The internet has ingrained itself into every aspect of our lives, but there’s one aspect of the digital world that I bet you take for granted. Did you ev
Our “link blue” had never shown up in user interfaces before 1993, and suddenly it appears in two instances within two short months of each other in two separate browsers at two different universities being built at the same time.
Blanchard believes that the real reason behind the push was Windows 3.1 and the support for colour monitors.
Mosaic came out during an important time where support for color monitors was shifting; the standard was for hyperlinks to use black text with some sort of underline, hover state or border. Mosaic chose to use blue, and they chose to port their browser for multiple operating systems. This helped Mosaic become the standard browser for internet use, and helped solidify its user interface as the default language for interacting with the web.
The internet consumes a lot of electricity. 416.2TWh per year to be precise. To give you some perspective, that’s more than the entire United Kingdom.
At UserLand, a company I founded a long time ago, we had a rule called Rule 1. It said simply: No breakage. It meant you couldn’t change the environment such that apps that ran in version N did not run in version N+1. It meant you took longer to release a new version because once released, you had to live with it forever. This rule came from bad experiences when we did things that broke users and developers. Since we were both the developers of the platform and users of the platform we had a realistic perspective of this. #
Don’t see making your own web page as a nostalgia, don’t participate in creating the netstalgia trend. What you make is a statement, an act of emancipation. You make it to continue a 25-year-old tradition of liberation.
To understand the history of the Web and the role of its users, it is important to acknowledge that people who built their homes, houses, cottages, places, realms, crypts, lairs, worlds, dimensions [Fig.1–13] were challenging the architecture and the protocols, protocols in a figurative not technical meaning. Users hijacked the first home page of the browser and developed this concept in another direction.6 A user building, moving in, taking control over a territory was never a plan. It was a subversive practice, even in 1995.
There is no web design and web designers any more, there are graphic designers and developers again, front-end and back-end developers this time. For me as a net artist and new media design educator, this splitting of web designer into graphic designer and front-end developer is bitter, because it is the death of a very meaningful profession.
Lialina closes with a call to reclaim the web:
Don’t collaborate! Don’t post your texts where you are not allowed to turn it into hypertext.
Don’t post your pictures where you can’t link them to whatever you like. Don’t use content management systems that turn your GIFs into JPEGs. Don’t use hashtags, don’t accept algorithmic timelines. In short, make a web page and link to others who still have one.
Leaving monopolists and/or using alternatives is easy to suggest. And many of us made the first step – for example, created a page on neocities.org or on tilde.club, or even bought a superglue.it kit and hosted their home page at their actual home, supporting the Reclaim hosting initiative.
This reminds me of other histories of the web, such as Parimal Satyal’s small web, Eevee’s dive into the world of CSS, Charlie Owen’s call to return to the beauty and weirdness found in the early web and Kicks Condor’s discussion of what we left in the old web.
I am again reminded about the technical debt in using IndieWeb technologies on this blog without the full understanding of what is going on.
I recently went looking for where I changed the footer of my blog to update the images. Spent thirty minutes looking. Gave up.
I am still glad I do it, but I do sometimes worry. On the positive side, it really helps with my work in supporting others and thinking of what questions to consider. Also highlights the importance of clear documentation.
As fun as it is to explore what’s out there, the best part is really to join in and make your own website. Not on closed platforms or on social media mediated by ad companies, but simply in your own little corner of the web. It’s the best way to see how simple and open the web really is.
You could easily put up those drawings you’ve been making, share your thoughts and ideas, or reviews of your favourite whiskys. Make a website to share your writing tips or your best recipes. Or a list of your favourite addresses in your city for travelers who might be visiting.
It is interesting to read this along side Eevee’s dive into the world of CSS, Charlie Owen’s call to return to the beauty and weirdness found in the early web and Kicks Condor’s discussion of what we left in the old web. I was also left thinking again about Tom Critchlow’s discussion of small b blogging. It would seem that Facebook recognises the lack of creativity associated with the modern web with its latest experiment. and creativity
via Alan Levine
Click on the code or the sidebar to see which is what. Use the Tab key to browse via keyboard.
Before Flash Player sunsets this December, we talk its legacy with those who built it.
Starting from around 2005, McNeely told Ars, top Flash game developers could earn five or six figures in sponsorship deals per game. Most were getting paid this sort of money just to have promotional material for another business included on their loading and/or title screens.
The Flash entertainment boom wasn’t limited just to Newgrounds, either. McNeely’s Armor Games peaked at around 1.2 million visitors a day, he told Ars. Several other Flash game and animation portals, including Kongregate, Addicting Games, and adultswim.com, got massive numbers, too.
There were a number of things that marked the days, including the rise of the touch screen, security issues, as well as its proprietary nature. Some of these issues were encapsulated in Steve Jobs’ open letter.
Of the many things that social platforms have taken away from us, perhaps the most disappointing is the freedom to customize our spaces. We need it back.
Walled gardens are kept up very carefully from a design perspective. They don’t have weeds. Instead, you get a plot—a spot where your entire presence online lives. This is great if you want some modest lines to paint within, but as soon as you have any sort of ambition, you find yourself stifled by the platform pulling the strings.
This is in contrast to spaces like MySpace and Tumblr. Although customisations have provided an avenue for other activities, which have compromised platforms like MySpace, something is lost in a focus on security.
I guess the flip side of all this is that some people would rather not think about such aspects and are instead comfortable with the slick experience offered inside the walled garden. This is something I have found in my discussions with others of the IndieWeb.
If the lessons in this book seem hard, it’s because they are meant to be. If the job I’m asking you to do seems difficult, it’s because it is. Hard and difficult aren’t the same as impossible. When it comes down to it, all I’m asking you to do is the job you signed up for.
It also reminds me:
Do you really need that gif? If we think climate and energy think can I get my message across in text? Each gif uploaded and converted to movie? How much more energy is worth the engagement when the Arctic seacap is melting? #digped
Small Web construction set.
Here are 40 pro tips for writing microcopy.
via Cory Doctorow
HTML Beginner’s tutorial. Learn how to set up a basic website with HTML (+ new HTML5 tags). Simple step-by-step tutorial with images.
At the end of the day though, that is all that Google Classroom amounts to: a tool built to meet lowest common denominator requirements from a sprawling community of administrators. Not a tool built for students. In Google Classroom, students are an afterthought and their experience of using the app amounts to little more than a formality. What seems to matter more is the vast complexity of the educational market and building a solution that works for as many institutions as possible. The app is for organizations, not students. And when you build a space with those priorities, how little you value people is abundantly clear.
If you’ve wondered whether there were actually 30 people trying to book the same flight as you, you’re not alone. As Chris Baraniuk finds, the numbers may not be all they seem.
Dark Patterns are tricks used in websites and apps that make you buy or sign up for things that you didn’t mean to. The purpose of this site is to spread awareness and to shame companies that use them.
Some of the types include:
- Trick questions while filling in a form
- Sneak into the purchase basket
- Roach motel
- Privacy sharing
- Price comparison prevention
- Misdirection and distraction
- Hidden costs
- Bait and switch
- Guilting users into opting into something
- Disguised ads
- Forced continuity
- Friend spam
via Dan Donahoo
If Google was my doctor, they’d be currently explaining to my family that although the experiment they tried did sadly kill me, they got a ton of useful data from it, and they think they can definitely work on fixing that bug in the next version of the experiment.
As long as enough publishers continue to desperately walk into the test chamber, the experimentation will continue. And when in ten years time those of us who can afford it are for the second or third time trying to work out how to move to somewhere that doesn’t resemble a Max Mad movie, maybe we’ll wonder whether we should have done something to improve the way that 5 billion people get informed.
Accelerated Mobile Pages (Amp) offers a redesigned, slimmed-down version of HTML, the language in which web pages are written, and a set of rules for publishers and advertisers that stops them putting data-heavy graphics, interactive features and ads in their articles. As part of the programme, Google is also offering to store versions of the pages on its own servers around the world, and will show Amp articles in a carousel at the top of search results.(source)
He unpacks the user experience and the commercial benefits for Google. In the end, he argues that the experiment has gone on long enough and that we need the open web back now.