🏠About

Like I said, I’ve been doing this for a while. Having done this for a long time is part of the problem, of course. My first “homepage” was a Gopher directory. The first HTML version, probably in 1993, vanished long ago. My second home page, at O’Reilly, also vanished when they turned off (or repurposed) jasper.ora.com. My third homepage, nwalsh.com still exists and dates to 1997.

Because in 1997 (and before) I didn’t really know what the web was going to become, I collected all sorts of random things on my home page: TeX stuff when I was doing TeX, Perl stuff when I was doing Perl, Emacs stuff, SGML stuff, DocBook stuff, XML stuff, conference papers, tutorials, etc.

Times change, stuff collects, and eventually you want to clean up and start over. Well, okay, except that I’m an unapologetic believer that URIs should persist. The fact that so many useful resources have gone 404 over the years is a human failing, not a technological one.

If you don’t think there’s value in keeping URIs around, this comment in an issue current in 2022 refers to a slide in a presentation that I gave almost precisely 23 years before the comment was made. Would it be a catastrophe if that URI was 404? No. Is the world better off in some small way because it isn’t? Yes.

And so, nwalsh.com is going to stay mostly what it has become, a kind of collecting place for historic artifacts. Maybe it’ll collect some new and modern artifacts in the future. Who can say? No one knows what the web will become.