I know there is a group which promotes very basic HTML. They advocate against CSS and JavaScript. Does anyone know the name of this group?

Just to be clear this was a website, or a foundation, or a society, or some kind of group. It wasn't a person or a browser maker. They were advocating minimal HTML as sufficent to express web content. They were against CSS and JavaScript on principal that they were extraneous and bloatware. The web pages on this site rendered using whatever built-in styling your browser had for things like H1 and OL tags, which looked like crap compared to what we're all used to. They had a page for "Friends Of..." which linked to sites that used very basic HTML markup, but with maybe a dash of basic CSS. The idea was to promote this way of designing pages and to avoid just about any styling or scripting.

I found the site when it was picked up in various technical news aggregators, like Digg, Hacker News, DZone, etc.

Does anyone recall the group's name or url?

  • What do you need it for? IMO it's a group of wired people. :) – Marco Demaio Aug 25 '10 at 20:23
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    I'm working on an idea. I keep getting distracted with unrelated UI issues. I want inspiration to develop the absolute most bare bones HTML I possibly can. These guys are definitely weird, but also have a point. – John DeHope Aug 25 '10 at 21:26
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    Do you remember seeing anything about them recently ? I can think of a few HTML 'purist' groups from several years ago, but they seem to have vanished. – Tim Post Aug 26 '10 at 10:48
  • @TimPost Yes it might have been a few years ago. It wasn't 5 or 10 years back. But it might have been 2 or 3. I am so mad that I cannot recall any search term to find them! – John DeHope Aug 26 '10 at 21:31

http://port70.net/webless/ ?

  • Wow you found it! Thank you so much. It looks like their site is dead. Oh well. Really appreciate it! – John DeHope Sep 30 '10 at 11:43
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    Well, now we know the results of making pages pure-HTML... :) – Cyclops Sep 30 '10 at 17:46
  • This must be a joke – Matt Rockwell Dec 3 '12 at 21:32

Structuralists, HTML Purist or the less flattering HTML Aryans - voiced their opinions in the news group "comp.infosystems.www.authoring.html" in the late 90's in a way similar to what you describe. This gave rise to heated debate, described here: http://webtips.dan.info/intro.html

A proponent view is described here: http://www.alanflavell.org.uk/www/html-smac.html and here are some arguments against their position:

  • Ahh excellent links. This provides me with a good background on the subject. But this page was much more recent, maybe later 2000s but definitely not 1990s. However the sentiment is directly like what you've linked to. I'm going to go digest all of what you've linked while I wait for the page I'm thinking of to pop up. Thanks! – John DeHope Aug 26 '10 at 0:11
  • Didn't they run the W3C during the XHTML 1.0/HTML 4.01 era and before the emergence of the WHATWG? I'm glad that's over. ::sigh:: – Evan Plaice Feb 11 '12 at 18:21

The Internet Explorer team?

I kid, I kid :)

  • Funny but not exactly what I was looking for :) Maybe IE9 will be different? Anyway this is about websites that would render the same in IE1 as they would in Chrome 6. – John DeHope Aug 25 '10 at 21:28
  • Coffee just came out of my nose! – Tim Post Aug 26 '10 at 10:43
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    Funny, but not helpful. Belongs in a comment. – Daniel Bingham Aug 26 '10 at 12:05
  • Amazingly +1 for ironic humour. – Jawad Sep 27 '12 at 19:43
  • I suppose the question can now be answered: no, IE9 was not different. – MMJZ Mar 3 '15 at 22:47

This may not be the specific group you're looking for, but the Hesketh group pushes Progressive Enhancement, which is based on making web pages work on all browser and under all conditions, including Javascript-disabled. They're not specifically against Javascript, just in favor of web pages working all the time.

Somewhat related:

  • Hey thanks, we're getting close. But these guys are actually militant about being anti CSS an JS. Not just progressive enhancement, they want to cut it out altogether! – John DeHope Aug 25 '10 at 21:30
  • While I don't hate CSS or Javascript, I sure wish Facebook and many other sites would use less of either! – WGroleau Nov 8 '17 at 18:03

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