Sunday, August 19, 2018

My Web Heritage

The “tropical heatwave” is continuing in Freiburg although in this second half of August temperatures rarely pass the 30 ⁰C (86 ⁰F) mark. As is well known, at higher temperatures doctors recommend that elderly people avoid outdoor activities. So over the last two weeks, I sat in front of my desktop computer and looked at my web heritage.

When, following my retirement, I moved from Geneva to Freiburg I started my private internet activity by building my own website.
Soon I became interested in Freiburg’s fascinating history and started this never-ending project of Freiburgs Geschichte in Zitaten (Freiburg’s History in Quotations) (

Reading books and listening to lectures I am continually upgrading the historical content of the site with the number of references surpassing 600 by now.

But there is more. Since 2003 I have documented those nostalgic yearly class reunions:
Furthermore, I published reports about the prestigious bicycle tours with some of my former classmates in the years 2003 to 2011 as organized so professionally by my classmate Wulf:
Here comes the problem. I created the first web pages using Microsoft Frontpage® with its WYSIWYG-editor, so my initial steps in programming in 2002 went fast. I looked around and when I noticed that Freiburg’s Münsterbauverein was lacking a website I assured their presence on the Internet. In the meantime, the MBV paid for more professional help creating a new website.

Although the content of a web page was and still is more important for me than programming I soon learned about Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and applied the technique as time went by.

As a tool for creating web pages, MS Expression Web® followed Frontpage, and programming of websites became more transparent. Meanwhile, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) introduced standards for HTML programming, and it turned out that Frontpage does not support their recent recommendations.

So when I recently looked at my early web pages, I was shocked although I had already removed clumsy programming with the introduction of CSS in the past. The “old code” is flagged quite often warning that although some of the early “formulations” are still accepted they will no longer be supported in the future. As an example: the font attribute is obsolete and should be replaced by “styles”.

So being somehow blocked at home by the heat I started an improvement program replacing all that “antique” programming code by modern “formulations”. Luckily some of the old stuff could be changed by global editing. As a side effect manual changes frequently resulted in a clearer and better page layout.

So I saved my web heritage but will there be people looking at it when I shall have passed away?

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