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What I learned crawling the unbelievably massive 1996 Space Jam site

To test a site-crawling feature for Web Origami, I thought I’d crawl the original 1996 Space Jam site. The site’s often referenced as proof of HTML longevity, but I’ve only ever seen the site’s famous “solar system” home page:

Space Jam home page

Having seen this home page countless times, I’d assumed the site was tiny — maybe a dozen pages?

I was wrong. The site is freaking MASSIVE.

Over 350 HTML files! Over 600 images! Audio clips! Videos! VR videos!

A map of the whole site gives a sense of scale. Click to open and explore, but, um, you’ll need to pan around or zoom out.

Portion of a map of the Space Jam website

It’s entertaining to spelunk through this massive ancient site.

Poring over it, I think the original Space Jam site is a remarkable artifact.

Kudos to the people behind the site: executive producer Donald Buckley, producer Dara Kobovy-Weiss, designers Jen Braun Davies and Andrew Stachler, and writer/coder Michael Tritter. And kudos to Warner Bros. for keeping the site up!

If you want to inspect the site yourself (or one of your own sites), you can crawl and copy it using the following command (requires Node to be installed but no other pre-installation):

npx @weborigami/origami "@copy @crawl(tree://www.spacejam.com/1996/), @files/spacejam"

Origami’s crawl command doesn’t throttle requests, and doesn’t try to recover dropped files, so it may not copy everything. Once the site is copied, you can serve it with whatever server you like, or:

npx @weborigami/origami @serve @debug spacejam

The @debug option gives you the ability to produce interactive maps like the one above from the served site. In the browser, go to any local URL and add /!@svg to the end of it, e.g.: