I've received someting that is a bit like hatemail, over something small but that rubbed this person in all the wrong ways..

So, a while back, I made a little webring, and one of the rules for a site to be elligible is that it be readable without javascript, it can have javascript, but the site can't rely on it entirely.

It's partly for accessibility, and partly for the aestethics

Well, this person is just not having it.

I read this, dismissing it as overreaction over nothing, but then it kind of kept me from sleeping.

I kept thinking about the email.

There's something that really pissed this person off, and it's got nothing to do with the webring.

I kindda get where they're coming from, if my studies, my work and my personal time goes into learning something, and then some other thing(like a silly webring) dismisses it all at once. I might be fucking pissed.

The webring doesn't explicitely say anything against javascript, but it's very easy to start reading into it.

Without pasting the full body of the email, I can tell you that words like retrofetishism and entitlement were flown around, to give you a taste.

I think it feels entitled because it goes against what one does for work. I guess making money from building html websites is just not a thing, so instantly, this turns lo-fi into something for people who've got extra time and money,


It's not the first time that I see this idea, that lofi, energy efficient stuff, diy things reeks of entitlement, retrofetishism, elitism.

This is what fucking keeps me from sleeping. It's a bit like, damned if you do, damned if you don't. Use wordpress, or electron, or nextjs, or some other dumb tech or if you don't, you're a fucking asshole.

Try to be inclusive and building accessible things targetting the very bottom of hardware bracket. No, you're being elitist for not using modern tech.

@neauoire make nice things that work on as many systems as possible and are interoperable, compartmentalized, separate concerns, etc.

at that point the only criticism is "you didn't use <thing> that i like", which is much better than the legitimate criticism one receives for going with the abysmally inefficient status quo

@neauoire you're an incredible creator in my universe. But first and foremost you are a wonderful human.

There will always be people who have a problem with anything, anyone does.

On the positive side (in the war against fatalism), the spectrum it produces allows us to see the world full of color.

@jim it's two despecable emails of that sort in two weeks, it could be two things.

Either I've gotten a lot more rotten and awful, or I've reached the sort of internet bracket where people think I'm not a person anymore.

@neauoire I highly doubt you are rotten or awful my friend.

It is more likely the person projecting anger/hatred is in pain, and you are an outlet for that person. They need to say those things because they are hurting.

@neauoire the landscape you are is the landscape we need & don't deserve. Ironically, the world is also burning with you lol

@neauoire @jim I suspect this is part of it. Your work has been admired and talked about enough that you could be perceieved as having status. that complicates the relationship to your aesthetic and choices.

@neauoire @jim Or you accept the consequences of this part of your journey.

@neauoire @jim I agree with @dualhammers.

The fella is not entitled to be in your webring - if they vehemently disagree agree with the base principle, why not find another place?

If you coordinate an arts club for watercolor painters and someon wants to join with acrylics, the problem is not that you're elitists, it's that they knocked on the wrong door.

If you want, and think it could go somewhere, why not explain this to them politely? It might be therapeutic for everyone :D

@raelzero @jim @dualhammers that's this morning's mission, I think I can explain to them calmly, but I learnt a few more things about them that sorts of add some context to their email.

@neauoire @raelzero @jim Fostering communication across hard gradients is a worthy daily task

if I look at what happened with byuu/near, then I don't think that'll help...

Anyway, just the fact that you care so much about a shitty entitled rant from an online rando is credit to you as a person.

On a daily basis I see that you are a positive inspiration to a lot of folk, even while you weren't online for weeks(/months?)
You create interesting tools and show you don't need the latest and greatest to create something.
Be proud and continue doing your thing!
@dualhammers @jim

@neauoire @jim I suspect a lot of people feel left out right now; from communitues and from a sense of positive self regard. Lots of people are steuggling because of power dynamics. You may just be low enough to be a target for frustration with other imbalances

@dualhammers @neauoire @jim

I received a message that angrily vented at my environmental/tech work a few months back, that really hurt. It made my work feel pointless & set me back days.

I think that these emotive insults are designed to do that: to target something you care about so that you stop caring.

I agree with the other responses. And as we don't know each other, I'll add that I love the ethos behind your work, to balance that hatemail.

@neauoire @jim

Two in two weeks, you say?

My experience is that hate mail (or whatever form of message) will become more nasty and personal and it will come more frequently as the things you make get more popular. Modulated by the types of people in the communities that use your stuff and how easily they're able to contact you or how accessible you are to them.

I think it's unavoidable if you accept unsolicited communication.

@neauoire @jim

The Merveilles and other digital art related communities are mostly really nice. So you're in a good position to not receive very much already, I think :)

@cancel @neauoire @jim After seeing this sort of criticism around for so long, at this point I feel like if you're just making a thing on the internet, chances are you aren't actually hurting anyone no matter how much some internet-poisoned people might think you are.

@cancel @neauoire @jim The way I see it, damned if you do, damned if you don't, it doesn't matter, you're being put in this situation by a system that wants you to feel like your individual choices are everything. Individuals squabbling over what choices my or may not be entitled are individuals that can't see themselves as a community with collective power, rather than individual.

@neauoire @jim People no longer see each other as people. It’s one of those Zeitgeists. Ironically, it’s thus not personal.

@neauoire I don't see at all how favoring older tech that works on both underpowered devices and cutting-edge ones is anything elitist. How can anything that's *more* inclusive be elitist?

@jkb I know right. But my thinking is as follow, I'm probably reading too much into this(and all wrong), but here goes.

If you write html by hand, you're already elevating the bracket of who can participate above those who can only write markdown. This in a way is a sort of elitism? Does that hold up? It's what I think this person might say think, I could be way off.

@neauoire It makes sense, yes. Does that mean some people may need, say, static site generators as a service?

@neauoire @jkb

i think gemini led me in a good direction wrt accessibility. the markup is a lot simpler than html, so the minimum bar for creating sites is lower. my partner even has a little gem capsule going now, she never would have taken the time to learn html. just too complicated for her taste.

that said, a lot of non-tech people are capable of writing html. especially the demographic that would be interested in joining a webring. most especially web developers.

@neauoire i'm sorry you got yelled at. you don't deserve that, you're trying to do good things. we are starting to create a unique culture, so we probably just have to be careful to explain where we're coming from to avoid unnecessary conflict. or maybe i'm too focused on culture idk

i have *hugs* if you need them :tealheart:

@xj9 @neauoire @jkb There used to be programs like Microsoft FrontPage, Macromedia Dreamweaver, and Adobe GoLive that were effectively word processors for internet content, and they were incredibly easy to pick up and use. They even handled publishing to a web server!

I wish something like that existed today, but the web is just too complex and centralized now for that to be a reasonable choice compared to I at making a Facebook page or w/e.

@neauoire @jkb Turn that upside down:
* X can only write sites professionally, for money, using JS stacks
* X justifies the price tag to the client based on the "complexity" of the fancy JS engine (X thinks customers will only pay if they can't DIY)
* X sees others in the community starting to eschew JS-heavy in favour of reclaiming simple HTML
* X worries potential clients will doubt value of off-trend JS-heavy stuff and turn down their services
* X feels threatened and gets mad

@neauoire @jkb That would be my suspicion anyway: that a person who's riding a wave of webdev work that they think relies on a demand for complexity, would feel threatened by the possibility of simplicity coming back into fashion.
Doubly so when the message is "complex is bad for the environment" because they feel firstly like they're being accused, and secondly like this could be a mark against them in the near future.

@neauoire there are still places in the world with dialup level internet speeds that these overbulky javascript heavy webpages lock out. outback australia, various places in indonesia and asia. various islands.
i get more bent out of shape than anyone about people dumping on javascript. I am a #1 js fanboy. but this hatemail sucks and is stupid. whoever sent it to you should feel like a doodoohead. in my mind the point of javascript is to lower the need bandwidth by doing more work in the clown

@neauoire there’s a whole class of browser (like puffin) for these underinfrastructured markets where the whole point is to run all web traffic through a proxy that compresses webpages down so they can actually download to a device with a slow connection speed. anyone who thinks reactjs is the way to do things now probably has a fast connection, a 5K imac or something, and has never left their state to know other places exist. out in “the world”

@zensaiyuki there's SO many places that are enamoured with javascript, even I love javascript, there are some cases where it's the perfect thing. I make fun of it too,..

@neauoire ah yes, here we go- the most popular browser in the world doesn’t run javascript:


@neauoire My dayjob is all Javascript, and I've done quite a bit of JS-heavy stuff in my side projects as well. It's a great tool for many things!

And also, seeing all the neat stuff you've put out has inspired me to ask myself, does this need to make the client do all that work? Can I make this truly degrade gracefully? What is the experience of people accessing this on a wide variety of devices, including low-power ones?

Thanks for the perspective and inspiration. I think the web is made better by folks who push back against the ever-hungrier demand for bigger and faster that in many ways is antithetical to what the web was intended to be.

@neauoire My thoughts here are less well-formed, but: there are arguments to be made both ways around accessibility and elitism, I think. While I think SquareSpace and WordPress and the like fill a certain role, in many ways they only exist because of the burgeoning complexity of what the web has become.

The world of geocities and MySpace and FrontPage were also widely accessible, just in a much different way that in many ways I think is less elitist than the commercial freemium landscape that's so prevalent today.

@cincodenada If everything that is accessible for people to use is wordpress, and I explicitely ban wordpress sites since they are bloat, then it's yeah, a similar (more extreme) scenario. The anti-bloat accessibility suddently turns into unaccessibility to participate.

@neauoire To address the point downthread directly: yes, writing HTML is a skill barrier, but it's one that millions of people hurdled easily to customize their MySpace page.

Hiding that behind proprietary stacks means that HTML *becomes* more elitist and specialized, because it's no longer a tool of the masses.

There will always be an important place for WYSIWYG tools, but I think in many ways hiding the underlying tech entirely makes things *less* accessible.

I also realize I'm speaking from the perspective of someone who has been tooling with tech one way or another basically since I could reach a keyboard, so I'm curious to hear what folks with different experiences have to say as well!


This person sounds like they are unstable, and hallucinating attacks against themselves out of thin air. Sadly, it seems when we take a stand in public, it is also seen as an opportunity for attack by these sorts of people :/

But the values you and @rek embody and share have inspired myself, and I'm sure many others, to lead more principled lives, even if in small ways. No amount of hate can diminish that!

I hope you feel better tomorrow.

@neauoire many people unthinkingly construct their sense of identity in out of certain technologies or ways of life, to the extent that when they encounter someone who lives without those things, they experience it as an attack on their self/reality. But that’s on them.

@neauoire I suppose there is a kind of privilege in being secure enough in basic needs to have time/energy to explore different ways of being (many of us here would qualify). But using your surplus to explore (and be a public representative of) an unfamiliar path is a public service to the world, and it’s not easy. And since you’re also demonstrating that it’s possible to meet some basic needs with fewer resources, it even helps make that privilege more accessible to others.

@neauoire guess it is some of that ye olde internet toxicity drippling through into your mailbox.

I can imagine that it affects you. Mayb best to deflect and then let it slide off you. Give a polite response, like: "Thanks, that's your opinion, and I respect that. But I don't accept your judgment of. This is what I do. Either love it, use it, or go find your shiny thing somewhere else on this big internet of ours."

Any further toxic reaction after that, and just block the troll.

@neauoire IMHO that person could not be more wrong.

Being readable without JS has been an accessibility requirement for a long, long time now.

I understand that it can be hard making a website that conforms to that *and* does whatever you want it to do when JS is available. But that's precisely what web design entails.

If you don't like it, you're either not cut out for the job, your priorities are wrong, or the tech stack is shit. Don't blame it on a person demanding best practice.

@neauoire I may be a bit more pissed off with that person than necessary, fair enough.

Problem is, I encounter the same attitude a lot.

The number of times I've had to tell programmers that their job isn't done when it compiles, but when people *successfully* use it to solve their real-world problems is staggering.

The implication for the programmer is that their job isn't to produce code, but to remove obstacles. That's at least an order of magnitude harder to do, so people whinge about it.

@neauoire I don't always do that either, especially not for pet projects. But they're pet projects, not something I can expect other people to use as-is - or to include into a webring or whatever.

No, the entitlement sits with the person prioritizing JS usage over accessibility, and demanding inclusion into the webring over following best practice.


@neauoire dunno man, I see you and @rek as artists. The world needs artists, to explore different ways or working and thinking. Even if your work was of no use at all (which isn't true) the work would still be valid IMO.

@neauoire Anything you do outside of the capitalist mode of production will feel abnormal to the unsophisticated.

There's not much you can do about that, you can't please everyone. Especially not people whose default position is to not learn anything and blame others for their own ignorance.

It's something we have to live with until the tide turns, and what was avant-garde yesterday becomes the new norm. And then the least sophisticated ones will adopt the norm by force.

@neauoire I also think it's supremely disrespectful to deny any human being of their right to be playful and learn.

That's not excusable, poor or not, erudite or not.

I would personally just shrug and move on.

@neauoire counter-intuitively i actually think it's elitist and willfully ignorant to _not_ build for the lowest bracket. all the top companies get all the latest and best hardware leading to developers being blind to performance and compatability in their own work. This absolutely ignores the reality that the most of the market actually lags behind some 5 or more years, the rebuttal for slow or incompatible software by most is "just buy a new device"

@neauoire Accessibility was actually a second thought for most until literally just a year ago it became required by EU law

@neauoire that's ignoring the fact that it's just stupid to get upset over a random netizen's webring having arbitrary requirements lol, people like them just are looking for a fight

@neauoire imagine a stranger coming up to you and saying "i don't like the food you eat, so you should stop eating it", that's just absurd

@neauoire or actually since this year is about to end, 2 years ago*, including some other countries

@neauoire this person doesn't see the point, even without wanting to be efficient or ethic or accessible, all those bloated technologies constantly break by themself making your life MISERABLE

at the end of the day if i solve a problem i want that problem to stay solved

using user-friendly tech actually looks like putting more effort trying to cheat for school work than the effort needed to actually learn the lessons

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Merveilles is a community project aimed at the establishment of new ways of speaking, seeing and organizing information — A culture that seeks augmentation through the arts of engineering and design. A warm welcome to any like-minded people who feel these ideals resonate with them.