The unreasonable effectiveness of simple HTML

I've told this story at conferences - but due to the general situation I thought I'd retell it here.

A few years ago I was doing policy research in a housing benefits office in London. They are singularly unlovely places. The walls are brightened up with posters offering helpful services for people fleeing domestic violen


@Edent Oh, wow, this story reminds me that we still need to figure out how to solve that TLS issue for old devices.💔

Excellent article.

You touched a point that has been bugging me for a while: PDFs. For some reason, in this modern world of hypertext and differently sized screens, people insist on using a print analogue--often with inline hyperlinks that won't even work in print!

You'd think it would make more sense to use a simple HTML layout with a CGI script to produce a PDF. It would certainly be good if certain govs didn't all but mandate Adobe Reader.

Better then .docxs 🤷‍♀️

@Edent This one hit close to home: I spent my teenage years slowly scouring the web using my PSP, and yeah, you can forget about anything javascript heavy...

Also, nowadays the PSP is near unusable: it's got ancient TLS that isn't supported anywhere anymore

@aearil it does worry me how many people we exclude with upgraded TLS.

@Edent Yeah, though in the case of pre-heartbleed TLS, the harm resulting of keeping it enabled would've been way worse

@Edent What I mean is that just looking at the HTML, my site is golden. But, for good reasons, I don’t wanna turn on TLS 1.0 so it still won’t work on pre-2008 devices. So a lot of my simplification-efforts are wasted.

The same goes for you; your article looks awesome in Lynx and edbrowse but your server doesn’t support TLS 1.0.

@Edent Project Gemini is a cool effort to move away from the ridiculous heavy modern Web, like a modern take on gopher

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