The Emperor’s New Clothes

Thu, 01 Oct 2009

It was an argument in web standards talks for a while. Tables for layout, style attributes, JavaScript event attributes, inline script tags and even font tags are ok. Take a look at Right. is probably most visited page in the web, so if <font size=-1>blah</font> is smaller than correct semantic HTML and CSS, even by one byte, then it worth it. Because every byte counts. With such a traffic every byte of home page costs some quite visible money to the company. (I even heard a stories about some guy, who managed to reduce size of the page by couple of characters and received a bonus from the company…) Google just put size of the page as a priority above valid mark up, right?

Not really.

If you look at the source code of the home page, you will see that size of it could be decreased a lot. In particular inline JavaScript can be compressed at least by 10%.

Consider following example

This is code from

if(window.addEventListener)window.addEventListener("load",a,false);else if(window.attachEvent)window.attachEvent("onload",a);google.timers.load.t.prt=(new Date).getTime();

This is how it can be written:

var w=window,e=w.addEventListener,v=w.attachEvent;e&&e("load",a,!1);v&&v("onload",a);google.timers.load.t.prt=+new Date;

I just saved 51 byte! There are more, literally kilobytes of code to be saved, but it looks like nobody cares. Wait, if nobody cares about page size, why we have ridiculous font tags in the page? May be I don’t understand some obvious thing or may be the King is naked.