Why not a "real" blog?

I've already written a small note about how this isn't a blog. But I suspect that one of the things that will be of the most interest here is details of the differences and the reasons behind them.

The major thing I'm aware of that my blah is missing, as compared to blogs, is reader comments. Quite aside from the egotism of assuming people will want to comment in the first place, this requires setting up something approaching a real webserver, dealing with comment spam, and such. I don't have the time to find and set up a real webserver. Nor do I have the stress tolerance it would require either to do it or to maintain the result.

"But it doesn't take much time!" Perhaps it wouldn't if I ran Linux, or were willing to use pkgsrc (and heatseek NetBSD so I could use pkgsrc). I don't like Linux and have no interest in running it, especially not on a machine with as large an exposed attack surface as a webserver. I don't much like pkgsrc, and I definitely don't consider it worth heatseeking NetBSD enough to even if I didn't mind pkgsrc itself.

I also have no real interest in joining the Web mindset. I don't use the Web much. It's difficult and unpleasant for me to use (I suspect causality goes both ways between that and not using it much). It had a lot of promise. But I really don't like the attitudes I see underlying so much of what the Web has become.

Attitudes like preferring form over content. I've long since lost track of the number of websites I've been pointed at which turn out to be empty pages if you don't have javascript, or which come out as just a single [EMBED] because everything's Flash, or some such. (Just recently, for example, I wanted to track a package someone was sending me by UPS. I never did figure out how to get from the UPS main page to their tracking page; I had to fire off a websearch for "ups tracking" or some such to find their tracking page. And even then, it says "By selecting the Track button, I agree to the Terms and Conditions .". Except the T&C link is a javascript: link and thus I can't do a thing with it!)

But everything seems to be about a slick presentation rather than about getting useful content into people's hands. I've gone looking for chip docs, and I invariably find PDFs. I always have to pore over the PDFs and extract the useful parts into a text file, which text file I then use as documentation; apparently slick presentation is so important that they're willing to impair the accessibility of the content for the sake of it. That's the Web all over.

As another simple example: pick a random website and try to get it out of reverse video. Web pages can, as these of mine do, simply present the content and let people configure their browsers to render it however they, the readers, feel like. But damn near everything I see out there specifies colours and fonts and whatnot, on the assumption that they know better than the reader what kind of presentation is best. The arrogance of this, the utter certainty that the presentation is so much more important than the content that it deserves to have the webpage author's presentation imposed on it regardless of what the reader finds readable or even just convenient, is pretty breathtaking. That nobody seems to even notice this arrogance, much less object to it, is almost as surprising.

Not to mention discouraging.

And the ads. I want to at least mostly avoid NSFW language in my blah, so I can't really say how I feel about them. But I find them extremely offensive; even given the lengths I go to avoid them, my environment is far too saturated with ads, and for the most part I will not put up with them. For example, despite my liking for ice hockey, the ads that infest it make it marginal for me, to the extent that, on those occasions (usually at my gf's) when I've been watching it, I've sometimes bailed partway through - and more often just not turned it on at all - because of the damned ads.

That's also why I stopped riding in the Tour de l'Ile. Why I don't go to jazzfest. They've turned into advertising fests, with the nominal event relegated to being a mere excuse for the advertising.

And the Web seems to be enthusiastically joining in. I have no interest in joining a culture like that.

I'm also comparatively paranoid about security. I'm not that bothered by the webserver I have serving up these pages; even though the webserver I'm using (bozohttpd) is almost ludicrously feature-poor, it bothers me slightly that it contains code for running scripts at all, even though I don't turn it on. I'm not about to set up something that lets j-randoms out there on the Web scribble on my pages and/or filesystem.

I also mentioned stress tolerance. I'm not about to sink energy into fighting with an implementation I dislike of a paradigm I dislike. My life is plenty stressed enough already, thankyouverymuch.