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April 20, 2024 - @901.01 (what is this?)
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Author Topic: HTML: Not just for websites?  (Read 509 times)
Corrupted Unicorn
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« on: July 15, 2023 @830.02 »

So, I just made a post on this thread about start pages showing the one I made. I realized that my start page is more like an agenda: a place I use to keep track of my daily life and what I want it to be like. It's shaped like a website, but it is not meant for the general public: it's a tool I created with nothing but HTML (and Kidpix stamps).

And I have to say, so far it's being very useful to me: I use to put all these things on paper, but then I forget about them... but in the end, I'm the kind of person who works with a computer practically all the time, so putting my agenda inside the computer makes a lot of sense! It's the thing I look at the most everyday! I don't have to make an extra effort to look at where a paper agenda would (or find it if it's not in its place  :drat: )! And it's practically infinite unlike a paper agenda and it's way easier to delete and rewrite! How didn't I think of this before?  :ozwomp:

And it got me thinking, in the end, HTML itself is nothing but a tool - a tool often used to make websites, but not necessarily limited to that. Reminds me a bit of good ol' Flash, that was meant to be more like a motion graphics software, yet people made animations and games with it. Or how a simple piece of paper can be home to a poem, a story, a writing or even an origami sculpture.

If I managed to make myself a highly serviceable, highly customizable agenda to keep track of my daily habits and to-dos and everything I want to remember without the aid of an external app or program, and just my few HTML skills... what else can be done with it? Reminds me of the many card games they had on Neopets, its virtual worlds, and even an RPG game that ran on nothing more but HTML. It's such a valuable tool, and lemme even tell you that it's very underappreciated! And way way easier to learn than programming in Unity :tongue: no offense I'm just very bad at coding

With that said... what other things have you seen that have been achieved with HTML? Help me discover all the possibilities!  :transport:
« Last Edit: July 15, 2023 @841.77 by Corrupted Unicorn » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2023 @863.32 »

With HTML, you can make pretty much anything you can think of that could be functional inside a browser. Apart from websites, I have seen a lot of games created using HTML with the aid of some other programming language, such as JavaScript for instance. Also, I have come across ASCII art! I remember looking at a wonderful site full of beautiful ASCII art made purely with HTML but I cannot remember which it was!

However, the things you make do not have to strictly connect to the internet! As for me, I additionally use HTML for my personal journal (life diary and notes) or to create some short of imaginary simulators of strange websites/services/situations(?) that could not otherwise exist or work properly when put into real action. Stuff to mess around, in short. :ha: I have made a lot of these "fake sites" just for fun and tests and they are really enjoyable and enlightening to construct!
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« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2023 @867.82 »

With that said... what other things have you seen that have been achieved with HTML? Help me discover all the possibilities!  :transport:

Have you ever bought or downloaded an ebook that uses the EPUB format? Try making a copy and changing its extension from ".epub" to ".zip". Then unzip the file. You'll find that it's full of HTML files. :)
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« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2023 @890.66 »

I think it's only limited by your imagination. Along with some other technologies (CSS, JavaScript, XML, one of the programming languages) it's only a document type or even a complete application that is used via a web browser.

CSS Art for example. Who would have thought just a few years ago what people would do with that?

XML is the data cousin of HTML and that's used all over the place. Microsoft PowerPoint files are just XML files in disguise. Take any PowerPoint .pptx file and rename it as a .zip file. Now open that up. It's just a collection of source files held together with XML text files.

As you've found, you do not have to put HTML files and their resources on a server. Just point your browser to them locally and they'll usually work fine.
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« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2023 @629.88 »

various devices will often have html interfaces that they can be configured with, for example, see what happens when you type in the local ip address of your wifi router into your browser's url bar
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« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2023 @874.92 »

After a plain Readme.txt wasn't enough anymore, some bigger games included their manuals as HTML pages in the game folder.

I think this lead to a "serious hacking" moment. When removing the HTML page from the adress bar, what happens? A file browser appears in the web browser! Who could have guessed that!
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brisray
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« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2023 @946.46 »

Hi @Gans

The directory listing is a function of the web server software. On most it is disabled by default but if you have access to the configuration files is easily controllable. Even when it is enabled, by putting one of the default files, usually index.html, index.htm. index.php, or whatever is defined in the config, then those files are automatically displayed rather than the directory listing.

Most security checking sites will flag showing a diretory listing as a risk, but it's really only dangerous if someone does something dumb like putting user lists, some sort of executable code, has references to directories that really should be hidden, or some sort of other expolitable information in them.

Those type of files can usually be put outside the public web directories, but people have messed it up and been compromised so it is classed as a risk.
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brisray
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« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2023 @144.88 »

Documentation of all sorts is a great use of HTML. For some programs that's all their was, was a folder of HTML, CSS and image files. Windows developers used compressed, compiled HTML files (.CHM files) for years after 1995. Compilers to make them are still around.

There's even compilers like Electron and others that compile HTML, CSS and JavaScript, for maybe a game, into .EXE files. There's compilers for creating ebooks from the files, some can do both.

Looking around, it seems HTML must be close to overtaking the use of Rich Text Format documents, if it hasn't already.
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« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2023 @306.97 »

@Brisray: In fact, I was referring to something else. Because when the browser opens a local file, it puts this rather unintuitive looking path in the address bar:

file:///C:/Programme/Ethereal/ethereal.html
(on Netscape 9)

file://localhost/C:/PROGRA~1/ETHEREAL/ETHERE~1.HTM
(on Opera 3.62, 16-bit)

Now when removing the last piece of the path, the specific HTML file, it displays a file browser. Looking like a webserver, or some kind of FTP server, but it's just the local directory.

A little list of programs that use HTML manual files: VLC, CorelDraw, OHRRPGCE, Counterstrike 1.6, Lame, PHP, GnuWin32, beebeem (BBC Emulator), Cave Story, IrfanView, Gnupg, Ethereal, Milkytracker.

Though I think PDFs are more popular today than HTML files for manuals, at least for corpo-programs.
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« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2023 @445.57 »

html is also used to make windows sidebar gadgets along with css and js


here is one that i made: codeberg.org/lime360/FunnyThing.Gadget
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« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2023 @761.12 »

You confused me with the 'a "serious hacking" moment.' Showing the diretory tree when you browse your local file system is the default behaviour of almost every browser ever made. Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Opera and the others I tried all still do it.

Don't worry about it. If other people can see your file system through your browser, your computer has already been hacked.
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