Static site generators have ruined frontend development

This essay will have a look at privacy invading Javascript, (mis-)use of cookies and the role of static site generators and blog hosters that helped foster an environment where the norm is bloat on the enduser side.

Problems with cookies

The GDPR has now been in effect for about a year and I thus all software and websites doing business in Europe should be compliant now. Should. Many websites still have their default states set on empty, which may not consistute informed consent even after an Acknowledge button is pressed. A wordpress plugin intended for compliance made the news for having a security vulnerability that resulted in a compromise of your instance. And lastly, what this text will focus on, there has been quite some confusion around cookies.

As people have realized before, cookies can be used to track people. Hence, cookie banners. But now comes the tricky part: How would you know whether to display a cookie banner? And how to make sure a user who did not consent to your cookies is not tracked, without tracking that this user has not consented? There have been some … questionable answers to those questions. And a painful realization that maybe it's not just your visualization that's broken but rather some of the fundamental ways web development works today, and it is not simply solved by piling more code on top.

Thinking differently

Without tracking, the first visit should be handled by the web server as every visit afterwards. That the non-consent information is not personally identifyable information and totally fine to store in my cookies?

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