DAT–CLI

Back to main post

After wondering for a while about what frustrated me, I realized that doing this was frustrating. I decided to turn the tables around, in a way. Instead of doing my work based on my frustrations, maybe I could frustrate others.

Inspired by MUD: "multi-user dungeons" where users would interact through different programs or rooms on the server.

I had an interesting conversation with a colleague about this very platform and its design, which got me thinking about the evolution of how we interact with the internet. The average website looks like thousands of others: with the sprawl of easily accessible, ready-made software and the advancements in behavior science, interaction design and marketing, the internet left its world of discovery, curiosity and exploration and turned into a platform for cookie-cutter designs. We see technologies evolving more each and every day, but I find interesting how a big part of the internet seems to fall into standards of design "best-practices" and trends.

Very trendy.

To play with the expectations of what a website should look like, I decided to do a throwback to the early ages of internet communication, where everything happened through the terminal. I made a custom theme for the DAT website, in which all the content must be accessed through an emulated terminal on the browser. DAT-CLI tries to break the process of standardization of the internet by forcing users into what can be perceived as an impractical way of browsing, but seemed to be fine for the many years it was the only alternative.

Sample output

The terminal emulator works by requesting rendered pages to Ghost, the CMS behind D.A.T. The response data is parsed into json and can thus be easily accessed and manipulated in JavaScript.

request → parse → print
Dirty but works