8 Matching Annotations
  1. Oct 2022
    1. @1:10:20

      With HTML you have, broadly speaking, an experience and you have content and CSS and a browser and a server and it all comes together at a particular moment in time, and the end user sitting at a desktop or holding their phone they get to see something. That includes dynamic content, or an ad was served, or whatever it is—it's an experience. PDF on the otherhand is a record. It persists, and I can share it with you. I can deliver it to you [...]

      NB: I agree with the distinction being made here, but I disagree that the former description is inherent to HTML. It's not inherent to anything, really, so much as it is emergent—the result of people acting as if they're dealing in live systems when they shouldn't.

  2. Sep 2022
  3. Jul 2022
    1. I recently started building a website that lives at wesleyac.com, and one of the things that made me procrastinate for years on putting it up was not being sure if I was ready to commit to it. I solved that conundrum with a page outlining my thoughts on its stability and permanence:

      It's worth introspecting on why any given person might hesitate to feel that they can commit. This is almost always comes down to "maintainability"—websites are, like many computer-based endeavors, thought of as projects that have to be maintained. This is a failure of the native Web formats to appreciably make inroads as a viable alternative to traditional document formats like PDF and Word's .doc/.docx (or even the ODF black sheep). Many people involved with Web tech have difficulty themselves conceptualizing Web documents in these terms, which is unfortunate.

      If you can be confident that you can, today, bang out something in LibreOffice, optionally export to PDF, and then dump the result at a stable URL, then you should feel similarly confident about HTML. Too many people have mental guardrails preventing them from grappling with the relevant tech in this way.

  4. Jun 2022
  5. May 2022
    1. Building and sharing an app should be as easy as creating and sharing a video.

      This is where I think Glitch goes wrong. Why such a focus on apps (and esp. pushing the same practices and overcomplicated architecture as people on GitHub trying to emulate the trendiest devops shovelware)?

      "Web" is a red herring here. Make the Web more accessible for app creation, sure, but what about making it more accessible (and therefore simpler) for sharing simple stuff (like documents comprising the written word), too? Glitch doesn't do well at this at all. It feels less like a place for the uninitiated and more like a place for the cool kids who are already slinging/pushing Modern Best Practices hang out—not unlike societal elites who feign to tether themself to the mast of helping the downtrodden but really use the whole charade as machine for converting attention into prestige and personal wealth. Their prices, for example, reflect that. Where's the "give us, like 20 bucks a year and we'll give you better alternative to emailing Microsoft Office documents around (that isn't Google Sheets)" plan?

    1. However when you look UNDERNEATH these cloud services, you get a KERNEL and a SHELL. That is the "timeless API" I'm writing to.

      It's not nearly as timeless as a person might have themselves believe, though. (That's the "predilection" for certain technologies and doing things in a certain way creeping in and exerting its influence over what should otherwise be clear and sober unbiased thought.)

      There's basically one timeless API, and that means written procedures capable of being carried out by a human if/when everything else inevitably fails. The best format that we have for conveying the content comprising those procedures are the formats native to the Web browser—esp. HTML. Really. Nothing else even comes close. (NB: pixel-perfect reproduction à la PDF is out of scope, and PDF makes a bunch of tradeoffs to try to achieve that kind of fidelity which turns out to make it unsuitable/unacceptable in a way that HTML is not, if you're being honest with your criteria, which is something that most people who advocate for PDF's benefits are not—usually having deceived even themselves.)

      Given that Web browsers also expose a programming environment, the next logical step involves making sure these procedures are written to exploit that environment as a means of automation—for doing the drudge work in the here and now (i.e., in the meantime, when things haven't yet fallen apart).

  6. Mar 2022
  7. citeseerx.ist.psu.edu citeseerx.ist.psu.edu
    1. The complete overlapping of readers’ and authors’ roles are important evolution steps towards a fully writable web, as is the ability of deriving personal versions of other authors’ pages.