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Unraveling the web's story


  • Your Privacy Policy Doesn’t Mean A Thing; Regulating Privacy on the Web
    In the beginning, the web had no memory. When you followed a link to a new page, everything you did on the last page was erased. There was a fresh start with every click. It was Netscape that gave the web a memory. Pretty early on, actually, when they realized there were a few issues […]
  • Back in the earliest days of the web, some blogs used to have a blogroll. Somewhere on their site, usually in the sidebar, they’d list out a few links from their favorite blogs in no particular order. Before search and social media, the blogroll was key to discovery on the web and connected readers with […]
  • Getting to the Picture Element
    The story of how responsive images made its way into the browser doubles as an inside look at the standards making process itself. For some of us on the web, myself counted among them, it was our very first look behind the curtain. Web standards, the rules of CSS and HTML and Javascript that govern […]
  • Clearfix: A Lesson in Web Development Evolution
    The web community has, for the most part, been a spectacularly open place. As such, a lot of the best development techniques happen right out in the open, on blogs and in forums, evolving as they’re passed around and improved. I thought it might be fun (and fascinating) to actually follow this creative exchange all […]
  • Salon, Slate, and a History of the Tricky Business of Publishing Online
    In the first few years of the web’s spread to ubiquity, traditional news publishers moved online. But a new kind of publisher was also born, one that was native to the web, with a whole new set of rules.
  • The First Thing That Ever Sold Online Was Pizza
    If you happened to live in Santa Cruz in 1994 you could sit down at your computer, open up your favorite browser, and then go ahead and order a pizza online. You could do all of this on PizzaNet, owned and operated by Pizza Hut. PizzaNet was an experiment that launched in the early 90’s, […]
  • Back in the earlier days of the web, some blogs used to have a blogroll. Somewhere on their site, usually in the sidebar, they’d list out a few links from their favorite blogs in no particular order. Before search and social media, the blogroll was key to discovery on the web and connected readers with […]
  • Pixel Art Finds Its Home on the Web
    The design community in particular has been a rather dynamic part of the fabric of the web from its earliest days. Designing for the web means understanding the constraints of the screen while simultaneously accounting for a whole host of variables, like hover states and animation and screen resolutions and network connections. It requires a […]
  • A Mini Browser for the Masses
    If you don’t know much about the Opera browser, that’s probably because their market share in the United States has never been particularly high (right now, it stands at around 1.5%). Opera’s competitive advantage is that they deal with the real world. They solve problems that other browsers don’t, and they do it globally and […]
  • Technocratic Panic at the Millennium and the Real Threat Beneath the Code
    It’s been over seventeen years since the world ended. Or, rather, it was supposed to be The End of the World as We Know It. If that sounds like a big deal that’s because, at the time, it truly was. This is how things were supposed to go down. On January 1, 2000 at the […]
  • Reddit v. Digg: A Difference in Approach
    Jessica Livingston has a passion for the web’s future. It’s what lead her, in March of 2005, to quit her day job and help start up a new kind of investment firm called Y Combinator. Livingston had been a director at another VC firm, but she wanted to do things a bit differently with Y […]
  • The History of Rewriting PHP
    If you work on the web, you know that with software, things don’t always go right the first time. The web is this massive, global community tinkering with loosely connected technologies to piece together websites that, with any luck, work well together. These tools and technologies are always in flux and there have been plenty […]