Liked My own little patch (Rach Smith’s digital garden)

If the web is now a metaphorical barren wasteland, pillaged by commercial interests and growth-at-all-costs management consultants, then I’m all the more motivated to keep my little patch of land lush, and green, and filled with rainbow flowers.

So, feel free to stop by any time and stay as long as you like. I won’t track you, make you look at ads, ask you to download my app, harass you with popups, suggest you sign up for my newsletter or push you through a sales funnel. Enjoy the garden, and the peace 💐.

Rach Smith

Liked A simple page builder app by (

There are many ways to make and host a website, and some of the tools even let you do that for free. This guide
will show you how to make a website with a simple drag and drop interface (you can still edit the code later!),
and host it for free.

Liked (

If the web remains valuable at all, it will be because the hyperlink has remained the basic unit of currency. Once you lose the hyperlink, you basically lose everything else.

Bookmarked (

The Indian government recently established guidelines to ban dark patterns in India. These guidelines are made to address underhand practices in digital design. These rules aim to protect consumers from misleading tactics encountered online.

Canvs Editorial Dark Patterns are now illegal in India

I wonder who would actually follow-up with infringements of ‘dark patterns‘?

via Stephen Downes

Liked (

It’s not just about download sizes. I welcome high-speed internet as much as the next guy. But code — JavaScript — is something that your browser has to parse, keep in memory, execute. It’s not free. And these people talk about performance and battery life…

Call me old-fashioned, but I firmly believe content should outweigh code size. If you are writing a blog post for 10K characters, you don’t need 1000× more JavaScript to render it.

Source: JavaScript Bloat in 2024 @

via Tim Klapdor

Bookmarked Why are hyperlinks blue? | The Mozilla Blog by an author (

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

Elise Blanchard explores the archives to find out why hyperlinks are blue. She traces it back to Mosiac, but cannot find any explanation for why. What is also strange is that there seems to have been two separate developments at the same time:

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.

Bookmarked Website Carbon Calculator | How is your website impacting the planet? (Website Carbon Calculator)

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.

A site designed by Wholegrain Digital on how to measure the impact of a site on the planet. Tom Greenwood also provides some tips on making your site more energy efficient. This is something I have been wondering about recently, especially in following Doug Belshaw’s work on his site.

“Jeff Kettle” in The internet consumes extraordinary amounts of energy. Here’s how we can make it more sustainable ()

Liked Rule 1: No breakage (Scripting News)

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.

In an extract from “Turing Complete User. Resisting Alienation in Human-Computer-Interaction”, Olia Lialina traces a history of the people who challenged the architecture and protocols in the development of the web. He explains how this has evolved to web focused on graphic design.

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 or on, or even bought a 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 CSSCharlie 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.

“Reverend” in Known Issues with the Web Garden | bavatuesdays ()

Replied to Where did my webmentions go? (

A couple of days ago I noticed the webmentions from bridgy had stopped coming in to this blog. It took me a while but I eventually noticed that the icons an links to syndicated posts were not showing up on my posts.

I really like your point John about ‘technical debt’:

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.

Bookmarked Rediscovering the Small Web (
Parimal Satyal explores the world of the small web. This starts with a history of the web and the creation of spaces using HTML and CSS, where you depended on linking between and to different sites to navigate around. This is in stark contrast to the commercial web that is organised around products and optimised search. For Satyal, the modern web of marketing loses much of the creativity of the early days.

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

Bookmarked The rise and fall of Adobe Flash (

Before Flash Player sunsets this December, we talk its legacy with those who built it.

Richard Moss reflects on the rise and fall of Adobe Flash. Stemming from a sketching application, the creators eventually pivoted to online animations. In 1997, the application was acquired by Macromedia and the name changed from FutureSplash Animator to Flash. This association gave Flash a foothold on the web.

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, 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.

Bookmarked No Room for Design (

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.

Ernie Smith discusses the lose of design and customisation on the web. He reflects on spaces like Substack, Facebook and Medium.

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.

Bookmarked CO2 emissions on the web by Danny van Kooten’s blog (

Your content site probably doesn’t need JavaScript. You probably don’t need a CSS framework. You probably don’t need a custom font. Use responsive images. Extend your HTTP cache lifetimes. Use a static site generator or instead of dynamically generating each page on the fly, despite never changing. Consider ditching that third-party analytics service that you never look at anyway, especially if they also happen to sell ads. Run your website through Choose a green web host.

Danny van Kooten unpacks the environmental impact of a website. I came upon this via Doug Belshaw and his decision to change his WordPress theme. It also touches on Clive Thompson’s post on sustainable web design.
Replied to How ‘Sustainable’ Web Design Can Help Fight Climate Change (Wired)

But even if small design tweaks don’t zero out the belching emissions of movies or bitcoin, they are still worth talking about. It’s good to shine a spotlight on the CO2 footprint of our daily software—it makes the value of lower-energy code feel tangible. Imagine if websites ditched their tracking bloatware and ran badges boasting about their spiffier performance and lower carbon footprint. Competitors would be green-with envy.

Clive, this discussion of sustainable reminds me of Mike Monteiro’s book on the difficult choices associated with ethical web design:

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 Greg McVerry’s question critique of responding with a gif:

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