Micro.blog

macgenie
macgenie

While looking up something else, I stumbled on this old school-style Web site. If you are into math or puzzles, check it out.

donmelton
donmelton

@macgenie I just looked at the HMTL source. That's old school, all right. :)

macgenie
macgenie

@donmelton Ha! Looking at the HTML is itself old-school. I’m hardly ever on my Mac anymore.I guess I better haul that thing out and view source.

Ron
Ron

@macgenie It's cool. He tells everything there is about himself in an interesting way, except for whether he's single and/or available. Well there ARE three pictures of him with his arm around Margie, who gets progressively older in the pictures.

donmelton
donmelton

@macgenie For me, looking at a website's source is a (former) occupational hazard. :)

mdhughes
mdhughes

@macgenie Also Neocities is encouraging some people to do silly HTML things again, like jjg

hisaac
hisaac

@macgenie Assuming your on an iOS device when you’re not on your Mac, there are actually quite a few “view source” apps. Here’s one that I use once in a while: itunes.apple.com/us/app/vi...

smokey
smokey

@hisaac Thanks for that app prompt. I recently wanted to check the source of something on my iPhone and instead grumbled ;-)

smokey
smokey

@macgenie @donmelton Wow, that’s even more old-school than my website; I think I’ve at least managed to excise all the <table>s over the years.

Also old-school: learning HTML by looking at pages’ source (or do people still do that nowadays?)

donmelton
donmelton

@smokey @macgenie Probably not with today's websites. You can't make sense of most pages these days by only looking at the HTML. Which makes me sad.

smokey
smokey

@donmelton You need a whole suite of dev tools and knowledge of 2 or 3 other languages in many cases, don’t you :-(

macgenie
macgenie

@donmelton Me too. My first foray into geekdom was to take a class in website design. I learned a ton frm checking out other sites under the hood. I’m sad that you have to enable the Developer menu item now to just View Source.

smokey
smokey

@adiabatic @macgenie @donmelton A DOM Inspector, a Console, and a JS Debugger make up that "suite of dev tools" I mentioned…more powerful (and more useful, given today's web), but not as simple as good old View Source.

smokey
smokey

@macgenie @donmelton I was surprised it lasted in the main Safari UI as long as it did, considering. I remember early on in Firefox (either before 1.0 or just after), Ben Goodger (I think, but could have been someone else on the team) wanted to remove View Source from Firefox because it wasn’t something normal people used. There was a bunch of pushback from those of us in the Mozilla universe who had learned HTML/web development using View Source, so ultimately it stayed. (I always found that incident a bit funny because Camino was, especially then, supposed to be the more “non-geeky-user/non-developer” focused browser compared to Firefox, and we had absolutely no intention of removing View Source!)

hisaac
hisaac

@smokey You’re welcome. It’s a nice little app that comes in handy in a pinch.

donmelton
donmelton

@smokey Indeed. This is another thing that makes developing Web technologies challenging.

donmelton
donmelton

@adiabatic @macgenie Keep in mind that when you use a DOM inspector, you're only looking at the current Web application state. To figure out how it got there (and where it might go), you’ll have to look at the source and a lot more. It can be vexing. Which is another reason I'm glad I no longer do it for a living. :)

donmelton
donmelton

@macgenie I wish I had been smart enough to actually take a Web design course before I was thrown into the deep end of browser development. That would have provided some much needed context. :)

One reason Safari has an obfuscated path to its developer tools is Steve (and the rest of the HI team). He didn't want them on by default. Which is why they're buried in a preference.

macgenie
macgenie

@donmelton I get that. And it's much fancier now than the simple display of the HTML without any tools or options. I’m just a sucker for the olden days. Even when I taught Dreamweaver or GoLive(!), I made the class learn the HTML first. Typing out the markup for that first web page and then opening it in the browser to see the finished product was very empowering. Like building your first app on an iPod Touch!

donmelton
donmelton

@smokey @macgenie The Safari user experience is something that I’m both proud and, at times, ashamed of. :) Now that I'm here and less likely to be misquoted by lazy journalists on Twitter, I may take to drunk posting some evening and tell a few stories. Who knows?

BTW, is Ben Goodger still at Google? I haven't seen or heard from him since I retired. And did you know that I was the one who hired him at Netscape?

donmelton
donmelton

@macgenie Yeah, I miss that easier approach to learning the Web. And that's brilliant to teach your Dreamweaver and GoLive students HTML first. I wish every teacher had done it that way! As a developer in the early days, I saw so many Frankensites created by well-meaning but ignorant folks. It was a pity. And a pain for us at times to maintain compatibility.

hisaac
hisaac

@donmelton Whoa… You worked at Netscape and on Safari?? You must have some stories.

@smokey @macgenie

hisaac
hisaac

@donmelton I've been listening through The Internet History Podcast and have loved it. I see now that you've got an interview on there!

donmelton
donmelton

@hisaac @smokey @macgenie Oh yeah, I have a few stories. And I've worked on screwing up a lot of other software over the years, too. Not just Web browsers. The damage is quite extensive. :)

donmelton
donmelton

@hisaac Oh yeah, I forgot about that interview! Brian McCullough was very interesting to talk to since he had also interviewed some of my cohorts from Netscape. That was a fun show.

simonwoods
simonwoods

@donmelton @macgenie I learned pretty much everything I knew from viewing and copying HTML written by other people. In the past hour I have started testing out Linode and can already say that I would have benefitted greatly from learning these foundational aspects first, or at least soon after I first wrote code for the web years ago.

donmelton
donmelton

@simonmumbles @macgenie I think a lot of folks learned that way. I did as well. At least you're circumspect about the hazards. :)

macgenie
macgenie

@hisaac @smokey If you want to hear @donmelton stories, I suggest you check out his appearances on the Debug podcast. I really liked the ones he did together with Nitin Ganatra.

donmelton
donmelton

@macgenie @hisaac @smokey Thanks for the plug! :) Those were fun to record. I could talk to Nitin all day. And Rene is working on scheduling some followups. God only knows what we’ll talk about then!

simonwoods
simonwoods

@donmelton Being exposed to this general area for the first time via managed servers and cPanel certainly didn't help; talk about the wrong impressions! Thankfully time and distance from that + reading and listening to indie-aligned people helped me get over my anxiety just for trying it. It's a shame most people don't get a good chance of being exposed in a way that is not so intimidating.

donmelton
donmelton

@simonmumbles Agreed. Web publishing can be very complicated. Shit, I'm a developer and I still get confused! More folks need teachers like @macgenie to give them the proper grounding.

hjertnes
hjertnes

@hisaac You'll find many of them here and here

AngeloStavrow
AngeloStavrow

@simonmumbles @macgenie @donmelton That’s how I learned HTML too, and it’s the kind of approach we’re trying to bring back with Glitch. Web dev has gotten more complex, so the hope is that “view source” plus helpful community becomes a powerful tool for democratizing the web.

eli
eli

@AngeloStavrow I'm absolutely in love with Glitch! 🎉

AngeloStavrow
AngeloStavrow

@eli I’m so happy to hear that!

eli
eli

@AngeloStavrow it was the product that actually inspired me to apply for a job w/Fog Creek once upon a time :P

donmelton
donmelton

@AngeloStavrow @macgenie @donmelton That's certainly the hacker approach to learning! Which works for many of us. You just need to make sure you fill in the gaps later on. And I really like your idea of community support system to help do that. It also bridges the “class" gap between experts and novices.

eli
eli

@donmelton @AngeloStavrow @macgenie I think bridging the gap you reference is more important know than ever. I just responded to someone who linked to this piece about the current state of frontend dev, and its growing complexity. Noting that when I first started hacking around on the web in middle school I was able to view source and get a good understanding of what was going on where, at least on the frontend. Now that so much more business logic is being piped to the client the the barrier to entry seems higher than it used to be. While this makes the web a more powerful platform, I wonder if this also makes building on the web less egalitarian?

furstenberg
furstenberg

@donmelton YES! Those are among my favourite podcast episodes ever.

Not deleted from Overcast so I can listen to them whenever I feel like.

donmelton
donmelton

@furstenberg Thank you, sir! I'm glad you enjoyed them so much. We’ll try to do more.

donmelton
donmelton

@eli @AngeloStavrow @macgenie While the current trend of every-increasing Web development complexity certainly doesn't help anyone—-especially with lowering the barrier to entry—I think it's more the walled gardens of the Facebooks and click-greed of the Googles that’s making the Web less egalitarian.

hisaac
hisaac

@hjertnes Thanks for the links!

hjertnes
hjertnes

@donmelton What drives me nuts is that a lot of people seems to bring in huge JavaScript frameworks like React and Angular everywhere. There is a place for big web apps, but there are also a place for simple web pages without that much JavaScript. Using a huge frontend framework for a blog is just as dumb as making a native app for every single web site.

donmelton
donmelton

@hjertnes I completely agree! Which is another reason I abandoned my brief flirtation with WordPress at my own website and went back to a static blog with essentially no JavaScript except for a few embeds.

eli
eli

@hjertnes you mean I shouldn’t override default DOM behavior to display text to visitors!? My text is so important, though, it can’t merely use the standard DOM api. Where is the elegance!? The highest level of refinement? The exclusivity!? Wheels must be reinvented! 🤷‍♂️🤣😝

donmelton
donmelton

@hjertnes BTW, I think WordPress is a fine piece of software but it’s just overkill for most blogs. Then again, a lot of folks just don't have the expertise to deal with a static website or other blog generator. It's hard to choose and it's also why some don't even try.

hjertnes
hjertnes

@donmelton I love the idea of a static site, but WordPress is so convenient.

hjertnes
hjertnes

@eli Sure, you probably need a node_modules folder of at least 2GB and a webpack bundle file of at least 100MB to display some blogposts...

eli
eli

@hjertnes 🤯🤭🤣

hjertnes
hjertnes

@eli 🤨

dgold
dgold

@hjertnes From my own PoV (obvs YMMV) the thing that static sites give me is proper control of my content. Plain text files, in abundance. Wordpress, indeed any database-backed CMS seems to be just asking for trouble.

simonwoods
simonwoods

@dgold @donmelton I love the idea of proper content ownership but when I'm looking at a stalled Apache install and the PuTTY user manual doesn't work... seriously, proper ownership is such a small reward as compared to getting things done. It shouldn't be this difficult to both create things and own them.

donmelton
donmelton

@simonmumbles @dgold Agreed. But you have to pick your battles in the level of ownership. For example, my site is static but I've never had to install Apache. I don't want that headache. I let my ISP handle that. All I need is shell and SSH access to a directory that their Apache instance will recognize. I still get to write my own .htaccess file but I don't worry about the maintenance of who reads that. For me, that's still independence.

simonwoods
simonwoods

@donmelton @donmelton I agree entirely. Would be good if there was a version of Wirecutter for making websites, hosting and all. Instead it seems that any and help is scattered everywhere, doesn't cover every probably set of variables, and gets muddled by information that is either outdated or wrong.

I wonder if this is where the big web companies found their opportunity, the missing piece of the puzzle for the average person to have a genuine alternative that does not involve all kinds of work -- as it is I am inclined to spend time and energy on it but even then there are only so many hours in the day, you know?

(sorry for the lengthy reply)

donmelton
donmelton

@simonmumbles No apologies necessary, sir! Yeah, we're all searching for the missing link and we're not even anthropologists.

simonwoods
simonwoods

@donmelton Thanks. 👍

dgold
dgold

@simonmumbles I’m sorry to hear about your apache troubles. Like @donmelton says, that doesn’t need to be the case for static sites. When I started, I was doing builds on my local machine and using lftp for incremental ftp to a managed cPanel host.

simonwoods
simonwoods

@dgold Yep, I agree with both you and @donmelton. I'm cancelling my Linode account and going to look for somebody that will offer reasonably priced hosting, whether that's for a static site or WordPress. I'm just not in the position (time, energy, etc) to be handling things at the server level right now, heh.

donmelton
donmelton

@simonmumbles @dgold I recommend DreamHost. I've used them for over a decade without serious problems. And their hosting plans are competitively priced.

timeuser
timeuser

@donmelton @simonmumbles Dreamhost was a good shared host when I used them a few years ago. I’m on Linode myself now and am happy enough. But it is tough to justify the added complexity and responsibility unless you are hosting many sites or have other server needs.

donmelton
donmelton

@timeuser @simonmumbles I was using the DreamHost shared host configuration at first. But now I have the VPS plan. It's not necessary for a static blog but it's still faster.

amit
amit

@donmelton @simonmumbles @dgold completely agree. There was a time I went through all the Wordpress horrors. But realised it was too bloated for my simple text/occasional posts. Static sites really suited me best.

amit
amit

@donmelton @simonmumbles @dgold And especially with many CI solutions, like Netlify, supporting build & deploy from most standard static site generators simplifies the flow. All you need is your site on GitHub — Netlify handles the rest for me. More on my setup here.

timeuser
timeuser

@donmelton Managed vps wasn’t really a reasonable thing when I switched to Linode. I’d probably go that route too if I were looking now.

donmelton
donmelton

@amit @simonmumbles @dgold Thanks for the link. That's pretty sophisticated. My setup is nowhere near that automatic. :) I just store my source on Dropbox and a custom Rakefile builds and deploys it locally for testing, to a external stage site for more testing or to the real site.

hjertnes
hjertnes

@dgold You like files and I like APIs?

amit
amit

@donmelton Thank you Don. Yeah, for me there were a couple of reason for automating most remote build/deploy. Makes it simple to post from mobile when all it needs is commit to git. And secondly I just don’t trust myself with manual build/deploys. I will tinker a lot and keep screwing up 🙂

simonwoods
simonwoods

@donmelton @amit Oh, awesome, I did notice Netlify whilst I was looking around. Thanks for the help guys!

simonwoods
simonwoods

@donmelton @amit ... and here's the funny bit: since I'm using Windows the easiest option is a different generator to Jekyll, hah!

smokey
smokey

@donmelton I did not know you were the one who hired Ben Goodger at Netscape! I don’t know what he’s up to now; after Camino went under, I disengaged from the Internet for a long time, so I lost track of everyone, too.

smokey
smokey

@smokey This conversation is so wonderful, and it’s gone all over the place, too. Mostly, it reminds me that, after a very long absence, I’m back with my people :-) 👋

dgold
dgold

@hjertnes Oh, I like APIs as well. I like them so much I went and wrote my own for Hugo.

hjertnes
hjertnes

@dgold Cool!

hjertnes
hjertnes

@dgold What's huge by the way?

dgold
dgold

@hjertnes Eh... whut? Did I spell something wrong someplace?

hjertnes
hjertnes

@dgold Hugo... Damn autocomplete.

dgold
dgold

@hjertnes Hugo is a Static Site Generator, written in golang. Because its golang, all you need is the binary, which zips all your flat files into a site - its what I've been using for just over a year.

dgold
dgold

@hjertnes Oops, forgot the website for it: GoHugo.io

hjertnes
hjertnes

@dgold Interesting. I assume it is async?

dgold
dgold

@hjertnes I… don't know what that means. Sorry. 😞

hjertnes
hjertnes

@dgold No problem. One of the selling points about GoLang is that it is really good at doing a lot of stuff at once compared to languages like Python and Ruby. I was wondering if it good at using all the CPU's available

dgold
dgold

@hjertnes Well, I'm not sure, but it is incredibly fast: Here's a Speed Comparison of Hugo vs Jekyll

hjertnes
hjertnes

@dgold Okay. That's fast. Does your backend thingy work with MarsEdit?

jemostrom
jemostrom

@dgold And so nice to have one binary to install instead of dependency hell

jack
jack

@hjertnes @dgold I love Hugo. baty.net is built by it. Here's how fast: ``` baty.net git:(master) hugo

               |  EN

+------------------+------+ Pages | 2761 Paginator pages | 114 Non-page files | 2 Static files | 2247 Processed images | 0 Aliases | 4 Sitemaps | 1 Cleaned | 0

Total in 2684 ms ```

hjertnes
hjertnes

@jack it looks promising, but I don't think I'm going to go for any more static site generators before one comes with a official API layer that works with MarsEdit and so on.

jack
jack

@hjertnes Same here, which is why I'm back on WordPress. If I wrote mostly long text-only articles I'd stay with Hugo. I fly too fast and loose and use too many images to make using a static generator easy enough. Some day when tools like Netlify CMS etc. are good enough I'll revisit.

hjertnes
hjertnes

@jack it feels like a lot of stuff is almost there right now, but none of it is as convenient as WordPress. Like Ghost and various static generators

Verso
Verso

@hjertnes thank you for this conversation! I am not particularly loyal to WordPress but I know how to use it, so a static generator would be great but it turns out I’m probably ok where I am considering the state of the options. (:

hjertnes
hjertnes

@Verso No problem! I'm going to stay with Wordpress, but I still have working versions of my sites running on Jekyll and soon Huge, just because it's fun.

hjertnes
hjertnes

@Verso By the way, when are you publishing the Greeting from the Uncanny Valley episode?

hjertnes
hjertnes

@jack Damn, hugo is fast. Jekyll: 15 seconds, Hugo 0,5.

jack
jack

@hjertnes Crazy, isn't it? Between the speed and the fact that there's just one Go binary with no dependencies, I had no problem deciding to move from Jekyll to Hugo.

In reply to
hjertnes
hjertnes

@jack let's get back to working on iOS apps

Verso
Verso

@hjertnes I want it to be today but I'm not telling anybody that so nobody is disappointed. It's a long story.

jemostrom
jemostrom

@jack The one binary is such a nice change from the "start by downloading these 629 packages before you actually try to install the app you want to use"

hjertnes
hjertnes

@Verso 😕