Plaintext

published

I’ve had skippy.net for almost two decades. This site has experienced a number of transformations in that time. I’ve spent a lot of time looking for a visual presentation that I like. My tastes have changed over the years. I’ve spent a lot of time mucking around with CSS, divs and spans, and color choices.

None of those things are why I chose, way back when, to host a blog. I have a blog to share my thoughts with the world. The contents of the blog are the thing, not the way the blog looks. I’m not trying to impress anyone with the presentation of my thoughts, so why was I spending so much time fiddling with CSS?

To that end, I’ve completely abandoned any kind of visual styling, relying solely on plain HTML. The primary “reader” of this site is googlebot, which doesn’t give a wet slap about pixel alignment, color choices, or fonts. Presumably some portion of human readers are using a feed reader of some sort, so any effort at a beautiful design are rendered moot. And for everyone else visiting this site the old fashioned way, they’re not losing out on any kind of “experience”.

I’ve been composing all of my emails in plaintext for years. Plaintext is easy to deal with. It’s easy to copy and paste. It’s machine readable. The same benefits hold true for this site. Why is my computer sending your computer a bunch of extra information about how to present my words? Why am I worrying about browser incompatibilities, nuances of mobile, or anything else? Your web browser, regardless of platform, knows how to render headers, images, and hyperlinks. If you want the font to be larger or smaller that’s your choice, not mine.

I certainly appreciate a well crafted site. I admire those who can bend CSS to their will, and who work hard to build a beautiful experience. That’s not me, though, so I’m going to focus on words again.


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