Over in the IndieWeb community we were having a conversation about how easy it should be for people to create their own websites (also for small local businesses etc.) Where making the site is basically the same as writing the text you want to put on it. Social media silos do that for you, but out on the open web?

Aaron mentioned that one a tech conference, someone had a linktree site on the last slide for people to find more info, because it was the easiest way apparently to make a small site just for that info, by using a third party silo.
Tantek then said that is a good summary of the use case:

easiest way to make a small site

Seeing that single line on my screen, I was mildly shocked that my own first instinctive answer to “easiest way to make a small site” is “write my own html in Notepad“. That answer is almost 30 years old, it’s how I made my very first web page. And handwriting html is still my first answer! No other path immediately comes to mind. Of course, I wouldn’t want to hand write this weblog in html, but ‘small site’ as in a few simple pages, yes, I would do that by hand in some plain text app like Notepad.

Can it be that three decades on the closest answer to ‘making a website is as easy as making a plain text note’ is still hand written html? Dave Winer uses an outliner to blog, and more recently created Drummer for the rest of us, that for him at least means blogging is as simple as writing plain text. I can post to this blog from my plain text notes on my laptop (from Obsidian using micropub), but I use markdown to style it a bit. What else is out there?

Can making your web page be as simple as writing a note you put on the door or in the window of your business?
The answer can’t really still be Notepad, can it?


No not really, also because I don’t use Windows…but it could still be, and it was back in ’93. Image by John Lester, license CC BY

8 reactions on “After 3 Decades Notepad Can’t Still Be The Answer, Can It?

  1. Would still be my first reaction too. No notepad but vi, but a text editor nonetheless.I remember the old days where I tried that Microsoft thing (can’t even remember the name anymore) and was so shocked about the bloated code it generated, that I just had to clean it up in an editor before I dared to publish it.

  2. I managed a site for a small sports club in my village using WordPress, facilitating the limited stream of reports about events.

    If you need a site that’s just a single page I think I would use a word processor and do a “save as html”.

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