Artisanal HTML

A friend was talking up his ‘hand-made’ web site recently. Apparently, websites that appear 1994 vintage are all the rage these days.

As a follow up, some suggested that he used ‘Artisanal HTML, locally sourced’, and I thought that a description of such a service might look like this:


We here at Artisanal HTML forge our web pages the natural and traditional way. Each bit begins its life as a water droplet from a clear Vermont stream, rolling over a water wheel hand-hewn from locally sourced maple. That’s right- our artisanal bits are pure analog for the rich warmth that only analog bits can represent. How can we accomplish such purity you ask? Well, as the hot-forged and period-accurate axle turns, a slit in a freegan-approved pickle barrel lid allows the light through from a single tallow candle – made from the fat of our local fish- which are then cooked in a light oil derived from hand-picked sunflowers and topped with a demiglase of maple syrup, again from our nursery raised and hand fed trees. On the opposite side of the wheel, our artisanal telegrapher uses an ancient key from the mid 1800s to indicate the presence of this pure light. Once keyed, this ‘Unity’ or ‘1’ signal is dispatched 700 miles away to the abandoned buildings of CompuServe in Columbus Ohio over farm-raised, virgin copper wires, strung from pole to pole (again, maple) by assistants directed by the last living telephone lineman in existence. Once in Columbus, the ‘bit’ is combined with others, seven at a time (because in the old days one merely needed seven bits to make an ASCII character – parity bits being the work of witchcraft), but not into an ASCII character, but the far more obscure (you’ve never heard of them) EBCDIC! This character code, once compiled, is sent to a Searle-accurate Chinese Room in Southern New York, where a man with only a large file cabinet and a big book converts the sacred text from EBCDIC into our present day ASCII – again, with Unicode being the work of Satanists and Whoremongers. From there, the ASCII is sent to Northern Washington State, where Microsoft mis-interprets the bytes randomly. From there, the possibly mangled code is forwarded to Vince Cerf’s personal VAX running VMS. He hand assembles the bytes into official HTML tags that are forwarded to you in a velvet lined box, complete with a signed certificate of authenticity. For an extra fee, Jacob Neilsen will write an artisanal ‘user experience’ report — using pencils sharpened by, of course, David Rees himself – you receive the pencil -and- its shavings as part of this ‘ultimate experience’.