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The first post of this thread is a WikiPost and can be edited by anyone with the appropiate permissions. Your edits will be public.

What standard of design should The New Old Web, or Web 1.1, ideally adhere to?

  • < HTML4, CSS2, no JS, no embedded media (Closer to 90's Web)

    Votes: 7 24.1%
  • =< HTML4, CSS2, frugal JS, frugally embedded media (Closer to Early 2000's Web)

    Votes: 21 72.4%
  • Something else (Post an alternative)

    Votes: 1 3.4%

  • Total voters
    29
  • This poll will close: .

z970mp

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Jun 2, 2017
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The Matrix
Addendum: *Standard of design as in maximum feature integration; see post #22

I've noticed more and more retro browser-friendly websites popping up in recent years that aim to ditch the bloated and institutionalized modern Web in favor of (sometimes inadvertently) creating their own network of a simpler and more personal Web in an effective return to the days of the early Internet, ala Web 1.0 (static pages, simple user participation).

In order to better understand the new phenomenon and current landscape of this "New Old Web", this WikiPost shall thus serve to list and detail each website as a master directory of sorts to better organize the options currently available, and by showcasing each option currently available, hopefully in the process inspire would-be Web developers to publish additional "New Old Web" sites to complete this rediscovered, eternally "under construction" iteration of the 'net.


Search Engines

FrogFind
A search engine that converts both search results and websites to basic HTML, and consolidates images in order at the top of each page.

Wiby
A search engine that exclusively returns user-submitted sites that are naturally frugal on JavaScript, CSS, and ad use. Requires SSL.


News and Information Sites

68k News
A news site that converts Google News stories to basic HTML.

Wikipedia Proxy (The Old Net)
The Old Net's proxy to read modern Wikipedia pages with dated browsers.


Specialty Websites (with Message Boards)

Macintosh Garden
A Mac-centric site that preserves a seemingly endless list of abandoned Mac software, provides infrastructure for several other New Old Websites, and is home to a lively community of warm and friendly people.

System 7 Today
A System 7-centric site that hosts articles, tutorials, and forums for Classic Mac OS discussion.

Mac OS 9 Lives
A Mac OS 9-centric site that offers downloads, information, and a dedicated forum focused on using Mac OS 9 in the modern day.

IRIX Network
An SGI-centric site that boasts an expansive library of software, hardware information, and a knowledgeable forum for the continued use and maintenance of Silicon Graphics visual workstations in the 21st century.


Specialty Websites (without Message Boards)

Based Cooking
A food-centric site that houses a wealth of user-submitted recipes for various foods and dishes. Requires SSL.


Video Sharing Websites

Cornica
A QuickTime movie sharing site for watching user-submitted QuickTime movies on old hardware.


Other Types of Websites

Macintosh Garden Hosting
A website / image / file hosting service provided by Macintosh Garden that allows anyone to upload their own website, images, or files, resulting in a GeoCities-like neighborhood of websites.

The Old Net
A front-end for The Wayback Machine that has better compatibility with old browsers to view and interact with websites of yore.


- Website Wish List -

Additional news site

News site that doesn't use Google News as the source for less reliance on MSM; preferably includes images and light formatting.

Image sharing site
Site could be used for retro setups, desktops, landscapes, and others; images might be limited to 1024 x 768 as max resolution.

Video sharing site for Windows, Linux, and UNIX clients
One that hosts MP4 video files with MPEG-2 video encoding for the best playback performance and platform compatibility.

Browser game site
Some form of Flash will likely have to be used here; the Internet Archive's collection of .SWF files might be used as a source.


Feel free to add to this guide as new sites (or ideas) are born. :)
 
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AL1630

macrumors 6502
Apr 24, 2016
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Idaho, USA
I'll be able to test out some sites on a Blueberry Clamshell using OS9 with Classila (and maybe IE just for fun). If a site works on that it should be fine on pretty much anything newer, right?
 
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AL1630

macrumors 6502
Apr 24, 2016
472
532
Idaho, USA
Should I put reports in a separate post rather than adding to the wiki directly? Just in case someone else has a different/older setup that does work when mine doesn't?
 
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z970mp

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Jun 2, 2017
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@AL1630 I would start with individual posts for that. Most of the websites listed here are supposed to be fully compatible with very old versions of Netscape (and are usually just as compatible with Firefox 90) anyway, so reports that they work with Classilla, Safari, or what have you, would probably just end up consuming a lot of space in a short period of time.
 
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AL1630

macrumors 6502
Apr 24, 2016
472
532
Idaho, USA
All right, it seems that from my quick look, most/all the sites on the list load just fine on my Clamshell using both Classilla and IE5. Classilla seems to have an issue with theoldnet wikipedia proxy, it throws up error messages saying it cannot communicate with upload.wikimedia.org. IE just doesn't load the images and doesn't show an error message.
 
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AtaruBarreau

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Jan 6, 2019
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29
All right, it seems that from my quick look, most/all the sites on the list load just fine on my Clamshell using both Classilla and IE5. Classilla seems to have an issue with theoldnet wikipedia proxy, it throws up error messages saying it cannot communicate with upload.wikimedia.org. IE just doesn't load the images and doesn't show an error message.

In this very case try to use Classilla with either TenFourPEP or foxPEP; in previous Classilla version it used to help with this kind of error.
 
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Astralis56

macrumors newbie
Nov 16, 2020
8
4
Having had my first web surfing experience during the Windows XP era, I must say the concept of a new old web intrigues me a lot!
Unfortunately, I only started creating web sites in the new web and all the bloat that is common to newer websites is starting to irritate me. I would like to jump in and help building the new good ol' web.

Thus, I don't know much about the earlier practices.
Is there some sort of guidelines to follow to create old-looking website (i.e. Website size, font, float-layout only, <HTML4.0, etc...)?
 
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z970mp

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Jun 2, 2017
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@Astralis56 I recall there being a small discussion in another thread that there should be a standard that all websites of this caliber (in this case, the so-called "New Old" variety) try to adhere to. I also recall someone remarking that it probably won't happen. Well, it looks like this might be an opportunity for creating such a standard after all, right here and now. :cool:

Having said that, the obvious route of action here would probably be to return to the standards of the late 90's and early-to-mid 000's, which would be to limit use to HTML4, CSS2, and a very small amount of simple JavaScript, if any, as the maximums of their respective layout and styling standards. Otherwise, I think the Web developer should be given the freedom to choose any standard at or below those hypothetical limitations, which would allow for an ideal mixture of platform flexibility and targeted era authenticity, as well as minimal resource consumption.

But perhaps there could be additional restrictions in place as well to further improve performance on all devices? For instance, to keep embedded images to a certain agreed maximum size, handle video playback and distribution a certain way, disallow use of ad / analytics / tracking servers, etc.

I think everyone should offer their inputs on what this standard ought to be, and if the aforementioned examples might be a good fit. In the meantime, I will establish a poll to gather public opinion...

EDIT: Poll is up. :)
 
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Astralis56

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Nov 16, 2020
8
4
@Astralis56 I recall there being a small discussion in another thread that there should be a standard that all websites of this caliber (in this case, the so-called "New Old" variety) try to adhere to. I also recall someone remarking that it probably won't happen. Well, it looks like this might be an opportunity for creating such a standard after all, right here and now. :cool:

Having said that, the obvious route of action here would probably be to return to the standards of the late 90's and early-to-mid 000's, which would be to limit use to HTML4, CSS2, and a very small amount of simple JavaScript, if any, as the maximums of their respective layout and styling standards. Otherwise, I think the Web developer should be given the freedom to choose any standard at or below those hypothetical limitations, which would allow for an ideal mixture of platform flexibility and targeted era authenticity, as well as minimal resource consumption.

But perhaps there could be additional restrictions in place as well to further improve performance on all devices? For instance, to keep embedded images to a certain agreed maximum size, handle video playback and distribution a certain way, disallow use of ad / analytics / tracking servers, etc.

I think everyone should offer their inputs on what this standard ought to be, and if the aforementioned examples might be a good fit. In the meantime, I will establish a poll to gather public opinion...

EDIT: Poll is up. :)
I looked up the post you linked. Is it me or people are mostly pessimistic? I mean, I do agree that we cannot break the web as it is today. Nobody would have enough ressources for this task.
I thought about a metaphor :
A cool place with no noise. Much like what rural area looks like. You live there, people are lively and keen to talk with everyone in their village. At the opposite, urban area are noisy and people are more stressed. Life is more rude and dangerous there.

Now, what if the new old web got to look more like this rural area. Of course, it may not be dominant, but it would be a great place to go. After all many urban people like to go to the rural place as an escape: the same thing as the old web.
 
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Certificate of Excellence

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Feb 9, 2021
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Building a standard here - why not. Heck no better place really. Hash out the basic framework here and then put it out there to the masses via platforms like macyak, connect the effort to patreon or gofundme etc so individual's time that benefits everyone is potentially rewarded and can be reinvested into web 1.1v (hosting & dev costs etc.). I can see the effort really being embraced by many of the vintage mac Youtubers & live streamers who focus on old, classic and OSX macintosh. Besides, those cats need something new to talk about. One can watch only so many livestreams of recapping, tearing down classic macs. Aye dios. :apple:

From the opposite end of things, a browser that has the option to dumb down any website to the very basic basics - similar to what Sean @ Action Retro was talking about on the last MacYak episode (last Thursday 4-1-2021) would be a fantastic corner stone of web1.1 browser functionality. In this way, even the most robust modern fatboy websites are accessible (albeit potentially incompletely & crudely) via machines utilizing web 1.1v.

Fun idea worth pursuing. Brings back memories of gaming clan website rings of the late 90's and early 2000's, geocities communities (& that wicked GC website editor - anyone remember that thing lol?) etc.
 
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B S Magnet

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I thought about a metaphor :
A cool place with no noise. Much like what rural area looks like. You live there, people are lively and keen to talk with everyone in their village. At the opposite, urban area are noisy and people are more stressed. Life is more rude and dangerous there.

Now, what if the new old web got to look more like this rural area. Of course, it may not be dominant, but it would be a great place to go. After all many urban people like to go to the rural place as an escape: the same thing as the old web.

It’s, well, a creative metaphor, sure, and it’s deeply inaccurate (particularly the perception that cities are somehow immanently more dangerous than small towns and rural township — criminological data do not support this “common sense” myth.)

A more fitting metaphor:

“The ‘new’ net is what a neighbourhood becomes once excessive new money enters (VCs); devours properties (domain names, hosting); parks that excessive money by developing closed communities (FB, etc.); tears out the variety and accessibility which made living there what it was before their arrival (geocities, LJ, DIY web sites, etc.); then invokes exclusive standards (HTML5, closed browser standards) to maintain this new baseline; and in so doing, prices to push out anyone who hadn’t been living there previously to capitalize on simply… living there.”
 
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Certificate of Excellence

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Feb 9, 2021
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Umm, I'd like to propose that all development in the web1.1 be completely inclusive and devoid of making any personal monies and or property. Moving forward, all monies made & property acquired (physical and intellectual) shall be deposited into my bank account and holdings firm - the Central Bank of the Cyber government of Excellence (Man, I love the sound of that) so I can decide for you how to most equitably disperse all of your hard earned money and property to our collective rainbow of citizenry in web1.1 society.

Let's make that requirement 1 of our standard. Nothing is yours; it's everybody's :) yay. Most importantly, I will do it for you so you wont have to worry yourselves with such trivial functionality of our great web1.1 rainbow of inclusivity society :apple:

Ohh man, I can not WAIT to talk about how and in what ratios we build our great web1.1 society's rainbow of inclusiveness. Remember kids; Equality is not achieved through opportunity. Equality is achieved through outcome and I, the Cyber government of Excellence (the CGE for short) knows best when it comes to establishing what those societal constructivist ratios of equality should look like and how my money ... I mean our collective wealth is redistributed for the betterment of all of our citizens.

I cannot wait to dive into this. Big plans ahead my friends :D
 
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B S Magnet

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Dec 5, 2018
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don’t read my status
Umm, I'd like to propose that all development in the web1.1 be completely inclusive and devoid of making any personal monies and or property. Moving forward, all monies made & property acquired (physical and intellectual) shall be deposited into my bank account and holdings firm - the Central Bank of the Cyber government of Excellence (Man, I love the sound of that) so I can decide for you how to most equitably disperse all of your hard earned money and property to our collective rainbow of citizenry in web1.1 society.

Let's make that requirement 1 of our standard. Nothing is yours; it's everybody's :) yay. Most importantly, I will do it for you so you wont have to worry yourselves with such trivial functionality of our great web1.1 rainbow of inclusivity society :apple:

Ohh man, I can not WAIT to talk about how and in what ratios we build our great web1.1 society's rainbow of inclusiveness. Remember kids; Equality is not achieved through opportunity. Equality is achieved through outcome and I, the Cyber government of Excellence (the CGE for short) knows best when it comes to establishing what those societal constructivist ratios of equality should look like and how my money ... I mean our collective wealth is redistributed for the betterment of all of our citizens.

I cannot wait to dive into this. Big plans ahead my friends :D

Y… you don’t want to live in a society. Good news is you don’t have to. You can live in your own private, walled network, funded entirely by your own unscathed revenue Windfall of Excellence — the Intranet of Excellence, at 192.168.1.1. :D

No, wait… the Ten of Excellence, at 10.0.0.1!
 
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Certificate of Excellence

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Don't listen to this guy. Friends, my way is the FUTURE. An inclusive & collectivist society where ALL are valued. Where everything is everyones. We can do it with web1.1v !!

:D
 
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z970mp

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Jun 2, 2017
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Here's a good read of Web Content Accessibility Guidelines that the World Wide Web Consortium put together for the original Web 1.0 back in 1999:


Perhaps Web 1.1 developers should scan through it in order to have a better reference for period-correct site designs?

It's a start, I suppose.
 
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B S Magnet

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Dec 5, 2018
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don’t read my status
Don't listen to this guy. Friends, my way is the FUTURE. An inclusive & collectivist society where ALL are valued. Where everything is everyones. We can do it with web1.1v !!

:D

Excuse me, I’m not a guy. But please, continue to amuse us with your gated little society on your private network of Excellence by mocking everyone else in the process. :)
 
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AL1630

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Apr 24, 2016
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I guess we need to consider what computers these sites should be accessible to with regards to the poll. Are we trying to focus on PPC era machines or should older machines (early 90s/68k) be included as well? That's what I'm curious about with JS and embedded media.
 
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B S Magnet

macrumors 6502a
Dec 5, 2018
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951
don’t read my status
Here's a good read of Web Content Accessibility Guidelines that the World Wide Web Consortium put together for the original Web 1.0 back in 1999:


Perhaps Web 1.1 developers should scan through it in order to have a better reference for period-correct site designs?

It's a start, I suppose.

For pre-existing web sites, perhaps one task worth exploring is implementing a subtractive approach — for example, by striving to remove or roll back HTML5 elements, AJAX and other asynchronous JS polling functions, and APIs from a site’s architecture. It is possible for a web server to still serve dynamically-generated, low-overhead, and lightweight web pages from a SQL database in a straightforward, HTML 4-compliant capacity, and it can still do so with the low-overhead aspects of HTML 3-era static web pages. HTML 4, building from HTML 3, worked very well for a very long time and a lot of legacy gear could keep up throughout much of when those standards were still dominant across the web.

This low-overhead, front-end tack played a significant part with what I was still doing during my earlier career as a web developer (up through about 2004, before I changed directions). In other words, sites I helped develop then, which sometimes featured embedded slide shows, fly-out menus, or even randomized header images, could include DHTML elements with very light, non-AJAX JS code (in other words, not sending back input to a server), and it still managed to avoid bogging down a browser or a system with slower hardware or low onboard memory.

What this approach does mean, in a contemporary context, is the removal of the HTML5 elements, the AJAX functionality, and so on would remove the dynamic mechanics of, say, a responsive front-end design (which requires a lot of scripting). But developing sites for low-overhead browsing wouldn’t necessarily be striving to accommodate all screen sizes across purpose-built web appliances (like tablets and phones) in the first place.

This subtractive approach to web design also requires web developers to be a lot less sloppy, to be a lot more careful at the granular level of front-end design, and to retreat from a reliance on frameworks and feature-rich plug-ins which force the heavy-lifting of basic page generation on only the hardware which can handle it. Such sites, without all this, well, bloat, would better accommodate for systems best suited for low overhead, simple display, and even easier to parse for accessible devices (like screentext readers). And the wonderful thing is a web page can pull up quickly on vintage hardware and still look aesthetically pleasing! Designers managed to do it for the better of two decades and without all the present-day bloat.

In short, a subtractive design ethos disrupts the trend of developing front-heavy, user analytics-driven sites with a less-bloat-to-reach-more-systems approach.

Anyway, I’m mostly thinking aloud here.
 
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Astralis56

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Nov 16, 2020
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4
I guess we need to consider what computers these sites should be accessible to with regards to the poll. Are we trying to focus on PPC era machines or should older machines (early 90s/68k) be included as well? That's what I'm curious about with JS and embedded media.
I think every machine with a web browser from the early 2000s and access to Internet should be supported
 
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z970mp

macrumors 68040
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Jun 2, 2017
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@B S Magnet An excellent interpretation. :)

@AL1630 Well, let me be clear here that the standards being raised are maximum usages. Hence, the usage of the < (lesser than) and =< (equal to or lesser than) prefixes.

As in, Web developers don't have to make all of their sites in HTML4 and CSS2 with minimal JS and embedded multimedia if they don't want to. But rather, the most they should be able to pack into their site is a combination of HTML4 and CSS2 with minimal JS and embedded multimedia. Otherwise, they are perfectly free to make a site to their own specification with HTML2, CSS1, and minimal JavaScript but no multimedia, or HTML3 with no JS or CSS, but minimally embedded multimedia.

As for the target clientside computers, in my personal opinion, 68k machines should not be accounted for as most of them were never designed to go online, so even some late 90's / early 2000's sites would have run slow on them at the time. Also, if more sites are curated for them, that might excessively simplify sites that would have been able to both look and function better on newer machines, thus inadvertently not tapping the potential of a much larger chunk of future hardware that was actually designed with the Internet in mind. And as another point, this may also remove some authenticity from a recreation as it's possible that Web 1.1 sites curated for 68k environments could end up looking even simpler than many sites actually did during the turn of the millennium.

Concerning what standards should be made usable on which machines, I think sites with minimal JS and multimedia usage should aim for good performance on mid-to-late 90's systems (PowerPC 604, Pentium Pro), while sites lacking any JS or multimedia usage should be made satisfactorily usable on at least early 90's architectures (PowerPC 601, Pentium).

Personally, I voted for option 2, because if something close to the 90's Web is settled on as a maximum standard, then that might leave early to mid 2000's machines unaccounted for, because they would then be effectively stuck between the unusable modern Web, and the entirety of Web 1.1 that would not be able to seamlessly fit in with their era (given of course if web developers wish to align with the final Web 1.1 standard). Which would be a shame, because these machines were notably intended to connect to the Internet; and to an even higher degree than prior systems too.

-

Added a Website Wish List for Web 1.1-like sites that don't exist yet but you'd like for someone to make, or are currently planning to build yourself. :)

Removed the browser compatibility details because individual compatibility requirements become irrelevant if a universal standard exists. Also removed the 'Notes:' prefixes because standalone descriptions are self-explanatory, save space, and look much more elegant.
 
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Macbookprodude

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I guess we need to consider what computers these sites should be accessible to with regards to the poll. Are we trying to focus on PPC era machines or should older machines (early 90s/68k) be included as well? That's what I'm curious about with JS and embedded media.
At this point, all should be included.. It seems there is a revival, major revival for 2000's internet - so my prediction came true. Now, OS 9 can be used fully.
 
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Macbookprodude

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Having had my first web surfing experience during the Windows XP era, I must say the concept of a new old web intrigues me a lot!
Unfortunately, I only started creating web sites in the new web and all the bloat that is common to newer websites is starting to irritate me. I would like to jump in and help building the new good ol' web.

Thus, I don't know much about the earlier practices.
Is there some sort of guidelines to follow to create old-looking website (i.e. Website size, font, float-layout only, <HTML4.0, etc...)?
Welcome back to 2000's internet standards. I too would like to design a couple of simple HTML sites dedicated to our PowerPC machines. BTW, I used to be a computer technician during the WINXP/WIN2000 era. Windows XP wasn't that bad of a system, but NT 4.0 and 2000 were really nice. This was before I became a Mac user.
 
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