1 background and stuff
hello! i reminded myself recently that i would bring up some points
against the current html/css format rules and how i consider them to
be unrealistic. advent calendar is about a week away now (hype) so i
thought this was a good time to bring it up as html becomes relevant
again. i know that there’s been quite a lot of talk over this format
for a while, i guess partly because it’s open-ended and confusing
because that’s kinda how the web works (and is part of my argument).
i actually struggled finding the bulletins in which most of this was
discussed, search engines brought up nothing so i went and wrote a
python script that returned csv files containing the title and url for
each bulletin and bug report. they don’t have some of the really old
posts but you can download them here if you want: link
here are the two relevant posts about this:::
2 what the html/css format rules are now (outside of bitpacks)
what i think is fine:
• you can use any media resources, images, audio etc. as long as
they’re original or public domain
• no hotlinking (e.g. no external links in the src of an <img>
• under 1KiB
what i think is currently problematic:
• all webpages require only use of HTML4 tags (no HTML5 tags like
<audio> or <section>)
• and as such, must also require use of HTML4-era standards for CSS
3 why are these rules problematic?
my argument is that the web didn’t really have hard stop-gaps where
everyone unanimously declared points at which the standard is the
standard. the transition between HTML or CSS standards is a gradual
one and the only way i can think of to set a marker of comparison is
to use some specific version of a web browser, since web technologies
are highly dependant on whether they are implemented in the browser
or not. i think it’s silly to try and choose some old browser and expect
everyone to be able to source it and run it on modern hardware (also
increases barrier to entry).
i understand that puke wanted a format that would represent and bring
back (in a way) how the old web used to be, spinning gifs, MIDI
background music and whatnot, however i think that’s not fully do-able
at least not in a way that’s simple to understand.
the evolution of the web has been messy, and it’s only when HTML5
rolled around did things start to become at least a little bit sane.
from quicktime plugins and flash and activex and microsoft trying it’s
darn best to become a monopoly in the browser market (oh hey they’re
doing that again…) i think it’s something we can’t really replicate
anymore. maybe i am saying this only because i hate making page
layouts with tables but i think there is something of substance here.
to fully know what is HTML4-standard and what is HTML5-standard is
more difficult than it seems (i’m happy to be proven wrong) and even
if we did know, modern browsers would give us problems because they
keep changing so darn much. you’d have to keep it all in your head and
anyone with previous recent knowledge of web development would
often use things that are HTML5 standard and so break the rules
unknowingly (this happened during advent calendar 2020).
4 what do i think the rules should be changed to?
i think the rules should change to be the current HTML5 standard, with
plugin, like how it used to be. a submitted entry would then need to
work in the latest version of either the WebKit, Blink or Gecko
rendering engines as those are the most popular.
this makes it simple for everyone to understand as it’s mostly just
an interesting limitation as you may be able to use some hacky CSS or
multiple web pages to do the same thing.
maybe the current state of the format is actually less confusing than
i think, so let me know if you think it is. (apologies for the wordy post, i struggle being concise sometimes)
`= liēk if you agree or hæit if you disagree (also comment why) ='
e: this post might look really bad on mobile whoops. maybe i shouldn't just copy paste the output of org-mode utf-8 export into here