like one site complains that the guardian uk site is 4 megabytes. so i went to the link and disabled all my ad blockers and it's around 10MB in size and counting as it keeps loading ads, but with compression it's still only 5mb.
ii turn on ublock and it goes down to 3.6MB with 1.76MB transferred. refreshing the page only transfers 188KB. an article is 1.38M with 544KB transferred without cache and 202KB transferred with cache
let's try viewing my github profile. it's 1.5MB in size, 361k transfered with no cache. refreshes with cache is 688KB in size, with 9KB transferred. loading a repo is 426K with 45K transferred. clicking pull requests pulls down 210k with 46k transferred.
enabling ublock stops the 9-27kb 'stats' transfer that happens each page c
looking at like a github issue it generally downloads avatars which ballons the size of pages to things like 1.84MB with 412KB transfered, but subsequently pulls 72kb down each load
bringing up the polar opposite is drew devault's sourcehut.org page brings down 95kb, transferring 81kb subsequently. actually using sourcehut generally pulls down 20kb size per page and 5kb size transferred.
if you jump over to https://reactjs.org/, the home page is 2.47MB in size with 557KB transferred, but after browsing through the docs, tutorial and blog it's gone up to 5.32MB in size with 1.43MB transferred. getbootstrap after a few page clicks is 1.95MB total size and 618KB total transfer
ok, but things use to be better right? we used dial-up for hecks sake, what was the old web like?
jumping over to a web site i use to browse, https://www.oocities.org/timessquare/chasm/7733/?202126 clocks in at 737kb with the maps page landing at 1.6MB and the links page landing at 84kb, 64kb transferred
other websites in geocities range from 74kb, 133kb, 225kb, 24kb, 184kb, 119kb, etc. for page sizes
one phone plan i have is 7.5c/MB (predatory i know), and i have $10 to spend a month. so that's like 133MB a month of data, around 4.4MB per day. with 12 hours of use per day and say an average page time of 1 minute, you'd need a page to be 6kb to be a good web citizen. a simple web page with text, light CSS, no images is like 3KB at minimum transferred.
the other phone plan is 2GB a month, which is 66MB per day and at the same metrics, 94kb per page. a step up from that is wired internet which has higher bandwidth, even at 20GB you get say 940kb per page, and so on.
i can see a case for web bloat there where you'd want to keep your pages around the 50kb mark to accommodate mobile users.
this random model that i made up doesn't represent reality. people don't just randomly use sites, they often have apps that use their internet much more than browsers, and more importantly: not all content is small. an image gallery is going to take up a lot of space, a video even more. so there's not really a direct correlation between size and bloat.
so what is bloat? well i'm tempted to say 'subjective', but that's kind of a terrible answer. i would probably say bloat is the difference between what the a specific user needs and what the user is given. users are often given extra things they don't want but help the website itself, such as ads and analytics. they're also often given extras that other users need such as integration with other services and pleasant themes, but they don't need.
@jookia the definition I've been working on for 'bloat', which you might find useful, is:
resources used for the primary benefit of someone other than the user
That's not far off of your description, I think
What the user might need, by contrast, is only a specific datum contained in the page contents, though, just to illustrate that difference.
It also allows asking what use case the provider of a web page has. Which opens the can of worms that their use cases may clash.
But it's better than pretending those latter don't exist.
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