Bookmark: "It’s 2019 and I Still Make Websites with my Bare Hands"

Sebastian Greger


So much this:

Why are over 500 MB of files needed to write a web app that shows a few lists of things and makes some AJAX requests? (Yes I still call them that. I’ll call them XHR too, even though XML is way passé.)

…not even to speak of the headache to update a website created with such complex tools a few years later when all build setups, and in the worst case even the tools required, have long vanished.

“It’s 2019 and I Still Make Websites with my Bare Hands” is a manifesto by Matt Holt to a more artisanal approach to web development, in comparison to the utterly bloated and over-engineered “framework” approach of today.

I’ve had several requests now to write up my process for making websites and this article is the best I could come up with. Maybe it’s more of a rant, but my process is really quite simple and hard to explain, because… there is no process. […] Except for the minimum requirements (a text editor and a local web server), my “process” doesn’t need any special tooling: no compiling, no installation steps, no package management. It’s just me, my text editor, my web server, and understanding the basics of how websites work.

It’s 2020 and I, too, still make websites with my bare hands. With pride. And no worries if an old sites needs a small content update five years from now.

I'm Sebastian, Sociologist and Interaction Designer. This journal is mostly about bringing toge­ther social science and design for inclusive, privacy-focused, and sustainable "human-first" digital strategies. I also tend to a "digital garden" with carefully curated resources.

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