# Style me! — announcement

Regular readers of this blog (meaning: me) could notice a change last month. The change is a new section of the web page called "Styles", linked from the navigation section. What is it?

It's a return to the roots. It's a revolution that comes back to the beginning. It's the return of control of the Web experience back to the user.

It's a dark style for dorotac.eu.

## Hoops to jump

Of course, I'm not doing this like everyone else, oh boy no I don't. There is no JS on this web site which activates when you click the style link. The website does not set any cookie to select the style in the future. There is no button which you can click on an unmodified browser to make the style work – sadly.

The style is a (User)CSS file, containing the CSS to add to the page, and pretty much nothing else.

Unfortunately, no browser I'm aware of is able to use user styles without modifications. I recommend the Stylus extension: install it first, then choose the style.

## User agent

Not many people realize, but browsers were once called "user agents". To me, it sends a clear message: this browser is your agent. It serves you, respectable user. It's there to further your interests on the Web.

Sadly, this was not meant to last. Browsers have been co-opted by interests other than the user. The most popular browser is made by an advertising company, which have strong incentives to respect the rights of individuals on the web – oh wait, never mind.

Those interests, naturally, try to push their own interests, even if it wrests choice and control of their Web experience away from the user. First, DRM support was standardized, encouraging companies to give the user a choice putting them in control: either we control your video player, or you can't see our stuff. A little further on, Google Chrome switched to Manifest v3, which removed support for a large swath of ad blockers (connect the dots yourself). Most recently, Google pushed for standardizing a version of DRM which would allow web sites to put the user in a situation where they either use a pre-approved browser, or go home via the WEI proposal. Control is going away from the user.

## User styles

User styles are one of those things that bring a bit of control back to the user. They allow the user to see the Web as they please, even if the original designers imagined it otherwise. And the designers of the original Web page can't do squat about this!

This is the reason that dorotac.eu is so sparsely styled. I don't want to take your control away. Do you have a fancy green-on-blue default? Sure, I'll play with your rules. Do you want to add your own CSS via user styles? I keep custom stuff to the minimum, so that you can reorganize it easily.

The dark style on here is actually just a tweaked copy of the style I apply to all Web pages. Take it, and modify it! Oh, and if you create something really wild, send it to me. I'll publish it alongside!

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