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Eric Portis

While it’s easy to get distracted about the size and quality of an image, and how we might choose to serve it, often the simplest solution is not to include it at all.

My point is we’re not in dire need of urgent change. Find a design style that is suitable for the Web and not overly reliant on raster graphics.

This kind of talk gets my goat. I know the web is a primarily text-based medium; has been, likely always will be. It’s hyperTEXT after all. But when I read these “web aesthetic” discussions I feel the need to fight for rich media—video, audio, images—as a first class citizen on the web. I dream someday such things will be as easy to describe, serve, and consume on a wide array of devices as a page full of paragraphs is today.

You can’t tell the story of the web without Flickr, YouTube, MP3s, image maps, gifs, 4chan, or Les Horribles Cernettes.

Efficient, universal delivery of rich media is a very hard problem with all kinds of dimensions—technical, legal, social—and we’re a long way from that dream, but don’t suggest we fix our broken arm by cutting it off.