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Razorback Goes Live!

October 5, 2020 at 3:57 PM
Category: Site Related

It took a while, but Razorback now has a website. This will be used as a host for my ongoing blog, written tutorials, reviews, downloadable materials pertaining to my videos and otherwise, "software development" projects, exclusive supplemental content, and other atrocities.

Now, really... who needs a fuckton of bloated PHP applications or JavaScripts just to deliver something as basic as an article? If you look at most of the modern web, I suppose you could say a ton of site managers do... not me! Everything that will be written for Razorback will be in pure static HTML 4.01, with NO cookies, NO server-side[1] or client-side scripts, NO flat colors, NO pointless eye candy, and NO analytics! Razorback shall be for users with legacy browsers and 256 color adapters!

I've always wanted to create a website that would serve as a refuge from all the garbage the web is loaded with today, and allow everyone to access handy resources related to old computers without jumping through so many hurdles designed to work against old computers. With advancements in technology come nasty compromises: everything starts to look the same as each other, websites become slower despite client bandwidth continually rising, and everything seems to be less secure despite following orders to update to the latest most secure version of everything else. What kind of farce has this all become? Is it too much to just put out a text document?

Another thing, too... dependence on social media outlets is dangerous, as you should know. Not only do social media sites love to data mine the hell out of your most sensitive activities, they are a detriment to mental health. They churn out doomsday sensationalism, pretentious persuasions, and corporate bullshit that nobody wants. It's time we start taking back control.

Creating a static HTML website is not the only thing I'm after in my conquest of the internet. I also have plans to open an IRC server and maybe a QuakeWorld server if there's any interest in that, and will also be working with others to bring the Blue OS Museum's reviews to a more publicly accessible outlet.

Razorback is just one of many simple, lightweight websites that aims to remain genuine among many others from the past and present. I hope this will encourage you to develop your own website for legacy browsers.

Update: What Ended Up Happening

Gee, this article did not age well... on conception, this site was merely supposed to be nothing more than a straight-to-the-point website (because websites are for retrieving documents, after all), but as it grew, it sharply turned away from my original vision into more of an attempt to answer a question like "what if a brand new website could do all this while retaining a 1998 aesthetic?" Let's face it, this was inevitable; how is a site supposed to grow easily without quality of life functions and those dynamic web programs practically everyone uses?

So, server-side scripting ended up becoming a critical factor in making my life easier in updating this site, colors are technically "flat" even if they're not conforming to a "flat" palette, very barebones analytics was implemented, and... well, in two weeks, people complaining about this site not rendering well in Internet Explorer 3 and earlier browsers drove me to rework it to work with two sets of legacy standards.

Nonetheless, I've remained conscious of privacy as much as I could with these things in place. JavaScript is still nowhere to be found here, as are client-side cookies. The only reason why this site is even recording IP addresses of every unique page visit is because pretty much all browsers send that no matter what, and popular web server programs record them to their own internal logs, anyway. More recently, I've implemented server-side sessions for generated challenge prompts in the brand new comment module I've written from scratch.

If, by any chance, any shred of PHP is still infurating to some "programmers", you'll be delighted to know that most other websites I'm hosting for myself and my friends are still almost completely static, on the other hand. In particular, the Blue OS Museum is largely driven by an offline program I wrote myself to generate HTML pages of GUI reviews written by several members of that group.

It's September 15th, 2021 as I'm writing this, almost a year since this site went live. Razorback still has a long way to go... I suppose with the comment module now being a thing, a self-programmed forum should be much closer to reach by next year or so. Go ahead and give that form below a spin... but read the guidelines first!

Welcome to new

And now we're in the next stage of Razorback's evolution as I write this. Over the course of 2022, Razorback has pushed itself to new heights that I would've never forseen when this launched; self-hosted videos, cookieless comments, and some actual software to get behind. To start off 2023, now the process of delivering an article is technically more convoluted than putting up a static HTML page.

Prior to launching this site, my last real experience with programming anything in PHP was in the 5.x days, from 2009 to 2010. I had deep concerns about it putting more strain on the server, and in turn, the user, but as it would appear, it's actually proving to be far more helpful in the long run with getting stuff out there. Even with it in place, I've found that load times are nearly instantaneous on a decent connection.

As for JavaScript, can it be used responsibly? The answer, in fact, is yes. It's entirely possible to continue the Flash-era aesthetic with modern web browser programming; I've seen it in action before. Hell, I've even done a tad bit of jQuery work myself. HTML5 and modern incarnations of JavaScript can actually open up the door to making some REALLY cool shit, but only if the programmer has a pure heart. The real problem, as I've found, is the direction.

When site designers bend over to stupid trends and allow countless third-party entities through the floodgates, that's when the sites get really fucked up. If your site requires JavaScript in order to make text readable or links clickable, you have a serious problem. This is not an acceptable practice by any measure. I don't need to jump through risky hoops to read something important.

If you really want to make something sick with HTML5 and JavaScript, here's what I'd say: first off, do it yourself, always. Make it by hand. I certainly cannot trust external tools like some "Google Site Builder" for this sort of thing. Create a website in the format that you would want, not what is expected of you. And certainly, don't get compromised by telephones.

As for Razorback, I do not see it implementing any form of JavaScript, still. I'm at a point now where I can make do without it. Technically, video tags may be using it if they're going off of some default internal browser template, but otherwise, it's a waste.

At least now that these articles have been converted into a database-friendly format, it should be a lot easier to get them published. Thanks to the recent development of an internal search engine, too, it should also be easier to recall them in the future.


1 None are in place for now, and I'm very much hoping to keep it that way. As the site grows, manually updating modules in static HTML files can get very tedious, and I'd like to know if there's some program that merely serves the purpose of consistently updating certain parts of HTML files automatically so I can copy everything to the server as is. Implementing common static modules through server-side scripting is purely a waste of server performance.


Kugee (real) - January 11, 2023 at 10:46 AM

Guess this addition to the older posts is gonna open up a can of worms.

GEV - January 11, 2023 at 10:42 AM

:kugee16: wow

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