Tuesday, May 4, 2010


Today I was browsing the net when suddenly Google looked different. The search bar had big ugly black text, the buttons also had big ugly text, and the text on the search bar was misaligned. I thought I had accidentally enabled something that made the text bigger and the whole layout was out of wack, but no. No, this was actually on purpose. Surly, I thought, there must be some option to turn it back to normal, but no, there isn't. Even though on my Linux computer with Firefox it looks as it should so the old style sheet must exist somewhere. This isn't the first time this has happened recently, Youtube also decided to change their layout to something god-awful without any way to change back. Before that they did a lesser version with their channel pages which I still refused to use because it's ugly and slow.

The thing is, looking through comments and statements about the changes it is clear 90% of the people hate it. Honestly yes, most of it could be "They Changed It Now It Sucks" kicking in, but it's still ugly to me and there is no way I can see to change it back. It's funny because alternative style sheets have been in the CSS spec since day one as far as I know, and like only one or two sites actually use it... probably mostly because so few uses realize it exists. I doubt very much Google or Youtube (which is owned by Google) is going to do anything about it, no matter how much people complain.

There is a unwritten rule on the net that the more popular a site is, the shitter it's layout is. This was true for myspace, facebook, maybe deviantart, etc. This is the main reason I avoid them (well, that and myspace and facebook being filled with stupid morons). Until recently, google (and youtube, mostly) has been immune. Unfortunately Google got hold of the "attempt to pretty things up and just make them more ugly" bug. Google's charm and it's key asset has always been simplicity, but now they just took a big dump on that. I mean, sure, I worked hard on this blog and like the fancy style stuff I have done, but this is a blog, and I clearly wouldn't use this type of layout for anything even approaching actual utility in the way Google does. Google is not an art project, it is not meant to have anything but basic style elements.

Luckily there is hope. Firefox plugins like Stylish and some sites and services let you completely bypass the crummy layout and replace it with one of your choice. I am a little concerned that Stylish will slowdown my laptop, and a little reluctant to use less reliable third party sites for searching and videos (though Google custom search might work in that regard), but I may have to use this if Google doesn't get it's act together right now.

But until that happens I have one thing to say:
(although that's more HTML rage, marquee CSS isn't supported in browsers yet.)

Edit: Looks like the font on the text input field was fixed, so that's good. Still don't like the new look in general though.

Edit edit: Upon reflection, the text input field is misaligned only on my laptop. Must be because my laptop and desktop have different fonts installed or something.

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