Lost BBC coding found

Published on 18 March 2008 in , , ,

It’s coming up for five years since I coded my last web page for the BBC, and very little of my work remains. This is probably a good thing given the code isn’t exactly what people these days would be impressed by.

BBC 404 page

The one remaining page of mine that has stood the test of time is actually the very last thing I actually coded for the BBC website – the 404 page.

Since it went live, it’s barely changed bar the original BBCi logo that was at the top, being replaced by a simple “404” when the website was rebranded to bbc.co.uk.

And that was it. My coding legacy. The last bastion of my HTML to linger on the BBC’s live web servers.

Or so I thought.

Today I found a second, much older example. The Majordomo “You’ve subscribed!” page – shown when you subscribe to a mailing list.


It was coded back in the summer of 2001 – a few months before what was BBC Online was rebranded to BBCi. I even designed the “Mailing List Information” banner myself. A similar page exists for people unsubscribing.

Again the page has been little touched – bar the removal of the “i” part of the BBCi logo back in May 2005. It’s also stuck in a bit of a timewarp, proclaiming as it does, that the date is 11 March 2004 – if I remember correctly, at the time the date on webpages was supplied by an include file which was published out daily. Presumably that’s now broken/disabled on that server.

With the BBC now moving beyond its previous 770 wide pages, it’s also nice to know that there is still a page that harks back to a very old era – ah the days when people moaned about 600pixels being too wide…


  • paul canning says:

    Just seen this. I think the blog comment failure message might be yours as well. Gawd, that is funny …

  • Andrew Bowden says:

    Actually it probably is – I’m sure I would have a done a 404 and 500 at the same time. Might have done a 403 at the same time, but it’s the 404 that sticks in the mind!