Many, many years ago, Tim Berners-Lee wrote this page of answers to (genuinely) frequently asked questions he got from school kids working on reports. I absolutely love the clear straightforward language he uses to describe concepts like hypertext, packet switching, and HTTP.
Wednesday, November 29th, 2017
Thursday, September 21st, 2017
Well, I guess it’s time to change all my locally-hosted sites from
.dev domains to
.test. Thanks, Google.
Tuesday, July 11th, 2017
I’ve heard of people having their domain names hijacked before, but this is the first time I’ve heard of an entire top level domain being nicked.
Friday, July 15th, 2016
From the ARPANET to the internet, this is a great history of the Domain Name System:
Root DNS servers operate in safes, inside locked cages. A clock sits on the safe to ensure the camera feed hasn’t been looped. Particularly given how slow DNSSEC implementation has been, an attack on one of those servers could allow an attacker to redirect all of the Internet traffic for a portion of Internet users. This, of course, makes for the most fantastic heist movie to have never been made.
Sunday, January 10th, 2016
How the Web Works: A Primer for Newcomers to Web Development (or anyone, really) by Preethi Kasireddy
This is a great reminder of the fundamental nuts’n’bolts of the internet and the World Wide Web: clients, servers, URLs, DNS, HTTP, TCP/IP, packet switching, and all the other building blocks we sometimes take for granted.
This is part one of a four-part series:
- A Primer for Newcomers to Web Development (or anyone, really)
- Client-Server Model & the Structure of a Web Application
- HTTP & REST
- Stay tuned…
Monday, May 20th, 2013
Ben proposes an alternative to archive.org: changing the fundamental nature of DNS.
Regarding the boo-hooing of how hard companies have it maintaining unprofitable URLs, I think Ben hasn’t considered the possibility of a handover to a cooperative of users—something that might yet happen with MySpace (at least there’s a campaign to that effect; it will probably come to naught). As Ben rightly points on, domain names are leased, not bought, so the idea of handing them over to better caretakers isn’t that crazy.
Monday, January 21st, 2013
More details on DNS prefetching, page prefetching and, controversial, page pre-rendering.
A really good introduction to front-end performance techniques. Most of this was already on my radar, but I still picked up a handy tip or two (particularly about DNS prefetching).
At this stage it should go without saying that you should be keeping up with this kind of thing: performance is really, really, really important.
Monday, June 11th, 2012
It took me a while to get my head ‘round it, but this routing service from 37 Signals is handy for testing local sites on multiple devices (kind of like showoff.io).
Thursday, July 28th, 2011
Performance shit just got real.
You can now sign up with Google to have your site pass every request through them and get your documents served up optimised.
Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011
A comprehensive look at some of the problems with taking self-hosting to its logical conclusion: running your own web server.
Monday, March 21st, 2011
If I were an American, I’d now be saying something like “ICANN have jumped the shark”. Instead, I’m British, so I’ll say “ICANN are fucking useless twats who need a firm kick in the bollocks”.