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My Little Protopage - A Cloud Homepage

NOTE: I am not sponsored, nor affiliated etc

A Relic of the Past

Please forgive my ignorance master(s), while not strictly related to coding, I would like to offer a glimpse to an awesome hidden gem called Protopage. It is a customizable personal homepage, but here is why I love it, it does not require an active log in to use. You could make an account, set up a homepage, and easily set any browser's home or new tab page to that site. A simple search could get you a brief example of what other pages look like. Here is what my mini account uses as another boring example.

Unearthing the Fossils

From their Wikipedia and blog entries, they have been around since mid 05, and honestly, I have only discovered it early this year (24) and have wondered why I have not heard about it sooner. Ironically, I have tried many of their alternatives, and have created my own basic homepage with boring HTML, CSS and slight JS, kept it both offline and online. It looks and smells like Protopage. Modern browsers are very finicky about local pages having too much control, and is especially hard to do in mobile phones nowadays. Maintaining that custom homepage for different browsers and OSs became a chore.

What a Twist

The reason I am trying to get others to try it out is because they have recently decided to show an ad and a subscription banner. I am not too alarmed, and have wondered why they have not done so sooner. I am also guilty of using an ad blocker (uBlock Origin), but using it the wrong way. I am fine with ads, so long as they are not the evil kind, such as media, popups, background activities (what people call annoyance and badware listed nowadays). Therefore, I am trying to get more people onboard with them in hopes of keeping their project alive.

The Walled Garden

The main feature of Protopage is that it does not require a login to use unlike many of their competitors. Sure, one could argue there are many extensions for browsers that offer a similar or better experience, but they are all walled gardens. Your device is only able to see your personal homepage, on that browser, on that PC, on that chair. Many similar sites also require an active login to access your site, without being able to see what others look like for inspiration. Protopage goes beyond that wall. If you really wanted to, you could even use someone's homepage as your own, but where is the fun in that.

The Unwalled Garden

What Protopage offers is more than just a cloud bookmark service, it is a dashboard. Pages can be customized to have many widgets such as an embedded web page, embeddable site widget, or even many RSS readers. I am also guilty of using an RSS reader the wrong way, by trying to brute force sites that do not offer feeds, to simply view their site without distractions. In a perfect world, you could embed many site widgets and get much work done without leaving the comfort of your home (page), but alas many sites restrict having their sites embedded for a reason.

The Way of the Proto

A simple idea is all it requires to make a page. It offers simple drag and drop layout customizations like many others, and offers more tweaks like no other. Like a real site, you can have widgets import scripts from elsewhere, while also running inline scripts. A widget can (almost) technically be called a browser window, but with limitations such as many sites not allowing their site to be embedded. A simple site specific search from above could land you an example of such complex pages that fancies you. Some have even used it as their own personal site page, or even a blackboard like organizer.

The Final Words

I am truly shocked this site has been around for so long, yet so few people use it. In another alternate reality, had it gone done Googled, it would have easily beat so many other homepages of the past. I was born 1990, and have seen so many of them gone. There are few remaining and they are making a comeback, but in another form. Having a personal homepage like Protopage is like having your own personal newspaper, where you decide what you want. Let us hope it can continue for years to come...

1st post, lets up it goes well

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