Web 1.0, and this blog

You may notice that this blog looks a lot older than it did last time you looked at it.

For a while now, I’ve been dissatisfied with the state of the web. Literally megabytes of JavaScript code that’s needed to even view the site, absurdly complex themes that don’t gracefully degrade on smaller screens or lower-tech browsers (or worse, they’re “responsive” and lose functionality on smaller screens), autoload videos that play while you’re viewing the page, tons of tracking scripts, etc., etc.

In my opinion, the fundamental role of the web is as a document platform, not an application platform. Documents don’t need a Turing-complete language, so JavaScript has little to no place on the web. Documents, I’d argue, shouldn’t need to be styled by their publisher, but rather by the end user, so even CSS doesn’t have a place on my blog – let the client style it instead if the user wants it styled.

So, I’ve decided that enough is enough, and I’m making a Web 1.0 theme for this blog. I decided to fork WordPress’s Twenty Seventeen theme, to take advantage of all of the modern functionality, and all of their translation work, but the CSS is gone, the SVG graphics are gone, at least most of the JavaScript is gone, and I’ve been tweaking both the theme and some of the existing posts to fit the Web 1.0 aesthetic.

The goal here is that this thing should render perfectly and be usably fast in almost any browser (at least one implementing the HTML 2.0 RFCs) and on almost any connection, be ridiculously fast and lightweight in modern browsers and on modern high-speed connections, and because of the lack of styling, it should be perfectly usable even on small screens. I haven’t quite achieved this goal, and there’s still work needed to make this look good, but I’m getting there.

Feel free to play around with the theme – as Twenty Seventeen is licensed under GPL 2.0, WP Web 1.0 is licensed under the same terms. If you’ve got suggestions for making it better, please submit an issue or a pull request over on Github. Right now, it’ll be in quite a bit of flux as I tweak things, but hopefully things will stabilize before too long.


2 Replies to “Web 1.0, and this blog”

  1. It’s still loading lots of JavaScript and CSS resources, even from Google! I can’t say this is Web 1.0, no 3rd-party resources is a basic requirement for privacy-respecting website, a Web 1.0 site should have done better than that.

    https://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Libre+Franklin%3A300%2C300i%2C400%2C400i%2C600%2C600i%2C800%2C800i&subset=latin%2Clatin-ext

    You can install a plugin to disable Google Fonts for you, instead of hacking the theme. But just in case, you are hacking your theme already… Happy Hacking!

    1. Thanks for the heads up. This is a work in progress.

      I believe this is something brought in by the admin bar, which I’m hesitant to mess with. It’s definitely not Web 1.0…

      Edit: Nope, it was the theme itself that brought a lot of that in. Nuked with extreme prejudice.

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