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I’m So Old: Web Edition

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Time can be a funny thing. I still remember discovering HTML, CSS, and JavaScript coding. I still remember my first college programming course. I still remember my first day at my first coding job, then my first day at my second coding job, and then my first day at Mozilla. I still remember my first day coding for MetaMask. This year marks my 20th year as a professional software engineer and it’s happened in the blink of an eye.

Every once in a while I will make an old programming reference to a much younger engineer and then realize they have no idea what I’m talking about.

I’m so old…

  • Webpage layouts were being done with <table>s and this new “CSS float” property was becoming the new standard
  • Rounded corners were achieved via images and VML hacks for Internet Explorer
  • FTP was the best way to upload websites changes
  • SVN and copying its trunk was the best versioning tool
  • alert and confirm were the standard for “modals”
  • Firebug was the best debugging tool available
  • The “standard” for getting videos to play properly was finding the right codec to install
  • ActionScript knowledge was as valuable as JavaScript knowledge
  • Dreamweaver was best in class text editor and design tool
  • XML was the future of data structures
  • Mobile-first? Mobile didn’t exist
  • Reactive navigation? How about Java Applets…
  • …or even different <img src=""> upon mouseover and mouseleave!
  • Want to code a desktop app with web tech? Try Adobe Air!
  • NPM stood for “not performant, man”
  • Voting on a poll meant the page would refresh
  • “Social media” meant HotOrNot.com
  • The love sound of the web was a 56k modem connection purrrrr
  • Disabling right-click enforced image security
  • Bitmap (.bmp) was a viable image format
  • JavaScript had a competitor called JScript
  • SpyJax’ing let you detect where your user had been
  • Cookies were the pinnacle of user tracking
  • Social media wall? It’s called a “guestbook”…
  • …and a friends list? It’s called a “web ring’
  • Search engine optimization was spamming the <title> with keywords=

Whew, those where the days. How old are you in web?

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