Category Archives: rants & raves

blogposts op met geklaag en gezaag of met ongegeneerde idolatrie (or; ranting an raving, to be taken with a pinch of salt)

Is the web doomed?

Off course the web is not doomed, but despite the fact that web performance is immensely important (think impact on mobile experience, think impact on search engine ranking, think impact on conversion) the web keeps getting fatter, as witnessed by this graph from mobiforge;


Yup; your average web page now has the same size as the Doom installer. From the original mobiforge article;

Recall that Doom is a multi-level first person shooter that ships with an advanced 3D rendering engine and multiple levels, each comprised of maps, sprites and sound effects. By comparison, 2016’s web struggles to deliver a page of web content in the same size. If that doesn’t give you pause you’re missing something.

There’s some interesting follow-up remarks & hopeful conclusions in the original article, but still, over 2 Megabyte for a web page? Seriously? Think about what that does that do to your bounce-rate, esp. knowing that Google Analytics systematically underestimates bounce rate on slow pages because people leave before even being seen by your favorite webstats solution?

So, you might want to reconsider if you really should:

  • push high resolution images to all visitors because your CMO says so (“this hero image does not look nice on my iPad”)
  • push custom webfonts just because corporate communications say so (“our corporate identity requires the use of these fonts”)
  • use angular.js (or react.js or any other JS client-side framework for that matter) because the CTO says so (“We need MVC and the modularity and testibility are great for developers”)

Because on the web faster is always better and being slower will always cost you in the end, even if you might not (want to) know.

Why would you still be on PHP 5.2?

For Autoptimize 2.0.1 I declared a pretty complex regex to extract font-face’s from CSS using the nowdoc-syntax which is supported from PHP 5.3 onwards. Taking into account that the first PHP 5.2 release was over 9 years ago and support ended with the release of 5.2.17, over 5 years ago I assumed using a nowdoc would not be a problem for anyone. How naive I was; several people contacted me with this ugly error-message PHP 5.2 throws;

Parse error: syntax error, unexpected T_SL in /wp-content/plugins/autoptimize/classes/autoptimizeStyles.php on line 396

There is a workaround and even a more fundamental fix for that already, but who would still want to run PHP 5.2, which has this huge list of security issues? Moreover PHP 5.5 and 5.6 seem approximately twice as fast as 5.2 according to these test results and PHP 7.0 is even over three times as fast as 5.2! And still almost 9% of all WordPress sites are running on that old version (so I could have known this was coming really, bugger).

I you are one of those, do urge your hosting company to urgently provide you with an upgrade path to PHP 5.6 (or even 7.0)!

Firefox OS dead or just resting?

So Peter-Paul Koch (Quirksmode) declares Firefox OS dead. I’m afraid he’s right. A pity really, as I loved the idea of an entirely open web-based mobile OS. Mozillians don’t agree, saying they’re just not going offer Firefox OS phones through carriers any more.

Or maybe It’s just resting?

Customer: I wish to complain about this here fox what I purchased not half an hour ago from this very boutique.
Shopkeeper: Oh yes, uh, Firefox OS …What’s,uh…What’s wrong with it?
Customer: I’ll tell you what’s wrong with it, my lad. It’s dead, that’s what’s wrong with it!
Shopkeeper: No, no, ‘e’s uh,…it’s resting.
Customer: Look, matey, I know a dead fox when I see one, and I’m looking at one right now.
Shopkeeper: No no it’s not dead, it’s restin’! Remarkable software, Firefox OS, idn’it, ay? Beautiful openness!


Apple to start charging you for Apple Music unless …

Apparently you have to go through a less-then-obvious procedure if you don’t want Apple to automatically start charging you for access to Apple Music;

Back in June, Apple Music was born. […] It was free for the first three months […] Whether you’re loving the service or not, there’s good chance you may have forgotten that you entered your bank details when you signed up, ready for the paid subscription to start of 30 September. Here’s how to stop the automatic monthly payments. Only if you want to of course.
(source: BBC Newsbeat)

Isn’t it ironic (really) that a company that prides itself in the simplicity and usability of its products, requires users to jump through hoops to disable automatic payment?

Wordfeud, server maintenance & monetization

wordfeudSo I’m a Wordfeud-addict (you know, Scrabble without the TM infringement) and the game is down since this morning. Their Twitter-account reads;

#Wordfeud servers are going down for maintenance around 06:00 CET. We expect 2-3 hours of downtime.

This message is 9h old but still no Wordfeud, so they must be facing major problems. Which begs the question; is Bertheussen IT into server-technology? And wouldn’t they invest more if paying customers could simply stop paying if service-level became too bad instead of paying a one-time fee?

The broken smartphone sequel

It’s been a almost a year since I last listed all smartphones that passed through my clumsy hands, so surely I must have some items to add to that list, you might think? Indeed! So starting off where we ended last year;

  1. 2014: Google Galaxy Nexus; 2nd hand replacement (a steal for only €95) with Cyanogenmod 11. Missed 4G, but loved the phone really. It just died on me within a week.
  2. 2014: ZTE Vec Blade 4G: no 2nd hand, 4G and not ridiculously expensive was what I was aiming for, so I bought the ZTE for just €170 and it was a very decent handset really. I sent it in for repairs under warranty mid 2015 after the power-button broke.
  3. 2015: Samsung Galaxy Ace2: much like the Galaxy Gio I used before a useable but underpowered small smartphone with an aging 2.x Android. But once one is used to it, there’s not a lot one cannot do with it (I typically want Firefox Mobile, WordFeud and a music player).
  4. 2015: back to the ZTE which was repaired perfectly, until after approx. a month it fell out of my pocket onto the ground, shattering the glass. I tried finding a shop to replace the glass, but ZTE being not that common I didn’t find one. So …
  5. 2015: Samsung Galaxy Core Prime VE: So I wanted a not-too-expensive big-brand phone (i.e. LG, Sony, Samsung or HTC) to have a better chance of getting it repaired outside of warranty, with 4G and a very recent Android-version (i.e. Lollipop) and that’s what the Galaxy Core Prime is about. I added a 16Gb class 10 SD-card and I bought a flip wallet case. Just to be safe I’ll go and buy a screen protector as well, because I am, as this list proves, not only spoiled but also clumsy.