back to article The web is DOOM'd: Average page now as big as id's DOS classic

The average web page is now roughly the same size as the full install image for the classic DOS game Doom, apparently. This is according to Ronan Cremin, a lead engineer with Afilias Technologies and dotMobi's representative for the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium). Cremin points to data from the HTTP Archive showing that, at …

  1. NoneSuch
    Big Brother

    Yep

    And most of it useless dreck to track your usage, identity, PC stats and ads. Talk about over engineering.

    1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      Re: Yep

      Oh, you may want to check out Google's search page, that seemingly innocent blank and empty page.

      Do a page source view and sit back in horror. If you were to print out the source code behind it*, that page alone is 35 pages of A4 (without any further external resources it pulls in), and a LOT of people have that as their browser home page.

      * No, I didn't. Print to PDF works just as well :).

      1. energystar
        Joke

        Ease one...

        Just pre-code all the add, profiling and tracking helper code on the Browser. Wait! What? They're doing already? In the OS? Hardware also?

    2. MyffyW Silver badge

      Re: Yep

      And Frontier:Elite 2 modelled the whole galaxy on a 1.44MB floppy

      1. Fibbles

        Re: Yep

        Search for kkrieger, it's a full FPS game in 96KB. Sadly the original download page appears to be gone so I can't link it.

      2. Andrew Richards

        Re: Yep

        Well the original BBC Elite fit in 32k (or nearer 20k given 10k was screen and then less than that as a few pages of 256 bytes were system related). Did help that galaxies were randomly generated from a fixed seed.

    3. MyffyW Silver badge

      Re: Yep

      And Frontier:Elite 2 modelled the whole galaxy on a 1.44MB floppy.

      1. Stu J

        Re: Yep

        Seem to remember it fit on a single 880KB floppy on the Amiga...

        1. WraithCadmus
          Alien

          Re: Yep

          Seem to remember it fit on a single 880KB floppy on the Amiga...

          Can confirm, just archived the disk this Sunday.

          Icon: Thargoids (not actually present except at some military outposts)

    4. Walter Bishop Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Yep

      You mean like this dpmsrv.com, regmedia.com, adnxs.com, googleservices.com, admedo.com, googlesyndication.com, googletagservices.com:http://i.imgur.com/sdwzez4.png

      The news services are the worst, downloading a huge image and a bunch of scripts at the top of the page each and every time, all just to read a one paragraph article. And don't get me going on those one inch talking flash ads that you can't disable.

      1. sed gawk Bronze badge

        Re: Yep

        Might I recommend firebug, and simply deleting the offending markup from your rendered DOM.

        I find it surprisingly cathartic ;)

  2. David 132 Silver badge
    Coat

    And...

    I learned something today.

    If you type IDSPISPOPD while viewing the front page of the Register...

    ...it does absolutely nothing.

    Maybe I don't have enough base memory?

    1. heyrick Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: And...

      I tried Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A and that didn't do anything either.

      1. Captain DaFt

        Re: And...

        Nah, nah, to get god mode on the web you need script monkey and a good ad blocker.

    2. intrigid

      Re: And...

      That code only works on the classic The Register, not the 2.0 version I'm afraid.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: And...

        no no no no.... you need an Action Replay for the POKEs!

        1. Crisp Silver badge

          Re: Action Replay? You had it good!

          Back when I had a ZX Spectrum I had to resort to writing my own bootloader just to poke in cheats!

          1. ThomH Silver badge

            Re: Action Replay? You had it good! @Crisp

            Maybe a Multiface would have been an easier option?

  3. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Vulture weight

    400KB with an aggressive ad blocker. Over 2MB and a 10 second load time otherwise

    1. Adam 1 Silver badge

      Re: Vulture weight

      Just imagine though how much DevOps you're missing though.

      1. chivo243 Silver badge

        Re: Vulture weight

        Maybe the DevOps need to converge in an SDN hyper type manner to solve this?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Missing DevOps

        Not really. There are some ads for DevOps crap but most are badly disguised as articles. Sometimes I even wonder if they will be randomly inserted into

        DEVOPS ARE GREAT.

        YOU WILL GET INTO DEVOPS.

        ATTEND OUR EVENTS.

        comments.

        1. Graham Dawson

          Re: Missing DevOps

          The wife told me once of a particular publication of a book, in Germany, that garnered some criticism as, around a third of the way through, our heroes sat down for a delicious meal of branded, canned soup.

          The book was Sourcery, by Terry Pratchett.

          With that in mind, I'd say that the practice of inserting adverts into unrelated text at arbitrary points has a worrying weight of precedent.

          1. David 132 Silver badge
            Happy

            Re: Missing DevOps

            Oh come now, Pratchett was notorious for inserting adverts and product placement into his books. From Spoonfetcher's Leeches ("The Little Suckers") to CMOT Dibbler's pies and sausage-inna-bun. Naked and shameless commercialism.

            1. TonyJ Silver badge

              Re: Missing DevOps

              "...From Spoonfetcher's Leeches ("The Little Suckers") to CMOT Dibbler's pies and sausage-inna-bun. Naked and shameless commercialism..."

              Not to mention CMOT Dibbler's "things onnastick" e.g. Sausageonnastick.

          2. brotherelf

            Re: Missing DevOps

            Hahahaha, yes, I remember those. Rumor was the ad writer got the two preceding pages or something like that. (The one that stuck with me was a mil sci-fi novel which detoured into "The general is worrying about his supply lines. Oh, don't we have it easy, we can just go into the kitchen an open a delicous cup of $BRAND".) Go back another decade, they advertised council bonds.

            I have no idea what rate of return of investment you expect when you need to hand-tailor the ad for every book. (Or they had lots of interns they needed to keep busy.)

    2. energystar
      Mushroom

      Re: Vulture weight

      400 Kvulptures could cause irreparable damage to the Country Infrastructure.

  4. ZSn

    Mobile

    If you read the m.theregister.co.uk site it's even smaller and quicker

    1. Doctor_Wibble
      Trollface

      Re: Mobile

      Of course it's quicker, you have 'm' instead of 'www' so it weighs a lot less and with the same amount of electrons to push it through the tubes, it can go that much faster..

      Specifically, going from three 'double u's to one single 'm' is a huge saving of five letter equivalents out of six to its bare minimum, a highly efficient rewriting technique, second only to the transformation of 'floccinaucinihilipilification' to 'WTF?'.

      1. David 132 Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: Mobile

        And of course, the electrons escape out of the bottom legs of the 'm' much faster, whereas they're trapped in the 'w's until enough of them amass and they can climb out. Which slows down the page loading even more, as any fule kno.

        Unless you're in Australia, where the opposite applies. Trust me, I have MCSE certification and DevOps qualifications and know about these things.

        1. Captain DaFt

          Re: Mobile

          " I have MCSE certification and DevOps qualifications and know about these things."

          I once suffered severe head trauma and developed DevOps qualifications, but fortunately, I recovered fully.

          Otherwise, I might have been MCSE certified.

          (Eh, sorry, that just popped into my head... maybe suffering a relapse?)

        2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: Mobile

          And of course, the electrons escape out of the bottom legs of the 'm' much faster, whereas they're trapped in the 'w's until enough of them amass and they can climb out.

          You don't need to switch to 'm' to fix this; quantum annealing will do the trick. Just turn up the color temperature on your monitor and the electrons will tunnel through the sides of the 'w's. That's how the DWave machine works.

          The rest of your comment is spot-on, though.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Mobile

        "Of course it's quicker, you have 'm' instead of 'www' so it weighs a lot less and with the same amount of electrons to push it through the tubes, it can go that much faster.."

        Obligatory Dilbert http://dilbert.com/strip/1996-08-20

      3. RegGuy1

        from three 'double u's to one single 'm'

        If w is double u, why is m not double n?

        1. Adam 1 Silver badge

          Re: from three 'double u's to one single 'm'

          Because Dublin is a city.

          /I'll grab my coat.

          1. TonyJ Silver badge

            Re: from three 'double u's to one single 'm'

            "...Because Dublin is a city.

            /I'll grab my coat..."

            I'll see your city and raise you a preisident... "dubble-yer".

            <edit> I am not actually sure what a "presidtent" is. Some kind of camping accessory? Edited for my dire spelling.

            1. bigphil9009

              Re: from three 'double u's to one single 'm'

              Err, you might need to edit that again ;-)

              I have checked and triple chequed my posting to insure that there are know typos in my response, I think I'm cleer.

              1. TonyJ Silver badge

                Re: from three 'double u's to one single 'm'

                I give up trying to type posts on my mobile. I just can't do it. Either I mess the word up or the autocorrect has a really good go. :(

        2. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: from three 'double u's to one single 'm'

          Technically, W should be double V (and in some languages like Spanish they DO say that--as in "doble ve") As for why not double n, probably because M comes BEFORE N in the alphabet AND a capital M looks nothing like two capital N's side by side unlike with W which DOES look like 2 V's.

          PS. Why DOES English say double U instead of double V? Is it because of cursive script where it IS a double U?

          1. captain veg

            Re: from three 'double u's to one single 'm'

            In Spanish, doble v is pronounced like v. In English, double u is more like "ooh" -- compare French OUI and English WE.

            -A.

          2. harmjschoonhoven
            Headmaster

            Re: from three 'double u's to one single 'm'

            @Charles 9

            In the 6th century AD the Roman script started to be used to write the version of English spoken at the time. But Latin does not have the W-sound. So that was written an VV, where V is the way the romans chiseled their U-sound.

            (The compact edition of the Oxford English Dictionary, lemma W)

            1. Captain Badmouth
              Headmaster

              Re: from three 'double u's to one single 'm'

              "V is the way the romans chiseled their U-sound"

              Some older buildings will have V instead of U in their spelling - "PVBLIC LIBRARY" for instance.

              We have one locally.

              1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

                Re: from three 'double u's to one single 'm'

                We still have one locally.

                FTFY: the govt has advisers who thing that Amazon is good replacement for local libraries…

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: from three 'double u's to one single 'm'

                "Some older buildings will have V instead of U in their spelling - "PVBLIC LIBRARY" for instance."

                Not to mention some Glaswegian synthpop indietronica bands too.

                .

          3. Steve Graham

            Re: from three 'double u's to one single 'm'

            In Italian, "www" is pronounced "voovoovoo", which is much quicker than "doubleyoudoubleyoudoubleyou". However, they say "punto" not "dot", which restores the balance slightly.

            (The ".it" at the end is "poonto eet".)

  5. Teiwaz Silver badge

    'You need a plugin to display this content'

    Has no one devised an HTML5 Doom yet?

    1. JasonT

      Re: 'You need a plugin to display this content'

      Old news... they are already on to Quake 3:

      https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/62064441/ioquake3.js/ioquake3.html

  6. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    "The HTTP Archive report places the average web page at around 2,301KB. Most of the page bloat is due to images, which take up on average 1,463KB of data. Next is script code, which occupies 360KB, followed by video, averaging 200KB per page on average."

    That leaves about 300K for text and ... not sure. Even with markup, 300K of text is a lot. Are people pulling in 290K of CSS for every page?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Probably JavaScript and poor image optimisation… assuming the "page" includes the embedded content such as images and scripts.

    2. Primus Secundus Tertius Silver badge

      @Ken H

      I save, for personal use, the occasional worthwhile web wisdom (aka www) and then edit it to clean text.

      The average el Reg piece is 2K to 3K bytes, but up to 10K for extended articles. Other publications are 5K to 15K bytes.

      So most of our bandwidth goes on pictures and video, which add little to the occasional well written piece; and mostly to adverts which add nothing.

      I resent the way adverts dominate the byte count, with their feeble excuse that they are paying the bills.

      1. Daggerchild Silver badge

        I tuned our proxy cache a few years ago. Ground up some numbers. Determined an ideal cache object size was 12k.

        How times have ****ing changed.

        Almost no point in a proxy cache now. Getting hard to convince websites that proxies are a thing they should not break, and aren't always a Tor user, or a geoIP-dodger, and that yes, HTTP connections for the same user can actually come from different IPs.

        And has anyone noticed how sites try and make you need to scroll down after loading to get any of the actual articles/information nowadays? Is that by any chance because they can see you scroll using on-demand image loading of lower images so they can grok the grab strength they got on you?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          On the flip-side, old proxies break stuff and can't be trusted to tie their own shoelaces. They break websockets, break scripts, break certain compression setups, "mobile proxies" try to be super clever ... and break all your images.

          The only option to get past that lot unmolested is to go 100% SSL.

        2. Stephen W Harris

          SSL

          "Almost no point in a proxy cache now."

          Proxy caches are close to useless in an SSL-everywhere world, anyway. The proxy can't see the traffic content.... unless you plan on MITMing everything!

      2. energystar
        Pint

        Your avatar name...

        Seems to show Spanish pride. I also have an extended family.

      3. energystar
        Holmes

        Wasn't Google who added text adds...

        At the 'no evil' era?

      4. Jonathan Richards 1

        @1st 2nd 3rd

        > average el Reg piece is 2K to 3K bytes

        I downloaded the article with lynx, which packs the html into a 6K gzip file. Unpacked, it weighs in at a smidgin under 21 KiB.

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I resent the way adverts dominate the byte count, with their feeble excuse that they are paying the bills.

        The funny thing is, if they slimmed down their ads to the bare essentials, they'd reach more people (by virtue of being more compatible and annoying fewer) and their hosting bills would drop as they wouldn't be serving up the bloat.

        If they can't say it with an image-mapped PNG or JPEG, then it isn't worth saying.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yes they are, quite often.

      For example, a Wordpress site that has the popular Gravity Forms plugin will see 70K+ of CSS added to the head by default when GF CSS is enabled (which it is, by default). Most of the time <5K is actually needed. Extrapolate to a few more likely plugins and hey presto, 290K is no problem. Same thing happens with scripts. Each plugin has overhead, and it adds up very fast.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        "Same thing happens with scripts. Each plugin has overhead, and it adds up very fast."

        Even worse are the scripts which pull in code snippets from external sources acting like a boat anchor to the download times when they could just build it into the script in the first place.

        1. captain veg

          Re: Same thing happens with scripts

          I recently completed a standalone HTML 5 app for in-house use, and was a bit horrified to note that it came in at over 3000 lines of Javascript code (with no libraries). Then I noticed that a colleague had included, in a related project, a single third party library comprising more than 17,000 lines, not including myriad other libraries that it depends on. So far as I can tell it doesn't seem to work any better than my effort.

          -A.

          1. bombastic bob Silver badge

            Re: Same thing happens with scripts

            "I recently completed a standalone HTML 5 app for in-house use, and was a bit horrified to note that it came in at over 3000 lines of Javascript code (with no libraries). Then I noticed that a colleague had included, in a related project, a single third party library comprising more than 17,000 lines"

            now you know how to separate the "real programmers" from the "script kiddies" and the "wannabes".

            it's also why I don't like "someone's 3rd party library" - they rarely do what I want, the way I want it, or else need too many hacks and take FOREVER to master. By the time I've mastered "someone's 3rd party library" well enough to complete the code, I could've written the entire thing myself, made it do what I want, and done it RIGHT. And then played a bunch of video games, and then gone on vacation, and after coming back from vacation, a comparable dev effort using that 3rd party library would STILL be going on and on and on into a quagmire. Seen it before, in many contexts. And it's not "NIH", it's the practicality of getting things DONE.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Most of the page bloat is due to images, which take up on average 1,463KB of data

      Yes, that. Am I the only one to bother optimising images for web use? I come across pages with the images approx. 4000x3000 that let the browser do the work of scaling it down to 400x300. People like that should be forced to exclusively access the Net through a 14.4k baud modem for a year. Grrr.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        "I come across pages with the images approx. 4000x3000 that let the browser do the work of scaling it down to 400x300."

        Oh FFS yes! I am continually dismayed by people within our organisation who send enormous emails with full size stupidly high resolution images embedded in docx files which display them at "proper" size. And we are an IT company.

        I'm not sure how they manage it because when I have an actual business NEED to send some photos at full size, the bloody mail server refuses to deliver them unless I send them one or two at a time due to attachment size restrictions.

        1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

          "I'm not sure how they manage it ... "

          They must be using a clever workaround or something.

        2. Triggerfish

          I was spent a few hours teaching staff where I worked how to resize an image for word. Pleased secretaries, staff and a happy email server.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Am I the only one to bother optimising images for web use?"

        My web site has some of the old monochrome panoramic school pictures in JPG format. Back in 2002 it was found that 1MB was an optimum size to see faces clearly - although slow to load over dial-up. An overlay mask image to highlight unknown faces came in about the same size - but eventually was scaled automatically from a very much smaller GIF.

        The Javascript zoom control merely resizes the IMG holder as users usually want only the best resolution. It also scales the overlay mask and re-maps the click hot spots. All done by retro-fitting one script statement to an existing HTML page containing IMG pictures.

        The rest of the many pictures usually have several size versions available. They start at the normal page text layout display size. They are then replaced seamlessly with any best-fit higher definition versions in response to the selective zoom controls. Unfortunately old boys would often send a highly compressed JPG that was useless for magnifying.

        The initial display size of a picture is chosen so that it will be useful even if Javascript is turned off.

        Sample of the zoom function

        http://www.sths.org.uk/files/trips/stanleypool.htm

      3. bombastic bob Silver badge

        pre-scaling web images to avoid bandwidth bloat

        "Am I the only one to bother optimising images for web use? I come across pages with the images approx. 4000x3000 that let the browser do the work of scaling it down to 400x300."

        how about Image Magick's 'convert' on the server side?

        convert bloat-image.jpg -thumbnail x300 reasonable-image.jpg

        should work. could even be done in a PHP or perl CGI. A more efficient algorithm would be to create the thumbnail first (using a similar command), then clicking the photo would open up the full-size image.

        but that takes EFFORT. And these bandwidth-stealing "coders" are LAZY.

        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Re: pre-scaling web images to avoid bandwidth bloat

          how about Image Magick's 'convert' on the server side?

          Bit of a sledgehammer for a walnut really and too slow for constant use – don't forget you're going to have manage names.

          But everything is available as mod_pagespeed (exists fro Apache, Nginx, IIS), which can handle caching and has some heuristics for content-negotiation / bandwidth, because you may well want at least four different versions of the same image for mobile, desktop, hi-res, JPEG, WEBP, etc.

          In my view, the complexity associated with getting this right takes it outside the web "coders" responsibility and into infrastructure. Nearly all the attempts of web developers to solve these problems have led to, at best, half-baked solutions.

    5. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      That leaves about 300K for text and ... not sure. Even with markup, 300K of text is a lot. Are people pulling in 290K of CSS for every page?

      You're right: 300 kB would be a lot. But the average (for all HTML including stuff from iFrames) is only 66 kB for markup and content (and this is usually compressed). CSS isn't much more at around 76 kB. But more and more sites are using custom fonts (up to 50%). These are pretty evil because they are large and delay rendering. But getting more popular by the month.

    6. lurker

      "Are people pulling in 290K of CSS for every page?"

      A lot of that will be CSS frameworks, more CSS supporting javascript plugins and the like, yes.

  7. wolfetone Silver badge

    Lazy Devs

    When I started in web development I had a 56k dial up when everyone else had 512kb Broadband or ISDN lines. The family couldn't afford the expense, so when I built my websites I made damn sure they would load quick for users like me.

    Now though all web devs are trying to out do each other by having the flashiest sites, and because they assume the bandwidth is there for everyone they don't care about making it as small as possible or as efficient as possible.

    Think I'm the last of a dying breed who puts function over form.

    1. Mike Moyle Silver badge

      Re: Lazy Devs

      "Now though all web devs are trying to out do each other by having the flashiest sites///"

      As a print designer, I hear you brother! I have long said that there are two types of designers: those who design to get information to the end-users and those who design to impress other designers. The examples that I always used were Popular Mechanics magazine was an example of the former and Wired as the latter.

    2. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

      Re: Lazy Devs

      It depends on what you're trying to do with the page.

      Personally I've been making some complex Web apps lately, as such payloads can be massive in some cases (think pushing data for 1000+ different cars) so I chose initial complexity of javascript handlers with very lightweight json moving the actual data around with ajax. Much quicker responses, less browser overhead and can be made more user friendly when it times out (not if, they always want it bigger then moan when the local BB can't keep up). Yes, it's initially big but once there the js is cached and every one is happy (apart from those who hate the last 15 years of browser development and still think ie 6 was a fine browser)

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Windows

      Re: Lazy Devs

      Ditto to the grumpy old dialup git...

      Probably at around the same time, I'd design sites to fit, in their entirety, on a single 3 1/2 inch floppy. FDDs were still ubiquitous then, so that little rule made archiving and distribution incredibly straightforward. :D I also enjoyed the test of ingenuity and efficiency, especially with larger sites. Always tested over dialup too. Clients were invariably astonished and thrilled by just how much faster (D/L and rendering) their new site was than whatever morass of crap Dreamweaver, or, heaven forbid, GoLive or M$ Frontpage/Word/Publisher had puked onto their servers previously.

      I suspect it was those half baked WYSIWYG toys and the crap they spewed that laid the path to the crap we're suffering now.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Lazy Devs

      Think I'm the last of a dying breed who puts function over form.

      Well, I deal with emergencies and in that case data has a serious priority over flash (pardon the pun). You can't believe the fights I've had with Marketing Directors that wanted to make sure emergency resources were "branded correctly", which usually added a lot of crud to pages that would weigh them down and make them less portable. It usually stops when I propose to put the Marketing drone on point for emergencies, i.e. he, she or it would have to go in first in case of emergency with any rescue team, to ensure bodies of dead staff are still correctly branded when they'll be on the news.

      The only images I permit are those that help immediate understanding. Plans, descriptions, layouts, diagrams, fine. Heavy CSS and images so it is inline with brand guidelines, nope. Bare is better.

      Grrr.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Lazy Devs

        "It usually stops when I propose to put the Marketing drone on point for emergencies,"

        What would've happened, though, if one on the marketing team suddenly went, "I'll do it! Sign me up! Now can we get our stuff on your site NOW?!"

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Lazy Devs

          What would've happened, though, if one on the marketing team suddenly went, "I'll do it! Sign me up! Now can we get our stuff on your site NOW?!"

          Easy. I'll give him or her a 33.6k modem, with the promise of a 56k one for good optimisation. He/she will either comply or quit, which I consider a win/win. The only challenge for me is to actually find a slow modem - did you notice it's actually hard to get these days? It's all ADSL and VDSL..

    5. Def Silver badge

      Re: Lazy Devs

      Think I'm the last of a dying breed...

      Second to last. The front page for my company's website weighs in at 74KB. And 10KB of that is CSS that I really do need to trim down.

      The laziness of web developers isn't a new thing, and it isn't a new trend in development in general either. 95% of developers have always been lazy. Most just don't understand the concepts of optimisation, the rest don't care. I've always been pushing others to think about what the consequences of their choice of algorithm or implementation might be. Minimising network traffic is no different to maximising cache usage, fully utilising all those cores, minimising memory fragmentation, or reducing pipeline stalls.

      1. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

        Re: Lazy Devs

        Well, well done on that.

        However compactness isn't everything, yes it's down to 74kbs but it takes an average of 760ms to render. My own company site (which is getting an overhaul anyway and will be optimised to the eyeballs) renders in around 640ms yet weights in at 670kbs.

        Oh and @Def, you can squeeze it down to around 50kbs give or take if you minify your CSS. Only takes 30 seconds and that might save you another 100ms off the loading speeds, you'd also get about the same again if you Gzipped the site. The compression should help shrink the site even further.

        1. Def Silver badge

          Re: Lazy Devs

          Yeah, there's a lot more I can do.

          I'm too lazy though. ;) *duck*

          1. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

            Re: Lazy Devs

            @Dev, nothing wrong with being lazy... i thought that was one of the good traits of a skilled programmer? Find the shortest, quickest route to solve a problem?

        2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Re: Lazy Devs

          My own company site (which is getting an overhaul anyway and will be optimised to the eyeballs) renders in around 640ms yet weights in at 670kbs.

          Under what conditions does it load and render in 640ms?

          The golden rule is to have all relevant content in HTML. But this doesn't mean that you can't add stuff once something has loaded that people can read / look at. That said, "one page" sites are almost always a nightmare to maintain.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Lazy Devs

      When I started in web design, we were told to design for an 800x600 screen resolution and a load time of 10 seconds on a 28.8kbps modem.

  8. getHandle

    I don't mind the weight of pages

    My cheap broadband is just about fast enough - what really annoys me is the way badly designed pages jump around as unsized elements load and cause the layout to be refreshed. Especially on mobile. Muppets. And don't even get me started on auto-play video... My bandwidth - my choice. You barstewards.

    1. Teiwaz Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: I don't mind the weight of pages

      "badly designed pages jump around as unsized elements load"

      - The reg has been doing that on me recently, caused me to post anon once or twice as the page jumped about as I tried to focus the comment box and I didn't notice. Never used to do that...

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge

        Re: I don't mind the weight of pages

        <quote>

        "badly designed pages jump around as unsized elements load"

        - The reg has been doing that on me recently, caused me to post anon once or twice as the page jumped about as I tried to focus the comment box and I didn't notice. Never used to do that...

        </quote>

        I offer my own suggestion: use <table> creatively, and everything lines up. Amazing! and it's low-bandwidth...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I don't mind the weight of pages

      BBC is one of the worst offenders.

      First load a full-width mobile site with blurry-assed images. Then load some javascript. Then detect you're on a desktop and grind away on the DOM, re-writing the page element by element until it's all replaced.

      It's called PROGRESSIVE ENHANCEMENT BRAH!

    3. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Flame

      Re: I don't mind the weight of pages

      One page fits all devices gets my fucking goat.

      "Yes, he's* got a mobile device so we'll give him the same 2Mb monstrosity after ad networks, auto-caching videos, hero images, and assorted bollocks and use a bit of CSS to change the layout."

      I forget what website it was but I was at the start of the month, reading something, locked the phone to carry on doing what I was doing, and five minutes later got a message that my 1Gb data allowance was about to expire. Why? Because some sodding webpage was caching something in the background. Something obviously went wrong in all that JavaScript but in the end it cost me money.

      Designers - how many of your beautiful creations do you want me to read with my monthly allowance? Making my browsing for the rest of the month come to a screeching halt because you're in a pissing contest with The Guardian does not drive page impressions. Drop the shit and make it simple and fast with properly resized thumbnails. Like back in the day with dialup. Less is more.

      * Or she.

      1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Re: I don't mind the weight of pages

        Perhaps time for a browser extension that detects when the knock on effects of a single page exceed 10MB and puts up a message saying "Fuck Me! This web page is a bloated abomination written by a total idiot! Aborting page load and adding this domain you your ad-blocker list, before your monthly data allowance is pissed into the ether.".

        And yes, I'm serious about the message, which is why I've set the limit at 10MB. Despite that absurdly large threshhold, I'm sure it would catch a few. Alternatively, if script exceed displayed content by more than 100KB, trigger a similar warning. (Actually, the weak point in this plan is the "extension" bit. Until browsers start protecting end-users in this way *by default*, the more moronic fraction of the web designer population isn't going to get it.)

        Aside: Kudos to all those web authors who have chipped in on the side of users here. Your efforts, however futile, are much appreciated.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I don't mind the weight of pages

          Have to wonder though, if there will ever come a page that is necessarily that big and complex and can't be properly displayed any other way without losing the point...

        2. bombastic bob Silver badge

          Re: I don't mind the weight of pages

          "Perhaps time for a browser extension that detects when the knock on effects of a single page exceed 10MB and puts up a message" (etc.)

          you added an extra '0'. make that 1Mb and I'm in.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I don't mind the weight of pages

      "And don't even get me started on auto-play video... My bandwidth - my choice. You barstewards."

      Nope. My site. My rules. And I'm the only place that has the goods. So Take It Or leave It. Suffer the consequences or suffer the ignorance and walk on the Sun.

  9. Shadow Systems Silver badge

    Bloat on the web?

    No shit Sherlock.

    When even the best of them wrap ~2Kb of Content in over 2MEGS of cruft, is there ANY wonder why the shit is slow? Between all the tracking, scripting, third party loaded crap, & various widgets falling out the arse, by the time the *Content* gets loaded we've forgotten why the fuck we've arrived.

    Look at this very page delivering this article. How much does it equate to if you Select All, Copy, & Paste it into a plain text document? Now tell your browser to Save As Plain Text. Notice anything funny? Now save it as a single page "Web Archive" & compare the sizes again. Shocking isn't it? For a real head shaker, tell your browser to Save As a complete web page, images & all, THEN go check the total size of the results. And if you have a cellular internet connection where you pay for what you download, that shit adds up REAL fekkin fast.

    Now how much of that download is ads that YOU have just paid to be force fed? And the advertisers wonder why the hell we block them?

    WebDevs need to reevaluate how they do this job. I know it's not easy, but if your backside were as big & bloated as your code, they don't make circus tents big enough to fit them.

    Put your code on a diet, deliver smaller, lighter, faster loading pages that don't take so damned long to render. Just because we HAVE a computer with gigs of RAM doesn't mean the browser should USE it all to render your page.

    You'd be right chuffed if your auto mechanic told you that since your car COULD hold a few hundred kilos in the boot, they were going to store their entire tools chest in there "just in case" it broke down. What's that, you don't NEED all your tools in the trunk? Too bad. Your mechanic said that's the way it is, so YOU can just shut the fek up & deal with the reduced gas mileage, wear & tear on the tires, & loss of boot space.

    See how stupid that is? Yeah. It's pretty bad when the BLIND GUY can see just how screwed up it is, donchyathink?

    =-/lead in it to

    1. VinceH Silver badge

      Re: Bloat on the web?

      "And if you have a cellular internet connection where you pay for what you download, that shit adds up REAL fekkin fast."

      Quite. I was using my phone as a hotspot the other week: if I wasn't blocking the shit out of everything, I would easily have gone over my monthly "unlimited" allowance in the few days I was doing this.

      1. Adam JC

        Re: Bloat on the web?

        Ha! I had problems with my ADSL2 service at home recently and needed to work from home, so hooked my PC up to my Galaxy S6 Edge and managed to chew through the remaining 1.6GB of my data allowance in under an hour. Damn you Windows Updates, you sneaky bastard! (I also pull ~90Mbit 4G sat in my living room, yet there's no FTTC here yet... go figure!)

  10. A. Coatsworth Silver badge
    Joke

    So, video on pages is averaging 200KB per page on average?

    The Ministry of Redundancy Ministry will be informed because I'll inform them

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Maybe it's an average of an average, maybe.

  11. toxicdragon

    "Fine then, here you go.."

    There goes my friday night.

  12. zb

    Google got lighter?

    If you look at the source of their home page you will wonder how it got as big as it is. The statistics were:

    266 Lines 42018 words 194,501 characters and 194502 Bytes.

    All that to show a graphic, a few icons and a dozen or so words. Yes, I know it is a bit more complicated than that but ....

    1. heyrick Silver badge

      Re: Google got lighter?

      Remember when Google wanted to trounce the bloated Altavista so they pared their page down the the absolute minimum so people using Google on 28k8 modems would already be searching for stuff while AltaVista (etc) was still loading? Seems like a cruel joke these days, doesn't it?

      1. Jos V

        Re: Google got lighter?

        Yep. so here we go with the obligatory xkcd for that one:

        https://xkcd.com/1605/

        Google's page source... Really makes your eyes water

  13. davidp231

    Accurate figure, if one assumes the install files of the shareware version, which came on 2 HD floppies. Fully installed it's around 5MB - and the retail version is pushing 11MB (going on the basis of DOOM v1.2).

  14. Chris Cartledge
    WTF?

    The Good Old Days

    Ten years ago on my RAZR flip phone I used to browse the web for cricket updates or the time of the next bus, and check my mail once or twice a day at a cost of £2.50 per megabyte, but no longer. My new phone has a battery life of minutes if internet is enabled. Flashy adverts, a pushy voice telling me I have new maill and so many other improvements mean that mobile internet is now so rebarbative, I no longer use it. If only I could configure it to be like a desktop Linux PC with no apps, no automagical voice input, no voice output, no news, no fantasy weather forecast and above all no creepy advertisements, then I might again be happy to try.

    I was looking for a text only browser only earlier today but they no longer seem to exist. Neither Lynx nor Pine are available for Android. Even a simple thing like configuring Firefox not to play movies by default is only via an at your own risk page.

    I like my new phone hardware apart from its fixed battery, with its fancy camera, FM radio, music store, ability to send texts and make calls, but I do not want what I get when a buy a new phone.

    Where is the sense in it all? Is there a way back to a saner past?

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: The Good Old Days

      "If only I could configure it to be like a desktop Linux PC"

      Ubuntu phone?

    2. keithpeter
      Windows

      Re: The Good Old Days

      "Neither Lynx nor Pine are available for Android."

      Can you get a terminal application and then ssh into a cheap shell account on a shared web server somewhere? imap mail and lynx no problemo.

    3. Daggerchild Silver badge
      Terminator

      Re: The Good Old Days

      "Is there a way back to a saner past?"

      No, basically. We are now in the gravity well of the masses who have moved in this direction because the crystalline shinies we grew in the dim light, low gravity and cool climate are now highly valued.

      The entropy is rising and the environment is being terraformed. The ordered structures are cracking under the strain and require rephoenixing, which you can't buy time for. You can prey on them or you can help them, but you can't stop them. You do what all resource generating lifeforms do if you don't want to be consumed and become a part of them. You get the hell away from them.

      Me? I want to work on a 'browser' that doesn't believe in a fixed UI, and can't be told how to present data. It knows how the user ingests data, and it decides the appropriate interface and presentation. Yeah, it means your computer will know all about you, all those things you don't want e.g. Google/Facebook/Amazon knowing. But, it will be *your* computer knowing, and that's the crucial difference. And I'm afraid this is the final layer, so we better get there first, because it also makes the ultimate human-mind tracker/hunter/trapper. Why do you think everyone's working on AI atm? I don't plan on ending up as an excrement-smeared VR escapism addict or something out of Steins Gate.

      Wait.. ah hell.. they spiked my coffee again didn't they....

  15. gypsythief

    Pah!

    Quote "Full disclosure: our average article page weight is about 400KB if you fetch everything fresh."

    And here is a screenie from Vivaldi loading the article in question, showing 2.2 MB in the adress bar; right on par for Doom!!!111!!!!III!!!!, and much more than *cough*440KB*cough*

    http://i.imgur.com/jzoFW8m.png

    I normally browse with Firefox, uBlocked to the hilt, so I didn't see the adverts until I tried this in Vivaldi. Oh! The delicious irony!

    1. energystar
      IT Angle

      Re: Pah!

      That's RAM metrics!

  16. raving angry loony

    Example:

    This page was just under 15KB in size using Firefox and a script blocker. It worked just fine.

    The page weighs in at just over 700KB using Chrome with no blockers.

    Nice example there, Reg. Now do something about the fucking bloat!

  17. ecofeco Silver badge

    See? I've saying this years

    And would get down voted.

    VINDICATED!

    1. raving angry loony

      Re: See? I've saying this years

      Voted down for being smug. So there. (and why do I read that in the voice Boris uses in the Bond film when he says "I am invincible"??)

      1. ecofeco Silver badge

        Re: See? I've saying this years

        What voice is this? Lighten up Francis.

        1. ecofeco Silver badge

          Re: See? I've saying this years

          And have an up vote for a reference I haven't thought about in years.:)

    2. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: See? I've saying this years

      Beer and phone keyboards do not mix.

  18. aregross
    Thumb Up

    Um... a bit off topic but Thanx for the Doom link!

    heh

  19. energystar
    Pint

    Find so pleasant...

    to navigate ElReg JSfree.

  20. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

    Amazon

    I can't believe that Amazon's web pages have shrunk. Scrolling on their website is a shining example of a terrible user experience.

    1. Shadow Systems Silver badge

      : Amazon

      It's even worse if you use their "Accessibility page". You get limited choices, then to add insult to injury they limit the search results to *ten* per page. If your search results in umpteen thousand hits, there's no way to display anything more or less than the default, no way to jump to any given page (you can TRY to edit the url but it fails), so you've got no choice but to go through however many pages it takes to get to what you were REALLY trying to find.

      You end up so disgusted with the "Accessible" pages that you go back to the main (normal?) one instead. It's like they *intended* to piss you off so much that you HAVE to use the normal version in order to Get Shit Done.

      Yet it wouldn't be that hard to make the normal site into an Accessible one, they would just have to start LABELING their screen elements & lose the auto-trigger-on-first-reached-entry drop down menus (so it only activates on the entry selected when/if we cycle to it & hit Enter). But evidently that's too much like work, so it'll never happen. They're too busy fluffing & crufting their pretty bits to bother fixing the fact that they're busy polishing a turd to make it shiny.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: : Amazon

        "Yet it wouldn't be that hard to make the normal site into an Accessible one, they would just have to start LABELING their screen elements & lose the auto-trigger-on-first-reached-entry drop down menus"

        That's EXACTLY why they DON'T label them, so no one can act as a go-between and create a slim interrface. It's either use Amazon or Walk on the Sun.

  21. Peter Brooks 1

    English?

    'Gotten'?? Isn't the Reg from Blighty?

    1. nematoad Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: English?

      "'Gotten'?? Isn't the Reg from Blighty?"

      Ah, therein lies a tale.

      Gotten is an older English word, current in the 18th Century. When the War of Independence came along the former colonies started to diverge in terms of the use of the language. Thank Noah Webster for a lot of that.

      The short version is: "Gotten" carried on being used in the US but fell out of fashion in the UK.

      The phrase "ill-gotten gains" is a remnant of its use here.

  22. Huns n Hoses

    Fine then, here you go...

    Damn your eyes, you know me so well.

  23. John Deeb

    Meaningless comparison

    Meaningless comparisons! Classic computer games with the highest forms of data structuring and internal standards trying to make such a game possible within DOS age memory limits, cannot be compared with modern multi-media data transfers which are supposed to be readable on so many different devices, using only lose organization and very broad standards, using various photographic elements and cross-platform scripting frameworks.

    Now lets compare a modern web page with modern day DOOM. Suddenly the world make sense and no thought is being wasted on any imaginary worrying. Whenever more space or bandwidth is created: it will be filled up. It's the doom of all ages...

  24. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    Since we're comparing websites with antique game code size...

    ...it's also worth noting that if you buy a modern game, often you need to download and install a patch to be able to play the brand new "out of the box" game. Said patch averages about 1000x more than the average HDD capacity from the era of Doom. On average.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Since we're comparing websites with antique game code size...

      But then again, DOOM wasn't really a 3D engine, just a 2D engine that happened to tack on Z coordinates to everything. For example, I don't think it was until Rise of the Triad that things could actually exist OVER other things. And then there were the graphics limitations. How big was a DOOM texture again? 64x64? And the enemies were sprites, not models (no real improvement on that until Quake IIRC). So while DOOM and other games using the engine like Heretic and Hexen were great for their time, we also gotta realize that technology marches on.

      1. davidp231

        Re: Since we're comparing websites with antique game code size...

        You should check out what some of the newer sourceports can do with the engine. My port of choice is Zandronum, paired with Brutal Doom.

    2. PhilBuk
      Holmes

      @JB: It's Worse Than That

      Recently bought Fallout 4 for the PC. Put the DVD in the PC and it buzzed along loading the game. Then it came up with a message to say that the game was installed but it would need to load additional data before it was ready to play. A quick trip to the Steam Download Manager showed that it had installed 5Gbyte so far and was downloading 21Gbyte of 'additional data'!!

      Worth the wait though.

      Phil.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @JB: It's Worse Than That

        @PhilBuk: Fallout 4

        WTF? A whole DVD for the installer?

        1. PhilBuk

          Re: @JB: It's Worse Than That

          I assume (I didn't check) that the DVD was the Steam client, the installer and the game program binaries. The download was probably updates and game data. OR the online version was newer so it just overwrote the DVD version.

          I've seen similar behavior with a Mass Effect 1,2 & 3 boxed set (3 DVDs). It ignored the DVDs and just downloaded the games. 16Gbytes total with a later 4.5 Gbyte update for ME3.

          Phil.

        2. Michael Thibault

          Re: @JB: It's Worse Than That

          >WTF? A whole DVD for the installer?

          It may have been a trick of the light, but ISTR having recently witnessed an install of PowerPoint, which downloaded as 1.4G. And that's PowerPoint alone, FFS! 'because I need it'. Spine-curling cluelessness.

  25. channel extended
    Linux

    The easy life.

    I am restricted to using elinks. This cuts most of the crap out. No Javascript, auto-run, or css. I'm still on dial up because of my distance from idiots. The text only pages are really really small.

    I CAN access images if I want to.

    1. energystar
      Pirate

      Congratulating a brave navigator...

      Catching the biggest waves, in the dark of the storm.

    2. energystar
      Terminator

      ElinkS should be supreme ACID TEST

      Separating those Men and Women, among the myriads...

  26. Sean Nevin

    Not just size

    Yes, the size of websites has increased substantially over the past few years, but that's not the only problem. There's also the turnaround time for DNS lookup, establishing a connection, and multiple request/responses for the dozens of trackers, beacons, analytics, CDNs, and goodness knows what else that comes with every page view. When you're viewing a page, you're essentially viewing all the pages that it references as well. My own (admittedly limited) research on browsing shows that more than half the load time comes from third-party junk.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Not just size

      Exactly. I was very surprised at how much faster websites load when I block all that crap.

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: Not just size

      "There's also the turnaround time for DNS lookup, establishing a connection, and multiple request/responses for the dozens of trackers, beacons, analytics, CDNs, and goodness knows what else that comes with every page view"

      but if they hosted all of their own content, they wouldn't be able to 'distribute the pain' of all of that bandwidth, would they?

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Unfortunately there are a lot of 'can I has teh scriptz' types of out there. When interviewing for a web developer, It's startling to see the sorts of muppets who think they fulfil the 'developer' part of the job title, presumably feeling that their existing barista skills will see them through. They do however unfailingly have very well oiled beards and shiny new Apple watches, so our security staff find these lost creatives easy to spot.

  28. Bad Beaver

    Bloat is everywhere, go big or go bust

    Look around, everything is bloated. Set up a new file in, say Word, like a good office drone. Let it have your company's little stationary logo of about 10kB. Now add a couple of paragraphs, just a single page. Save to docx.

    How large is this document? Expectation: a whopping 80-120kB, because of all the docx overhead and the little picture and stuff.

    Actually, it is more likely to be around 500kB. For a single page of text.

    I guess this is according to the infinite growth paradigm or something. Everything must grow and expand, use up more resources, bigger and bigger, to keep the system alive.

    By any account, in 10 years your little "S'up mate?" Whatsapp message will require several megabytes of data.

  29. -tim
    Facepalm

    Bloat is a security risk too

    There is so much loaded on most modern pages that the server will happily provide the browser enough to hang its self via cross site exploits. I have clients that want me host harmless fonts yet fonts also get run as programs and often at some funny security layer to keep the GPU happy. For PCI-DSS you must audit every line of html, javascript, CCS and ensure your images and fonts are clean. All of that costs an enormous amount of money.

  30. Starting

    Really?

    Do readers of El Reg really play computer games? I mean how old are they?

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    400kb average

    Well at least we know the average size for an ad laden holding page now.

  32. Alan Bourke

    This is sort of meaningless.

    'Elite' had an entire galaxy and fitted in a 32KB BBC Micro. Also Doom is 2.5D.

    1. davidp231

      Re: This is sort of meaningless.

      They even managed to port Sim City to the Beeb (though from the C64 version).

  33. anniemouse

    the Never-Ending Web page. WHY? simple-

    It's an advertising popularity SCAM.

    1. it forces the search engine into endless digestion, indexing, propmotion

    2. it causes impressions to add up since easier to scoll than click which gets the advertiser paid

    3. it increases the user side temp storage which, when tracking takes a look, increases the score which increases the payments from the advertiser

    The whole operation is easier to input and leaves all the more complex sorting to the search engine.

    The American economy is probably 80% scam.

    Advertising does 2 things;

    - it informs people of new products or changes

    - it enforces rising prices which helps wallstreet issue debt

    Subscription models are best for a democracy.

  34. #define INFINITY -1 Bronze badge

    Shameless plug

    This guy: http://www.quirksmode.org!

  35. bombastic bob Silver badge

    Javascript is "teh cancer" of "teh intarwebs"

    (humorous mis-spellings in topic intentional, you're welcome)

    Point is, I really hate having to re-re-re-re-re-re-download "the freshest copy" of some monolithic ginormous javascript library that sits "out there" on a content delivery server, one that a zillion lazy web developers [ab]use to create their "content" every! freaking! time!, *JUST* to view search results. It wastes my time having to wade through all of that.

    And if you try to MANAGE THE CHAOS by using 'noscript', you're sometimes getting hit up with the "you cannot view the content, you're using an ad blocker" page. Thanks, Forbes dot com.

    well, complaining without a solution is just complaining. SO...

    The Solution: stick to REGULAR HTML (with only MINIMAL scripting, and ONLY when ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY) to provide the content. I do. It works.

    [It's amazing what '<table>' can do for you, if you hand-code the HTML for it]

    -or- (more appealing to the inexperienced coders, perhaps)

    The Alternate Solution: get W3C to add to the HTML spec the most popular 'web features' that those monolithic ginormous scripting libraries do, WITHOUT scripting things to do it. Then fix the web pages to use them.

    [Lazy web devs, relying on 'JQuery' and other similar libraries, are responsible for this java-scripting nightmare from hell. I'm sure of it! "https://code.jquery.com/jquery-latest.js" is 276k!]

  36. hititzombisi

    I said it then, I say it now: NCSA Mosaic was overrated. Gopher was all we need.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sensible days are gone

    Years ago, our county website was managed by sensible blokes. The homepage was almost all text, pages were full of useful text-based info, and you were told how large documents were and how long it would take you to download them, given the speed of your connection. This is a rural area with mostly slow dial-up, so this was useful. That information is still there but the sensible ones are gone. The homepage and almost all other pages are now chock-full of multi-MiB-sized pics, and most areas cannot even be reach without turning on Javascript.

  38. Rich 2

    Not surprising

    Not at all surprising when most web pages seem to drag in one or more mb of JavaScript libraries (and then use 5% of them) because their authors don't have the know-how or inclination to do something more intelligent.

  39. Maty

    Not just web pages ...

    Web pages may be getting heavier, but so are FPS games.

    Thanks to a hard disk crash I've had to re-download the Guild Wars 2 image. 18GB so far, and counting. ....

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