Webspaces and the retro Web

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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 webspaces.space, 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.