Monday, February 28, 2011

More On Gawker

Keith Ganey sent along some interesting information thats help explain the Gawker redesign:
All the Gawker domains have ceased to be "web sites" and have become "web pages". No matter what information you want from Gawker, you- the reader -are handed the exact same web page. The web page includes lots of JavaScript that your browser then executes in an attempt to get the information that you want.

To see how fundamentally wrong this result is, look at the "source" from your browser. (On most browser's this is as simple as right clicking on the page and selecting "view source".) Don't try to interpret the source directly, just do a Ctrl-F find for any of the words in the article you were reading. You won't find them; they aren't there. Your browser thought the words were chaff because they came in the back door.

Per Keith, more information is here: Breaking the Web with hash-bangs.

Also, he sends along an article from a Twitter engineer defending the use of hash-bangs. Here's an excerpt from the article:
The hashbang is in the unfortunate position of being the messenger of a big change that's been slowly occurring on the Web in the past few years, and will only continue to pick up steam: many Web domains are now serving desktop-class applications via HTTP, instead of traditional Web sites. For instance, is no longer a collection of Web pages that represent a Web site, but is simply an application that you happen to launch by pointing a browser at This has many wide-reaching implications, and the hashbang is merely a side-effect. In this way, the hashbang is an easy-to-hate straw-man, whereas the real debate to be had is about this shift towards applications.

The article is quite interesting if you're curious about this subject. Keith's note:
Breaking URLs is a trade off for an application-like experience. Twitter has become more of a chat room, so breaking URLs there is somewhat acceptable.

The Gawker blogs, which are definitely not applications, have no business breaking URLs.

I care less about the technical details than I do the user experience, and with the new Gawker redesign, the user experience sucks. Like I wrote last week, too many things just flat-out don't work consistently.

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