websites as history of usages
BTW, in 2004 British musician and webmaster Bruce Lawson made an intervention, by applying what he called “Geocities 1996” style to Zen Garden’s HTML. I say intervention, because though he followed the logic of HTML/CSS separation, the page looked like there was none. The page looked eclectic, which was also against the drive behind other styles exhibited on the server: coherent look. His blog post about it and the reactions he got is still online. Important to remember that it is this page that gave the name to the look and feel of the web before platformization and style unifications — “Geocities 1996”. If Lawson would have chosen “Tripod 1995” or “Angelfire 1997” for his homage, we might end up with other tropes.
websites as a way to break through the walls
An unfolding html poem about pokemon blue, out of bounds areas, atomic structures, view source, and ghosts.
websites as effectiveness through simplicity
The PSP's web browser is - charitably - pathetic. It is slow, frequently runs out of memory, and can only open 3 tabs at a time.
But the GOV.UK pages are written in simple HTML. They are designed to be lightweight and will work even on rubbish browsers. They have to. This is for everyone.
another short ressource on this reasonning is the following The appeal of using plain HTML pages by Chris Siebenmann.
websites as small-sized (less than 10KB)
The 10 KB Club is a curated collection of websites whose home pages do not exceed 10 KB compressed size.
an inspiring example of hacky craft is this one https://john-doe.neocities.org/
This website is a single HTML file. It simply uses the #anchor suffix (from 1992) and the
:targetCSS selector to show and hide pages/content.
websites as containing energies
HTML energy is all around us and in this very website. Building websites has become complex, but the energy of HTML persists. What makes HTML special is its simplicity. HTML isn’t a vast language, yet you can do a lot with it. Anyone who wants to publish on the web can write HTML. This accessibility and ease of use is where its energy resides. Who’s writing HTML today?
websites as declarations and intentions
When i write a script, I know that the actors are going to say the lines that i wrote [...] but when I write stage directions, I can say how I think the set should look and how I think the caracters should acts, and I can say all these things but all of them are suggestions and the production company is likely to make their own decissions and throw out my stage directions and do something completly unique because they're working with different actors in different spaces under different constraints and for a different audience [...]
Like theather, CSS is contextual. We can make suggestions but we can't insist on the final design.
websites as forms of ecology
To reduce energy use, we opted for a back to basics web design, using a static site instead of a database driven content management system. We further apply default typefaces, dithered images, off-line reading options, and other tricks to lower energy use far below that of the average website. In addition, the low resource requirements and open design help to keep the blog accessible for visitors with older computers and/or less reliable Internet connections.
websites as methaphors
My favorite aspect of websites is their duality: they’re both subject and object at once. In other words, a website creator becomes both author and architect simultaneously. There are endless possibilities as to what a website could be. What kind of room is a website? Or is a website more like a house? A boat? A cloud? A garden? A puddle? Whatever it is, there’s potential for a self-reflexive feedback loop: when you put energy into a website, in turn the website helps form your own identity.
websites as punk folklore
Punk culture was all about doing things yourself, which meant you had to learn how things were done in the first place. For example, if you want to tell people about your favorite bands and find other music fans, then you might make a zine. And in the act of making zines, you were led to learn about traditional printing, type design, layout techniques, and more. Learning about older skills gave you tools for your modern passion. Similarly, for folk-hippies in the 60's dreaming up societies based on love, there was value in learning the techniques of earlier, simpler societies. These techniques could be used to run their communes, or at least to help fire up the visions for them.
websites as artistic communities
In a short time, it's going to become even easier to create customized interactive websites. Although you can do a lot with Wordpress, it's especially exciting to see projects like Are.na and dump.fm where teams are building custom software for their online communities. There are new possibilities that are becoming accessible like threaded image forums, 3D art clubs, and realtime collaborative illustration. The sites in this catalog are only a hint of the diverse online artist communities that we'll see in the near future.
websites as the work of articulations
If you think about webdesign as the work of articulation, of making temporary alliances which somehow have the potential to bring perspective to the data presented, then design has to go deeper than skin. It means to engage in the untidy interdisciplinary practice of rendering visible relations between database architecture, filtering and structure of data itself. Each time data appears in a new context is a rewriting, restaging, reinterpretation. For that to happen in meaningful ways, code, content, behaviour and presentation need to mix and mingle.
websites as handmade objects
I evoke the term 'handmade web' to suggest slowness and smallness as a forms of resistance. In today's highly commercialised web of multinational corporations, proprietary applications, read-only devices, search algorithms, Content Management Systems, WYSIWYG editors, and digital publishers it becomes an increasingly radical act to hand-code and self-publish experimental web art and writing projects. The more proprietary, predatory, and puerile a place the web becomes, the more committed I am to using it in poetic and intransigent ways.
websites as a materiality
I believe every material has a grain, including the web. But this assumption flies in the face of our expectations for technology. Too often, the internet is cast as a wide-open, infinitely malleable material.
websites as always under construction
"Always Under Construction" didn't mean the site would never work but actually the opposite. It informed users that there was somebody who was always taking care of the site so it would be interesting to return again and again. This was a very important message because it was crucial to really insist on the idea of constant development and change but the sign was wrong. The association with broken roads and obstacles on the way didn't illustrate the idea of ongoing development. Around 1997 the sign turned into a meaningless footer and became a common joke. Even the mainstream press wrote that the web was always under construction so, after a while, people stopped putting it everywhere.
websites as semantics to express human relationships
XFN™ (XHTML Friends Network) is a simple way to represent human relationships using hyperlinks.
XFN outlines the relationships between individuals by defining a small set of values that describe personal relationships. In HTML and XHTML documents, these are given as values for the rel attribute on a hyperlink. XFN allows authors to indicate which of the weblogs they read belong to friends, whom they've physically met, and other personal relationships. Using XFN values, which can be listed in any order, people can humanize their blogrolls and links pages, both of which have become a common feature of weblogs.
websites as a way to see control as a limitation
The control which designers know in the print medium, and often desire in the web medium, is simply a function of the limitation of the printed page. We should embrace the fact that the web doesn’t have the same constraints, and design for this flexibility. But first, we must “accept the ebb and flow of things.