I write a lot about everything that's wrong with various software, online services and the internet in general, so I thought it would be fitting to put in writing the values and commitments I keep in mind while gluing together my little corner of the internet here.

My values are inspired by ind.ie's Ethical Design Manifesto.

Privacy

As someone who values privacy and encourages others to do the same, it would be hypocritical if my own site was loaded with features that violate the privacy of my visitors. My commitments in this area are:

  • No tracking - the only statistic I collect is an anonymous monthly page view count (total viewers, not you individually). Using a service like Google Analytics would tell me things like how old you are, where you live, which operating system and browser you use, how you found my site, how long you stick around and how many unique visitors I have. These things would be nice to know but respecting your privacy is far more important.

  • No data aggregation - if you choose to subscribe to my posts (thank you!), only your email address and the date you subscribed will be recorded. I would actually prefer not to be able to see your email address and just have the system send the emails automatically, but I haven't yet dug into the CMS' code to see how to achieve that.

  • Anonymous commenting (optional) - this is a risky one because anonymous comment sections tend to lead to abuse and flame wars, but as someone who greatly values the right to be anonymous online I don't want to force people to log in to have their say. I just hope spam doesn't become too much of an issue.

Experience

I'm grateful for any time you spend here and want to respect you by giving you the most enjoyable experience possible, so here's the deal:

No annoyances

  • Dark theme - because if you're anything like me, you do a lot of your reading at night and don't enjoy having your retinas seared.

  • No ads.

  • No autoplaying videos that follow you around the page when you scroll down.

  • No clickbait - is clickbait destroying the internet? The answer will SHOCK you. Yes, yes it is.

  • No popups nagging you to disable your ad blocker, subscribe to my posts, send me money, let me show you notifications, install the app to get the full experience or accept my privacy policy.

  • No asking you to click on all of the squares containing fire hydrants.

  • No lists in the form of slideshows.

Performance

I aim to make this site as lightweight as possible. My hosting server is located in Australia which will affect performance for international visitors, but I try to compensate for that as much as possible with:

  • A minimal and lightweight CMS.
  • As above, no analytics or unnecessary JavaScript bogging down the site.
  • Images compressed as much as possible for the sake of improved loading time, hopefully without creating too many blobby artifacts.
  • No awesome new web trends like putting everything on one long page of parallax effect hell, just to show off my HTML5 and CSS3 chops.

Free software

This site is created and hosted entirely using Free software:

  • Ghost publishing platform (MIT licensed).
  • Commento commenting platform (MIT licensed, privacy focused).
  • No proprietary JavaScript. The only JavaScript used on this site is jQuery and Commento (both MIT licensed).

    Apart from the annoyances listed above, the abuse of JavaScript is possibly the worst thing about modern website websites in terms of usability and software freedom.

    When JavaScript is disabled, a lot of sites don't load at all, the layout breaks, elements are scattered all over the page and simple things like loading images and clicking on links don't work.

    I link to, but don't embed, Youtube videos because that loads 4 additional scripts from Google including tracking and advertising scripts.
NoScript users, rejoice!