Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Make front end shit again (makefrontendshitagain.party)
681 points by katpas on May 13, 2018 | hide | past | web | favorite | 220 comments

I love the point the site is trying to make but I'm confused as to why this is built with a vue.js static site generator requiring node/npm/yarn and an almost 7,000 line yarn.lock file.

Shouldn't this literally be a single page, hand-built HTML file with inline CSS? Is this trying to be self-ironic or something?

Shouldn't this literally be a single page, hand-built HTML file with inline CSS? Is this trying to be self-ironic or something?

Yes, I'm going to assume that is a parody. However, signs of FrontPage or Word as an editor would be cool.

Reminds me of the Bloomberg tech site, which had a lot of effort put into its 'brutalist' design to look like a 1995-era web page.

Just for proper attribution, these pages are the work of Steph Davidson.[1] It's generally believed that these page were created when Richard Turley was working at Bloomberg as their creative director.[2]

[1] http://stephdavidson.com/ [2] http://www.businessinsider.com/richard-turley-2011-4

Crikey is good too:


While we’re on it, https://theaustralian.com.au/404

These are amazing, thanks for sharing!

I guess we now have an answer to what comes after material design. Somebody tell the maintainers of Bootstrap so we can have the entire internet updated asap.

You jest, but Material Design is the new standard for approachable UX design. Looking forward to see what topples it.

Eh. This design trend is on the way out - 2016 was its hey day.

This is more like fun old web being reborn as brutalism in web design. Sadly, doesn't have anything to do with hand made html and css, just visuals.

EDIT: An article on brutalism and antidesign: https://www.nngroup.com/articles/brutalism-antidesign/

I don’t really think this qualifies as brutalism. A key element of brutalist design is the lack of the excess.

Web 1.0 was full of excess. We’re talking 3D rotating words on fire when bold would suffice. Lots of drapery, lots of window dressing.

A brutalist site would be more like the sites that have a structure, but the seams are not made seamless, and excesses are avoided... Like craigslist.

It's funny because as humans, we always try to improve things since we are dissatisfied with imperfection.

But we tend to make simple things very complex in order to make them perfect.

The complexity then becomes the problem.

And we are back where we started for another attempt at perfection.

The wheel goes round and round.

To achieve perfection you have to get every little thing just right, and that implies complexity. What it doesn't necessarily imply is complex processes or products, which is the problem with software.

Making the perfect knife, or the perfect cup of tea, can be done by one person with just two or three tools. But you have to know how to get everything just right, and that requires a lot of knowledge and experience.

You can make a machine or abstractions to handle most of these things, but rather than reach perfection, they just reach a reliably satisfactory facsimile. We keep tinkering, like an amateur sculpter carving out a mountain, because we're still hoping for perfection.

Except this is ugly AND complicated.

Perfect is the enemy of good.

Although i understand Voltaire was using an cracked version of HoTMetaL Pro to make his web pages, so the whole premise is a little questionable.

Plus there's also "I can't understand what your code is doing therefore it sucks I need to write everything from scratch using a more modern language that looks better on my CV"

> ... but I'm confused as to why this is built with a vue.js static site generator requiring node/npm/yarn and an almost 7,000 line yarn.lock file.

> Shouldn't this literally be a single page, hand-built HTML file with inline CSS? Is this trying to be self-ironic or something?


I can't be certain but I think that was the point.

From the linked Github page:

> It's complicated on porpuse btw, I wanted to do it in ReasonML and Graphql but didn't have time as this was done in an afternoon hackathon

And yeah probably the ironic thing. This sort of page should be simple, much as a wide portion of websites out there.

Surely if it was good enough for time-cube guy, it should be good enough for us.

That's Dr. Gene Ray, Cubist and Wisest Human to you.

That's not surprising because all the tools we had to make these horrible, ugly sites were pre-css and often browser specific items that would only work on say ie4.

I keep seeing this general attitude about frontend, but I have a serious question: What’s the better alternative? I’m not asking this rhetorically because I have an answer, I just keep seeing the same remarks with no decent solutions. Is it time for the way we deliver the web to be rethought? Are we really in the golden age of the frontend but everyone is being too much of a hipster to realize it?

What’s the solution here?

I don't know, either, but it does seem that the latest crop of frontend libraries (React & friends) is optimizing for a very high level of richness that simply isn't needed for most sites. Which is fine, but where it gets worrisome is when that lofty level of complexity is the only thing people know how to use.

I recently got to watch someone spend nearly a full week fiddling with building a React app for filling out a form for submitting a batch job on an intranet site. It's a lot of code, and it's non-trivial to understand how it works, what with all the async methods and clever state management and whatnot. It needs to be built, which is a thing, and building it requires having the right environment setup. (Its build speed reminds me of my C++ days, too.) I wouldn't be surprised if someone's already talking about incorporating Docker into its future.

At least to me, that's a rather arresting amount of time and money to see being sunk into a job that could have been accomplished with a simple HTML form on a static page.

I see a lot of frontend devs these days who remind me of the interview horror stories about enterprise C++ guys getting a question like "how would you pull 10,000 phone numbers in NNN-NNN-NNNN format from a gigantic HTML page?" and responding by laying out an architectural plan for a hulking >1kLoC monstrosity, because they'd never heard of (nor could they imagine) grep.

On the other hand, obscene overengineering is probably a good way to build a portfolio. Nobody will get hired for demonstrating that they can build an HTML form on a static page.


We're just starting. IMO, if we started from a better language than JS, we would take stuff like data-binding in react for Granted, since it would be much easier to this stuff it in other languages.

Most headlines aren't even bitmaps :-D ;-)

I think your missing the point that it is not about how web sites are built but about the content.

See author’s response in thread.

They needed to polyfill blink.

Hand-build HTML file with inline CSS, that you edit with $YOURFAVOURITETEXTEDITOR which requires an OS that's 50 million lines of code. And you're complaining about 7000 lines in an auto-generated file, which doesn't even have to be touched nor edited by a human?

The tools we use are insignificant, what's important is the result. If the result is a HTML file with inline CSS, who cares how it was created? You can use punchcards and a 20ton 'computer' for all I care.

As someone else said you missed the point.

I will tack on my own opinion that building sites that only function with javascript is a massive disservice to everyone. From disabled people with accessibility needs, to old hardware/software, and even to security/privacy conscious people the JS paradigm is a massive problem. The trend for "new shiny" has become ridiculous and I find most modern websites to be pretty but rather useless. I have to scroll forever past slices with massive images and marketing lingo just to find something that seems potentially helpful but just goes on to more marketing bullshit.

Want to get my buy-in for your tools? Stop making them a hard requirement and make sure you have a non-JS fallback that works.

Not to mention this all adds up to unnecessary increase of global electricity usage.

(For those who don't care about society in general, consider that this also means your users' batteries last shorter, making their days worse.)

I could idle I traffic for fifteen minutes and use more power in total. I mean honestly if you're concerned about energy use and environmental issues, then it's more effective to stop using mobile devices all together, and encourage the use of desktop.

I'm not obsessive about energy use. I just don't like unnecessary waste. The problem here is that wasteful engineering gets popular, and in software, all that waste is multiplied by the numbers of users. Both of those factors add up to significant carbon footprint, and also significant drain on mobile devices. The former is an environmental/social concern, the latter is what makes your devices last less on a single charge, what makes them lag, and what makes you able to run less software in parallel. Computing resources are a commons too.

We've dumbed down sites removed advanced functions to make things appeal to the masses. I understand why but it does make sites more useless.

Tools come with overhead and complexity. You're right that only the end results matter. But (eg.) loading time is one aspect of it.

Way to miss the point.

Indeed. From her twitter post: "We started making websites because it was fun because we wanted to make dumb shit and now everything is so serious and sometimes I feel like we need to go back"

Leave it to an internet forum to get all gripey about something someone did for fun.

Theodor Adorno said about philosophy that, "Philosophy is the most serious of things but then again it is not that serious".

I'm pretty sure we can say the same thing about web development.


A few months ago I created a project called Hypertext Town, a simple project where anybody can create "camps" (a collection of HTML, images etc.) and connect them together through "towns". A town lives at a subdomain (e.g: town.hypertext.town) and a camp lives at /~camp (e.g: town.hypertext.town/~camp). I never "launched" it so it's just been languishing in obscurity on the www but if anybody wants to make cute little creative HTML websites without the need for hosting, it's live to use at: https://www.hypertext.town

1. click "Set up camp in www" 2. make an account 3. choose your camp name 3. add your html / images etc.

edit: visit https://hackernews.hypertext.town (by TeMPOraL)

Cool! I like the simplicity.

If anyone wants to play, I've made a town for us.


Although undocumented, there is a way to programmatically get the camps in a town, you can check the www. town source for an example of how I've done it, the endpoint is `/camps`, e.g:

https://hackernews.hypertext.town/camps :)

Thanks; updated town page with some hand-written JS that makes use of this :).

Ah that's cool, the Town had better show off all of the cool camps :)


This is great! I love it! I've been looking for an 'uncool' space to create little, text based personal website and it seems to be perfect.

I kinda finished my personal space: https://hackernews.hypertext.town/~kuba

I didn't touch any web development in at least 10 years so it was a lot of fun. I hope even more interesting towns will appear!

Great job on SUPERHOT! All the smashed monitors are worth it ;)


I regret to report though, but something is broken - nothing above the SUPERHOT videos section is clickable :(.

Ah, of course copy pasting random CSS snippets from internet isn't good idea. Who knew?

Just fixed it, I had invisible div over whole page.

Hello from fellow Pole. Saw your page. Love the video :D.

Schools should do this, let their kids explore the joys of building their own personal online space, rather than the branded and conformed offerings they'll likely use instead (FB, Google, Pinterest, etc)

Yup. Sounds like less "technical" interface to a web server. I remember in high school we all had shell accounts on the school server, but you actually had to learn SCP and some basic Linux usage to make it work.

You reinvented webrings.

Sounds more like geocities.

Considering how much google search results dictate whether you come across information or not though, I wonder if webrings could make a lot of the web more visible these days?

Is that a bad thing?

I like it. I hope you keep going with the project and flesh it out further.

Really fun idea, playing with it now!

I know what I'm doing this week


I made this dumb thing! Yes, the fact that it's made with vue and stuff is on porpuse, I wanted to make it with reasonml but didn't have any time so ended up with vue.

The point is that we complicate so many shit today that is not needed

Have fun and I will add some marquee tags!

I think you need to look forwards and not back in time for getting back to having fun.

The reason I say this is that we now have 'css grid'. This means that you do not need frameworks, little scripts on the page, and 'div/span' markup, you don't even need ids and classes. You can directly style 'aside', 'main', 'article', 'form', headings, p tags, 'details/summary', 'nav' and other tags to get the desired effect.

If you have a three column layout with the column left and column right as 'aside' then the CSS does not need classes to identify the column names, 'article + aside' will refer to the right column perfectly fine.

This will also work responsively so you can do everything these days with no paddings, margins, floats, line-heights or anything else that is a bit silly.

The resultant code when freed of all this debris that should never have been in HTML is a quarter of the size. I say code, but is it really code when you have button text inside a span inside a span inside a button inside a div inside a div with a label inside another div and yet another div just so it works as the'designer' intended?

For me CSS grid + semantic minimal 'div free' markup is getting back to the fun. No longer do web pages require a team of a designer (that knows no code) plus a front end developer ( that knows nothing about 'real code') plus a backend developer (that knows nothing about design) plus a team manager to book inane meetings and to do scrum rituals as if it mattered.

We can also get rid of lorem ipsum and go 'content driven design' (a phrase I had to invent just now as nobody has had a use case for such a phrase in decades).

Happy times in web design are back on. Even more interesting is that with the likes of Rachel Andrews we also have a lot of women getting into doing web design properly and showing how its done.

> The point is that we complicate so many shit today that is not needed

Isn't your site making the opposite point? That without all the "complicated shit that is not needed", websites would look as awful as they did in the 1990s. Any website-maker is of course free to make their site as "shit" as they want, but 99% of users are not going to visit it a 2nd time.

Sites that were pixel perfect photoshop exports looked better than the basic look we have now. Designers had more freedom to reproduce high res designs. Mobile forced us to get simplier and everyone uses a framework now. Designing feel more restricted and difficult.

They only ever looked pixel perfect in one browser on one OS in a 1200x800 window. For everyone else, they broke.

Add a button to convert many elements to marquee!


I'm surprised. I'm running uMatrix and block all js by default. Still, my mouse pointer got changed into a spaceship. How does this work?

Looks like you can set the cursor [1] property on some root element and it replaces the cursor with a custom image.

[1]: https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/CSS/cursor

To the moon!

From memory, it’s just CSS. You have a ‘pointer: spaceship.ico’ probably on the body.

cursor: url (path to spaceship.cur) or something like that.

Why did you add jquery to a list containing "blink" on a page with CRT monitors and animated GIFs? Let me guess, you have a negative opinion about jquery, that all anyone needs is vue.js

I think the suggestion is that building a page with jQuery is now seemingly as “forgotten” a technique as building a page with plain HTML, despite being both a relatively-recent and still-valid approach to modern design.

(Saying that nobody uses plain Javascript to build pages these days wouldn’t be as notable, and so not as funny. jQuery is just standing in for “plain Javascript” here, because it sort of was the only way to write plain Javascript that worked in all browsers, until browsers standardized on their JS APIs some eight years back.)

Many I'm in the minority but if I need one small item I'll write pure javascript if I need a little more I'll use jquery, if I need an spa I'll use react or vue if I need an site/app I'll use the ionic or quasar framework.

Use what you need.

I think you're being too forgiving of a lousy joke.

well with javascript itself maturing, many are starting to believe jquery is no longer needed. Plus, it was the first real framework back in the day. When I think old internet, I think pre-jquery, but I guess I am getting old. We still use jquery at work...

A lot of people still use jquery at work. Regardless of improvements in javascript for DOM manipulation, Jquery is not just about that.

Thanks, that makes me feel a lot better!

Oh no! I love jQuery! I miss it that's the point.

At work I use react and can't use jQuery anymore and I miss it man.

jquery is a technology that has mostly outlived its usefulness, much like the others on the list.

It's not a "technology" it's a library, and still very useful, found on millions of sites old and new. Has a vast ecosystem of free plugins with extensive documented support and very diverse browser support.

Also he put "HTML" on the list, you're saying that has outlived its usefulness?

I thought libraries could be technologies. If that's wrong, then I used the wrong word.

I probably characterized the list wrong anyway, as you've pointed out, since HTML decidedly has not outlived its usefulness. Perhaps it's a list of web things prominently used 15 years ago.

I would normally use "technologies" here, but it seems we have a difference of definition.

Ok, but jquery didn't exist 15 years ago, and really didn't get popular until after 2008 IMHO. Doesn't matter, I get your point.

I love jQuery and I don't believe it has outlived anything.

About the html, I live in a bubble of react and vue and everything is templates and jsx that's why HTML is there

Cool. Jquery has helped me a lot over the years in my job. Jquery plugins have saved my ass countless times. I would only use them sparingly, such as slideshow carousels, which are too difficult to whip one up when client needs it 5 min ago.

I love having an API into the jquery plugin and getting things done quickly and efficiently, and giving credit to the developer who kindly gave it away for free.

This is why jquery doesn't belong on a list with "blink" tag which everyone hates because it's a flawed tag that should be forgotten, much like over-use of animated gifs.

Anyway.. good luck breaking free of the bubble!


Oh man, I love stuff like this. It's too bad that the web has been taken over by bootstrap, WordPress, and squarspace. But you can do a lot with raw html, css, and JavaScript! And as a bonus, it ends up looking really unique. It's sort of weird that whenever I show friends the dumb shit I make [1], their immediate reaction is lump it in with geocities.

[1] ex. http://fastcashmoneyplus.biz

I went through this up to where it actually asked for Ether -- is it real? Have people actually bought it?

Regardless, this is art.

It is real! A few friends and co-workers bought some, and I traded 500 fastcash to my roommate for a bagel. Two internet strangers also bought a little bit.

I view it more as a donation-based project than an investment, so if you feel like buying me a beer, you should buy some fastcash :)

I love how some of the morons on bitcointalk don't realise that it's a parody. Regardless, this is a masterpiece. I can't begin to believe to what lengths you went making it.

That is just beautiful :)

Thanks! This one's my pride and joy

I once read a comment here on HN about SEO, and someone was suggesting to start by buying a domain name that is your first and last name. I thought it was cool, but didn't see how it could improve SEO. But I bought it anyway[1].

I had nothing to put on it for a while, so I started just working on my own design skills replicating Google.com. It just a fun thing I do for absolutely no benefits to others. Great way of learning.

Anyway, I check my other projects analytics and it shows that a large number of user sign ups come from that random for fun project.

So yes, please keep building websites like these. Build your own terrible website and don't worry if they don't seem immediately useful.

[1]: http://www.ibrahimdiallo.com

Really like this! Do you update it when Google make changes?

Thanks! I will be on the look out for google changes to update accordingly.

Love that! Would really like to have one for me too. You don't by chance want to offer hosting those as a service, do you? :)

Did not think of that, sounds like a great idea.

Oh that's clever! What a cool way to do your personal site. Definitely makes it stand out

This is the coolest most original design ripoff I've yet seen.

Very cool!

If you like this, then check out Neocities, a free and modern Geocities reboot:


There are many fun sites to discover using the tag system, which emulates web rings:


I agree with the sentiment of this site. I have an nginx proxy set up for personal stuff, and the home page was done in an homage to GeoCities:


Eventually I will get midi music playing correctly with mouse-tails.

The .sexy domains are rich with great simple sites. Like this site of Richard Stallman: http://rms.sexy


Patiently waiting for someone to register jeffgoldblum.sexy, which is available...

The possibilities are endless.

This makes me unreasonably happy. This is what the internet is as it's best: people fucking around.

Needs more dancing hamsters.

I just had to look this[1] up again. Made me very happy for some reason.

1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6WpMlwVwydo

I knew what that linked to before I clicked it. To get it really stuck in your head for the next 24 hours:


I feel like your site is better than the OP site at what the OP site tries to do.

"Salut c'est cool" is a French collective / group of friends doing this with websites, music, videos, everything. They ended up making a name in the music business, playing on huge music festivals since 2010, for the very reason of making everything quick & dirty for the fun. Lots of people want that actually.

Website : http://salutcestcool.com/

Check out their Christmas Calendars (2010-2014) in the "Trucs" section. Funny stuff. There you can find "Facebook 2" http://www.salutcestcool.com/quatre/facebook2/ or "make a webpage in a few clicks" : http://www.salutcestcool.com/quatre/page/

Music : https://youtu.be/hBduDuYXJHI

Clicking around a little on the OP site's gallery led me to http://blog.geocities.institute/

and, in particular, to the post on the front page as of today, "9/11 and Vernacular Web" http://blog.geocities.institute/archives/5983, which catalogs Geocities pages updated on 9/11. Pretty haunting.

Last week I was looking at an old CD-ROM of photos taken by a survey crew in the buildings around Ground Zero in the first few days after the attack.

It was startling to see how many messages various people had written in the thick dust that covered everything. The most common message was one word: "Revenge!"

Now that would be genuinely interesting to have a look through.

I think there is a function to "boring" website design. For the purpose of communication, it is great that we have a common dialogue, as boring as that may be.

People recognize buttons, textboxes, tabs, etc and knows how to use them. There are certain expectations of where certain elements would be on a site and that allows us to navigate quicker.

There should also be people who are pushing the boundaries of what design can look like, but I don't think that necessarily needs to be a majority.

God, I've been complaining about this for so many years now. The hardest part about duplicating the Web 1.0 aesthetic (well) has been finding the primary locations where the tile/image/iconsets originated and mirroring them for modern consumption — I'm still working on that.


I didn't think it was possible to fall in love with a website, but here I am. Nostalgia!

I've been brainstorming ways to overhaul my personal site for a while now, and this is definitely the way I'll be going. Personal web pages used to mean something.

Upvoting and replying to your comment to say hell yeah!

Hey thanks! It's mostly just html/js/css/, but there is also some php (for the guestbook) that I've actually been meaning to port over to Go recently. I normally wouldn't use source control for a project as trivial as this, but I got tired of TRAMPing individual files over the wire ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


People still make these exact things, only now they exist as formatting within a post on a blogging engine, rather than as standalone HTML pages. Search “aesthetic gif blog” and you’ll find tons of them.

As far as the “silly spamming of things between text” aspect goes—that’s still done as well, only now it’s done with emoji. (If http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/good-shit-sign-me-the-fuck-up isn’t an example of 1997-era melange-design aesthetics, I don’t know what is.)

Oh boy, it's a bit far fetched if not downright cynical (or maybe I'm oversensitive and this was not meant to be a response to people who cry about minute long cached webpack compile times or megabytes of angular payloads).

Frontend complexity went through the roof in the last ten years and compared to desktop software (not geocities) our developer tools and end results are not that great (ymmv).

But that's just my personal opinion, after fifteen years of web development and growing up along the c64 - 286 - pentium road, debugging in Watcom and fooling around in Turbo Vision.

It seems like it has gone through the roof in just the last three or four years. I believe the added tools & complexity is an overwhelming negative in nearly all instances, unless you're building at hyperscale (which very few are). I keep seeing things like dental groups spending a lot of money to rebuild their sites in React for absolutely no good reason, it's all a big joke.

I've been doing full stack development for two decades essentially non-stop, and I detest the new era of front end. I'm learning Go instead of anything more to do with front end. I put a bunch of time into Vue and React; the effect it has had, is to push me to banish those from what I build and pursue increased simplicity instead: JS minimalism.

I'm rather in love with Go. It's simple, small, very easy to pick up, and extremely fast. It actually reduced complexity and made speed & power more accessible rather than less, the exact opposite of what's going on in front end (which is adding complexity and bloat). I blame it on the dramatic speed-up in JavaScript, the front end junk will keep expanding in bloat perpetually until it fills in the speed gains. It reminds me of the joke, about Andy Grove providing the increased transistor counts and Bill Gates figuring out new ways to waste them.

Javascript speeding up really has nothing to do with the front-end bloat. I think the problem is that there are a lot of (new?) developers in the frontend space who focus on learning a library (like Angular or React or Vue), and because these libraries have grown so complex in an attempt to solve any frontend problem that might be thrown at them, developers no longer feel the need to write a website without it.

I'm not a purist by any means, but I do think we've come to rely far too heavily on frontend libraries... And not just a reliance, but an expectation of things like single-page applications. I'm sad when I see developers pulling 4-5MB of minified javascript on a page load for something that could have been accomplished in CSS or maybe a dozen lines of JS. :/

That was not "front end", that was webpages. There was no "back end" and no business, the webpage was the whole thing. And you were not paid as a "front end engineer" or even a "designer", in fact you were not paid at all, you were just some guy making a webpage.

I've never strayed from the ideas this site is talking about (though not practicing). All my sites are static HTML/CSS written by hand designed to display content rather than look pretty. I make them for fun or to scratch an itch.

The only line of JS I use on my personal site is optional to trigger a page reload to display a submitted comment with the rest. The comment system itself requires no JS to use. It's just a particular string, '/@say/your comment here' appended to any URL on the site. A perl script tails the nginx log and generates/modifies the static html files.

I feel like most of this kind of design has gone away because the people that make websites make them for commerce now and that requires a lot of bullshit. Bullshit which they bring home if only because of inertia.

Nice and minimalist solution, I like it.

>Source code at Github

This is why it's not fun anymore. Seriously, go look at all that crap you have to learn AND understand AND debug, ETC...

The reason all this crap was "fun" before was because it was so damn easy. :(

You totally don't have to do any of this to make this page work, I'm pretty sure all that js code is completely unnecessary...

Is it possible she is of a generation that really has no experience coding a website by hand using no frameworks or any fancy code?

“The children now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers.”

- Socrates

That is on purpose, to satire the overkill on many websites.

Well if it was meant as satire, I don't feel it was successful. If it was meant as an example to replicate, I don't feel it was successful.

"We used to make websites because it was fun and at a point we lost the way."


I might have done this:


to an entire business division for a while. Might have.

There was an Apple ][ game that did something similar. I think it might have been King's Quest. In the era when people used hole punchers to make flippy disks, if you accidentally put the game disk in your machine upside down, the game displayed upside down.

Today you can make any Mac's display turn upside down with a few clicks in System Preferences. Someone in my office may or may not make this happen on machines that haven't been properly logged out when someone goes on vacation.

(A quick Command-Option-8 is also good for some fun.)

Who would have thought on putting the simple and prevailing combo Ctrl + Alt + Down Arrow as a default hotkey for this? And in a program you didn't even intentionally installed?

Stupid Intel driver programmers, thanks for nothing, really. Still wondering if this came to life as an internal joke.


I thought that at first, but it is very handy when I take my laptop between normal monitor and vertical monitor.

The problem is not that the feature exist, it's that is set as default with key combos that are the standard way for selecting text, one of the most common use cases of the computer keyboard, afaik.

Ctrl alt for selecting text?

I know of shift and command, emacs and vi don't require you hold down any key. What system uses ctrl+alt?

https has ruined everything :-)

I can't help feel that most of that fun was the relative novelty at the time. Without that novelty, it's not so fun any more. Although I miss Usenet more than GeoCities and webrings etc

I have fun making stuff like when I made https://goatattack.com/

"Please verify all input fields."

You just missed out on $2.99

Does this work outside of the land of the 'free'?

Wow, I never knew I would need this in my life. Thank you!

Check out Digital Folklore[1] if you're into this aesthetic, it's a good collection of essays on Geocities, the early web, and related topics. One of the authors' web site[2] is also worth a look (warning: there's sound :) ). She also runs a Tumblr blog[3] that posts screenshots of real Geocities sites.

[1]: http://digitalfolklore.org/

[2]: http://art.teleportacia.org/olia.html

[3]: http://blog.geocities.institute/

Brought a smile to my face.

Outside of the silly nostalgia, I do appreciate the personal blog/websites that are very minimal in their theming, while still looking modern and clean.

The silly old geocities days were fun but, it's nice to have readable text too.

For me, it specifically brought a smile to my face, made it yellow, and put visible hearts in my eyes :).

This is fantastic, let's please make more of this. I made a Dropbox-like client that helps you easily publish these kinds of sites on IPFS: https://hearth.eternum.io/

Just make the site and drop it into your ~/Hearth/ directory, it will be published automatically.

When I see a page like that I remember Mahir's page and its popularity: http://mahir.faithweb.com/original.htm

It's nostalgic and definitely different from what we are used to today, but I don't really miss animated gifs, dozens of font styles and colors smashed together into a html. For me a cherry on the top was changing status message when hovering a link from target url to some custom text.

I was just browsing Tilde Club [1] and then came here. Nice to see this on the HN homepage.

[1] http://tilde.club/

> We used to make websites because it was fun and at a point we lost the way

I know this is just some little tongue in cheek joke, but I can't help but vehemently disagree with this.

Never did we only make websites just "because it was fun" any more or less than we do now.

>Never did we only make websites just "because it was fun" any more or less than we do now.

The early internet was incredibly frivolous. Commercial activity was completely banned on ARPANET and NSFNET. SSL didn't come along until 1995. There was a brief but significant period before the first browser wars and the dot-com bubble, when lots of people were interested in this new internet thing but nobody knew what it was for.

I don't want to return to those days, but it's hard to overstate the extent to which the internet was just a toy for geeks.

Do you reckon the person who made the site and the claim was around back on ARPANET?

I got online around the turn of the century and it was still frivolous. Hell, I contributed to some of the frivolity with my crappy personal teenage webpages.

EDIT: Now I made this[1] to make it easier to publish these kinds of frivolous sites.

[1]: https://hearth.eternum.io/

I'm not sure that's true. The internet has largely shifted away from using customizable www sites for personal expression in the way people used to. Much of this activity has now moved to Facebook et al.

I'm not sure that's true. People still have personal sites they use. Hell, I would argue that there are more ways for people to express themselves online now, and the raw number of people doing this is has massively increased.

"Commerical internet" existed 'back then' as well.

Yes, obviously people still have personal sites, and obviously there are more raw personal sites. But for the average internet user and thus the modal exposure to the internet, it's become substantially more one-way, outside of the aforementioned centralized channels.

I made websites "because it was fun". To begin with I didn't even have hosting so it just lived on my harddisk. Even when it went online I couldn't even think of content to put on there, it was just cool linking pages together and stuff.

They did in the sense that the kind of person writing this was once doing it for fun instead of a job.

Web pages used to be amazingly creative, with terrible usability. Now they're the exact opposite. Usability is good, but they all look the same.

I wonder what social sciences have to say about this. About public opinion swinging from one extreme to the other, never seeming to be able to land on the sane middle.

The used to be plenty of sites with great usability, in the style the FOX Toolkit website[1] still uses. Everything you expect is listed in a simple static menu to the left, requiring no hovering, no scrolling, no additional navigation. It's not trying to guide you to what they're guessing most people want (while hiding the things you actually want) with gigantic colorful buttons.

Today's "usable" websites seem to consist mostly of gigantic irrelevant photos, huge expanses of whitespace, and navigation consisting of buggy JavaScript puzzles for the user to trick into showing correctly.

[1] http://fox-toolkit.org/

It's about maturity - trying many forms(creativity) and finding the forms that work(i.e. sell, bring search traffic) and reusing them over and over. The general process happens in many industries. and i don't think it will return to the wild creativity phase.

Let's take the nostalgia goggles off though... the old web was more colorful, certainly less uniform, but I wouldn't call it "amazingly creative." Most of those sites tended to look a lot alike as well, especially on Geocities.

Needs a hit counter at the bottom of the page. Also, a webring link. Really, we should bring back webring links.

> Really, we should bring back webring links

I think the current equivalent is a "blogroll."

I just shed a tear.

God, I miss Web 1.0.

Me too: https://www.omfgdogs.com/ SSL cert WTF?

LOL, laters

Wow... that brought back memories.

It's already shit now and getting shittier with every new layer of abstraction

Something a lot of HNers seem to forget is that people used to build websites just for kicks. You like DragonballZ? You make a DragonballZ page on Geocities just for the hell of it. No adsense, no Google Analytics, no search-engine optimization or newsletter or investor pitch... that part of the early web seems to really have faded, and it's a pity.

Yes, you get it!

Here's a screen shot of a website I never finished from 2003. Frontpage, tables, 3 gifs, ms paint graphics... this site had the works: https://imgur.com/Lulenom

I would rather opt for this then the modern JavaScript, large graphics, native code, etc., that is only there to bog down your system, and/or make your browser crash, and so forth.. (My opinion/experience.)

When you have en article/text that require over 10 MB to load, I can't say I'm convinced of the benefit. The only reason I visited the site in the first place were to read the article (10-15 lines of text), and/or view some minor/related photos.

Guess that's why Atom/RSS is on the rice again I suppose. (DISCLAIMER: Just started using Newsboat[1] via the terminal, and I freaking love it :) )

Note! That is not to say that there isn't some formidable people doing astonishing works, and should be credited accordingly. The web sprawls of infinite possibles, and have something that caters to all.

[1] https://newsboat.org

Fortunately web is going behind the subscription model in accelerating speed. In a few years, when we can't justify subscribing to dozens of websites and paying hundreds of bucks for content we have no time to read, we're back in usenet reading single copy-pasted (pirated) articles for free.

Needs a hit counter!

That sounds very intrusive. We should consider the privacy ramifications before tracking our users like that.

And a guestbook!

Personal websites served two purposes:

1) You could write about whatever you were interested in.

2) You could share things you had found on the web with others.

These days, (1) has been superseded by YouTube and Facebook groups, and (2) has been superseded by Wikipedia/Google/YouTube.

What happened in between is that the Multi-Billion startup guys took over.

Now the web is the place for yet another pizza delivery startup with a super slick frontend. Websites are made industrially mainly to sell. All the big platforms took over. There is no place anymore for small self-hosted websites (or at least those are extremely rare)

Call me cynical, which is probably true, but I remember the time when the web was the playground of the geeks. Now it feels like it became the playground of business majors.

About 140,000 websites are added to the internet every day, though.

Are you sure it's actually true that most of those sites are multi-billion dollar startups with super-slick frontends and that almost no one makes self-hosted sites anymore, or is it more likely that the web has gotten large enough that non-commercial, non SEO-driven sites are simply harder to notice?

The "big platforms" are still a rounding error in terms of the total content on the web.

The web isn't like old network television where there are a limited number of channels and limited number of slots for content. It hasn't moved from being the playground of geeks to business majors, but the playground of geeks to everyone, including, yes, the business majors.

Back in the day this would have taken 15 minutes to download - seeing this appear instantly loses some of what it conveys. Need some setTimeouts adding on those images.....

I mean, there are plenty of sites like this on Neocities [0] - which has a goal to be the New Geocities. :) If you seek it out, you can find the fun web again. But I do agree that it's a smaller and smaller fraction of the web. But with Facebook, why would people follow strangers on their websites when they can follow all their friends on Facebook?

[0] https://neocities.org/browse

I've been hoping that VR would be the next web in this sense, but haven't seen it happen yet. It would be so cool to have a world-wide fully open Second Life.

Was hoping the source code would also be good ol' hand crafted html, with <table> elements used for layout and so on...

>not writing pure HTML to make this

I had a few moments to work on tko (knockout 4) this morning and I just have to say how happy I am with the ko methodology. Not to knock (pardon the put) any of the more recent forays into js/web-ux , but holy smokes I’m satisfied with ko and excited about its future.

ko was a pretty sane view engine back in the day, though their constructor pattern advocated in the docs will drive mem usage through the roof... but still Best and Sanderson are great devs. If you like ko, be sure to check out vue, you will feel right at home.

"Remember Jquery" doesn't fit there, it's still popular and kept current, as it should be, it's awesome and useful.

Also I still use FTP (secure FTP of course), I use it for smaller projects on shared hosting and so on. It's completely fine.

People never stopped making fun stuff on the web, it just doesn’t have the same 90s web aesthetic or artisanal handcrafted bespoke raw HTML/CSS/JS the author is nostalgic for, and there’s so much more content now that it gets drowned out.

when it worked at 33.6 kbps...

I wonder if there's some way to simulate the row by row image loading. I guess that's not the point of this website, but that would make me feel nostalgic.

Just throttle your router settings for download/upload - have fun!

In all seriousness though, people designing websites should be given the shittiest connections possible and old computers (between 5 and 10 years old). Maybe then we'll end up with websites that haven't got more JS than content, broken CSS and images that push the page download over several megabytes.

Chrome Dev Tools let you simulate shit internet connection (2G, slow 3G, fast 3G, etc.) and Google encourages to this for development for the reasons you've mentioned.

It's awesome it exists, but useless if nobody uses it. I think the Google homepage is the only Google product I'm aware of that loads fast, minimal CSS and still loads without JS. Even on a modern computer, some websites have become completely unacceptable to run in the background (i.e. Facebook).

Installing NoScript and blocking external CSS was the best decision I ever made. Now use <25% of the RAM and <10% of the CPU I used to for the same number of tabs (in Firefox) - with a better experience because the browser isn't constantly trying to die.

The UK Government site team is my go to for a good web design philosophy: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/government-design-principles (Hell, if they could run the actual Government like this we would be in a lot better shape!)

Don't forget progressive JPGs, which loads the entire height of the image over and over with gradually increasing detail.

Shhhh... Or my boss will hear you

You can see images load line by line today, if you throttle your network (either through Chrome devtools, or some external tool). Or just get a dialup modem, you probably have a provider you can reach, and the good ones can be plugged in through ethernet.

What, no <marquee>!?

I was hoping for at least one dancing baby.

The lack of an "Under Construction" image -- or, more accurately, several of them -- is also notable, in my opinion.

I seem to recall that every web site in existence in that time period was eternally "under construction".

Outline perfectly captures this site.


It was not shit. It allowed a lot of people to express themselves and be creative... beyond 140 characters or so.

All that minified JS, fonts from a Google domain. At least playing lip service to the idea counts I guess.

I want to see more flash stuff :c

Hey, speak for yourself pal. Some of us have been making shitty websites all along.

was gonna say this isn't mobile friendly but i guess that's the point

What is responsiveness?

Sounds like the Scratchware Manifesto, but for websites, not games.

this site reminds me the old days, when I use frontpage, make some silly but funny stuffs that's the youth which have already passed.

front end stuff is fun! my playground: https://www.mondaysoups.ca

This is really smooth on my raspberry pi. awesome.

This doesn't look right on my phone.

Wait - no burning skull gif on the site?


is my contribution.

Comic Sans should be obligatory.

This was nostalgic fun - thanks.

I literally read this as "make the front end shit again". Oops.


huh? Since when was making blinking text and displaying clip arts fun? Even back in the day, you knew web as a platform was handicapped, when compared to the awesome expressiveness of Macromedia Flash.

It already is shit?

Web 1.0 was peak internet, when creativity was alive before normies and corporations started making every website 200MB of ad-loading javascript.

Peak internet was August 31, 1993.

Ref: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eternal_September

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact