Firefox drops support for the blink tag
August 7, 2013 9:31 AM   Subscribe

So it has finally come to pass. Almost 20 years after its debut in Netscape Navigator, the blink tag is being removed from the latest version of Firefox. Will other browsers follow this bold new path?

Some further reading on the origins of the blink tag. (Previously)
posted by sauril (74 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
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posted by stebulus at 9:31 AM on August 7, 2013 [22 favorites]


Nooooooooooooo!
posted by octothorpe at 9:32 AM on August 7, 2013 [7 favorites]


stebulus, I seriously considered putting that in the more inside.
posted by sauril at 9:33 AM on August 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


Damn, Octothorpe you beat me to it!
posted by jnnla at 9:35 AM on August 7, 2013


...are you guys blink tagging? Because I'm not seeing at all in latest Chrome.
posted by Tomorrowful at 9:36 AM on August 7, 2013 [9 favorites]


First they came for my blink tag, and I remained silent, for I didn't use the blink tag
posted by Teakettle at 9:37 AM on August 7, 2013 [9 favorites]


God dammit, what did I spend that ten bucks for then?
posted by cortex at 9:37 AM on August 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


First they came for my blink tag, and I remained silent, then said something, then was silent again, then said something again, then was silent again...
posted by emmtee at 9:40 AM on August 7, 2013 [55 favorites]


Zorak will be crushed.
posted by Strange Interlude at 9:41 AM on August 7, 2013


Boo, hiss!
posted by Lynsey at 9:41 AM on August 7, 2013


Will other browsers follow this bold new path?

The other browsers dropped it long ago. Firefox was the last major browser to support the blink tag. The tag was never part of the HTML standard anyway.
posted by oulipian at 9:43 AM on August 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


<marquee>Rest in Piece</marquee>
posted by boo_radley at 9:43 AM on August 7, 2013 [24 favorites]


First they came for my blink tag, and I remained silent, then said something, then was silent again, then said something again, then was silent again...

In HTML15 there are only two tags, TWITTER and NOTTWITTER.
posted by codacorolla at 9:46 AM on August 7, 2013 [11 favorites]


just don't take my small tag away!
posted by HuronBob at 9:46 AM on August 7, 2013 [8 favorites]


Amusing that Lou discreetly leaves unmentioned the singular developer who did the implementing of his drunken notion.
posted by ardgedee at 9:47 AM on August 7, 2013


Pretty sure this is like 3 lines of Javascript for people who really want stuff to blink.
posted by jcreigh at 9:49 AM on August 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Firefox was the last major browser to support the blink tag.

Does this mean I turned it on in Chrome?

On a related note: is there some sort of add-on that can prevent me from doing stupid things that seem like a good idea once?
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:51 AM on August 7, 2013


Will other browsers follow this bold new path?

They already did. Firefox was the last to...um...blink.

I'll show myself out.
posted by inturnaround at 9:53 AM on August 7, 2013 [4 favorites]


I've already stated my feelings about how brain-dead this is. I've installed the extension for Chrome and will do the same for Firefox.

Blink 4 life!
posted by double block and bleed at 9:54 AM on August 7, 2013 [5 favorites]


Chrome won't support the blink tag but it refuses to let me stop animated gifs from blinking.
posted by octothorpe at 9:57 AM on August 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


The answer is simple. Fork the Firefox codebase for great <blink> tag justice!
posted by usonian at 9:57 AM on August 7, 2013


This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang, but with staid, perpetually visible text.
posted by emmtee at 10:02 AM on August 7, 2013 [6 favorites]


CapsLock is next, people. CAPSLOCK IS NEXT111
posted by Cookiebastard at 10:09 AM on August 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


So presumably there'll be a plugin to fix this?
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 10:09 AM on August 7, 2013


Blink; you'll miss it.
posted by yoink at 10:16 AM on August 7, 2013 [4 favorites]


just don't take my small tag away!


please I need it - I am embarrassed.


i have a note from my doctor
posted by louche mustachio at 10:17 AM on August 7, 2013 [5 favorites]


"Don't Blink.

Blink and you're dead.

Don't turn your back.

Don't look away.

And don't Blink.

Good Luck."
posted by zarq at 10:18 AM on August 7, 2013 [12 favorites]


Well, at least we still have:
I had to <acronym title='Laugh out Loud'>LOL!!!</acronym><br /> at the <abbr title='Abbreviation'>ABBR</abbr> tag.
I had to LOL!!!
at the ABBR tag.

and
Strike <strike>prints like this</strike>
Strike prints like this
posted by hexatron at 10:19 AM on August 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


I abandoned Firefox a few years ago when it kept locking up on me. Chrome is faster but lately the preponderance of Google adsense on every damn thing I open, and hourly crashing of shockwave, might be enough for me to give the fox another chance.
posted by Ber at 10:21 AM on August 7, 2013


Chrome is faster but lately the preponderance of Google adsense on every damn thing I open

And the fact that I get targeted ads for things I have never talked about or shopped for online is freaking me the fuck out.
posted by louche mustachio at 10:23 AM on August 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


To add the blink back into Chrome
posted by TangerineGurl at 10:24 AM on August 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Chrome is faster but lately the preponderance of Google adsense on every damn thing

Try Iron instead; Chrome without the bling.

Firefox was the last major browser to support the blink tag.

Tck. You forgot Poland Opera.
posted by MartinWisse at 10:25 AM on August 7, 2013 [5 favorites]


louche mustachio: "And the fact that I get targeted ads for things I have never talked about or shopped for online is freaking me the fuck out."

All of my ads have been for REAGAN DOT COM lately which is insane on a bunch of levels.
posted by boo_radley at 10:26 AM on August 7, 2013


Now if we could only get rid of Blink 182
posted by porn in the woods at 10:31 AM on August 7, 2013


(I've related this story in the blue before, but it seems to do so again).

I had a good friend who was pretty much the sole tester for IE 1.0... The thing he was most proud of (after a long career doing some very impressive things in IT) was bugging IE 1.0 support for the BLINK tag, and having the feature removed.

Sure, many folks hated the BLINK tag, but not many were in a position to do anything about it. So very glad that a person in a position to do something about it did so, at the right time and place in history.

(RIP Dennis Stiles)
posted by el io at 10:37 AM on August 7, 2013


Don't worry, we'll always have CSS3 animations to fill the void in our hearts.
posted by The Lurkers Support Me in Email at 10:37 AM on August 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


Have you ever tried to time it so that your eyes are shut when the blink-tagged text is showing and open when it's not?
posted by ChuckRamone at 10:38 AM on August 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


Tck. You forgot Poland Opera.

He did say major browser.

zing!
posted by ook at 10:43 AM on August 7, 2013


They already did. Firefox was the last to...um...blink.

Aren't you forgetting something?
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:44 AM on August 7, 2013


I blame the Malcolm Gladwell haters!
posted by carmicha at 10:47 AM on August 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻
GODDAMN IT!!
posted by NoMich at 10:48 AM on August 7, 2013


Opera is a major browser in Belarus and in my heart.
posted by aw_yiss at 10:52 AM on August 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


Now you see it, now you don't .
posted by Mister Bijou at 10:54 AM on August 7, 2013


Damnation! The next thing you know, they'll try to remove the <HYPE> tag.
posted by i_have_a_computer at 11:08 AM on August 7, 2013


.
posted by oddman at 11:08 AM on August 7, 2013


The Origin of the Blink Tag
Back in 1994 I was a founding engineer at Netscape, prior to that I had written the Lynx browser, which predated all of the other popular browsers at that time.
...
At some point in the evening I mentioned that it was sad that Lynx was not going to be able to display many of the HTML extensions that we were proposing, I also pointed out that the only text style that Lynx could exploit given its environment was blinking text. We had a pretty good laugh at the thought of blinking text, and talked about blinking this and that and how absurd the whole thing would be. The evening progressed pretty normally from there, with a fair amount more drinking and me meeting the girl who would later become my first wife.

Saturday morning rolled around and I headed into the office only to find what else but, blinking text. It was on the screen blinking in all its glory, and in the browser. How could this be, you might ask? It turns out that one of the engineers liked my idea so much that he left the bar sometime past midnight, returned to the office and implemented the blink tag overnight. He was still there in the morning and quite proud of it.
And now you know. (Or you already did, if you read below the fold.)
posted by filthy light thief at 11:09 AM on August 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


This does not bode well for my beloved marquee tag.
posted by dgaicun at 11:16 AM on August 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


Now none of my early web sites look right when I look at them fondly at web.archive.org.

On a personal note, gawd this thread's giving me a headache...
posted by randomkeystrike at 11:16 AM on August 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Retro Blink in Chrome store.
posted by maryr at 11:25 AM on August 7, 2013


but what about the prophesy?
And the beast shall come forth surrounded by a roiling cloud of vengeance. The house of the unbelievers shall be razed and they shall be scorched to the earth. Their tags shall blink until the end of days.

from The Book of Mozilla, 12:10
posted by ArgentCorvid at 11:26 AM on August 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


BTW, what happens if you nest blink tags?
posted by maryr at 11:27 AM on August 7, 2013


Great. Now the entire Internet is just staring at me.

I have work to do, dammit.
posted by Etrigan at 11:34 AM on August 7, 2013


.
posted by theora55 at 11:35 AM on August 7, 2013


> BTW, what happens if you nest blink tags?

Gah! Watch out what you say here ,d͡o̧ ͝y̶ou wa͟nt t̨͢o̢͠ ̶͢su͞m͢mo̵n͠͠ Z̝̝͔̭͇̻̋̏ͧ͌̀ḁ̰̱̣̳̐ͯ̚l̠̩̞̦̺̤͛̄gͥͨ̀ͭ̍̈ͮ̋̏҉̩͖̜͟ͅo̵̩͈͎̠̳̜͚̤̿͑͢͢?


Ȟ̶̡̡̢̪̗̣̙͙͓́̆ͬ͘E̶͛̒̔̊̇͏͡͏̢̥̣͖̥͔̯̰̥͈̼͈ͅ ̵̫̭̹̜͉͓̙̻̳̦̞̭̱̦̥͍̮ͩ͊̔̋͌̏̈́͗͂̾͛̓ͯ̐̅̉ͣͪ̓C̶͝ó͢͟͏̸m͘͏̷͘͏e͏̶͡ś̴̛
posted by brenton at 11:37 AM on August 7, 2013 [7 favorites]


To be replaced by the <blonk/> tag.
posted by blue_beetle at 11:53 AM on August 7, 2013


YOUR FAVOURITE TAG IS DISCONTINUED. WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO DO?

>_

>WEEP QUIETLY FOR BLINK

SORRY, I DO NOT UNDERSTAND BLINK.

YOUR FAVOURITE TAG IS DISCONTINUED. WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO DO?

>_
posted by ersatz at 12:02 PM on August 7, 2013 [4 favorites]


o ̥_ o
posted by tykky at 12:04 PM on August 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


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posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 12:39 PM on August 7, 2013 [5 favorites]


It's a bit funny that the announcement on the Firefox release notes page uses the blink tag.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:54 PM on August 7, 2013


Years ago, I emailed Lou Montulli about the advisability of my getting a blink tattoo* and he replied in part that "One of these days I'll get around to writing the true history of the blink tag."
Lou, if you're reading this, write that history!


*He advised against it
posted by SPUTNIK at 1:24 PM on August 7, 2013


No blinking way!
posted by Mojojojo at 1:35 PM on August 7, 2013


.------..------..------..------..------.     .------..------..------..------.
|N.--. ||E.--. ||V.--. ||A.--. ||R.--. |     |4.--. ||G.--. ||E.--. ||T.--. |
| :(): || (\/) || :(): || (\/) || :(): | () | :/\: || :/\: || (\/) || :/\: |
| ()() || :\/: || ()() || :\/: || ()() |     | :\/: || :\/: || :\/: || (__) |
| '--'N|| '--'E|| '--'V|| '--'A|| '--'R| () | '--'4|| '--'G|| '--'E|| '--'T|
`------'`------'`------'`------'`------'     `------'`------'`------'`------'

posted by double block and bleed at 2:04 PM on August 7, 2013 [9 favorites]


here are some more css animations to get you 90s style for your neocities page.
posted by jonbro at 3:06 PM on August 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


.
posted by Samizdata at 3:30 PM on August 7, 2013


Does anyone remember Marc Andressen's original Netscape home page? There was a particular tag that everyone hated but that he forced through, and his page highlighted this, but I forgot the story because well, it's been twenty years.

Ah here is the page: http://home.mcom.com/people/marca/index.html
posted by mecran01 at 6:09 PM on August 7, 2013


Mozilla Foundation: removing features and adding worse ones, for honor and glory.
posted by gjc at 8:12 PM on August 7, 2013


There was a particular tag that everyone hated but that he forced through, and his page highlighted this, but I forgot the story because well, it's been twenty years.

The IMG tag? His proposal on the www-talk mailing list.
posted by stebulus at 8:28 PM on August 7, 2013


oh, wow. Tim Berners-Lee's idea for expressing embedded images in HTML was

<a name=fig1 href="fghjkdfghj" REL="EMBED, PRESENT">Figure</a>
posted by russm at 12:07 AM on August 8, 2013


Oh geez, something else engrained to forget? I'm still trying to get over the fun of using <H<H<H<H.
posted by Twang at 12:32 AM on August 8, 2013


(o_O)
posted by louche mustachio at 5:04 AM on August 8, 2013


Oh man, the roads not taken:

Annother way would be to declare an entity with SYSTEM attribute giving the URL and then invoke that entity, but that would mean an extendable entity dictionary which is not currently needed.

Can you imagine the crazy havok early web development would've wreaked if HTML had been extensible from the beginning? Plenty of tags were added by implement-first-standardize-later as it is, but how many conflicting browser-specific flavors of HTML would we have to cope with by now if, say, the people who unleashed ActiveX on an unsuspecting world had been free to just add their own tags without even having to wait for the fig leaf of standardization?
posted by ook at 5:51 AM on August 8, 2013


"Plenty of tags were added by implement-first-standardize-later as it is"

(...including the very tag that TBL and Andreeson are discussing there... Marc's like "let's do this" and Tim's all "but standards" and Marc is all "nope, already did it my way, suckas" and thus was HTML formed)
posted by ook at 6:02 AM on August 8, 2013


jwz: A light has gone out on the web.
posted by shoesfullofdust at 5:52 PM on August 8, 2013


Missed opportunity there; he really ought to have gone with "A Xmas light has...".
posted by cortex at 6:20 PM on August 8, 2013


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