DEV Community

loading...

Discussion on: Does your website really need to be larger than Windows 95?

Collapse
codemouse92 profile image
Jason C. McDonald

I spend a large part of my time speaking, mentoring, and writing, trying to tune people into this fact. We tend to have this mentality that, if the space is there, we must occupy it with our software.

We're already reaping the whirlwind on that habit, since the average computer is now annoyingly, if not unusably, slow after the Spectre/Meltdown patches. If we had coded for reasonable efficiency, those patches would have made little to no difference in performance for the average user.

If you think about it, our software doesn't actually do that much new. I like to use the example of video editing software. In terms of features and workflow, little difference exists between early 90s non-linear home video editing software, and modern non-linear home video editing software, yet the modern software is many times more demanding of resources.

Whenever we waste memory and CPU cycles on stupid things - grotesque abuse of dynamic allocation, habitual use of double when we barely needed the precision of float, overdesigned interfaces that focus more on effects than usability - we have wasted resources that could be used for true innovation. I like to tell young game designers: if you waste your resources on stupid things, those are resources you aren't giving to improved graphics and innovative responsive gameplay.

In other news, we're about to hit the wall on Moore's Law, but with Gate's Law still very much in play, we're about to be outperformed by your average 256 MB Windows 98 PC.

Oh, wait, we already literally are.

Collapse
buinauskas profile image
Evaldas

But did you edit 4k or 8k content back in 90s? 🤔

Collapse
codemouse92 profile image
Jason C. McDonald

That shouldn't make for a five minute program load time on an 8GB computer (seriously), a 30GB install size, nor a 2GB RAM idle usage.

Thread Thread
buinauskas profile image
Evaldas

I have to agree with this.

I often hear similar comparison with web browsers, basically on the past and now they do one thing, open web pages, but in reality they do way more than that now. Streaming content, development tools, payments, security and more to name.

There's probably a reason why amount of resources on software you listed increases, but probably it has increased more than it was supposed to.