Related topics
  • ,
  • ,
  • ,

End of an era as Firefox bins 'blink' tag

Blink and you'll miss it or good riddance to bad tag?

The "blink"* element, a feature of early web browsers that made text blink on and off, has been banished in the latest version of Firefox.

The element had already been removed from Internet Explorer, was never implemented in Chrome and was ignored by most browser-makers because it never made it into a W3C HTML spec. The W3C even went so far as to add a Blink-killing requirement to its web accessibility guidelines.

Your correspondent has fond memories of using blink in Front Page 95, and may therefore join other blink nostalgia freaks by downloading this Chrome extension that restores its functions to Google's browser. Or perhaps this code on GitHub that does the same job is a better choice.

Few that didn't mess with HTML in 1995 will miss blink, which was widely panned for being useless and ugly.

Such criticism isn't wide of the mark, but does ignore the fact that in the mid-1990s web pages were rather dull. Fonts didn't display at all, ActiveX didn't exist, inline multimedia was in its infancy and Java was still a new kid on the block.

Blink may have been naff, but did add colour and movement to the web at a time there were few other options to do the job.

Its passing is therefore just a little sad, as a small part of the early Worldwide Web is now history.

Mozilla has also listed other, far more important, changes to Firefox 23.0 here. Those changes include video acceleration, a browser-wide search preference setting and several security fixes. ®

Bootnote

* We would have loved to honour HTML syntax and surround the word "blink" with angle brackets, but doing so risked making the story unreadable in some browsers or causing El Reg's publishing apps to choke on tag we don't use.

Sponsored: Designing and building an open ITOA architecture