Yes, we have some standards

(Boring ones)

There are no frames used anywhere on these pages. Similarly, there's no Javascript, Java, animated GIFs, push content, MPEGs, WAVs, access counters, scrolling banners or stuffed aardvarks. I'd like to pretend this is because I firmly believe in content over presentation, but actually it's because I don't know how to use any of that stuff.

Also, the only graphics you'll find are the ones under the Clip Art library in Claris. This is because I can't draw either.

However, the words are mostly original and nearly all written by me, so here are a few more samples to enjoy:

fricacious, sentinary, lobacicle, dentacticut, multidisillusionary and snod.

(Good luck with the OED on those...)

Back when I wrote my first web pages (when people thought you were being exclusionary if you labelled them "Enhanced for Mosaic", because it meant the CERN line web browser wouldn't work), pages were grey, text was black and you could have any layout you wanted so long as you didn't expect the browser to pay attention.

Oddly, back then most pages were readable but people still started flamewars on comp.infosystems.www about poor HTML. Nowadays, you can make your HTML as contorted and non-standard as you want and then claim it's "Netscape-enhanced" (or, if you're the W3 Consortium, "HTML 3.2").

This is starting to sound like "...and we 'ad no eggs 'cos of the war...", so I'll take this opportunity to add: all our TCP connections were preceded with a "red flag" packet that travelled ahead of the initial SYN to warn other packets on the link to stay out of the way. Concerned commentators wrote that packets would probably fragment spectacularly if travelling at speeds over 64Kb/s (9600 baud on a telephone line). Our moral guardians would frequently be seen on TV microwaving the new-fangled CD-ROMS and saying, "Multimedia has to go!". Multicast transmissions were restricted to twice monthly at 5pm Sundays in case the whole net got over-excited and decided to go out and mug Visual Basic programmers. Pornography was something you transferred via X25 from obscure FTP sites in directories called .../.f/anmls, not downloaded by the gigabyte from Java-enabled web sites. We used Sun 3/50s and had never heard of PCs. We were poor but by ghod, were we happy.

Six years on, the only new things I've learnt are <TABLEs> and <BACKGROUNDs>. I'd love to add Java to my repertoire, not least because it would mean some serious wage renegotiation, but frankly I'm still only on chapter 4 of Perl Programming (2nd Ed) and have been for about a year now. It doesn't matter. In case you've forgotten, the acronym stands for hyperTEXT markup language. I've seen some pretty nifty sites in the last year (so it only took...ooh, four years to happen), some of which even download on a 28.8K link in under two days, but as Harry says, a man's gotta know his limitations.

On the other hand, the Lynx zealots in the crowd can bugger off now. I like Lynx - I like most text interfaces that aren't called Emacs (how else are you going to access the net through a telnet session?) - but restricting yourself to only the <P> tag is a bit like banning televised snooker on the grounds that some folks only have B&W sets.* Get with the programme, you wieners. The web became popular because of Mosaic; no one would have been hooked by something that was little more than an elaborate FTP client.

FICT: 82% of Lynx users play folk music in their local pubs and enjoy wattling.

Quit clicking the "View Source" option and get on with the show...

21st December 1997

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* Whereas of course, a far better reason for banning televised snooker is that it's boring.