Follow

While doing some research, I stumbled upon a 1998 article/site talking about websites as digital gardens. Plenty of great, if somewhat esoteric, advice on making a website experience more of a collection of 'Unexpected Delights' than a rigid system.

This speaks to me - highly recommended!

eastgate.com/garden/

@FredBednarski that was nice. It's the second time in a couple of weeks that I read something encouraging to take inspiration from gardens, although in a different way opendemocracy.net/en/opendemoc :)

@FredBednarski but some bits also read like the manual used to build the Amazon shopping experience

@yhancik I have never heard of Storyspace (will check it out), I was looking into "digital gardens" as a relatively new trend in personal websites and found it mentioned in one of the articles.

...but yeah, that screen capped section feels a bit too "commercial" in comparison to everything else, but I still found it interesting, especially given its vintage :)

@FredBednarski I can't remember now where I heard about Storyspace, but it was one of the first hypertext authoring tools, together with Hypercard and before the web :)

@yhancik It is so strange to think of a world before hypertext. It feels so obvious, and ubiquitous, but at one point it had to be explained and dedicated authoring tools created for it.

I guess that's how people feel about internet if they were born after internet access became an everyday thing.

@FredBednarski it is! Just like the idea of using computers as means of communication. It took a while, and some papers, to explain why we could use these big calculators to communicate between humans

@FredBednarski This was such an interesting read. Tinderbox by the same author(company? collective? not sure what kind of entity they are) is also a fascinating piece of software:
atpm.com/10.10/atpo.shtml

@rainonwires Same!

After trying to deconstruct it, I am now working on populating my website to follow those those ideas.

I tried to do quick summary of that approach in the next to last paragraph here: fdisk.space/designphilosophy/#

@FredBednarski the look is so unique too, very interesting and makes me feel like a child again, finding something new.

@FredBednarski Good test of itself in surviving 22 years (!) of changing web standards.

"The garden is farmland that delights the senses, designed for delight rather than commodity. The park is wilderness, tamed for our enjoyment. "

@FredBednarski Interestingly (to me), I really like the website, and the garden metaphor, but my idea of a garden is very different to the author's, so I mostly disagree with all the words.

Formal gardens, and the weird (but a common theme in European culture) aversion to wilderness are both really repulsive to me! It's very colonial.

Also interesting that like every website that promotes itself as inspired by this idea is really... sterile.

@blueberrysoft Yeah, it's definitely not "gospel." There are some things there I disagree with as well. However, it is interesting to see this being considered so long before the web we have nowadays.

Curiously, I know he talks more about gardens as parks, but after reading it I imagine personal gardens, where you plant foodstuffs. Sure, they are organized, but also wild with the bunch of trees in the back, the rhubarb that appeared from nowhere and that spot where you keep your old tools :)

@FredBednarski Yeah! That's the disconnect I have too. Like their page doesn't seem too much like a formal garden to me, that's why I like it.

I started writing a blog post, but:

> To me gardens have weeds, failures, spiders, are never finished, evolve, are improvisational, show time...

@FredBednarski (btw I like what you did to get the image-based drop shadow on your page :knp_merl: )

@blueberrysoft Thanks :)

Hopefully it is clear enough to figure out/reproduce. I just came back to html after a looooong break, so my css-fu is not strong, as most of css is new to me ;)

This reminds me, I should probably add it to my css cheatsheet :P

Sign in to participate in the conversation
Merveilles

Merveilles is a community project aimed at the establishment of new ways of speaking, seeing and organizing information — A culture that seeks augmentation through the arts of engineering and design. A warm welcome to any like-minded people who feel these ideals resonate with them.