The "One HTML Page Challenge", a great example of view-source culture

Image of the "one html page challenge" web site

Behold the "One HTML Page Challenge" -- to build a one-page site using just the code in a single html file: "Practice your skills with no assistance from libraries, no separation of files, and no assistance of a modern framework."

There are a just few entries so far, but they're pretty cool -- like this one that creates a slowly-growing ant colony in ASCII, or this racing game, or this quiz to see if you can identify the correct name of a color.

I dig the constraints here -- all code in one file, no outside code libraries -- because it really honors "view source" culture.

When I was interviewing developers for my latest book Coders, all the ones who grew up during the late 90s and early 00s web talked about how powerful view-source was in teaching themselves to code and make stuff online.

But web development these days has grown byzantine in its complexity; if newbie is trying to learn, view-source is liable to just cough up a slurry of incomprehensible, minified javascript. It closes off the easy onramps that existed back in the earlier days of the web.

So, projects like this one-page challenge are awesome, because the whole goal is to encourage the writing of web-site code that's more legible and tractable. If you view-source any of the entries, some might be a little complex for newbies, but if you spend enough time walking it through, you can figure out what's going on. Read the rest

The technologies that would make the web more participatory

The early web was heralded as a revolution in participatory media where everyone could make media as well as consuming it. Read the rest