Blue links

A curated and annotated link list

World Wide Web divided

Idiocracy in a Blade Runner landscape — describes the first half of the Web split in two Ploum in his blog post “Splitting the Web”.

He argues that the modern Web was divided into two sides:

Between those two extremes, the gap is widening.

PHP ain’t dead

PHP is big. The trolls can proclaim its all-but-certain “death” until the cows come home, but no amount of heckling changes that the Internet runs on PHP.

Timo Tijhof “An Internet of PHP

A great compilation of statistical data about PHP use in the wild and a short link list that further proves that PHP as the back-end language of the internet is far from being in decline or even stagnation.

DP Review: Web rot is erasing our images and videos

The Internet is burning away our photos, videos and older websites daily. At nearly 40 years old, the Internet had lost much of its early history to changing technology and corporate and user desires.

Shaminder Dulai “Finer Points: Web rot is erasing our images and videos

DP Review, the iconic digital photography e-zine and online forum, the cornerstone of the digital camera revolution of the 00’s, has barely escaped being shut down by its parent company, Amazon, and the subsequent deletion of all its content just earlier this Summer when it was acquired by Gear Patrol. This is why, probably, the topic of content disappearing from the web hits close to home for Shaminder Dulai, DP Review staff writer.

In his clear and well-thought-out essay he researched two major reasons for the so called web rot, the disappearance of old content from the web over time: change in technologies and the desire of the tech corporations, the owners of the web platforms we all use, to cut costs without second thought about preservation of the users’ content.

He suggests to take preservation of our digital treasures in our own hands, because we can’t trust this mission to the corporate spreadsheets. Some things require a heart.

Single HTML file website

This is a really cool thing, that is not complex at all: the whole site packed in a single HTML file. Pages are wrapped into <section> HTML tag, each with its own ID and linked with inner links, anchors. By default, all sections are hidden, but they become visible with the help of CSS :target selector.

<section id="home">

<section id="page">

<section id="blog"> 
HTML part

The whole “code” for the website to work fits into three CSS rules:

section {
	display: none;
	position: absolute;
	top: 0;
	min-height: 100vh;
	width: 100%;

section:target { /* Show section */
	display: block;

section#home { /* Show #home by default */
	display: block;
CSS part

It will even work with a sane number of images when using loading="lazy" to instruct the browser not to load images unless they are to become visible. When such “website” is meant to be distributed via any kinds of file sharing and accessed locally, both CSS and images can be embedded into HTML to make it truly single HTML file easy to move around.

Why your website should work without JavaScript

Only 0.2% of people intentionally block JavaScript, concludes Nathaniel from in his blog post “Why your website should work without JavaScript.

His analysis shows that roughly 1% are browsing internet without being able to run JavaScript. Of which around 0.8% are doing it because they don’t have other choice for various reasons.

The author argues that there are still plenty of benefits in catering to these people: it will help you to build sites that are faster, smaller, reliable, accessible both for humans and search engines, more secure and easier to develop.

A valid argument against hamburger menus

Hamburger menus, a common practice of compressing website’s main menu into a single icon displaying the said menu in a drop-down list on click, is a complete disregard for accessibility — argues Brad Taunt in his blog post “Stop Using Hamburger Menus.

His solution is to put all the links into the footer sitemap — a big text menu in the bottom of the page that is accessible on every device in every browser and even with JavaScript turned off.

You don’t need JavaScript for the websites that only deliver content

Another strong argument against using JavaScript on every website even if it is completely unnecessary.

The Web I Want by Chris James:

“Most websites are about delivering and exploring content. HTML is amazing for this, and you don’t need JavaScript.”

A collection of independent content discovery tools

Surf the Web by

The internet is huge but the average person only sees a tiny fraction of it.

A tidy and lovingly crafted collection of links to the independent content discovery tools like search engines, link directories, webrings, etc.

Douglas Rushkoff on the current state of the internet and technologies and what could be done about it

Doug Rushkoff Is Ready to Renounce the Digital Revolution by Malcolm Harris, Wired:

“Buy local, engage in mutual aid, and support cooperatives. Use monopoly law to break up anticompetitive behemoths, environmental regulation to limit waste, and organized labor to promote the rights of gig workers. Reverse tax policy so that those receiving passive capital gains on their wealth pay higher rates than those actively working for their income.”

An extensive interview with Douglas Rushkoff (I remember him by his book Media Virus!: Hidden Agendas in Popular Culture, it was widely discussed back in the 90’s) about his transformation from the early internet techno-optimist to the strong proponent of the more humanistic approach to technologies.

RavensBlight, an odd town in the dark digital woods

There are digital gardens and there are digital towns, this is one of the latter. Welcome to the RavensBlight.

This dark and spooky town is founded and built from the ground up by one man — Ray O’Bannon — and it is not a small one. RavensBlight can boast with a pretty big library full of horror stories, an Arcade with video games, a paper toys shop, its art gallery hosts more than 300 images, there is a music studio, and even a cinema! Are you ready for some horror shorts?

The site was started back in 2004 and it is still being updated from time to time. This is a solid age for a digital town.

Despite being pretty graphics heavy and even using an animated GIF in the header, RavensBlight only loads a tad over half a megabyte of data for its homepage. Its clean HTML makes it work on any modern device with no issues.

The website has quite extensive link list worth exploring. Here is one example that has caught my eye: The gallery of monster toys.