re: The Future of "View Page Source" VIEW POST


I think it's a shame, but the specific area I think it's a shame is semantics.
A lot of sites have terrible HTML.

Here's an example, not of the actual source (which is minified), but of what the DOM ends up looking like. It's from Reddit, but that's a fairly random choice on my part:

an example of DIV soup from Reddit's source

Nothing is semantic. You can't reliably interpret this with assistive technologies. You can't do anything much with it apart from throw it at a browser and hope it works. And that's all a lot of developers care about, which is the problem - too many people don't care about the HTML as long as the page looks pretty. In fact, they want it to be difficult to interpret because obfuscation thwarts many ad-blockers. It's security through obscurity, to be sure, but it's there as much to hide potential malware as it is to improve performance.


Man, you're right. I haven't even considered the accessibility side of the argument.

I came to write this article from the viewpoint of onboarding people to the Web. Now I see that it extends beyond just that.


Thing is, it's a straightforward swap to make components use semantic elements, but because the result isn't visibly different to the majority of end-users, people don't bother.

It's unfortunate how things like accessibility can be swept under the rug for reasons like "priority" and "ticket triage". After all, accessibility features really only affect those who need it, which comprises only a minority of most user bases. It's no surprise that big feature releases are prioritized over "invisible" changes towards better accessibility.

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