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The trace we leave evolving in our web development career

Andreas
・5 min read

In the last few days, I once again updated my main, or some would say portfolio page and started to look back on how the site evolved over the years.

When I started, I used no versioning system for my websites at all, so for some projects, all that's left is what I can find in the Internet Archives Wayback Machine.

Today, I was curious to see how I evolved as a developer based on what I find via the Wayback Machine. Before we look at that, let me mention some things I did not find there.

I started programming quite early as my father introduced me to BASIC and later to HTML. He had a website sharing family pictures so nothing fancy, but as a kid, I was so happy that he gave me one page there. I mainly put pictures from Simpsons (who thought about copyright at that time) and some silly stuff with horrible design.

My father's page still exists without my subpage as I wanted to have my own website. Once I had my website, no own domain, hosted on the local cities computer clubs server, I also wanted a guestbook.

Guestbooks were the new shit at that time, and I also needed one on my website, and of course, I did not want to include some third-party guestbook but write my own.

Gladly the computer club offered PHP classes with people at my age, so every Saturday, I met with a bunch of other 13 - 14-year-old kids trying to understand PHP, with the ultimate goal in mind to have an own guestbook!

The computer club still exists; I am still a member, although inactive. But the website with the must-have guestbook disappeared.

None of these pages can be found on the web archive, but ultimately learning PHP at that time got me my apprenticeship as a developer with 16.

But now let us have a look at what's left of my side projects.

azettl.de 2004

The first record of my page azettl.de is in 2004 https://web.archive.org/web/20040123043052/http://www.azettl.de/ now you wonder who Toni is? I have no idea either at this point the page was not mine yet.

azettl.de 2007

We start to see my content from 2007 onwards; the first recording is https://web.archive.org/web/20070126003644/http://www.azettl.de/. At this time, all of my sites were in german only.

What we see here is, at least for me interesting, I worked on a PHP based Content Management System. I remember reading a book about that, and I wanted to try developing it myself. Another big thing for me at that time was Google Gadgets, do you remember them? I had some running quite successfully. We might see them in a later screenshot.

Also, you see the guestbook is not there but a shoutbox, I do not even remember why and what the hype about it was, maybe some local website pre twitter?

azettl.de June 2007

The next record is from the same year, June 2007, and we see I converted the page to a blog. The first entry is about splitting color values with Javascript, do not look at the code to closely I would do that different by now.

Next are articles about mapwars.de, a page I had where you could request maps from Google Maps or Yahoo Maps with some pointers for addresses on it. It was mainly used for contact pages on websites I worked on.

The syntax was like this:

 <script type="text/javascript">
       var xmlfile = "http://www.mapwars.de/website/mapwars.xml"; // Die absolute URL zur XML Datei
       var map = "googlemap"; // Der Kartentyp googlemap oder yahoomap
       var mapwidth = 580;
       var mapheight = 340;
       var mapzoom = 6;
       var mapzoombuttons = "large";
       var maptypes = "true";
       var mapoverview = "true";
       var mapscale = "true";
       var mapcenter = "point1";
     </script>
     <script type="text/javascript" src="http://www.mapwars.de/mapview.js"></script> 

You find a record of this side project here https://web.archive.org/web/20070702144252/http://www.mapwars.de/website/home.html.

mapwars.de 2007

The description of the API was already available in English https://web.archive.org/web/20070628225141if_/http://www.mapwars.de/website/howto.html
https://web.archive.org/web/20070628225027if_/http://www.mapwars.de/website/geocoding.html

At some point in this year, I also switched to Blogger, https://web.archive.org/web/20070903102317/http://www.azettl.de/.

azettl.de 2007 Blogger

2009, it's my own website again, and we also see I also started with Wordpress Plugin development.

azettl.de 2009
https://web.archive.org/web/20090208120053/http://www.azettl.de/

I had a plugin to draw comments, pretty basic, it was a table where you had one cell per pixel, and later I created a png out of it via PHP. Magazine was a plugin to create a magazine-style PDF from your blog posts.

The plugins are still available on the page, but they are hopelessly outdated and therefore violate some guidelines and are locked.

https://wordpress.org/plugins/draw-comments/
https://wordpress.org/plugins/map24-routing/
https://wordpress.org/plugins/magazine/

2010 there are recordings in the web archive, but nothing happened development-wise, so let's skip that.

Around 2011 I got my PHP certification and changed my site to a typical profile page and did not change much since 2018.

azettl.de 2018
https://web.archive.org/web/20111105111246/http://azettl.de/

In the end, azettl.de got redirected to azettl.net, where I already had a kind of business card page for my freelancing stuff.

azettl.net 2020 Old
https://web.archive.org/web/20200510215146/https://azettl.de/

And this is the old version of azettl.net https://web.archive.org/web/20200502161754/https://azettl.net/, which you saw till last week.

The new version looks a little bit more colorful.
azettl.net 2020 New

Of course, there are many more of these side project domains I could go in deeper, but I do not want to bore you with more of my old stuff.

Also, what happened all these recent years? Most of my development moved to GitHub, and I do not have a personal blog anymore. I do have new side projects which are not mentioned here but can be found on the page we discussed in detail today, azettl.de.

Also, this post is completely skipping the fantastic progress I made as a developer, thanks to my employer.

Still, I hope you found it interesting, and maybe you take a look back at your old projects and see how you did and how you evolved as a developer.

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