Hacker News Re-Imagined

Only 90s web developers remember this (2014)

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  • 12 hours ago

  • @Fiveplus
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Only 90s web developers remember this (2014)


@DonHopkins 5 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

Who remembers when everybody was syndicating all their favorite RSS feeds on their own blogs, and then some joker posted a blog entry to his own RSS feed with a title like "What happens when you put an unbalanced <BLINK> tag into the title?", and the ENTIRE BLOGOSPHERE started blinking?

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@masswerk 3 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

The most important table construct using a spacer-gif is missing!

  <TD WIDTH="300"><IMG SRC="/spacer.gif" WIDTH="200" HEIGHT="1"></TD>
defines a column of a minimum width of 200px and a maximum width of 300px. 1990s responsive design.

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@forgotmypw17 3 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

I call mine p.gif.

I still use one today, because, in order to maintain the Any Browser promise, I use an XHR request for pre-XHR browsers, which just sets the src of the spacer gif.

If any return values are needed, they're populated into the src attribute with a redirect. :)

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@p2p_astroturf 7 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

> It had Active Desktop. It had Channels.

I remember playing with Active Dekstop as a kid, but what were channels?

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@deepsand 4 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

Ah this brings back memories, and so do many of the anecdotes in this thread.

I remember trying these tricks for my Pokémon site hosted on Angelfire. Great fun as a 10 year old, I even started making my own animated gifs.

The page is still up, with this being the latest announcement: I still need a JAVA person and desperately need more webmasters!!! So if you wan't to help me e-mail

Crypto Twitter is very bullish on Web3 being the resurgence of this type of mentality. Fun and accessible technology that has the potential to mature into something powerful. I can’t help but agree.

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@cagataygurturk 1 hour

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

> <style type="text/css">

> <!--

> a:hover {text-decoration: none; color: #000000}

> -->

> </style>

The <!—- —> wrapping the inline CSS made me chuckle. The first CSS hack in the history.

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@Rodeoclash 3 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

I got my start cutting HTML in the late 90s. I worked for a development company that had partnered with various design agencies. The design agencies would produce the mock-ups of the website in Photoshop and throw them across to us at the development agency to turn into websites.

I would get the templates, use the guides tool to mark out where where the slices would be for the tables then get to cutting. You got quite adept at being able to look at a design and figure out where the spacer gifs would go, where repeating background images would go etc. Everything was laid out using nested tables (and I started with Dreamweaver but at some point just stopped using the "split" view that it had and used it only as an IDE).

Once converted to HTML templates it was then plugged into a custom CMS along with any additional programming that might be needed for it. We actually hosted a payment gateway for credit card payments that customers could use. Almost a prototype version of Stripe.

The whole process was very assembly line driven:

PSD Designs > HTML templates > CMS integration > Custom development > Deployment

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@dig1 9 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

Don't worry, some of us still are using those tricks, especially nbsp and blank pixel. Why? Well, I'm doing backend/infra stuff most of my time, so I have no idea what is current or bleeding edge in frontend space these days. When someone starts screaming that page/app is looking broken and fronted devs are sleeping in different timezones, a couple of nbsp-s usually fix the problem. Happy customer, happy me :)

Btw. isn't DHTML for "Dynamic HTML"?

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@ajsnigrutin 3 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

I write maybe three lines of html per year...

I still start writing everything in UPPERCASE.

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@rufus_foreman 6 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

My first software dev job was in the 90's writing PHP for a mom and pop ISP that was trying to get into app development. It was originally supposed to be Perl, the job interview was something like:

Me: demos CRUD app for keeping track of my record collection, hosted on a free site

Owner: You wrote this?

Me: Yeah.

Owner: This is in Perl?

Me: Yeah.

So I got hired. The day I got there, he told me they were going to use PHP instead of Perl. Sure, cool, whatever. He told me that I had to start being productive in the first couple weeks or he would have to let me go, couldn't afford to keep people that weren't working out. I was down with that. He had some HTML pages that he had created in a WYSIWYG editor, I think it was Dreamweaver, and I was going to add some PHP scripting to those pages.

How hard could that be?

So I get to work and open these HTML files and I don't even remember exactly, I think like the login page HTML was 20 pages of code long, maybe I'm exaggerating, I've blocked most of it out of my memory but I seem to remember nested tables inside of nested tables inside of nested tables with spacer GIFs and &nbsp;s all over the place and I remember looking at it and thinking: What. The. Actual. Fuck.

But I did it! I managed to get the guy to take a look at what the editor he was using actually created and get him to simplify some things, I fixed a few bugs and was working on features and he came in around noon and told me you know what I said about being productive in the first few weeks? Forget about that, we're good.

The week before I was doing manual labor in a factory. It was like going from the 1800s to the 2000s over a weekend. I made $9 an hour, less than I was making stacking boxes on pallets, but of course totally worth it in the long run. Good times.

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@dang 3 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

Discussed at the time (of the article):

Only 90s Web Developers Remember This - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7300429 - Feb 2014 (394 comments)

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@mattlondon 5 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

DHTML was dynamic HTML IIRC. I don't think it has gone away, we just don't have a name for it now because it is standard practice to modify the DOM using javascript (for better or worse)

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@sen 1 hour

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

I was a high school dropout working in a skate shop in the mid 90s, teaching myself web design via view-source, and the owner of the shop asked if I could build him a little website for the store. This was back when only big companies had websites, so him having one for his little skate shop was mind blowing to everyone. I had no idea what I was doing... just copy/pasting various bits I liked from big websites like Microsoft.com or telco websites as they had the "nicest" sites at the time.

It got me poached by a media company who was all-in on the dotcom boom hype and convinced we'd all be billionaires within a year. They paid me stupid amounts of money (for a dropout skater who refused to wear a button up shirt to work) and I cranked out crappy HTML templates for them to sell to people who had "an idea and some money", investing their life savings in the "next big thing". Always felt dirty working there, so I wasn't upset when they went bust and ended up owing millions to creditors and losing everything they had.

That all led to a 20 year career in web stuff for F500s and Government as I self-taught my way through web design, to graphic design, to front end dev, to back end dev, then to netsec. To this day I never finished school or got any qualifications, new jobs would come to me via old jobs. Something I think would be impossible in IT today.

I left tech about 10 years ago now and mostly work on old cars and be a dad, reading HN to see how much things have changed and for the nostalgia trips like this. It's insane seeing how different things are when it wasn't "that" long ago. I can't think of any other industry that can be so unrecognisable within such a short timeframe.

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@orkj 4 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

What about the thing that we for some reason slapped on there with pride? "Made with notepad". Remember those buttons/ribbons?

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@notjustanymike 5 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

Drop shadows, rounded corners, the holy grail layout, optimized for 800x600, 960.css, print stylesheets, flash files, the advent of promises...

We didn't start the fire, it was always burning while the beachball was turning.

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@ameen 5 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

A lot of old 90's "hacks" are still commonplace in current email design. Thanks to Outlook's reliance on a brain dead MS Word-based rendering system rather than using actual modern HTML5.

And since Outlook is still the standard for email clients in the workplace, all other systems are impacted as well.

It's interesting to see modern day developers struggle with email design and turn to folks like us :D

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@ronenlh 3 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

It’s referenced in the 1x1 gif, all website layout was made with tables. And the 1x1 gif allowed to set very narrow columns/rows, which could be made to look like borders, with images as the round corners.

Also the ubiquitous visitor counter, uploading assets with ftp, cgi-bin, styling in html, animated gifs, midi soundtracks, “in construction” signs, random links to pages the “webmaster” liked.

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@poulsbohemian 8 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

This is why the tech industry only having a memory of about five years makes me sad. You learn the tricks to get the job done, the next generation comes along and mocks you for being outdated, not understanding that they build on the shoulders of what came before them.

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@fauria 8 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

I'm missing the <marquee>:

https://developer.mozilla.org/en/docs/Web/HTML/Element/marqu...

, the "under construction" GIFs:

https://www.vice.com/en/article/9akenz/this-guy-compiled-eve...

and those lightsaber horizontal content dividers.

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@oakmad 5 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

I still convert {' '} to &nbsp; every time I see it in the code base.

A lot of fond memories from the 90s bubble. I love me some coldfusion and ftp and occasionally think how easier it was in some ways.

I also like to say theres not a unicorn today I couldn't have founded if I'd had the idea or insight at the time - plus motivation, money etc. Hindsight and all that.

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@mixmastamyk 3 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

Was just thinking the other day I miss the title "webmaster," made one feel important. ;-)

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@tarkin2 3 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

This makes me feel old. But also glad. I'm glad I experienced web dev before the current pile of abstractions, painful convenience tools and frameworks were lumped upon us. It was fun back then. Now it's a pain.

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@ksec 8 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

My memory is hazy, I was reading and thinking surely some of these ( DHTML ) are crossing into early 00s? And then I read

> In other words, which editor (FrontPage ‘98, obviously), which web server (GeoCities, you moron),

Oh yes. FrontPage 98!

> I miss the good ol’ days. "Today we have abstractions on top of abstractions on top of JavaScript", of all things. Shit doesn’t even know how to calculate math correctly. It’s amazing we ever got to where we are today, when you think about it.

Couldn't agree more. And not just on the Web, it is abstraction on top of abstraction in everything, from Tech to everything in general.

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@d23 6 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

Wow, dynamic drive. I thought that was like the coolest site on the planet when I was a kid.

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@davismwfl 11 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

Definitely was interesting, and fun times for sure.

Microsoft with ASP, ActiveX and VBScript in pages. I also remember writing ISAPI extensions for IIS to handle searching backend systems. IIRC e-bay was the best known company that had an ISAPI extension at one point. I worked at a smaller company where we did it cause our systems were disconnected and we had to search custom databases.

Macromedia with dreamweaver & Flash & shockwave at one point (think that was a little later).

Java applets, ugh.

Splash pages, visitor counters.

ODBC, ADO, OLE DB... Connecting to databases was always about finding the right driver for your OS and DB version which depending on OS & DB could be a challenge.

Browser targeting was a major pain, splash/home pages telling you to only use IE or Netscape etc.

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@dehrmann 6 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

Because I saw an example of it in the post, what's the right way to handle special characters in script tags? Browsers seem to let you do anything, but stray ampersands are sort of illegal?

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@aledalgrande 2 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

haha this reminds me of when I started to see HTML in high school, fun times

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@Giorgi 8 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

who remembers 88x36 button banners? You could approach any webmaster in your niche and exchange such banners. Fun times.

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@imperio59 6 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

He forgot to mention hiding sensitive information behind a JS-powered script that had the password saved in the clear in the script on the page, and then disabling right-click events so you couldn't inspect the source of the page to find the super secret password...

Hint: it was totally unsafe then, it still is now.

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@rvieira 8 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

Missing in that list: the amusing Javascript right-click disabling.

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@nodesocket 59 minutes

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

Can we also include Macromedia[1] and Flash? Ahh remember the days of those beautiful intro website animations?

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macromedia

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@dmje 8 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

Wow. That took me back. All those things, every day. And table layouts of course. And let's not forget slicing images, and slapping those into tables too. If I remember rightly, Photoshop had an "export to slices" thing built in. Amazing. Loved it.

And of course one of the biggest issues with today's web: you can't just view source and copy paste. You're in the land of chasing back up CSS files, js libraries, or finding yourself unable to steal an image because it's not just an image you can right click on any more.

Golden times.

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@fault1 9 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

Don't forget rabid useragent sniffing to send browsers the "good pages": http://webaim.org/blog/user-agent-string-history/

this probably started in 1997-or 1998 or so, and probably had its apex in the mid 2000s especially with the hegemony of IE5.

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@EGreg 5 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

This was a typo, I am sure

DHTML, which stands for “distributed HTML”, was the final feather in our cap of web development tools.

Nice that in 2021 we are thinking so much about decentralized systems though :)

“Dynamic” btw

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@cmg 4 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

I'll always have a fond memory of window.status, which still exists but doesn't do anything on the majority of browsers anymore as they don't have status bars to modify the text of.

https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/API/Window/stat...

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@jrs235 4 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

Small nitpick, DHTML is Dynamic HTML, not Distributed HTML.

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@jphalimi 8 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

Memories! :-) I was a web developer in the 2000s and I can relate to all of these very accurately… Replace Frontpage 98 by Frontpage 2003 and there you go!

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@topherPedersen 1 hour

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

"1x1.gif let you push elements all around the page effortlessly. To this day it is the only way to vertically center elements."

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@black_13 8 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

What offices with doors?

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@omgmajk 6 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

Oof, the PTSD is real.

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@sodapopcan 1 hour

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

Does anyone remember what the name of that guy was who made fonts, in particular a really nice pixel font, who had a pretty funny site including the adventures of Boxlor? I remember loving his site and can't remember his name for the life of me.

Also, I certainly always had a spacer.gif and ya, my only style was indeed to remove underlining links and my only JS was often only for image rollovers.

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@marioletto 3 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙



@rbobby 8 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

> spacer.gif

Guilty

> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;

Guilty (habitual offender)

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@SavantIdiot 4 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

Forgot page counters.

/cgi-bin

ColdFusion

Absence of alpha-channel on gifs so having to match the background color.

But yes, it was the wild-wild-west of security holes out there! The amount of genius it takes to create a new web exploit these days is astonishingly high compared to 1994.

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@listless 5 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

Holman was one of the first authors that did humor and tech together (at least that I can remember) and he completely changed what I thought a good tech article should be. He was/is a great engineer, but he’s an even better communicator.

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@samwillis 8 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

They have missed out Perl CGI scripts from “Matts Script Archive”[0]!

I remember much difficulty as a 13YO trying to get his “guest book” Perl script to work for the first time (with all its famous security holes).

Oh, and “CGI Proxy”! Hosting that somewhere on a personal site so that we could get passed the filter on the schools internet. Anyone who knew how to host that had great power in the IT rooms!

Edit: wow cgi proxy has been updated as recently at 2019! [1]

0: https://web.archive.org/web/19980709151514/http://scriptarch...

1: https://jmarshall.com/tools/cgiproxy/

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@mikeryan 8 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

I started my true web development arc in 1999 and used most of these techniques. There was a netizen of the time called “Dr Ozone” who was doing mind bending stuff on his site at the time. It’s still around at https://ozones.com/ it’s where I learned what JavaScript could do. The number of hacks used to deal with the DOM models until jquery was epic.

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@otterley 8 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

Flagging for clickbait title.

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@matsemann 5 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

Other stuff I did was frames, because I didn't know how to do stuff on a server. So one frame for the menu and one for the header, things that should be equal on all pages.

Using lots of b-tags to create rounded borders. Or lots of images.

Faux columns to make it seem like different parts of the layout had the same size.

The golden layout or what it was called. Maybe a bit later than the 90s, when tables weren't as hip to use anymore.

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@debaserab2 6 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

&nbsp; has made a big comeback in the era of jsx, which truncates white space around elements and interpolated expressions. I prefer it over an interpolated blank space {" "} since it seems a little easier to read.

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@tdrdt 4 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

Don't forget slicing images for dropshadows and rounded corners.

And the real pros used dithered transparend gifs.

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@bdcravens 8 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

- rounded corners with images

- searching for random Perl scripts to FTP into your cgi-bin folder

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@brazzy 5 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

Ah, yes. I remember when PHP was still called PHP3, and that was also the file type suffix.

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@hbarka 2 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

I love this. All the talk of low-code-no-code now have never heard of FrontPage 98.

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@jraph 4 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

> I miss the good ol’ days. Today we have abstractions on top of abstractions on top of JavaScript, of all things

It seems I learnt HTML just between these two eras. After the &nbsp;, 1px spacers and tables, and before the piles of abstractions.

People cared about doing well formed XHTML and having those W3C Valid XHTML badges, and also those "install Firefox" buttons.

This was short so today everything looks ugly to me, old and new, in different ways.

I still use (polyglot) XHTML5 (HTML5 if I don't control everything being input) and avoid frontend frameworks and web fonts when I get to decide. This is a world where implementing a search bar for people who haven't discovered CTRL+F yet takes 30 lines of dumb Javascript and filters 200 items in 1 second on a slow computer without any caching trick and that does not require minifiers and bundlers. Which does not actually sound impressive, or shouldn't anyway. A world where when you disable Javascript, the page is still perfectly readable. A world where a silly mistake in the HTML markup is noticed.

To build an actual web application where it does not makes much sense to have the content as a web page, I started liking Svelte but I'll still at least consider doing things by manipulating the DOM directly before deciding.

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@beardyw 7 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

I know this is tongue in cheek, but I was there and I hated all the really bad design. Now things are so cool I find myself clicking on plain text because it might be a link. Somewhere in between is where we need to end up.

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@beirut_bootleg 1 hour

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

I remember iepngfix.htc. Glad that whole thing's over.

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@huntermeyer 11 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

No mention of the page-view counter?

Remember those, we'd put the message "just a counter, don't click" beneath them.

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@richardfey 9 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

I still remember a DHTML folder tree view, it was quite popular.

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@ldb 7 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

A great example page http://vcfmw.org/

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@nunez 4 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

I miss when about: pages were useful and universal. Nowadays every browser has their own internal scheme and have dropped about:

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@richardw 3 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

Notepad, alt-tab, F5. Perl that produced JS that posted back to the Perl app. Java applets. C++ ISAPI filters on MS side and a single Sun server for ~3000 client sites. Duke Nukem or Quake until 10pm after work. What a special time.

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@vgeek 8 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

The fun of DHTML menus and your Homestead website, complete with neon green hit counter and guest book.

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@recursivedoubts 8 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

> Today we have abstractions on top of abstractions on top of JavaScript, of all things.

from one 90's web developer to another:

https://htmx.org

<blink>hypermedia 4eva</blink>

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@divbzero 48 minutes

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

View source on this HN thread will reveal the wonderful use of <center> and <table> for layout. One of those tags is technically deprecated but in practice both enjoy near 100% browser support.

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@asddubs 5 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

the most nostalgic thing for me was the html comment within the style tag

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@gscott 6 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

ImageMaps to make a single image have clickable hotspots... did lots of those. You didn't have to worry about cellphones so you could have a 800px wide menu that's an image with hotspots, looked great.

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@invalidusernam3 4 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

The author forgot making rounded corners using images! I kind of miss the creativity of old web development, especially before responsive web design. There was so much more variation and most sites didn't look like the default bootstrap template. But there were a lot of bad things about this era, particularly non standard browsers

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@ModernMech 7 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

This doesn't even get into the really good stuff like webrings. In the days before Google and SEO, you needed to be part of some "webring" of related sites if you wanted someone to find your page.

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@wonnage 5 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

We need to figure out some sort of fireball-trail equivalent for touchscreens. Hope Apple/Samsung invest billions into detecting a hovering finger so we can finally have this!

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@noyesno 7 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

I would add:

  - messing with the mouse  pointer (and adding animated graphics following it), 
  - changing the whole browser’s window’s “chrome” to custom graphics (as in: custom minimize/maximize/close buttons and the edge graphics of the floating window)
  - Maybe throwing full-screen to maximize the impact.

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@andrew311 4 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

A memory seared into my brain from the 90s:

I was in the highschool computer lab, working on a website for the school IT administrator. She wanted me to include a patterned background, blinking marquees, GIFs, the whole nine yards. Another student was working on the project with me, sitting next to me. We were both facing the window, away from the door. The admin left the room. I told my fellow student these choices were extremely tacky, and I questioned the life choices that led her to the point of thinking this looked good.

Turns out she came back into the room and was behind me the whole time. Boy, did I feel like a jerk. I apologized.

What a different time that was.

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@hn_throwaway_99 10 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

As a prolific user of nbsp; for aligning/indentation/spacing, I feel like millions of man years could have been saved by just deeming that acceptable than by trying to find the right voodoo mix of padding/margin/box-model yada yada that we ended up with.

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@tlackemann 9 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

Less we forget about <FRAME>

What an amazing time. Felt like the wild west back then.

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@marcodiego 7 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

One thing a miss: a simple, easy to use, wysiwyg html editor. Also, these days it also would have to be open source. So, my only options look like bluegriffon, whose license/monetization I don't like, or Mozilla Composer (actually seamonkey), which seems basically abandoned in terms of features and maintenance seem to only make it compile and run on modern system.

Some people may suggest a CMS, but I don't want a CMS. I just want a simple way to create a personal page. What alternative still remains?

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@DerekBickerton 7 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

1x1 pixel GIFs are still in use on places like Amazon where the 1x1 GIF image is overlayed on top of another (larger) image. It's to stop people right-clicking and saving the larger image to their device (because copyright). Anyways I can just press F12 and 'steal' the image from devtools, so it's not hard to overcome.

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@lifeisstillgood 4 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

Completely off the point, but how many other 90s developers feel like failures for not being millionaires or billionaires by now?

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@CodeWriter23 8 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

I clicked in hoping to see some tacky background tiles.

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@ArtWomb 11 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

Between flash and html5, there was a brief moment where DHTML games looked viable. I remember building something like a space invaders clone. Literally repositioning DOM divs each setInterval tick. There were a few full fledged experiments out there. The beauty is since its just DOM, they are playable forever if still hosted ;)

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@avereveard 6 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

> To this day it is the only way to vertically center elements.

I'm confused, even considering this is a <2014> article, so before the flexbox alignment goodies, one always was a vertical-align and a forced display table from aligning stuff vertically.

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@geerlingguy 3 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

I find it insane how much work I still have to do to figure out positioning on a web page (I don't do much design these days).

Maybe tables weren't the best, but they were easy and predictable.

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@Fred27 8 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

A 90s page isn't a 90s page without an animated gif of man digging a hole with "under construction".

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@RedShift1 8 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

> The absolute first thing we did with CSS was use it to stop underlining links.

I don't know how this trend came to be. I fought it for as long as I could, links are underlined and when you hovered them the underline would go away to make it extra clear this is an interactive element. I considered it a staple of good design. Why did we remove the underline?

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@le-mark 5 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

For everyone curious about DHTML, IE5 plus had this “dhtml behaviors” stuff that let one implement reusable components of markup and js. It was actually pretty cool at the time. I worked on a project upgrading an IE7 spa in 2016, from behaviors to angular.

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@LaputanMachine 8 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

This post reminded me of the "88x31 GIF Collection" post from a few months ago [1].

Weird to think about how much the Internet has changed. Makes me wonder how people will look back on today's Internet.

[1]: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=27500624

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@macintux 6 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

My contributions to the nostalgia parade:

- http://blooberry.com/indexdot/html/index.html

- http://blooberry.com/indexdot/css/index.html

- https://web.mit.edu/wwwdev/www/cgic.html

And I haven't really done any web programming since cgic days, thankfully.

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@tompazourek 5 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

And websites made with Macromedia Flash...

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@robbyking 6 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

The comments on this page are very clearly divided between people who at the time were professional web developers and people who were teen code explorers, and I love them both.

I never thought I'd feel nostalgic for that time in my life.

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@pimlottc 6 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

I expected the part about buttons to talk about mouseovers. That was wizardry back in the day, making 3D-shaded buttons that animated as when the cursor was over them, and then changing color or something when you clicked. Impressed the hell out of people.

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@Ozzie_osman 7 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

The awesome thing about that period was how we learned. You'd be on a web page, see something funky (positioning, rounded corners, etc) and be like "how the heck did they do that?".

Then you do the ol' "View Source" and now that technique is in your toolkit. In fact you'd prob head right over to your geocities site and try it out right away.

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@selimthegrim 8 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

I can’t believe I’m the first one to post https://html5zombo.com

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@Brajeshwar 8 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

Wow!

Thanks to pixel fonts, I was able to build a multi-million dollar project for Pocket PC Devices during the early 2000s. It has the clearest typography at that distance from the eye level, and the availability of the stylus made it possible to get 8-pt clear text. The project made a lot of physicians/clinics very happy and I got a lot of Thank You's for a very long time after its release.

Image Splicing. I remember building a developer tool, something of a 9-piece-splicer tool in Flash. It takes in an image, and spice the edges so you can have a liquid/elastic box with the desired border - sharp or rounded edges - use it with tables or DIVs.

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@davidbarker 9 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

That's the first time I've heard DHTML to mean "distributed HTML" — I always knew it to mean "dynamic HTML".

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@cmaggiulli 2 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

As a backend developer - I literally still use &nbsp; when I’m forced to touch something on the front end

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@saganus 9 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

I thought DHTML stood for "dynamic html", not "distributed html"?

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@jawngee 8 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

It was x.gif, 1x1.gif was a waste of two bytes which was considerable savings on those insane table layouts.

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@ChrisMarshallNY 6 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

I still use the 1-pixel (8-bit PNG), in my native swift client development. It's a cheap way to reserve a space for programmatically-set images.

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@easton_s 7 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

Placing table tags beside or below parent tags rendered differently.

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@butz 5 hours

Replying to @Fiveplus 🎙

You just described building blocks of modern newsletter. In 2021 Outlook is still a thing and renders newsletters using outdated Word HTML engine.

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