Rant – Stéphane Caron – No Margin For Errors http://www.no-margin-for-errors.com Thu, 07 May 2015 00:40:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 We must be careful if we don’t want to make HTML5 look bad. http://www.no-margin-for-errors.com/blog/2011/12/06/we-must-be-careful-if-we-dont-want-to-make-html5-look-bad/ http://www.no-margin-for-errors.com/blog/2011/12/06/we-must-be-careful-if-we-dont-want-to-make-html5-look-bad/#comments Tue, 06 Dec 2011 16:38:43 +0000 http://www.no-margin-for-errors.com/?p=1033

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There are some thing we all know we must never do with a technology. For example, we all know we must not do a welcome page in flash anymore, we also know that little animated gif envelopes are banned from contact forms.

These examples have done nothing more than give us content to mock at these poor technology choices.

There seems to be general consensus about these and quite frankly, they are banned because they either don’t bring anything more to the user or are plain ugly.

Let’s be careful with how we handle all these new APIs that are available to us.

Popup games

I think they should now enter the hall of fame of bad use of technology. I just came across this FWA website of the month today and god is it bad.

It uses popups to create a game that works pretty much the same way The Incredible Machine worked. The concept is not bad at all, but the execution is where it fails.

The programmers did a very good job, all the cases are well handled and the game seems to work as intended. That’s not where the problem is.

I’ve tried to play with it for a good 15 minutes, I got the hang of it but the technological choice was really in the way, making it hard to enjoy the game itself.

Good technology is not magic dust 

We always need to be careful when we make a technological choice, we have all these great tools we can use today but because we can use them does not mean we should.

Technology should enhance user experience, not get in the way. Many times while playing that game I clicked mistakenly on the background causing all the popups to go behind the main screen forcing me to press the “restart” button. That’s a good thing the programmers thought of implementing that functionality.

Also, every time you load a level, you have these popups that loads in the bottom left of the screen and then are repositioned, you get the feeling that so much stuff happen at the same time that you have no clue where you should focus.

In now way did the popups enhance the experience. This type of experience worked well with The Wilderness Downtown and that’s probably because you could enjoy the site passively not having to interact with anything while watching the videoclip.


Where it hurts the most is that this site is seen as a technological demo of what HTML5 can do. What’s the takeaway after playing this game? “HTML5 can move popups and play videos!”. Really I feel we’ll laugh at that 5 years down the road.

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Occupy Flash…really? http://www.no-margin-for-errors.com/blog/2011/11/22/occupy-flash-really/ http://www.no-margin-for-errors.com/blog/2011/11/22/occupy-flash-really/#comments Tue, 22 Nov 2011 19:41:26 +0000 http://www.no-margin-for-errors.com/?p=1019

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Occupy Flash is probably one of the dumbest movement I’ve seen in a while. Don’t get me wrong, I fully understand that choosing Flash for web development is not exactly the best choice you can make. The problem is that this campaign is totally useless and it’s probably more harmful than good.

So bad

You can’t simply start a campaign stating that Flash has become useless and then ask the user to uninstall it from his computer, this will NOT make a better world. Truth is, Flash is not holding anyone or anything back. You (as a web developer) don’t want to use it? Then just don’t, this will be a much stronger statement than uninstalling it from your mom’s computer.

It’s one thing to try to explain to someone technical the strain that Flash can put on a computer, but trying to explain this to a non-technical person just won’t work. Flash is still being used quite a lot here and there and HTML5 fallbacks (for the lack of a better word) are not always present.


Users don’t care.

What’s the point of asking people to uninstall Flash…really? It will only make the experience worse and in no way improve it. It’s true that it’s sometime needed to ask people to upgrade. And upgrade is the keyword, if you take Internet Explorer 6 or 7 for example, these are really hurtful for the web and this really hold us back. But Flash? It’s optional! You can be sure that if you uninstall it today you’ll be pissed as hell.

Rebrand…please, or just die.

We do not need another movement to raise awareness around Flash, the ones who can really make a difference are the ones who make the web. These people already know all the ups and downs of Flash and if they don’t they shouldn’t be in the industry.

Just work the other way around, instead of asking users to uninstall Flash, ask developers to stop supporting it, but then again, we all know it.

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