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Noted: the indieweird but techno-optimist corner of the internet

I like a manifesto as much as the next surfer; a statement of what we want the world to be and a willing of that world into being.

Of course, not all manifestoes are made equal – some we’ll fundamentally disagree with, while others communicate a mixed message that needs decoding. Take this on “The Cheap Web”.

Yes to “honest” HTML, website “cabins”, a more obscure, unindexed, deeper web, less javascript, more RSS and federation. And an even bigger yes to anyone trying to synthesise all these ideas into a coherent whole.

But then we read:

NFTs were probably [my emphasis] always a bad idea, yet much of the cryptocurrency community espouses admirable aims. Kudos to the crypto folks – they are actually trying to fix/replace the world’s crumbling central infrastructure.

I dunno. NFTs were and are a bad idea. In fact, ascribing them “idea” status grants too much credibility and admits reasonable discussion – they’re a ponzi scheme, a scam, a con. Where and what is this cryptocurrency “community”? What pieces of crumbling, physical infrastructure – roads, public transport, the health service, housing – are they actually fixing? Is there an app?

And

The whole digital design landscape is begging for simple markup languages that can participate in honest architecture. [I hope to finish one such language in 2024-2025! Email me if you’d like to help.]… To keep HTML competitive with JS, we need better tooling. Some HTML resources are listed on the side of this webpage. To supplant JS, the HTML development experience must become 10x easier/faster/cheaper/etc than the current JS experience… HTML remains hostile to beginners.

Is HTML – an open, forgiving, 31 year-old markup language – really hostile to beginners? Is this code difficult to parse?

<h1>Noted: the indieweird but techno-optimist corner of the internet</h1>

<p>Yes to “honest” HTML, website “cabins”, a more obscure, unidexed, deeper web, less javascript, RSS and federation. And an even bigger yes to attmpting to synthesise all these ideas into a coherent whole.</p>

Furthermore, HTML is a standard: every browser on earth will understand the above code and render something meaningful from it, visually or programatically. Nobody owns it. This standardisation and openess enables the indieweb. Do we need someone to create – and own – a new standard?

I’m noticing a strand of online thinking that is at once saying “yes” to a simpler, less corporate web, while retaining the belief that more, newer technology (crypto, AI etc.) has and can continue to solve problems and make the world a better place. This of course represents a business opportunity, and the likes of Kagi and Arc are perhaps poised to exploit it.