I had a fun trip down digital memory lane this weekend, while doing some research for a book.
Looking up information on when the HTML <table> element was first used unlocked a rush of memories from when I first started writing code. It turns out that as a teen in the 90s, I started writing code for the web as it was being developed. Connecting to the web, sure, with the help of America Online, was a novel thing for most at that time. But I had no idea then that everyone in the world was really just figuring it all out. Like we still are, more than 20 years later.
The World Wide Web Consortium was formed in late 1994 to fulfill the potential of the Web through the development of open standards. (source)
While my best friend showed me how to find and download midis, create hypertext reference links, and use bitmap image editing software to make repeating background images for my “Personal Publisher” web page on the America Online, Inc. members site, Sir* Tim Berners-Lee was meeting with scientists to develop standards for how to code on the web.
Much has changed on the web, but many of the basics still apply and are used widely. Such as the HTML <table> element.
At the moment, while I reminisce about the “early” days of the web, my son plays Minecraft while connected to the web, and my dad delivers a sermon on Facebook Live. Nothing quite like those activities existed in 1994.
*“Sir” Tim Berners-Lee would not be knighted until 2004.