Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Restaurants shooting themselves in the foot

It's pet peeve time, and here it is: restaurants that display graphic images of their menu on the web. Sometimes it's a PDF made up of graphics, sometimes it's just graphics.

I wish I had a nickel for each restaurant I really like whose web site suffers from this problem... though perhaps I should shoot for more than that by offering my services to fix their web sites. A few examples:
How wrong is this? Let me count the ways...
  • You say you want people to be able to search your menu? Good luck (though someday the code that lets Google Translate read text from images may get good enough to deal with the wonky display fonts people tend to use on menus or text superimposed on food photos).
  • You say you want search engines to find your restaurant's web site? Good luck again, though as above, maybe someday...
  • You say you want your web site to support travelers looking for a place to eat even when they're on the road and only able to manage a 3G or 2G connection? Then why do you make them download large graphics files to look at your menu?
  • The blind eat, too... but restaurants whose web sites don't have text menus apparently don't care. (I did an "inspect" on a menu image; its ALT attribute was, I kid you not, "Picture".

A flashback and analogy

You've probably heard about how the notion of sum types (e.g. Algol 68 union s, Rust enum s, Haskell type s) and product types (e.g. tup...