It’s funny, but I take almost the opposite view that Nilay puts forth in his original article. Instead of thinking “Oh, why won’t these awful browsers improve to be better at delivering our websites?”, I tend to think “Oh, why won’t these awful websites improve to be better at taking advantage of our browsers?” After all, it doesn’t seem like that long ago that web browsers on mobile really were awful; incapable of rendering the “real” web, instead only able to deal with WAP.
I’m a little late to the party with this article, but I’m glad to see such pushback against Nilay Patel’s ridiculous article about mobile web browsers being responsible for bad performance. While there are always performance and UX/UI gains to me made in Safari and Chrome, I think anyone with even a basic understanding of how web browser performance works knows that throwing 200+ http requests at any browser is not exactly how the web was designed to work.
Vox Media appears to have a talented group of engineers who understand they’re up against, but this is an arms race (publishers v. end users) that’s not going to end well for any of us if things continue down the path we are on. By adding more and more intrusive tracking, larger imagery and gimmicky article formats that don’t focus on good user experience but rather increasing time in site. It’s as if our friends at the Verge have decided they’re going to go all-in on user hostile behavior and even try to pin it on the browser vendors.
I used to think Patel was a good writer. He’s a smart guy but I feel like he’s been corrupted in the search for the almighty page view. Maybe that’s giving him more credit than he deserves, but I find myself thinking “here we go again” when I see his name in the byline.