Friday, June 4, 2010

Some perspective

When I first started working on Addventure for the World Wide Web, there wasn't a lot around I could actually compare it to. The stuff I was doing was cutting edge at the time - and has improved a lot since! I'll be going over all of these in more detail in the future, but till then here are a few highlights:
  • HTML was in it infancy, with no published standard. The "modern" browsers supported a proposal called HTML+, which first introduced forms, and enabled Addventure to actually work.
  • These forms were still new, so they were used for pretty simple things. Although it was possible to create a multi-line text entry area, the most popular use was for guest book pages. Collaborative writing was nearly unheard of before Addventure.
  • To handle these forms, a new protocol called CGI had been invented. It was... inefficient, to say the least, but it was all we had for a while.
  • And what kind of program was called with the CGI? In those early days it was perl or a simple shell script, usually, but Addventure used C++
  • People were expected to write in HTML, and we trusted that we would write HTML that was good! Wanted some space between a paragraph? Good luck! A slightly larger font? Wasn't happening.
Lots of differences between then and now. I'll be exploring these and more.

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