tradecraft

AXR (or Another Extreme Redundency?)

AXR? What in the name all cute kittens in the world is AXR? I’m just keeping my arty neck above water with HTML5 and CSS3 and you punk nerds are trying to create yet another language?

I swear to you, if this brand frickin’ new AXR joins the ranks of all the other spaghetti soup bits and pieces of web programming, I will find a vintage Apple Macintosh desktop computer and I will beat it to death with a manure-caked stick.  In front of collectors.  I will break into the basement of some genius programming language writer and open all his Star Wars action figure packaging.  And I’m a Star Wars nerd so I know how important that is to some of you.

Yes!  I get it.  Innovation.  Advancement.  Competition.  Evolution.  Blah-blah-freaking-blah.  You’ve already taken away the platform viability of Flash.  You’re slowly eating your own tail in social media — which reminds me of the time when KFC started making burgers and McDonald’s started making pizzas, and Domino’s started selling sexual favours from a barely-not-minor for “five bucks, five bucks, five bucks” on national television.  Okay, that’s not exactly what happened but I was drinking and partying a lot back then.

…back when I was young and reckless.  And when people were laughed at for using their rotary phones by people using push button keypads, for something called “a land line.”  Oh, and back when we made fun of Milli Vanilli who, I’m pretty sure, would be a platinum record act today.  Wait, half of you don’t even know what a ‘record’ is.  Hell, the kids in kindergarten today may not know what a CD is when they graduate.  Don’t feel so young, now, do you?!

Anyway, back on topic: Sure, this looks like it has the potential to revolutionize web development.  That’s great.  Just peachy.  And, no, I haven’t done my research into this.  All I’ve done is read a Tweet, follow a link, and watch a slideshow– which is probably twice as much ‘legwork’ as your average ‘reporter’ does for a regular online news service.  I really can’t comment on the technicalities of AXR.

The AXR Project Official Site

But you know what?  I don’t care.  I have cared more about whether or not movie ticket booth attendant thought I wasn’t polite enough than the specifics of your dandy new language thingamajig.  The vast majority of the interfrickinnet runs off of HTML and the design community dresses it up in CSS so that we’re not staring at a screen from The Matrix (which, granted, stylistically looks cool but instead of an alphanumeric waterfall I’d rather see things in a similar fashion to the way the human eye-brain connection has evolved for millions of years) (or, if you prefer, the way God intended — and when you muck about with her plan, she gets pissed and adds +100 to your Karmic Debt).  Okay, yes, the HTML/CSS explanation is shallow and technically simplified to the point of error but so are your reasons for trying to reinvent the damn wheel.

And if you, grumble, start trending and piquing interest in the googly-eyed whiz kids out to carve a name for themselves in Wired Magazine, customers who want to be edgy and modern (and at the very same time classic and dependable — don’t get me started down that road!), the design community is going to have to keep abreast of this new ubertech to, at the very least, defend against the feckless notion that we must use it.

  • “Why do you want us to use AXR for your textile company’s website, sir?”
  • “Well, I read about it on the McTwitterbook.”
  • “It is untested in the field and all your solutions are reachable with current–“
  • “I know, but I want people to know my company is invested in the future.”
  • “Sir, we have no idea how much AXR is going to matter in the near future or even if–“
  • “See, here it is:  They call it the Future of the Web.”
  • *sigh*

Look, I get it.  Let’s move forward.  Let’s explore new ideas and make sure we’re doing things in the best way possible by providing an alternative solution with which to compare notes.  FINE!  But don’t expect me to care until it takes root.  We have achieved a level of web design and technology which not only replicates (and has begun to replace) the visual quality of print media but has also already begun to exceed many of limitations tactile media had (the most obvious being video and audio).

So, why are we pushing the envelope for the fabric upon which this digital tapestry is painted when we have yet to resolve the current issues of cross-compatibility and some semblance of uniformity?  Is that what your language/platform/buzzword is trying to achieve?  If so, then bully for you.  Have fun trying to push it past the Kingdom of Microsoft and the Empire of Jobs — a notion which is in your manifesto.

And, yeah, this rant is entirely unnecessary and the volatility is disproportionate to the current impact AXR has on the landscape of the post-millennial media milieu.  I’m bullying the new kid with a megaphone.  It’ just that this is the straw that broke the camel’s back, the tipping point which pushed me from simmering grumbler to surly ranter on the media-tech overload which has been weighing on my mind.  I have my fingers in every modern medium and entertainment form out there (and I know it’s voluntary and my own damn fault) and every now and again I look at something new and wonder: Why the hell do we need that?

And while all this buzz and technoglitz and digiglam and communications hoopla gets tossed around the cyberverse, we still haven’t addressed a lot of basic questions.  If modern communications were a single tactile design project which I was overseeing, I’d tell everybody to stop worrying about the packaging and trying to invent new polymers for base materials because the design studio is a mess, there are people running around doing one thing while on the other side another group are doing the opposite, teams are fighting with each other, there is no plan, and, the entire time, the client has no idea what it is we’re designing for them.

So, I guess what I’m getting is a general request to the entire media-tech meta-industry: Get your shit together because I’m tired of keeping up with everyone’s cockamamie ideas when you still haven’t worked out the kinks of your first ideas.

I’m sorry I scapegoated you, AXR, but you’re like the guy who asked, “Is it hot enough for ya?” on a sweltering summer day after my AC broke down.  Yelling at you with profanities is actually me showing restraint because what I realy want to do is wrap my hands around your neck and [Editor: …and this concludes Angelo’s article].

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About Angelo Barovier

I was born. I'll be around for a while. Then I won't.

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