HTML 1.0, The Best Choice for Display and Historical Archive of the Web

The Web is a historical archive of history as we pretend to know it. Like all great things that arrive into our reality, we do a great job of fucking things up fairly rapidly. The Web has not been spared our clumsy blade. Polluted with advertising and bad content. Noise.

We knew this would happen.

But, the Web is a perfect reflection of humanity. All stations are represented: rich, poor, greedy, evil, saintly. Anything you can think of.

I have stated with tongue-in-cheek that using the most basic HTML to rebuild tomorrows Web may be the best way forward. The way I see it is twofold: first, if your content is so great, it should be able to be formatted by the user’s browser, not you, the author. Second, if your content is so great, it may have historical significance, even if that is an extremely minor footnote in some future archaeologist’s notebook. If your content is to be recoverable to the future, it had better be easily accessible.

”Oh posh!” you protest. “Future archeologist will be able to reassemble my ReactJS site without trouble. Besides,” you argue, “anything can be dug up and resuscitated.”


I argue that is still too complicated. You should be able to decompress a directory and find a fully functioning website that relies on no external dependencies. Crazy!? No! It must be that simple.

I'll take it a step further: As a coder, style is important. Simplicity is important. Ease of change is important. A simple markup language provides this, and that markup language is clean HTML that hasn't been buried inside of .js files. The same goes for CSS. The idea of loosely coupled code has become a joke and a distant memory.

Be warned, adopting this frame of mind nowadays is dangerous. You will be accused of promoting anti-patterns.

Excerpted from "A Reductionist Theory of Archival Holographic Information Systems", Arlo Emerson, 2020, Mofostopheles Publishing House