Public Website

Screen recording of 'Public Website' (2023) created on and hosted from Urbit's uberprivate web3 experience, Landscape

Urbit's Page app is an html editor for splash pages hosted on ships. But what's a DOM on the decentralized web? Page app seems to be motivated by what and how to design from the standpoint of the private browsing experience (otherwise known as "web3") when the practical, or at least professional, necessity of the clearweb was never properly arrived at.

This would correspond to the declining interest in enriched web content by personal users, maybe thanks to an oversupply of editorial design features that never quite look like the templates.

Page app, which is internal to the Urbit ecosystem, enables peers on the private network to "make a new public website" and host it from Urbit servers. Its appearance on Urbit's main platform, Landscape, appeals to a general trend in web design evocative of what Laurel Schwulst calls "Dr.Prof.Style", or maybe something subconscious on the part of bleeding-edge digital design developers:

> It is difficult to estimate how many web pages created in 1993-1994 made it into the new millenium in their premordial way. If you manage to find something that was put online that time, it would in the best case display a 1995-1996 skin.

I wanted to make a page that would articulate the medium of a markup language (HTML): a markup language consists of a set of symbols inserted in a text document to control its structure, formatting, or the relationship between its parts.

And, I wanted it to be enriching: I wanted to take what would otherwise be a design fetish or worse, "how best to format a CV" and use it instead to extend the dimensional properties of a Document object Model-- into Urbit's Web3 propositions.