like it.
  6. Too Many Opinions. Boris writes: “Opinions are just like assholes, everybody’s got one. On the web, we can all show ours to everyone.” I cannot really comment on that, can I?
  7. Too Slow. The Internet (and not just the Web) will always be too slow. We will always want better speeds and bigger capacities, because there will always be this new thingy that will require the bandwidth. 10 years ago a 1Mbps line was considered enough for a University and today it is considered too slow for my house.
  8. Too Many Passwords. Boris asks about OpenID: “Why the hell isn’t it implemented everywhere yet?” Because as it is pointed out in “The New School of Information Security“, everyone expects everybody else to deploy it before deploying it themselves. So generating the critical mass that will make OpenID commonplace will take time, regardless of the recognized need to use such schemes.

Boris, I think that what you hate is certain human and corporate behavior as it is projected on the web, and not the web itself. For as with most problems, the technical part of the solution is the easy one, while the social and economic parts are the most difficult to get accepted.



6 thoughts on “re: 8 Things I Hate About The Web

  1. Thanks for the extensive comment! Sorry you didn’t manage to post it on our blog but in a way this is even better! :-)

  2. @thanasisk:
    I would say different and not overrated. But then again let’s wait for me to finish it and discuss it in detail.

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