Saturday, 9 May 2009

Bloody Artists!

Early 1990s, dawn of the Web, there I was making a presentation to colleagues at a certain college in South London, enthusing about the new technology and demonstrating how easy it was to put material online. And the most amazing thing is that you don't need to worry about compatibility, I explained. It doesn't matter what screen resolution or dimension is available on the target machine, it doesn't matter what fonts are installed, what colour depth the graphics card supports, everything sort of moves around, gets switched, swapped, substituted, resized and sorted out so it's viewable at the user's end.

So, what you're saying is that we're not actually in control of the way the page looks? queried the Artists in the group.

That's right - isn't it wonderful?

Solemn shaking of heads and tuttings of disapproval ensued. We're not sure we like the sound of that, they said. In fact we don't like it one bit.

Well, I wasn't worried. If the Artists didn't want to embrace this exciting new medium, that was their loss. No skin off my nose. We'd keep it in the Geek community for now - maybe the Artists would come around to our way of thinking eventually - always an open door and a friendly welcome in Geek World. We need all the friends we can get...

Here we are, nearly 20 years later. Did the Artists come on board? No. Instead, they stole the Web from us and destroyed it with over-complicated markup tags, Cascading Style Sheets, Dynamic Web Templates and suchlike that don't work cross-platform. Perfectly good tags were declared deprecated, so we're not sure how much longer they will be supported on each of the many browsers. Nothing works predictably anymore, as any web-designer will confirm. Ah, but it works in FireNumpty 6.5 (or whatever) is not an excuse!

So, if anyone witnessed a strange chap kneeling on the ground outside a certain Secret Laboratory yesterday morning, spilling his tea down his dressing-gown and pounding the earth with his fist in a fine impression of Charlton Heston in the final scene of Planet of the Apes, that was probably me.

You Maniacs! You blew it up! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!


  1. Actually, the DIV (page division) tag wasn't a bad idea. It's nice to be able to set text styles for DIVs and apply background images. Getting the DIV to actually appear where you want it, now that would be really cool!