pop art

C E Macfarlane c.e.macfarlane at macfh.co.uk
Wed Sep 2 17:17:03 PDT 2015

Please see below for further OT discussion, otherwise please ignore ...


>     Name one that is commonly used by consumers in the UK.

It is interesting that you claim to have worked on iPlayer, yet you do not
seem to be aware of the BBC's own guidelines wrt to JavaScript:

>     True. But then you chose a crippled platform instead of just
>     a crippled
>     browser.

See above.

>     > 	:-(	Do not use JS, PHP, etc to edit content
>     according to the platform
>     > making the request, rather keep the content simple enough
>     to load properly
>     > on any platform.
>     Trouble is that means that you're dumbing your application down to the
>     lowest common denominator. I'm sure that the handful of people using
>     Acorns and Amigas and WAP browsers on their Nokia 8110s will be
>     grateful, but the overwhelming majority will just be pissed off that
>     you've delivered something that is so horribly backward
>     compared to the
>     much better experience they get from everywhere else.

That's just the point, I do NOT get a better experience from the BBC.
Whether on a desktop or mobile, even for the simplest content, BBC pages
take absurdly long to load.

>     > > You might as well complain that you can't
>     > > watch the TV because you chose to glue some socks to the screen.
>     > It is not what the user may be doing wrong that is under
>     discussion here,
>     > but what the BBC is doing wrong.  See below ...
>     No, it really is the user choosing to limit their experience.

No, as I've already demonstrated, the BBC is filling the pages with
unnecessary crap.

>     > > I presume you would agree that it is a Good Thing to try to send
>     > > appropriate stuff to the various different platforms?
>     >
>     > NO!!!  NO!!!  NO!!!  That is the WHOLE POINT!!!  It's a
>     BAD, BAD, BAD thing
>     > to try to send appropriate content to different
>     platforms!!!  That way lies
>     > an insane and bloody mess and a site maintenance nightmare!!!
>     Not really, not if you do it carefully.

The BBC obviously have not done it carefully enough.

>     > You need to read up about Object-Orientating-Programming
>     (OOP) in general
>     > and Model-View-Controller (MVC) in particular, both of which are key
>     > concepts to good GUI design.
>     Yes dear. Do you also give your grandmother egg-sucking lessons?

They seem to be needed in your case.

>	> http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/a-z
>	>
>	>
>	> lator.php
>	>
>	> The BBC Programmes A-Z page previously linked comes out at 0.02, while
>	> most complicated page on my own site, which calculates from user input
>	> direction to point a TV aerial, and draws maps of and a vertical terrain
>	> profile along the resulting signal path, comes out at 0.16.  This is a
>	> massive difference, the more so when you consider that, unlike my own
>	> which works very hard for its living, the BBC page's content is
>	> static, it never needs to change!

> One of those works well on my phone and quickly gets me the information
> I want, the other is an ugly mess that requires all kinds of scrolling
> up and down and left and right. So much for your GUI design skills.

It was a worst case analysis  -  I took one of the *simplest* pages on the
BBC site relevant to iPlayer, and compared it to the *most complicated* page
on my site, and, despite this unbalanced comparison, my complex page still
scores a better code density than the trivially simple BBC one, which means
that to load an identical amount of visible content, my page would load
quicker, though actually it is overall a much bigger page, so takes longer.
If I'd tried to make a more like for like comparison, I'd have chosen, say,
the site map/index on my site, which scores .22, ten times better than the
BBC one, and loads on my mobile in 10s, and is perfectly usable thereon,
whereas the BBC page takes 35s to load despite it having actually only just
over a fifth of the visible content of mine!  THAT is typical of BBC pages
across the site, and THAT is the problem.  (And BTW your premise about about
the Terrestrial TV Calculator is also mistaken, because the page was NEVER
DESIGNED to work on a mobile, it was designed to be used on a desktop back
in the days when mobiles couldn't hope to load such a page.  The fact that
nevertheless every day many people are able to use it on a mobile is if
anything a tribute to the original desktop design of such an involved and
complicated page, but it is one of about a dozen pages on my site that I
wish to improve on a mobile, compared to the remaining about 140 which 'just
worked' on a mobile.  But this is irrelevant to the point being made here
about code density and loading times.)

Your attitudes together with your revelations about previously being
involved in iPlayer speak volumes about where the real problems with the
site lie, between the ears of the designers.  They need to return to the
tried and tested principles of good web design of about a decade or more
ago, which work now as then, and forget most of what they've done over the
intervening period, which have led to exasperatingly treacle-slow loading
times and accessibility problems.

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