Stupid Markup Tricks

A coworker asked me to look over a proof of concept project he’d been working on the other day and, after telling him my thoughts, I added “of course it needs more blink tags and marquees” because it’s impossible for me to go for very long without ribbing him about something and markup is as good a target as anything.

I didn’t realize that, along with all of my pop culture references, he also completely missed the era of web pages that made liberal use of those tags. Lucky for him, I suppose. I put together a quick page to demonstrate that neither of those tags were recognized by modern browsers. I was relieved when <blink> didn’t work but actually a little surprised when the <marquee> worked because I hadn’t used it in years and then not for anything good. I laughed, threw the browser window over to my third monitor after conceding that yes, marquees could still be useful for “news ticker”-like behavior, and forgot about it as I got lost in something I needed to troubleshoot. I didn’t think about it until someone else wandered by and said “seriously? why would you do that?”

After a quick joke about introducing blinks and marquees into every one of our web apps, someone wondered if form fields had ever been nested in a marquee. I said that I imagined it would ignore the tags at best, render some unidentifiable HTML abomination at worst. A few keystrokes later and there was a fully functional text field that just happened to be scrolling across the screen. The same person thought that nested marquee tags might be interesting. I was skeptical but did it anyway. I have absolutely no idea when either of those would have any chance of being remotely useful except as some extremely niche developer party trick, but there it is.

We do these things because we can, apparently.

nested marquee

double nested marquee

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