Matt Brundage

The first ten years

screenshot This month marks the tenth anniversary of my website. I registered in early 2003, but the site had existed for three years prior at the now-defunct

I’m stopping short of providing a gallery of screen shots of my site through the years, but this I can tell you: the site gets progressively less embarrassing as time goes by. But even in rare instances when the design wasn’t half-bad, the underlying code was — by current standards — atrocious. A few examples:

  • I didn’t specify a doctype declaration, with the reasoning that I was keeping the page weight low. For similar reasons, or perhaps out of sheer laziness, I didn’t always enclose attribute values in double quotes. Doh! Both of these heinous practices ended in 2004.
  • In lieu of server-side file includes, I was using JavaScript includes simply to output common navigation menus on the page. In some parts of the site, this practice persisted until 2007. 2007!
  • I didn’t start validating my code until the summer of 2004, around the time that I started using Firefox. And yes, my site was “broken” when I first viewed it in Firefox, then on version 0.8 or 0.9.
  • I was declaring font sizes in points rather than “em”s or percentages as late as 2005.
  • I would sometimes separate paragraphs with two <br> tags instead of wrapping them in <p> tags. This practice finally ended site-wide in 2007.
  • I didn’t even start indenting my code at any discernible frequency until late 2007 — it was a conscious decision to keep the page weight as low as possible.

I feel as if I have finally absolved myself of past web development sins. The only real bright spot in my early code seems to be my wholehearted embrace of CSS.

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