Christopher Powroznik
Jul 16 · 3 min read

On the last long weekend, my parents invited me to their home up in the rural northern forests of British Columbia, Canada. Far into the bush and away from my home and civilization in Vancouver. There were plans for hikes, boating and various outside activities. However, there was a terrible thunderstorm all weekend.

My parents don’t have internet, television or even a strong cellphone connection in their home. The nearest town is a 30 minute drive through gravel and dirt roads, just to access public wifi at a library. Boredom quickly took over and I decided to work on some personal projects. Everything I had on the go required me to use an internet connection, so I guess it was time to start something new.

I couldn’t init a javascript project with any modern frameworks. Anything unfamiliar would require me googling for docs and tutorials. Instead I decided to just stick to javascript and HTML, something I knew inside out. I decided to make a small simulation of an Ant Colony. It was simple, a queen would give birth to ants, which created tunnels and searched for food to keep the colony alive. I simply used only ASCII characters for all the graphics, and everything was coded in a single .HTML file. It took only 5 or 6 hours, and the file was less than 500 lines.

It was extremely refreshing to work without any modern tools, create something with the bare minimum technology for web. After my vacation I created a Github Pages Website and hosted my Ant Colony project under an open challenge. The challenge was to create anything you wanted within one HTML File. No imports, no separation of code, and especially no assistance from any modern tools.

I sent the project to some friends, and I guess it had spread via word of mouth. Within the next 3 weeks, my website was reposted on various forums and websites. I was receiving other One Page HTML entries from all over the world. Developers from Pakistan, Argentina and Singapore were sending their cool ideas all built within the simple guidelines I had laid out.

It was such a cool experience, people getting back to the routes of web development, to create something cool. So far people have sent in racing games, realistic CSS art, quizzes, many other refreshing ideas, all built in a single HTML File. All of which are viewable at metroxe.github.io/one-html-page-challenge/


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