DOGME 00

There has been a trend in the last few years to gradually turn the World Wide Web into something resembling TV.
This is characterised by web designers wanting (and getting) more and more control over the visual appearance of web pages, and hence the user losing that control. This trend has even progressed beyond the boundary of the browser window, with JavaScript and similar allowing web designers to pop up unwanted windows, disabling the controls of the existing ones, and much more.
The ultimate insult is making the whole site depend on something like Macromedia Flash, with no other way in. This essentially limits your audience to those willing to identify, download, and install the required program, excluding all others, along with those platforms Macromedia hasn't deemed worthy of support (since it is not an internet standard). On top of this, it prevents search engine spiders from indexing the site, further decimating the audience that will ever see it.
But the reason for all this, is about taking away your means of controlling how a site looks, and giving it to the web designer instead. Just like the TV producer has complete control over the picture.

This would be acceptable if the web designers were all perfect, and always made designs that are the best for everyone. Obviously this is impossible, but it is amazing that it isn't obvious to the majority of web designers. Many of them apparently think that their design will always be preferred by the user, even over the user's own preferences. This is a paradox in itself. It is also the idea behind allowing the web designer to override your own choices of font, size, colour etc.

Layout is another issue, where bad web designers are quickly spotted. The text "Best viewed in X by Y" and/or "Best viewed with browser Z" is a dead giveaway.
The implication of that statement is, that the web designer has tried all browsers on Earth, in all possible resolutions, and is now telling you which one is the best. It's a lie, of course, they could never do that even if they wanted to.

And so the time has come to counteract these trends. Like the increasing commercialisation of feature films prompted DOGME 95, the same is now happening to the web.

So here we can present The DOGME 00 Vow of Web Chastity.
Take the vow and follow the rules, and you have a fair chance of not annoying your users enough to turn them away, or in extreme cases take offensive action.

10th December 2000, Thomas Olsson
Comments, suggestions? Mail the author.

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If you want to learn more about the initiatives to prevent this corruption of the web, and some more reasons why this needs to be done, here are a few links: