Why bkuhn's Website Looks Like Crap

30 December 2007

My personal website certainly looks horrible, aesthetically speaking. I've never been much of a graphic designer or one for aesthetic of computer display. It took me forever to even bother with antialiased fonts on my own machine; I still do most of my work in ASCII with GNU Emacs; I even often browse web pages in text-only mode.

The last time I put extensive effort into the look of my personal site was probably around 1996, and the state of the art of its presentation reflects that era of web design. I'd note that it has some advantages — it remains handicap-accessible by default, it's trivial to edit and add stuff, and requires basically no maintenance whatsoever.

In fact, when I look around at the personal websites of colleagues in the Open Source and Free Software world who are my age (or older :), I usually find sites that look much like mine. My good friends Mark Galassi and Loïc Dachary are excellent examples of this phenomenon.

I have ceased to be a Luddite about Web 2.0. Buzzword it is; but interactive delivery of applications in source form via Javascript isn't the worst thing in the world. Nevertheless, I don't think I'll make the world a better place by making my website buzzword compliant. In fact, I sort of like the fact that my website look hasn't changed much at all since 1996.

In short, dear reader, those of us with sites like this just have more important work to do. Aesthetically pleasing personal websites, especially for old-school hackers like us, are a luxury, not a necessity.

Update: 3 May 2008

I recently drew Loïc's attention to this page when he, as he put it, spent a weekend to pimp his home page. I'm fortunate that he plans to keep his personal information/resume page (first link) in this 1996-style. Loïc has also taken to teasing me that I should strive to meet other people who have crappy-looking homepages. Maybe I should start a web-ring! That would be very 1996!

Update: 23 April 2012

jackhill on #faif on freenode notes my website doesn't validate on validator.w3.org, either. Given that some of the HTML dates back to 1994 or earlier, I'm not surprised. I don't really have time to fix it. See above

Bradley M. Kuhn <bkuhn@ebb.org>