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The 10 Megabyte Manifesto (10mbmanifesto.neocities.org)
54 points by daturkel 1544 days ago | hide | past | web | 37 comments | favorite

Hey, I'm the creator of this. Feel free to tear it apart or give me whatever criticism you want. Email me at dan [at] danturkel [dot] com if you want and check it out on github [0]

[0]: https://github.com/daturkel/10mbmanifesto


The basic idea here is sort of twofold. A) You can make a really great website that can still be hosted on Neocities. B) Sometimes that's a better idea than a site that requires things other than the basics.

I want to add a section on lightweight frameworks and tools for building sites that could be put on Neocities (skeleton, foundation, etc.) but I'm hoping that the creator will add subdirectory support so I don't have to write instructions on how to mod all these frameworks. Also thinking about designing a little widget/button to put on your site's about/colophon page to advertise that your site is 10-m-m compliant. Thought that would be kitschy but cute.

second edit: Another section I'd like to add is tools for slimming your site down. Things like HTML/CSS/JS minifiers, PNG/JPEG optimizers, etc. I pretty much wrote this thing up in a day so there's plenty to do.

This sounds like someone trying to sell me a Turing tarpit of 1995's internet. "You can still create beautiful, functional, and compelling web content" - beautiful sure, compelling maybe if a static site is what you want, but functional - not really, unless you abuse the permission of JS to reinvent the wheel enough.

My goal here is not to try to convince people to build in 20k lines of JS what they could've done with a simpler Rails implementation or something of the sort, but to take a moment to self-examine whenever starting a new project if there's not a minimal approach to doing what one wants.

For many people, sites which will ultimately be static or very simple, people insist on installing a CMS like Drupal or Wordpress and end up bogging down the user experience and their own usage experience. The idea here is: look at all the tools that you can use to make great content that could still fit these seemingly harsh limitations. Instead of Wordpress, maybe a static blog-generator a la Jekyll (though, again, currently there's the limitation in Neocities of subdirectories).

Why is it hard to offer directory creation?

What would be wrong with giving people a chrooted slice of noexec filesystem with a usage quota set, that they could manipulate as they pleased?

That would require more resources than is possible with a limited budget for the number of people the creators intended. And far more than is needed for hosting a site.

What you ask for is already possible for a few bucks a month with countless VPS hosts. This is free, remember?

Also, the OP isn't part of the NeoCities team. He's merely an advocate for it.

Don't just say it takes resources, give a plausible mechanism. I can't think of any way for subdirectories to take more load than normal files in one directory. Am I not being creative enough?

I have no idea how neocities is implemented, but my first thought as far as implementing something like that wouldn't be to give users actual filesystem access, but rather to put everything in an object store. Typically that'd be flat until you bolt on something to simulate a hierarchy.

If you're doing that you can allow object names to have "/" and get directory simulation for free.

That would require more resources on the server side than simply storing flat files in directories.

and way less effort to cluster or shard

Cluster, I can understand, but why shard?

I've run forums even on rickety DIY PHP + Postgres that's held up very nicely to several hundred logins and even more sessions per day on very modest hardware (1.5Ghz Core 2 duo, 2Gb memory).

It doesn't take a boatload of resources for a simple login and static content if it's just static content. Sites can be separated (or "sharded" if you like that term) on Nginx with very little effort for static content.

E.G. https://gist.github.com/perusio/2154289

There are more elegant solutions for that which still don't require blob objects.

Would there be any particular security problem with user accounts being system users, where logged in users perform as their user and non-logged-in users have a guest account?

Then make a noexec chroot which has just a /home for them all.

I'm not sure how you'd translate a http request with an authenticated session into a handler running as a particular user, but I don't doubt that it is possible with some fork(), setuid() arrangement.

Thank you for writing this and the original manifesto.

I'm reminded of my first website project (which called with ambition a "Portal"). It was called Ghostnetworks and, at the time as I was running between the school library and my home computer which I didn't have at the time, I managed to fit all of it on a floppy.

I feel "frameworks" by and large are contrary to the spirit of DIY and shoestring-budget construction, but to each is own. Hosted frameworks do substantially lower the cost to NeoCities as well, and subdirectories will certainly add to the flexibility. However you should be cautious of feature creep.

I've used Thingamablog ( http://thingamablog.com ) which enables static site/blog publishing, however it works via FTP. An API could be greatly beneficial to upload a site created with a tool like Thingamablog.

I do NOT believe FTP access is a good idea.

I feel the subdirectory, minfy, sorting problems can be greatly reduced with the introduction of an API. A desktop or mobile application that can upload content quickly will offload the burden of arranging the site away from you.

Hey, thanks for the response. As far as frameworks, I discuss in my post that I used a stripped down version of Foundation, but I don't feel this should be a requirement for anyone (I don't use a framework on my personal site, for instance)—it just lets you deploy quickly and is good for people who don't want to worry much about responsive-ness, they just want it to work.

I agree that FTP access would not be a good move on the part of neocities, I think they should just allow multi-file upload and directory support.

Multi-file upload will definitely be welcomed. E.G. When I was first setting up my site, I copy > pasted the index.html source to other files and changed the content. But then I realized I made a mistake, so now I had to go back and upload each and every file. I imagine, this is a slightly increased burden on NeoCities as well since they need to serve the upload page a bunch of times.


... like FTP?

I guess I'm confused why reinventing the wheel here is necessary when you're going to end up with a HTTP tool with the same semantics.

Authentication is easier. Application access becomes simpler as well, since even a JS tool running on a browser can connect and check your site. That also means not running an additional S/FTP server, which frees up resources to serve content (which would include responses to API requests).

Plus you get more fine-grained control of exactly which features are displayed to applications and this could include number of hits and other statistics (if they chose to implement it).

Neocities is perhaps another one of those websites where it would be nice if HN included more than two levels of the domain name in parentheses.

e.g. instead of

> The 10 Megabyte Manifesto (neocities.org)

you would have

> The 10 Megabyte Manifesto (10mbmanifesto.neocities.org)

Indeed, I certainly didn't mean to mislead anyone into thinking this is "official" from the neocities guys, but I think that's pretty obvious once you click the link.

Directories and .txt files sound like a no-brainer, but the 10MB limit might actually be very useful, and I hope they don't raise it anytime soon.

Remember when everyone bitched about the fact that Twitter only allows 140 characters? But that little inconvenience helped spawn an entire industry of URL shorteners and very simple image hosting solutions. Not necessarily a desirable development (especially URL shorteners), but we can't deny that the 140-char limit triggered a great deal of innovation.

Think of the 10MB limit as a challenge. Try to cram as much as possible into it, and make liberal use of CDNs and third-party storage services like S3. You'd be amazed at what you can do with 10MB of disk space if you concentrate on text and minified scripts.

The 140 char limit has nothing to do with image hosting and you already touched on how URL shortners are toxic.

Side note: ran an entire small business on a 10mb hard disk off an IBM compatible in the 80's. Later in the 80's on a multi user Unix system with a 70mb hard drive. (Won't get into before that at the school computer center but the space give was in K).

All text based, no graphics.

Eagle PC (founder drove his Ferrari off a cliff the day the company went public).

The wikipedia article is crazy, they undid the IPO for Eagle because of this? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eagle_Computer

I had an Eagle 1600. I remember when founder drove off the cliff and I remember how it damaged the company. The rest of that wiki article I don't know if true or not.

I remember the distributor I bought the machine off of (I pretended I was a computer dealer so I could buy wholesale and even had checks printed to make it seem more legit) telling me that he had more demand for Eagle because of the death and all the attention on Eagle from the publicity. (Have no idea whether bs or not but definitely remember him telling that to me at the time).

They were nicely designed machines. The 10mb was not full either. Did all sorts of things with it.

For those who require custom domains, try something like https://www.nearlyfreespeech.net/ which offers static hosting at very affordable rates.

It's really interesting to think about this for all sorts of static site generation from non-static sources (Wordpress, rails, django, et al).

NFS is good for hosting text and layout, and works wonderfully with the idea of a small useful site. But don't make the mistake of storing bulk images on a host that charges 100x as much as S3 for disk space.

Edit: I did some math for fun. Assume 500 users storing 1GB each for one year. They'll pay less than $600 on S3, and roughly $60k on NFS. For reference, the price of a high-end dell poweredge with 512GB of ram is $15k.

Why not use both? I run my sites on NFS and put my media on S3.

I'm a game dev and right now I'm making myself a simple ajax website to show off my portfolio. I saw this and thought, hey perfect! I tried it out and now I dont see the point of it... There doesnt seem to be any ftp access to where the site is hosted so I cant create new directories or upload multiple files at the same time. (As far as I can figure out anyway) Theres plenty of free adless webhosts that have ftp and php if you want. Eg. http://www.000webhost.com/ Neocities just seems like a another one of these with less features atm.

I strongly disagree that 000webhost is in any way comparable to NeoCities. Reasons:

000webhost has a complaint list long enough to circle 8 city blocks. NeoCities doesn't randomly delete sites or secretly try to funnel to paid services. It offers one service instead, and it's free. Considering the creator's goals, this is ideal.

ATM, 000webhost caps bandwidth for the free package which NeoCities doesn't.

Rather than providing everything including the kitchen sink and have it patched together poorly, NeoCities offers something very simple very well.

I consider NeoCities to be Twitter to 000webhost's Facebook.

(Disclaimer: I'm in no way affiliated with NeoCities)

I put some college websites up on 000webhost before and they are still there. I didnt have any issues. I know this is just anecdotal evidence of my personal experience. When I was checking out neocities about page http://neocities.org/about It seems the business model is to pay for the server space with only donations. I was concerned that this service might not last so long.

If the resources are kept in check and the infrastructure is maintained in a sane manner, there's no reason why the service can't work well on donations alone. It's no Wikipedia after all, and certainly serving static pages would require far less overhead than server-side scripting (of course, this excludes logins/sessions, but considering how simple the backend is and sessions are limited there, it shouldn't require too much overhead either).

And I don't think the creator feels this is a "business" in any way. It's more like an ambitious hobby/public service.

I addressed in my post that there's not currently any multi-file upload and directory support and I consider this less of a limitation to work around but a feature request. See the Caveats section. I hope the neocities guys will change this limitation but it might be cost prohibitive at the moment.

What was that phenomenon called where you come across something new and then notice it the very same day? I just learned about Foundation a few minutes ago and this page uses it.

That's called the Baader-Meinhof Pehnomenon or the Frequency Illusion. It used to have it's own wikipedia article but now it's just a single sentence in List of Cognitive Biases [0]. Check out this post here though [1].

[0]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baader-Meinhof_phenomenon#Frequ... [1]: http://www.damninteresting.com/the-baader-meinhof-phenomenon...

OP here, added tools and showcase to the index. Check it out.

Neocities needs a terms of service.

Lest it not be totally obvious, I am not affiliated at all with neocities. I'm on my phone but I'll add a disclaimer later.

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