Webmonkey.com Returns

When I was first learning web development about ten years ago, I frequently consulted Webmonkey.com for tutorials about how to do all things “DHTML.” I still remember how an article comparing frames to a cafeteria tray made it all click for me, for some reason. I also picked up some bad habits that I had to unlearn later, such as using table elements for page layout. But that’s no slam against Webmonkey: they were just explaining the common web practices of the day.

Webmonkey stopped producing new content in the early 2000s and was sold by Wired to Lycos, I think, but much of the old content remained, such as the special characters reference, which I consult occasionally. Now the site has been re-purchased by Wired, which has decided to re-publish the tutorials on a wiki. That’s probably the best approach if you can’t spare the staff to manage the old content, but the historian in me is bothered that Thau’s JavaScript tutorial is gone, replaced by something generic. Why couldn’t Webmonkey have kept the old articles intact, perhaps with a notice suggesting that a piece might be outdated and a link to the new wiki? That’s sort of what PPK does at Quirksmode; he separates articles into “active” and “archived.” I’m sure we can live without knowing how to code for Netscape Navigator 4, but it’s good to remember where we’ve come from, to remember how and why things have changed since then.

However, Webmonkey promises to start creating new content relevant to today’s web, and that will be good news for those starting into web development.

3 Comments

  1. Great article you’ve written, is this your first website blog or have you been doing this a while?

  2. They were just explaining the common web practices of the day.

  3. I also picked up some bad habits that I had to unlearn later, such as using table elements for page layout. But that’s no slam against Webmonkey: they were just explaining the common web practices of the day.

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