back to article End of an era as Firefox bins 'blink' tag

The "blink"* element, a feature of early web browsers that made text blink on and off, has been banished in the latest version of Firefox. The element had already been removed from Internet Explorer, was never implemented in Chrome and was ignored by most browser-makers because it never made it into a W3C HTML spec. The W3C …

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  1. DanceMan

    Firefox 32.0?

    Pah. Wake me when we get to Firefox 187. In a couple of months.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Terminator

      Re: Firefox 32.0?

      Ah - I get it. The old Firefox versioning joke. That used to be funny - never.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Firefox 32.0?

        On the contrary, it was very funny about 2 weeks ago. With Firefox 16.

      2. h4rm0ny

        Re: Firefox 32.0?

        "Ah - I get it. The old Firefox versioning joke. That used to be funny - never."

        I thought it was funny when I first heard it, around the time of version 12 or 13.

        But that was months ago.

    2. Test Man
      FAIL

      Re: Firefox 32.0?

      *facepalm*

      Joking aside, (and slightly off-topic) the version number incrementation is insignificant to the majority of people involved with Firefox, except developers who track features and changes.

      So I do wish that people will stop banging on about how quickly the version numbers are going up (not you specifically DanceMan). Does it really matter?

      That said, I also wish that Mozilla would drop the focus on version numbers in the same way that Google have (in other words don't use it in marketing or promotion). Although a cursory glance on their website seems to suggest that they're finally heeding this advice.

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
        Flame

        Re: Firefox 32.0?

        I don't care about the version numbers, it would just be nice if there weren't so many bloody versions. Seriously, who wants to update their browser every other week, and then waste a day trying to restore the features that changed/broke?

      2. Oninoshiko

        Re: Firefox 32.0?

        on the contrary, I don't care if they feel like emphasizing the version, if they could just make it update seamlessly without harassing me.

    3. Jim Carter
      Coat

      Re: Firefox 32.0?

      Or maybe 69.whoah?

    4. itzman

      Re: Firefox 32.0?

      Quantitative easing means inflation... the power of your major version number is eroding in your pocket.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      As a Firefox user

      do I get to say that I look forward to v132?

      Hopefully by then they will get a FUNCTIONAL UI, where reasonable settings like browser.cache.check_doc_frequency are not buried in an obtuse about:config page, as well as stop making user experience changes just because you think you can.

      There. Got that off my chest. Because the self-important twits at Mozilla simply don't listen to feedback from anyone but themselves.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: As a Firefox user

        > Because the self-important twits at Mozilla simply don't listen to feedback from anyone but themselves.

        Well said that man.

        And yes, I used to report bugs and contribute to their Bugzilla, until I could no longer stand their level of Wikipedians-like twattery.

        Sorry, I don't normally post aggro comments like this, but in this case I find they're deserved.

  2. Ketlan
    Happy

    Futurefox

    'Mozilla has also listed other, far more important, changes to Firefox 32.0'

    Now THAT'S what I call planning ahead.

    1. Steve the Cynic
      WTF?

      Re: Futurefox

      "Now THAT'S what I call planning ahead."

      At the current rate of progress, that might well be less than a year away, certainly not much more. (+1 per release, a release every 6 weeks, only 10 releases to go, that gives 60 weeks or a bit less, unless they up the rate again...)

  3. Big-nosed Pengie

    "Such criticism isn't wide of the mark, but does ignore the fact that in the mid-90s web pages were rather dull. Fonts didn't display at all, ActiveX didn't exist, inline multimedia was in its infancy and Java was still a new kid on the block."

    You couldn't use web sites as platforms for displaying what a clever coder or brilliant graphic designer you were, so you had to rely on content.

    The world was so much better then.

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      "you had to rely on content"

      you'd think that would be the important bit - I've found when you display the content simply, logically, cleanly and accessibly then everyone is happy but sales or graphics dept.

      They're happy when they've had their 'consultation process' but most everyone else isn’t. But I must say they do do a good job of providing a 200Meg video of how to fill in the last 2k form before they demanded a few changes to make their video redundant.

    2. Rosie Davies

      It was, except for the blasted animated GIFs that the marketing department thought were worthwhile and not at all a vile irritation that caused most users to turn of images (bandwidth were limited then to).

    3. Steve Knox
      Windows

      You couldn't use web sites as platforms for displaying what a clever coder or brilliant graphic designer you were, so you had to rely on content.

      On the contrary, you just had to actually be a clever coder or brilliant designer back then.

      1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
        Coffee/keyboard

        Flash

        I have fond memories of Flash animations back in the day (Yes ok Flash is evil now but it gave us Weebl and Bob and Adventures of the Blode!)

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Plus the web wasn't filled with hoardes of dumbass kids posting crap on social media (I really hate that phrase) sites because they didn't know about the internet as it wasn't available on mobile phones and facebook/twitter etc. didn't bloody exist.

      We had usenet and mailing lists with no stupid crap graphical icons or crap graphical smileys or crap oversized picture sigs, we made do with using text characters and sigs that were no longer than 4 lines.

      LOL actually meant you lauged out loud at something, not just just posted it because it seemed appropriate. Further more the acronym ROFL used to be ROTFLMAO, but even kids today are too goddamn lazy to type out the whole acronym.

      P.S. Get off my fucking lawn!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        we had usenet, and my god, wasn't it fully as bad as anything today.

        1. RonWheeler
          Windows

          Yup.

          The only good one I ever used was uk.adverts.computer. Most were just full of spam, or self-appointed usenet police uttering threats (and even some death threats) to get me banned by my ISP for not following the formatting guidelines to the letter - on my first attempt at posting (guideline revision 32c available intermittently on someone's private university webspace).

        2. itzman

          ?we had usenet, and my god, wasn't it fully as bad as anything today.

          Or as good?

          Loved usenet.. Still use it a bit..

        3. Tom 13
          Unhappy

          Re: we had usenet,

          I went back and visited an old usenet forum a few years back. It was a tragic mistake. I've seen more useful email in my spam box.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "We had usenet and mailing lists with no stupid crap graphical icons or crap graphical smileys or crap oversized picture sigs"

        And we had alt.binaries.* for any and all of our... entertainment needs.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          And we had alt.binaries.* for any and all of our... entertainment needs.

          We still do!

      3. Simon Westerby 1

        kids today are too goddamn lazy to type out the whole acronym....

        KTATGL2TOTWFA !!!

        (I add added the F for ya because I felt you meant that ...)

    5. Mike Flugennock

      Couldn't agree more...

      ...and I'm a graphic designer.

      Around 1994 or '95 -- a scary long time ago, now that I think of it -- I'd been doing print design for about 15 years (and print design on computers for about 10), and was the first designer in my department to dive into the Web and start exploring "new media" design to any extent, and was responsible for training the other designers in how to design for the Web. One of the first things I impressed on them that they were designing layouts for users who were on 14.4 and perhaps 28.8k links, not interactive CD-ROM presentations (a common mistake back then).

      I can still remember some twentysomething clown from the Marketing department, one of the account execs, coming down to Publications/Design and complaining that our designs for his clients' Web sites wasn't "interactive" enough. In an attempt to pin him down on just what he meant by "interactive", he proceeded to show us a bunch of Web pages with buttons that wiggled and hopped when you rolled over them, big-ass animated .gif banner ads, embedded auto-playing sound and video, ridiculously large bandwidth-sucking Flash displays (Flash was brand-new then, most of us were still on 28.8k dialup, and Flash already had a really bad reputation), and generally more blinking, wiggling, wobbling, undulating crap than you could shake a stick at.

      Christ, what an asshat. He's probably head of Marketing at that company by now.

  4. Richard Jones 1
    Facepalm

    Blinking Never Worked With Printers

    I used on screen blinking text for warnings to users, shame was no printer could ever make blinking text on the page so the point was lost!

    1. g e

      Re: Blinking Never Worked With Printers

      Nor did the marquee tag.

      Most infuriating.

      1. cyborg
        Megaphone

        Re: Blinking Never Worked With Printers

        Now marquee is a *real* tag of action that blink only wishes it was.

        Where's the love for it eh?

        1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: Blinking Never Worked With Printers

          Now marquee is a *real* tag of action that blink only wishes it was. Where's the love for it eh?

          If you'd like to see some (measured and tempered) affection for <blink> and <marquee>, check out Bob Whipple's chapter, "The Evil Tags", in Dilger & Rice's From A to < A>.1 It's a nice retrospective of how some folks in the mid-90s received the introduction of these elements.

          1Bradley Dilger mentioned once - this was at Michigan State, around the time the book was published - how much they had come to regret this title, because of all the production problems they ran into trying to have what looked like an HTML tag in the title. I note that it's still not possible to search for this book by title on Amazon.com, and Amazon doesn't display the title correctly either, when you do find it. Good job, Amazon developers!

          On the other hand, the Reg doesn't do much better. It can't handle left-angle-bracket, capital-A, right-angle-bracket, because it thinks it's "malformed HTML"; but it doesn't recognize the &lt; entity either. Thus the extraneous space in the title above. Try again, gents.

    2. Sureo

      Re: Blinking Never Worked With Printers

      Make sure you hit the print key while the text is visible otherwise the page will be blank!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Happy

        Re: Blinking Never Worked With Printers

        <Blah> Beat me to it!

  5. P. Lee

    >*We would have loved to honour HTML syntax and surround the word "blink" with angle brackets, but doing so risked making the story unreadable

    So little has changed then.

    1. Ian Yates

      I'm confused by this... what browser can't handle &gt; and &lt;?

  6. Florida1920
    Holmes

    What's really going on here?

    "Updated Firefox Logo"

    Oh, dear. Does Mozilla have "new headquarters" envy? If you can't build a spaceship, hack up the logo?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Pint

    Not all is lost ;-)

    We still have our trusty CSS3 animation ;-)

    <style>

    @keyframes blink {

    from {color: black; }

    to {color: white; }

    }

    </style>

    Now all that's left is using animation and referring to this keyframe section:

    <p style="animation:blink .5s infinite">This is now blinking!</p>

    Takes a little more code than one tag, but looks so much better, sorta ;-)

    1. Old Handle
      Unhappy

      Re: Not all is lost ;-)

      But you'll have to use both methods to support old browsers.

  8. Alex Trenchard

    There's only one valid use that I'm aware of for the blink tag:

    Schrödinger's cat is <blink>not</blink> dead.

    1. Justin Stringfellow
      Mushroom

      mandatory downvote for mentioning schroedinger's cat

      that is all.

    2. dajames Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Funny but wrong.

      Schrödinger's cat is <blink>not</blink> dead.

      No, the cat's state doesn't alternate, it can only go from living to dead.

      The point of the gedanken experiment is that without opening the box and examing the cat the system can only be described by including both the waveform of a dead cat and the waveform of a live cat (with appropriate probabilities ascribed to each).

      Schrödinger's cat is <font color=gray>not</font> dead.

      would be nearer the mark (but still wrong because the probability of the cat still being alive diminishes with time so the colour should really fade).

      Sheesh, you'd think quantum mechanics was Hard Science or something ... Oh, wait ...

      Icon because hydrogen bombs may kill cats, too.

      1. cyborg
        Headmaster

        Re: Funny but wrong.

        Actually the point of the thought experiment is that applying quantum mechanics to a cat leads to silly things like this so you shouldn't do it. Therefore I deem blink acceptable in this context.

        1. C 18

          Re: Funny but wrong.

          >Actually the point of the thought experiment is...

          Actually, actually, as usual the puny humans have it the wrong way around.

          I was reminded of the following recently, cats once were worshipped as gods, they haven't forgotten this.

          The cat is the one running this experiment, fooling a scientist to actually try it out. The whole 'is the cat dead and alive at the same time' thing is where the flawed perception gives us one-life players rise for confusion. See, the cat during the closed box period of the experiment is in the dual state of having lost another of its nine lives and not losing one. Once the cat has more than one to spare before the experiment (which it ensures by only ever taking part in this exercise eight times) then the true purpose of the experiment is achieved. I.e. the lifting of the cat from the box and the application of something resembling sawdust and silicon gel with an aroma of fish or chicken.

          Cats over many millenia have devised many ingenious methods for being fed by their pets, which is odd considering how lethal they are as killing machines...

      2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Re: Funny but wrong.

        both the waveform of a dead cat and the waveform of a live cat

        No, it's just a single "wavefunction", i.e. a complex-valued probability assignment to all considered states, in this case "DEAD" (dimension #1), and "ALIVE" (dimension #2), a so-called qbit.

        Incidentally, this function can be described by a three-dimensional real-valued vector constrained to the unit sphere (the Bloch sphere). Thus there are actually only two real dimensions.

        Totally uncalled for but linked to just because: Aperture Science Time: Schrödinger's Cat

    3. Grikath

      actually..

      The possible states of the cat are : alive, dead, Greebo...

      1. LinkOfHyrule
        Joke

        Meeeoooww Meeeeooowwwww *claw claw claw* MEEEOOOWWWW!

        Schrodinger what the eff are you on about? That cat is definitely alive!

      2. AOD
        Coffee/keyboard

        Re: actually..

        Grikath, have an upvote from me for working in a Pratchett reference.

        Strictly speaking though, I think you'll find that there would be 3 states the cat would be in.

        Alive, dead and bloody furious.

  9. TC1
    Go

    Now all they need to do is...

    Get rid of scrolling marquees.

  10. Ian Johnston

    Fonts didn't display at all?

    I'm pretty sure they did, because I clearly remember being able to read text on web pages.

    1. Stevie Silver badge

      Re: Fonts didn't display at all?

      Well spotted, but I'm pretty sure the text between blink tags was only readable about half the time.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Enable JavaScript" preference checkbox has been removed

    "Enable JavaScript" preference checkbox has been removed and user-set values will be reset to the default.

    ?

    1. Justicesays
      Devil

      Re: "Enable JavaScript" preference checkbox has been removed

      I guess JavaScript based XSS / iFrame attacks are now so valuable to the economy of the internet that they have to make sure everyone can experience them...

    2. Lexxy
      Holmes

      Re: "Enable JavaScript" preference checkbox has been removed

      Somehow I ended up reading their full rationale for this...

      http://limi.net/checkboxes-that-kill

      and

      https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=851702

      1. arctic_haze Silver badge
        Thumb Down

        Re: "Enable JavaScript" preference checkbox has been removed

        Limi will soon turn off the Exit options so you cannot spoil your Internet experience by switching off the browser.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Enable JavaScript" preference checkbox has been removed

      Nowadays JavaScript is necessary to maintain compatibility with a large number FBI browser exploits.

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Re: "Enable JavaScript" preference checkbox has been removed

        Blimey!

        Alex Limi is a frightening UX designer. His entire approach seems to be "This setting might confuse, therefore it must be removed and set to the value Alex Limi wants. All our users are idiots and cannot ever learn anything."

        He's not even considering the approach of "Let's explain it better, and if it does break something, immediately show the user where to go to fix it. Maybe even give them a button right there".

        Teach the user. Explain things. The approach "Don't worry your pretty little head about it" is what Apple are good at. Nobody else should try because one of the reasons for not going Apple is to avoid that approach.

        He's ignoring where Firefox got its users. Most are semi-technical, the majority chose it because of the customisability. Why should I download and run an add-on simply to turn something on or off when there used to be a perfectly good UX tickybox that did it? Maybe I got the browser entirely because of the tickybox you want to take away?

        Every single example he gave has very good reasons for existing, and burying them in about:config simply turns the setting from "easily visible but perhaps not explained well" to "invisible, and completely unexplained"

        1. Ian 55

          Re: "Enable JavaScript" preference checkbox has been removed

          Argh.

          On one hand Limi is right. It's a bit like the way that the WordPress CMS software lets you break your site by getting a keystroke wrong in two places in the Settings / General menu. Do that, and you have to be able to edit MySQL databases directly or edit files over a ssh link, because WordPress isn't listening any more.

          On the other, how dare he stop me easily turning off images etc.

          I dunno, maybe there should be a new checkbox to say 'I know what I am doing'. Call it 'show advanced options' or something...

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In other words

    "Such criticism isn't wide of the mark, but does ignore the fact that in the mid-90s web pages were rather dull."

    ie, "Functional and fast"

    1. Fibbles
      WTF?

      Re: In other words

      Nothing says functional quite like a bright blue background with lime green comic sans.

      I remember the early web and it was a neon nightmare.

      1. veti Silver badge
        Pirate

        Re: In other words

        Bits of it were, bits of it weren't. In other news, both Comic Sans and {color:green} are still supported.

        But quite a lot of things were better then. If you linked to a web page, there was a reasonable chance that its content would still be the same when someone followed that link the next day - as opposed to the modern trend, which is to continually revise the content to make the writer look less stupid.

        And people discussed the really *important* things, dammit. None of this "I CAN HAZ CHEEZEBURGER?" nonsense, we were too busy refuting all those laughable "reasons" why Picard was "better" than Kirk...

  13. Virtualpete
    Pint

    This story had a well documented beginning

    A story about the end of <Blink>Blink</Blink> should by rights have a link to the story of it's origin.

    http://www.montulli.org/theoriginofthe%3Cblink%3Etag

    using beer icon because it shares as much responsibility as anyone else.

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: This story had a well documented beginning

      I've added a link.

      C.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: This story had a well documented beginning

        Ok, for those of you too busy / lazy to bother reading the history, allow me to give you the low down:

        « [O]ne of the engineers liked my idea so much that he left the bar sometime past midnight, returned to the office and implemented the blink tag overnight. He was still there in the morning and quite proud of it. »

        That explains a lot I guess.

    2. Tom 13

      Re: This story had a well documented beginning

      I love this line:

      It was a lot like Las Vegas, except it was on my screen, with no way of turning it off.

  14. Si 1

    Hmmm

    So if <blink> no longer exists in any modern browsers, I might just enclose all my pages with it as a gentle reminder to IE6 users that it's time to update...

  15. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    I seem to have completely missed this. Maybe I blinked at the wrong moment.

  16. This Side Up
    Coat

    Bootnote

    "* We would have loved to honour HTML syntax and surround the word "blink" with angle brackets, but doing so risked making the story unreadable in some browsers or causing El Reg's publishing apps to choke on tag we don't use."

    Er, have you heard of &lt; and &gt; ? Or do I have to type &amp;lt; and &amp;gt;?

    1. Lee D Silver badge

      Re: Bootnote

      Ignoring all that: Have your CMS people never heard of proper string parsing at all? Or tokenisation? Substitution? Or just allowing a CMS designed to put pages on the web to allow you to actually use HTML tags or angle-bracket characters without having to worry about any of that?

      Hell, it's getting more and more like Slashdot in here every day. Next I won't be able to use £ without getting a ton of junk around it, or any Unicode text at all.

      1. veti Silver badge

        Re: Bootnote

        I already can't type ' £ ' (that one was copied from your post). Time was I could just type ' &pound; ' or ' &#163; ', but those don't work any more. Now, if you don't happen to have the symbol on your keyboard, you're pretty much boned.

  17. joewilliamsebs

    For REALLY important stuff...

    ...blink had to be combined with marquee.

  18. Tony Green

    Can't include it?

    "* We would have loved to honour HTML syntax and surround the word "blink" with angle brackets, but doing so risked making the story unreadable in some browsers or causing El Reg's publishing apps to choke on tag we don't use."

    Is El-Reg REALLY so bad at HTML? Does nobody there know the HTML entities &lt; and &gt; ?

  19. Ol'Peculier

    Early web design advice:

    Don't <blink>

    What ever you do, don't <blink>

  20. Andy The Hat Silver badge

    I note the enhancements "including ... video acceleration."?

    The cumulative speed hikes claimed in each release of a browser should mean at this point you will have read the end of this posting five minutes before I wrote it ...

    The day I find a faster browser to use is the day teleportation is invented. What's that whirly whirly noise faintly reminiscent of a long running sci-fi programme I can hear ...?

  21. Crisp Silver badge

    Good riddance to bad markup

    Nice to see blink going the way of the marquee tag.

    Off the the graveyard of bad design choices.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    End of <blink>

    Coming soon the <like> tag when effing Facebook becomes the Internet...

  23. Jim 59

    Noooooooooooooo !

    Blink was indeed "useless and ugly" when applied in large doses by naive html authors. But it can be useful for highlighting tiny areas. For example, MGSD, a GTD tool based on Tiddlywiki, uses blink to flag reminders (ticklers). The example only blinks in Firefox, obviously.

    1. Crisp Silver badge

      Re: Noooooooooooooo !

      You could implement something like blink with css though (if you really really hated your users). Why use the blink tag when it only works in one browser?

      1. veti Silver badge

        Re: Noooooooooooooo !

        You can implement something like it with CSS *now*, sure. But try viewing that with 1995 technology, assuming you can find any, and see what it gets you.

  24. Arachnoid
    Linux

    Version numbers are irrelevant as long as it actually works

    Shouldn't we be on <blink> Firefox 64 </blink> by now............Penguin because they're cool animals still running v 1

  25. sisk Silver badge

    Blink won't be missed, at least not by me. It may have spruced sides up once upon a time, but it also induced seizures in some people. Good riddance I say.

  26. ACZ
    Thumb Down

    And they've mucked up searching from the address bar...

    Not mentioned in the release notes, but unbelievably annoying, Firefox 23 has changed the search behaviour for text entered into the address bar so that it now uses your default search engine.

    You might previously have used the address bar for Google searches, and have dictionary.com or suchlike set as your default search engine in the search box to the right; now all searches from the address bar will be to your default search engine.

    This addon fixes it, but it's not exactly the smartest move from Mozilla:

    https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/keyword-search/

    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: And they've mucked up searching from the address bar...

      This addon fixes it, but it's not exactly the smartest move from Mozilla

      That phrase describes nearly every change to Firefox, aside from pure security fixes, since 3.6, as far as I can tell. Some Mozilla dev has a bad idea and implements it, and someone in the community has to write an addon to restore the older, preferable behavior.

      These days, I think of Firefox primarily as an ongoing coding challenge. "Look what we broke today!"

  27. Rupert Fiennes Silver badge

    It was still there?

    As I remember it, I thought one of the first changes committed into what was then the newly Communicator source code was the removal of "blink". Sort of surprised it took another 15 years to take!

  28. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    Ironic that I had to read this story while holding one hand over the advert that was blinking "Register Now" in uglyvision right in my eyeline.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wasn't this Netscape's tag anyway?

    IIRC, wasn't Blink a Netscape tag whilst IE had Marquee?

    I recall having to wrap code in both tags so both browsers would perform their actions?

  30. Zmodem

    flashing dhtml still probably works

    http://www.dynamicdrive.com/dynamicindex5/flashlink.htm

  31. ecofeco Silver badge
    Trollface

    No more blink?!

    The next thing you know we won't be able to use dancing hamsters and purple text on black backgrounds!!

  32. John F***ing Stepp

    Damn.

    Thereby dies the black text helicopter.

    (a truly moving bit of ascii art.)

  33. MatsSvensson

    At least we still have <honk> </honk>

    (But please don't use it unless you really have to.)

  34. Jan 0
    Stop

    There's "useless and ugly" and there's "USELESS AND UGLY!!"

    > Your correspondent has fond memories of using blink in Front Page 95 ... ... Few that didn't mess with HTML in 1995 will miss blink, which was widely panned for being useless and ugly.

    s/Few that didn't mess with HTML in 1995 will miss blink/Almost nobody will miss Front Page/

    Surely you remember the obscenely malformed and bloated HTML that it produced?

    1. Stevie Silver badge

      Re: There's "useless and ugly" and there's "USELESS AND UGLY!!"

      No, but I remember the hysterical reaction people would have when the browsed the page source and saw the meta tag FrontPage would embed naming itself as the origin, because I had a beautiful, tight and working project rendered broken and ugly because some fuckwit thought I had formatted one page with FrontPage and decided he knew better.

      I hadn't and he didn't - I had merely used Front page's excellent and fully working WYSIWYG table building thing to organize his dubious pictorial content c/w urgent new requirement of the day as quickly as possible and forgotten - that one time - to pull the (functionally useless) meta tag before shipping it.

      I only remember having a reasonably good time with FrontPage, but that's because I learned how to use it rather than just poking around expecting it to anticipate me.

      You could get tight HTML code out of Word too (argh! Say it ain't so!) if you spent five minutes finding out what you didn't know and changed one setting.

      It was a feature, not a bug, and one I wouldn't have wanted to tackle on a bet - that when the HTML was produced from a document it should not only look as much like the original as humanly possible, but should be back-translatable into a word document on demand with no loss of formatting information. If you didn't need that, you could turn it off and all those inline styles would vanish.

      Of course, no-one is suggesting Word is an HTML editor, but the fact that it can and does generate reasonable HTML when asked properly is a bonus.

      I'm constantly shocked by the number of clever people who never follow the Golden Rule with MS products (while at the same time quoting the magic four letters at every opportunity to a Linux/Gimp/Apache/name your software of choice newb).

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: There's "useless and ugly" and there's "USELESS AND UGLY!!"

        I'm constantly shocked by the number of clever people who never follow the Golden Rule with MS products (while at the same time quoting the magic four letters at every opportunity to a Linux/Gimp/Apache/name your software of choice newb).

        It might help if MS documentation wasn't generally poorly-organized rubbish with a nearly useless search mechanism that doesn't recognize quoting and defaults to treating phrases as disjunction. I've dealt with a great deal of technical documentation over the past 30-odd years, and Microsoft's has consistently ranked among the most frustrating.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why...

    ...do I instantly think of Geocities, AOL, Tripod and Angelfire?

    Good riddance, next stop animated 'Under Construction' gifs and starfield backgrounds.

  36. silent_count

    A missed opportunity

    Boo! I'd put up with 'blink' if they got rid of 'script', 'iframe', 'embed' and the ability to display animated GIFs. When was the last time you heard of a 'blink' vulnerability? Or a cross-site 'blink' problem?

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bootnote

    At least you didn't actually use the tag this time. Last time your whole article summary here for the forum was blinking, at least in Firefox. Probably still is.

    But thank god its gone, I never got why they included the blinking abomination in the first place in Firefox, by 2003 noone was coding for Netscape specificially on the web anymore. At least Geocities isn't still around, their users would be freaking out.

  38. RonWheeler

    Just use FF 3

    It pretty much sucked after then anyway.

  39. Paul 135

    These changes are the least of a Firefox user's worries...

    In an upcoming release (as can be seen in the current "UX" build) they are even planning to remove the ability for a status bar /"add-ons" bar and then forcing all your add-ons to be squashed into the top-right corner in an ugly Chrome-like mess.

    These customisable toolbars (apart from Google spying) was the very reason I used Firefox and not Chrome. It's almost as if they want to destroy all of Firefox's USPs, with the "user experience" team a trojan horse sent buy Google to sabotage all the excellent work done by those working on the rendering engine recently.

    COMPLAIN PEOPLE, BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE!!!

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Marching ants

    Do they still work in Word?

  41. Mike Flugennock
    Mushroom

    No ActiveX or Java? You say that like it's a bad thing...

    "...Such criticism isn't wide of the mark, but does ignore the fact that in the mid-1990s web pages were rather dull. Fonts didn't display at all, ActiveX didn't exist, inline multimedia was in its infancy and Java was still a new kid on the block..."

    In other words: peace, quiet, calm, bliss.

    For "dull", substitute "entirely unpolluted by flashing, wiggling, jumping, blinking Flash ads and autoplaying embedded YouTube commercials".

    You're welcome.

  42. Mike Flugennock

    While they're at it...

    ...maybe they could do something about the tiled image background tag. I know it's been years since anyone's done a page utilizing that "feature", but I still -- more often than I wish -- run across a page that hasn't been revised since the late '90s, created by someone with absolutely no design sense, with a tiled image background using an image that seems deliberately calculated to obscure the text. Tiled backgrounds with animated .gifs were the friggin' worst.

    I hated pages with tiled image backgrounds back then, and I still hate them now.

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