Ham Is to Hamsters

I published my first web page in the server of my university. It was at the end of August, 1996. It will be 25 years soon. I was about to turn 23, and I had taught myself HTML with Liz Castro’s excellent book “HTML for the World Wide Web”.

At some point in my explorations of the World Wide web I came across a dynamic web page. And by dynamic I mean an alert() dialog box. The good old ones generated by Netscape 2 running on Windows 95.

An alert box. This was no ordinary web page, I told myself, and when I selected the venerable “View Source” option on the menus, I saw for the first time a snippet a curly-bracketed programming language called JavaScript.

It could not do much more than validating forms back then. That was the primary use of those <SCRIPT> tags (yes, they were all uppercase back then). So you would add some JavaScript here and there, and if the fields of a form were empty, bam! The alert would appear. This allowed us, obnoxious nerds, to annoy the few people daring to install Netscape in their computers and to redirect them forever out of our websites.

Usability has never been a strong characteristic of the developer community.