Sympathy for the Plug-in – A Record Aside

Please permit me to introduce myself.

Article Continues Beneath

I’m the most cancers that has riddled the previously wholesome physique of the Internet.

I’m the darkness that has unfold perpetually throughout total
empires. Like an ocean receding, inexorable, cruel, I
carry draught and decay to lush worlds and watch them
dissipate. Complete planets of magnificence are diminished to sand in
my grasp, jungles to deserts, cradles to sepulchres.
All over the place I’m going, entropy follows; the place I’ve gone, my means
is the one means. Browsers in every single place have fallen by the
tens of millions earlier than me, helpless, submissive, totally obeisant.
Your puny requirements aren’t any match for me.

Although you could have known as me many names, there is just one:


Silly designers! Did you actually assume your pitiful HTML
might stand as much as my onslaught? And also you – wretched coders,
huddling at your desks – did you assume I might abide by your
specs? Bah! I wipe myself along with your white papers. Skinny
pages? Quick obtain instances? Right here’s what I consider your
pathetic obtain instances:

[Ed. – At this point, we are interrupted by a 956K animation
of clock hands revolving, accompanied by tinny archived SFX
of cuckoo chirping]

And that’s simply an appetizer, my bandwidth-starved buddies.
Why, even now, the Internet is being remodeled into my private
wealthy media supply system. Sure, don’t you are worried; inside a
yr, each single business web site will yield to my calls for,
clogging all main pipelines with gigabit after gigabit of
nugatory, empty, babbling “content material.”

A few of you could have tried to unite in opposition to me. It makes me
weep, actually it does, this doomed resistance of yours. So
naive. So childlike.

Did you assume phrases would cease me?

Don’t you notice that phrases aren’t going to defeat me?

Why, your personal Jakob Nielsen says that nobody reads Internet pages – they merely skim the primary and final sentences in
each paragraph. I’m not carrying any pants. So write your
offended editorials, put up your flames; I’ve obtained a deluge of
empty photos heading your means, and each single individual you
know would slightly giggle at blender frogs than learn the
dissertation you spent eight years writing.

And now, it amuses me to entertain your foolish little

“Don’t you notice that browsers are particularly designed
to retrieve and show textual content? That the Internet is actually
fabricated from hypertext, not animation? That the entire function of
the Internet is to create pages that any machine can view, with
any software program, because of the universality of HTML?”

Ah, I like you fundamentalists. At first was the
phrase, proper? You need to actually be torn up inside about all
these newfangled freaks and perverts who’ve wrecked the Internet
with their GIFs and JPEGs. Effectively, you positive stopped them,
didn’t you?

“What are you going to do when WAP makes you out of date?”

The identical factor these poor VHS individuals did when Beta made them
out of date.

No, actually, your query is a sound one. I’ll ahead it
to everybody who makes use of HTML purely for informational functions
and has by no means, ever, manipulated its tags to vary structure
or web page look. Hmm? What’s that? I imply, you ARE utilizing
XHTML, aren’t you? How attention-grabbing. Additionally attention-grabbing to me
are the individuals who assume wi-fi Internet units won’t ever
work with Flash however WILL work with awful, compromised HTML
pages. What makes you so positive I’m the dinosaur and also you’re
the mammal?

“B-b-b-but you’re only a plug-in.”

Sure, however I’m a RICH plug-in. I
drive the fanciest advert banners and I entertain your youngsters. I
soar from upscale company to underground sleaze with out
breaking a sweat. And I make everybody love me. The truth is, the
solely time my websites don’t load sooner than yours (and run
higher, by the way in which, in accordance with all that usability and
user-response and GUI testing crap) is after they’ve been
bulked up by some nitwit who doesn’t know easy methods to use me.
Okay, and audio’s an issue. So what in case you’ve been pressured
to take a seat via an interminable “intro” animation? That’s
not my fault. I vas chust following orders.

And if I’m only a plug-in, then your mind is just some
pints of watery cells. There are individuals on the market who don’t
know whether or not they’re utilizing Netscape 4.5 or IE 3.0, however they
know who I’m. They usually love me. My penetration ranges are
excessive, excessive, excessive. Your mom goals of penetration like
mine. Don’t give me your plug-in speak.

“What about all of the performance individuals lose when websites
migrate from HTML to Flash? Customers can’t view supply code,
they’ll’t use search instruments to parse textual content, and also you don’t
have JavaScript to allow them to’t do half the issues a good
Internet web page lets a person do.”

I’m studying your little tips.

I can learn and ship querystrings now. Didn’t know that,
did you? I can goal frames and home windows. I may even move
variables to and from JavaScript capabilities!

My Mac simply conked out.#section3

Heh heh heh. Okay, the JavaScript stuff continues to be a little bit
buggy. However quickly… quickly…

“Your scripting language is primitive, your coding
atmosphere is cramped and restrictive, your interplay
with the browser and the OS is extremely restricted, and also you
can’t even do easy geometry or variable operations
with out driving a programmer into workaround hell. Why
would a whole lot of tens of millions of individuals select you over a
superior various?”

Sorry, different Macromedia merchandise aren’t allowed to ask
questions presently.

“Talking of Macromedia, I went the opposite
day and located a fantastic web page – however I couldn’t electronic mail the URL to
anybody as a result of the content material was buried in some form of
frameset/Flash navigational mess.”

Effectively, I suppose they may create a button that claims “Mail
this location to a pal” and which then generates a pleasant
string variable for the URL with a suffix tacked on
specifying the precise breakpoint, in order that anybody who clicks
it can ship the breakpoint information as a querystring to the
Flash film receiving it. THEN individuals might electronic mail Flash-
inside URLs to one another. However perhaps these Macromedia
people are too busy over there to trouble coding a web site that
makes their product look good.

“Are you intentionally subverting HTML? Do you actually assume
you’ll be able to exchange it altogether?”

Have already got, on some websites. (Trace: rhymes with
“venerator.”) However don’t fear. I shall all the time allow HTML
to proceed its depressing existence. In spite of everything, somebody
wants to carry my meta tags and key phrase information and embedded
URL information. (Pathetic engines like google and their imbecilic
’bots!) And somebody must embed my films. And decide a
good background coloration for me. And fetch my espresso. And
shine my footwear. Sure, there’ll all the time be room for HTML.

“You’ll by no means get away with this.”

Received’t I, although?

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