Exploring old backups I came across the links to the oldest websites that I’ve made, between 1997 and 1998, as part of my work at FIS, 25 years ago.
(And this discovery happened as the Web celebrated its 30th anniversary last Sunday!)
The URLs of those dinosaur pages haven’t changed since (which is the most surprising part of the story!) and in some cases my name appears in the “Author” field (something my boss at the time didn’t appreciate at all, because… reasons):
<META NAME="Author" CONTENT="Adrian Kosmaczewski">
<META> tag gives an idea of the tooling used to create these early websites from the pre-Dot-com boom era:
<META NAME="GENERATOR" CONTENT="Mozilla/3.03Gold (Win95; I) [Netscape]">
The full list of the oldest URLs still online that have my signature is this:
- http://www.fis-net.com/invertec/ (1997) made with the Netscape 3 web page editor
- http://www.fis-net.com/azcona/ (1997) made with FrontPage 2.0
- http://www.fis-net.com/legaspi/ (1997) made with FrontPage 3.0
- http://www.fis-net.com/fujian/ (1998) made with FrontPage 3.0
- http://www.fis-net.com/hunan/ (1998) made with FrontPage 3.0
- http://www.fis-net.com/haikui/ (1998) made with FrontPage 3.0
- http://www.fis-net.com/expopesca/ (1998) made with Macromedia Fireforks
- http://www.fis-net.com/guinea/ (1999) made with Macromedia Fireworks
- http://www.fis-net.com/dat-schaub/ (1999) made with Macromedia Fireworks
These websites give an idea of the processes and tooling required to be a “frontend engineer” back in 1997 (we called themselves “web developers” back then, kids.)
- UPPERCASE HTML TAGS.
- Lots of frames; not
<IFRAME>but good old
- Not a lot of CSS at the beginning, then a bit more, particularly for colors.
<FONT>tags to control the (admittedly limited) typography choices.
- Lots of GIFs, animated or not (these pages have a strong GeoCities vibe, let’s be honest.)
- No UTF-8; instead:
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1">
- No HTML 5; instead:
<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 3.2//EN">
Finding these websites was quite a surprise and a trip down memory lane. I hope they won’t be removed now that I’ve published this blog post! Since the Internet Archive has not saved these pages, I’ve saved a copy using the
wget -mpEk "http://…" command, because you never know. The archive is right here.
Update, 2023-05-12: Found two more: a paper published for a friend around February 1997 (Internet Archive snapshot taken November 8th, 2000) and a “do-it-yourself home page” website maker application I wrote for FIS (Internet Archive snapshot taken May 16th, 2001).