The World Wide Web Software Stack: Threat or Menace?

James Mickens, in what he unfortunately says will be the last of his extraordinarily wonderful articles for Usenix, sums up the tentacled cthonic horror that is the software that underlies the World Wide Web:

People think that Web browsers are elegant computation platforms, and Web pages are light, fluffy things that you can edit in Notepad as you trade ironic comments with your friends in the coffee shop. Nothing could be further from the truth. A modern Web page is a catastrophe. It’s like a scene from one of those apocalyptic medieval paintings that depicts what would happen if Galactus arrived: people are tumbling into fiery crevasses and lamenting various lamentable things and hanging from playground equipment that would not pass OSHA safety checks.

(Title stolen from Rod Martens)