It’s sort of a funny idea to revisit the The Lo-Fi Manifesto. The whole point of it was to be choosy about technologies and production methods that are as resistant to change as can be reasonably known.

And in that regard, the manifesto and its six original points have held up nicely over the last 8 years. Substantively speaking, I still stand behind them. Most of the links that I pointed to at the time have held up; an automated audit using wget on November 23, 2015, reported two broken links (the Sun acquisition of MySQL, and the sIFR project, which is no more) in the original at http://kairos.​​12.3/​topoi/​stolley/.

So, what to do with this piece? At the very lowest end, I could fix some gaffes in the code that have bugged me for years. I could modernize the markup and bring it from XHTML 1.0 Strict into the glorious new future of HTML5. And that would be fine.

I could also create a modified design, one that’s a little less literal about the green-screen terminal aesthetic of the original. It’s more than a little off-putting, and probably confirms people’s worst fears that a lo-fi authoring approach means surrendering every last aesthetic nicety afforded by an age of 64-bit color depth, high-density displays, and GPUs that have as much power as CPUs of just a few years ago. A new design would lose the usability-nightmare accordion design of the original. It would also see the removal of the faux source-code embellishments on the text, and replace them with something a little more common to plain text c. 2016, namely the Markdown syntax. If people want to look at source-code comments, they can do what the original manifesto itself invited: look at the source code for the HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

That would make for a nice visual revision of the original. But would anyone really want to re-read it again? Maybe for the reboot, I could also read through the manifesto, and provide commentary and additional thoughts on some of the ideas contained within it. Issue some apologies for places where I was kind of mean. After all, I wrote the piece just as I was finishing graduate school and starting my first job as a new assistant professor. You can probably tell.

Perhaps I could then take that commentary, and revise the original manifesto to better reflect how it would read if I addressed the same basic group of ideas and wrote them for 2016. I could do a rewrite of the manifesto to include a few things, like version control, that were just beyond the horizon of my own learning and development at the time that I wrote the original. That would also give me an opportunity to rework some of the clunky writing and fire-and-brimstone tone that, like some of the code gaffes, have irked me for a long time.

But, this is an Inventio webtext appearing in Kairos. I don’t have to pick any one of those approaches to revisit the Lo-Fi Manifesto: I can pick them all. And that’s exactly what I did.

Any Version You Like

There are multiple versions of The Lo-Fi Manifesto presented in this new edition. Their version numbers roughly follow the principles of Semantic Versioning (that explains the leap from 1.0.1 to 1.1.0, and 1.2.0 to 2.0.0). The 1.0.0 version points to the original URL on Kairos. The 0.0.x versions are available only on GitHub, in their respective branches, or by cloning the copy of the repository included in the Kairos server. Just copy and paste this whole line into your terminal (some of it may be hidden from view):

$ git clone

The specific differences version to version are as follows: