Oliver Nassar

I can be reached at onassar@gmail.com.

For my open source work, check out github.com/onassar


Script/Asset abuse: this is getting ridiculous!

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Frameworks like YUI, JQuery, MooTools, Dojo, etc., are arguably the best thing to have happened to JavaScript in 10 years. I remember when I first learned about their existence. I was coding my own animation script (functional, not OO, and definitely not efficient) that didn't do anything fancy; just scrolled up and down. I remember then hearing about dojo, and thinking I'd wasted so much time.

Then what I did, was go around to all the different frameworks. I don't even think JQuery existed in it's current incarnation at that point (December of 2005), and I looked around at as many as I could (dojo, MooTools, and a few others that have since become relics). This post though, isn't about the greatness of these frameworks; rather it's about the terrible abuse.

With any new technology, there will be people who embrace it for ease of use and creating a new standard, and then there will be those who completely abuse it.

If you can't see what I have a problem with, then you need to leave this post right now. For everyone else, this is an absolute joke. This is for a travel promotion site called StudentCity. My count of javascript assets: 20 (excluding any dynamically load ajax/jsonp requests). My count of css assets: 11.

These tallies were retrieved via after the DOM had been rendered, so they may not match up perfectly with the source, but I assure you they're accurate.

If you visit this site, you're not going to notice too much. A few swfs, a bit of animation, and a few non-css related hover effects. In no way, should this account for the number of requests for just js/css assets. It doesn't make sense, and is terrible programming/development. I understand that in many projects, control is sometimes non-existent. You need to conform to someone elses demands, some other developers tendencies, or some other designers inexperience. But for the firm who developed this site, if anyone had taken a look at the source after it had been finished, a huge red flag should have gone up.

Concatenating files is easy; minimizing requests is easy, and a faster client side render time will actually make you money, for a relatively low cost (maybe 2 hours). This speaks to what frameworks are doing these days.

JS frameworks, and even php/server side ones like CakePHP and CodeIgniter (ones I'm working with now) are leading to a generation of websites and applications that were developed by people who have very little idea what they're doing. I don't think it's much different than the age of FrontPage/Dreamweaver/GoLive developed sites, but it's certainly not something that you should be paying for it you're working with a development firm. It's annoying as a developer to see this, and probably a do-or-die thing if I were to be working with or hiring another developer to work with me.