Kicks Condor

#hypertext
THE WEB IN ALL ITS FORMS

Yeah, so, this is the primary tag that I use throughout this site. Anything tagged ‘hypertext’ refers to the Web: unique personal blogs and home pages and wikis, where modern hypertext is going, surviving the Internet and searching or organizing or creating hypertext. (The other primary tags are: garage and elementary.

Common tags beneath this one are:

  • linking: Discussion about mere ‘linking’—that direct linking suffices for ‘liking’/‘friending’/‘upvoting’, that Google has hindered it with its heuristic, and that I like TO DO IT.

  • catalog: How to catalog links and hypertext for yourself and others. Lots of discussion about link directories and wikis.

  • chain: Managing chains of links and conversations through hypertext.

17 Oct 2019

Normality RPG

(nicked from chameleon:) Possibly the most raw, rage-filled role-playing game—designed to unhinge players by lying to them and deluding them. It’s a psyop on your friends. Cool aesthetics.

Ok, thanks to chameleon, here’s normality.pdf—good luck reading through the splatters and commas, , , , . BWYT M BWYTJ XXXDXXX. (Although, the poem “THE MAORI JESUS” by James K. Baxter is included and can be used as a character module. I don’t know what a ‘sad old quean’ is.)

The two authors began on a two-year journey of rage and frustration at the state of the world, and the reactions of those around them to their concerns. We became filled with hatred toward the roleplayers we encountered at local games and conventions, and so we set out to hurt them. To make them cry. We very nearly succeeded.

I can’t play this because it’s so brazenly misanthropic—but my love and appreciation for humans truly eclipses any of that—this is just another marvellous mess in the pile of our history, something to wrap our fish in—just as Van Gogh’s paintings were first repurposed. (Little-known fact from the pdf.)

It’s interesting to me that one of the goals of this game is to strip away ‘fluff’—aloofness and oneupmanship at the table, social veneer, the kinds of things perhaps the Joker film was on about—and to immerse characters in the game by ‘scrupulously avoiding a coherent setting and/or meta-plot for the game.’ In doing so, it begins to feel very postmodern, because there’s a kind of ‘breaking the fourth wall’ kind of thing being done to try to blur the border of the fictional and the real.

At the same time, it definitely doesn’t see itself that way—it seems to see itself as completely primal. And I think you could get there, perhaps, if a group playing the game could let things completely devolve. (Though I think such a thing couldn’t truly be done without real violence, right? Otherwise, you’re kidding yourself.)

It’s also fun to look at the whole thing as a parody of niche RPGs or zines. I think it would be fun to play this ironically, too. I know that sounds degenerate, but yeah, that’s exactly the point. (Signed, Ironic Waifuist Sad Old Quean.)

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04 Oct 2019

OMGLORD

Gabby Lord’s tiny directory—a perfect example of what (I feel) the Web needs!

Often when designers make home pages, they throw out a bunch of cool CSS tricks and aesthetic trimming and I celebrate that—but often there’s not much there in the way of interesting hypertext stuff. In this case, Gabby Lord’s OMGLORD has a nice minimalist design that frames a solid personal directory of links. There’s clearly been a lot of work done here—probably 200 links with nice descriptions and her own set of categories—stuff like ‘type foundries’ and ‘women in design’. I had a lot of fun coming up with categories for href.cool and I think she’s got a great organization here—also, starring her most recommended links is sweet.

I also think her City Maps category is reaaaally cool! She links to Google Maps that she’s personally annotated with sights, parks, coffee shops. These are directories within the directory. In addition, it’s a really nice way to build a directory of real-life stuff.

If you have any distaste for algorithmic recommendation engines or the commercialization of the Internet, I urge you to make a tiny directory! Gabby’s directory is just her favorite cool links—it’s not influenced by advertiser money or link popularity—except that perhaps Gabby discovered some of these through those kinds of avenues—these links have proved worthwhile to her over time. You may feel some resistance sifting through her pages, because why am I looking through a personal page when I could reading a slick major publication or wielding a powerful search engine but you will find things here directly, person-to-person, with no ulterior motives between you and these links.

It’s great, right?

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17 Sep 2019

Kinopio.club

Adooorable electronic post-it notes and pipes by @pketh—nice find by Eli Mellen.

Don’t really need to explain this link; don’t know if I can. It’s cute. You can write little notes on the page. It’s a web app created by Pirijan Ketheswaran, formerly of Glitch (and Frog Feels.)

From Pirijan’s blog post a month ago:

Kinopio is designed to:

  1. Get the chaotic messy thoughts and ideas out of your head
  2. Show you how they’re connected
  3. Help you figure out what they mean, and how to start working on them

I’ve covered mind-mapping techniques previously in How to Make a Complete Map of Every Thought You Think. There are echoes in the design of Yahoo! Pipes and Hypercard—but I think this is even more elegant than those. Spraying lines (as if with a spray tool) to select things. Showing selected elements using a wiggle.

The aesthetics might seem sugary sweet on the surface—but I think they are quite clever—and perhaps even conducive to brainstorming. I would actually be interested in seeing this expanded—almost as if you could make wiki or a blog this way. You can create multiple pages—and login/collaboration is on the roadmap—so maybe this will be possible soon.

Anyway, this is getting an entry in Web/Participate. What a great creative tool. Thanks, @pketh!

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13 Sep 2019

MARINA NOSEQUÉ

Marker art and other sites found among the ‘crazy cool’(?) group.

This longscroll website full of marker art is a perfect pickup for my ‘dank’ tag. Some of these drawings of Maria’s are even animated! Annnd there is this one drawing down the page of some blue-violet fat-bodied nun with a flesh-colored bat face who is slurping this long noodle of electricity out of the bum of a vermillion pair of disembodied legs. This is like the most interesting marker page I’ve ever seen.

I got this off the ‘crazy cool websites’ Facebook page. Their website seems to be down—but there is an accompanying interview site that’s cool.

Some other links that caught my eye in their collection:

  • Javascreen: don’t know why it’s called that and you kind of have to wait and click on the center part to get it going—this is a bit of code that generates palettes and shapes to accompany imagery. I like how they turn out.
  • Simon Sweeney: You scroll in a big circle until you hit the beginning.
  • STUPID SHIT NO ONE NEEDS & TERRIBLE IDEAS HACKATHON: I’ve seen this years ago—seems like it was on Waxy. But there is newer material: some brilliant stuff in there.

Ok, sorry to be noisy today. Forget I was ever here.

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12 Sep 2019

Dror Bar-Natan’s Academic Pensieve

How a mathematician self-modeled over the last 20 years.

I’m tempted to label this guy the “Anti-Tufte” because of the MS Paint academic style on this website and the slapdash text layout. I hope this isn’t an insult—I find all of this work inspiring, quite inspiring in a way, it’s like dense mathematics have somehow wrapped around to zine aesthetics. (A lot of the visuals I’m talking about are linked on the ‘handout browser’ wiki page.)

Also really cool: this directory where Dr. Bar-Natan follows students projects.

The directory of blackboard shots is kind of like an interesting take on a timeline. I keep seeing interesting timelines out there—this one is cool because it extends in the future. There was another one, but I’ve lost track of it. I thought the site was too commercial, so I let it go. But now I just want it back for a minute. Ah well.

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09 Sep 2019

Blogchats

Notes on hypertext interviews.

People will hate this word. This is great because I can keep this page for myself and keep notes here and only the truly intrepid will venture through the tamarisk surrounding that word to be here.

Blogchat is a misnomer because I interview people over e-mail. But the actual conversation comes alive when it is posted to the blog.[1] But I don’t want to call them ‘e-mail interviews’—I feel I can classify them blogchats and be done. Much as people say ‘slide into my DMs’ but reality is nothing of the kind—one stiltingly, jarringly skids into my DMs.

I don’t want them to happen live. My interview with Nadia Eghbal took many months—and I’m so glad. The instinctive feeling arrives that, since the world is connected, the signal should always be live. That one should chat and chat and chat for many months. And the quicker one chats, the quicker one will come to the conclusion, the quicker one will know someone, know things. I have to resist wanting my ‘blogchat’ to happen across streaming blogs with advanced technological scaffolding.

One distinct advantage: asking questions and waiting over time to answer them. It’s not that one is constantly mulling over the question for months. The questions are free to go completely out of mind. But, time passes, and new experiences happen.

I think the best phase is after the initial round of questions is over. Once answers are given, the conversation is rolling and we return to life for a day or a week. When we return to converse again, the topic is quite fresh. The feeling that I am not reaching for questions.

As marvelous as podcasts are, conversations can be too slow. I don’t want to get too deeply into min/maxing this shit. It’s a respectfulness idea, as stodgy as that may sound. You can read a decent blogchat in five or ten minutes and possibly hear everything except the vocal camaraderie and perhaps some finer points. You can definitely more easily re-read and quote. This is essential to me—I never hear it all the first time.

I’ll stop there—it all just feels polite. I don’t think I could talk for an hour and feel deserving of anyone’s attention. It’s possible that some guests aren’t comfortable on a podcast. I don’t know if that comes up ever.

I actually think that podcast hosts might get the benefit of the running conversation, the dayslong mulling—the microphone is always looming. But the guests can’t benefit from this. They have their one shot to say whatever might emerge. They can’t improve or correct anything. Maybe this is why podcast hosts can also be the best podcast guests—they are just delivering another batch of thoughts that has emerged from the muse of constant podcasting.[2]

Of course, blogchats are not some zenith of human communication. They lack the sensations that a podcast can produce. I’m reveling in their brief, concentrated way. Like a rollercoaster ride.

I think the next thing is perhaps to see what it’s like if a blogchat can be posted as a draft over time, building periodically.


  1. I keep the e-mail conversation in chronological order, but I may interleave questions and answers in a way that is harshly ripped from the original material. I am unsure about removing phrases that are related to the upkeep of the chat. I want what the respondent says to remain intact. They will do the editing for their material—they’ve spent time crafting it. ↩︎

  2. It’s possible that podcast hosts ARE actually the guests. ↩︎

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06 Sep 2019

Reply: Href.Cool Changes

nitinkhanna

@kicks how? How the how do you track these changes???

I keep all my links in a giant document. That document is used to generate the website. One of my Fill Crawlers is used to check if a site has drastically changed and to take screenshots. It gives me a report. That’s all there is to it. Thank you for asking!

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04 Sep 2019

Cardhouse

CRT blog of odd things—and its connection to philatelicism.

(First, let me mention that I obtained the directions to the Cardhouse ‘website concept’ from a massive linkspill that is seeping out on this thread on Metafilter. It is a long list of blogs that have been running for ~20 years. It’s very helpful if you are curious what ‘classic’ blogs are still alive.)

While this is a very interesting blog on its own, I am particularly interested in a few pages for a few reasons:

  • History: A long, illustrated self-history of the blog that is almost like a time capsule on a single page. It catalogs the snapshots of the design—it’s surprising that more sites don’t do this. Perhaps because it’s perceived as navel-gazing? I think it reflects the rest of the Web, too, though.

  • Phoneswarm: A sub-blog covering unusual telephone booths. Also: X Magazine, Macros2000. I like that these temporary projects are littered throughout the site—they are fun to explore on their own, partly because they are done.

  • The Archive: Seems haphazard, but is actually very well done. A directory—similarly, the links page is the old ‘portal’ style directory. Which seems like it could be revived as well.

A secondary site The Erstwhile Philatelic Society is also really cool. It is best explained by the application for membership.

From the FAQ:

  1. What is with the vert|ical ba|rs in the mid|dle of words?
    The problem with search engines is that they allow people to key on words that have nothing to do with the larger web page. People are coming to pages for the wrong reasons – by splitting up certain words in certain pages, people won’t mistakenly come to these pages. That’s the theory, anyway. Apparently there is a rag-tag effort to get this sort of functionality parameterized for search engines, but I fell asleep halfway through the article.

This is good technology.

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30 Aug 2019

Nadia Eghbal, Re: Writing Hypertext

My digichat with @nayafia—an essential writer (imho) of texts, notes and wonderful roundups.

A few months ago, I stumbled across the essay ‘The tyranny of ideas’ and was truly struck by the inquisitive, thought-mashing flow of the writing. It’s just a great piece—I’ve read it several times now and talked about it with pretty much everyone I know. The author, Nadia Eghbal, writes quite a bit about funding open source software[1], but meanders all over, processing modern life on her website.

> Welcome to the digichat with Nadia.

kicks: You have a simple, minimalist blog—very limited styling, an RSS feed, generated with Jekyll—meaning you likely write all your posts in a plain text editor. What appealed to you about a minimalist design?

nadia: Before I started writing, I really liked blogs like Aaron Swartz’s and Paul Graham’s, which were minimally designed. If it’s a blog post, I generally don’t want to do anything that takes away from the text itself. It’s like when you cook a really nice piece of fish or steak or whatever: if the main ingredient is good, you shouldn’t need to season it.

kicks: You are also pretty sparse with your linking, image embedding, all the ‘hypertext’ features of the Web. I take it that your faith in plain text doesn’t extend to these?

nadia: Not sure I understand the q, but yes, I like keeping everything pretty sparse. I do like linking a lot (or at least I feel like I link a lot!) as a way of subtly saying “if you wanna dig into this thing more, you can go down this path over there, but otherwise I’m gonna keep talking”.

kicks: You have a page on your site for somewhat ephemeral thoughts and unpolished shorthand. This page has no feed, so it doesn’t actively broadcast—it could almost be seen as a neat personal touch to your website. However, you are incredibly active in updating this! Much more so than your Twitter account it seems. What motivates you to write there?

nadia: I like being able to publish my messier, half-formed thoughts, but I get turned off by putting those next to a like count. It feels like the more likes you get, the more you start writing things to get likes, whereas the REALLY weird, unpopular stuff probably won’t get many likes at all.

I worry about likes changing how I think and interfering with my ability to wander and explore the edges. (I am truly envious, however, of people who are able to use Twitter as a place to braindump their thoughts! I think I’m just too self-conscious.)

Someone (I think Eugene Wei?) once tweeted that all Twitter accounts eventually sound like fortune cookies. I don’t want to become a fortune cookie. So I like things like newsletters, and my notes page, which are still discoverable and semi-public, but aren’t subject to short feedback loops. I also removed comments on my blog for the same reason, and I never look at my site analytics.

kicks: This is making me seriously reconsider ‘likes’—which I’ve let pass as a kind of low-effort but benign and gracious comment. But now as I look at your ‘notes’ page—not only am I convinced by what you’ve said—I think the absence of all the ‘share’/‘like’ icons really makes that page feel like a running conversation. With ‘like’ counts, I think I’d be distracted wondering which thoughts were the most highly admired—but, come on, what kind of bullshit is that for me to be thinking while looking through your private thought journal?? So maybe it alters reading too in a sick way?[2]

nadia: The problem with likes is it naturally draws your eye towards the most-liked stuff, instead of deciding for yourself what’s most interesting. It almost feels like I’d be taking agency away from the reader by doing that.

(Maybe I’m being a little sanctimonious—e.g. shorter thoughts probably draw ppl’s attention more than bigger paragraphs, there’s no way to totally avoid this problem—but I’d rather not add to it, either.)

I mean I think curation can be useful, e.g. on my homepage I highlight a couple of my favorite blog posts, because I assume they want a bit of guidance at that point. But on a stream-of-consciousness notes page, I’m assuming they’re more in exploratory, serendipity mode. I don’t want to guide them towards anything.

kicks: Ok, now: about the essays. The quality of your writing on your blog is very good, very thought-provoking and unique. Serious time has been invested into each essay. I imagine there is a wealth of publications who would love for you to write for them. Why post these to a personal blog?

nadia: Thanks! I like what Venkatesh Rao has to say about Ribbonfarm, which he thinks of as a wildlife preserve. I like having total freedom on my blog to roam around and write about whatever I want, as much or as little as I want. It’s like the popularity metrics thing: if I start writing for others, I worry it’d start to change what I think and write about.

That said: I do like writing for other publications and blogs occasionally! It’s just a very different experience, and I usually need to have a particular reason for doing it.

kicks: You know, your link to Ribbonfarm there has illustrated what you are saying so well. I’ve never really read that blog—but what better way to find it than in this chance conversation with you? (We’re enjoying ‘sidewalk life’ here—as you term it.)

nadia: Woot! Ribbonfarm is lifechanging, I’m a bit of a fangirl.

kicks: I mean the world is trying so hard to build technology that will have these conversations for us. Especially these ones where we find each other. At the same time, it feels like there is more to talk about than ever. Do you feel this way? Or, I mean—you’ve already written pretty extensively—do you still feel like you’re at the tip of the iceberg?

nadia: I definitely feel like I’m at the tip of the iceberg. There are so many half-written blog posts waiting for me to finish, and at some point I’ve realized I’ll never get to them all. And having meaningful conversations is a really tough thing to scale, too. I’m still trying to figure that one out.

kicks: To what degree do you feel like you need to repeat yourself? Because some important points are worth harping on, right?

nadia: I hate repeating myself. haha. This is maybe one of my biggest weaknesses. Part of why I blog is honestly just to avoid repeating myself; if I’ve talked about an idea with enough people separately, I want to codify it into a post and be done with it. I get really impatient about having the same conversations with multiple people. But to your point, important points do need to be repeated, which helps them spread and sink in. It’s just my least favorite thing.

kicks: Does it ever feel like your blog is out in the middle of nowhere? Or do you feel sufficiently connected to the rest of the network out there?

nadia: Haha yes, I definitely feel that way sometimes, although usually I find it comforting—sort of a “hidden in plain sight” kind of thing. Twitter and newsletter are basically my only ties between my blog and the outside world; that said, I think I’ve gotten a surprising amount of engagement that way.

Fundamentally, I think of my blog more like a portfolio, or a display case. It’s not about juicing up my readership, but connecting with the right people who happen upon it and find something that resonates. I’ve met so many amazing people through writing: I’ve gotten most of my work opportunities that way, and made a lot of friends, too! I’ve thought about whether I should focus more on distribution, but again, I think if I started to worry about that, it would make the whole experience less fun, and I might also start changing what I write about. Maybe it’s naive, but I like the idea of having a public place for my “pure” thoughts, and the only way I can think to do that is by explicitly not caring about who reads it or how it spreads around.

kicks: Well, I think you’re playing a long game here—by not cashing in on the immediate attention and likes of those networks. It’s definitely ‘purifying’ to drain away all those other purposes that could be tweaking your motives.

A home page definitely seems more and more inert—disconnected from society, from live notifications, seemingly deserted. But there’s an advantage to that—it’s like you can actually control the tempo there. It’s like visiting you at your home—down a wooded road—or, maybe more appropriately: your candy store, like the one you mention in “Reclaiming Public Life,” where “one is free to either hang around or dash in and out, no strings attached.”

nadia: I love this imagery of a homepage being like visiting a home down a wooded road. I am definitely the recluse living in a cabin 😃

kicks: I wish it was more like a candy store, though—so I could hang out and meet another avid reader or give you a thanks as the door jingles on my way out. What is an adequate ‘social’ sidewalk for your blog—is it your attached Twitter account and email newsletter?

nadia: Yeah, Twitter is probably the “social sidewalk” for my blog. I’m still trying to figure out the newsletter thing. When I send out a newsletter, I get a bunch of responses from subscribers, but it feels inefficient somehow to have multiple 1:1 conversations with different people, when I’m sure others would love to read them. I’d almost even say it feels selfish…like I’m keeping all these ideas to myself! Occasionally I include some of the interesting stuff in the following newsletter, but yeah, I don’t like being the bottleneck keeping everyone apart from each other. I haven’t come up with a better alternative besides Twitter, but not everyone is active there.

I guess that’s why some blogs have comments. I was so anti-comments in the past bc it felt like “the comments section”, as a place, had become so crappy and low-quality. It’d be funny if comments sections made a retro comeback as a place to have deeper, substantive conversations. Or maybe they never went away, but I’m the one who’s coming back around to them. (Are newsletters are just the slow re-invention of blogs?)

kicks: Hahaha! I believe this is the first time I’ve heard a remark in possible favor of comments. Yes, I think it is. It’s possible you’ve unearthed the first truly contrarian thought on the Internet here… Which is especially ironic because we’ve just been deriding ‘likes’ somewhat.

Ok, I’ll stop there. Thank you for all that you are doing, Nadia!

nadia: Thank you for all your delightful and thoughtful observations! Really enjoying your trains of thought.


  1. And is also known for RFC, a podcast on the topic. ↩︎

  2. Oh and the fortune cookie remark is too good! It reminds me of something David Yates recently said to me: that there needs to be a name for that feeling where you click on a link to a sweet domain name and it ends up just being another Mastodon instance. ↩︎

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19 Aug 2019

Ola Bini’s Letters from Detention

Reflections from a thoughtful and innocent prisoner.

I spent some of the weekend reading these letters from Ola Bini, who was imprisoned in April for basically being a friend of Julian Assange. I remember Ola from his work on the Ioke programming language—and I once chatted with him many, many years ago. He was polite and well-spoken. I am glad to hear that he is now released. (The FreeOlaBini site should probably show his release more prominently—it is more obvious on Twitter.)

Still, his blog is quite eye-opening and worthwhile. There are entries here that are simply poignant—such as Ola’s story of his birthday when his fellow inmates sang to him. In an almost deliberately Kafkaesque way, it seems he is never told what he is charged with—we can presume computer hacking, but no specifics are given. (It seems the authorities assumed this from his personal library—which Fogus catalogs here.)

I feel some cynicism toward ‘open source’/‘free software’ and cyberpunk ideologies—and I think many people also associate this with ‘tech bro’-style optimism—but Ola’s letters have me reconsidering.

[C]ode and architecture are more important than laws. Laws can be broken, but if we build our systems correctly, we can provide real guarantees. The right to privacy, security and anonymity is also a strong belief and the idea that these rights belong to everyone, not just those that can pay for it.

Related to this, is the mistrust of authority, not just governments, but any kind of authority. That means those rights cant be provided just as legal rights by fiat. Instead, these rights have to be provided by something stronger: by cryptographic systems, implemented and run in the open. This is the only real way you can ultimately provide real self-determination to everyone in the world.

A final belief: cypherpunks write code. This means just what it says. If we want a better world, we have to take the responsibility. We have to build it ourselves.

I don’t feel optimism in any of this. I just feel a person wanting to secure their life. This seems like a basic right—roughly equivalent to the very smallest property right, the ability to merely live and survive at a specific coordinate—even a prisoner has that right. Cynicism feels dangerous here—that I’d rather just wander in aloof disbelief than try.

This also has me hunting for other blogs from prisoners. Know of any?

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15 Aug 2019

2019.08: What’s New to Href.Cool?

Most of these links have been posted recently—some removals as well.

Href.cool is my personal directory to the Web. It contains one hidden directory inside of it—and I’m working on two more (one on ‘antimisanthropy’ and another on ‘fake computers’.) In the meantime, I have some casual updates.

Added to Games/Dialogue:

To Web/Wiki, I added an essential link—that of chameleon’s wiki. (Who today has introduced me to a sick term: birdsite.hell in reference to Twitter.)

Removed link to Susan Engel (susan-engel.com) in Real/Learning—DNS doesn’t resolve.

New category Real/Thoughts:

  • Meaningness Wiki ∞
    David Chapman (who also brought us Buddhism for Vampires)—to simply call Meaningness a ‘book’ or a ‘metablog’ or a Buddhist resource is to discount that this is a formidable work that seems to both tackle the question “What is life?” and to catalog its author’s every thought. It also sets a precedent for drafting in public that I’ve begun to see on the other links in Web/Wiki.

  • Visakan Veerasamy Page ∞
    This site goes real deep—you have no idea. But you might get an idea if you survey the bookmarks page (which is an impressive collection—feels similar to href.cool) or the @1000wordvomits page (dump of interesting, meandering essays) or his master list of his own Twitter threads, which is just much better than it sounds. Generous work.

  • Nadia Eghbal Blog 1h
    Started with the brilliant ‘The tyranny of ideas’. Stayed for ‘Reclaiming public life’ and ‘The independent researcher’. Essays to snack on. (See also: The Modern Essay by Virginia Woolf. That’s what Nadia does.)

  • Ribbonfarm Blog ∞
    Venkatesh Rao and friends write long articles, some of which form ‘blogchains’—a continuous riff on a subject. (Via Nadia E.)

The link for ‘Sleepingfish’ in Stories/Brief has changed to http://www.calamaripress.com/SF/.

The link to ‘HIGH END CUSTOMIZABLE SAUNA EXPERIENCE’ in Stories/Hypertext has changed to http://slimedaughter.com/games/twine/sauna/.

An addition to Tapes/Classic:

  • Radio Soulwax Mixtape 1h
    These are pretty popular—but whatever, credit to these Belgians for keeping such an ambitious project on a sheet of matte black hypertext.

An addition to Tapes/Infinite:

  • Every Noise at Once Directory 1m
    ‘…an algorithmically-generated, readability-adjusted scatter-plot of the musical genre-space, based on data tracked and analyzed for 3,295 genres by Spotify as of 2019-08-03. The calibration is fuzzy, but in general down is more organic, up is more mechanical and electric; left is denser and more atmospheric, right is spikier and bouncier.’

And an addition to Tapes/Vaporwave:

Bunch of new links under Visuals/Motion:

New link in Web/Meta to: WWWTXT—quotes from Usenet, CompuServe and such. Cool design.

Removed link to Typegram (tgr.am) in Web/Participate—DNS won’t resolve.

  1. Reply: Href.Cool Changes

    nitinkhanna

    @kicks how? How the how do you track these changes???

    I keep all my links in a giant document. That document is used to generate the website. One of my Fill Crawlers is used to check if a site has drastically changed and to take screenshots. It gives me a report. That’s all there is to it. Thank you for asking!

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Reply: Sausages & Hamburgers

Prateek Saxena

So, when Siddharth showed me what sausage links were, I knew they would be perfect for this problem. I did some research and found some other documentation websites using them too.

Hey, Prateek—good to have you cross-posting to Indieweb.xyz. It will be interesting to see if sausage links stay or if they are a fad. It’s interesting that browsers haven’t adopted them for crowded tabs (or, perhaps, it seems that they moved away from hidden tabs… can’t recall.)

At any rate, you have a nice design here. Keep up the great work!

  1. I really like indieweb.xyz, thank you for making it (also your site is awesome 🤩). Still posting to it manually though, need to get my webmentions working properly. Even your comment doesn't show up on my site correctly yet 😓

    IIRC, after a certain number of tabs Firefox lets you horizontally scroll through them on MacOS. I think the design is surely functional 😊

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adamcadre.ac

This writer/game designer’s home page is full of interesting hypertext flourishes.

This link was passed on to me by David Yates a while ago and I’ve finally had some time to explore it further. And it turns out there are quite a few interesting uses of links and layout that could be useful to anyone out there who is designing a TiddlyWiki[1]—for instance, the detailed organization of Adam’s favorite songs and albums page or the multiple views for the archives of the blog (called the ‘calendar’—which has been around since the 1990s.)

One of my favorite little touches is the presence of mouseover boxes throughout the essays in the ‘calendar’. In the small screenshot above, you can see a spoiler rating mouseover shown on the Stranger Things review. But there are footnotes, images, even short videos that will pop up when you hover over certain dotted links. (These remind me of the footnotes and links on philosopher.life—but with more effort put into designing them—they may have unique colors or borders.)

More than anything, this highlights again the range of things you can do with a website that just isn’t possible on social networks or Medium blogs—perhaps only an app of some kind could be customized like this.

The site also brought to mind this quote from the recent ‘Writing HTML in HTML’ article:

But how can I then keep the style and layout of all my posts and pages in sync?

Simple: don’t! It’s more fun that way. Look at this website: if you read any previous blog post, you’ll notice that they have a different stylesheet. This is because they were written at different times. As such, they’re like time capsules.

Like Phil Gyford’s site, the pages throughout Adam’s site often each have unique designs which hearken to the author’s style and sensibilities during the time when they were created. I feel like websites like this have fallen out of favor—but access to these old designs is now full of nostalgia—so perhaps we will see more hand-crafted HTML in the same way that we now see a TON of wonderful Windows 95 ripoffs in web design and gaming.


  1. And, if you are, you should really be checking out the recent ‘outrun’-colored tags and tighter design on sphygm.us. Or the erratic page-filling that is happening on chameleon’s wiki. ↩︎

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07 Aug 2019

Wikipedia on Dat Is Looking Sweet

How to distribute 255GB of HTML and still make it browsable.

This is sick. The Dat team is benchmarking 2.0 using a dump of Wikipedia. One peer is seeding the whole archive—the peer in the video is selectively downloading files. And pages are rendered in a few seconds.

@pfrazee:
The total archive is 255GB of content with 5GB of internal metadata. This browsing session pulled down 3mb of the metadata and 6mb of content to the local device. (Again, this bench is showing the site get served fresh over the lan from another device.)

The innovation here is the new hash-trie index, which was laid out by Mathias Buus in the recent talk at Data Terra Nemo.

To me, this is reassuring. Beaker has really made progress toward becoming a stable peer-to-peer web browser—and to see them hustling on performance, working to improve the fundamentals—gives me great confidence. I can’t see Beaker becoming mainstream, but I think it could be tremendously useful to everyone else: artists, archivers, the underground—not in a ‘dark web’ sense, but in the sense of those who want to experiment and innovate outside of the main network.[1]

Anyway—just want to encourage this work. This team is really pouring work into the protocol. Happy to give them some kudos.


  1. In fact, maybe what could happen here is just that there could be a kind of Web between the centralized one and the ‘dark’ one. Fully anonymized networks just have such a target on their heads. ↩︎

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03 Aug 2019

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Poolside FM

A vaporwave OS-for-pretendsies tears up Product Hunt—what does it mean??

I’m probably not introducing you to this link—because it’s been around the block for the last week. However, it’s a bull’s-eye for me—it lands in almost every collection I keep—from OS façades (such as whimsy.space and eeerik.com) to endless home video playlists (such as astronaut.io and defaultfile.name).

Yeah, but this isn’t an obscure site like so many of those. It launched on (remove glasses, rub eyes with fists) Product Hunt (this is v2, the first launched in 2014.), a watering hole for e-mail newsletter and blockchain startups. There seems to be no troll in the statement on the ‘about’ popup:

Want to collaborate or build something like Poolside FM for your company? We’re probably down to make that happen.

Reach out with your wildest dreams.

This idea of companies jumping on the bandwagon to fill the Internet with absurd anachronistic Windows 95 desktops is truly a grand vision—I’ll toast to that.

The reaction of publications covering Poolside FM is what I’m really enjoying. On It’s Nice That—a design magazine—Lucy Bourton writes:

There are of course, considering this is a project of pure fun and joy, a few smile-inducing tweaks in the website’s design too with a unique colour palette (customisable backgrounds are a must-try), martini glasses instead of close buttons and an ASCII art boot screen. It even involves its growing community with a guestbook for users to comment on and a shop with merchandise too.

😂 It even has a ‘guestbook’! For the users!

From The Verge:

Bell’s site even incorporates a guestbook on its site, like old-school webpages, which creates a feeling of community.

Has everyone gone back to 1985? This is getting infectious!

Poolside.FM has about 32,000 followers on Instagram, and Bell says that the site has 4,000 monthly listeners. He wants to grow that number this year and continue building up the community. Part of that is welcoming new listeners, but he also wants to encourage other artists and musicians to submit their tracks. It’s a collaborative process.

I only hope that one day we’ll have the technology for you out there—my own unique clan of snakeskin-clad hypertexting sunbathers—to load up Kicks Condor’s Russian Sci-Fi and Iranian Cinema Blog.avi straight from Poolside FM! See you then.

See also: foreignrap, somehow related.

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25 Jul 2019

Reply: Lateral Connections

vega

Serendipity in newspapers and record stores is dependent on unlike things being adjacent to each other. […] It’s the caprice, whimsy, lateral thinking, and uniqueness of the curator that decides what link stands next to what else—something that machine algorithms just can’t do. These days we rely too much on a machine serving us hyperlinks; a return to human-curated hyperlinks is perhaps a way of raising serendipity.

‘…unlike things being adjacent to each other.’

Great comments. Even without algorithms, this can be trouble—on subreddits, posts can be flagged ‘offtopic’—so overboard moderation is a problem. (Of course, Reddit is where one goes to fully ‘engage’. No /s—it’s fine to do that. Problem is: people may not know where to go to get outside of ‘engage’ mode.)

One thought I’ll add re: getting outside of my own interests—I think if we had better tools for keeping tabs on our interests, we could more easily move outside them. (Like: if my ‘reader’/‘news feed’ makes it difficult to track 100 people, then I can’t very well track 1,000 people.)

And directories are sweet here—they are little libraries. Sure, they can cover your interests. But they can be used to map the strange elven lands that you happen to sally in.

  1. @kicks re tools: I think that "unlike things adjacent to each other" helps a lot; the examples in @dancohen's article -- record store, newspaper -- depend on spatial organization to promote serendipity even when one begins at a point of their own interest. Browsing my Pinboard.in account revives and reminds me of old interests -- the links may be organized by date in a flat-file, but diverse things are adjacent to each other. I've also been experimenting with Zettelkasten for various info-management and creative purposes (haven't progressed far though).

    I'm generally in agreement with this paper that spatial organization is integral to human interaction with things outside the self; but digital tools and AI aren't that good at doing it yet. Human-curated hyperlinks and organizational methods are a step towards it, but perhaps this is an area for future IT development.

  2. @vega @kicks Vega I'm thinking about this "unlike things adjacent to each other" in the context of the Web 1.0 "free" banner exchanges. But now that I've blurted that out, I see too many downsides to it: keeping it from becoming commercial, cluttering up blogs with banner ads for poor click through ratios so never mind, too much work for to little gain. SImple hyperlink is easier and less intrusive.

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Chameleon’s Wiki

TiddlyWiki is trending??

This is getting crazy!! Philosopher.life is turning into some kind of cult. And chameleon has entered the fray with a great design—really cool styling on the tags. This is one to keep an eye on.

YOU DONT KNOW ABOUT MY OTHER CAR I GUESS ?

ITS A MACRO

AND IS PRONOUNCED ``$:/macros/’’

OK YOU FUQIN ANGERED AN EXPERT PUBLIC SELF MODELLER

THIS IS TiddlyWiki

YOU ARE ALLOWED TO POST HERE ONLY IF YOU HAVE ACHIEVED SATORI

WIKIING IS ALL ABOUT ``ABSTRACT BULLSHITE’’ THAT YOU WILL NEVER COMPREHEND

DIS IS MANIFESTOE.

I need to add this to my list—I am tracking this community at href.cool/Web/Wiki. My dream is that this list becomes untenable. What if TiddlyWiki becomes the new blockchain? Like what if everywhere you go people are talking about it? The Stranger Things cast all have theirs already.

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Reply: Clearly You Are Blind or Evil, Lol

h0p3

Thank you, penetration tester.

[…]

With great hesitation and hot coals, you pull logs out of my eye.

Haha, (head quivering in hands) these conversations are so enjoyable. You dropped the gun. It lies there in the sand, as innocent as a slice of chocolate cake, before melting into a dozen frightened beetles that shimmer in the hot sun.

I wish I wasn’t so slow to participate, wish I could be more thorough, more precise—it is overwhelming how much there is to talk about. And, anyway, I mostly just want to read. My mouth wants to be put away this summer. It is pleased to stay pursed, so something can form (not foam) inside it.

I’m sorry. I can see parts of your tooling work from Beaker Browser. I also cannot see the structure of the thing you are exploring and building from afar nearly as well as you can. You are a man who has in hands in more than one pie, so I see multiple signals. I am still squaring away where you have drawn the lines of your position here. I am doing my best to interpret your video, but surely you must say I am not charitable enough.

Your apology is unnecessary, but gracious. You are my friend, so we can rant and sling handfuls of mud, it’s all playful. I am in disarray—it’s true. It’s always been this way. Just to have you read is plenty of T42T.

Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.

— Proverbs 9:8

Our mutual rebuking is some good shit, brother.

With peer-to-peer, I’m a huge enthusiast—this is the ‘leeching’ part of ‘leeching and linking’. I once had a friend who had worked for Nullsoft and I really got into Gnutella when it came out. In fact, all of those networks: Kazaa, Soulseek, eDonkey2000, LimeWire—and was head over heels for BitTorrent when it came out. There are files I’m still seeding after a decade. I was on Freenet—though Tor never caught on with me, for some reason.

I was into Bitcoin when it first came out—I have to get into all of these things, to see what people are doing. I’m too curious. (I do this with all of the things that trend at elementary school: Fortnite, FNAF, Bendy and the Ink Machine, yes, even fidget spinners. I don’t give mainstream culture my full gaze; I just try to eat my helpings.)

I must also not be correctly understanding “The Conduit” you have in mind. It looks like more than a restyling to me, but you would know better than I. I see enormous progress in how you scrape and categorize in your feed not for the sake of what is “hot.” Rather, to some extent, you are eliminating karma-whoring clickbait and instead enabling each person to have a voice less distorted or tempted by improper incentives.

Well, there has got to be a better term—I’m lazily grabbing the word that materialized as I’ve been working. The ‘conduit’ is the central place where everyone’s words mingle together. It could be a subreddit’s ‘hot’ page or a Twitter feed or an RSS reader’s main view. This is where you monitor all your ‘others’ and perhaps discover more. Does this make sense?

I still have a long way to go to get the design and infoshaping right. It still feels bland and unexciting compared to the news feed. This is good—this is the point. But it needs a little bit of frosting still.

Oh and—on the topic of handling your large wiki size—I just submitted the start of a fix (see the bottom of here) to this. I actually think this work could do wonders for TiddlyWiki. Imagine if you could do separate tiddlers (like Bob) but also stuff like embedding videos (or torrents even) right in TiddlyWiki! (And I mean the data is inline, not hosted somewhere else.) This is really what Beaker makes possible.

(I am not saying Beaker/Dat are the end-all-be-all for peer-to-peer. Just that they are definitely a stepping stone toward innovating the browser and maybe the protocol too.)

Oh, I speak with all kinds, kicks. Make no mistake: I think most of the people I speak with in FTO are disturbingly evil, but I will speak with them as best I can.

Really? I think you find a lot of really great people. Like chameleon is sweet! Sphygmus is gold. I’m not denying the existence of disturbingly evil people—but there are a lot of appealing folks out there methinks. People are one of my favorite things ever.

I agree it is always a risk to be in public, especially under mainstream scrutiny. I agree there is always at least one weakness. We don’t have to make it easy, and we can make it much, much harder to break it. We cannot achieve certainty, but we can vastly improve confidence.

Okay, this is cool—raising confidence, I can dig that.

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20 Jul 2019

Reply: Prescription Sightdawgs

h0p3

Requiring a webserver in a datacenter using a domain name I don’t own is a weakpoint I’m not going to accept. You want cohesion? Let’s not build a system on the web which isn’t meant to be owned by individuals of every stripe and status which can be so easily attacked by middleman between you and me.

Yes, of course—this isn’t clear from the vid, but my prototype requires no server and runs strictly from Beaker Browser. We’re square on that, right?

I understand if you have your criticisms of that—I do, too! But it’s not federated, it’s peer-to-peer. (In a BitTorrent sense.) So I’m not sure where we have a beef. I don’t want federation. Don’t put me with those people.

Yes, you know it’s in the realm of possibility for some TW users to join the indieweb. I’m gonna bet you could have it up and running in less than 60 minutes. What does it take? A VPS, domain name, nodejs, and some scripting, right?

This is why I showed the gif of the jacked motorcycle man. It would be pointless bravado. I’m not as lit on the Indieweb as all that.

I have no will to build an ecosystem which I already know is dead-on-arrival for those who deserve not to be censored. If it requires DNS or a VPS/dedi/webhost, it’s already a failure. That’s 99.999999999999999999999% of the web. It’s dead to me, no matter how much I use it.

I feel like you’re taking point blank headshots here because they make you feel good. I agree with you! Put the gun down already.

This prototype is purely to mock up the ‘feel’ of this world that could be. I am only restyling the conduit here—not anything else. To try to look past the ‘newsfeed’ or ‘forum’ view. To me, this is an actual problem—because I see Dat and Secure Scuttlebutt trying to mimic it. It’s paltry, but it’s a piece that still has to be rethought. I guess my thinking is that if I can provide a vision for how a tool like this could work, perhaps that could spark some optimism for ‘progress’ on this front.

It’s a convenience. I don’t trust it, but I’ll take the free lunch.

This is my same reasoning for using Webmentions or Beaker. It’s here; it’s partway there.

Tox is cool, LF is cool. I’m just not working on that part of the pipe at the moment. I have some personal urgency—trying to stay on top of my list of ‘others’. Our (your and my) way of messaging works great. I’m not trying to alter that. I’m just trying to give myself a simple dashboard so I can see what’s going on. (By the way, your blog isn’t in my ‘real-time’ feed because Beaker is crashing on the large wiki file size. But I am close to solving that.)

In our past couple messages, you have some salt for the bourgeois types that inhabit all these quarters—some of whom you seem to count as ‘others’ as well—but I am definitely mining this group and very interested in it. Perhaps I’m wrong and I’m only granting the word ‘privileged’ some kind of perjorative heft. The way I see it, the middle class can be a rich source of progression because: they have enough resources to build things and they usually have a strong desire to move out of ‘petit’ status—if this is aligned with a looking backwards to the poor—well, you seem to appreciate LF (made by ZeroTier, Inc.) and Tox (made by TokTok Ltd.)—so you must see some utility in this group, too.

I serve my website over the web because no one is going to listen to me unless I do; it’s too much of a chore to even enter a key. Their pursuit of convenience is why I have to give up way more privacy and power over my voice than I ought.

Well, how can you communicate with the public if you are lost in some layers of cryptography and routing deep behind some series of anonymous hashes? Yeah, there can be a network for that—but there’s going to be a public Web that mirrors the sensibilites (or lack thereof) of the mainstream. The ‘surface’—this is where everyone is going to be.

It seems to me that there’s no system that’s uncrackable—so interfacing with the mainstream is just risky. If an utterance can be read even, it can be attacked. (I might be leaking too many details of my life or character, there are chinks in the armor.)

I live in a country with concentration camps.

And I will go to the camps when it’s my time. Daniil Kharms did it. For writing that a carpenter fell out of a window—no one understood it. Can a technology really save us from this?

Slash hug, dawg. Always glad you even take the time to listen. When you say we ought to have ‘privacy and power’ for our voice: I don’t even deserve to talk. I do realize that.

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19 Jul 2019

Fridaycat, the Friday Vid

Our work is at odds. Our networks are not neatly aligned. Links still work. Hypertext works. There is a superset—but it is haphazard.

It occurs to me that maybe the ‘conduit’ in this video—the shamanically healing ‘reader’—is an embodification of Postel’s Law: it liberally accepts everything and attempts to conservatively output all of it to the eyeball interface.

Also: the slaptrash source for this video is here.

  1. Delightful! Now you got me thinking about the possibilities too. Dammit.
  2. Is fridaycat live or is still a prototype?
  3. Still a prototype—thank you for looking into it. Part of the issue is that there have been some fixes to Beaker Browser that I am working through. For instance: github.com/beakerbrowser/…

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15 Jul 2019

@h0p3 (2019.07.12): Hey, I’m with you—I abdicated to public schools, it’s all about abdication. There are all these starvings who need someone to look back. And nobody does because forward is all that matters. Forward for them, just forward for them.

Yeah, it’s a privilege—no doubt. The IndieWeb is a meta-community, so it’ll always be that way. Its point is to strategize among the ‘capable’(?), those ‘capable’ of reshaping. It won’t work to ‘File’ > ‘Import…’ and Ctrl+A all the underpowered Android phones into the IndieWeb.

I mean, not like I know how to really solve any of this—I feel like even my best guess would summon a bunch of roving shitstorms once again—but I think if there were all these outpost IndieWebs, made of cheap static HTML and tied together with services subsidized by the gifted IndieWeb types (see brid.gy, for instance)—and discoverable by directories and link logs and the ability to mention someone to possibly rouse them (or you ignore those—or you have to have someone vouch for you to mention them), then there’s some possibility.

I’m still not sure about some purist decentralization—like, that seems awful on some 3g android, right? But like I know. The ethic of ‘find the others’ is wholesome; it’s def a starting place.

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The Missing Quests on Golf: Become Human

A sweet vaporwave descendant of Zany Golf on a sweet fairly new blog.

I have been watching this blog for a few months now—The Missing Quests by Alex Guichet. Like Warp Door, this blog plumbs the depths of itch.io—little homemade games, many released as part of the hundreds of silly, spontaneous game jams. However, Alex actually plays the games and provides generous screenshots and commentary.

Depending on how you feel about this sort of irreverent jokey complexity, Golf: Become Human may sound either fantastic or terrible to you, but you should really play it. It changes in ways that keep you guessing, in an irresistible sort of way that just made me search for another hidden level, or to keep seeing how the game will evolve next.

These kinds of little blogs are a staple for discovery in the game community—like Stately Play is for digital board games.

From the FAQ:

Why a new blog, in 2019? I think the web is a charming home for content, but independent blogging has been in a sad and steady decline. This site lets me put a new voice on the web in a unique niche, with content formatted the way I want.

I talk a lot about Hypertexting and trying to innovate the ‘blog’/‘wiki’ format, but I think sometimes a cute little blog is just the thing.

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12 Jul 2019

@visakanv’s Bookmarks

If you want to make yourself a tiny directory, it can be this easy…

So this is one of the closest things I’ve seen to my href.cool directory—a big page of bookmarks, assorted ‘interesting’ reads all listed together under some ad-hoc categories (biographies, celebrity, war). And, perhaps more importantly, little blurbs for each one that are really well-done, in that they convey a lot of ‘feeling’/‘synopsis’—I actually enjoy just reading the whole page, to get a sense of this person and what’s out there in topics that may not appear to interest me on the surface.

I think I want to make the argument that building a directory like this is a more, I don’t know, ‘worthwhile’ effort than just leaking out links here and there as you find them. This is a great thing for ‘hypertext’ or a ‘website’ to aspire to be.

A few thoughts:

  • The page says ‘March 17, 2016’—does this mean the page hasn’t been updated since then? This must be wrong—there’s a link with ‘2017’ in the title.

  • There’s a bullet point in the ‘sex’/‘gender’ topic that just says: ‘Economics of sex’ with no links. Wonder what’s up there? A placeholder?

  • Reading this has made me realize that I think I need domain names displayed next to the link. It would be nice to know where the link goes before you hover it. (And mobile doesn’t have this option.)

I also really like this person’s 1,000,000 words project. 1,000 essays of 1,000 words. This one functions like a mini-directory as well, actually—like a mind map or… well, there are links in there as well. It’s sort of like if you could browse a portion of h0p3’s wiki as a linear, chronological conversation.

I hope you’re getting some ideas now.

UPDATE: Hold up, wait, wait—this is rich: visakanv.com/blog/communities/. A kind of hybrid ‘directory’/‘blogpost’ strictly on moderating and building communities.

It is my experience that, if you create a safe space for a minority group, sparing them the stress of having to explain themselves to clueless outsiders, the level of criticism, argument, discourse, etc inside the group INCREASES. People challenge and spar with each other.

Sweet take. I also just think we have someone here who is really good at collecting. Taking note.

  1. @kicks Yup, at that scale it's a very useful tiny directory a/k/a linkpage and nicely done too. These are great aids to surfing the 'net.

  2. @kicks This is something I want to do! Although mine will be way bigger, and hopefully updated like a linkblog.

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  1. Replied to The IndieWeb Needs To… Hide! by Kicks Condor Kicks Condor

    I’m not in a rush for the IndieWeb to grow. It might be perfect like this.

    Something I’ve heard said about meetings, in my mind, can be said about the mainstream too – it’s where great ideas go to die. I don’t wanna go mainstream, thank you.

    Here outside the mainstream, there’s stronger currents running, pulling us into something special, something rare – something we kinda remember and feels like home. Shhh people, keep it down and enjoy it…

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Reply: Pure HTML All Over Again

vega

@kicks Hello, Kicks. Replying to the comment in this post in praise of creating webpages in plain HTML/CSS. Boy has the Internet come full circle – back to the status quo of the early 2000s (so not that big a circle). I’m currently playing with Hugo static site generator, and at the back of my mind lingers the thought about whether it will give me more trouble than not in the long-term. HTML really is the elegant KISS method at the end of the day. Thanks for highlighting alternative perspectives in webdesign!

Hey, Vega! You know, it’s very strange to me that static sites have become so arcane. For a brief time, Movable Type made them the dominant style of blog. I’d really like to see a return to something like that. But simpler, perhaps.

I rather envy the freeform HTML sites. I really miss server-side includes as well—that seemed like a kind of ideal form, since you could do more complex things with plain HTML. I kind of wish modern HTML would let us do HTML includes without needing to resort to JavaScript. It seems strange that HTML didn’t go that direction.

At any rate, thanks for saying hi. Yours is a blog I enjoying reading from time to time.

  1. @kicks @vega My original bibliography may qualify as a Spartan Website. I built it with a simple text editor that allowed me to easily paste in the standard tags for HTML 3.2 and then type the unique text for each book. I don't remember what that software was called. Then I would FTP the html files to the server at Netcom.com. I'm not sure whether that qualifies as hand-written or not. I certainly used a computer, that's for sure. I'm sure it has no Javascript, because I didn't know such a thing existed, ditto for CSS. But I don't know whether it fits the size limitation given and don't know how to tell. There are hundreds of html files, as each completed book entry has it's own file, but I'm sure they're all very small. The TOC page has an embedded search engine from Alta Vista, which of course no longer works. That was the most bleeding edge feature I had at the time, which I was quite proud of having implemented entirely on my own, just by reading Alta Vista instructions. I also fancied it up with a frames edition, but I don't think that's anything other than more html. I no longer recall how I did it. I built the original edition entirely by following the instructions in Laura Lemay's book, Teach Yourself Web Publishing with HTML 3.2 in 14 Days, which I still have in my library. It has 1054 pages, weighs 5lbs 5 oz and extremely clear instructions. I don't recall any instance of not knowing what to do, after reading her descripton for any particular feature in html. It may have taken me more than 14 days, but I was in no hurry. I sure wish there was a book comparable to the Lemay book for micro.blog!! In those days, a reasonably intelligent person could build a very useful site, just by using that one Lemay book. Later I got another small book that told me how to add the color. The TOC page has a lot of link rot, but it's the only place where I dared to put in any external links. The rest of the entire bibliography uses only internal links, so it should all still be working, just like new. One day I will publish another one, but with well over 1,000 books, rather than the mere 544 books in the 1999 edition. Of course Google has been threatening to hide this site into obscurity for a long time now, as I have not converted it to SSL.

  2. @bradenslen Thanks, Brad, for a very comprehensive document! Near the end of reading it, I found it ironic that an effort to make the web robust had made me completely exhausted in reading a document which I am sure is correct, but turned out to be soooooo long that I did not succeed in making it to the end, having collapsed in the bit dust at my feet. But who am I to complain? My previous reply on this thread was far longer than most!

  3. @Ron To me the big takeaways were, she's telling other web developers that HTML is not broken and that it will keep on working on a website long after the JavaScript has gone belly up. And that you don't need all the JS with the massive bandwidth costs to make a webpage and convey information to your reader, just like you did with your bibliography. Ron your Dylan bibliography, written in ancient HTML 3.2 is still as rock solid today as it was when you wrote it. I really like that.

  4. @bradenslen Wow, I really like that too! Thanks for summing it up for me. 😃

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Reply: Cubit and Tribler

Anonymous

Hey, have you checked out cubit or tribler? they make torrent discovery in a decentralized fashion

Hey, thank you for the leads! I think what Dat could add is the ability to run your own custom tracker—in fact, I don’t even know if there would be a need for that. You could just put a simple web page up on Dat with your magnet links.

I’ll have to give Tribler a shot to see how smooth it is. In a way, we’ve seen this kind of thing before with the built-in search for networks like Soulseek and eDonkey2000 and such. I guess even Napster had that initially.

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05 Jul 2019

Reply: The Purpose of a Website?

okaleniuk

[Referring to the website wordsandbuttons.online.] It’s not a resume. It would have been an awful resume. I wouldn’t hire myself by this resume.

And keeping record is, of course, nice. But it has nothing to do with running your own website. You can keep record on Medium, too. In fact, it would be more effective since it works wonders for the small notes.

Still, I totally agree that keeping your own site is a fascinating experience and it’s well worth time and effort.

It’s amusing to me that you seem to be struggling to vocalize why anyone would want a website like yours—as if a ‘resume’ or a ‘journal’ were the only reasons to keep one.

But, as a reader, I think a website like yours is like having a chance to explore that person’s personality in a freeform way.[1] The design reflects their aesthetic (similar to how fashion does for the physical form), the organization reflects their favored mental models perhaps, and the myriad of topics and links makes it a graph-like structure for a ‘book’/‘journal’/‘life’. It’s strange to me that people question a personal website’s purpose—but accept that of a coloring or sticker book. To me, that only says that our brains haven’t quite caught up with how to use the medium. (Although, if you have read sites like philosopher.life, then I think you have a glimpse of what’s possible.)


  1. And, to me, this exploration of life is at the heart of what brings purpose and beauty to humanity—this is why I live, to try to understand or maybe to just immerse myself in what beauty I can find in the world or in the lives of its creatures. In a way, what could be greater than a website?! 😄 ↩︎

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r4ms3s.cz

A single-page home page done in ‘outrun’ style.

From what I can tell, this page doesn’t go very deep—but it’s another very lovely and imaginative home page, in the vein of The Preposterous Official Website of Erik Bernacchi or Mariano Pascual. The vertical parallax scrolling is slick and I love subtleties like how scrolling down into the building removes the audio bass-boosting. Novelty websites have really lost their scene in recent years, despite there being a handful of insanely inventive sites like Nathalie Lawhead’s Tetrageddon or the mind-blowing Retronator zine. I have to encourage these sites, because it still feels like ripe territory!

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04 Jul 2019

#SocialMediaStrike StaleStream

It’s time to riot in the newsfeeds!! I saw one guy who posted #socialmediastrike thirty times in one post—yeah, that’s it!!

I’m sorry that I’m so unchill today. I have a sore throat and giant corporations are destroying my most beloved technologies!! These giant corporations ARE ALSO soothing my throat by way of pharamaceuticals—j/k, takin’ ‘essential’ oils.

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01 Jul 2019

Reply: anon on the line

Anonymous

i sure am and always will.

Oh, you needn’t make a promise like that—but I love the grand gesture of it! I am wondering tho if while I’ve got you on the line, I might converse with you a bit longer? (Of course, if anyone else chooses to be Anonymous, I might find myself conversing with the inverse of a dissociative identity—a kind of floating, possessive identity…)

You say you read things. I guess you’ve been a long time reader? Have you read other blogs/forums/wikis along the way? Do you have any favorites dead or alive that you’ve run across in that time?

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Dat: Lessons

Okay, dove in headlong with Duxtape: I’m beginning to see what Dat and Beaker really are like—in a practical sense. I’ve also spent so much time debugging that I need to keep more of a diary of what this transition is like.

Beaker is experimental—and I’m tempted to quit it sometimes, because something doesn’t work. However, I’m learning that quite a lot DOES work—and I am just bumping my head against edge problems. It is one of my tultywits, though! I need to push for it—there isn’t anything nearly as promising right now.

Problems I’ve run into:

Sites don’t stay seeded when you close the browser. (Major.) This is a problem with Duxtape—people will create a tape and then close the browser. I sometimes find myself doing this! Since Beaker is kind of like a browser AND a server, it makes sense to keep Dat running as a daemon. And, like the link describes, to keep a system tray icon running.

There’s also a related issue: ‘increase default seeding duration’ that seems appropriate.

(Along similar lines, I wish datPeers could continue running on sites that you’re seeding. This is tricky—but it would be REALLY cool to have a kind of service worker that could access datPeers for an archive. This way a Duxtape could continue to advertise itself while it’s being seeded. I am NOT complaining, though! DatPeers is sick—I love having it.)

Large files uploaded through writeFile crash Beaker. (Seems major.) I’ve filed a bug with some clues as to where the problem is. You can definitely upload files through Beaker’s library pages—the problem here is that my Duxtape editor doesn’t allow large music files. It would be great to figure this out. Some platforms crash even on ~8MB files.

The globalFetch API doesn’t work just like the Fetch API. (Minor.) I have now worked around this, but it was frustrating at the time. I also filed a bug, specifically related to redirects. This is pretty easy to fix, but illustrates that experimental APIs aren’t hammered out yet (obv).

Address bar problems on Linux. (Minor) If I install basic Ubuntu, these go away. So this has something to do with my dwm setup. I’ve actually identified the problem! The isVisible method is always false—for some reason, the window manager is not reporting this correctly. As a result, I cannot ever type into the address bar. This seems like an Electron bug, but who knows.

Things I’m discovering:

Dat really isn’t a replacement for HTTP. For example, I think Webmentions are better done on HTTP than on Dat. And, really, Webmentions are just the dead simplest form of a REST API—which, I’m not sure how such a thing would look on Dat.

There also isn’t a “server-side” with Dat—and this is important when it comes to something like permissions. In a way, I wonder if Github is showing us the avenue: the code is all distributed, but the centralized workspace assists negotiating collaboration—although it would be nice if more of it was distributed: the logins, the issues, the messaging. I could see Dat and HTTP having the same relationship in Beaker as Git and HTTP do on Github.

(Still dreaming more dreams for this page…)

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Reply: ty anon

Anonymous

I love this. I found you via things and have now learned more about things from you. The blogosphere is dead - long live the blogosphere!

Hey! I love anonymous people tossing their note through my transom!

Hey! Are you still there?

  1. Reply: anon on the line

    Anonymous

    i sure am and always will.

    Oh, you needn’t make a promise like that—but I love the grand gesture of it! I am wondering tho if while I’ve got you on the line, I might converse with you a bit longer? (Of course, if anyone else chooses to be Anonymous, I might find myself conversing with the inverse of a dissociative identity—a kind of floating, possessive identity…)

    You say you read things. I guess you’ve been a long time reader? Have you read other blogs/forums/wikis along the way? Do you have any favorites dead or alive that you’ve run across in that time?

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I love hearing that the Indieweb Summit this year really pushed for DISCOVERY. Don’t forget that discovering each other isn’t just about automating and algorithms—just basic linking to each other can go a long ways! Highly recommend the talks at twitch.tv/indieweb. What a chill vibe, looks like a great time.

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Social Media Strike, July 4th & 5th

Okay, okay, you in on this? I sure am.

I don’t get the sense that this has really caught on yet—and, I’m not sure why, throwing shade at social media seems like good fun, yeh? If you’re thinking about starting your own sweet, shitty little website like mine—get in!!

At first I was like: “A hashtagggg?? wtf??” But now I see this as an opportunity—if you exit social media (to your own blog or TiddlyWiki or website that day), use that hash tag and WE CAN FIND YOU!!

But better yet:

  • Post to /en/socialmediastrike on that day—an even better way to find you all out there, without needing to resort to social networks.

  • I’m going to work on a new secret directory page on href.cool for the things I collect on that day.

  • I have some other surprises for that day—presuming anyone else out there is jazzed about this fun reactionary day!!

I know a lot of people are like, “Facebook is not going to pay attention to this!” Gah, fuck em—this is good fun for us. Is it not?

See you there.

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25 Jun 2019

The Spartan Web

Href huntin’ by Andreas Zwinkau

A few days ago, there was a thread on the link-sharing site Lobste.rs entitled: “What are your favorite personal websites around the internet?” So this was a great thread for href hunting. In fact, commenter ‘qznc’ dropped a link to /r/SpartanWeb—a subreddit collecting custom personal websites. qnzc is Andreas Zwinkau.

Andreas’ term “Spartan Web” indicates websites that are:

  • Non-commercial. Amateurs, hobbyists, nerds.
  • Less than 1MB. Unless it’s illustrations, photos.
  • Very little JavaScript—especially no analytics. (Yikes! My site is heavy on JS—although none of it is for gathering statistics and the site should work with JS turned off.)
  • Possibly hand-written HTML and CSS.

Interestingly, I’ve seen a bunch of recent articles praising HTML and attempting to foment a return to HTML. Writing HTML in HTML—someone who started a new blog without any type of an ‘engine’ or static site generator—it’s all just custom HTML. Words and Buttons Online, a directory-style personal page.

One thing I’d love to see is some static Indieweb HTML (in other words: microformats) where you can copy and paste pages to add blog entries. Then an index page where you can add a link to that page and JavaScript can optionally add in date/time/author details from the link. It could also use Webmention.io to load comments over JavaScript.

  1. @kicks Hello, Kicks. Replying to the comment in this post in praise of creating webpages in plain HTML/CSS. Boy has the Internet come full circle -- back to the status quo of the early 2000s (so not that big a circle). I'm currently playing with Hugo static site generator, and at the back of my mind lingers the thought about whether it will give me more trouble than not in the long-term. HTML really is the elegant KISS method at the end of the day. Thanks for highlighting alternative perspectives in webdesign!

  2. Reply: Pure HTML All Over Again

    vega

    @kicks Hello, Kicks. Replying to the comment in this post in praise of creating webpages in plain HTML/CSS. Boy has the Internet come full circle – back to the status quo of the early 2000s (so not that big a circle). I’m currently playing with Hugo static site generator, and at the back of my mind lingers the thought about whether it will give me more trouble than not in the long-term. HTML really is the elegant KISS method at the end of the day. Thanks for highlighting alternative perspectives in webdesign!

    Hey, Vega! You know, it’s very strange to me that static sites have become so arcane. For a brief time, Movable Type made them the dominant style of blog. I’d really like to see a return to something like that. But simpler, perhaps.

    I rather envy the freeform HTML sites. I really miss server-side includes as well—that seemed like a kind of ideal form, since you could do more complex things with plain HTML. I kind of wish modern HTML would let us do HTML includes without needing to resort to JavaScript. It seems strange that HTML didn’t go that direction.

    At any rate, thanks for saying hi. Yours is a blog I enjoying reading from time to time.

  3. @kicks @vega My original bibliography may qualify as a Spartan Website. I built it with a simple text editor that allowed me to easily paste in the standard tags for HTML 3.2 and then type the unique text for each book. I don't remember what that software was called. Then I would FTP the html files to the server at Netcom.com. I'm not sure whether that qualifies as hand-written or not. I certainly used a computer, that's for sure. I'm sure it has no Javascript, because I didn't know such a thing existed, ditto for CSS. But I don't know whether it fits the size limitation given and don't know how to tell. There are hundreds of html files, as each completed book entry has it's own file, but I'm sure they're all very small. The TOC page has an embedded search engine from Alta Vista, which of course no longer works. That was the most bleeding edge feature I had at the time, which I was quite proud of having implemented entirely on my own, just by reading Alta Vista instructions. I also fancied it up with a frames edition, but I don't think that's anything other than more html. I no longer recall how I did it. I built the original edition entirely by following the instructions in Laura Lemay's book, Teach Yourself Web Publishing with HTML 3.2 in 14 Days, which I still have in my library. It has 1054 pages, weighs 5lbs 5 oz and extremely clear instructions. I don't recall any instance of not knowing what to do, after reading her descripton for any particular feature in html. It may have taken me more than 14 days, but I was in no hurry. I sure wish there was a book comparable to the Lemay book for micro.blog!! In those days, a reasonably intelligent person could build a very useful site, just by using that one Lemay book. Later I got another small book that told me how to add the color. The TOC page has a lot of link rot, but it's the only place where I dared to put in any external links. The rest of the entire bibliography uses only internal links, so it should all still be working, just like new. One day I will publish another one, but with well over 1,000 books, rather than the mere 544 books in the 1999 edition. Of course Google has been threatening to hide this site into obscurity for a long time now, as I have not converted it to SSL.

  4. @bradenslen Thanks, Brad, for a very comprehensive document! Near the end of reading it, I found it ironic that an effort to make the web robust had made me completely exhausted in reading a document which I am sure is correct, but turned out to be soooooo long that I did not succeed in making it to the end, having collapsed in the bit dust at my feet. But who am I to complain? My previous reply on this thread was far longer than most!

  5. @Ron To me the big takeaways were, she's telling other web developers that HTML is not broken and that it will keep on working on a website long after the JavaScript has gone belly up. And that you don't need all the JS with the massive bandwidth costs to make a webpage and convey information to your reader, just like you did with your bibliography. Ron your Dylan bibliography, written in ancient HTML 3.2 is still as rock solid today as it was when you wrote it. I really like that.

  6. @bradenslen Wow, I really like that too! Thanks for summing it up for me. 😃

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21 Jun 2019

@h0p3: Gahh, spelling. Drop the prefix. In the same way that you condemned Reddit TIL for being “antipleonasmic”, I am lately thinking of the generosity of the long-winded. As if length ≅ a greater shot at originality, perhaps just with probability on your side. (Oh and has the TL;DR acronym ever driven you nuts? I like it now, it can be self-deprecating. Originally it was just absolute antipleonasm.)

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PLUNDER THE ARCHIVES

This page is also on dat.

MOVING ALONG LET'S SEE MY FAVORITE PLACES I NO LONGER LINK TO ANYTHING THATS VERY FAMOUS

philosopher.life, the 'wiki'/'avatar'/'life' of h0p3. serious rabbithole. k0sh3k. j3d1h. luxb0x.

nathalie lawhead of so many good things, where does one begin. T, U, I.

surfpals: things by j, also joe jenett (of linkport), brad enslen (of indieseek), 'web curios' at imperica.

an eye on: ᛝ ᛝ ᛝ — lucid. jacky.wtf, fogknife, tiv.today, j.greg, box vox, whimsy.space, caesar naples.

indieweb: .xyz, eli, c.rwr, boffosocko.

nostalgia: geocities.institute, bad cmd.

true hackers: ccc.de, fffff.at, voja antonić, cnlohr, esoteric.codes.

chips: zeptobars, scargill, 41j.

dwm, julia, tridactyl these are things you'll want on linux.

neil c very famous but should be a world icon.

the world or cate le bon you pick.

sammyclassicsonicfan the original teen rage adventure.

innovation.isotropic.org probly the best carl chudyk game.

and opinionated gamers for non-chudyk game analysis.

my twitter. my github. minor things.