TED.com bloat

If you’re a TED.com user, I’m pretty sure you’ve noticed the slow page loads compared to … Well, just about any other site out there. I’ve sent some feedback (below), and I’m hoping you’ll help out as well by suggesting general and specific improvements.


While your web site is some of the best content collections I’ve ever come across, the style sheets / scripts are so huge as to require the full attention of a Pentium IV 3 GHz CPU for several seconds for every page displayed. 122 KB of CSS and 259 KB of JavaScript is massive, even today.

As a first fix, I’d suggest to use some of the online tools to compress CSS and JavaScript. Also, with 8 years of web development behind me (3 professionally), I’m confident that you can reduce the amount an order of magnitude without losing the overall look and feel of the site.

Thank you for your time and magnificent content!

PS: I’ve asked for feedback, and I’ll post it here if I receive any.

Properly formatting <del> and <ins>

Here are some alternative ways to format <del> and <ins>, with explanations. I’d love to hear your own improvements. Solution so far.

The most straightforward solution is just using a space character between the elements:
Speling Spelling is hard.

However, this is not semantically correct, since the space inside is not part of the text.

You could insert a space character using CSS (del + ins:before {content: ' ';}):
Speling Spelling is hard.

Now the markup is semantically correct, but the content shown to the user is worse: Both display and semantics are wrong.

Inserting a margin between the elements should do the trick (del + ins {margin-left: 0.3em;}):
SpelingSpelling is hard.

This should be semantically correct, but the width of the space character can depend on the browser implementation and the font, so make sure you check the results.

Throw the fucking switch, Igor!

What would you like to have said, if it were you behind the “big green button” when the LHC starts in 2008? It’s the world’s most powerful particle accelerator, said to be the most complex machine ever built, and will most likely set the stage for the next level of theoretical physics, so it had better be in the “One small step” category.