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The power of simplicity

Social media like Facebook and blog apps like Wordpress have largely supplanted personal Websites, but EMIT.org is still an independent site -- a free source of information and personal expression. It is not engineered to surveil, track, or monetize "users." It is not optimized for smart phones. There are no buttons linking to Facebook, Twitter, or Google. No cookies. No ads. No overbearing comments moderation because ... no comments.

This website was started in 1996 by a teacher, as an experiment to learn HTML, and as a venue for displaying and archiving original art work, writing, and educational materials. The creative tools used were vintage Macintosh programs such as Netscape, SimpleText, Super Paint, Photoshop, and Acrobat. Bryce 3D was a big step up, followed by Cheetah 3D. OpenOffice is used for preparing PDF documents. There are now hundreds of pages with an unknown number of pictures. At present (spring 2018) many older pages are being revised and new pages added.

Every page is old-fashioned HTML 4, typed out, copied and pasted to make templates. Pages are laid out with tables to visually arrange text and graphics. This simple "hand-crafted" technique was chosen because it has several advantages:

HTML 4 was designed for use by humans. All later versions are designed for use by computers. HTML 4 doesn't require any coding ability or professional software -- anyone can easily check a page's HTML and see how it relates to the page's design. What you see is what you get.
HTML 4 makes clean designs, framing material without visual clutter. Writing and graphics are the priority, the HTML just provides a way to post them on the Internet. It's like working on paper.
Trial-and-error refinement eventually results in pages that look good on most screens. Once a template is finessed and bug-free, it can be re-used and adapted for dozens of similar pages.
Small files load fast.
Very importantly, simple HTML 4 is easy to update, correct, and maintain. Material can be made quickly and posted immediately.

Complex technology, like cars or computers, must be simple for humans to operate. Otherwise the machines run the humans. EMIT.org is simple. It's designed for humans.

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