If you love the web, you should help Noah Grey
who helped define today's web

Screenshot of a blog created using Greymatter, created by Joshua Benton @jbenton
Screenshot by Joshua Benton

I’ve been away from computers and missed the boat a little on this, but wanted to write a quick note about it regardless: Noah Grey needs some financial support, and it would be good if you could make a small donation.

More years ago than I care to think about, Noah created Greymatter, a Perl-based content management system for blogs that predated (and inspired) the likes of Wordpress. Without Greymatter, Wordpress probably wouldn’t exist. Thanks to Greymatter, thousands of people like me were able to mess about with the web in its early days, exploring and building and understanding how to shape bits of it.

I remember spending many hours diving deep into Greymatter’s innards - that meant opening admin pages in a browser, typing and re-typing all sorts of code snippets into dozens of little boxes. The thing about Greymatter was that it was incredibly customisable; once you understood how it worked, you could make it do many very clever things. That’s because Noah designed it that way.

Using Greymatter helped me better understand the web, which in turn helped me build a career on it. I’ve been very lucky.

Noah Grey has been less lucky, suffering many hardships and ill health. Earlier this week, they posted an urgent call for for help, to avoid being evicted and made homeless. Thousands of people chipped in, myself included. The immediate urgency is over, but donations are still open. It’s a small way of saying thanks to someone whose work helped shape the look and feel of the web for many years afterwards.

Noah, here’s to you 🥂

Filed under: notes
(30 April 2022)