Today I perhaps glimpsed the future of the web, and it was a future without my little art reviews.
I was about to post about a Scottish artist showing down in Wimbledon when the gallery’s website barred me from using server URLS for links to illustrations. Oooh some fancy coding there. So I deleted the post. Regular readers will probably know that I like to link reviews to illustrations on web sites, or as JPGs, and for efficiency I use the JPG’s server URL rather than its web page URL. So links are to just the image on a blank page – strictly a non-page, a white screen. This way you don’t have to load the whole page – which may be complicated with videos and animations and such – a time consuming and superfluous exercise for my needs. There’s nothing harmful or illicit in taking advantage of a server in this way. It is, after all, partaking of traffic from the whole web and it is in the spirit of sharing. So I don’t see why a web developer would go out of their way to deny this option, it certainly doesn’t safeguard the image – which can be easily taken in a screen grab anyway. It doesn’t in any way harm or disparage the designer’s precious web pages or create ‘unprofitable’ traffic. The server is leasing the computer space to the client anyway, so the tiny amount of additional traffic is hardly a cause for concern, to either server provider or client.
It’s strictly an issue of petty control. Something you see creeping over more and more of the web, as people get desperate to try and wring a quid from the whole caper, fence off their territory. If they can’t make a bob from it at least they can exclude prospectors. It was never meant to be so rabidly possessive, so mean spirited. If more sites/developers follow this lead I would have to revert to linking to the relevant web pages – which as I’ve said is often tedious – even now with better band speeds, coding, etc than 6 or 7 years ago. But I don’t know if I can be bothered. At that point maybe I’m obsolete as well.
R.I.P. the www; killed by cu*t web developers.