Bradley Taunt, Norman Kohring and Susam Pal Create 1MB, 250KB and 10KB Clubs

Top Quote Three open source developers create three exclusive clubs of fast and performant websites. There is only one rule for websites to become members of these clubs. The websites must be smaller than a fixed size limit. These clubs publish a curated catalog of lean websites that load fast. End Quote
    QuoteThe Web Is Doom. Let us do something about it!Quote
  • San Francisco, CA (1888PressRelease) January 04, 2021 - "The internet has become a bloated mess," claimed a small-side project by Bradley Taunt named 1MB Club. Bradley Taunt is a web designer and developer with over 10 years of professional experience across large enterprise application software. He runs Ugly Duck, a one-man webshop. He created on Nov 19, 2020 to draw attention to the current state of web development. The 1MB Club website hosts a collection of web pages that do not exceed 1MB in size. It says in its introduction, "1MB Club is a growing collection of performance-focused web pages found across the internet. The one and only rule for a web page to qualify as a member: Total resources downloaded client-side must not exceed 1 megabyte." This sparked a number of online discussions about the current state of web development and the benefits of hosting small and lean websites. On Hacker News, the announcement of this project received over 950 votes and over 350 comments. The top comment said, "I love it! I feel like the 1MB limit is excessively generous, especially for text-only pages. But maybe that's what makes it so damning when pages fail to adhere to it."

    Four days later, on Nov 22, 2020, Norman Köhring announced the 250KB Club. Norman Köhring is a programmer, open-source enthusiast, hacker, and an organizer of Vuejs Berlin. He calls himself a code artist because he believes that programming can and should be seen as a creative process. The new club available at sets a tougher challenge for web pages to be a part of this club. True to the tradition set by its predecessor, it begins with an ominous note, "The Web Is Doom. Let us do something about it! The 250kb Club is a collection of web pages that focus on performance, efficiency, and accessibility. Websites in this list must not exceed 256kb compressed size! Yes, compressed size. It makes much more sense because it allows for a lot of text to be transferred without having a big impact on the total size, while the impact of media is basically unaffected." It led to further discussions about web development and performance. On Hacker News, the announcement of this website received 40 votes and over 50 comments. A commenter noted their disappointment at how ads degrade website performance, "One of the worst things you can do to your web responsivity is: ads. Bloated ads downloaded from overloaded ad servers may take ten times as much bandwidth and time than whatever the visitors came to see."

    A little over a month later, on Dec 28, 2020, Susam Pal announced the 10KB Club. Susam Pal is an experienced open-source developer. He has contributed to open source projects like Apache Nutch, OSVDB, and Slimv. He is the author and maintainer of open source projects like MathBin, TeXMe and Uncap. The 10KB Club hosted at reduces the required size limit even further. The club website states in its introduction, "The 10KB Club is a curated collection of websites whose home pages do not exceed 10KB compressed size." The club website stipulates a set of rules that must be satisfied before a website can be added to its collection. One of the rules establish notability guidelines, "The website must be very noteworthy or some content from the website must have received at least 100 points on Reddit or Hacker News." This new club includes popular Hacker News and Reddit threads about each website in the collection. The announcement of the new club received over 120 votes and 40 comments on Hacker News. A commenter said, "This is awesome. I have really noticed how much I like reading simple text focussed websites recently, mostly since all the consent forms everywhere." Another commenter appreciated the notability guidelines, "The guidelines for noteworthiness help keep mostly-blank pages and other low-hanging fruits from being submitted."

    That was an interesting turn of events that involved three open-source developers creating MB and KB clubs to make a point about website performance and bandwidth. It began with the 1MB Club and reached a logical conclusion with the 10KB Club. The discussions these clubs triggered on popular online forums show that there are many web developers who care about web page load time and user experience. Will it slow down the trend of websites becoming heavier? It is hard to say. But there surely are many lean and fast loading websites worth adding to your bookmarks.

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