The ZipSpeak Compendium

UnFAQ: What is (or was) the ZipSpeak Compendium?

In pre-Web days, or maybe when the Web was in its infancy, I created an online resource called the ZipSpeak Compendium. This was in the early-1990s. While I don't have an exact date, it was certainly before (and unrelated to) the "Zipspeak" GNU/Linux distribution. Later, when I started developing Web content, I maintained the ZipSpeak Compendium as a Web page. (There's a chance it lived for a short while as a Gopher resource, but I don't have a clear memory of that, nor any documentation to that effect -- but I was doing a little Gopher development for a short while.)

If it wasn't originally on the Web (and if you weren't using the Internet before the Web existed), you might wonder how it was "online." At the time, I maintained it in the .plan file in an account I had on a university computer system where I was working on my degree. That allowed people to retrieve it via finger.

The term ZipSpeak, as I coined it, referred to two things: ZIP data compression, and "speech" or, more generally, communication.

If you've ever seen "LOL" or "ROFL" or "LMAO" (and how could you not have seen at least one of these, and countless others?), you'll see that they are a very compact -- "compressed" -- form of communication. That is, indeed, what I referred to as ZipSpeak, and the ZipSpeak Compendium was a growing list of such terms. From time to time I would get suggestions from various people who had stumbled across the Compendium, so it wasn't limited to the terms I personally knew about.

I eventually abandoned the project, and there are plenty of other online resources now for this info, but it was fun to maintain for awhile. And now you know a very obscure bit of Internet trivia!