September 24, 2022
Code is poetry
I found the words ‘code is poetry’ in the footer of the new Wordpress frontpage, that has been launched recently.
I fully agree that code is poetry! I love to read and write beautiful and concise code. In a few days I will even be joining CloudCannon on their Youtube show ‘Static Feedback’ to talk about Artisanal Web Development. This is my hand-crafted take on building sites with absolute knowledge about every line of code.
But what about this frontpage? Matt Mullenberg expressed some harsh criticism on its build. It took the volunteers of Wordpress 33 days to build this page. Matt called it a waste of time. And although the page looks quite good, it does not work flawlessly, nor is its code beautiful or concise.
Here are some problems:
- There is a white line under the image of the community - screenshot
- The people from the community are hardly visible on a large screen (the upper part gets cut off) - screenshot
- On a portrait tablet the word Wordpress does not fit - screenshot
- They used a line-height of 1, which leads to impossibly small click areas - screenshot
- They used flex for the logo’s, which makes the logo’s fill out strange on certain screen sizes - screenshot
- On an old phone the background image of the dark area is looking like it should not be there - screenshot
- The HTML code is packed with classes and your browser has to parse 358kb of CSS, which is way too much.
- On some places spacer divs are used to create white space (1999 called: they want their spacer divs back).
- On some places empty columns are used to create white space.
- Some of the titles are just strong elements followed by a break (instead of a heading).
If you think that code is poetry, you do not build a page like this.
To find out what happened, I looked at their dev page. It read: “Implementing the full design will require building some custom blocks and customizing existing core blocks”. Although I am not 100% sure, I think this means that the page was not coded at all. I think it means that this page was clicked together using some standard Wordpress components (Gutenberg blocks). This would explain the clumsy solutions, the gigantic amount of CSS and the ‘bugs’.
I do understand that building a page with standard components is faster and does not require a programmer. I do NOT understand why one would put ‘code is poetry’ in its footer.
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