I recently updated the links page on my personal website, something I hadn’t done in years, and there were some broken links there but I also stumbled again across

I removed it from my links page, largely because the first thing you notice is that your browser is blocking popups. When you look at what’s being blocked it’s

Does that sound scary? It isn’t. Control here means navigation. The website navigation is being loaded in a popup menu. I invite you to go over and see, and allow the popup, it won’t harm you and won’t show you any ads.

The website is by Auriea Harvey, the email address, no idea if it still works, is, which I truly think is worthy of mention, and the home page has, right in the middle, a nice, gray ‘Netscape now 3.0′ button that leads, or once led, to the Netscape download page.

The site is made with framesets and I had a sudden horrible stab of missing working with them, updating different frames in the set to show a different submenu, different page content. No one ever told me to stop using them, but there are good reasons not to and so I stopped because it felt right and I haven’t missed them since. Until now, simply because I suddenly saw again how much fun it is to play with them, and sure you can use AJAX to load a whole page into a div but the sweetness of framesets lies in the ability to create that functionality using just HTML.

It’s alright, the moment passed. is a site, one of many, that influenced me very much when I started making websites, because it is filled with a love of beautiful things, curiosity about the new medium and a certain daring, and maybe a touch, just a very small touch, of anarchy. It’s internet art but most importantly, it is an invitation to explore.

I replaced the link to her website with one to a project of hers that she made with Michaël Samyn: The Endless Forest. They made it a long time ago with a new version in development that should make it available for Linux and Mac as well. In it you are a deer, running around and meeting other deer, but you can’t communicate with words and you just run around a beautiful forest. I love it, I’ll play it after a stressful day. It’s pretty and sweet.

Not every website needs to be an invitation to explore the wild, wondrous mysteries hidden inside, most just need to be a nice, clean communication of someone’s message, serve a goal for a charity, or help a business provide a service. But even personal websites don’t seem to be wild and wondrous or mysterious anymore, or at least, not often enough. Most seem to either be diaries or photo albums. And they can be wonderful, but they are, by and large, not mysteries to uncover.

After looking at Harvey’s old website, I dusted off my old website again and looked at all the broken parts: It also uses popups to show relevant content, haha, Flash, and has a ton of broken links that need cleaning out, also, the random link functionality needs tweaking. But I’ve started reviving that website–the last time I worked on it was almost exactly ten years ago–for starters by switching to HTML5 and cleaning up the old JavaScript and rejuvenating some of the CSS. I think next should be the pruning of and adding to the link list.

This part of the web has declined but it isn’t dead yet and I will be a part of it.

Be curious, not just about the next new technology but how you can play with websites. How many different ways can you communicate? What other esthetics are there to use? How many different ways can something be useless, or pointless, but still fun or interesting?

Experiment and tell me about it! I would love to hear from you.


Leave a Comment