January 28th, 2018

(no subject)

Among the various companies/brands that have given me a cognitive dissonance because of the differences between their products and their tech talent, The New York Times is definitely in the top.

Not that I read their news, but I have visited their site, and was shocked by how unusable it was — at least for a non-subscriber without an ad blocker. Numerous ads would pop up in unpredictable places causing the page content to jump. Large banners would roll leisurely from the top or the bottom of the page asking whether I would like to subscribe. Some ads would invite me to register for a newsletter, while simultaneously showing me a captcha that I apparently would need to solve first. And of course, after visiting a couple of articles, a paywall would rise informing me that I have exhausted my monthly quota of free articles, and wouldn't I please subscribe.

So my initial impression of the New York Times web site was that it was absolute rubbish. A steaming pile of crap.

And then I learned that Jeremy Ashkenas, the creator of Underscore and Backbone (and, for better or worse, of CoffeeScript) worked in The New York Times' graphics department. As did Mike Bostock, the creator of D3. And Scott Taylor, their lead software engineer, is giving a talk at Apollo Summit about how they are moving to GraphQL. And they are asking interesting questions in the React repo on Github, talking about a major re-write of the site.