WEB20

20th YEAR IN WEB DEVELOPMENT

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1997, My web journey begins.

I made & published my first website in 1997, with Microsoft Frontpage.
the URL was http://skynovel.hk.st, hosted in Geocities.

Yes, it was my novel site, and it was awarded with Best Chinese Website Award Top 5.

Technology was very limited: using 56K Dial-up to the Internet (remember the dial tone?), <frameset>, <iframe>, Web-safe colors... can't do much to make pretty websites.

( ugly, I know. )

Mobile-responsive? Sorry, no support at that time. There is not even a mobile phone that can surf the Internet at the time.

Time Travel to Year 2000

Year 2000, The Year of Millennium

Yahoo, AOL and MSN are popular at the time. Online services, like free email service, chat room and Forum / BBS, started appearing.

Technology like Flash Flash logo (well, modern browsers dropped its support already), blinking text, SHINY BUTTONS and mouseover effects, makes the content richer & more attractive.

At that time, I made a lot of Flash websites & start writing dynamic websites using ASP, Perl/CGI and PHP using Macromedia Dreamweaver & Flash.

p.s. Round corners are over-used at that time... and I'm not a big fan of it.

Time travel to 2007

2007, Bloom of Social Media

ICQ ICQ logo, Xanga Xanga logo, WordPress and Facebook start becoming popular in Hong Kong.

It was the first year I started using Photoshop & Illustrator.
Soon I discovered I got not much talents in drawing, then I went back on developing websites and themes for WordPress & Xanga.

With intense self-study on W3C HTML standards, I realized that sites made by Dreamweaver are still as problematic as Frontpage,
therefore I start using plain text editor to make websites, and it's still my favorite.

JS Frameworks like jQuery and Prototype were introduced to web developers, which saved me a lot of time writing complex effects.

Different brands of browsers were introduced to the market (finally escaped from Internet Explorer), making web development more challenging.

16:9 aspect ratio became the standards of the display, which gave more display areas for websites (though most of the websites still center its contents to have maximum compatibility for 4:3 monitors).

p.s. Internet Explorer, which did not give a shit about HTML standards, was still the mainstream, giving hard time for web developers.

p.s. spent too much time on World of Warcraft...

Time travel to 2013

2013, the mobile web era

Most of the people start using mobile devices to browse websites,
but responsive frontend framework like Bootstrap was still not popular at the time.

Websites usually have a mobile version and a desktop version, redirecting visitors to suitable site.

I made quite a lot websites, but very soon I found that it was hard to maintain.

On the other hand, many websites require Content Management System (CMS) as backend, thus my focus changed to develop robust MVC framework for CMS.

Time travel to 2015

2015, Mobile-first websites are the mainstream

When Bootstrap 3 comes into play, making responsive mobile-first websites was just a piece of cake.
It is a must-learn for all web developers.

On the other hand, CSS3 and Canvas drawings brought amazing effects to the world.
Also, HTML5 was introduced as the new standards.

Flat design became mainstream, making user experience cleaner and less distractive.

Last but not the last, thanks to Google Fonts, web fonts are widely available, making website typography less boring.

Time travel to 2017

2017, 20th year in Web Development

Concluding the 20 years web experience, I do think websites still play a very essential method to display information and promote products or services.

The End