“Modern” Webpages Suck

These days almost all the web-morons think they have to fill their webpages with random useless crappy javascript for no reason.

Have a look at one example of many: python-gtk-3-tutorial.readthedocs.io. It consists of static content only, nothing that would justify the use of javascript. But anyway they thought it is clever to add tons of it:

wget -q -O - \
https://media.readthedocs.org/javascript/jquery/jquery-2.0.3.min.js \
https://media.readthedocs.org/javascript/jquery/jquery-migrate-1.2.1.min.js \
https://media.readthedocs.org/javascript/underscore.js \
https://media.readthedocs.org/javascript/doctools.js \
https://media.readthedocs.org/javascript/readthedocs-doc-embed.js \
http://python-gtk-3-tutorial.readthedocs.io/en/latest/_static/js/modernizr.min.js \
http://python-gtk-3-tutorial.readthedocs.io/en/latest/_static/readthedocs-data.js \
http://python-gtk-3-tutorial.readthedocs.io/en/latest/_static/readthedocs-dynamic-include.js \
| wc -c
141839

This is almost 140kB of javascript, more than the source text files which are around 100kB for the whole tutorial. Each page contains around 5kB content, so the ratio between javascript and content is 28:1 !

Another big problme is, that the code is written by gardeners or lumberjacks, but not by IT professionals. The bugs in the code make it very unreliable. For example on Aliexpress I get the following message pretty often: Due to network reasons , adding that fails, re-click the "Add to Wish List". But clicking “add to wishlist” again and again and again just results in the same error message. The only thing that helps is reloading the page.

But there are more drawbacks of using javascript, here is an incomplete list:

  • Javascript leads to more bandwith used which:
    • makes the webpage loading slower,
    • causes more load on the server,
    • causes more costs for the bandwith of the server,
    • and uses up the megabytes of my connection which I have to pay!
  • Javascript wastes the memory of my computer which I could better use for productive work.
  • Javascript executes slow and makes me yawn because of the very slow user experience. Many websites are completely unusable on slower machines.
  • Javascript code is neither security reviewed nor signed, it is completely untrusted code running on my machine.
  • Javascript is generally written by hobbyists with not much CS knowledge. That’s one reason these pages are very unreliable.
  • Javascript is often used to make very stupid things like breaking the back button or copy&paste. I don’t know if that is just a result of the stupidity of the coder or if it is done intentionally, no matter why it is done, it is very bad and annoying.
  • Javascript is most of the time written by amateurs, not by well educated IT professionals. Obviously nobody who is at least a little bit sane would want to write code in such an awful language.
  • Javascript code is never tested thoroughly. Or have you ever heard of someone writing a test suite for his webpage?
  • There are probably a lot more…

So please make the world a better place by limiting the use of javascript to only those cases which really need it.

Shutdown delayed by Avahi mDNS/DNS-SD using systemd

Sometimes systemd feels the urge to wait 2 minutes for some service which makes troubles and then continues to boot or shutdown. Two minute timeout is hopeless insane for this default configuration, even 5 seconds feels like endless waiting.

The timeout can be set in /etc/systemd/system.conf. Just add the following lines or change them if they already exist:
DefaultTimeoutStartSec=5s
DefaultTimeoutStopSec=5s

This Avahi mDNS daemon is for zeroconf. Just uninstall this bloody crApple rubbish:
apt-get remove --purge avahi-daemon

Another annoying delay is caused by the network code trying to get an IP address over a NIC where no cable is plugged in. I have no solution for this problem yet, but with lower timeout it’s not that awful anymore.

Thank You Facebook!

Today I got an email with link to a facebook page. Actually I’ve seen this link before but ignored it because it links to facebook. But today I opened that page. I was reading a bit, following some links to other pages, coming back, reading more. And suddenly I got this:

This sucks. Why should I login after this page has been showed for 5 minutes? Additionally you can see how completely retarded facebook is: The text on the page is in german, some navigation help texts are in Kannada and the login window is in english.

First I thought “facebook sucks” and started searching for other complaints about facebook. But facebook (and google+ and twitter and…) collect all the braindamaged morons which were annoying everybody in IRC 10 years ago. Now IRC is again the nice and friendly place it was 20 years ago.

Thank you Facebook!

Multimeter Upgrade

What is worse than a battery powered multimeter?

A battery powered multimeter with an empty battery.

That’s why I have to upgrade this multimeter with a power socket, a step-down converter to support a wide input voltage range, and an isolated DC-DC converter to isolate the input voltage from the multimeter circuits.

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ELV sucks

A friend gave me a link to an ELV product which I copied and pasted into my browsers URL bar. ELV then presented me with this completely useless warning on their webpage:

elv-sucks

Additionally they set a shit load of cookies. Obviously one or more of them are used to prevent this retarded warning.

I wonder why should I run an anti-virus program when I access a website? Especially when my browser is running on a Linux box behind an OpenBSD firewall? I’m sorry but I haven’t seens something this retarded ever.

So my recommendation is:

Fuck ELV. Never ever ever ever never ever buy something from ELV!

Also don’t visit their site, block and delete all their cookies.

LZWDecode a PDF File

Today I wanted to dissect a PDF file. Running pdf2ps quickly showed some big lumps of binary data. Looking a bit closer I found out that it is run through the filters ASCII85Decode and LZWDecode. After failing to decode this myself I searched again on the net and found the following blog entry:

Converting a PDF to PS without the LZWDecode filter

So just run the following commands:

qpdf --stream-data=uncompress original.pdf decoded.pdf
pdftops decoded.pdf decoded.ps