The USS Quad Damage

Responsive Internet: Not just for mobile!

I talk about some thoughts I had about how the internet should work several years ago, and how things worked out (hint: pretty great guys!)

The combination of the rise of mobile internet and responsive web design has finally caught up with my vision of the future, though I admit that Pizza or Not Pizza via The Gruber has probably had more real impact than my article ever could. They even handily used green for “good” and red for “bad”, where I for some reason used red for good. I was looking at my desktop and thinking about how far we’ve come. Here’s the whole thing:

The way my current desktop looks now

How times have changed! Epiphany (called “Web” in Gnome3) has almost no chrome at all. I’ve replaced the shell, GTK, and mutter themes with a flat design called “flat studio”. The gnome shell is “flat and square”, but with the colours toned down slightly. Funnily enough, Gnome seems to have thoroughly embraced the spatial idea, only to thoroughly abandon it moments later (and I’d only just gotten used to it). Nautilus isn’t spatial any more, and it makes little sense for websites to have that spacial-ness. However, web applications are becoming the norm, they do launch stuff in new windows. You can also launch web sites as web applications with chromeless browser support. You can do “appey” things in the app, but clicking a link will launch a new browser window, and there’s no “back” button. While tabs for web apps are still common, you can section off web applications, which do not have tabs.

I still dislike tabbed browsing. You’re either looking at the window or you’re not. Tabs often act more as “temporary bookmarks” than actual browser tabs. Having said that, I’ve made my peace with them. I often use them for loading stuff in the background while I’m looking at something else. On Windows, of course, they’re well and truly useful. Tab Groups in firefox, as well as tab synching across PCs and mobile, take that tab feature and make it feel much more like the temporary bookmarks that they are.

I love using closed captions on TV because it lets me read news while listening to music. Unfortunately closed caption quality has been steadily declining over time. Happily, the quality of mobile / tablet websites is constantly improving, so I can look at mobile websites (or better, responsively designed desktop sites) as smaller windows and get better content. Even better, a lot of these sites will push advertising out of the way so you can read the content if your window is smaller. This is a win.

In conclusion, I predicted how the web would look a couple of years into the future. Some of my predictions were wrong but some were right. Now my desktop looks pretty great and I can resize my web browser windows and still read the website. Websites also have more pizza now. Also, something something flat design amirite guys?