Frigging everybody has a 3Ghz multi core CPU in their back pocket now and people still need ways to not to “feel lag while typing.”

This is the world we have made

Trying to imagine going back to 1985 and telling someone their computer would eventually have eight multi-gigahertz cores, and yet the cursor would still lag behind you while you type

“great for heavy web apps like Gmail!” how did we get to a place where an instantly recognizable example of crushingly computationally complex software is an EMAIL CLIENT

I had a fully functional email client on my frigging Palm Pilot. It had 8 megabytes of RAM and a 16 megahertz processor.


@jalefkowit Then try telling them half that immense processing power would be spent blocking ads. (Probably)

@pete in MY day, if we wanted to block ads, we simply threw the TV set out the window

@jalefkowit 😂 Certainly not cost effective, but definitely therapeutic.


To be fair on Gmail, you need quite a powerful computer to not experience keyboard buffer lag. You'd need at least 16K of RAM... maybe even 48K!

What do you want?

Internet is a trend that will pass anyway…
@natecull @jalefkowit

@RyunoKi @natecull @jalefkowit I want Web 1.0 back, so much simpler and friendlier back then. 😉

@jalefkowit this is clearly some modified, two-decade old definition of "fully functional"...

@kauer oh no. I had the Handspring Visor, which had a slot for expansion cards. One card I had for it was a dial-up modem. And the software was a real POP/IMAP client. It’d probably still work with any email service that hasn’t moved to OAuth for authentication

@jalefkowit *cough* I still use Claws :D
Maybe not quite as svelte as my palm pilot email app was, but it is handling 22 years of email and using 30MB of RAM to do it

@Longplay_Games brb, gotta go find the 3.5” disk that has my copy of Pegasus Mail on it

I go even a step further and _recommend_ it.

So many clients can't handle tens of thousands of emails…

@jalefkowit This feels extra painful when you can't afford or your parents won't buy you a new and modern PC. You're doomed to have lagging apps, and it only gets worse with time.

Computing power wastefulness is
a yet another cause of social inequalities.

@mikolaj (I was stuck with a 4.77MHz IBM PC until well into the early '90s, so I really feel this)

i would rather say: "Properly developed efficient #software to the people!" and we can run on old #hardware for years to come and avoid tons of unnecessary electronic #waste. and be not as much affected by the current chip shortage that, as far as i know will get worse and worse the further we push the #climatedesaster

@mikolaj @jalefkowit I have to agree with you there.

My opinion is that if the software can't run on a low-end computer (4 gigs of RAM and a 4-core CPU, literally bare-fucking-minimum today) at
a resonable pace, it's objectively bad.

Not saying ALL software has to run on low-end systems, 3D rendering and gaming of course need extra computing power. Web browsing, word processing, and emailing shouldn't need a damn super computer.

@jalefkowit I was using IRC on a 16MHz 386 with 4mb ram and did just fine, but my quad-core 3GHz PC with 24gb ram is really not able to deal with Discord very well

@jalefkowit Hasn't there been e-mail clients on computers with processors on the KILOHERTZ?

To be honest I wouldn't be surprised that GMail users have more lag regarding typing than me typing in the mutt session of my VPS.
Otherwise I would use a local email client (with lag on browsing email folders instead…) more.

@jalefkowit i hate everything being webpages. i started using thunderbird relatively recently and i cannot live without it

@jalefkowit In 1985, George Morrow said he couldn’t conceive a future where more people owned computers than typewriters. We should’ve listened!

@jalefkowit Every problem in computing can be made even worse by adding more layers of indirection.

@jalefkowit Worse, I think on Windows 10 it does it on purpose. (New work computer. Lots of processor and RAM. Fresh Word365 document. The cursor sort of … animates. Like, 256k modem speed.)

@jalefkowit Then try to explain to them why despite this humongus computing power it will take more time to cold boot to a prompt than it does in 1985

@jalefkowit Yes, that annoys me as well.
In 1985 I would sometimes access minicomputers (VAX, Prime etc) with 1 MIPs processors shared with dozens of other users which were hundreds of km away, using a serial terminal, local X25 pad, 9.6 kb/s link to the UK's proto-internet academic network JANET, and there was no appreciable lag.

@jalefkowit, Douglas Adams foresaw the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation in 1978,
as well as automatic spell checking problems in state-of-the-art word processors ... what was it in 1978, Word Perfect? My fucking god. This is the exact opposite of a solution. Just figure out how to make your website not shit or dont make a website at all.

@Froggo but it’s important that we waste as much computing power as possible while also making it easier to spy on you

@June ME [ wearily taking a long drag on a French cigarette ]: JavaScript, man

@jalefkowit this is literally the worst thing i've ever heard of

@jalefkowit @aparrish you remember the Commodore 64? With a 1 MHz CPU and 64 kB of RAM? You know what it didn't do? It didn't lag when typing.

@jalefkowit "My website/software runs so slow even on high-end computers; must be that today's computers are too slow :blobcatcool:"

Anyone who makes software and can't make it run on common systems should get booted off the software development industry.

@jalefkowit I still get lag in tmux over ssh sometimes, but like, that is often because I am at a coffee shop and doing this over a VPN that may or may not be on my continent.

But yes damn this is a brutal indictment of our industry

@jalefkowit and the website advertising this product is 5 MB of assets. and i can feel it lagging as i scroll. so they obviously dont actually care about helping solve this issue

@jalefkowit Oooh, spoke too soon. I went back to the tab after sending this, it's loaded 5 more MB. great stuff

@h I remember buying a box of 3.5” floppy disks as a kid and thinking “10 megabytes! What am I gonna do with all that space???”

Now every single website you visit makes you swallow that much as an amuse-bouche

@h I can imagine the marketing team saying “the website HAS to be slow, so people think they need our product”

@jalefkowit How does streaming video to your PC not take more resources than rendering a web page?
Now if it would be the Slack app, now that would be something.

@jalefkowit I can even feel a tiny bit of input lag in webshit on my PC, which has a 4.6GHz CPU

Literally how

@jalefkowit No typing lag? Cloud-based? Hah, try that on multi-second-ping-time connections.

@jalefkowit The fun thing is that the client application is made using Electron, so it's essentially you're running Chrome to load another instance of Chrome in a server and then use it to do the actual browsing :02smile:

@jalefkowit yes. Ironic that our own past decisions brought us to this point.

@jalefkowit ive barely dipped my toes into the proper webdev world (pure html/css, just learning pure js now thru projects) and im lost on what kind of frameworks everyone's using right now for this to all be an issue

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