© 2021-2023 by Robert Schwebel
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Robert Schwebel |

Homepage reworked

My homepage hasn't been touched in the last 20 years (the real content went to www.pengutronix.de during that time); but now that my colleague Florian Scherf has written a nice static site generator (Flamingo) that makes it possible to write content in Restructured Text, I've migrated the www.schwebel.de content.

Now I've ported the more or less (even if only historically) useful fragments from WML to RST.

The WWW and Me

I had my first contact with web technology in 1995, after the W3C published the HTML-2.0 standard. At that time, TU Braunschweig was proud of its gopher server and had two 64 kBit lines to the rest of the world. I was involved in funny discussions at the computer center, and there were several people of influence who were absolutely sure this WWW would never be successful, due to all those sidetracking pictures and such ...

1996 it became quite clear that the computer center had reacted much too inflexible; they had mainly moved their old gopher pages to the web, while the content was something between nonexistent and outdated and visually in a bad state. Jochen Felzmann and me started to rework the webpages of the computing center's consulting office, first as a user initiative, later on as student workers.

In parallel to the activities at the computer center, I wrote my own private homepage. In 1998 I developed the basic framework for the homepage of the Department of Railway and Airborne Safety, following their corporate design requirements (yes - it was supposed to look that uggly!).

In 1999, I searched for a technique to make use of the advantages of 'frames' (unified menus for all pages) for my own website, while avoiding their disadvantages (it wasn't possible to point hyperlinks to the single frames). A first version of my homepage was written with server side includes, but that needed a special configuration on the server - mainly impossible to realize in times of Y numbers at university.

Then I found WML, the Website Meta Language - basically what we call a static site generator these days. With WML, it was possible to change the corporate design in a single place, have pictures in one location and to generate German and English pages from the same source. All this was possible without special server configuration, the pages could simply be upload to any server with 'sitecopy'.

Now we are moving to the python-based Flamingo framework, with the content in RST, using Bootstrap and JQuery for the effects. Let's see what the future brings...