Web Page origin

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RonH
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Web Page origin

Post by RonH »

Is it possible to see when a web page was created. I use Chrome and there are 'Inspect and Page Source' possibilities but I can't see a column specifying date of creation.
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HansV
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Re: Web Page origin

Post by HansV »

Many web pages are generated on the fly when you visit them, so the creation date would always be "now".
Apart from that, the source of a web page does not specify its creation date unless the developer explicitly included it as a comment in the source code.
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Re: Web Page origin

Post by RonH »

Thanks Hans.
That means there is no obvious web method of determining when eg a product is first web advertised. Some product say 'latest release' which could have been some years prior! In many cases it can be impossible to get further details unless the company discloses this info.
Ah well, live with it Ron :sad:
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Re: Web Page origin

Post by ChrisGreaves »

RonH wrote:
01 Aug 2021, 06:24
Is it possible to see when a web page was created. I use Chrome and there are 'Inspect and Page Source' possibilities but I can't see a column specifying date of creation.
Hi Ron.
Here is a link to a web page I created just now, using Win10's NotePad.exe.
http://chrisgreaves.com/AWebPage.txt
I have attached a copy of the source of the web page.
The web page is a plain text file with nothing fancy in its content.

The only way we could know the date of creation, is either by the web page designer (me!) somehow coding the date into the page (which clearly I can neglected to do), or the web hosting service doing so.

The web hosting service cannot know how long I waited between saving my "AWebPage.txt" file on my hard drive and uploading it to the web, the Best that the web hosting service could do would be to post a "date most recently uploaded".

The web hosting service could append a list ;f dates when the web page was uploaded, and audit trail, but unless we define "date created" as "the date when the web page was last uploaded", the web hosting service cannot know the date of creation.
Chris
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RonH
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Re: Web Page origin

Post by RonH »

Thanks Chris for your input.
What raised my query was some pc software of interest which had the usual words 'New improved version' but no way of determining 'how new'. Quizzing the supply source also did not help so 'I did not purchase'.
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Re: Web Page origin

Post by ChrisGreaves »

RonH wrote:
01 Aug 2021, 08:41
... which had the usual words 'New improved version' but no way of determining 'how new'.
Quite so. Every product (toothpaste, floor polish, ...) is the 'New improved version' until the 'New improved version' comes along.
Microsoft Windows operating system falls prey to this; every update is a 'New improved version' .

Of course, the question of whether or not the 'New Improved version' is either New or Improved from the user's (your) point of view is unanswered by the marketing team, and is likely to remain so, because you, as an individual, are unknown to them, and always will be, and FWIW while the Help Line might treat you as an individual for five minutes, they have no power over The Marketing Department.
Commiserations :sad:
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Re: Web Page origin

Post by RonH »

A past 'new beaut' software didn't work very satisfactorily with Windows 10 ... subsequently I found out that it was developed pre windows 10. The Windows Compatibility didn't really solve issues so I learnt to live with it and its occasional 'unsaved' crashes.
Ah well ... ours is not to reason why :innocent:
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Re: Web Page origin

Post by BobH »

Having oft lamented the absence of a date on web pages, I suggest that all browsers be amended to require a date in a specific location in a web page in order to display them. This would leave a lot - and I mean a LOT - of chaff on the interwebs; but it could be a dividing marker signifying that a web page is BCDE (before the common date era). A convention could even be developed that would display BCDE instead of an actual date if none were present in the HTML. Further, web hosting entities could be 'strongly encouraged' to require dates meeting a standard for placement before accepting them. Then, HTML without dates could be deprecated over time until a fixed future date when it would no longer be accepted and displayed by browsers.

This ability to date information displayed would be very useful in determining where to place the matter contained therein temporally.
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Re: Web Page origin

Post by ChrisGreaves »

BobH wrote:
01 Aug 2021, 18:36
HTML without dates could be deprecated ...
I regularly discount papers/memos (printed or electronic) that do not contain a "date-published".
I value highly the copyright/first published date in books because it helps me to set the findings in context of the decade in which the (scientific) views were published.
We could all use a filter that showed us ONLY web pages in a specified date range.

Until some hacker worked out how to circumvent that hurdle.
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Re: Web Page origin

Post by ChrisGreaves »

RonH wrote:
01 Aug 2021, 06:24
Is it possible to see when a web page was created. I use Chrome and there are 'Inspect and Page Source' possibilities but I can't see a column specifying date of creation.
Ron, I stumbled across this page (http://www.lyberty.com/encyc/articles/t ... guide.html) while researching a different project. Edit Find the text "The following functions can be used as a “poor man’s” date approximation tool" and see if this is useful to you.
"Copyright 1998-2000" will not escape your notice, I am sure!
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Re: Web Page origin

Post by RonH »

Thanks for this Data, Chris.
Seemingly quite a complex formulation. I will have a study of the specific software download page I was interested in and see if I can get a close date approximation.
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Re: Web Page origin

Post by PJ_in_FL »

ChrisGreaves wrote:
01 Aug 2021, 20:51
...I regularly discount papers/memos (printed or electronic) that do not contain a "date-published".

I value highly the copyright/first published date in books because it helps me to set the findings in context of the decade in which the (scientific) views were published....
Seconded!

In the space electronics industry, it seems good science stopped with the turn of the millennium.
PJ in (usually sunny) FL

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Re: Web Page origin

Post by BobH »

I wonder how difficult it would be to get the WWW Consortium and other 'influencing' bodies for the Internet to entertain a change requiring web hosts to require a date in a specific location in uploaded pages and to reject them if they are not there. Browsers - there really aren't that many of them - could then be changed to display that date. This is going to have to happen at some point. It would also give web hosts a means of dealing with detritus and search engines another means of prioritizing their results.
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Re: Web Page origin

Post by ChrisGreaves »

BobH wrote:
04 Sep 2021, 22:01
I wonder how difficult it would be to get the WWW Consortium and other 'influencing' bodies for the Internet to entertain a change requiring web hosts to require a date in a specific location in uploaded pages and to reject them if they are not there. Browsers - there really aren't that many of them - could then be changed to display that date. This is going to have to happen at some point. It would also give web hosts a means of dealing with detritus and search engines another means of prioritizing their results.
As long as the date was NOT used to purge "old" pages, then it might work.

https://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc1738.txt is a page ostensibly written by Tim Berners-Lee on the subject of URL/URIs (what else!!). The page is visibly dated 1994. Were it timestamped invisibly (to users) but purged as not having been updated in the past ten years, what a loss that would be to humanity.
Then there are pages by David Hey, pages which ought never be lost, which "has been preserved for present and future generations by the British Library who have added it to their web archive". There must be millions of web sites like that that do not gain the attention of a Museum or Library.

I would love to see a date of currency, visible in a fixed place on a web page, just as I enjoy reading the publication data as one of the first pages of a book, especially a technical book.

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Re: Web Page origin

Post by Argus »

ChrisGreaves wrote:
01 Aug 2021, 20:51
I value highly the copyright/first published date in books because it helps me to set the findings in context of the decade in which the (scientific) views were published.
Sorry for off topic, Ron.
Above all I don't like relative time (and in my view changing ways of presenting time and date) in articles and elsewhere. That is: "10 min ago"; "1 hour ago" etc. And of course 1 hour ago won't change until 2 hours have passed, or in some cases at least more than 1.5h.

We see this on the web, and it started some 10-15 years ago, I think, but also in some applications. My phone's SMS/messaging app, for example; I was checking something the other week, and also looked at some other messages, and a date said, say, 18 September, and I thought wait this isn't now, I got that when I ordered ... ah, a year ago, but not yet, so it didn't say 2020-09-18. It is the same with days less than a week ago. Checking the messages, and stumble on something and it says: Friday 14:00 ... Friday what, it's Wednesday today? Etc.

Obviously you don't get messages from the future … so next Friday there will be a date (and month) instead of just Friday 14:00. And a year from now a year will be added (to the date).

Maybe my brain is wired differently, but when I have a complete date, or time, such as 2020-09-18, I can quickly put it into context with other things, and many times know the day of the week; but if it says "7 months ago", you first have to think of which month that might be, and then add plus/minus days. Then of course depending on situation some might say: "older than a month, boooring".
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Re: Web Page origin

Post by RonH »

No problem, Argus ... its good to see such interest in this complex subject.

I am no expert regards web design and publishing but surely it would be so easy to force two dates into a web page before it can be published. The first date could be the initial publication of the specific page and the second perhaps being the date of last 'update'.

There are, for example, many 'newly' released software programmes that only have very minor updates ... the first release being 'old' ... and the suppliers advertising leading one to believe that it a 'new beaut' programme without specifying background. That's not to say that the programme is not excellent for the tasks for which it has been designed. A recent download by me of a 2021 software seems to be of 2013 vintage ... now reconfigured to operate with Windows 10. It does task reasonably OK but had I known the history I may well have chosen a more recently developed programme which likely would be capable of improved future proofing for such as Windows 11 when released. My error of course for not initially checking directly with the original developer ... though even this can be difficult to determine, given the multitude of organisations that advertise and sell such software programmes.

Just my non-professional 'pennyworth' :scratch:
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Re: Web Page origin

Post by ChrisGreaves »

RonH wrote:
05 Sep 2021, 08:44
I am no expert regards web design and publishing but surely it would be so easy to force two dates into a web page before it can be published. The first date could be the initial publication of the specific page and the second perhaps being the date of last 'update'.
Haven't we all been doing this with (specifically) databases since the days of [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PC-File]Buttonware's PCFile[/url]? "DateCreated" and "DateModified", I mean.
Now I would propose that "the web" is nothing more than a large base of data, and that web pages are its "records", so what is source :groan: for the Goose ...
There are, for example, many 'newly' released software programmes that only have very minor updates ... the first release being 'old' ... and the suppliers advertising leading one to believe that it a 'new beaut' programme without specifying background....
You have a copy of Win11 already?!!???
Just my non-professional 'pennyworth' :scratch:
Ah yes! But is it an 1868 Australian Penny with Queen Victoria on the heads side, worth quite a few Euros nowadays. Unless, of course, it has been used in a game of two-up, in which case it is the even rarer 1868 Australian Penny with Queen Victoria on the tails side

Cheers
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Re: Web Page origin

Post by RonH »

No Windows 11, Chris, and it will not for some considerable time be installed on our pc's. Quite happy with W10 :smile:

Pennies ... if only as a young kid I had not 'swapped' some special coins for stamps only to find out that the stamps had no real value. :sad: Not that I understood 'value' in money terms during those days. Gotta say when my parents found out they were somewhat displeased.
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