Towards a modern Web stack by Hixie

Towards a modern Web stack

by Ian ‘Hixie’ Hickson

This is not the first time people talk about a Web Platform design for applications, by sidestepping HTML. This is, nonetheless, the first time such idea is being lad out in a detailed proposal.

What is surprising is that this came from one of the editors of HTML5. In the link in the footnote, he asserts that the unfulfilled promises of HTML can only be solved by revamping the stack altogether, ditching the old HTML/CSS/JavaScript trilogy.

Overall it is pretty complete — except for addressing the fact that WASM is a byte code. Unlike HTML/CSS in its declarative form, which browsers are free to parse and render partially downloaded content, there is going to be a loading screen for WASM widgets/apps like Java applets.

This sole issue isn’t going to be a showstopper in any way. HTML/CSS will continue to live on as the best document format.

It would be interesting to see if the browser vendors (his employer included) will ack on these.

Webspaces and the retro Web

I am exceptionally intrigued by how Webspaces, made by Greg Fodor as a take on the 3D Web, is similar to the retro, “Web 1.0”-era Web. I commend Greg for his deep insights and technical knowledge as shown in his detailed explainer on Webspaces.

Webspaces: Rebooting the 3D Web

tl;dr: Webspaces is a new way to create self-hosted 3D worlds on the web using just HTML. Visit, join the Discord, play around in an example on glitch, or download a blank webspace to get started!

In his post, you would appreciate these, especially as an old guard who’d experienced “Web 1.0”:

  • The need to lower the barrier of self-hosting to a point of just a pile of static files to avoid gatekeepers and walled gardens (remember Geocities?)
  • Self-editing, or “web writeback” as what Greg said, to fulfill the promise of WorldWideWeb (the first browser) to keep the web a two-way medium. I still vividly remember the excitement when I saw TiddlyWiki achieving that back in the day, though with a different method.
  • The ingenious way of leveraging one, almost free CloudFlare Worker to achieve WebRTC signaling (almost feel like old guest books that you’d embed.)

Having only played Counter-Strike in my past life and not anything remotely similar metaverse-y like Minecraft, I am not entirely convinced that is how people will be interacting with “the” next, non-niche social network.

The keyboard, mouse, and the 2D screen (at best with audio/video), just don’t feel like the right hardware to experience a 3D space for the messes. The right hardware is perhaps have not been invented yet; the browser for 3D Web is yet to be seem.

That said, you should go visit that link and read his full post. I am sure it is a milestone of the future, popularized 3D Web, when historians tried to connect the dots.

PS. I don’t know Greg personally, even though we worked in the same company. Happy to be introduced.