Let's do the time warp again

August 06, 2017 in #blog #nostalgia #development #web hosting

Bob's Tech Site will reach the 10th anniversary of its original "go live" date on Thursday 21st September 2017. Woohoo!

To celebrate, I've hacked together a themed front-end at retro.bobstechsite.com that takes this website back to its roots in 2007 while still displaying modern blog posts.

UPDATE Jan 2018: This is no longer online, but you can get the source code for it from here.

Home page of the retro remake

Just like the original there's no server-side code (teenaged me couldn't find a non-dodgy free web host that would let me use PHP) and you get to enjoy scrolling marquees and framesets in a way that actually works in modern browsers. There's also some semi-amusing new content on the "Links" and "About Me" pages.

Articles page of retro remake site

As you can see above, the Articles page has a bit more of a modern twist. It pulls down an RSS feed from the main site then displays it in a grid just like the modern Ghost theme. Just click on the image or title of any article to read it through this front-end.

...unless you're using Opera, Safari or Microsoft Edge. Apparently they have mixed support for the namespaced form of XML atom feeds use and the JQuery community has made a collective design decision to ignore the problem. So if you're using those browsers you'll see something like this:

Articles page of retro remake site in Opera

The way to fix it properly is to convert the XML into JSON server-side and use that to generate the page instead, but I felt putting up a warning banner on a broken page that tells the user off for my own failings as a web developer was more thematically appropriate!

I've open sourced the code behind this retro remake and made it available on Github. Please don't use it to make an actual production website that does things... it's a toy!

You can also find out more about the history of this website on the Museum page.

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