From IndieWeb

dylan harris


... a broad brit abroad ...

dylan harris


I'm dylan harris, arts & ego is my identity website. It's been online, in one form or another, since 1996. It's currently got 47G of content, including ... oh, I won't bore you with that.

I visited 2018's indieweb camp in berlin, and came away fired up to introduce webmentions. Instead, I promptly translated the site into four languages, badly. That summerises how it's been built: if it were a house, it'd have 7 wings, secret passages, fake ghosts, real cobwebs, naughty kitties, and a cellar running a cloud data centre, backwards.

More than once, I've looked at the various CMSs, and more than once I've rejected them for not providing me the precise control & freedom of layout that I want. In consequence, everything is laid out entirely to my own sensibility, a bizarre combination of strange ideas and ancient mistakes. It certainly shows off my own ignorance of standards.

static site checker

I built a static site checker, an opinionated HTML nitpicker, to provide detailed verification of static HTML websites. It's pretty complete, better than anything I found online, which is why I wrote it, of course. It handles almost all published versions of HTML, except early WhatWG and most MathML, and microformats semantic data, link and id checking, server side includes, simple statistical analysis, and other stuff. It does NOT handle script or style languages (yet).

It's a command line utility to effectively lint a complete HTML site. I've built executables for Windows 10 x64, macOS High Sierra & Catalina, and Centos. In theory, it can be built on any system that supports cmake, boost, and a C++ compiler (gcc / clang / msvc). You can find those executables and source on both arts & ego and github.

It's pre-alpha software, so I can't recommend using it to analyse untrusted code. It needs testing by other people on their own data. I want to find some suckers ... er ... heroes ... who might find it useful, which is why I'm going to start attending some online indiewebcamps.

Why did I write it? Well, as I said above, I find the design decisions of popular content managers, etc., to be somewhat strangling. I can't believe for one moment that I'm the only one who feels the same way. I don't like the visual design that's forced on people, even though that design works for what it is. I strongly believe there should be the freedom to permit decent artistic exploration of possibilities. How can digital aesthetics progress if not by experimentation? How can the experiments be successful if an experimenter has no good means to ensure the experiment does what it does what it's supposed to do?

To build an effective website that does what you want, using the complex, evolved, and horribly inconsistent world wide web language families, by hand, requires some mechanism to proof the code. That's where ssc comes in. Given ssc has found basic HTML errors in example documentation on major sites, I think this opinion is unarguable.

ssc has also found quite a few issues on my site which I'm slowly addressing.