@dmrutherford woz here

Incept date

Thoughts on this thing.

I love this. So much. I’m crying a little rn. The thing is, though, that I also feel like an imposter.

The whole shtick is that it’s like being back in the ’90s–early ’00s — a glorious time for web design, none would deny, but also one in which I personally had nothing to do with web design. When I started making websites for serious, RWD was already a thing.

This is another episode of saudade in David’s life for something he did not ever experience in the first place.

Still, I can live with that if it means I get to mess about in a fun sandbox with fun people. I just hope they don’t ask me to reminisce about my days spent telneting into my university pine account because I did not ever do that. Not once.

But here’s the thing: for years, I have wished I had been kicking around the net in those halcyon days. It feels lately that there is a much colder, more impersonal attitude. It’s hard to find the little niche communities that welcome newcomers with open arms provided they are happy to partake in the same dumb in-jokes. And here is just such a community

@ftrain, you have done great work here. Thank you.

Incept date

This the second.

I’m toying with the idea of turning this into a semi-blog, but I’m not yet sure what I’d be writing about. I’ll probably go ahead and do that and figure out the rest later, because if not that then I’ll have to do actual work. Boo, actual work.

Consider this my second blog entry. It’s legit. It’s a thing.

Incept date

A lack of permanence as a feature.

I’m fresh back from a Homebrew Website Club meet-up. It was fab, in a totally nerdy way, which is entirely a good thing. In the process I got talking about data persistence on the web, and how (as Adactio keeps telling us) the web does actually forget quite frequently. That in turn led to thinking about the recent server collapse here, and how close I came to losing all of this.

And I was totally fine with that.

Now it goes without saying that this crappy page represents considerably less effort and care than the work of several other people in the club; I salute them and in no way wish to belittle what they might have lost. But in my case, it felt somehow right that everything could have vanished in a puff of smoke from an anonymous AWS server’s fan exhaust. It feels almost like the point.

So I’m in something of a quandary, because as much as I care passionately about data permanence—and keeping URLs alive and static—I like the thought that this place is totally ephemeral. As I step back from that thought, it seems ever stranger. Part of what I like about tilde.club is, after all, that it’s not at the mercy of the whims of some vast, uncaring silo, to be disappeared as is convenient. And here I am, given the opportunity of actual control, and the first thing I do with it is decide to abandon caring.

But that’s in itself a liberating thought. If things go tits up, and this site vanishes into the e-ther, it will be because I let it—because I chose to accept that. That, I think, is what I want to achieve with my little corner of the server. A monument to digital frailty. One day, this page will disappear, and its absence will serve as a permanent memorial.

Another idea that keeps gnawing at the back of my mind is to replace this at least semi-permanent page with a simple RSS feed. No GUID links to a permanent original copy. One post at a time. No history. Available only in newsreaders.

I’m not ready to go that far yet, but I’m toying with it. We shall see. In the meantime: never back up; never surrender.