A light has gone out on the web.

Some killjoys have removed the <blink> tag from Firefox.

Dropped blink effect from text-decoration: blink; and completely removed <blink> element

Of course, <blink> still works on my sites. And with proper MILSPEC 3 units on, 1 unit off timing, as is right and proper, and which I believe the non-Unix versions of Netscape Navigator never got right, back then.

Their tags shall blink until the end of days.

But "rumble" and "shudder" are the new hotness.

Previously, previously.

Tags: , , ,

45 Responses:

  1. Shatter Null says:

    All my web sites are broken now. RIP GEOCITIES

  2. I for one welcome this new age where older websites are unable resemble geriatric drivers with their turn signals left on for dozens of kilometers!

  3. Countdown to somebody writing a Firefox plug-in to "fix" this: I bet three days.

  4. Lynda Leung says:

    gawww.. geocitiesizer.. >_<

  5. Shatter Null says:

    Back in my day all frames had a slider bar if they needed it or not.

  6. Lynda Leung says:

    Moar frames! let them cover the entire page!

  7. Skye EX says:

    Frames and tables for all!

  8. Shatter Null says:

    ........Tables? What are you, new around here?

  9. Lynda Leung says:

    I also missed my .

  10. Alius Ratio says:

    crap, now i don't have any tags to use in Frontpage.

  11. Zygo says:

    Wait, the blinking is supposed to have a specific duty cycle?

    I think I'm going to have to go modify code now.

      • vacri says:

        I was a neuro tech for a long time, doing tests for epilepsy. A 1Hz blink can trigger a seizure, but only in a vanishingly small number of epileptics and only if it's sustained - photosensitive epileptics (far from all epileptics) usually need at least 8-10Hz strobing before epileptic activity rises. The common range is ~12-16.

        All this being said, have a 3:1 duty cycle is better UX anyway - the blink off works as the attention-grabbing highlight, and the longer duration on allows what's highlighted to be more easily read.

      • jwz says:

        For some reason my message isn't present in that thread, thanks to Google bitrot. But Trammell dug it out of archive.org:

        From: Jamie Zawinski <jwz@netscape.com>
        Subject: Re: ALERT! Fatal bug of BLINK element of HTML
        Date: 1996/06/16
        Message-ID: <31C46266.500F@netscape.com>#1/1
        References: <komisch-1206961706120001@cmh09.coil.com> <Dt0CsE.Ex3@hshuna.hsh.com>
        Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
        Organization: Netscape Communications Corporation, Mozilla Division
        MIME-Version: 1.0
        Newsgroups: alt.html, comp.infosystems.www.authoring.html, comp.infosystems.www.browsers.mac, comp.infosystems.www.browsers.misc, comp.infosystems.www.servers.misc
        X-Mailer: Mozilla 3.0b5 (X11; U; IRIX 5.3 IP22)

        Paul Havemann wrote:

        It's possible to induce a seizure in _epileptics_ with certain flashing lights, but I've never heard of the effect he claims.

        I'm told that such seisures can be triggered by rhythmic on-off patterns, but the BLINK tag follows the standard used on military hardware and in nuclear power plants: three units on per one unit off. Supposedly, the military uses this standard because that kind of staggered pattern won't cause a seisure.

        We changed the pattern to this way back around 0.8 or so, when someone sent us mail telling us about this MilSpec thing (and because we thought it was way funny.) If any of our friends in the military/industrial complex can come up with an actual reference to this standard, I'm sure all of us here at Mozilla HQ would be highly amused.

        Jamie Zawinski   jwz@netscape.com   http://www.netscape.com/people/jwz/
        ``A signature isn't a return address, it is the ASCII equivalent of a black velvet clown painting; it's a rectangle of carets surrounding a quote from a literary giant of weeniedom like Heinlein or Dr. Who.''

    • Joe Loughry says:

      MIL STD 1472F says:

      "If cautions take the form of flashing text, the text should flash
      at a rate not greater than 2 Hz with ON/OFF interval of about 70% on."

      [1] "Department of Defense Design Criteria Standard: Human Engineering", MIL-STD-1472F, 23 August 1999.

      • jwz says:

        1999! No wonder I couldn't find that when I went searching for it in 1994!

        • NovaDenizen says:

          The "F" at the end is a version specifier. In this pdf, dated 1978, there is a reference to MIL-STD-1472b. So the standard has been around a long time, it probably just wasn't on the internet.

          • Vitorio says:

            MIL-STD-1472 looks like it dates to 1968.

            1472D (from here) is dated 1989 and says (page 35, section, flashing lights) "the flash rate shall be within 3 to 5 flashes per second with approximately equal amounts of ON and OFF time," and the same again in section

            1472E (from here) is dated 1996 and says the same thing.

            These do not match the information provided to Netscape. Maybe a different military standard? I can't find a copy of 1472C (1981) to see if it's any different.

  12. Tim Kolar says:

    Don't worry, the light will be back. Then gone again. Then back. Then gone. Back, gone, back, gone, back, gone ....

  13. Angelfire too has shed a tear...
    What's next? Global removal of all animated gifs?

  14. nooj says:

    <blink> support should be dropped for one release out of every four.

  15. Grumpy Old Man says:

    I don't mean to be the grumpy old man here, but the web was better when it was (a) less standardized and (b) less oriented toward display formats and more oriented toward content. At some point, probably around 1999, the shark was jumped. We had enough layout to make content look good, but we kept pushing until we re-invented daytime television. Except now it's interactive.

    • Steve says:

      I hear ya and agree 100%. I think (and hope) it's just a fad.

      First it was bad html (well, it WAS) with bad content, but it was new and online and cool, so people went for it.

      Then it was bad html with good content. It was interesting to read, but murder on the eyes.

      Now, it's good html with bad content. It's more pleasing to see, takes more 'new' knowledge, etc.

      Hopefully the future will bring good html with good content. And then we can all be enlightened in the way of a good message and beautifully crafted presentations. :)

      • Pavel Lishin says:

        > Now, it's good html with bad content.

        No, that's bullshit. Sure, the percentage of good/bad has probably decreased, but that's just because it's easier to toss content up. This is somewhat akin to saying that literature suffered when more people learned to read and write, because now any jerk could keep a diary.

  16. Goffick says:

    The web browser appliance will not be complete until it implements the creation of real time odors. I think an <odor tag is needed.

    A simple javascript loop could push out in quick succession the odors of putrid rotting anus, rose water, cut grass, dog turds, orange blossom and rank vagina.

  17. Why are you throwing away God's love and making Him loath you. This is sad. God says...

    rue of imitation; no one man can imitate
    many things as well as he would imitate a single one?

    He cannot.

    Then the same person will hardly be able to play a serious part in life,
    and at the same time to be an imitator and imitate many other parts
    as well; for even when two species of imitation are nearly allied,
    the same persons cannot succeed in both, as, for example, the writers
    of tragedy and comedy--did you not just now call them imitations?

    Yes, I did; and you are right in thinking that

  18. You're crazy if the radio talks to you, says the radio. You fucken morons are atheist! BA HA HA

    God says...


    at revenue.

    The fixed capital, and that part of the circulating capital which
    consists in money, so far as they affect the revenue of the society,
    bear a very great resemblance to one another.

    First, as those machines and instruments of trade, etc. require a
    certain expense, first to erect them, and afterwards to support
    them, both which expenses, though they make a part of the gross, are
    deductions from the neat revenue of the society; so the stock of money
    which circulates in any country must

  19. The world is perfectly just. If you deprive me of money and glory, God will make it up to me, probably can't go well for you. Artists have longer life without money, most likely.

    God says...

    : ye have done all this
    wickedness: yet turn not aside from following the LORD, but serve the
    LORD with all your heart; 12:21 And turn ye not aside: for then should
    ye go after vain things, which cannot profit nor deliver; for they are

    12:22 For the LORD will not forsake his people for his great name's
    sake: because it hath pleased the LORD to make you his people.

    12:23 Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the
    LORD in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the g

  20. paul says:

    Of course they also removed the option to turn off javascript, which Philip Greenspun aptly called "the blink tag writ large". I.e. they have simply gone on to bigger and better things.

  21. Pixie says:

    CSS animations bring us things more annoying than blink and can't be turned off; JavaScript does the same and gets turned permanently on, even if you previously had it turned off; But blink? Had to go. It was too mundane.

    • Rick C says:

      You can kill CSS animations with your browser's dev tools, not that that's something that's easy to do a lot. In theory, the browser style sheet should override this as well, although the same caveat applies.

      • Pixie says:

        * { animation: none !important; } does indeed stop the movement, but "find userContent.css; paste in magic line; restart browser" is even less user-friendly than about:config -> image.animation_mode -> change to "once". Though I suppose Stylish largely fixes that...

        Dagnabbit, I was trying to be angry here and you had to go and provide solutions!

  22. Mike says:

    Not only blink, the firefox guys changed ESCAPE so it will no longer stop animated images. Apparently they want ESCAPE to be able to be trapped by web developers for other purposes. As a user, I can't imagine a good reason.

    I filed a bug, and since they closed it as a dupe, I've been receiving a constant stream of updates every few days from people filing new duplicates wondering why they couldn't stop idiotic animated gifs.

  23. Dan says:

    Sigh the Tumblr kids just think they are animated gifs.

  24. Anonymized Internet Person says:

    Experimented a little with the 'rumble' one
    Like y/n?

  25. Eric says:

    Indeed, it is the end of days!

    "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

  26. Now let's hope they don't kill other tags! (marquee, et cetera).

    Also...marquee is a disallowed tag here. :(

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